Connecting man to man to God
For week of November 14, 2010
Issue 330


The weekly 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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"A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-and how good is a timely word!”
Proverbs 15:23



    
CONSIDER
Do not, therefore, please yourself with thinking how piously you would act and submit to God in a plague, a famine, or persecution, but be intent upon the perfection of the present day, and be assured that the best way of showing a true zeal is to make little things the occasion of great piety.”
William Law



    
THE GIVER PROGRAM: HELPING CHURCHES GREEN UP
Through the new GIVER (Green Initiative for Evangelical Environmental Renewal) program, the Evangelical Environmental Network, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference are selecting up to 60 churches to receive support and funding to make their buildings energy efficient, reduce their monthly utility bills by up to 30%, and save thousands of dollars annually that can then be used for other needs such as missions and evangelism. Deadline for application is November 15th. Learn more at
http://creationcare.org/blog.php?blog=16


    
70 THINGS EVERY MAN NEEDS TO KNOW
by Patrick Morley, PhD
1. Abiding in Christ
It means to "hold to his teaching." Jesus said that's what really makes us his disciples (John 8:31-32). A friend had bills piling up. He couldn't sleep. The stress was killing him. One day he stared at a huge pile of bills on his desk. He snapped, but in a good way. He said, "God, I apologize. I've taken over control of what is rightfully yours. I'm grouchy and neglecting my family. Right now, by faith, I give you back control over my affairs." He went home and slept like a baby, and his bills all got paid too. That's what it looks like to abide in Christ. Are you there yet?

2. Accountability
Most of our lives are lived at the cliché level. An accountable relationship is one that gets past "news, sports, and weather." Accountability means to be regularly answerable for each of the key areas of our lives to qualified people. Get with a group of men and give each other permission to ask each other how you are really doing. Meet regularly. Weekly is good, but not less than monthly. By phone is okay. "Key areas" mean relationships with God, wife, children; use of time and money; moral and ethical behavior; and any areas of personal struggle. Wives make great accountability partners.

3. Anger
There's a huge difference between getting angry and having "an angry spirit." Anger is "a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a real or perceived wrong." An angry spirit, on the other hand, is always on the verge of boiling over. To have an angry spirit is to be easily provoked to anger. Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools." Unresolved anger is like walking around with a volcano inside you -- never knowing when it might erupt, or why. Is your anger normal, or do you have an angry spirit? .... Read all 70 at
http://www.maninthemirror.org/weeklybriefing/index.htm


    
JOSH HAMILTON TELLS MEGACHURCH 'GOD FIRST'
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton made an appearance at a megachurch Nov. 7 to talk about his team's incredible season, his struggles with addiction and his walk with Jesus Christ.

Though his team lost in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants, Hamilton had a lot to celebrate. It was the first time in the team's 50-year history that the Rangers made it to the World Series. The overall chemistry, passion and determination of the team alone was a great achievement.

"We made a lot of history this year," Hamilton said at First Baptist Church of Dallas. And the better they did, the opportunities Hamilton had to talk about Jesus Christ got bigger, he said. "That's what I enjoyed most about the entire year ... not going to the World Series ... but it was about sharing Christ with as many news people as I could, preferably live so they can't cut out Jesus' name," stressed the young athlete.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101108/josh-hamilton-tells-megachurch-god-first/


    
THE WHOLE BIBLE IN ONE MESSAGE
by Dr. Ray Pritchard
I preached a sermon at Missions Globales in Montreal called "The Whole Bible in One Message (40 Minutes)."

So how do you summarize the whole Bible in one message? It's mostly a simple recital of biblical history with an emphasis on Christ as the real theme of the Bible.

I am putting the sermon in print because a number of people asked for a copy. If you enjoy it, I hope you'll use it yourself. Improve it, change it, add to it, and make it your own. Here's the link to the sermon: The Whole Bible in One Message.
http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermon/2010-11-09-The-Whole-Bible-in-One-Message/


    
SUNSHINE DISCIPLES
Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He hath many seekers of comfort, but few of tribulation. He findeth many companions of His table, but few of His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to undergo anything for His sake. Many follow Jesus that they may eat of His loaves, but few that they may drink of the cup of His passion. Many are astonished at His miracles, few follow after the shame of His Cross. Many love Jesus so long as no adversities happen to them. Many praise Him and bless Him, so long as they receive any comforts from Him. But if Jesus hide Himself and withdraw a little while, they fall either into complaining or into too great dejection of mind.”
Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.xi, p. 103



    
GETTING COLSON’S WRONGS RIGHT
by Mollie Ziegler
The Slate feature “The Wrong Stuff: What it Means to Make Mistakes” is written by Kathryn Schulz and features Q&As with notable folks discussing their relationship to being wrong.

A recent interview was titled “From the White House to the Jailhouse to the Pulpit: Chuck Colson on Being Wrong.” Even though I am pretty familiar with Colson’s story, I found this interview to be fascinating. And it’s not as if Schulz seems like an expert on moral theology. But her interest in letting a subject tell his own conversion story makes for a great read.

Her questions show that she is listening intently to each word uttered by her subject (e.g. “Was that just social discomfort, or was it an inner discomfort -- the first stirrings of your conversion?,” “Can you recollect what you were crying about?,” etc.). She asks him for details on the when of his conversion and is surprised to find out that it wasn’t a jailhouse conversion, as she’d long suspected.... Read this in full at
http://www.getreligion.org/2010/11/getting-colsons-wrongs-right/


    
MAN WITHOUT LIMBS: I NEED GOD FOR MORE THAN ARMS, LEGS
A man born without limbs said he needed God for more than arms and legs at the Harvest event in Seattle Nov. 7. Nick Vujicic, a Christian motivational speaker, said he gave his life to Jesus Christ at the age of 15 when he read the story of the blind man and Jesus in John 9. When people asked Jesus why the man was born blind, he said it is for the works of God to be revealed through him.

He healed the physical body of the blind man (in John 9). But what I said to God is, ‘I don’t know what your plan is, but I trust you. I need you not just for arms and legs, [but] I need peace. I need forgiveness. I need purpose,” said Vujicic, president of the non-profit Life Without Limbs, to Greg Laurie at the Seattle Harvest event.

Vujicic, who was born with no arms or legs, shared his inspiring story to a crowd of 15,000 at the Key Arena in Seattle. More than 93,000 people watched the event online and 1,692 accepted the invitation at the end of the night to commit their lives to Jesus.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101108/man-without-limbsi-need-god-for-more-than-arms-legs/

Also see “No Arms, No Legs, No Limits: Disabled Author Nick Vujicic Details Faith Story in Newly-Released Memoir, ‘Life Without Limits’”
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/196015442.html


    
SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST ALONE NOT BELIEVED BY MAJORITY OF EVANGELICALS RESPONDING TO POLL
by Martin E. Marty
American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, a book which Sightings glimpsed on October 18, is much on my mind and agenda. Authors Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell are not content with telephoned polls but believe very much in site-visits, interviews, and experiences. So when Professor Putnam spoke in Chicago, I braved wintry lake winds and trekked the 271 steps it took from our condo to site-visit at Fourth Presbyterian Church, where he held enthralled a gathering for an hour-plus and responded to a multi-faith panel and then the audience.

A high gasp-registry came when he presented a case-study of a gap between clergy and laity, using the example of Lutherans. (The main sponsor of this multi-sponsored event was the Wheat Ridge Foundation, which has roots and arms in Lutheran churches.) The question posed to interviewed individuals and groups: “Can a good person not of your faith go to heaven?” 98% of the Mormons said “yes,” as did 95% of Jews, 93% of Catholics, and -- get this -- 83% of Evangelical Protestants. Even when people of other faiths are not Christian? Catholics dropped to 83%; Evangelical Protestants dropped more, but still, 54% gave a free ride to heaven to other-believers.... Read this in full at
http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/publications/sightings/archive_2010/1108.shtml


    
CHARITABLE GIVING STAYS STRONG AMID RECESSION
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)’s first Annual State of Giving Report (www.ecfa.org/Content/2010-ECFA-Annual-State-of-Giving-Report) says charitable giving to ECFA members stayed strong during the US recession, totaling $12.10 billion last year, just a 0.1% decline from the pre-recession level of $12.11 billion two years earlier.

"It is very significant that this segment of the giving world was resilient and maintained itself during a difficult economic time," said Dan Busby, ECFA president. "Our report suggests a strong commitment of givers to the Christian faith and the generosity of God's people." .... Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/charitable_giving_stays_strong_amid_recession/


    
NATIONAL STUDY BEGINS: DOES PRAYER HAVE A PLACE IN AMERICAN MEDICINE?
An online study was recently initiated to discover if Americans believe prayer has a place in medicine. Shannon Pierotti, a graduate student at USciences, is using a social networking basis for recruiting participants in a National survey to assess attitudes regarding the inclusion of spirituality and prayer in medical practice.

In an era of rising health care costs and struggle over reform in the United States, a key consideration may be a reintegration of the spiritual component of patient care that was lost as scientific advances progressed throughout the last century. Not finding their needs met by the current medical system, patients have increasingly turned to complementary and alternative medicine. Data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey showed that almost half of respondents used prayer for their own health.... Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/national_study_begins_does_prayer_have_a_place_in_american_medicine/


    
VERSE TO PONDER
"I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
Psalm 40:8



    
CONSIDER
When a man forgets himself, he usually does something that everyone else remembers.”
Author Unknown



    
BEST THING FOR MEN SINCE PROMISE KEEPERS
by Ron Brackin
The book Bond of Brothers(Zondervan, 189 pp., $16.99), by Wes Yoder, is not a quick read. Nor should it be. If you read it in a sitting or two, you'll miss its potentially life-changing "ouch" and "aha" moments, and it will have been just another Christian book. But Bond of Brothers is not just another Christian book. It's an autopsy. Wes Yoder deftly makes the "Y incision" and folds back the pale flesh to expose what is inside men today. Then he directs us to the Founder and CEO of the re-creation and resurrection business.

The title, of course, is a play on "band of brothers," a line from Shakespeare's Henry V. Prior to the historic Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the young king encouraged his war-weary troops: "From this day to the ending of the world . . . we in it shall be remembered -- we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

In 1798, before the Battle of the Nile, Lord Nelson referred to his captains as "such a gallant set of fellows! Such a band of brothers! My heart swells at the thought of them!" And in 2001, Stephen Ambrose reprised the phrase as the title of his 10-part World War II miniseries.

Wes Yoder reminds us that we are indeed a band of brothers. But we have lost our identities and are no longer a gallant set of fellows akin to the victorious warriors at Agincourt.

Men no longer experience rite of passage into manhood, because we no longer know what a man is supposed to be. For decades, we have been redefined by pop psychologists and feminists and mocked by a media that portrays husbands and fathers as fumbling, bumbling adolescents in adult bodies whose greatest achievements are belching and being bedded.... Read this in full at
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2010/s10110024.htm


    
MARY'S ULTRASOUND DRAWS FIRE
Much like the Fruit of her womb became a target some 2,000 years ago, the Son of God draws similar attacks today. An ecumenical nonprofit in England has come under fire for its upcoming Advent campaign designed to put Christ back into Christmas. The crime? Creating billboards and posters that show a Baby Jesus as an ultrasound, with a halo. The ads, created by ChurchAds.net say: “He’s on His way. Christmas starts with Christ.”

It gives the impression that it was politically motivated, that they are trying to put across some sort of subliminal message,” said Terry Sanderson, director of the National Secular Society. “The image is too specifically associated with pro-lifers to be seen in a benign context. They should go back to angels and cribs.”

ChurchAds.net (http://churchads.net/), a coalition of various Christian churches (including the Church of England, the Baptist Union, the United Reformed Church, the Anglican and the Methodist churches), denies that the ads were meant as pro-life or political ads.

We wanted to convey that Christmas starts with Christ,” said Mike Elms, vice chair of ChurchAds.net. “We put a halo on it because theologians speak of Jesus being fully human and fully divine.” .... Read this in full at
http://www.ncregister.com/blog/marys-ultrasound-draws-fire/


    
SWEET SURPRISES
The Father never fails to cheer our hearts with sweet surprises of His Grace. He hides them through all our fleeting years, and every day we are finding them:  friends old and new, the joys of home, new aspirations, new tasks, new fields of labor, new knowledge, new understandings of the heart of Christ, new experiences with Him. Often they fall into our laps when we are least expecting them. This is God’s antidote for weariness and dullness. We greet each day with expectancy. We grow old gracefully, eagerly waiting to know what is that grandest gift of all- eternal life.”
Costen J. Harrell



    
HARPERCOLLINS TO PUBLISH OFFICIAL MEMOIR BY TIM TEBOW
HarperCollins will publish in April 2011 “Through My Eyes”, an inspirational memoir by one of the greatest college football quarterbacks of all time: the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, two-time national champion at the University of Florida and current Denver Broncos first round draft pick, Tim Tebow.

Tebow's much publicized life is one of most inspirational stories in American sports. He captivated the country with his relentless will to succeed on the field and his passion for others. The memoir will reveal how this remarkable young man constantly strives to be the best, has always overcome the odds and how he has managed to do so while remaining true to his faith and family values.

Tebow, the son of Christian missionaries, has a unique story to tell. From the circumstances of his birth, to his home-schooled roots, to his record-setting career as the most celebrated football player in Florida Gators history and his first round draft selection by the Denver Broncos, there's been a lot said about Tim Tebow. Now he will have the chance to inspire readers with his own, first-hand account of his personal story.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/2860015439.html


    
PASTOR PREACHES GENEROSITY — AND THEN PRACTICES IT
Pastor Rodney Gage preached to his Fellowship Orlando church congregation Nov. 7 about the "Crazy Generosity" of God's "Crazy Love" for mankind.

And then he put his money where his mouth was: Gage handed out $5,000 to his church members so they could demonstrate their own Crazy Generosity to those in need. "I know it's crazy," he said. "But crazy love demands crazy generosity."

Gage handed out the money -- in envelopes containing between $10 and $200 -- with only a few conditions.... Read this in full at
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-church-money-giveaway-20101107,0,3353901.story


    
GIVE IN TO CONTENTMENT
I need to give in to contentment a hundred times a day. I need to drop the ideal of who I think I ought to be, who I think I want to be, and who I think other people think I want or ought to be. When I give in to contentment, I believe that loneliness is not a threat. It is not punishment. Giving in is a grace-laden decision that declares that nothing -- not relationships, not achievement, not success, not failure -- has value without trust in the merciful love of God. Giving in is how we say, "Yes, I trust God." The psalmist said it this way, "Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn your backs on turn your backs on the world's 'sure thing,' [and] ignore what the world worships" (Ps. 40:4)....

Contentment allows us to move from anxiety about our loneliness, to faith that our loneliness can be the ground of great fruitfulness, and then to release when we accept that growing the fruit is up to God. We give in to contentment when we know that we have done our part and we trust God with his responsibility. Are you waiting for fruit to grow in some of your relationships? Are you waiting for fruit to grow in your own life as you faithfully prepare, plant, and water seeds of self-care and spiritual discipline? Can you move from anxiety to faith to release?

Note what you are anxious about. What is keeping you from believing that the difficulty, the waiting, or the loneliness is a good place for fruit to grow? The answer to that question may reveal where you need to soften your heart further by surrendering to just being with Jesus, to practice self-care, or to plant a few more seeds without needing to see the fruit. Can you release the rest to God, trusting that it's his job, and his alone, to grow the fruit?”
Sharon A. Hersh in Begin Again, Believe Again,



    
IN BUSH MEMOIR, FAITH A SMALL BUT CONSTANT FACTOR
Former President George W. Bush made no secret that his politics were tinged by his religious faith, but now says he never would have made it to the White House without a fateful -- and faith-filled -- decision to quit drinking in 1986. "I could not have quit drinking without faith," Bush writes in his memoir, "Decision Points," released Nov. 9. "I also don't think my faith would be as strong if I hadn't quit drinking."

Across 497 pages, Bush recounts the ways religious faith shaped his life and his politics. While religion is not a central thrust of the book, it's nonetheless a constant theme.... Read this in full at
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics/2010/11/in_bush_memoir.html


    
IS LIFE HARDER FOR MIDDLE EAST CHRISTIANS?
BBC Radio invites listeners to discuss the level of Christian persecution occurring in the Middle East. This report is previewed at :57 into the program, again at 24:00, and it begins at 26:30.... Listen to this in full at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00bqspq/World_Have_Your_Say_WHYS_Obama_disenchantment_Middle_East_Christians


    
CHRISTIANS UNDER SIEGE IN MIDDLE EAST
All Christians in the Middle East are now "legitimate targets." That warning from al Qaeda in Iraq was issued on Wednesday coming in the aftermath of the Oct. 31 massacre of 64 people, mostly Christian worshippers, in Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad. The attack by Islamic extremists was the most deadly one against the country's minority Christians since they came under more scrutiny in 2003.

The Islamic State of Iraq, which claimed responsibility for the Baghdad massacre, said on militant websites that "we will open upon them (Christians) the doors of destruction and rivers of blood."

Open Doors, an international Christian ministry that supports and strengthens persecuted believers, is calling on Christians to pray for the dwindling Iraqi community and the more than 100 million suffering Christians throughout the world during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) on Sunday, Nov. 14.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/3344815438.html


    
TERROR SEEN IN BLOOD ON CHURCH'S WALLS
Christians still shaken by a terror attack in a Baghdad church swear they will not leave Iraq. See this video report at
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/11/08/damon.iraq.church.vigil.cnn?hpt=C2

See also “In Grief and Defiance, Baghdad’s Christians Return to Scene of Attack”
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/world/middleeast/08baghdad.html


    
CARRYING THE BURDEN OF THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
by Katherine Britton
Many of us are waking up to social justice issues and activism. We can be encouraged to see Christians advocating an end to human trafficking or going beyond the tithe to aid earthquake victims in Haiti. But these issues often allow us to be active by proxy.

Aiding the persecuted church, however, is profoundly different than advocating social justice issues. Organizations such as Open Doors and government commissions like the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) have their place in petitioning governments and smuggling encouragement. Even so, persecution watchdogs say oppressed Christians most often request help of a different kind -- they want the prayers of other Christians. They want *our* prayers.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11640733/


    
VATICAN OFFICIAL SPEAKS AT INTERPOL CONFERENCE
Zenit reports on an address Monday by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, secretary of the Governorate of Vatican City State, to the 79th General Assembly of Interpol meeting in Doha, Qatar. (Full text of remarks.) Apparently the Archbishop chose to address the forum of police chiefs and law enforcement officers from around the world because of the Vatican's growing concern over violence against Christians in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. Vatican security forces joined Interpol in 2008. The Archbishop said in part:

Criminal behavior is an intrinsic part of the human experience, just as the conflict of good and evil is part of the world’s history, and, for Christians, a part of God’s saving plan. It is precisely this realization that inspires the Holy See to participate, either as a member or an observer, in the meetings and conferences promoted by international organizations to discuss issues which ultimately deal with man himself, the human being viewed holistically and with respect for all his complexity....

We are here today to renew, in one specific area, our commitment to cooperate in eliminating evil from the world. This is a enormous commitment if we think of the forces at play, yet we must remain undaunted. Indeed, we should be committed to even fuller cooperation.” .... Read this in full at
http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2010/11/vatican-official-speaks-at-interpol.html


    
ERITREA’S BELIEVERS FACING TOUGH CHRISTMAS
Release International fears Christians in Eritrea may face a clampdown this Christmas after receiving reports that the regime is planning to purge ‘illegal’ believers from the country. Christians belonging to non-traditional church groups have faced intense persecution in Eritrea in recent years but the harassment may only get worse in the next few months.

Selam Kidane, director of Release Eritrea, estimates that at least 3,000 Christians have been imprisoned by authorities in Eritrea for refusing to obey orders by the military junta to renounce their faith. “Eritrea has declared there will be a purge of Christians by Christmas,” she told the Release conference in London.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/eritreas.believers.facing.tough.christmas/27056.htm

See also “Christians in West told to ‘prepare for persecution’”
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.in.west.told.to.prepare.for.persecution/27018.htm


    
WORLD'S 'LOWEST CITY' JERICHO CELEBRATES 10 000 YEARS
Jerusalem (ENInews): Many people in the area believe there is little to celebrate, but Jericho, made famous in the Bible and one the earth's lowest and oldest inhabited cities, has begun a year-long celebration of its 10,000th anniversary.

So far it has been a quiet affair as the city that borders Jordan in the Palestinian-administered West Bank area is not a global tourist haven. Still a special cabinet meeting opened the festivities on 10.10.10, a day deemed good for the biblically-famed town that features in many popular Western songs.

The 10,000 year celebration launch in the city that lies below sea level was led by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who said the celebrations were part of a national project aimed at completing the "building and preparation" of the Palestinian State.... Read this in full at
http://www.eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=4542


    
TO HARLEM CHURCHGOERS, MARATHON IS A NUISANCE
There is dancing along the streets. Gospel, soul and salsa music blare from speakers and bandstands. Spectators jockey for position on sidewalks and side streets, while thousands of runners pass in dribbles and waves. Crowds cheer.

At Mile 21, the New York City Marathon cuts through Harlem, and runners enter the home stretch, down Fifth Avenue from 138th Street. Here many runners “hit the wall” and drop out, or begin a slower hobble toward the finish line in Central Park.

And here, with Harlem essentially divided east and west at Fifth Avenue, life is seriously disrupted, especially during the midday churchgoing hours. Attendance at many churches is cut in half on race days, ministers and congregants said. Preachers and their choirs have to compete with the whir of helicopters, the screaming of crowds and loud music. The elderly and the infirm have trouble negotiating crowded sidewalks, and even ministers have to head down to 96th Street to get to their churches across town. Finding parking nearby is virtually impossible. And with the congregations so slimmed down, tithes and church offerings are minimal, ministers said.... Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/nyregion/05harlem.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


    
ARE MEGACHURCHES FALLING OUT OF FASHION?
by John Blake
I was attending a lecture several years ago when I heard a startling prediction: megachurches are doomed.

A religion professor predicted that megachurches would one day resemble abandoned retail stories “on the edge of town” because they were so expensive to maintain, and a younger generation wanted a more intimate worship experiences.

I thought about that prediction after learning that the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in California filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after its leaders disclosed the church is close to $50 million in debt.

The bankruptcy revelation, along with recent scandals surrounding several megachurch pastors, caused me to wonder if megachurches will fall out of fashion in these lean economic times. Will Americans cut back on the size of their churches while cutting back on everything else?

Scott Thumma, an authority on megachurches, says mammoth churches aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. He says most megachurches are holding their own financially amid this “great recession.” He defines a megachurch as a congregation with 2,000 members and above.... Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/05/are-megachurches-falling-out-of-fashion/


    
TIM KELLER: CHURCHES WORLDWIDE NEED TO MOVE INTO CITIES
Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, told attendees of Lausanne III that if Christians want human life to be shaped by Jesus Christ then churches need to go into cities. Cities are where churches can reach the next generation (young adults want to live in the city); reach more unreachable people (people are far more open to the Gospel in the cosmopolitan city than in their hometown); reach people who have a big impact on the world (filmmakers, authors, and businessmen); and reach the poor (about one-third of city dwellers live in shanty towns).

Human beings, according to Genesis 1, are made in the image of God and reflect God’s glory more than anything else in creation,” said Keller, whose Redeemer City to City has planted more than 100 churches around the world.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101021/tim-kellerchurches-worldwide-need-to-move-into-cities/


    
OHIO RACE FAN FINDS RELIGION AT TRACK
There’re many things people discover at the Talladega Superspeedway, but one Ohio man found something one would not expect to find at the racetrack -- religion. “Outside the track, between turn one and two, God saved my life,” Kevin Kent, 48, of Napoleon, Ohio, said as he stood in front of his red colored 1960 school bus. “God transformed my life -- Praise God.”

Kent said he remembers that day, Oct. 7, 2007, like it was yesterday. It was Wes Clark, a member of a Christian rock ’n’ roll band sponsored by Motor Racing Outreach Ministry, who helped turned everything around for the Buckeye state iron worker. Clark was a member of a band playing at a Talladega Superspeedway campground, outside the 2.66-mile track between turns one and two. Clark insisted that the Ohio man take his own personal Bible. “Clark said, ‘God wanted me to give you my Bible,’” Kent recalled. It was an emotional moment for the avid race fan who once drank and partied with the best of the best.... Read this in full at
http://www.thestclairtimes.com/view/full_story/10148669/article-Ohio-race-fan-finds-religion-at-track?instance=home_lead_story


    
MORE MILITARY BIBLESTICKS DELIVERED, STILL MORE DESIRED
Military chaplains stationed overseas and here at home have requested over 20,000 Military BibleSticks in October alone. These compact digital audio players are pre-loaded with the entire New Testament. Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's largest Audio Bible ministry, began this project in 2008 resulting in more than 70,000 BibleSticks provided to chaplains who deploy them to troops when requested.

Currently, Faith Comes By Hearing will be able to meet about half of the chaplains' requests. Prioritized shipments will continue to go out through the end of the year, as supplies permit.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1910815459.html


    
CHRISTIAN DECLINE STALLS IN UK
Pope Benedict XVI endured protests and warned of "aggressive secularism" on his September visit to the United Kingdom. But a survey released shortly before his arrival suggests Britain's long-term slide away from church has bottomed out.

The British number-crunching group Christian Research declared an end to a decades-old attendance decline in the Church of England and the Catholic Church, and a slight uptick among Baptists.

This was surprising news to those who figured Christianity was still dying in Britain, where only about 7% of people regularly attend worship, and where atheist groups bought billboards to tell the passing pope, "Two million Scots are good without God."

Christians cautiously welcomed the survey. "It's not a massive upswing by any means," said Michael Hudson of Christian Research. "But it did look as if the decline had come to an end." .... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/november/13.15.html


    
ANCIENT EGYPTIANS' SPELLS WERE 'PASSPORT' INTO PARADISE
If you've ever wished that there was a guidebook to get you into heaven, no matter what your exploits in this life, you're not alone.

In fact, so strong was the desire for eternal life for the ancient Egyptians that they took things a step further, in the shape of a collection of spells, known as the Book of the Dead, designed to fast-track them through the underworld into paradise.

For the ancients, the journey through the underworld after death was filled with obstacles and tests, including knife-wielding gods, monsters and perilous gateways -- and that's where the spells came in.

"It's a kind of repertoire, a pool of about 200 hymns to the gods, magical spells. You could choose from these a number of texts to put onto a roll of papyrus to take with you into your tomb and that would be your passport, your guide, to the next world." John Taylor, curator of a new London exhibition, "Journey Through the Afterlife: Egyptian Book of the Dead," told CNN.... Read this in full at
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/11/04/egyptians.book.dead/index.html?hpt=C2


    
NUNS GET $220,000 FROM SALE OF RARE BASEBALL CARD
Years after his death, baseball legend Honus Wagner hit a home run for a group of nuns, who will use proceeds from the sale of his extremely rare baseball card to do charitable work. Texas-based Heritage Auctions conducted the internet auction, which concluded with a winning bid from Doug Walton, whose family owns seven stores in the Southeast specializing in sports cards and collectibles.

"I have been in the market for this card for a long time," Walton told CNN. "It is the Mona Lisa of baseball cards." Walton paid $262,900, Heritage said, with $220,000 of that going to the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The card's price beat initial estimates by $162,900.

The Catholic order, which has a facility in Baltimore, Maryland, obtained the card when the brother of one its nuns died earlier this year, leaving several baseball cards to the congregation. Neither of the siblings has been identified. Never mind that the card's sides had been trimmed to fit in a scrapbook, that it was laminated and lost some paper on the back, leaving it in poor condition. It's an authentic T206 Honus Wagner card.... Read this in full at
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/11/05/baseball.card.nuns/index.html


    
WORLD'S TALLEST JESUS STATUE COMPLETE
Workers in Poland finished erecting the world's tallest statue of Jesus over the weekend of Nov. 6-7, a 170-foot giant that towers over the countryside near Swiebodzin.

"This is the culmination of my life's work as a priest. I felt inspired to fulfill Jesus' will, and today I give thanks to him for allowing me to fulfill his will," Father Zawadzki said after the head was attached by a 700-ton crane, according to a report from the Warsaw Business Journal.

The height of the plaster and fiberglass Polish statue surpasses the 133-foot Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and the 130-foot Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, according to news reports.... Read this in full and see a photo at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/08/worlds-tallest-jesus-statue-complete/

Also see “Giant Jesus statue completed in Polish town”
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-11-07-jesus-statue-poland_N.htm


    
STUDY: TV PROFANITY UP NEARLY 70%
Four months after an appeals court struck down the Federal Communications Commission's broadcast standards, a new study shows that profanity on broadcast television has risen nearly 70% in the past 5 years.

The study by the Parents Television Council, which compared the first two weeks of the networks' 2010 fall lineup with the first two weeks of the 2005 fall lineup, finds that profanity increased 69%. Movies, news programs, and sporting events are not included in the study.

The study (http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/2010ProfanityStudy/study.pdf) also reports that harsher profanities are now being used, and it added that the "greatest increase in the use of the harshest profanities" took place during the 8 pm Eastern period -- often known as the "family hour" -- and at 9 pm Eastern.
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34054


    
US CENSUS BUREAU REPORTS MEN AND WOMEN WAIT LONGER TO MARRY
The median age at first marriage increased to 28.2 for men and 26.1 for women in 2010, an increase from 26.8 and 25.1 in 2000, according to the US Census Bureau. This increase is a continuation of a long-term trend that has been noted since the mid-1950s. In addition, the overall percentage of adults who were married declined to 54.1% in 2010 from 57.3% in 2000.... Read this in full at
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb10-174.html


    
FORBES NAMES POPE WORLD'S 5TH MOST POWERFUL FIGURE
Pope Benedict XVI won the No. 5 spot in a list of the world's most powerful people, one of only two religious leaders in Forbes magazine's list of 68 influential men and women. Benedict was sandwiched between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The only other religious leader on the list was the Dalai Lama, who ranked at No. 39.

Forbes, which released the list Nov. 3, scored the rankings by the person's influence over people, which for religious leaders meant counting the followers in their flocks. The pope was named the "highest earthly authority for 1.1 billion souls," which represents one-sixth of the world's population. He was noted for "healing old wounds" in September when he became the first modern pope to visit London's Westminster Abbey, where he shook the hand of a clergywoman.

The Dalai Lama was praised in the list for "keeping China honest" and providing spiritual leadership for millions of Buddhists and his political leadership for 150,000 Tibetans in exile. The pope jumped ahead six spots in this year's rankings, while the Dalai Lama stayed put.

This list is the magazine's second ranking of the world's most powerful people. The top 10 most powerful people are:
1. Chinese President Hu Jintao
2. U.S. President Barack Obama
3. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
4. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
5. Pope Benedict XVI
6. German Chancellor Angela Merkel
7. British Prime Minister David Cameron
8. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
9. Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi
10. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
http://pewforum.org/Religion-News/RNS-Forbes-names-pope-worlds-fifth-most-powerful-figure.aspx


    
CONSIDER
Instead of a gem, or even a flower, cast the gift of a lovely thought into the heart of a friend.”
George MacDonald



    
VERSE TO PONDER
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
Psalm 51:12



    
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: WHEN ALL THY MERCIES, O MY GOD
Words: Joseph Addison, 1712
Music: Thomas Tallis, circa 1567

When all Thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.

Thy Providence my life sustained,
And all my wants redressed,
While in the silent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breast.

To all my weak complaints and cries
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learned
To form themselves in prayer.

Unnumbered comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestowed,
Before my infant heart conceived
From Whom those comforts flowed.

When in the slippery paths of youth
With heedless steps I ran,
Thine arm unseen conveyed me safe,
And led me up to man.

Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
It gently cleared my way;
And through the pleasing snares of vice,
More to be feared than they.

O how shall words with equal warmth
The gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravished heart?
But thou canst read it there.

Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Hath made my cup run o’er;
And, in a kind and faithful Friend,
Hath doubled all my store.

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Nor is the last a cheerful heart
That tastes those gifts with joy.

When worn with sickness, oft hast Thou
With health renewed my face;
And, when in sins and sorrows sunk,
Revived my soul with grace.

Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I’ll pursue
And after death, in distant worlds,
The glorious theme renew.

When nature fails, and day and night
Divide Thy works no more,
My ever grateful heart, O Lord,
Thy mercy shall adore.

Through all eternity to Thee
A joyful song I’ll raise;
For, oh, eternity’s too short
To utter all Thy praise!

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/w/h/e/whenallt.htm


     ON PRAYER
"A life in prayer is a life in open hands where you are not ashamed of your weakness but realize that it is more perfect for a [human] to be led by the other than to seek to hold everything in [her] own hand."
Henri J.M. Nouwen


    
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 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 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.

Beautiful panoramic photos from around the world
http://www.mapcrunch.com/

The World's Largest Indoor Pet is ?
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-515214?hpt=C2

New Bill Hybels leadership website
http://www.billhybels.com/

Celtic Knot Creator
http://www.celtic-knot-creator.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.)


Age is an awfully high price to pay for maturity.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank@gmail.com


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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!


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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