Connecting man to man to God
For week of March 21, 2010
Issue 296


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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He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5



    
CONSIDER
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience."
Teilhard de Chardin



    
MOST AMERICANS CONSIDER EASTER A RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, BUT FEWER CORRECTLY IDENTIFY ITS MEANING
As American society becomes more religiously diverse, the nation’s population has had to grapple with how to define its holidays and celebrations. A recent study by the Barna Group explored Americans’ definition of the Easter holiday, asking a nationwide, representative sample of American adults how they would describe what Easter means to them, personally.

The results indicate that most Americans consider Easter to be a religious holiday, but fewer identify the resurrection of Jesus as the underlying meaning. The study also explored the degree to which Americans are likely to invite an unchurched friend or family member to attend worship service on Easter weekend.

In response to a free-response query, most Americans described Easter as a religious celebration. Two out of every three Americans (67%) mention some type of theistic religious element. Common responses included describing it as a Christian holiday, a celebration of God or Jesus, a celebration of Passover, a holy day, or a special time for church or worship attendance.

However, while a majority of Americans indicated some type of spiritual connection with Easter, the research also showed that a minority of adults directly linked Easter to the Christian faith’s belief in the resurrection of Christ. In all, 42% of Americans said that the meaning of Easter was the resurrection of Jesus or that it signifies Christ death and return to life. One out of every 50 adults (2%) said that they would describe Easter as the most important holiday of their faith.

Even within the religious definitions offered by Americans there is a certain degree of confusion: 2% of Americans said that Easter is about the “birth of Christ;” another 2% indicated it was about the “rebirth of Jesus;” and 1% said it is a celebration of “the second coming of Jesus.” Not included in the theistic category was another 3% who described Easter as a celebration of spring or a pagan holiday.

Not included in the theistic category was another 3% who described Easter as a celebration of spring or a pagan holiday.... Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/356-most-americans-consider-easter-a-religious-holiday-but-fewer-correctly-identify-its-meaning


    
EASTER
The word Easter goes back to Eastre, which was the Teutonic spring goddess for whom sacrifices were offered in April. This provoked the faithful to make sure the date of Easter Day could be moved. They didn't want it to coincide with pagan holidays. So the dating of Easter Day was fixed by the Council of Nicea in AD 325 to be "on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon after the vernal equinox, March 21, except when the full moon falls on Sunday, when Easter is one week later."

75% of the church's calendar is determined by the date of Easter. As Frank Wilson wrote, "Easter is the axis on which the Christian year revolves." Or as Paul wrote, "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Cor. 15).
In short, without resurrection, there is no Christian calendar. There is no Christianity without the resurrection!” Robert Kopp, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Loves Park, IL
http://www.preaching.com/sermon-illustrations/11546342/


    
THE SUPREME SACRIFICE
The church's pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the congregation that evening.

In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service.

With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak ... "A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast," he began, "when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright! The three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized."

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers, who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

The aged minister continued with his story. "Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: To which boy would he throw the other end of the life line? He only had seconds to make the decision. "

"The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves."

"As the father yelled out, 'I LOVE YOU, SON!' he threw out the lifeline to his son's friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of the night. His body was never recovered."

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously awaiting the next words to come out of the old man's mouth. The old man continued "The father knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son's friend."

"How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us! Our heavenly father sacrificed his only begotten son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept his offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line he is throwing out to you in this service." With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.

The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with the an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within minutes after the service had ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side. "That was a nice story," politely stated one of the boys, "but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian."

"Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn bible. A big smile then broadened his narrow face as he once again looked up at the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But I'm standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse
of what it must have been like for God to give up his son for me. You see, I was that father and your pastor was my son's friend."
Author Unknown


    
CHUCK SWINDOLL: NOT SHALLOW
How many attributes of God can you describe? Watch this video of Chuck Swindoll encouraging us to deepen our understanding of God.
http://www.insight.org/video/


    
MARCH BASKETBALL MADNESS
http://www.ncaa.com/


    
MOST BELIEVE GOD GETS INVOLVED
New research shows that most Americans believe God is directly involved in their personal affairs, and that the good or bad things that happen are “part of God’s plan,” according to a report in the March issue of the journal Sociology of Religion.

Many people describe their relationship with God not in abstract terms but in the way they would describe a real personal friend, but a friend who would never betray you,” said Scott Schieman, professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. “The interesting thing is that when you press people to start talking about things like speeding tickets or losing weight, a lot of people will weave a divine narrative in, describing God as somehow setting up situations or setting up scenarios for success or failure.”

The study found that 82% of respondents said they “depend on God for help and guidance in making decisions.” And 71% believe that good or bad events are “part of God’s plan for them.” One in three respondents agreed with the statement: “There is no sense in planning a lot because ultimately my fate is in God’s hands.”.... Read this in full at
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/most-believe-god-gets-involved/


    
NEED FOR ONLINE MISSIONARIES RISES AS WEB OUTREACH BOOMS
Building off of the momentum from 2009, the media arm of Campus Crusade for Christ says it’s poised to touch even more lives throughout 2010. “We believe that God has given us the technology and the strategy,” says Allan Beeber, the Orlando director of Global Media Outreach, and “as more and more believers get involved, we think it’s possible to see the Great Commission fulfilled, five to ten times over in ten years.”

What Global Media Outreach really needs now, however, are workers who will reap the harvest. Last year, 66 million people reportedly visited one or more of GMO’s 100-plus websites to search for information online about Jesus and the hope he brings. Of that, more than ten million indicated a decision to follow Christ and nearly two million initiated discipleship and requested more information about Jesus and Christianity through GMO’s 4,000 online missionaries.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100315/global-media-outreach/index.html


    
TRINITY? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT.
Nils Smith recognizes he has an unusual title -- pastor for college and online community ministry. But he suspects he may be one of the first of a new breed of ministers.

Smith was serving on staff at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio as college minister when Pastor Les Hollon realized his background and abilities could enable the church to move into an area where it saw a definite need.

Hollon, who has been pastor at Trinity for only about a year, thought it might take up to three years for the church to develop a greater online presence. But he was glad Trinity could hit the fast-forward button on that timetable.

Nils has a giftedness, an aptitude and a passion for online ministry. We were needing to expand on that as a regional congregation with some global responsibilities. And, therefore, it was a gift of God’s calling in his time and the church’s time for it to be able to come together,” Hollon explained.... Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4933/53/


    
MOST CHURCH WEBSITES INEFFECTIVE, TECHNOLOGY FIRM'S STUDY FINDS
A study by a firm that helps churches in the United States and the United Kingdom build websites finds that most church websites are ineffective at outreach and communication -- because they are not designed with outsiders in mind, are not user-friendly enough, and are not updated frequently enough.

Among the survey's key findings were that most churches’ websites were not created with the unchurched in mind. Only half offer an outline of the gospel, and only a quarter provide testimonies of people who have come to faith in Christ.... Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4947/53/


    
GOOGLE THYSELF: CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING
The Internet, like other tools and resources, can be used for both great good and great evil. But the increasing prevalence of social-networking sites and the ease with which users can share content available to thousands or even millions presents special challenges for people whose lives are supposed to reflect the gospel of Christ.

Social-networking media offer “the illusion of intimacy in a context in which receivers and users of our instantaneous, often hasty, communications may be friend, foe or stranger,” said David Gushee, professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University.... Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4934/53/


    
'THEOLOGY AFTER GOOGLE' CONFERENCE TAKES LOOK AT RELIGION IN WEB ERA
Like many Americans, Doug Pagitt grew up outside the world of organized religion. Neither his parents nor his grandparents were churchgoers, and there was no expectation that he would be any different. Today, with his goatee, ear stud, and funky clothes, he could easily pass for the sort of Gen-X hipster who lives an entirely secular life.

But at 17, Pagitt saw a Passion play that hit him like a thunderbolt, and he wound up becoming a Christian pastor. His church in Minneapolis, Solomon’s Porch, is blazing a trail in a new movement that could be called Church 2.0.

That was, in fact, one of the terms used during a three-day conference about the future of American Christianity at the Claremont School of Theology. Pagitt was among about 150 ministers, laypeople, and academics who gathered to discuss "Theology After Google." The consensus: It's a whole new world out there. Churches will ignore it at their peril.... Read this in full at
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beliefs15-2010mar15,0,4976077.story


    
NEW LENSES
Here is what I have been learning over the last few years: My confidence in the swerved-to-miss-the-dog theory might be wrong. It sure looked that way to me, but when the news circulated that one of the drivers had a stroke, I had to revise the very certain and complete interview I gave the policeman. My theory in this particular case, I came to find out, was incomplete. I wasn't wrong per se; it was simply that I had an incomplete vantage point without all the facts.

We all live on our little corners of the interpretive world. We are often unaware that others have equally valid, though different, viewpoints (think gospel writers here) -- sometimes with a more accurate and faithful-to-the-text viewpoint. The lenses I have worn for so long have been fine for a leg of the journey. But like all prescription lenses, they need an update from time to time. The text isn't in need of updating; but the lenses I am using are, and the corner I was standing on doesn't need to be a place of permanent residence.”
Ron Martoia, The Bible as Improv



    
THE SOCIAL COSTS OF P*RNOGRAPHY
A growing body of research suggests that the habitual use of p*rnography -- especially Internet p*rnography -- can damage people of all ages and both sexes, negatively impacting their relationships, productivity, happiness and their ability to function in society. These are among the social costs of p*rnography, according to The Witherspoon Institute at Princeton, New Jersey.

The Witherspoon Institute released "The Social Costs of P*rnography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations." The consultation was the first multifaceted, multidisciplinary, scholarly exploration of p*rnography since the advent of the Internet. The proceedings, research, and recommendations are available in booklet form and as a two-DVD set of the actual two-day meeting that assembled leading experts in several fields, including economics, psychology, sociology, and law to present a rigorously argued overview of pornography in today's society. The overall body of research indicates that the realistic and accessible nature of Internet p*rnography can lead to addiction that is so severe that users lose their marriages, families, and jobs.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/5313813315.html
also see

http://www.socialcostsofpornography.org/


    
OVERPOPULATION'S NOT THE PROBLEM -- OVERCONSUMPTION IS
by Fred Pearce
Many of today’s most-respected thinkers, from Stephen Hawking to David Attenborough, argue that our efforts to fight climate change and other environmental perils will all fail unless we “do something” about population growth. In the Universe in a Nutshell, Hawking declares that, “in the last 200 years, population growth has become exponential… The world population doubles every forty years.”

But this is nonsense. For a start, there is no exponential growth. In fact, population growth is slowing. For more than three decades now, the average number of babies being born to women in most of the world has been in decline. Globally, women today have half as many babies as their mothers did, mostly out of choice. They are doing it for their own good, the good of their families, and, if it helps the planet too, then so much the better.

Here are the numbers. Forty years ago, the average woman had between five and six kids. Now she has 2.6. This is getting close to the replacement level which, allowing for girls who don’t make it to adulthood, is around 2.3. As I show in my new book, Peoplequake, half the world already has a fertility rate below the long-term replacement level. That includes all of Europe, much of the Caribbean and the far east from Japan to Vietnam and Thailand, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Algeria, Kazakhstan, and Tunisia.

Rising consumption today far outstrips the rising headcount as a threat to the planet. And most of the extra consumption has been in rich countries that have long since given up adding substantial numbers to their population, while most of the remaining population growth is in countries with a very small impact on the planet. By almost any measure you choose, a small proportion of the world’s people take the majority of the world’s resources and produce the majority of its pollution.... Read this in full at
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2010/03/the-overpopulation-myth/


    
VERSE TO PONDER
"He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor."
Proverbs 21:21



    
CONSIDER
He that lives to live forever, never fears dying.”
William Penn



    
UNEMPLOYED TURN TO CHURCH NETWORKING GROUPS
Many people turn to their churches when they go through a difficult time such as a divorce or a death in the family.

A job loss should be no different, say organizers and participants in networking or job search groups being offered by churches and religious organizations.

Some local churches have started programs during the recession, while others have seen participation in existing programs grow as more people struggle with job loss.... Read this in full at
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2009/11/30/story9.html


    
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CITY SAYS HOME BIBLE GROUP MUST GET PERMIT
For the second time in six months, the city has ordered a group of Christian worshippers who meet inside homes to get a permit or shut down. It's the latest incident in which religious groups in Southern California have been targeted by cities for home gatherings, though many of those groups were eventually allowed to meet without obtaining permits.

Rancho Cucamonga is trying to halt Friday night meetings at a home after receiving a complaint in February from a neighbor that 40 to 60 people were gathering weekly in the San Bernardino County location. Officials said the homeowner needs a conditional use permit by Good Friday, April 2, to operate a church in a residential area.

Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense group that specializes in conservative Christian issues, said the meetings were actually a Bible study group that usually draws about 15 people.

The permit requires public hearings, traffic studies and other costly procedures. Requiring one would be "manifestly absurd and unjust," according to a statement Tuesday from Brad Dacus, president of the Sacramento-based institute.... Read this in full at
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/17/southern-california-city-says-home-bible-group-permit/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fus+%2528Text+-+US%2529


    
GOSPEL IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF CONGRESS’ CLAIMS NRB PRESIDENT FRANK WRIGHT
The Gospel of Christ itself is actually “in the crosshairs” of current congressional attacks on Christian broadcasters claimed National Religious Broadcasters President/CEO Dr. Frank Wright during a press briefing at their national convention which recently ended in Nashville, Tennessee. However, some overseas broadcasters feel their American colleagues have a ‘persecution complex’ without knowing what real persecution is.

Describing the “current crisis” that he claimed is being faced by Christian broadcasters in the USA as “extraordinary times” Wright said that “our mission to preach the gospel has not changed, but technology and government regulations are changing every day.”

He said that while the actual debate on limiting first amendment freedoms for Christians in the USA is being framed by opponents of faith in terms of diversity, employment discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, localism, media ownership and the public interest – the actual controversy is really about the Gospel itself.

Christians need to know that it is the gospel that is in the crosshairs on Capitol Hill today,” he insisted. This debate is not about freedom of speech, but rather about finding ways to limit freedom of speech for the community of faith and broadcasters.

The debate is no longer about issues such as abortion, homosexual marriage, or culture” he said, but about limiting the airwaves and media channels to Christian broadcasters who have the constitutional right to proclaim the gospel.... Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/STORIES/2010/s10030017.htm


    
'GOD GAP' IMPEDES USA FOREIGN POLICY, TASK FORCE SAYS
American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and "uncompromising Western secularism" that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The council's 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House. The report warns of a serious "capabilities gap" and recommends that President Obama make religion "an integral part of our foreign policy."

Thomas Wright, the council's executive director of studies, said task force members met Tuesday with Joshua DuBois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and State Department officials. "They were very receptive, and they said that there is a lot of overlap between the task force's report and the work they have been doing on this same issue," Wright said.... Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/23/AR2010022305103.html?nav=hcmodule


    
REPRESSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ON RISE, STATE DEPT. SAYS
The annual human rights report by the US State Department has cited increased repression in countries around the world, including China and North Korea.

"There are several trends that we identify in the report. One is that increasingly, governments are becoming more restrictive in their tolerance of nongovernmental human rights organizations, in particular," said Michael Posner, assistant secretary from the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, at a news conference for the 2009 report's release.

The report, which is a requirement by Congress, is an annual evaluation of human rights in 194 countries. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also spoke at the news conference, described the report as an "essential tool" for activists who work to protect human rights.

According to the report, there were alarming accounts of imprisonment, attacks and killings in "countries of conflict," such as China and North Korea, as well as Iran and Russia.... Read this in full at
http://bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32513


    
SALVATION ARMY REPORTS RECORD DONATIONS DESPITE SOUR ECONOMY
Nickels, dimes, and quarters added up quickly last Christmas despite the economic slump as Americans donated a record $139 million to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign.

America is an incredibly generous nation and philanthropy is alive and well, despite the current economic conditions impacting so many,” said Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, national commander of the Salvation Army. “We are grateful for every donor, volunteer and corporate partner for supporting the Salvation Army’s mission by giving more than ever during a time when some have so little to give.”

Bell ringers set up the signature red kettles in front of an estimated 25,000 locations across America on Thanksgiving Day. The Salvation Army reported a 7 percent increase in giving over the $130 million record of 2008.... Read this in full at
http://ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=15774


    
VANITY FAIR VISITS THE CREATION MUSEUM
by A.A. Gill
It’s not in the nature of stoic Cincinnatians to boast, which is fortunate, really, for they have meager pickings to boast about. They could, though, if they were the bragging sort, brag about a quaint old optician’s shop that will make you a new pair of spectacles in an hour—by chance I am both shortsighted and had an hour to spare. As the nice lady gave my new lenses a polish, I asked her if she thought the eye was such a complicated and mysterious structure that it could have been created only in one inspired, farsighted moment by God and not by the blind trial and error of natural selection. “That kind of makes sense,” she smiled. But then, Galileo invented a refracting telescope and the church locked him up for pointing out that, as he learned by observing the rest of the solar system, the earth isn’t the center of the universe. Do you think that glasses might be the work of the Devil? She smiled again. “Would you like a hard or a soft case with that, sir?”

Perhaps the biggest thing the citizens of the “Queen of the West” have to tell a tall tale about is the Creation Museum. Twenty minutes outside of town, just over the Kentucky border, it was placed here with prayerful care to be accessible and available to the greatest number of American pilgrims coming by road, presumably in surreys with fringes on top. Build it and they will come. November was the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species—last February the 200th anniversary of the birth of its author—so now seems like a good time to see what the world looks like without the benefit of science. Or spectacles. Although both these anniversaries seemed to pass without ever troubling most Americans -- there were precious few commemorations, TV specials, or pop-up books -- it’s not that you don’t care about where you came from; it’s that our collective origin is a trip-wire issue, a knuckle-dragging skeleton in the closet. If you want to get through a class, a dinner, a long-haul flight in peace, it’s best not to go there. This is one argument that refuses to evolve.... Read this in full at
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/02/creation-museum-201002


    
CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND RELIGION IN GENERAL, LOSING LATINOS IN USA
Latino population growth over the past two decades has boosted numbers in the Catholic Church, but a new, in-depth analysis shows Latinos' allegiance to Catholicism is waning as some move toward other Christian denominations or claim no religion at all. A report by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., finds Latino religious identification increasingly diverse and more "Americanized."

What you see is growing diversity -- away from Catholicism and splitting between those who join evangelical or Protestant groups or no religion," says Barry Kosmin, a sociologist and director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College.... Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-03-16-latinoreligion16_ST_N.htm


    
IS YOUR HUT BURNING?
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me?!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com/


    
TURIN SHROUD EXPECTED TO ATTRACT TWO MILLION VISITORS
The face of Christ or a brilliant hoax? More than two million of the faithful, undecided or merely curious who are expected to converge on Turin Cathedral this spring will be able to decide for themselves when the most famous religious relic in the world goes on display for only the sixth time in 100 years.

The public viewing of the Turin Shroud, the cloth that some say bears the imprint of Jesus’s face after his crucifixion, will be the first since a painstaking restoration was completed in 2002.

Fiorenzo Alfieri, Turin's councillor for culture, says that around one million people have already ordered tickets to see the relic, which will be on display in its bulletproof, climate-controlled case from 10 April to 23 May. Mr. Alfieri expects more than two million visitors from around the globe.

Traditionally, the public is allowed to see the shroud every 25 years, but church officials have said they understand its "importance to the economy and employment" of the northern Italian city -- hence their decision to allow the latest public display just 10 years after the last one.... Read this in full at
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turin-shroud-expected-to-attract-two-million-visitors-1904039.html


    
CHRISTIAN DOCTORS' GROUP WANTS BLOOD DONATION RULES TO STAY
The CEO of the Christian Medical Association says the national ban on gay men making blood donations should be kept in place, despite calls from at least 18 senators for the Food and Drug Administration to drop the ban.

Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the Tennessee-based doctors' group, says "the risk is not worth the benefit," noting that gay men have a much higher HIV infection rate than heterosexual males. "It's not a matter of trying to discriminate against people.....The bottom line is medically we've got to make sure we keep the blood supply safe," he said.... Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/03/christian-doctors-group-wants.php


    
BUSH MOST 'SURPRISED' BY PRAYERS OF AMERICANS
The thing that most surprised former President George W. Bush was not international crises like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, nor the resilience of the Iraqi insurgency, but rather the impact of prayers from the American people, he said.

"The biggest surprise of the presidency was the calming effect of prayer by total strangers," Bush told about 700 college students and business leaders during a private appearance March 12 at Southeastern University, an Assemblies of God-affiliated school in central Florida.

Bush said he was shocked and humbled by how many people prayed for him. "Imagine being a president of the United States and innumerable people would come up to you on a rope line and they're not going to say `I want a bridge' or `I want something special.' They come up to you and say, `I'm here to tell you, Mr. President, that I pray for you.' You gain strength as a leader by recognizing you need help." .... Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/03/bush-most-surprised-by-prayers.php


    
TONY BLAIR'S RELIGIOUS CHARITY TO LAUNCH 'FAITH OFFENSIVE' ACROSS AMERICA
Tony Blair is to use his extensive network of religious leaders to launch a 'faith offensive' across America within the next 12 months. The former Prime Minister, who launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in May 2008, is poised to develop a US-based arm for the charity, which will pursue a variety of faith-based projects.

The foundation, which was set up to promote cohesion between the major faiths, is sitting on £4.5 million of donations, according to The Observer. Now Blair, who converted to Catholicism in 2007, is to use that money to spread his message across the Atlantic, where he is more warmly received than in the UK. But the overtly religious dimension of the charity has drawn criticism.... Read this in full at
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257867/Tony-Blair-use-religious-charity-launch-faith-offensive-America.html#


    
MASTERPIECE ON WHEELS
You may think passion and handcraft are absent in today's cars and you may yearn for more Shelbys and Scaglietti Ferraris; cars akin to those on display at Atlanta's High Museum of Art this month. "Allure of the Automobile" features 18 cars manufactured between 1933 and 1959. Pierce-Arrow, Porsche, Bugatti and Aston Martin are among the honorees, and the exhibit includes two of Clark Gable's cars and a Jaguar XKSS Roadster once owned by Steve McQueen. See the video at
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/personal/03/16/modern.classic.cars/index.html


    
CONSIDER
To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted. No misfortune can disturb it. It obeys only [God] and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery.”
Augustine of Hippo



    
VERSE TO PONDER
"The word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love."
Psalm 33:4-5



    
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: LORD, WHO THROUGHOUT THESE FORTY DAYS
Words: Claudia F. Hernaman, 1873
Music: St. Flavian, 1563

Lord, who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins
And close by Thee to stay.

As Thou with Satan didst contend,
And didst the victory win,
O give us strength in Thee to fight,
In Thee to conquer sin.

As Thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
So teach us, gracious Lord,
To die to self, and chiefly live
By Thy most holy Word.

And through these days of penitence,
And through Thy passiontide,
Yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.

Abide with us, that so, this life
Of suffering over past,
An Easter of unending joy
We may attain at last.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/l/w/lwtt40da.htm


    
ON PRAYER
“Prayer was never meant to be just a recitation of our laundry list of needs and desires. For too many of us, prayer has become a monologue rather than a dialogue. When we run out of things to ask for, we stop praying. If we would stay in God's presence a little longer and listen, he would pour out his heart and mind to us. He would tell us invaluable insights into our circumstances. He would counsel us on some family problem or testy relationship at work. He would reveal whether we should say yes or no to a present opportunity. We need his guidance, and the good news is that he is more than willing to give it if we ask in faith.”
Jim Cymbala in You Were Made for More: The Life You Have, the Life God Wants You to Have


     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.

Human Beatbox (time waster)
http://www.incredibox.fr/

The Universal Packing List
http://upl.codeq.info/

Online Movable Puzzle
http://www.brl.ntt.co.jp/people/hara/fly.swf

Free ebooks
http://manybooks.net/

How fun changes people’s behavior
http://thefuntheory.com/

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.)


It's not so much about "Why this?" as "What's next?"
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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