Connecting man to man to God
For week of August 8, 2010
Issue 316


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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And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.”
Philippians 1:9-11



    
CONSIDER
Every experience, every thought, every word, every person in your life is a part of a larger picture of your growth. That’s why I call them crumbs. They are not the whole loaf, but they can be nourishing if you give them your real presence.”
Macrina Wiederkehr, from her book A Tree Full of Angels



    
FORMER ATHEIST: CHRISTIANITY REALLY DOES MAKE SENSE
Holly Ordway was a highly educated atheist who thought Christianity was "a historical curiosity" or "a blemish on modern civilization," or both. "Smart people don’t become Christians," she thought, according to Biola University.

Her worldview, however, began to change at age 31. She recounts her journey from atheism to Christianity in the recently released Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith.

"It is no light matter to meet God after having denied Him all one’s life," she writes in the book. "Coming to Him was only the beginning. I can point to a day and time and place of my conversion, and yet since then I have come to understand that He calls me to a fresh conversion every day."

Ordway, a professor of English and literature at a San Diego-area community college, wasn't raised in any religious faith. She never said a prayer in her life and she never went to a church service. Her exposure to Christianity while growing up was minimal and her few encounters with Christians involved televangelists or hellfire and damnation preachers.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100802/formeratheist-christianity-really-does-make-sense/index.html


    
REPENTANCE
A remorseful man, wanting to reassure his skeptical wife, said: "I'm going to make a 360-degree turn."

David Jeremiah writes: "That's the kind of change a lot of people make. A 360-degree turn is no change at all. What we need is a 180-degree change, a reverse direction, a U-Turn.

"In driving, U-turns are handy when we realize we're going in the wrong way. The same is true in life. The Lord tells us to turn from our wicked ways and to turn toward Him in confession and true repentance. This involves a change of heart, a change of mind and a change of direction.

"What direction are you traveling right now? Don't keep barreling the wrong way. Turn 180 degrees to Christ and start living for Him today."
(Turning Point Daily Devotional, 7-24-10)


    
WOMAN AS FOLLY
by Jana Chapman Gates
On a wintry Wednesday night in our new Midwestern life, I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary when my husband and I gathered with a few friends from church for Bible study. We'd just started a DVD-based study about marriage.

The speaker on the DVD said certain Bible verses showed that women should appreciate the desire of men to analyze and provide counsel. But I had a hard time moving beyond the underlying premise, at least as I heard it: Women are foolish. Granted, a verse or two appeared on the following page about how a prudent wife is from the Lord, but that didn't counterbalance the overarching impression that women are at worst, shrewish, at best, naïve. When we began to discuss the lesson, I was more than a little surprised to realize my opinion wasn't the consensus view.

"I think men are more aware than women of their tendency to sin," one of the men suggested. "Maybe they can use this wisdom to help guide their wives."

I couldn't believe this was being discussed as a legitimate idea. I wanted to ask if he really thought that women are blinder than men to their own foibles. Instead, I stared ahead and tried to think of a constructive response.

And then I remembered. I do know a few women who might fit the description of the "woman of folly" in Proverbs 9. I'm usually too incredulous to speak up when they behave outrageously. But that's also because I watch them on-screen, on the reality show The Real Housewives.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/augustweb-only/41.11.0.html


    
SIMPLE
I urge you to still every motion that is not rooted in the kingdom. Become quiet, hushed, motionless until you are finally centered. Strip away all excess baggage and nonessential trappings until you have come into the stark reality of the kingdom of God. Let go of all distractions until you are driven into the Core.”
Richard Foster, from his book Freedom of Simplicity



    
VICAR TELLS CHURCHGOERS TO SWEAR MORE
Rev. Michael Land, 67, said Christians needed to adopt swearing in their everyday language because it is how Jesus would have spoken.... Read this in full at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7918465/Vicar-tells-churchgoers-to-swear-more.html


    
ANGRY CONFRONTATION ON HOUSE FLOOR ILLUSTRATES IMPORTANT FIRST AMENDMENT LESSON
On July 29 a disagreement about a health bill that would have provided aid for people sickened by World Trade Center dust erupted in a heated confrontation between NY Reps. Anthony Weiner and Peter King on the floor of the House of Representatives. The debate between the two continued the next day during a live newscast aired on the CBS TV affiliate in New York City.

Morality in Media President Robert Peters had these comments:

The face off on the floor of the House of Representatives was heated enough to generate significant news coverage both in New York City and nationwide and to provide both Representatives with an opportunity to continue their debate in a live newscast the following day on the CBS TV affiliate.

But at no time during the House floor face off or the debate the following day on CBS TV did either the Democratic or Republican Representative utter a "four letter" word.

Presumably, both Representatives restrained themselves on the House floor because, as the Supreme Court observed in the Bethel School District v. Fraser case, "The Manual of Parliamentary Practice, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the House of Representatives to govern the proceedings in that body, prohibits the use of 'impertinent' speech during debate and likewise provides that '[no] person is to use indecent language against the proceedings of the House.'"

Likewise, since 1927, it has been against the law to broadcast "any...indecent...language." .... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/944914584.html


    
Fellowship
Walking in the knowledge of service and love with one's heavenly Father results in a unique quality of nearness to him. There is no shortcut to getting there. There is no way to accomplish it by just wishing it or repeating some simple formula. No relationship is built in ten easy steps, especially if it is going to be meaningful and lasting. True friendship comes from being faithful through the thick and thin of the vicissitudes of life. Fellowship with God will always be threatened by unexpected detours.

The inherent danger within all of us is that no matter what God does, someone will wish he had done it differently. The gift of faith is precisely what makes it possible to accept that God works in his own way (which is not always our way), in his own time, and for his purpose. It is our assignment to lay aside our doubts and fall in line with God's purpose, always waiting patiently for the last link to fall into place, finding courage and strength to move forward in the fellowship we have with the Father. It was his fellowship with the Father, sustained by prayer, that made it possible for Jesus to move toward the cross when every fiber of his being was urging him in the opposite direction. God offers us this same fellowship with him.”
Ravi Zacharias, in his book Has Christianity Failed You?



    
FOCUS LAID OFF 110 WORKERS JULY 30
Focus on the Family has cut its workforce by nearly half since 2002. July 30’s layoff of 110 workers reduced its staff to 750. Over the past two years, Focus has let go 385 employees. Eight years ago it had 1,400 on the payroll.

The economy continues to be in recession,” said Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger, explaining the latest cuts. “And people who have given in the past are having financial difficulties of their own.”

While most of the positions eliminated Friday were in service departments, more than 15 managerial jobs, including two senior executive positions, were also axed, Schneeberger said.

The ministry’s fiscal 2010-11 budget was slashed to $105 million, a $27 million reduction from last year’s fiscal budget. Focus’ budget for fiscal 2008-09 was $160 million.

Most workers affected by the latest layoffs will be on the payroll till Aug. 20. Severance packages will be given, and counselling and job placement will be offered.... Read this in full at
http://www.gazette.com/articles/laid-102378-focus-friday.html


    
CHRISTIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: OVER 200 MILITARY PHYSICIANS PROTEST AMENDMENT TO USE MILITARY FACILITIES FOR ABORTIONS
Over 200 physicians who have served US soldiers have signed a letter to US senators protesting a Senate bill amendment that would use US military medical facilities as abortion clinics. The 16,000-member Christian Medical Association organized the letter and sent it to the senators urging them to vote no on a National Defense Authorization Act amendment by Sen. Roland Burris that would remove restrictions on performing abortions in military facilities.

CMA Senior Vice President Gene Rudd, MD, who received the Gorgas Award for distinguished service in the American military, said, "If enacted, requiring military physicians to perform abortions threatens military readiness. Morale will suffer among those already serving. Morale is a key component of military effectiveness. Furthermore, just as we have seen a marked decrease in young doctors entering OB/Gyn training for fear of being forced to do abortions, this requirement will discourage young doctors from joining the military." .... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1989614599.html


    
FAITH AND FITNESS: EXERCISE GOOD UNTIL IT BECOMES A FALSE GOD
The sixth chapter of First Corinthians describes the body as “a temple of the Holy Spirit.” For many Christians that means what they do with their body matters to God, including physical fitness. A few, however, caution that too much focus on “temple care” can itself become a sin.

In his book Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power and the Only Hope that Matters, author Tim Keller defines an idol as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

That includes even things normally thought of as good, like exercise.

While it’s easy to think about idols as statues in a temple somewhere, Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, says idols are everywhere. “Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the good things in life,” he contends.

Keller defines a counterfeit god as “anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.”

Pastor Mike Higgins of Redemption Fellowship, a conservative African-American church in Fayette County, Ga., aligned with the Presbyterian Church in America, says he has dealt with idols of exercise and physical appearance many years.... Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5385/53/


    
PACKERS' AL HARRIS A CHRISTIAN RAPPER
Packers cornerback Al Harris -- the guy with the long, long dreadlocks -- was busy this off-season cutting a Christian rap CD with childhood buddy and ex-convict Kevin Soto.

"We're trying to start a movement with this music," Harris told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "We're trying to say that you don't have to cuss or have to sell drugs or whatever to be cool. You can still be cool and fly, and love the Lord."

Soto has gone to prison three times, for aggravated assault with a firearm, cocaine possession and marijuana distribution. He and Harris started talking about making an album in 1997, but the legal issues kept getting in the way.

"But one day, he calls me and says, 'I am going to church,' and the conversation just evolved from there," Harris told the paper.... Read this in full at
http://www.freep.com/article/20100802/SPORTS01/8020369/Packers-Al-Harris-a-Christian-rapper


    
TEBOW'S DEVOTION TO FAITH DIVIDES BRONCOS FANS
Unquestionably happy about Tim Tebow, the large evangelical Christian community in Colorado sees him as the perfect role model for sports-crazed children.... Read this in full at
http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15671823


    
HOW CAN ANYONE THINK GOD IS LIKE THAT?
by Gordon MacDonald
I was in a good mood this morning until I reached Luke 13:10 in my daily Bible reading. What I read there troubled me.

It's about a Sabbath day when Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. In the congregation was a woman, unnamed, "bent over" (osteoporosis?), "crippled by a spirit for 18 years."

When Jesus spotted her (he rarely seems to miss these kinds of people), he called her forward, and with a touch of his hands and a simple statement -- "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity" -- he healed her. Eighteen years of misery: vanquished.

"She straightened up and praised God," the story says. For a moment I speculated on how her praising of God differed from the "praising" that might have been going on among the rest of the crowd? I bet this lady had no need for a microphone or an invitation to speak. I wonder if she danced?

One would think that this healing event would thrill everyone in the building. That everyone would dance. But that would be wrong. The synagogue ruler for one, the writer says, was "indignant." His comment? "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."

Don't you just love this guy? As I read my Bible this morning, he's the one that got my irritability going.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/currenttrendscolumns/leadershipweekly/godislikethat.html


    
ROBERT DUVALL'S CINEMATIC TAKE ON FAITH
Some call Robert Duvall's upcoming movie a mystery, some a love story. For many, Get Low is about mortality, sin and redemption. The Oscar-winning actor seems drawn to stories about faith — but not to Hollywood's stereotypes.

Duvall's character in Get Low is hardly a good and Godly hero. Felix Bush looks ancient when he walks into a funeral parlor in a small Tennessee town in the 1930s. He has a long beard, weary face and wary eyes. He's a hermit, but in an early scene, he ventures out to tell the funeral director that he wants a party — a funeral party.

"And I want to be there," he says.

"You will be, I guarantee it," says the funeral director, played by Bill Murray.

When Felix says he wants to attend his own funeral party, alive and kicking, the director — eager to make any money in the depressed economy, replies: "It's a detail."

It turns out, Felix Bush has a secret, one that has driven him away from his family, cost him his friendships and sent him into virtual exile for 40 years.

"You know, when I prepared for the part, I tried to find a sense of solitude. Because that's what this character experiences ... a great sense of solitude," Robert Duvall said in an interview at his farm in The Plains, Va. "And within that solitude, I'm sure he thought about the powers that be, beyond us and what's to come and so forth. But you don't like set out to make a movie about that. You just let those things off-handedly lay there within the character."

Duvall's character wants absolution. But when he goes to a minister to ask him to speak at his funeral, the minister asks him if he's "made peace with God." Felix is silent.... Read this in full at
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128729785

THE 'LOW'-DOWN ON ROBERT DUVALL
Duvall, who will be 80 in January, tells Christianity Today that Get Low is one of his favorite movies that he's made. He compares the story with the Horton Foote-written films in which he's starred, including To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies (for which he won the Oscar for Best Actor).

Q: You have a history of playing flawed, complicated, broken men. What attracts you to these roles?
A: Well, they present themselves to me, and those characters make good drama. If people don't have conflicts, contradictions, and faults, then there is no drama there. My favorite part of all time was probably Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove; I also played Josef Stalin in a TV movie. I also always try to find the vulnerable side and the positive side of the character.... Read this interview in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/movies/interviews/2010/lowdownrobert-july-10.html


    
NO CHRISTIANITY PLEASE, WE’RE ACADEMICS
Scholars ought to be concerned that Christians often report that the academy is a hostile environment. Read this commentary in Inside Higher Ed at
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/07/30/larsen


    
IF JESUS NEEDED THE SPIRIT, THEN SO DO CHRISTIANS TODAY, SAYS USA PASTOR
Today’s Christians need the Holy Spirit’s guidance, just like Jesus did 2,000 years ago, an American pastor told participants at the Baptist World Congress.

Julie Pennington-Russell joined 26 other Bible scholars to teach Scripture lessons in eight languages during the Baptist World Alliance’s gathering in Honolulu July 28-Aug. 1.

The lessons mirrored the conference theme, “Hear the Spirit,” and focused on Jesus’ first sermon, recorded in Luke 4.

The Holy Spirit continually accompanied Jesus as he launched his earthly ministry, observed Pennington-Russell, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga.

At Jesus’ baptism, “the Spirit descended as a dove,” she said, noting the Spirit’s presence signaled divine favor upon Jesus.

Then, the Spirit led Jesus to a desert retreat, where Satan tempted him and tested his identity to be the kind of Messiah who would confront the sins of the world, rather than yield to human expectations for a religio-political leader.... Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5396/53/


    
PASTOR TO ANNE RICE: 'WE' ARE THE CHURCH
The Christian community is messy, but that does not mean celebrity novelist Anne Rice should “quit … being Christian,” said a California church pastor. Pastor Dan Kimball, author of  They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations, said he has met many people who have the same negative views as Rice about the church. But he believes they have a misunderstanding about what it means to quit the community of Christ.

I am sad that Anne experienced what she did. But something so important for Anne and anyone who wants to quit the church to understand, is it means quitting themselves,” wrote Kimball in an e-mail to The Christian Post. “We are the church.”

Rice, author of Interview with the Vampire, declared on her Facebook fan page last Wednesday that she “quit Christianity and being Christian.”

It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group,” Rice wrote. “For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outside. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

She listed reasons why she perceives she fails to fit in with organized Christianity, including that she is not anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-artificial birth control, anti-Democrat, nor anti-science. Rice, however, maintained that she is still committed to Christ.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100803/pastor-to-anne-ricequitting-the-church-is-giving-up-on-yourself/index.html

CNN Interview with Anne Rice:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/showbiz/2010/08/04/behar.anne.rice.christian.hln?hpt=C2


    
UNDER THE RADAR OF MOST OBSERVERS A TREND IS EMERGING OF EVANGELICALS CONVERTING TO CATHOLICISM
by Jonathan D. Fitzgerald
The King’s College, an evangelical Christian college in New York City, provides an excellent case study for the way this phenomenon is manifesting itself among young evangelicals.

The King’s College campus is comprised of two floors in the Empire State Building and some office space in a neighboring building on Fifth Avenue. The approximately 300 students who attend King’s are thoughtful, considerate and serious. They are also intellectually curious. This combination of traits, it turns out, makes the college a ripe breeding ground for interest in Roman Catholicism. Among the traits of the Catholic Church that attract TKC students -- and indeed many young evangelicals at large - are its history, emphasis on liturgy, and tradition of intellectualism.... Read this in full at
http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/2731/evangelicals_%E2%80%98crossing_the_tiber%E2%80%99_to_catholicism/


    
CONNECTOR OF THE DAY: TONY BLAIR
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair talks about his views on faith and his conversion to Catholicism. View this video at
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/07/22/ctw.cotd.tony.blair.cnn


    
'ASTONISHING' GROWTH OF RELIGION IN CHINA
by Tony Blair
My interest in China -- her history, her people, and her culture -- began before I was British Prime Minister. During my time in office, I knew power was shifting East and sought to build strong relations with this fast moving new power.

Since then, I have got to know the country even better still. Today, I am a witness to a new revolution happening here; to the rapid modernization and the opening up of borders, culture, and society both internally and externally. And whilst power is still shifting East, there is a fascination about what that means for China and for the rest of the world. I hope the new partnership my Faith Foundation is announcing with Peking University can, in some way, help to explain.... Read this in full at
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/07/astonishing_growth_of_religion_in_china.html


    
A POSITIVE LIFE-CHANGING ORGANIZATION AND ITS BOOK
by Bill Ellis
Words can either bless or curse. They should mean what the dictionary says they mean, but people often redefine them.

My number one Christmas gift when I was 10 years old was a dozen hardback historical novels for young men. Three of them were written by Zane Grey.

Our mother took great care to read regularly to her three children. All of my adult life I have been surrounded by books, often in the great libraries of Anderson University, Marshall University, Millikin University, University of Illinois and Trinity International University. My personal library numbers into the thousands and would be more had I not given so many books to others.

Blessed is the person who has the ability to read, understand what has been read and can retain and use a large portion of it. The person who can read well may learn how to do most anything else.

Some books are a blessing and are written to inform, instruct, inspire and build people and nations into positive examples of what they should be. Other books are written to debunk the truth and destroy everything that is good. Books, therefore, must be chosen carefully.

During my adult years, I have had the privilege of encouraging and motivating tens of thousands of people to give millions of dollars for worthy causes. Not long ago I had an invitation to speak at an area-wide fund raising dinner for The Boy Scouts of America. Among gifts to me at the end of my speech was a brand new copy of The Boy Scout Handbook, which I highly treasure.

My strong recommendation is that every teacher, pastor, doctor, psychologist, coach, student, boy and man be sure you own a copy of this great book and make it a practice to read it often. This book, if read and obeyed, could change the life of America and the world.... Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2010/s10070172.htm


    
VERSE TO PONDER
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Hebrews 12:1



    
CONSIDER
Kind words produce their own image in men's souls; and a beautiful image it is. They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.”
Blaise Pascal



    
GOD AND RACE CARS: CHRISTIAN GROUP REACHES OUT TO FANS
For 10 years, Pennsylvania Racing Outreach has prayed on Pocono Raceway before the summer NASCAR season. A group of 35-50 Christians from across Pennsylvania gathered at the track for its race in June.

They walked the track and prayed for drivers' safety and then sat in the bleachers praying for the individuals who will sit in that seat and everyone in the section. Pennsylvania Racing Outreach members pray for a peaceful and enjoyable weekend for fans, drivers and workers, according to PRO director Will Fields.

PRO is an evangelistic ministry, seeking to introduce people to Jesus Christ. In addition to the pre-race prayer walk, they set up camp inside gate four just outside turn three at Pocono Raceway during NASCAR races.... Read this in full at
http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100801/NEWS/8010341/-1/NEWSMAP


    
HITCHENS BROTHERS’ RIFT STARTS WITH RELIGION
Oxford, England. Chatting at a coffee shop in his hometown, Peter Hitchens is disinclined to talk about his older brother, Christopher, the famously combative journalist.

In May, Peter published the American edition of “The Rage Against God,” a pro-Christian tract meant to counter his brother’s 2007 book, the popular atheist manifesto “God Is Not Great”; last month, Christopher announced that he was starting treatment for esophageal cancer.

The two brothers have never been close, and in fact are well known to dislike each other. But Peter is obviously sad when asked about his brother’s illness, and one can imagine that, if he had known what was to come, he might have kept his sword in its scabbard.

But that is not in the Hitchens nature. Christopher is known in England, in his adopted United States, and beyond as a mercurial provocateur -- once a Trotskyite, now a supporter of the Iraq war, always an atheist, author of a derisive book attacking Mother Teresa -- while Peter’s fame is concentrated in England. But his own books, journalism, and television commentary, all very conservative, show the same frank ruthlessness, and the same ability to attract enemies. For two sons of a respectable officer in the Royal Navy, they are not very good boys.

Christopher has moved somewhat to the political right in the last few years, thus aligning the brothers’ views a bit. But they still are far apart on religion, and that is what “The Rage Against God” is about. Peter got the idea for the book after a public debate with his brother about theism, in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2008.... Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/books/31beliefs.html?_r=1


    
BIPARTISAN PRAYER MINISTRY CLAIMS DNC PREYS
The Presidential Prayer Team, a ministry that has declared itself bipartisan, has lost members due to what it called "targeted'' advertising on its weekly prayer e-mails by the Democratic National Committee.

"The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has targeted this Prayer Team's weekly prayer updates on several free e-mail providers with an advertising link that appears right above our e-mail," the team wrote in a July 27 "member alert.''

"Sadly, we have experienced increased drop-out rates (people canceling their memberships to PPT) which we believe is clearly linked to these ads.''

Jim Bolthouse, the team's executive director, said hundreds of members have been lost due to the DNC advertising links, The Associated Press reported.... Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnsblog/bipartisan_prayer_ministry_claims_dnc_preys/


    
77-FOOT CROSS RAISED TO 'LIFT UP CHRIST'
Charismatic artist Max Greiner wants to draw people to Christ. That's why he's created huge bronze sculptures of Jesus that sit outside megachurches and even the Trinity Broadcasting Network studios. And he says that's why he built a $2 million, 77-foot cross that was raised last week along Interstate 10 in Kerrville, Texas.

"I'm trying to use the gifts and talents He gave me to lift up Jesus Christ before the world," Greiner said. "Nobody complains when millions of dollars are spent on sports stadiums and movies and things like that, but everybody seems to have a problem when you want to lift up Jesus."

The cross is part of a 23-acre Sculpture Prayer Garden Greiner is building near Kerrville. The garden will include picnic areas and walking trails but will also present the gospel through donated artwork, including a replica of Greiner's 18-foot The Coming King sculpture, which sits outside Trinity Broadcasting Network's headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif.... Read this in full at
http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/29004-77-foot-cross-raised-to-lift-up-christ


    
CLERK THWARTS ROBBERY WITH CONVERSATION ABOUT JESUS
A young woman working as a clerk at a cell phone store in Pompano Beach, Fla., was able to persuade a man not to proceed with an attempted robbery by talking to him about Jesus.

A surveillance camera captured the entire ordeal as Israel Camacho, 37, walked into a Metro PCS cell phone store around 10 a.m. July 23 and began talking to the clerk, the only person in the store, about the rainy weather. Then he asked about the price of a phone before pulling a gun and asking for money.

As she walked to the register, the clerk, 20-year-old Nayara Goncalves, said, "You can do whatever you want, but I'm just going to talk to you about Jesus, my God, before you leave."

Camacho said he was embarrassed and hated having to take money but he had no choice.

"Jesus got something way better for you," Goncalves said. "I don't know what you are going through, but all of us are going through a hard time right now."

The man said he was a Christian and the two realized that they had both attended Calvary Chapel in Pompano Beach and both knew of "Pastor Bob," presumably Bob Coy. Camacho continued to apologize to Goncalves, and she offered to help him find a job.
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=33445

Also see “Cops: Repentant would-be robber hits shoe store”
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/07/30/1753002/jesus-saves-a-storekeeper-from.html


    
SMALLGROUPS.COM RELEASES FREE DIGIZINE WITH IPAD GIVEAWAY
SmallGroups.com, a ministry of Christianity Today International, has published the inaugural semi-annual issue of a free digital magazine (digizine) to inspire small-group leaders.

SmallGroups.com, designed the digizine to equip and support small-group leaders, and it provides another way for those involved in small-group ministry to connect with the site. The design incorporates innovative uses of video, including a message from Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC.

The first issue's theme is "Inspiration for Small Group Leaders." In the featured interview, John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and advocate of small groups, says, "Still, for most churches, I think small groups remain the best single vehicle that gives people the best shot at entering into authentic community."

Ortberg also reflects on the challenges of leading a small group, "[But] it's worth it. You never know when God is going to use a moment, a session, or a connection with somebody else. You never know when a person is going to show up with a broken heart, and God's going to choose you and your group to be a vessel of grace."

Small group leaders will gain insight and inspiration from this new resource. To read the inaugural digizine, go to
http://christianitytoday.imirus.com/Mpowered/imirus.jsp?volume=smgr10&issue=1&page=1


    
WHEN CORPORATIONS GET RELIGION
In examining globalization, what is truly vexing to many people is the increased power of transnational and multinational corporations. What they do not realize is that it actually is an old institutional form that was once under the control of either family (or clan or tribe) -- or state (or king or empire), argues Max Stackhouse in this third installment of his 5-part examination of globalization from a Protestant perspective.... Read this in full at
http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=8378


    
RELIGION: JEDI KNIGHT
Did George Lucas accidentally create a new religion?

Unlike in the US, the National Census of Canada contains a question on religion that is asked every 10 years. The entire census is optional, including the religion question.

In the 2001 Canadian census, however, 21,000 people put "Jedi Knight" for their religion. This in a nation that accepted, in 2009, the Order of the Jedi Knight, Inc., as a federally incorporated non-profit religious entity.

It seems, however, that even with all of this, Canada pales in Jedi population when compared to New Zealand (53,000), Australia (70,000), England (390,000 -- possibly Britain’s fourth largest "religion"?). England even boasts the first Jedi Member of Parliament, Jamie Reed.... Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnsblog/religion_jedi_knight/


    
REMAINS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST FOUND IN BULGARIA?
Archaeologists in Bulgaria claim they have found remains of John the Baptist while excavating the site of a 5th century monastery on the Black Sea island of Sveti Ivan.

A reliquary -– a container for holy relics -– discovered under the monastery’s basilica was opened August 1 and found to contain bone fragments of a skull, a hand, and a tooth, Bulgaria’s official news agency BTA reported.

Further tests on the fragments are due to be carried out. But excavation leader Kazimir Popkonstantinov is convinced the relics belong to John the Baptist because of a Greek inscription on the reliquary referring to June 24, the date when Christians celebrate John the Baptist’s birth, according to the website of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.... Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/03/remains-of-john-the-baptist-found-in-bulgaria/?hpt=C2


    
CONSIDER
Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.”
Fulton Sheen



    
VERSE TO PONDER
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”
Psalm 119:93



    
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: HAPPY THE HOME WHEN GOD IS THERE
Words: Henry Ware, Jr. (1794-1843); published 1846
Music: John B. Dykes, 1866

Happy the home when God is there,
And love fills every breast;
When one their wish, and one their prayer,
And one their heav’nly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus’ Name
Is sweet to every ear;
Where children early speak His fame,
And parents hold Him dear.

Happy the home where prayer is heard,
And praise each day does rise;
Where parents love the sacred Word
And all its wisdom prize.

Lord, let us in our homes agree
This blessèd peace to gain;
Unite our hearts in love to Thee,
And love to all will reign.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/h/a/hapyhome.htm


     ON PRAYER
As an act of love, prayer is a courageous act. It is a risk we take. It is a life-and-death risk, believing in the promises of the gospel, that God’s love is indeed operative in the world. In prayer we have the courage, perhaps even the presumption and the arrogance or the audacity to claim that God’s love can be operative in the very specific situations of human need that we encounter.”
John E. Biersdorf, from his book Healing of Purpose



     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.

Pray Through Ramadan Prayer Calendar
http://www.opendoorsusa.org/content/view/1170

'Secret agent' is on a mission: Spreading kindness
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/08/04/pennsylvania.kindness.project/index.html

Amazing Ultimate Frisbee Catch
http://www.youthspecialties.com/blog/amazing-ultimate-frisbee-catch/

Living Simply
http://mnmlist.com/

Photo of contentment
http://img.nundafoto.net/-/data/gallery/photos/36/6/1286l-cheveche-d-athena-athene-noctua.jpg

Photo Essay: 7 Beautifully Bizarre Beaches
http://matadortrips.com/photo-essay-7-beautifully-bizarre-beaches

75 Amazing Watermelon Carvings
http://www.buzzfeed.com/rebeccae/75-awesome-watermelon-carvings

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.)


A penny saved is just another thing for the cat to knock off of the dresser.
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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