Connecting man to man to God
For week of January 24, 2010
Issue 288


The Men’s Ministry newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
Our mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.

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O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are [God's] judgments and how inscrutable [God's] ways!”
Romans 11:33



    
CONSIDER
Joy is not gush: joy is not jolliness. Joy is simply perfect acquiescence in God's will, because the soul delights itself in God Himself... Rejoice in the will of God, and in nothing else. Bow down your heads and your hearts before God, and let the will, the blessed will of God, be done.” Hanmer William Webb-Peploe (1837-1923), included in Springs in the Valley, ed. Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, p. 163


    
2010 CHRISTIANITY TODAY BOOK AWARDS ANNOUNCED
For two decades, the annual Christianity Today Book Awards have recognized outstanding volumes that shed light on people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. This year, the judging process began with 472 titles submitted by 72 publishers. CT editors selected finalists in each category, and then expert judges sorted out the best of the bunch from 2009. Here are the 12 winners (including two ties) and 11 notables that best shed light on the people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission.

Apologetics/Evangelism
GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS GOOD: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible
William Lane Craig and Chad Meister, Editors (InterVarsity)

Biblical Studies
SIN: A History
Gary A. Anderson (Yale University Press)

Christianity and Culture
SOULS IN TRANSITION: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults
Christian Smith with Patricia Snell (Oxford University Press)

Christian Living
I TOLD ME SO: Self-Deception and the Christian Life
Gregg A. Ten Elshof (Eerdmans)

The Church/Pastoral Leadership (tie)
DEEP CHURCH: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional
Jim Belcher (InterVarsity)

WHY WE LOVE THE CHURCH: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion
Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Moody)

Fiction
NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND
Fyodor Dostoevsky; Boris Jakim, translator (Eerdmans)

History/Biography
PREDESTINATION: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine
Peter J. Thuesen (Oxford University Press)

Missions/Global Affairs
THE NEW SHAPE OF WORLD CHRISTIANITY: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith
Mark A. Noll (InterVarsity Academic)

Spirituality
LONGING FOR GOD: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion
Richard J. Foster and Gayle D. Beebe (InterVarsity)

Theology/Ethics (tie)
DESIRING THE KINGDOM: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation
James K. A. Smith (Baker Academic)

THE GOD I DON'T UNDERSTAND: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith
Christopher J. H. Wright (Zondervan)


    
THE 2010 CT AWARDS OF MERIT
Apologetics/Evangelism
FAITH AT THE EDGE: A Book for Doubters
Robert N. Wennberg (Eerdmans)

Biblical Studies
THE NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT: The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians
Gordon D. Fee (Eerdmans)

Christianity and Culture
AMERICAN BABYLON: Notes of a Christian Exile
Richard John Neuhaus (Basic)

Christian Living
SINGLED OUT: Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today's Church
Christine A. Colón and Bonnie E. Field (Brazos)

The Church/Pastoral Leadership
THE MONKEY AND THE FISH: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church
Dave Gibbons (Zondervan)

Fiction
ANGEL TIME
Anne Rice (Knopf)

History/Biography
THE SISTERS OF SINAI: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels
Janet Soskice (Knopf)

Missions/Global Affairs (tie)
THE HOLE IN OUR GOSPEL: What Does God Expect of Us?
Richard Stearns (Thomas Nelson)

THE WORLD MISSIONARY CONFERENCE, EDINBURGH 1910
Brian Stanley (Eerdmans)

Spirituality
THE END OF SUFFERING: Finding Purpose in Pain
Scott Cairns (Paraclete)

Theology/Ethics
KNOWING CHRIST TODAY: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge
Dallas Willard (HarperOne)
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/february/1.28.html


    
SUPER BOWL XLIV (44)
Feb. 7, 2010; Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
http://www.superbowl.com
CBS television and radio
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/superbowl
http://www.cbsradio.com/stations/index.html
http://www.cbsradio.com/streaming/index.html
http://www.westwoodone.com/


    
TEBOW TO APPEAR IN SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL
Tim Tebow is taking his star power to sport’s biggest stage. The former Florida quarterback and his mother will appear in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl next month. The Christian group Focus on the Family says the Tebows will share a personal story centering on the theme “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”

The group isn’t releasing details, but the commercial is likely to be an anti-abortion message chronicling Pam Tebow’s 1987 pregnancy. After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner ended his college career with several NCAA, Southeastern Conference and school records, and two national championships. Tebow also has been very involved in his family’s Christian-based ministry.

Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, said the commercial comes at a time when “families need to be inspired.” .... Read this in full at
http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ap-tebow-superbowlad&prov=ap&type=lgns


    
FACE TO FACE
The Bible tells us that no one can see God's face and live. Moses, whose relationship with God was one of extraordinary intimacy, begged God to show him his glory. But God replied, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live ... You will see my back; but my face must not be seen" (Exodus 33:20, 23). Even so, when Moses talked with God, his own face shone so brilliantly that he had to cover it in the presence of others. His fellow Israelites could not bear even the reflected glory of God.

We can only imagine what it must be like to see God's face - to perceive his beauty, his power, his holiness, and his love. Though we differ in our capacity to see God, none of us yet have the ability to know him as he knows us. It's as though God is telling us that it's still too dangerous, like trying to pour Niagara Falls into a thimble. We would be utterly crushed and destroyed.

Yet Jesus tells us that angels in heaven continually enjoy face-to-face communion with God. Maybe that's why they make such great guardians. They know how overwhelmingly attractive God is, and they are not seduced, as we are, into making idols out of lesser desires. Unlike the fallen angels, they know the foolishness of choosing less when you can have more.”
Ann Spangler, When You Need a Miracle



    
RELIGIOUS HAITIANS SEE HAND OF GOD IN EARTHQUAKE
Deeply religious Haitians see the hand of God in the destruction of biblical proportions visited on their benighted country. The quake, religious leaders say, is evidence that He wants change. Exactly what change He wants depends on the faith: Some Christians say it’s a sign that Haitians must deepen their faith, while some Voodoo followers see God’s judgment on corruption among the country’s mostly light-skinned elite.... Read this in full at
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100118/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_haiti_hand_of_god


    
AMID RUBBLE, SEEKING A REFUGE IN FAITH
With many of their churches flattened and their priests and pastors killed, Haitians desperate for aid and comfort beseeched God to ease their grief. Carrying Bibles, they traversed the dusty, rubble-filled streets searching for solace at scattered prayer gatherings. The churches, usually filled with passionate parishioners on a Sunday morning, stood empty if they stood at all.

In a sign of the importance of churches here, President René Préval gathered religious leaders along with political and business leaders at the police station that has become his headquarters. He asked the churches in particular to focus on feeding people, but he gave little guidance on what the government would do to help.... Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/18/world/americas/18church.html


    
URBAN LEGEND EXPERT DEBUNKS HAITIAN ‘PACT WITH THE DEVIL‘
A veteran Christian radio broadcaster, who is also an expert on Urban Legends, is seeking to set the record straight regarding televangelist Pat Robertson's comment that Haiti's problems are caused by a pact the country allegedly made with the Devil 200 years ago.
Rich Buhler is the host of “Talk from the Heart” on KBRT-AM 740 in Los Angeles, heard daily from 3:00 to 5:00 Pacific Time. Regarded by many as the father of modern Christian talk radio, he also is the creator of www.truthorfiction.com , a website that researches Internet stories, hoaxes, and urban legends.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January, 2010, Christian television broadcaster Pat Robertson made headlines by saying that Haiti had been “cursed by one thing after another” ever since the Haitian revolution of the late 1700’s when the Haitians “swore a pact to the devil.”

Robertson said, “They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘OK it’s a deal’. And they kicked the French out.”

In a piece he wrote for www.truthorfiction.com, which seeks to debunk the legend, Buhler says there are several problems, however, with Robertson’s statement.... Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/STORIES/2010/s10010104.htm


    
VOODOO BRINGS SOLACE TO GRIEVING HAITIANS
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122770590&ft=1&f=1016


    
CHURCHES OFFER SOLACE, HOPE IN HAITI
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-01-17-haiti-uschurches_N.htm


    
QUAKE SHAKES, BUT DOESN'T TUMBLE, FAITH OF HAITIANS
http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=19518


    
AUDIO BIBLES TO MINISTER HOPE IN HAITI
Standing on a pile of concrete and tin metal rubble, a 20-something Haitian man points over his shoulder. "This was my father's house," he said, matter-of-factly. Then the reality rolls over him like a wave, and his voice breaks, "My mother was in there. My family was..." He is interrupted by another man who yells, "I can hear them in there. But we can't get to them. Without a loader, we can't move this."

On Jan. 12, Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake near its capital city, Port-au-Prince. People set up makeshift shelters, refugee camps and hospitals as others dug through concrete mounds that once held their children, spouses, family, friends and neighbors. Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's foremost Audio Bible ministry, is responding to this crisis by providing faith, hope, and love through God's Word in audio.... Read this in full at
http://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/audio-bibles-minister-hope-haiti
also see “MAF Disaster Team Ramps Up Relief Efforts in Haiti”
http://www.maf.org/news/maf-news/maf-disaster-team-ramps-up-relief-efforts-in-haiti
and

Lutheran World Relief – Haiti Earthquake
http://www.lwr.org/Haiti/
and
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – Haiti Updates
http://www.billygraham.org/News_Article.asp?ArticleID=770
and
Christianity Today – Haiti Earthquake Coverage
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/special/haiti.html
and
http://www.radiolumiere.org/


    
A LIST OF CHRISTIAN RELIEF GROUPS IN HAITI, VETTED BY THE ECFA
http://www.ecfa.org/ServantMatch.aspx?Type=Haiti


    
THE ECONOMY’S IMPACT ON CHURCHES: CONGREGATIONAL BUDGETS
The economic crisis of the last year foiled the plans of many businesses and hit millions of consumers hard. How has the downturn affected churches and congregations? A new Barna Group study, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009 among a nationwide sample of 1,114 Protestant leaders, explores how the nation’s faith-driven organizations are faring in the new economy.

Like many other sectors, pastors and church executives admit that churches are feeling the results of the economic pinch, though for most congregations it has not been severe so far. Overall, 57% of pastors said the economy has negatively impacted their church over the last year. Still, only 8% of leaders said the effect was “very negative.” About one-third of leaders (35%) describe their churches as unaffected by the economy, while one of 11 churches (9%) defied the odds and described the last year as financially positive.

Across all Protestant churches, budgets are down about 7% from a year ago, though that indicator masks extremes. The typical “down” church has lost, on average, 14% of its budget. Among those churches with contracting income, smaller churches were the hardest hit: churches of 100 or fewer adults who had shrinking revenue had lost 16%; those with 100 to 250 adults were off by 13%; churches with 251-999 adults were down 11%; and churches of 1,000 or more adults were down 9%. 

Some churches have been even more significantly hurt by the economy than others: one out of every 11 churches (9%) has lost 20% or more of their budget from 12 months ago. Within that proportion are 2% of churches with incomes off by 35% or more. Among the rare churches that have grown financially, the average annual budget increase was 10%.... Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/18-congregations/327-the-economys-impact-on-churches-congregational-budgets-part-1-of-3


    
MIM PAPER SHOWS THAT ONLINE EXPOSURE TO ADULT PORNOGRAPHY ADVERSELY AFFECTS CHILDREN'S SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES
Morality in Media has published a 10-page paper reporting evidence that exposure to hardcore adult pornography on the Internet can adversely affect children's sexual behavior and attitudes about sex. The evidence includes published observations of clinical psychologists, police and prosecutors, educators, rape crisis professionals, social workers and others, as well as social science research.

The paper is the second MIM publication in recent months exposing the connection between adult pornography and harm to children. The paper is a complement to "How Adult Pornography Contributes to Sexual Exploitation of Children," a 215-page report published in September 2009. Both the paper and report are posted at www.obscenitycrimes.org ("Porn Problem & Solutions" and "Help for Parents" pages).

The January paper, "Harm to Children from Online Exposure to Hardcore Adult Pornography," asserts that when it comes to the Internet in the United States there are "at present NO legal safeguards to protect children from exposure to pornography, and in large measure we can thank the Supreme Court itself for this tragic state of affairs." .... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7246212678.html


    
1 IN 3 PRESBYTERIANS AFFIRM JESUS AS ONLY WAY TO SALVATION
Less than half of Christians in the largest Presbyterian denomination in the country believe Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, a new survey reveals. The latest "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians" report, released by the Presbyterian Church (USA), shows that two in five (39%) members agree or strongly agree that "only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved." Fewer pastors (35%) agree or strongly agree. Meanwhile, 45% of elders at least agree.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100113/1-in-3-presbyterians-affirm-jesus-as-only-way-to-salvation/index.html


    
DISABLED WORSHIPPERS STRUGGLE TO FIND HOME IN PEWS
Among the most humbling moments being confined to an electric wheelchair came when Shawana Bulloch realized it could prevent her from attending services at her Savannah church.

"The one place you should be able to go is in the church without assistance, you should be able to walk in - or roll in," said Bulloch, who recently convinced her Full Gospel congregation to get a portable ramp.

The disabled faithful say such experiences remain common in houses of worship, stoked by ignorance of their needs and doctrines that paint disability as proof of sin.

Years after federal law required accommodations for the disabled, separation of church and state means houses of worship remain largely beyond the law's reach. State laws and denominational measures meant to take up the slack are tricky to enforce and face resistance from churches who call them both costly and impractical.... Read this in full at
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REL_RELIGION_TODAY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-01-13-11-40-30


    
PARISHIONERS FLOCK TO MICROCHURCHES FOR WORSHIP
Microchurches have been around since New Testament days but have become more popular in the past decade. Though the groups differ widely in their practices, the majority serve less than 100 members, typically don't own the building where they meet, often practice nondenominational evangelism and intentionally offer believers a worship atmosphere unlike that of established churches. Many of the groups wish to remain small and will plant a new congregation if numbers grow too large.

"People are yearning for a more intimate type of fellowship that they, in many cases, did not find in the very large church," said Carol Childress, founder of FrameWorks, a church consulting firm based in Texas. "In the course of one generation, as a culture here in the United States, we made a 180-degree turn -- from valuing strong individuals to searching for a sense of community.".... Read this in full at
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-exchange-iowamicr,0,1066040.story


    
ART CLOKEY, CREATOR OF 'DAVEY & GOLIATH,' 'GUMBY' DIES AT 88
Davey and Goliath” was spiritual by design. Underwritten by what is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the series was meant to teach values like charity and tolerance.... Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/arts/television/11clokey.html


    
HOLLYWOOD'S 'THE BOOK OF ELI' CASTS BIBLE, CHRISTIAN CHARACTER AS CENTRAL
The Bible plays a starring role in "The Book of Eli," a post-apocalyptic action film starring Denzel Washington that opened in theaters Jan. 15.

Washington, a two-time Academy Award winner widely known in Hollywood for his Christian beliefs, portrays a lone warrior making his way across a desolate American landscape defending the world's last remaining copy of the King James Version of holy writ.

"This is a story about a man named Eli, who's been sent a message, who hears voices from God that told him to take this book, the Bible, across the country and to deliver it out West," Washington says in a movie trailer posted on ScreenVue.com, which provides movie clips for churches and ministries to use in their teachings.

Though in the vein of recent films like "2012," a blockbuster about the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar, evangelical movie buffs are touting "The Book of Eli" as a rare major studio release where the protagonist is unabashedly a Christian.

"How far are we willing to go in response to God's call?" Craig Detweiler, director of Pepperdine University's Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture, writes in a study guide written for Christian viewers of the film. "What kind of sacrifices would we make to defend the Word of God?".... Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4713/53/


    
STUDY GUIDE FOR “THE BOOK OF ELI” MOVIE
http://www.screenvue.com/eli/


    
KEEPING THE FAITH
Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood's most successful and respected actors. But the two-time Academy Award winner (for 1989's Glory and 2001's Training Day) is also one of Hollywood's highest profile Christians.

The son of a Pentecostal preacher from Mount Vernon, New York, Washington, 55, has been an active member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ for nearly 30 years, reads his Bible every morning, and always chooses roles that he can "bend" in the direction of a positive message or a reflection of his deep personal faith.

Faith is everywhere in Washington's new post-apocalyptic film, The Book of Eli, is being marketed with "B-ELI-EVE" and "D-ELI-VER US" billboards. In the movie, Washington plays a mysterious machete-wielding traveler named Eli, directed by God to protect the earth's last remaining copy of the Bible -- that's right, the Bible -- and to take it "out West" for safekeeping while villains seek to take it by force and use it as a "weapon" of control.

Washington's character in the film is intensely violent -- severing the limbs of bad guys at every turn -- but begins to soften when he meets an innocent girl (Mila Kunis) who reminds him that we can get so caught up in protecting God's Word that we sometimes forget to live by it.

For Washington, "living by it" is chiefly characterized by love and sacrifice. The ultimate message of Eli, he says, is "Do more for others than you would do for yourself." It's a message Washington was surrounded by as a boy.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/movies/interviews/2010/denzelwashington-jan10.html


    
EXACTLY WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AND AWAKENING?
by Patrick Morley, PhD
Everywhere you turn today, you can find pastor and lay groups and individuals praying for our gracious and loving God to send spiritual revival, renewal, and awakening to their families, churches, cities, seminaries, nations, and world.

When we pray for revival and awakening, just exacting what is it that we're praying for?

America has a deep, rich history of revivals and awakenings. In December, 1734, the first American revival of historic significance broke out in Northampton, Massachusetts, where a young Jonathan Edwards was pastor of the colony's second most influential church.

After months of fruitless labor, he reported five or six people had been converted. He was particularly surprised at the conversion of a young woman. He wrote, "(She) had been one of the greatest company-keepers in the whole town." In fact, he was afraid her conversion would douse the flame, but quite the opposite happened.

The news about her, as Edwards put it, "seemed almost like a flash of lightning, upon the hearts of young people, all over the town, and upon many others." A revival and awakening broke out. 300 souls converted in six months-in a town of only 1,100 people! The news spread like wildfire throughout the Colonies, and similar revivals broke out in over 100 towns. The First Great Awakening was under way.... Read this in full at
http://www.maninthemirror.org/weeklybriefing/wb356.htm


    
CONGRESSMAN COMMENDS BIBLICA ON 200 YEARS OF CONTRIBUTIONS TO USA
US Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado entered a proclamation into the US Congressional Record Dec. 16 commending Biblica for its 200 years of "contributions ... made to our country." Biblica celebrated 200 years of Bible ministry Dec. 4, 2009. Read the proclamation at
http://www.biblica.com/press_release/news.php?news_id=93


    
RELIGION IN PUBLIC LIFE: FINDING A CONSENSUS
A diverse, 28-member drafting committee has issued a description of current law regarding religious expression in the United States that it says is unprecedented in scope.

The document is the most thorough statement of the status of the law on American church-state issues to be produced so far, according to its sponsor, the Wake Forest University Divinity School's Center for Religion and Public Affairs. While there have been joint statements on religion in the public schools, this is the first one to address religion in American public life so expansively, said Melissa Rogers, the center's director.

The statement, Religious Expression in American Public Life, from drafters at different points along the left-right policy spectrum, acknowledges some of them frequently disagree on how courts should rule on issues of religion and government but they were able to reach consensus on the present status of the law. "However much we differ about what the law should be, we agree in many cases on what the law is today," they say in the document.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32039


    
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY
Jan. 16 was Religious Freedom Day in the USA (http://www.religiousfreedomday.com/), commemorating the anniversary of the passage of Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, which laid the foundation for the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. A recent Pew Forum study finds that although 76% of countries worldwide provide for freedom of religion in their constitutions or basic laws, many of these countries still infringe on religious beliefs and practices in a number of ways. See a flow chart measuring “social hostilities” against “government restrictions” at
http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=496


    
REFLECTIONS OF A FORMER ISLAMIST EXTREMIST
British activist Ed Husain was seduced, at the age of 16, by revolutionary Islamist ideals that flourished at the heart of educated British culture. Yet he later shrank back from radicalism after coming close to a murder and watching people he loved become suicide bombers. He dug deeper into Islamic spirituality, and now offers a fresh and daring perspective on the way forward.

In its fervor to deter terrorist acts, Ed Husain says, the West is failing to understand the long-term threat -- a spreading mindset that makes him and others susceptible to radicalization in the first place. Husain's personal story illuminates some of the most dangerous territory of modern life. He challenges some of the West's most pervasive, instinctive reactions to it. Here this radio interview on Speaking of Faith at
http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2010/former-islamist-extremist/


    
VERSE TO PONDER
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19



    
CONSIDER
The church is the place where we learn not how self-sufficient we are, but where we learn what sin really is. The church is the place where the Pharisee learns to say with the Publican: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), We are the Pharisees, London: SPCK, 1960, p. 19



    
MICHIGAN DEFENSE CONTRACTOR HAS GOD IN ITS SIGHTS
Army officials say they’ll investigate whether a Michigan defense contractor violated federal procurement rules by stamping references to Bible verses on combat rifle sights used by American forces to kill enemy fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The inscriptions are subtle and appear in raised lettering at the end of the stock number. Trijicon's rifle sights use tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, to create light and help shooters hit what they're aiming for.

Markings on the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, which is standard issue to US special operations forces, include "JN8:12," a reference to John 8:12: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,'" according to the King James version of the Bible.

The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," the King James version reads.... Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011901812.html
also
http://detnews.com/article/20100120/POLITICS03/1200356/Wixom-company-defends-Biblical-references-on-rifle-sights


    
FINDING MEANING IN THE PENTATEUCH
Christianity Today editor at large Collin Hansen interviewed John Sailhamer, Old Testament professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, about his newest book, The Meaning of the Pentateuch (IVP Academic, 2009), biblical criticism, and finding meaning in the text of Scripture.

Q: How do you explain the meaning of the Pentateuch to evangelicals who revere these foundational books but do not see their relevance?

A: Experience has taught me that we really have to want to understand the meaning of the Pentateuch before we see its relevance for our lives. I've been fortunate to have students who have kept me looking for answers about the meaning and relevance of this book. The old theologians used to speak of "the love for Scripture" as a sign of true faith in Christ. They would say, "We should read the Old Testament as if it were written with the blood of Christ." For them, the Old Testament and the Pentateuch in particular was a Christian book, a book about Christ. For most evangelical Christians today it is a book about archaeology and ancient history.

Here we have to be careful because, to be sure, the Old Testament is about ancient history. But that is not its meaning. Its meaning is Christ. Saying that also calls for a great deal of caution. In my book, I take the view that the whole of the Pentateuch is about Christ, but that doesn't mean that Christ is in the whole Pentateuch. Finding Christ in the Pentateuch means learning to see him when he is there rather than trying to see when he is not there. I like to tell my students that we don't need to spiritualize the Old Testament to find Christ, but we do need to read it with spiritual eyes. 

I have a good friend who likes to chide me by saying you don't need "exegesis" to find Christ in the Old Testament. All we need is some "extra Jesus." I wrote my book in part to show my friend and others like him that serious scholarship leads one to find Christ in the Old Testament because he is really there. The author of the Pentateuch put him there when he wrote the book. I've found that if you show someone that Christ is really there in the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, they will come back to see more -- not merely because they have come to revere the Pentateuch as a foundational book, but more importantly because they want to see more of Jesus.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/januaryweb-only/12-11.0.html


    
THEOLOGIAN: BRIT HUME IS RIGHT ON CHRISTIANITY, BUDDHISM DIFFERENCE
Journalist Brit Hume who urged Tiger Woods to “turn to the Christian faith” was right when he drew distinction between Buddhism and Christianity in terms of the concept of forgiveness and redemption, said a prominent evangelical theologian.

I admire Brit Hume for saying something that was at the risk of bringing on this controversy because it really puts on the table the fundamental distinction of worldview: worldview A being Buddhism, worldview B being Christianity,” said Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., on his eponymous radio program.

Mohler, a commentator who has appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” noted that while other major religions in the world believe in a god or gods, Buddhism is a non-theistic faith.


Buddhist teachings say that existence itself is the problem and the major goal in life is to achieve nirvana, or total absence of existence. To live is to suffer, adherents are taught, and the way to end suffering is to detach oneself from life by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

That is not what Christianity is about at all. There is a dramatic distinction,” declared Mohler, who highlighted that nirvana’s non-existence goal is about “emptiness rather than filling.” .... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100111/theologian-brit-hume-is-right-on-christianity-buddhism-difference/index.html


    
CHURCHES ATTACKED AMID FUROR IN MALAYSIA
An uproar among Muslims in Malaysia over the use of the word Allah by Christians spread Jan. 8-10 with the firebombing and vandalizing of several churches, increasing tensions at a time of political turbulence.

Arsonists struck three churches and a convent school early Sunday, and black paint was splashed on another church. This followed the firebombing of four churches on Friday and Saturday. No injuries were reported, and only one church, Metro Tabernacle in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, had extensive damage.

The attacks, unlike anything Malaysia has experienced before, have shaken the country, where many Muslims are angry over a Dec. 31 court ruling that overturned a government ban on the use of the word Allah to denote the Christian God.

Though that usage is common in many countries, where Arabic- and Malay-language Bibles describe Jesus as the “son of Allah,” many Muslims here insist that the word belongs exclusively to them and say that its use by other faiths could confuse Muslim worshipers.... Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/world/asia/11malaysia.html


    
PERSECUTED
by Martin E. Marty
Christians, who through the centuries have often been persecutors, in our time often are persecutees. Those of us who try to keep an eye on and have a heart for suffering Christians have to log horror stories weekly. In just a few January days we were made mindful of three Christian churches bombed in Malaysia; eight Coptic Christians shot dead in Egypt; persecution of house-church Christians in China; and Christians suffering even unto death in some Indian provinces. What, then, do we make of commentator Brit Hume, journalist Andree Seu, and columnist Cal Thomas complaining of persecutions inflicted on them and fellow Christians in the United States?

Criticize the latter three, and one of them, Mr. Thomas, will label you a member of “the secular left” or a “self-described Christian.” I am a self-described Bible-believing, born again (daily) Christian, so Thomas’s deliberate mischaracterization amounts to persecution of me. (“Me” and “I,” here, are stand-ins for millions.) Thomas complains that Hume is criticized for his “hubris” on television for “presuming the Christian faith is superior to other faiths.” Andree Seu assumes that Hume’s critics “sound like they would prefer his beheading,” and that his “e-mail is dripping with venom” but, adds Seu, he will find that “there is life after persecution.” Here come the personal pronouns by Seu: Thanks to Hume’s witness, “the rest of us are made braver. We see that persecution is survivable. We find ourselves envying...a man who has done the thing, and is free.” .... Read this in full at
http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/publications/sightings/archive_2010/0111.shtml


    
THE REBIRTH OF VIRTUE: AN INTERVIEW WITH N.T. WRIGHT
Q: Why is it wrong to think of “virtue” as simply “good behavior”?
A: The point about the word “virtue” -- if we can recapture it in its strong sense – is that it refers, not so much to “doing the right things”, but to the forming of habits and hence of moral character.

I remember Rowan Williams describing the difference between a soldier who has a stiff drink and charges off into battle waving a sword and shouting a battle-cry, and the soldier who calmly makes 1000 small decisions to place someone else’s safety ahead of his or her own and then, on the 1001st time, when it really is a life-or-death situation, “instinctively” making the right decision. That, rather than the first, is the virtue of “courage”.

In the book I use, as a “secular” example, the lifetime forming of habits exemplified by Chesley Sullenberger III, the pilot who, last January, brought the US Airbus down safely in the Hudson River after a flock of geese got into the engines after take-off from La Guardia. All his instincts had been trained so that when the moment came he didn’t have to stop to think what to do; it just “came naturally.” .... Read this interview in full at
http://trevinwax.com/2010/01/05/the-rebirth-of-virtue-an-interview-with-n-t-wright/


    
GOD BLESS THIS LAPTOP: LONDON VICAR WELCOMES TECHIES
venerable British church has done what e-mail addicts and workaholics have been doing for years — invoking the Almighty's blessing on their high-tech gadgets. The Rev. Canon David Parrott blessed a symbolic heap of laptops and smart phones on the altar of London's 17th-century St. Lawrence Jewry church Monday. An effort, he said, to remind the capital's busy office workers that God's grace can reach them in many ways. "It's the technology that is our daily working tool, and it's a technology we should bless," Parrott said.... Read this interview in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-01-16-blessing-gadgets_N.htm


    
FIRST EVER ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT CONNECTS CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN BUSINESS, NONPROFITS AND CHURCHES
PHOENIX, Ariz.—The first ever Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit for Christian leaders in business, nonprofit organizations and churches will be Feb. 21-24 in Phoenix, Ariz., in partnership with the Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Thunderbird School of Global Management, the world's leading school of global business.

The Summit is the first ever gathering of Christian entrepreneurs who want to reflect, refuel and re-ignite the passion of their Christian calling—while networking and learning from the entrepreneurial expertise of every participant. The Summit will also create a safe place for entrepreneurs to dialogue about the unfortunate walls that often separate business entrepreneurs from their pastors and nonprofit ministry leaders.
http://www.breakthrusummits.com/pages/


    
THE ‘7 DWARFS’ BUSINESS GUIDE
by Jim Gum
Every month we get a Human Resources report on terminations. When they are asked to put a reason why they were terminated, the reasons vary from resigned, got a better job, getting married, moving, sexual misconduct, etc. What I've found is that there isn't a standard list. So, I decided to come up with one based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In order to standardize our Human Resources forms we now use just 7 reasons for termination:

~ Happy: Had trouble putting nose to the grindstone. Too much time spent telling jokes at the water cooler.
~ Doc: Left to pursue further schooling, in particular, Ph.D. work.
~ Sleepy: Chronically late for work. Caused many project delays.
~ Grumpy: Poor attitude toward work. Not a team player. Trouble with early mornings.
~ Dopey: Made several critical errors at work costing the company money, e.g., misappropriated company funds.
~ Sneezy: Recurrent, chronic illness has made it difficult for the employee to complete work in a timely fashion.
~ Bashful: Lack of initiative. Not willing to make cold calls. Too often let workplace disagreements simmer.

OTHERS
~ Jealous Queen: Heavy involvement in the occult not congruent with organizational policies.
~ Snow White: Sexual misconduct, e.g., kissing strange men while under some kind of trance.
~ Huntsman: Couldn't stand to be cooped up in the office all day. Pursuing work with the National Forest Service.

Copyright 2000 Jim Gum. Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com


    
CHRISTIANBIBLESTUDIES.COM ANNOUNCES MOST POPULAR BIBLE STUDIES OF 2009
With over 800 downloadable Bible Studies in a multitude of formats, ChristianBibleStudies.com has the largest selection of downloadable studies on the Internet. The not-for-profit ministry has compiled 2009's most downloaded studies that give a glimpse at what was important for Bible study leaders, small group leaders, and Sunday school classes throughout the year.

Editor JoHannah Reardon, says, "The New Year brings exciting opportunities and challenges with it, but it's important to reflect on what God has done in the year we just passed." The most popular Bible Studies on the site are as follows:
10. The Gospel, a Napkin, and Four Circles
9. Missional Evangelism
8. I Want to Change ... So Help Me God
7. Theology 101
6. Seeing Christ in the Jewish Feasts
5. Going Deeper in Prayer
4. Spiritual Disciplines Assessment
3. Expectant Prayer
2. 1 Peter--Walk the Talk
1. Easter Week: Sacrifice & Salvation.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1694712665.html


    
20TH ANNUAL WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYER FOR THE ADDICTED
The weekend of April 10-11, 2010 is designated the 20th Annual "Just Pray NO!" to drugs Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting. Since April 7th, 1991 "Just Pray NO!" Ltd. has sought to unite Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families. The devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction has impacted families and communities worldwide. Substance abuse has been directly linked to violence and sexual immorality and is a major source of income for organized crime and terrorist activities. The "War on Drugs" directly impacts the "War on Crime" and the "War on Terrorism!" .... Read this in full at
http://justprayno.org/


    
HOW THE EARLY CHURCH READ THE BIBLE
by David Neff
The late theologian Robert Webber had been taught to mine the Bible for doctrinal facts.

This intellectual spirituality colored every aspect of Bob's Christianity, including his way of reading the Bible. He eventually came to realize that "an intellectual spirituality is situated not in God's story, but in my knowledge about God's story …. This quest to know God through the mind was just another self-focused spirituality." When he realized that narcissistic potential, Bob headed in a different direction: to the early church and its typological way of understanding Scripture.

The early church was as thoroughly convinced of the Bible's historical reliability as modern evangelicals are. Yet, thought Bob, those Christians were in better tune with the way the Bible tells its own story: focusing on images that reveal the repeated patterns of God's activity.

The more that Bob concentrated on the grammatical, cultural, and historical facts connected to the text, the more remote God became for him. "When the cognitive aspect of the person dominates the symbolic side, a vital part of humanity is neglected and the human spirit is squelched." We need to recover the use of image, symbol, and metaphor in the church, but that doesn't mean that we must start from scratch with only ourselves as reference points. The images are there. And the church fathers can open our eyes to them.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/january/22.64.html


    
'EXPLAIN CHRISTIAN NATION DECLARATION'
Zambian President Rupiah Banda has challenged the church to unveil and explain clearly what the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation entails so that the general populace can clearly understand it.... Read this in full at
http://www.times.co.zm/news/viewnews.cgi?category=4&id=1262162607


    
CONSIDER
To really know a man, observe his behavior with a woman, a flat tire and a child.”
Unknown Author



    
VERSE TO PONDER
"Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
Galatians 5:16



    
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: COME, LET US ANEW OUR JOURNEY PURSUE
Words:Charles Wesley, 1749
Music:James Lucas (1820-?)

Come, let us anew our journey pursue,
Roll round with the year,
And never stand still till the Master appear,
His adorable will let us gladly fulfill,
And our talents improve,
By the patience of hope, and the labor of love,
By the patience of hope, and the labor of love.

Our life is a dream; our time, as a stream,
Glides swiftly away,
And the fugitive moment refuses to stay,
The arrow is flown, the moment is gone;
The millennial year
Rushes on to our view, and eternity’s here,
Rushes on to our view, and eternity’s here.

O that each in the day of His coming may say,
I have fought my way through;
I have finished the work Thou didst give me to do!”
O that each from his Lord may receive the glad word,
Well and faithfully done!
Enter into My joy, and sit down on My throne!”
Enter into My joy, and sit down on My throne!”

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/c/l/cletusan.htm


     ON PRAYER
We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”
Oswald Chambers



     PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
http://christiansincrisis.net/


     DAILY BLESSING PACT
Use the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.

I am agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!

PERSONAL
Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

FINANCIAL
Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Benefits
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Settlements
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
Rebates & returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Money to be found
Bills decrease while blessings increase

"And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut. 28:2).

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you'd like the church guys to pray for your safety and spiritual effectiveness. I'll add your name to the list for the time you'll be away.]


     CLASSIFIEDS
Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I'll put it in this newsletter.

Book your next vacation with us!
Http://www.ChristianConnectionTravel.com

Books, Music & More!
http://www.ChristianConnectionBooks.com

Get your domain name here!
http://www.GoGlobalDomains.com

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
http://www.earnGlobalVacations.com/
It's as easy as 1-2-3!


     SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Mapping of the Cat Brain :)

http://www.xmission.com/~emailbox/mapping.htm

The Final 3 - Amazing Math Card Trick
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8yxw6_the-final-3-amazing-math-card-trick_lifestyl


All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry.

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.)


All I ask is a chance to prove money can't make me happy.

Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank@gmail.com


Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

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CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

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The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, frank@frankcoleman.com if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/  

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