man to man to God
For week of October 17, 2010
weekly newsletter of Path
Of Life Ministries.
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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will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and
did not let my enemies gloat over me. O LORD my God, I called to
you for help and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the
grave; you spared me from going down into the pit.”
“Our love for God is tested by the question of whether
we seek Him or His gifts.”
Ralph W. Sockman
OF CHRISTIAN AMERICA IS GOOD, SAYS YOUNG EVANGELICAL
As a product of separatist Christianity, young evangelical
leader Gabe Lyons says he is excited about the death of the
current American Christianity and the rise of the “Next
Christians” that will replace it.
In his new book,
The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian
America, Lyons paints an optimistic future for Christianity in
America. While the current system of Christianity in America is
dying, he writes, a new generation of Christians that seeks to
restore the world as God intended is rising.
“restorers” see the whole Bible story: creation, fall,
salvation, and kingdom of God. For too long, Lyons contends,
Christianity in America has only told part of the story –-
the fall (sin) and salvation -– but failed to tell the grand
narrative. As a result, Christianity in America has been dominated
by a sense of us (Christians) against them (secular world), and
promotes the narrow view that conversion is the only mission on
Earth. While saving souls is indisputably important, Lyons
contends, Jesus also calls on Christians to restore the broken
things to how it ought to be.
“The next generation
[of Christians] understands restoration as connected to the
gospel. They are motivated by the fact that Jesus restored their
own soul and is constantly in the process of restoring them,”
explained Lyons in a recent interview. “That is driving them
to go out in the world to fix things that they come into contact
with that are broken.” .... Read this in full at
BARNA REPORT EXAMINES DIVERSITY OF FAITH IN VARIOUS USA CITIES
There is little debate that most Americans are faith-oriented
people. Yet how does spirituality and religion differ from one
city to the next? A Barna Group study of regional and city-level
expressions of faith both confirms and rejects many popular
stereotypes about faith and religion in America. The findings -–
drawn from a newly released pair of reports from Barna Group,
titled Markets 2011 and States 2011 -– are based on nearly
40,000 interviews conducted over the last seven years by Barna
The cities (measured in the Barna research as media
markets) with the highest proportion of residents who describe
themselves as Christian are typically in the South, including:
Shreveport (98%), Birmingham (96%), Charlotte (96%), Nashville
(95%), Greenville, SC / Asheville, NC (94%), New Orleans (94%),
Indianapolis (93%), Lexington (93%), Roanoke-Lynchburg (93%),
Little Rock (92%), and Memphis (92%).
The lowest share of
self-identified Christians inhabited the following markets: San
Francisco (68%), Portland, Oregon (71%), Portland, Maine (72%),
Seattle (73%), Sacramento (73%), New York (73%), San Diego (75%),
Los Angeles (75%), Boston (76%), Phoenix (78%), Miami (78%), Las
Vegas (78%), and Denver (78%). Even in these cities, however,
roughly three out of every four residents align with Christianity.
An interesting difference is the markets that tend toward
skepticism about religion in general -– including Portland,
Maine (19% of the population identify as being atheist or
agnostic), Seattle (19%), Portland, Oregon (16%), Sacramento
(16%), and Spokane (16%) -– as compared to markets that have
a high proportion of faiths other than Christianity represented -–
including New York (12%), San Francisco (11%), West Palm Beach
(10%), Baltimore (8%), Denver (8%), Los Angeles (8%), Portland,
Oregon (8%), and Miami (8%).... Read this in full at
TALK LEADS TO LITTLE CHANGE, BARNA FINDS
A surge in communications technology in the past decade has
expanded religious dialogue, but the discussions have led to
little change in people's lives, The Barna Group found in a recent
When asked, "Has anything related to your
religious beliefs, practices or preferences changed in the past
five years?" just 7% of respondents could think of anything
that had changed.
The types of people most likely to have
changed included 13% of young adults, 12% of independent voters,
and 11% of adults who describe themselves as "mostly liberal"
on social and political matters, Barna said in a report Sept. 27.
Those least likely to have changed included people age 65
and over, registered Republicans and social conservatives.
George Barna said the survey results raise questions about
the impact of church-related activity, such as whether "the
courses of action currently pursued are capable of facilitating
and reinforcing significant change.”.... Read this in full
PRAYER: WHAT THE RESCUE OF THE CHILEAN MINERS DIDN'T TEACH ME
by Mark Galli
Answers to my prayers happen so rarely that
I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED, when they happen. I'm not talking about
everyday prayers -- for safe travels or healing from a cold. God
seems to take care of travelers and colds whether I pray for them
or not. I'm talking about prayers for things I really care about,
people I'm really worried about -- that a friend might come to
know Jesus, that a loved one will be healed of cancer, that a
relative will give up drugs. There seems to be an inverse prayer
corollary in my life: the more important the prayer, the less
likely it will be answered. But indeed, once in a while a big
prayer is answered—like the college friend who became a
Christian, or a church member who was healed of cancer—and
my jaw drops and my eyes fill with tears. I'm astounded, again,
that God would answer prayer.... Read this in full at
CHILEAN MINERS ACCEPT CHRIST WHILE TRAPPED UNDERGROUND
José Henríquez lead a small group of men in
prayer every evening in northern Chile -- 2,300 feet below the
surface of the earth.
For more than two months, 33 Chilean
miners were trapped beneath the desert floor in a chamber the size
of a living room. A partial collapse blocked the mine exit Aug. 5.
When the mine collapsed, three of the miners -- including
Henríquez -- were Christians. Since then, two more of them
have made professions of faith.... Read this in full at
STORY BEHIND THE CHILEAN MINERS' JESUS T-SHIRTS
As miners were being pulled from Chile's San Jose mine
Wednesday, most were wearing tan T-shirts over their coveralls.
The Chilean government told reporters the green coveralls were
designed to help absorb the sweat as they ascended to the top.
But a CNN editor/producer in Atlanta wondered why the
miners were wearing the T-shirt over their coveralls. He noticed a
logo on the T-shirt's the left sleeve for the Jesus Film
Project.... Read this in full at
MINERS SAY 'THANK YOU, LORD' FOR THEIR RESCUE
TO LOVE THE GAY COMMUNITY
by Ron Sider
Andrew Marin, the author of the powerful book
Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay
Community (InterVarsity Press, 2009), has an incredible story.
After his first year at a prominent evangelical university, three
of his best (Christian) friends told him they were gay/lesbian. In
response, Marin, a straight, thoroughly evangelical Christian,
felt called by God to immerse himself in the gay and lesbian
community. He decided to spend almost all his free time there,
listening and learning. He now lives with his wife in Boystown, a
GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered) neighborhood in
Chicago. For most of the last decade, he has spent thousands of
hours listening to, weeping with, and befriending these folks,
trying to see the world from their perspective.”.... Read
this in full at
HONOR THE WITNESSES OF ALL SAINTS' DAY INSTEAD
by Chuck Colson
It is Halloween again, and to be frank, I
really don't look forward to talking about it on "BreakPoint"
every year. At best, Halloween has become an excuse to ask total
strangers for candy. At worst, it is a celebration of the mindless
paganism our ancestors wisely turned their backs on.
this year, I would like to turn your attention to the
often-overlooked celebration that Halloween calls to mind. In case
you have missed it before, the name Halloween is a shortening of
All Hallow's Eve and signifies the night before All Saints' Day.
For centuries on All Saints' Day the Church celebrated the
lives of Christians who went before us. And rightly so: We can
learn so much from those whom the author of Hebrews calls that
great cloud of witnesses. The tradition of remembering the Church
triumphant dates back to the time of the first Christian martyrs.
When soldiers of Marcus Aurelius Verus came to arrest
Polycarp, a beloved church leader, Polycarp greeted them kindly.
According to the third century historian Eusebius, Polycarp
"ordered a table to be laid for them immediately, invited
them to eat as much as they liked, asking in return a single hour
in which he could pray." .... Read this in full at
KINDS OF DOUBTERS (WHICH KIND ARE YOU?)
“‘Some people think that faith means a lack of
doubt, but that's not true’ [says Lynn Anderson]. ‘One
of my favorite Bible texts is about the man who comes to Jesus
with his demon-possessed son, hoping that the boy would get
healed. Jesus says all things are possible to those who believe.
And the man's response is so powerful. He says, ‘I believe,
but would you help me with my unbelief?’...
are lots of different kinds of doubters, Lynn Anderson told me.
Some are rebellious, even though they may not identify themselves
that way. They have the attitude, ‘I'm not going to let
somebody run my life or do my thinking’...
there are people whose doubts stem from their disappointment with
God. Like the girl I visited with yesterday. God says, ‘Seek
and ask,’ but she's asked and he hasn't given. So she's
wrestling with uncertainty. Was God serious? Was he even there?
“Others have personal or family wounds. I talked a
few weeks ago with a lady who underwent physical abuse from her
mom and dad who were deeply religious... I can see why she's got a
problem with God! Others have been personally hurt in the sense of
being rejected by a mate or their business has gone south or their
health has gone bad. They're wondering, ‘If there's a God,
why does this stuff happen?’
“Then there are
the intellectual doubts. This was where I was at. I was doing my
best to intellectually undergird my faith, but there were people a
lot smarter than me who didn't believe in God. I started to think,
‘Is faith only for the brilliant? How can faith be so
important to God, and yet you've got to have an IQ of 197 to hang
“Seasons of life can make a big
difference. Sometimes people are... working 60 hours a week and
the boss is on their back -- they simply don't have time to
reflect. And I don't think faith can develop without some
contemplative time. If they don't make room for that, their faith
is not going to grow and doubts will creep in.”
Strobel, in the book Faith (Visual Edition)
"COOL" AND CHRISTIANITY COEXIST?
by Brett McCracken
Hipsterdom is a significant cultural
phenomenon with implications for all sorts of things. “Hipster”
is just the latest, most consolidated iteration of the notion of
being cool/elite/fashionable. As such, it serves as a convenient
entry point for a crucial discussion of what all of this means for
Christianity, which to outside observers probably seems about as
far from “cool/hipster” as possible.
it mean that “hipster Christianity” exists? Should we
be alarmed and unnerved by the marriage of seemingly competing
aims: following Christ and being cool? Or are there good things
“hipster” has done for Christianity? Well, yes....
Read this in full at
BROTHERS DEBATE IF CIVILIZATION CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT GOD
Brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens squared off Oct. 12 in
a debate over whether civilization can survive without God.
Christopher, the older of the two, is a renowned atheist thinker
and author. Peter, the lesser known of the two, is a practicing
Christian and also a well-regarded author.
Hitchens is going through a very public battle with cancer, a
subject that came up often during the debate. Michael Cromartie
from the Ethics and Public Policy Center, moderated the debate and
mentioned Christopher, who lives in the District of Columbia, was
attending in between doctor appointments. Peter Hitchens had flown
in from England specifically for the lunchtime debate.
Christopher Hitchens arrived with a white straw Panama
hat. Beneath the hat he has no hair, lost from cancer treatments.
Though noticeably thinner, Hitchens did not seem to suffer any
intellectual consequences from his treatment.... Read this in full
and watch a video clip at
TO DEBATE HITCHENS ABOUT RELIGION’S GOODNESS
Since one of them is one of most self-publicized atheists in
the Western world and the other is arguably the most famous living
convert to the Roman Catholic Church, there may not be much of a
meeting of minds. Yet Tony Blair has agreed to share a platform
with the British-born journalist, Christopher Hitchens, to argue
over whether religion is a good thing generally, or not.
Blair and Mr Hitchens will go head-to-head in Toronto, where Mr
Blair has fewer enemies, and the Iraq war is less of an issue.
Iraq is also one of comparatively few issues on which he and Mr
Hitchens agree. Mr Hitchens has consistently praised Mr Blair's
willingness to send British troops to combat dictators, in Kosovo,
Sierra Leone and Iraq.
On the question of religion,
however, they are so far apart that the organizers revised the
original idea of having them debate whether God exists. Instead,
Mr Blair will speak in favor of the motion: "Be it resolved,
religion is a force of good for the world." .... Read this in
by Ken Camp
When evangelist Billy Graham, social activist
Jim Wallis, pastor Rick Warren, theologian Al Mohler and author
Brian McLaren all can fit under the umbrella term “evangelical,”
some theological and cultural observers wonder if the term has
lost its meaning.
On the right, some have embraced
engagement with evangelicals in conservative Christian political
concerns, but they question how long their denomination can
maintain fellowship with a movement with such broad parameters.
On the other hand, some who hold to strict separation of
church and state have shied away from the term “evangelical”
because they believe it has been co-opted by the Religious Right.
That tendency could be seen early in a 1976 Newsweek magazine
cover story, “Born Again! The Year of the Evangelicals.”
In it, a noted Southern Baptist ethicist and agency head
emphatically sought to distance himself and his denomination from
the growing movement.... Read this in full at
CONVERSATION – THE UNIVERSITY & THE PUBLIC SQUARE 10/22
Indiana Wesleyan University realizes the need to convene
national conversations about the great issues we face in our time.
Reflecting its mission, these conversations will take place in a
Christ-centered context that is irenic, non-defensive,
non-aggressive, and welcoming of all perspectives. Through these
national conversations (http://nationalconversations.com/),
it is hoped that academic institutions and their various partners,
especially publishers in various media, will identify several
topics for in-depth research, teaching, and consulting. For many
institutions, this series will provide valuable insights for
prioritizing the creation and/or enhancing of high-quality
research centers and initiatives. Each of the national
conversations will be filmed and recorded in various formats,
adding to the new knowledge base in various ways. Read more about
NEW CALVINS: TENSIONS INSIDE THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION
The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant
group in America. It claims about 16 million members, and long ago
spread beyond its geographical origins to every state in the
union. But since around 1990 the denomination has been losing
ground, relative to America’s population, to other
evangelical churches. So a cadre of Young Turks are looking back
to the 16th century for fresh inspiration.
Lifeway Research, the SBC’s statistical arm, 10% of all SBC
pastors now identify themselves as Calvinists. And that proportion
could well rise; a third of recent graduates from SBC seminaries
espouse doctrines that hark back to the reformer John Calvin, with
the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky,
a particular source. The SBC evicted its theological liberals back
in the 1980s; now, war has been joined between the conservatives.
Calvinism emphasizes that Jesus died only for the elect;
Baptists believe Jesus died for everyone. Baptists, by definition,
believe that baptism must be an informed choice by the individual;
Calvinists believe infants may be baptized. Calvinists think that
God selects certain people for damnation; Baptists are more
easy-going.... Read this in full at
MINUTES WITH JONI EARECKSON TADA
Disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada, long known as an
evangelical icon and a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic who paints
with a brush between her teeth, has faced a range of challenges
since a diving accident left her paralyzed in 1967. Now she’s
facing another: breast cancer.
Tada, who turned 61 on Oct.
15, is undergoing chemotherapy and recently completed a new book,
“A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of
Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty.”
You have gone through a number of medical challenges—quadriplegia,
chronic pain, and now breast cancer. What are some basic lessons
you have learned about suffering?
A: It’s good not to
simply resign yourself to it. It’s also good not to submit
or yield to it with its overtones of `Oh, poor me. I give up. I
give in” and not even coping or adjusting.
the key is to embrace what the Bible calls in Romans 12:2 a “good
and acceptable and perfect will” from God. The only way to
really let it do its work, and allow God to have his way, is to
embrace and find God in the midst of suffering.... Read this in
by Tullian Tchividjian
I've been called a Twitter-holic. I
jokingly tell people that I've finally found my calling-that God
has hardwired me for 140 characters. In all seriousness, it's been
a huge blessing for me. I love words. I love turns of phrases. I
think in sentences. I once heard John Piper say that books don't
change people, sentences do. I believe that. I've also heard that
the Ancient Greeks believed the goal of oratory was to give a sea
of matter in a drop of language. I like that-and tweeting helps me
put that into practice. Twitter challenges me to communicate the
gospel in concise ways-in short sentences. It's also a great tool
for me personally as I've come to use it as a way to catalog my
gospel thoughts and quotes. It's become a way for me to "journal"
what God's teaching me about the gospel.
You can now find a
small sampling of my gospel tweets in the collection below. I pray
these sentences would change you the way they've changed me and
that the Lord would use these fallible insights to help you preach
the gospel to yourself every day:
* The gospel doesn't
simply ignite the Christian life; it's the fuel that keeps
Christian's going and growing every day.
* The gospel reminds
us that we become more mature when we focus less on what we need
to do for God and more on all God has already done for us.
The gospel tells me my identity and security is in Christ-this
frees me to give everything I have because in Christ I have
everything I need.... Read this in full at
OF BIBLICAL, MIDDLE EAST SCHOLARS DRAWS INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE
Chosen People Ministries hosted more than 1,700 people at The
Moody Church in Chicago on October 1-2 for the Inside the Middle
East Crisis Conference
and proudly deem the event a success in a new report. Tasked with
presenting the Middle East crisis through a biblical lens,
speakers including Joel C. Rosenberg and Dr. Erwin Lutzer joined
together to uphold the biblical promise of the Land of Israel and
to address the current challenges of the Evangelical church in the
"The conference reaffirmed the need to
reach all people with the Gospel of Jesus the Jewish Messiah, and
gave all 1,700 attendees the opportunity to join with
international experts in discussion of and prayer for peace
between Israel and Palestine," said Mitch Glaser, president
of Chosen People Ministries and author of the report.... Read the
report in full at
SHARES FAITH AT CAMPBELLSVILLE
When the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003, NASA
astronaut Leland Melvin rushed to the home of his friend David
Brown, who had been killed in the disaster.
He talked with
Brown's wheelchair-ridden father, who told Melvin he had to carry
on Brown's legacy of space flight. Today, Melvin can say he has
done that -- but not without obstacles and God's help.
you see your astronaut friends perish, it changes you,"
Melvin said in an interview at Campbellsville University. "It
makes you resolve to do things differently and to make a
difference in the world.
"My flying in space was my
mission -- to be a testimony to the world and an assignment from
the divine," Melvin said.... Read this in full at
FROM MAYBERRY STILL RESONATE
Many of the big issues that Americans faced in the 1960s never
surfaced in life in Mayberry, the fictional North Carolina town in
The Andy Griffith Show.
Civil rights and an unpopular war
were never written into the script. Instead, Sheriff Andy Taylor
mediated minor feuds in the largely homogeneous hamlet, guided his
son, reined in the excitable Deputy Barney Fife and set an example
for common-sense leadership that still inspires today.
Fann, a software engineer from Huntsville, Ala., who wrote The Way
Back to Mayberry, a popular study guide for small groups in
churches - reissued for the show's 50th anniversary - wonders what
the calm lawman of Mayberry would make of America's current
"What impressed me first about
the series is the friendships between the characters and the
compassion Andy has for everyone," Fann said. "There are
a lot of values in that, even 50 years later." .... Read this
in full at
"Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to
what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one
another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit,
serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering,
persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend
hospitality to strangers."
“Power in complete subordination to love -- that is
something like a definition of the Kingdom of God.”
TO LOVE GOD MORE DEEPLY
by Patrick Morley
I have a confession to make. In 1991 I
retired from the day-to-day responsibilities of my business to
devote more time to the noble purpose of helping men find success
that matters. Yet almost immediately, something felt amiss.
Within weeks I found myself evaluating "how I was
doing" with the same old methods of measuring performance as
in business. How many people were in attendance at that speaking
engagement? What percentage of them indicated they gave their
lives to Christ? How many books did we sell this month? Was it
more than last month?
And I began to hate it. So, I began
to pray and ask God to give me some sort of "organizing
principle" around which I could order my life. A few months
later I was reading The Letters of Francis Schaeffer. I can't
recall exactly what I read, but I was prompted to put down the
book, pick up my legal pad and write, "I will commit myself
to a life of devotion and study of God, then speak, teach, and
write about what I am learning."
Eureka! I thought.
That's it! The key to staying on track is a life of devotion and
study of God. A life of devotion means to love Him more and more,
and a life of study means to know Him more and more. To love and
know God. These, then, should become my chief pursuits, and
everything else should proceed out of the overflow of what God is
doing in my life. I realized that my relationship with Him must
always be a higher priority than the work I do for Him.... Read
this in full at
COMMUNION OF REFORMED CHURCHES LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) launched its
Web site, www.wcrc.ch, on Oct. 8. The site is designed to share
the news of WCRC's 230 member churches representing 80 million
Reformed Christians in 108 countries -- most in the global south.
The WCRC was created in June 2010 through a merger of the
World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed
Ecumenical Council (REC). Its member churches are active worldwide
in initiatives supporting economic, climate and gender justice,
mission, and cooperation among Christians of different traditions,
as well as interfaith dialogue.
"WCRC is grateful to
the Uniting Church of Australia for its generous support of the
development of the site," says Kristine Greenaway, head of
the WCRC Office of Communication. “The expertise and staff
time the church donated made this new site possible. It has been
an exciting collaboration."
The website offers news
in English, French, Spanish and German about WCRC program
initiatives, reports from the Uniting General Council, held in
Grand Rapids, Mich. in June and links to the Ecumenical Prayer
Cycle, videos, photos and WCRC promotional materials.... Read this
in full at
FINDS STRONG GROWTH IN USA ORTHODOX CHURCHES
America's Eastern Orthodox parishes have grown 16% in the past
decade, in part because of a settled immigrant community,
according to new research.
Alexei Krindatch, research
consultant for the Standing Conferences of the Canonical Orthodox
Bishops in the Americas, said the 16% growth in the number of
Orthodox parishes is "a fairly high ratio for religious
groups in the United States."
The number of Orthodox
parishes has reached 2,370, and the Orthodox community in America
consists of more than 1 million adherents across 20 different
church bodies, according to the 2010 US Orthodox Census.
top five largest Orthodox churches in the US are Greek Orthodox
(476,900), Orthodox Church in America (84,900), Antiochian
Orthodox (74,600), Serbian Orthodox (68,800) and Russian Orthodox
(27,700).... Read this in full at
TREE NOW A TOP TOURIST DESTINATION
A huge sycamore tree that some believe was climbed by
Zacchaeus the tax collector to get a better view of Jesus is the
centerpiece of a new tourism campaign by the Palestinian
The tree is located in Jericho, the first city
conquered by Joshua when the Israelites crossed into Canaan. The
city, sometimes touted as the world's oldest town, is a rich oasis
of greenery in a desert landscape.
Once the winter home of
the wealthy elite thanks to its balmy winter weather, Jericho has
seen hard times in recent years, especially since the start of the
first Palestinian uprising in the late 1980s.
Bank city has been subject to Israeli security closures and
subsequently high unemployment. An ultra-modern casino, popular
with Israelis during quieter times, was shut down years ago....
Read this in full at
MASSIVE 1,200-YEAR-OLD MOSAIC ON DISPLAY
What is 1,200 years old, over 9,000 square feet and drawing
visitors for one week only? It's the largest Middle Eastern carpet
mosaic, of course, and it is now on view in the ruins of an 8th
century Islamic palace in Jericho.
The exhibit is aimed to
ramp up visitors to Jericho, which already has a healthy tourism
market. Designating itself as the oldest city on Earth, Jericho
has also claimed the honored week as its 10,000-year anniversary.
In fact, Oct. 10's celebration of Jericho's 10,000th birthday is
fairly arbitrary, with archeologists admitting they could be off
by hundreds of years in dating the first human settlement in the
area.... Read this in full at
WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM, BUT CHRISTIANITY WAS BORN IN JORDAN,’
SAYS CHRISTIAN LEADER
by Dan Wooding
A Jordanian Christian leader has said,
“Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but Christianity was born in
This statement was made by Father Nabil
Haddad, a Greek Melekite Catholic Priest and Executive Director of
the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center (JICRC), with
whom I spoke on Sunday, October 10, 2010, during my visit to
Jordan with a group of Christian journalists sponsored by the
Jordan Tourism Board.
I asked this charming priest to
explain what he meant by this statement and he replied that he was
referring to the fact that Jesus had been baptized by John the
Baptist in the River Jordan at Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan.
greatest holy event in the history of Christianity, took place
here in Jordan,” Father Haddad went on to say as we talked
at the King Hussein Club in Amman. “We read of this in the
New Testament and this is what gives us that legacy; the holy
legacy; the holy tradition; that Christianity was birthed in this
part of the world.” .... Read this in full at
PROS AND CONS OF FORGIVENESS
“One of the greatest challenges of the spiritual life is
to receive God's forgiveness. There is something in us humans that
keeps us clinging to our sins and prevents us from letting God
erase our past and offer us a completely new beginning. Sometimes
it even seems as though I want to prove to God my darkness is too
great to overcome. While God wants to restore me to the full
dignity of sonship, I keep insisting that I will settle for being
a hired servant.
“But do I truly want to be restored
to the full responsibility of the son? Do I truly want to be so
totally forgiven that a completely new way of living becomes
possible? Do I want to break away from my deep-rooted rebellion
against God and surrender myself so absolutely to God's love that
a new person can emerge?
“As a hired servant, I can
still keep my distance, still revolt, reject, strike, run away, or
complain about my pay. As the beloved son, I have to claim my full
dignity and begin preparing myself to become the father.”
Henri Nouwen, quoted in Grace (Visual Edition) by Philip
LUCADO CONVINCED THAT COMPASSION IS THE CHURCH'S BEST APOLOGETIC
After more than 20 years of pastoring and discipling
Christians, bestselling author Max Lucado is delving into a new
apologetics – compassion. "This whole idea of
compassion being the best apologetic has really captured my
heart," he said.
It was some four to six years ago
when Third Day band member Tai Anderson asked Lucado a challenging
question. "When your great grandchildren learn that you lived
in a day in which a billion people were hungry and 27,000 people
die every day of preventable diseases, how would they gauge your
response?" "The Lord used that question to wake me up,"
Lucado said. "I had devoted a lot of my life to discipleship
things and to evangelism initiatives but I had to acknowledge that
I had not done much in the area of compassion, which is really the
third leg on the stool of Christian faith," the author, who
currently serves as Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in
San Antonio, Texas, realized.... Read this in full at
PLAN B IS PLAN A: LEARNING WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOUR LIFE
by Shawn McEvoy
Sometimes even our best laid plans don't
work out the way we'd hoped. We don't all grow up to do what we
thought we would do, and what looks like failure descends upon us
all. However, that does not mean God is absent from our struggles.
Pete Wilson, author of Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't
Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?, believes it is only by
overcoming fear and giving up control that we are able to discover
the life God has planned for us.
Crosswalk.com: Pete, in
Plan B, one of the things you demonstrate is how God does His best
work in some of our most hopeless situations. If that's a given,
is there ever a "Plan B" or was that really the only
workable plan all along?
Pete Wilson: Well, you could
really go deep with the theology behind that. I think we all face
Plan B's, because often life does not turn out the way we thought
it would. We have all of these dreams, but no one ever dreamed
that they would end up with cancer at 35, or that they would be
divorced at 45, or lose their job at 50. You face all of these
situations in life that just do not turn out the way you hoped
they would. So, in essence, they are certainly plan B's to us. Now
obviously, for God in His sovereignty, I don't believe that it is
His Plan B. But for us, from a human standpoint, we face these
shattered dreams all the time.... Read this in full at
MINISTRY LEADERS TO GATHER FOR LIVE ONLINE PRAYER CELEBRATION
Join top ministry leaders, pastors, and authors at noon and 7
pm Central Time on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010, for Operation World Live
Global Prayer Celebration, a free online event hosted by Operation
World editor Jason Mandryk at www.operationworld.org. Sponsored by
Operation World partners WEC International, GMI (Global Mapping
Intl.), and Biblica, the celebration marks the beginning of the 60
Days of Global Prayer.
The Nov. 9 online prayer
celebration will include a live chat with Mandryk, prayer videos
for countries around the world, and comments from distinguished
ministry leaders, including:
* Operation Mobilization founder
* Gospel for Asia founder K.P. Yohannan
Dalit Freedom Network President Joseph D'souza
* 24-7 Prayer
founder Pete Greig
* Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the
American Dream author and senior pastor David Platt
Best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado
* Focus on the
Family CEO Jim Daly
* AnGel Ministries founder and author Anne
Graham Lotz, and many more
During the 60 Days of Global
Prayer, operationworld.org will feature a different country, with
newly updated country information from Operation World, unreached
people group e-prayer cards from Joshua Project, and a country
specific video from www.prayercast.com.... Read this in full at
YORKERS DE-STRESS DURING LUNCH HOUR AT AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY'S
Stressed-out New Yorkers now have a place to recharge. Bible
Talk Tuesdays, hosted by the American Bible Society are set to
take place every Tuesday from noon to 1:00 p.m. at 1865 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023, between 61st and 62nd Streets near the 59th
Street Columbus Circle subway stop.
Bible Talk Tuesdays is
actually the revival of a 150-year-old tradition sparked by
Jeremiah Lanphier during another difficult economic period in
America. In 1857 Lanphier, a local businessman, began a prayer
meeting for other business professionals. Within months, the
meetings had spread across New York and into cities such as
Philadelphia, Washington and Chicago.
"The goal of
the Bible Talk Tuesdays is the same as Jeremiah Lanphier's -- to
encourage New Yorkers during rough times and help them make sense
of life," says pastor Drew Segawa, who organizes the weekly
event on behalf of American Bible Society.... Read this in full at
MUCH TV PSYCHOLOGICALLY HARMS CHILDREN: STUDY
Hiding the TV remote and games console controller is a good
thing to do to kids if it's the only way to limit the time they
spend in front of a screen, according to a study.
study, conducted by researchers from the University of Bristol,
found that youngsters who spend hours each day in front of the TV
or games console have more psychological difficulties like
problems relating to peers, emotional issues, hyperactivity, or
conduct challenges, than those who don't.
And contrary to
what earlier studies have indicated, the negative impact of screen
time was not remedied by increasing a child's physical activity
levels, says the study, published in the US journal Pediatrics....
Read this in full at
“Exactness in little duties is a wonderful source of
Frederick W. Faber
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust
is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out
its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for
its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of
drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
WEEK'S HYMN: ABIDE WITH ME
Words: Henry F. Lyte, 1847
Music: William H. Monk, 1861
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all
around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st
with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient,
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with
healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left
me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine,
Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before
my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
>from NetHymnal at
they are wrong they need your prayers all the more and if they are
your enemies, you are under orders to pray for them.” C.S.
FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother
or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.
agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s
Raises or bonuses
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Bills decrease while blessings increase
all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou
shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut.
[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know
if you'd like us to add you to our prayer
chain to pray for your safety and spiritual effectiveness.
I'll add your name to the list for the time you'll be
you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me
know and I'll put it in this newsletter.
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vacation with us!
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A person who thinks logically
provides a nice contrast to the real world.
Frank Coleman, Editor
for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
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!
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.
Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, firstname.lastname@example.org
if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/
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