Connecting man to man to God
For week of April 4, 2010
Issue 298


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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Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12


    
CONSIDER
God has no problems, only plans.”
Corrie ten Boom



    
CHRISTIANS URGED TO AGREE ON COMMON EASTER DATE
Both western and eastern Christians celebrated Easter on the same day this year. And one ecumenical leader hopes that such a unified celebration will continue in the future.

In a letter to church bodies worldwide, the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, renewed a call for a common Easter date. Almost every year, "the Christian community is divided over which day to proclaim this Good News," Kinnamon lamented. "Our split, based on a dispute having to do with ancient calendars, visibly betrays the message of reconciliation. It is a scandal that surely grieves our God."

Protestant bodies and the Roman Catholic Church use the Gregorian calendar while Eastern Orthodox churches and Oriental Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar to observe Easter, typically on a later date. Rather than a difference in theological outlook, the conflicted Easter dates between western and eastern Christians are mainly due to the calendars and lunar tables employed, church leaders say.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100329/christians-worldwide-urged-to-agree-on-common-easter-date/index.html


    
THE WORLD’S GREATEST DAY SINCE THE CREATION
by Bill Ellis
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Had it not been for this event, there would be nothing else. No day or night, no animals, fish, birds, plants, trees, flowers, people -- nothing. When! No dates necessary except “in the beginning.”

The greatest and most accurately documented event in our time was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Men are often sentenced to life in prison, or death, on the basis of one or two witnesses. Not so with the resurrection of the Son of God. Numerous witnesses saw him alive, touched him, saw the scars of crucifixion in his resurrected body and talked with him-- too many witnesses to ever doubt that he rose from the grave.

Norman L. Geisler, the dean of modern Christian apologists, in his tome, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Baker Publishing), wrote: “The bodily resurrection of Christ is the crowning proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be, God manifested in human flesh.”

William Lane Craig, philosopher of religion, states: “It is quite clear that without the belief in the resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being”.

John Ankerberg and John Weldon, in their book, Ready With An Answer (Harvest House Publishers) mention 12 post-resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ.... Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2010/s10030195.htm


    
THAT’S MY KING
Watch this inspiring video at
http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=307c89842e23e7631f52


     THE RESURRECTION AND THE SECULAR MIND
by Dr. Ray Pritchard
Secular man may pretend to have an answer for everything, but an honest man is baffled by the empty tomb. In the greatest question of life there are only two possible answers. Either you believe Jesus for who He is, or reject Him and His claims.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11570590/


    
IF WE ARE COMPLETELY SAVED FROM OUR SINS THROUGH THE CROSS, WHAT'S THE POINT OF THE EMPTY TOMB?
by J. R. Daniel Kirk
The story of salvation as I had learned it was, in its entirety, about the Cross. I would teach other students about the Romans Road to salvation and the Romans 6:23 bridge diagram. What each of these captured beautifully was that we had a sin problem that God overcame with the cross of Christ. But each presentation also omitted the Resurrection entirely. And why not? Once our debt has been paid, what else could we possibly need? What is so important about Easter?

The most important thing to say is somewhat shocking at first blush. At his resurrection, Jesus becomes something that he was not before. Jesus becomes the enthroned king of the world -- the Messiah. But isn't the Jesus we meet on the pages of the Gospels also the Messiah? Yes and no.

Jesus in the Gospels is like David in the Book of 1 Samuel. He has received God's anointing as the chosen king, but another king is currently on the throne. The story of the Gospels is one in which Jesus inaugurates a new reign of God and deals a deathblow to the imposter king through his death on the cross. If the Cross is the defeat of the old king, the Resurrection is the enthronement of the new. Jesus now literally sits in the space that the kings of Israel had figuratively occupied before him: at the right hand of God. Though the preexistent Christ has always been God's agent in the creation and rule of the world, the human Jesus is now joined to that role as Lord and king over all.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/april/10.37.html


    
EASTER IS FOR SECOND CHANCES
by Greg Laurie
Do you need a second chance today? On the first Easter morning, Peter needed one. There in the Upper Room, he had insisted that he would never deny Christ. But just as Jesus had predicted, Peter not only denied the Lord, but he denied Him three times.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/devotionals/harvestdaily/11628172/


    
A PASSION PLAY FOR THE AGE OF TWITTER
A passion play for the 21st century, happening in real time through Holy Week, was chronicled in 140-character bites in the Easter (LIVE) passion play, which started on Palm Sunday on Twitter and Facebook.

The story was told from the perspective of a number of people who were in Jerusalem that fateful Passover week to witness the last days before Jesus’ execution. Centurions, members of the Jewish high court, pilgrims, and followers of Jesus alike, the characters tweeted their experiences through the week as they saw the man they love or loathe being put to death.

The characters also have their own Facebook profiles, and posted onto the Easter (LIVE) Facebook group. Followers interacted with the play on Twitter by retweeting or discussing it at #EasterLIVE, or on Facebook by responding to the wall posts.

Easter (LIVE) is an initiative of Cliff College, Share Creative, and the Evangelical Alliance as part of the Biblefresh movement of churches and agencies, which seeks to help people engage with the Bible. See the tweets at
http://www.eauk.org/EasterLIVE/missed-some-of-the-passion-tweets.cfm


    
PASTOR: RADICAL LOVE AND RESURRECTION CATAPULTED CHRISTIANITY
Why is it that Jesus' message lasted beyond his short life? Why did the message and person of Jesus not evaporate like all the other wannabe messiahs?

Because at the core of his message was a brand new kind of love and at the core of his experience and history was a resurrection, Andy Stanley told his congregation at the start of Holy Week.

A few years ago, Stanley was in Rome with his wife when he noticed something that took him aback. Hanging over the entrance of the Roman Colosseum where the emperor once entered was a cross. Another hung over the entrance where gladiators had entered through.

Stanley posed to North Point Community Church members: "If you could imagine going back 2,000 years ago and ... what if we were able to gather ... some of the Christians that lived in Rome [and] say to them 'someday there will hang in the entrance of this arena of death a cross, a cross that does not reflect or represent the power of Rome, a cross that does not reflect or represent the anger and the death associated with crucifixion, ... [but] one single crucifixion of a Jewish carpenter ... who never traveled more than 25 miles from his home, was basically a public figure for three years, was betrayed by his own people and executed by the Roman authorities but whose message impacted the entire world ... and long after there was a Roman Empire people would worship and celebrate this one Jewish carpenter." .... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100329/pastor-radical-love-and-resurrection-catapulted-christianity/index.html


    
LOVE VS LOVE
Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ's love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ's love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering that Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.”
Frederick Buechner



    
THE TRUTH OF THE CROSS
by R.C. Sproul
If anything has been lost from our culture, it is the idea that human beings are personally, ultimately, and inexorably accountable to God. People are not concerned about an atonement. They are convinced they have no need for it. But nothing could be further from the truth.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11628179/


    
SOLDIER AT JESUS' CRUCIFIXION LOST TO HISTORY
Steven Maines stared at the Stations of the Cross and silently wondered, who this soldier was who pierced Jesus’ side with a spear? The 50-year-old stuntman and writer was sitting in a Catholic church, which doubled that day as a movie set. He doesn’t recall the name of the movie or the church, but he remembers being captivated by the military man.

It hit me like an epiphany,” said Maines, the author of a novel about Longinus. “What was that person’s story? Why did he pierce the side of Christ? And what happened to him after that?”

Writers, theologians, visionaries, mystics, and bishops have been asking those same questions about the Roman soldier -- and providing creative answers -- almost since that fateful Friday afternoon nearly 2,000 years ago. The Catholic and Orthodox churches have made him a saint, writers have searched his guilt-wracked soul, and his spear has inspired more baroque conspiracy theories than a Dan Brown novel.... Read this in full at
http://www.pcusa.org/pcnews/2010/10287.htm


    
EVANGELICAL LEADERS SORT TRUE GOSPEL FROM 'GIMMICKRY'
Evangelical theologians expressed concern at a recent conference that fewer churches in America seem to be preaching the biblical gospel.

The gospel is not "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life," nor is it "God gives you meaning for life," said Dr. R.C. Sproul, prominent author and founder of Ligonier Ministries.

Sproul was in Los Angeles for Ligonier's West Coast conference, which ran under the theme "Christless Christianity." He was joined by prominent theologians including Dr. Michael Horton, John MacArthur and Peter Jones to examine the popular misunderstandings of the gospel today.

"Together we’ll sort the true gospel from the gimmickry," conference organizers said.

Objectively, the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, being born under the law, as a human, living a perfect life (by the aid of the Holy Spirit), and giving His life as a substitutionary sacrifice for others, Sproul explained to conference attendees.

But it doesn't stop there, he continued. By the power of the Holy Spirit He was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and promises to return to consummate His kingdom.

And it is by faith alone -- sola fide -- that we are justified, he added. Righteousness is imputed to you and appropriated to us by faith alone, the theologian stressed.

The biblical gospel, however, is not being faithfully preached in many churches, the speakers indicated.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100330/evangelical-leaders-sort-true-gospel-from-gimmickry/index.html


    
MCLAREN BOOK KICKS UP CONTROVERSY
In its first month on sale, A New Kind of Christianity (HarperOne), the latest book from Brian McLaren, has lit the fuses of critics in the Christian press and blogosphere. Reviewers, bloggers, and prominent evangelicals have called him a heretic and worse.

In a review in Christianity Today, New Testament scholar Scot McKnight writes, "Unfortunately, this book lacks the ‘generosity' of genuine orthodoxy and, frankly, I find little space in it for orthodoxy itself."

On March 11, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, held a panel discussion on McLaren's book, citing an "urgency" to respond to what the panelists described as McLaren's "rejection of the gospel" and "new kind of apostasy." .... Read this in full at
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/454718-McLaren_Book_Kicks_Up_Controversy.php


    
ZONDERVAN AND GOBIBLE OFFER FREE PREVIEW OF NIV BIBLE FOR iPAD, iPHONE, AND iPOD TOUCH
Zondervan has announced that GoBible is offering a free preview app featuring the Book of John for customers interested in purchasing the Read it/Hear it NIV GoBible iPhone App. The NIV GoBible is a comprehensive Bible program that lets the user both read and listen to the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. The program has been developed with the goal of making the Bible as accessible and enjoyable as possible.

Users may navigate the menu and begin simultaneous audio and text play at any of the 31,000 plus individual verses in the Bible with just a few clicks. The user may also, for convenience, browse and play through the Story Index which has more than 225 of the most popular Bible stories arranged by testament.

The app also contains a Topic Index which gives Scriptural guidance on approximately 30 different circumstances and emotions. Another popular feature, the Holiday/Events Index, offers passages relevant to more than a dozen important Christian and secular holidays, as well as important days that mark our lives.

The Read it/Hear it NIV GoBible App also has a Bible-in- a-Year plan which allows the user, in about 10-15 minutes per day, read and listen to the entire Bible in one year.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/2930213522.html


    
INTERVIEW WITH N.T. WRIGHT
by Cathleen Falsani
In his latest book, “After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters,” Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright of Durham, England, calls for a return to virtue as the means to reorient the church and society at large.

Christians have become so preoccupied with who gets their eternal reward and who doesn’t, Wright says, that they’ve lost sight of the bulk of the New Testament, which instructs believers on how to live this life, here and now.

Rather than a polemic in support of a more strident legalism or a treatise on what some might call “cheap grace,” Wright argues that the idea of virtue -- moral strength -- is the best way forward through our troubled times.

Wright discussed how virtue can be fostered in secular society as well as how the church can reclaim the message of the gospel.... Read this interview in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/tenminutes/10_minutes_with_nt_wright1/


    
A TIME TO LAUGH: WHAT IS THE ROLE OF LAUGHTER FOR CHRISTIANS?
For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven … a time to weep and a time to laugh,” according to the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

What is the role of laughter and humor for Christians? When should believers take time to laugh? Humor takes several forms -- from stand-up comics to cartoons to clowns to storytelling. Many Christians who practice some form of humor believe God granted them the opportunity to use it to enhance believers’ lives and to draw other people to Christ.

God makes his people happy, and happy people love to laugh,” cartoonist Joe McKeever said, pointing to Psalm 4:7. “Laughter is a tension-reliever, an anger neutralizer, the best icebreaker and one of the sweetest sounds on the planet.”

Humor is a godsend that we as human beings need to give one another,” said Joel Goodman, founder and director of the Humor Project, a Saratoga Springs, NY, organization that offers humor resources, training and life coaching.

Laughter and humor cause physical changes that enhance people’s lives, which can help defuse tension.... Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4995/53/

Also see
Humor an important spiritual practice, theologian says
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4991/53/

Was Jesus a jokester?
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4989/53/

When laughter ceases to be the best medicine
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4993/53/

Grieving comic says faith, hope and laughter abide
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4994/53/

The late Grady Nutt was a pioneer of Christian comedy
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4992/53/


    
VIDEO: GLENN BECK MEETS WITH JIM WALLIS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE DIALOGUE (HA!)
by April Fuhl 04-01-2010
Video footage of a top secret meeting between Jim and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck! Apparently, Beck finally accepted Jim’s offer to dialogue, and the two met in an undisclosed location. You may not recognize their faces in the video, because they are wearing disguises to avoid the media spotlight while discussing such a sensitive topic. But we think you’ll find their conversation a truly fascinating and unforgettable tete-a-tete. Enjoy :)
http://blog.sojo.net/2010/04/01/video-glenn-beck-meets-with-jim-wallis-for-social-justice-dialogue/#video


    
HOW DIFFERENT GENERATIONS VIEW AND ENGAGE WITH CHARISMATIC AND PENTECOSTAL CHRISTIANITY
A research study conducted by the Barna Group explored the degree to which four different generations of American adults identified themselves as charismatic or Pentecostal believers. The research also examined generational gaps in terms of beliefs about the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and spiritual gifts.

Those fitting the Pentecostal/charismatic criteria stated that they considered themselves to be in that category of believers, said they believe that they “have been filled with the Holy Spirit,” and that God has given them at least one of the charismatic gifts, such as tongues, prophecy, or healing. Overall, that group represents 21% of all American adults and 25% of those who describe themselves as Christian.

Baby Busters (ages 26 to 44) were the generation of self-identified Christians most likely to claim a charismatic or Pentecostal connection (29%), slightly higher than the 26% among the Mosaics (ages 18 to 25) and the 25% among the eldest of Americans (25% among those 64 and older). Surprisingly, the generation that introduced America to “Jesus freaks” and other marks of spiritual intensity -- i.e., Baby Boomers (now 45 to 63) -- is the generation currently least likely to identify as charismatic or Pentecostal (20%).

In terms of beliefs and attitudes, there are marked differences between the generations. In general, the research shows that younger Christians are more open to charismatic gifts, but more skeptical about the nature of the Holy Spirit when compared to older Christians.... Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/360-how-different-generations-view-and-engage-with-charismatic-and-pentecostal-christianity


    
USC CENTER AWARDS $3.5 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR RESEARCH ON PENTECOSTAL AND CHARISMATIC CHRISTIANITY
The Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California is funding research in 23 countries on one of the world's fastest growing religious movements: charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity. Grants totaling $3.5 million will be awarded to five centers, and another 16 individual scholars and their teams, to conduct research in Asia, Africa, Latin America, or the former Soviet Union. The USC research initiative is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

"Global Pentecostalism is one of the most dynamic and potentially transformative religious movements in the 21st century," said Dr. Kimon Sargeant, vice president of human sciences at the John Templeton Foundation. "The researchers selected for the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative have a unique opportunity to help scholars and the broader public understand how this movement-inspired by powerful worship and religious experience—is changing the cultural, social, and religious landscape around the world." .... Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/usc_center_awards_35_million_in_grants_for_research_on_pentecostal_and_char/


    
RELIGION IN THE NEWS: 2009
An analysis of religion news coverage in 2009 by the Pew Forum and the Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that Pope Benedict XVI and the Obama administration generated the most religion-related coverage in the US press last year. However, online media outlets focused on a different set of faith-related topics and featured religion more prominently than their traditional media counterparts.... Read this in full at
http://pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Religion-in-the-News-2009.aspx


    
TV SHOW 'FOOTNOTE' DELVES INTO TRUTHS, RAW STORIES OF P*RN INDUSTRY
Every second 28,258 Internet users are watching p*rn. The public is familiar with the statistics and are well aware that p*rnography is the biggest industry in the world and the most consumed media worldwide.

But most never hear about the young girl who was curled up in a ball between takes in the production of a p*rn film, sucking her thumb because her mind was so blown by what she did.

It's those personal stories -- the "small things" in a big and otherwise nameless picture -- that one crew of Christians is hoping to communicate.

For the last 18 months, a television show called "Footnote," a project launched by Back to the Bible (http://fntv.com/), has been in pre-production, capturing the funny, the sad and the raw stories of real people.

Donny Pauling, an ex-p*rn producer, recalls seeing young women get started in the p*rn industry. They would be paid $500 a day just for having some photos taken of them, which sounded better than a $200 paycheck every two weeks at Starbucks.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100331/-footnote-delves-into-truths-raw-stories-of-porn-industry/index.html


    
THERE'S A CHEMICAL REASON WHY P*RNOGRAPHY IS ADDICTING
by Mark R. Laaser
William Struthers, a neuroscientist and professor of psychology at Wheaton College, has written a book to help us avoid becoming seduced in a culture where p*rnography can invade our homes.

The bad news, he argues in Wired for Intimacy: How P*rnography Hijacks the Male Brain (InterVarsity), is that the human brain can be chemically hijacked by p*rnography.

The good news is that the apostle Paul was right: The brain can be transformed by a renewed commitment to sanctification. Yes, I mean the brain, not just the mind. This book demonstrates that, while the process of transformation is based on a spiritual commitment of the mind to Christ, the result will be an anatomical rewiring of the brain.

To explain how this process works, Struthers goes into detailed descriptions of the anatomy and physiology of the brain. Beware: without some patience, wading through this material might feel like sitting through a biology class. While some of the material is daunting, it's also fascinating evidence of the magnificent complexity of God's creation. There are more nerve cells in the human brain than stars in the universe. While many of us have been taught that we can find ways to improve other parts of our bodies, like the heart, how many of us know that we can develop spiritual habits that benefit our brains? .... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/march/27.61.html


    
JAMES DOBSON’S NEW RADIO SHOW “FAMILY TALK”
Starts May 3
http://myfamilytalk.com/


    
VERSE TO PONDER
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never fail you nor forsake you.’”
Hebrews 13:5



    
CONSIDER
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.”
Frank Clark



    
JOHN PIPER'S UPCOMING LEAVE
by John Piper, March 28, 2010
As you may have already heard in the sermon from March 27-28, the elders graciously approved on March 22 a leave of absence that will take me away from Bethlehem [Baptist Church] from May 1 through December 31, 2010. We thought it might be helpful to put an explanation in a letter to go along with the sermon.

I asked the elders to consider this leave because of a growing sense that my soul, my marriage, my family, and my ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit. On the one hand, I love my Lord, my wife, my five children and their families first and foremost; and I love my work of preaching and writing and leading Bethlehem. I hope the Lord gives me at least five more years as the pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem.

But on the other hand, I see several species of pride in my soul that, while they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noël [my wife] and others who are dear to me. How do I apologize to you, not for a specific deed, but for ongoing character flaws, and their effects on everybody? I’ll say it now, and no doubt will say it again, I’m sorry. Since I don’t have just one deed to point to, I simply ask for a spirit of forgiveness; and I give you as much assurance as I can that I am not making peace, but war, with my own sins.

Noël and I are rock solid in our commitment to each other, and there is no whiff of unfaithfulness on either side. But, as I told the elders, “rock solid” is not always an emotionally satisfying metaphor, especially to a woman. A rock is not the best image of a woman’s tender companion. In other words, the precious garden of my home needs tending. I want to say to Noël that she is precious to me in a way that, at this point in our 41-year pilgrimage, can be said best by stepping back for a season from virtually all public commitments.... Read this in full at
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2010/4555


    
CHRISTIAN FAITH: CALVINISM IS BACK
Five centuries ago, John Calvin's teachings reconceived Christianity; midwifed Western ideas about capitalism, democracy, and religious liberty; and nursed the Puritan values that later cast the character of America.

Today, his theology is making a surprising comeback, challenging the me-centered prosperity gospel of much of modern evangelicalism with a God-first immersion in Scripture. In an age of materialism and made-to-order religion, Calvinism's unmalleable doctrines and view of God as an all-powerful potentate who decides everything is winning over many Christians -- especially the young.

Twenty-something followers in the Presbyterian, Anglican, and independent evangelical churches are rallying around Calvinist, or Reformed, teaching. In the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant body, at least 10% of its pastors identify as Calvinist, while more than one-third of recent seminary graduates do.

New Calvinism draws legions to the sermons of preachers like John Piper of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.... Read this in full at
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/0327/Christian-faith-Calvinism-is-back


    
THE ART OF PROMOTING BIBLICAL CINEMA
A Dominican friar's vast collection of movie posters -- dating back to 1895 -- reveal evolving styles and interpretations while drawing from the same source of inspiration.... Read this in full at
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beliefs22-2010mar22,0,3534281.story


    
CHURCHES STRUGGLE TO MELD CULTURES IN AN ERA OF DIVERSITY
When Calvary Baptist Church first tried to integrate its Sunday morning services for English and Spanish speakers, the result was misery for all. The congregants grew restless as they sat through endless translations from one language to the other. The service dragged on for 90 minutes. Nobody knew the hymns. Complaints raged.

"I don't understand what they're saying on the pulpit." "I don't know the words of the hymns." "Why are we singing in Spanish?" longtime parishioners of the historic church in downtown Washington told pastor Amy Butler.

Nonetheless, Butler was determined to persevere, gambling her seven years of progress rebuilding the fading congregation into a 200-member mix of urban hipsters, Latino families and tradition-loving seniors. Would the move to full-time bilingual services further fuel Calvary's growth, or prompt an exodus of disgruntled worshipers? .... Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/26/AR2010032603036.html


    
TRINITY U TO WEIGH REMOVAL OF 'OUR LORD' FROM DIPLOMA
The board of trustees at San Antonio's Trinity University are expected to consider a request in May from a group of students asking that the reference to "Our Lord" be dropped from their diplomats, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

The students, led by Sidra Qureshi, a Muslim and president of Trinity Diversity Connection, argues that the reference does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.

"A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes," says Qureshi. "By having the phrase 'In the Year of Our Lord,' it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ."

Qureshi has won the support of student government and a campus commencement committee, the newspaper says.

Other students and President Dennis Ahlburg have defended the phrase, arguing that references to the school's Presbyterian roots are appropriate and unobtrusive.

Trinity has been governed by an independent board of trustees since 1969 but maintains a "covenant relationship" with the church, the newspaper says.

Ahlburg also notes that the university has thousands of alumni and donors to appease, and many oppose the change.

"Democracy is not letting a small number of people have their way," Ahlburg says. "Democracy is listening to the different voices and making an informed decision." .... Read this in full at
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/03/board-to-weigh-removal-of-our-lord-from-trinity-universitys-diploma/1


    
PATRIOTIC OR RELIGIOUS, ‘UNDER GOD’ IS HERE TO STAY
by Charles C. Haynes
The long, bitter and emotional legal battle over “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance may have come to a quiet end on March 11.

That’s the day a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided by a 2-1 vote that “the Pledge is constitutional.” The ruling in Newdow v. Rio Linda Union School Dist. was greeted with a big yawn by the news media -- and virtual silence on Capitol Hill.

Eight years ago, this same court sparked a very different reaction when it ruled the other way, striking down the use of the Pledge in public schools because it includes the phrase “under God.” Cable news channels declared a national emergency and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington, DC, lined up to defend God.

This time around, the court (with two different judges on the panel) saw no religious intent in the history and meaning of the Pledge, giving particular weight to congressional action in 2002 reaffirming the secular and civic purposes of the flag salute.... Read this in full at
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=22761


    
URBAN LEGENDS EXPERT DEBUNKS STORY THAT 'ARCHEOLOGISTS HAVE DISCOVERED THE FOSSILIZED REMAINS OF BIBLICAL GIANTS'
A new forwarded email circulating widely on the Internet is catching the interest of students of the Bible. It says that there has been a new and unexpected archaeological discovery in Greece that proves the existence of giants mentioned in the Bible.

Now veteran American Christian radio broadcaster, Rich Buhler, an expert on Urban Legends and who runs www.truthorfiction.com, has weighed in on this latest e-rumor. Buhler, who’s been looking into urban legends for many years, hosts the daily "Talk From the Heart" radio show on station, KBRT AM 740 in Southern California, says the new e-rumor "includes a series of pictures that are reportedly from some of the archaeological digs that include a snapshot of a giant skull being unearthed as well as an enormous human skeleton."

Buhler says the email references the fact that giants were mentioned in the Bible such as in the books of Genesis and Numbers.... Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2010/s10030194.htm


    
CRITICS WELCOME 'DEFAMATION' DECLINE IN UN
A United Nations body has again approved a controversial "defamation of religions" resolution, but its support continues to decline.

Resolution opponents, who fear a binding version would harm global religious freedom and undergird anti-blasphemy laws like those in some Islamic states, disapproved of the UN Human Rights Council's latest vote on the issue but welcomed its weakened backing.

The council's vote on a non-binding resolution at a recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, was 20-17 in favor, with eight abstentions. Last year, the vote was 23-11, with 13 abstentions.

In December, the UN General Assembly passed a "defamation of religions" measure, again by a reduced margin from the previous year. The latest General Assembly vote was 80-61 in support, with 42 abstentions.

"This is a really dangerous and bad idea masquerading as a good one, and the fact that it keeps losing support shows that the masquerade is being exposed," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32607


    
GOVERNORS DECLARE APRIL AS ABORTION RECOVERY/AWARENESS MONTH
Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota have declared April as Abortion Recovery/Awareness Month.

"Ending a pregnancy through abortion interrupts the natural birth process and creates significant trauma and stress for those involved in the pregnancy. An abortion is a tragic ending, not only because of the loss of a life, but also because of the physical and psychological trauma caused by the procedure itself." said Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

"Abortion Recovery Month encourages and promotes healing opportunities and raises awareness of the aftermath of abortion experienced by individuals and families." said Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. "Abortion recovery programs help individuals heal by providing counseling, support groups, encouragement, and education.".... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1852613508.html


    
GROUPS PRESS FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ENVOY
In an open letter sent to President Obama on March 30, 29 human rights groups and faith leaders pressed the president to fill the vacant position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

"The absence of senior level leadership in your administration on this critical issue is of grave and urgent concern," said the letter, which was signed by leaders representing Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, and Mormon groups.

The letter was also signed by a number of human rights groups, the former director of the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom, and a former ambassador for international religious freedom.

The ambassadorship for religious freedom was created by law in 1998, and is tasked with monitoring religious persecution and discrimination worldwide. The post has been empty since Obama took office last year.... Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/03/groups-press-for-religious-fre.php


    
STUDY: MAGNETIC WAVES ALTER MORAL COMPASS
A device that emits an invisible beam affecting a person's ability to tell right from wrong might sound like the kind of weapon a comic book villain would use to wreak havoc around the world. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say such a device allowed them to observe the effects magnetic rays have on a person's sense of morality.

In a new study, volunteers were subjected to magnetic pulses just above and behind of the right ear, focusing on the area of the brain believed to be the area controlling morality. The pulses were intended to block cell activity that contributed to the volunteers' sense of right and wrong. MIT's researchers explain the study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"You think of morality as being a really high-level behavior," Dr. Liane Young, the study's lead researcher, told the British Broadcasting Corporation. "To be able to apply a magnetic field to a specific brain region and change people's moral judgments is really astonishing." .... Read this in full at
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/03/30/tech/main6347079.shtml


    
MARRIAGE MORE STABLE THAN LIVING TOGETHER, UK OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS FINDS
Analysis of Census results found that four-fifths of spouses who were married in 1991 were still together a decade later, compared with three-fifths of cohabiting couples. Older couples and those with children were more likely to stay in the same relationships, the independent statistics body said.

The findings of the ONS in the United Kingdom are likely to reignite the political debate over whether married couples should be given tax breaks.... Read this in full at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/7523186/Marriage-more-stable-than-living-together-Office-for-National-Statistics-finds.html


    
CONSIDER
A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully written; but the best life of Christ is His living biography, written out in the words and action of His people.”
Charles H. Spurgeon



    
VERSE TO PONDER
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."
Psalm 119:105



    
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: O JOYOUS EASTER MORNING
Words: Author unknown
Music: adapted from Johann S. Bach (1685-1750)

O joyous Easter morning,
That saw the Lord of love arise!
O bright and happy morning!
The clouds have left the skies.
The night of grief is ended,
The smiling day has come again,
And Christ has won the victory
For all the sons of men.

O gladsome Easter morning,
Our hearts rejoice anew today,
The grave and death are conquered,
He is of life the Way.
The hosts of sin are vanquished,
He is the Victor, Savior, King;
Then let us all with gladness,
Our thankful praises bring.

O blessèd Easter morning,
What day so bright and fair as this,
When, through His mighty triumph,
He won the courts of bliss!
The doors of heaven are open,
The grave no more has power or dread,
For risen is our Savior,
The firstfruits of the dead.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/o/j/ojoyemor.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.

Ultimate Matzoh Balls game
http://www.jewishtvnetwork.com/matzohball/

Word Flip
http://www.wordflip.in/

Toothpick City -- Our World in Toothpicks
http://www.odditycentral.com/pics/toothpick-city-our-world-in-toothpicks.html
and

http://www.toothpickcity.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.)


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
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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