man to man to God
week of January 9, 2011
weekly newsletter of Path
Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
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the [Lord] has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If
you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I
have kept my [Lord's] commandments and abide in [God's] love. I
have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and
that your joy may be complete.”
is removing the various barriers of our self-love to allow Christ,
living within us, to show himself to our neighbors.”
AND WORLD CUPS
wouldn't want to live without ambition. Actually, I wouldn't be
able to live without it. Ambition is what keeps us at it. It
rouses us from slumber, pushes us out the door, gets us reaching
beyond ourselves. It calls us to sacrifice and risk-taking.
Ambition is what keeps us in the fight or in the race when
everything in us wants to quit.
ambition is not a pure good. It easily taints. It can become a
drive to win at all costs. "What good is it," Jesus
asked, "if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?"
What good is it if your desire to succeed destroys you? If
ambition undoes you? Many evils, great and small, are committed by
those in the grip of skewed ambition.... Read this in full at
MILLENNIALS WANT IN LEADERS
Thom S. Rainer
Millennials are America's largest generation, more than 78 million
in number. They’re slightly larger in number than the
well-documented Baby Boomer generation. The Millennials were born
between 1980 and 2000, though our research included only the older
portion of this generation, those born between 1980 and 1991. The
study included demographic sampling that well represents the
generation in total.
found 4 major leadership foci among the Millennials. We dubbed
them simply "What Millennials Want in Leaders."
Transparency and authenticity.
Integrity.... Read this in full at
FAITH HELPED UNCOVER A 'GOLDEN VOICE'
the urban drama most of us have been forced to play. A panhandler
stands outside your car window, invoking God and asking for help.
What do you do? For many, the answer is nothing, Keep the windows
rolled up and drive straight ahead. Homeless people pleading for
help are now so numerous that they’ve become what one pastor
called “visual white noise” in our contemporary
weeks ago, though, Doral Chenoweth III, made another decision. He
stopped for Ted Williams, a man we now know as “the homeless
guy with the golden voice.” We know what’s happened to
Williams: overnight fame, job offers. But what about
Chenoweth? What made him stop for Williams? It turns out Chenoweth
has a story of his own, and it’s rooted in his faith....
Read this in full at
SHINES THROUGH AMERICANS’ 2011 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
than half of Americans said they will make New Year’s
resolutions for 2011, a new survey reveals. And among those
planning to make resolutions, few plan on having accountability or
a support system in place to help them keep those commitments,
according to the Barna Group.
most popular pledges this year relate to weight, diet and health.
While 30% of surveyed Americans plan to make health pledges, 15%
said their resolutions will be about money, 13% will make
resolutions relating to personal improvement, and 12% said their
pledges will relate to addiction. Only 5% plan to make a spiritual
or church-related resolution.... Read this in full at
TO READ THE BIBLE DAILY IN 2011
I am asked: “What can I do to grow as a Christian?”
There are several things that may help you grow in your faith, but
one of the most important things is to read the Bible every day.
simple, doesn’t it? But developing a daily discipline of
Bible reading can be challenging because it requires changing our
daily habits. However, you are never too young or too old to
the New Year’s season when folks traditionally make
resolutions and establish goals for the coming year, why not
resolve to read the Bible every day? Consider some of the
advantages. Daily Bible reading increases our knowledge of God’s
Word. It gives us a more intimate and personal acquaintance with
the biblical text. It helps us to discern God’s plan for us.
It encourages us to integrate the teachings of the Bible into our
daily lifestyle. It confronts our personal sin and affirms God’s
forgiveness. It inspires us toward faithfulness and consistency in
all of our tasks.... Read this in full at
NEW YEAR'S INVITATION
to the birth narrative told in the Gospel of Matthew, right after
the birth of Jesus, there was a slaughter in the land (Matthew: 2:
16-18). King Herod did what many powerful folks do when they are
scared -- he started killing. According to Matthew, Herod began
killing all the little boys under 2 years old throughout the
empire, hoping to exterminate the baby wannabee king.
know it's a real downer to come out of the most joyous season of
the year -- with Christmas trees, hot chocolate and 450 billion
dollars in retail spending -- and talk about kids getting killed.
Sort of ruins the Christmas chi.
for the early Christians, the slaughter that immediately followed
the birth of Jesus was a detail of the Christmas story that they
did not want to erase from their memory. Not only is it written
into the Gospel itself, but the early Church marked it on the
calendar as a holy day to remember annually -- the "Feast of
the Holy Innocents." This horrible event has been carefully
and permanently inscribed in the memory of the Church. By much of
the church these children are considered the first martyrs. To
this day, Christians around the world remember the "holy
innocents" of the first century who did not survive, even as
we celebrate the birth of Christ.
holy innocents were the collateral damage of the empire -- they
were a reminder of what Herods can do, especially when they are
scared. They are a reminder that the birth of the Prince of Peace
was riddled with suffering. Even as Christ was born, the world
around him was in shambles. Not a lot has changed, 2,000 or so
it's worth pausing, even amid the celebration, to remember the
suffering. Perhaps it is worth pausing today to remember the Holy
Innocents who continue to suffer in our world. I have a little
invitation for you: Bring in the New Year with the children of
Afghanistan.... Read this in full at
read, look for alternative news outlets and pick an issue. Whether
it's health care, homelessness, the environment, or helping to put
an end to our endless invasions and occupations of other people's
lands, choose an issue and get active! You can find thousands of
amazing non-profits on the internet that can use your help or
donations. If you don't have the time or energy, or aren't able to
be physically active, the Petition Site offers a way to help
simply by signing and sending off petitions on important issues
and causes. They do the work; you take just a minute of your time
to help make a positive change in our world.
as a Christian myself, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that
those of us who call ourselves "Christians" and
endlessly talk about our so-called "Christian values"
should act like we actually have some. Peace and love are pretty
basic elements of Christianity. Jesus loved the poor and the
outsider, and we don't call him the "Prince of Peace"
because he was a warmonger.... Read this in full at
ARE THE POOR IN VIRTUE
the risk of derailing someone's hard fought New Year's vows, let
me suggest that some of us stop trying to become good Christians,
or whatever noble thing we're striving to be.
grant that the New Testament is replete with admonitions to
"strive" and "make every effort" to be
faithful followers of Jesus. One of Paul's favorite expressions
along these lines is a dressing metaphor: "put on the new
self" (Col. 3:10), "put on the Lord Jesus Christ"
(Rom. 13:14), and "put on the whole armor of God" (Eph.
6:11), to quote a few of the places where he uses this stock
phrase. He often ties this metaphor to the virtues: We are to put
on "the breastplate of righteousness" (Eph. 6:14), "to
put on … compassionate hearts, kindness, humility,
meekness, and patience" (Col. 3:12), and above all we are to
"put on love" (Col. 3:14).
Paul doesn't address is how exactly one "puts on" these
virtues. The answer is more mysterious than we are apt to
think.... Read this in full at
DECADE IN REVIEW 2000-2009
& Ethics Newsweekly television program looks back at excerpts
from its conversations with reporters over the past 10 years about
religion and its changing role in the world. Watch it at
ANTI-CHRISTIAN EVENTS OF 2010 POINT TO CHRISTOPHOBIA
Christian website says their top ten list of attacks on Christian
beliefs creates the case for a growing Christophobia problem in
the United States. After accepting several submissions, blog
DefendChristians.org listed the Top Ten Anti-Christian Events in
number one event on the list is the use of the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act to force faith-based institutions to hire
non-believers. Also near the top of the list is the expulsion of
two Christian students from their Master's program in counseling
for their biblical beliefs about homosexuality. These are examples
of a growing phobia toward Christians, said Dr. Gary L. Cass,
president and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission....
Read this in full at
is the incomprehensible fact that God is well pleased with a man,
and that a man can rejoice in God. Only when grace is recognized
to be incomprehensible is it grace. Grace exists, therefore, only
where the Resurrection is reflected. Grace is the gift of Christ,
who exposes the gulf which separates God and man, and, by exposing
it, bridges it.”
Karl Barth (1886-1968), The Epistle to
the Romans, translated from the 6th edition by Edwyn C. Hoskyns,
London: Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1933, 6th ed., Oxford
University Press US, 1968, p. 31
SOFTWARE ALLOWS YOU TO STAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR LOVED ONES AFTER
recent holidays, and those yet to come, are times that bring
families together from great distances away. But they're too brief
and, often, a sense of void is felt when the family again
software just created by a grandparent couple from Texas who
travel extensively is specifically designed to help people stay
close to the ones they love, no matter how far away they live.
Produced to bridge the relational gap caused by business travel,
military commitments, geographic distance, and complicated
relationships -- situations affecting potentially 30 million
people -- Storycorder (http://Storycorder.com)
makes it possible to simply and inexpensively create a recording
of a favorite storybook.
to creators Doug and Sherry Gleason, Storycorder "makes it
simple to record yourself reading any book out loud, burn that
recording to a CD, and create a CD/book package to send to your
loved one." They say the software can also be used in
reverse, by children to record their voices to "warm the
heart of their long-distance relatives."
software is downloadable from Storycorder.com to be placed
onto a personal computer. It will soon be available for the Mac
show reading aloud to children is one of the most important
actions to build literary skills and to ensure proper childhood,
educational, and relational growth. The American Academy of
Pediatrics "strongly recommends reading to children"
because "reading stimulates the development of the brain,
language, and a closer emotional relationship with a child."
And the National Center for Education Statistics reports that
children who are read to become better readers and perform better
in school than those who are not read to.
over-riding goal in creating Storycorder was to make it as easy as
possible for a person to record the reading of a book so the child
can clearly follow along," says Doug Gleason. Storycorder
allows the narrator to listen to each page as it's recorded and
re-record it if necessary until the results are satisfactory. It
also embeds a selected sound effect that signals the child to turn
read-record books might be available, but Storycorder is software
you can use to record any book -- and any number of books,"
says Sherry Gleason. "It frees the parent and grandparent to
send their little loved ones a reading from their favorite books,
making it extremely personal."
system: Windows XP (SP-2), Windows Vista (SP-1), .NET Framework
2.0 or greater
1 GByte (free)
Drive memory: 1 GByte (free)
information is at http://Storycorder.com
TEBOW MOVES BIBLE VERSE FROM EYE BLACK TO WRIST
Tebow, the evangelical darling who uses football as a platform for
ministry, has found a way around the NFL rule that bans writing on
the eye black.
was seen Jan. 2 during the game between his Denver Broncos and the
Houston Texans with a Bible verse written on his wrist band,
usually used to store game plays. The verse appears to be Luke
2:10-11, which says: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do
not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for
all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born
to you; he is Christ the Lord.’”
became famous as a quarterback for the University of Florida not
only for his stellar football skills but also for the unusual
practice of writing a Bible verse on his eye black during every
game. As the son of missionaries to the Philippines, Tebow said he
views his time on the field as a platform to minister to boys and
girls who look up to football players.... Read this in full at
BOWL XLV (45)
game, to be played on Feb. 6, 2011, will pit the champions of the
AFC and the NFC and will be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington,
CANNOT AFFORD TO NEGLECT PLANNING
John C. Maxwell
a leader, you may be tempted to initiate action without taking the
time to map out plans. After all, it feels unproductive to think
about how to do something when you could simply roll up your
sleeves and start making things happen. However, it's far less of
an investment to prepare for a project in advance than to repair a
project after it has gone awry.
leadership, all is well that begins well. Leaders who carefully
craft strategies enjoy success, while those who haphazardly race
forward experience heartache.
functions as a leader's blueprint, playbook, or script. It aligns
action and focuses energy toward a goal, preventing costly delays
and wasted resources. By following a coherent strategy, leaders
arrive at a predetermined destination instead of wandering in an
9 simple steps outline the leadership planning process. I trust
they will be beneficial to you as you make plans for a successful
2011.... Read this in full at
than 2,000 years ago, a young Greek artist named Timanthes studied
under a respected tutor. After several years, the teacher's
efforts seemed to have paid off when Timanthes painted an
exquisite work of art. Unfortunately, he became so enraptured with
the painting that he spent days gazing at it. One morning when he
arrived to admire his work, he was shocked to find it blotted out
with paint. Angry, Timanthes ran to his teacher, who admitted he
had destroyed the painting. "I did it for your own good. That
painting was retarding your progress." Timanthes took his
teacher's advice and produced Sacrifice of Iphigenia, which is
regarded as one of the finest paintings of antiquity.
in life is God's way of refining and beautifying our lives in His
image. He is the Master Artist who constantly shapes the way He
wants us to be. If you haven't been walking with God, He still
loves you and wants you back. It is never too late for God to
refinish the colors of your heart. If you are walking with God,
take comfort because He promises to love you unconditionally.
(Turning Point Daily Devotional, 11/19/03)
STAR DANIEL SEPULVEDA: GOD HUMBLED ME
one point, Pittsburgh Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda felt anger
towards God thinking that his football dream may not come true
after years of sleeping under an NFL banner over his bed. The NFL
star recalls in “I Am Second”
his younger years as a kid when he felt “God gave me passion
for sports, and He made me good at it. I enjoyed being that kid
who was the best at everything growing up.”
thought it was me that was so fast. I thought it was me that was
so coordinated. I thought that was about me … and that
lasted through about seventh or eighth grade, and I was forced to
he was in high school he noticed a growth spurt in other athletes
except himself and it made him question his faith. “I was
frustrated. I didn’t have what I wanted. I was really
questioning my faith.”.... Read this in full at
SON CHRISTIAN PUBLISHERS TRAVEL PARALLEL PATHS
building at 600 Rinehart Road in Lake Mary speaks to the success
and influence of Steve Strang. The circular glass entrance
resembles the lobby of an upscale hotel trimmed in dark wood,
polished stone and wine-colored furniture.
Christian publishing empire, which started with Charisma magazine
35 years ago, is very much a family business. Steve Strang is the
CEO of the multi-media company that publishes magazines,
newsletters, and books. His wife, Joy, is chief financial officer.
Joy's sister is director of special events. Strang's 23-year-old
son, Chandler, works in accounting.
only one missing from Strang Communications is Cameron Strang,
Steve's oldest son and publisher of Relevant, a magazine aimed at
young evangelicals.... Read this in full at
2011 BEST CHRISTIAN WORKPLACES IN THE US, CANADA AND AUSTRALIA
following organizations have qualified as Best Christian
due to high scores in the anonymous BCW employee engagement
survey. The BCW survey has been conducted in the US and Canada for
the past 8 years and made its debut in Australia this year --
surveying over 100,000 employees to date. Each of these
organizations has a stated Christian mission and/or values.
2011 Certified Best Christian Workplaces in the US include:
for Christian Outreach
Read the complete list at
PIPER GETS TO THE BOTTOM OF WHY PEOPLE LOVE GOD
and prolific writer John Piper asked a profound question Jan. 3:
Do you feel more loved by God because He makes much of you or
because He enables you to make much of Him?
purpose of asking such a deep question to 22,000 university-age
students at the Passion conference was to get at why they love
God. If students respond they love God because He makes much of
them, that is idolatry, said Piper. It means that they put
themselves as the foundation of their joy.
joy has a foundation, a deeper reason why it brings joy, except
one, he explained. This exception is the bottom, where there is no
more underlying reason.
is getting to the bottom of our joys such a big deal to me?”
asked Piper. “I believe that there are millions of people,
many of them professing Christians, who are not born-again,
believe God loves them, and are hell-bound," he said
bluntly.... Read this in full at
doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the
oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of
most important thing a father can do for his children is to love
Theodore M. Hesburgh
RELIGIOUS COMPOSITION OF THE 112TH CONGRESS
analysts described the November 2010 midterm elections as a sea
change, with Republicans taking control of the US House of
Representatives and narrowing the Democratic majority in the
Senate. But this political overhaul appears to have had little
effect on the religious composition of Congress, which is similar
to the religious makeup of the previous Congress and of the
nation, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center’s
Forum on Religion & Public Life.
112th Congress, like the US public, is majority Protestant and
about a quarter Catholic. Baptists and Methodists are the largest
Protestant denominations in the new Congress, just as they are in
the country as a whole.... Read this in full at
also “USA is Christian nation, Congress data shows” by
COUNTRIES DOMINATE OPEN DOORS 2011 WORLD WATCH LIST
Communist North Korea topping the annual Open Doors World Watch
List (WWL) for the ninth consecutive year, the most dangerous
countries in which to practice Christianity are overwhelmingly
the top 10 countries on the 2011 WWL, eight have Islamic
majorities. Persecution has increased in seven of them. They are
Iran, which clamps down on a growing house church movement;
Afghanistan, where thousands of believers cluster deep
underground; and Saudi Arabia, which still refuses to allow any
Saudi person to convert to Christianity. Others are lawless
Somalia, ruled by bloodthirsty terrorists threatening to kill
Christian aid workers who feed Somalia's starving, impoverished
people; tiny Maldives, which mistakenly boasts it is 100% Islamic;
Yemen with its determination to expel all Christian workers; and
Iraq, which saw extremists massacre 58 Christians in a Baghdad
cathedral on Oct. 31. Of the top 30 countries, only seven have a
source other than Islamic extremists as the main persecutors of
top 10 in order are North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia,
Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan, and Laos, which has a
Communist government. Iraq is new to the top 10 list while
Mauritania dropped out, going from No. 8 to No. 13.... Read this
in full at
TRENDS IN DECADES PAST AND FUTURE
challenges surrounding the intersection of church, state and the
freedom of conscience, according to experts in the field, were as
old as the hills and as new as morning in the last decade. And
while the details might differ, they say, the story arc will be
similar in the decade that began Jan. 1.
scholars and church-state activists consulted for this story said
that there were significant changes -- for good and for ill -- in
regard to both legal and cultural aspects of religious liberty in
the United States in the last decade. For the future, they
predicted continuing trends in five broad areas: the growth in
religious diversity; the rising profile of non-believers; disputes
over the role of Islam; emerging conflicts between religious
freedom and gay rights; and perils posed by greater government
support for religious institutions and fewer government
protections for individuals’ and organizations’ free
exercise of religion.... Read this in full at
GIVES 50,000 BIBLES TO TROOPS
publishing company Crossway has partnered with Faith Comes By
Hearing to provide Scripture to military men and women stationed
around the world. The company, which publishes the English
Standard Version (ESV) Bible, donated 50,000 ESV New Testaments to
Faith Comes By Hearing's Military BibleStick Project. The
pocket-sized publication is packaged with Faith Comes By Hearing's
Military BibleStick and shipped, free of charge, to chaplains who
place a request for these ministry tools. "It is a special
delight for Crossway to partner with Faith Comes By Hearing to
provide the greatest gift we can give anyone -- God's Word,"
said Dr. Lane Dennis, president and publisher of Crossway. "It
is our prayer that the Lord will use this gift to bring many in
our armed services to know Christ as their Savior, even as they
defend the freedom of the Gospel and our nation.".... Read
this in full at
stepping on shore and finding it Heaven;
taking hold of a hand and finding it God's hand;
breathing a new air and finding it celestial air;
feeling invigorated and finding it immortality;
passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm;
waking up, and finding it Home!
UNITES MISSIONARIES, FAMILIES AROUND THE WORLD
Winkler loves reading books to her 2-year-old grandson Judah, but
instead of sitting on her lap at her home in Michigan, he's
usually half a world away in Nigeria, where his father works for
Wycliffe Bible Translators.
connects them is Skype, the free online telephone and video
service, that has made expensive phone calls and lengthy periods
of no contact a distant memory for many missionaries abroad and
their families back home.
told people that I think God waited to send them until ... the
technology got to where it was," said Winkler, who never had
a camera on her computer or used Skype before her son left the
country. "I couldn't imagine just waiting to get letters from
say the new technology can bridge the thousands of miles between
home and the mission field, often for free and in real time.
a recent survey of more than 800 of its missionaries, Wycliffe
found that about one-third use e-mail daily to communicate with
family and friends back home. More than half said the Internet
connections have made it possible for them to stay in the field
longer.... Read this in full at
COME THE ‘NONES’
a new book called American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites
Us, professors Robert Putnam (Harvard) and David Campbell (Notre
Dame) survey major opinion polls related to religious life in
America from the 1970s to the 2000s. At the heart of their large
and significant work is their reflection on these current trends:
American evangelicals, the nation’s largest religious
segment, reached their statistical peak in the 1990s at around 28%
of the population and are currently plateaued at 24%. Putnam and
Campbell consider evangelicals to be related primarily to
non-denominational churches, noting that if they had referred only
to denominational evangelicals, “Baptists and the like,”
the “decline of evangelical Protestants would have been
Catholics, the largest single religious tradition in the United
States, represent some 20% of the population, but the Anglo
element of that community shows dramatic decline. Attendance at
weekly Mass has dropped significantly in the last 5-8 years.
“Nones,” those who claim no religious affiliation or
participation, are now the third-largest segment of the
population, up from 7% a few years ago to around 17% in the latest
Mainline Protestant denominations continue to decline, now
representing 13% of the population.
“nones,” long present in American religious life,
appear to be upping their profile. Some consider themselves
“spiritual” non-participants, “believers but not
belongers,” while others indicate that religion is simply
not on their radar. Others have walked away from previous
religious involvement even as they remain on the membership rolls
of churches or other faith-based groups.... Read this in full at
CONCLUDES SENATE PROBE OF 'PROSPERITY' TELEVANGELISTS
Senate investigation into the spending of six televangelists
concluded Jan. 6 with a list of concerns and a call for the
formation of a federal advisory committee to ensure religious
organizations comply with laws. According to the report, only two
of the six ministries -- Joyce Meyer Ministries and Benny Hinn's
World Healing Center Church -- fully cooperated with the
investigation and even implemented financial reforms.... Read this
in full at
AT GOD COMMON, EVEN AMONG ATHEISTS
you're angry at your doctor, your boss, your relative or your
spouse, you can probably sit down and have a productive
conversation about it. God, on the other hand, is probably not
available to chat. And yet people get angry at God all the time,
especially about everyday disappointments, finds a new set of
studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
not just religious folks, either. People unaffiliated with
organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger
toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical
image -- that is, what they imagined God might be like -- said
lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University
studies on college students, atheists, and agnostics reported more
anger at God during their lifetimes than believers. A separate
study also found this pattern among bereaved individuals. This
phenomenon is something Exline and colleagues will explore more in
future research, which is open to more participants.
seems that more religious people are less likely to feel angry at
God and more likely to see his intentions as well-meaning,
Exline's research found.... Read this in full at
SEDUCTIVE, SUBVERSIVE WAY OF JESUS
recent holiday experience reminded me how I’m starting to
pay enough heed to my calling that it’s getting me in
trouble. On Christmas day, a bunch of us packed in the car with
family on our mind. Despite the snow, we drove to the nursing home
to see my great-grandmother.
our way, we passed through a neighborhood of big, beautiful homes
that had each of us saying, “Look at that one!” Each
house seemed to have a Christmas tree in the window and lights
streaming to and fro outside. My Pawpaw leaned over and said to
me, “You know. It won’t be long, and you could be
living in one of these houses.”
hesitation I replied, “No, I won’t. I can’t be a
follower of Jesus and live in a million-dollar house.” I’d
thought similar things many times before, but this time I said it
out loud. It became apparent to my family that I am beginning to
take Jesus a little too seriously.
message of Jesus has done something to me. I can’t drive
through nice neighborhoods without thinking about ghettoes, slums,
townships and favelas filled with impoverished, marginalized and
hopeless people. The more I get to know Jesus, the harder it is
getting for me to see things the same. I’m becoming quite
peculiar, even to my family.... Read this in full at
10 RELIGION AND POLITICS RESEARCH FINDINGS FROM 2010 THAT WILL
SHAPE OUR FUTURE
Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute
Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) team put our heads
together and posted our take on the top religion and politics
research findings from the past year. These issues, prominent in
2010, are sure to be with us in the new year and into the 2012
Nearly half (47%) of Americans who identify with the Tea Party
movement also identify with the Christian right.
Pew found that nearly 1-in-5 (18%) Americans wrongly believe
President Obama is a Muslim, and PRRI found a majority (51%) say
his religious beliefs are different from their own.
57% of Americans are opposed to allowing NY Muslims to build an
Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero, but 76% say
they would support Muslims building a mosque in their local
community if they followed the same regulations as other religious
groups.... Read this in full at
FAITH-BASED PREDICTIONS FOR 2011
open 2011, CNN's Belief Blog asked 10 religious leaders and
experts - plus one secular humanist - to make a faith-based
prediction about the year ahead. Here's what those in the know are
predicting: .... Read this in full at
VIRTUE AT THE MOVIES IN 2011
2011, and the real problems of our real world will impinge soon
enough. But for this one column I want to linger over four great
movies that I experienced in the waning days of 2010 -- True Grit,
The Fighter, The King’s Speech, and Black Swan. Undoubtedly
each of these will be up for Academy Awards for their sheer
artistic excellence. I want to comment on the way each of these
narratives offers an account of moral virtue.
Grit is certainly the only movie in living memory that starts with
a biblical quotation and has a musical score drawn from old
Baptist hymns like “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”
and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” This Western of
fierce retribution and family honor is indeed one of the most
explicitly religious major films in a long time. (If you leave out
the Left Behind movies, or anything with Kirk Cameron in it.)
this is a religiosity of law and retribution, of wrath and
justice. This is eye-for-eye religion; it’s about the price
in blood and sweat and risk one is obligated to pay to avenge the
unjust death of a loved one. True Grit teaches the virtues of,
well, true grit, courage and toughness and unflinching justice.
And yet the score hits grace notes in the margins, perhaps a
reminder that frontier religion mixed justice in the street with
grace in the sanctuary, a paradigm that is still with us.... Read
this in full at
ROBERTS UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT GOES 'FACE TO FACE' FOR A NEW TV
Roberts University President Mark Rutland is interviewing top
leaders in a new television series titled "Face to Face."
This program will debut on January 13, 2011 at 6 pm Central Time
online at www.goldeneagle.tv. The premier episode will feature
James Robison, host of LIFE Today and founder of LIFE Outreach
each 30-minute episode of "Face to Face," Rutland will
interview prominent individuals -- industry leaders, ministers,
writers, musicians -- and ask about their lives, how they arrived
at their current position, and what their thoughts are on
leadership, faith, culture, and other questions of the day.
episodes were shot last fall, featuring Robison, basketball
coaching legend Eddie Sutton, author Stephen Mansfield, Mardel
Christian and Education founder and ORU Board Chair Mart Green,
author/speaker/ORU trustee and alumna Lynette Lewis, Relevant
Media Group founder/CEO/ORU trustee and alumnus Cameron Strang,
Building Community Institute founder Clifton Taulbert,
author/speaker Simon T. Bailey, Victory Christian Center Senior
Pastor Sharon Daugherty, daughter of Oral Roberts/ORU trustee and
alumna Roberta Potts, ORU International Worship Center Director
Wayne Lee, and Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris. The
program is intended to stimulate thought and spur discussion while
serving as a showcase for ORU.... Read this in full at
STATE OF THE NATION: ARE WE “APPROACHING SPIRITUAL DEATH”?
John W. Whitehead
years ago, in his farewell address to the nation on January 17,
1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower cautioned the American people
that they must remain alert and knowledgeable and guard against an
expansion of America’s military empire -- a.k.a. the
military industrial complex -- if they were to have any hope of
maintaining the balance between liberty and security. To our
detriment, we failed to heed Eisenhower’s warning.
the state of our nation is at an all-time low -- morally,
socially, economically and politically. And despite various and
sundry protests, rallies, political upheavals, and wake-up calls
of one kind or another, most Americans remain clueless, fixated on
whatever fleeting news stories the talking heads on the 24-hour
cable news channels spew forth and deem to be important. All the
while, most are only vaguely cognizant that a sea change of events
is transforming American culture and the freedoms we once
cherished.... Read this in full at
DISNEY MAGIC AND THE CORPORATE MEDIA SHAPE YOUTH IDENTITY IN THE
Henry Giroux and Grace Pollock
the “empire of consumption” has been around for a long
time, American society in the last 30 years has undergone a sea
change in the daily lives of children -- one marked by a major
transition from a culture of innocence and social protection,
however imperfect, to a culture of commodification.
are now assaulted by a never-ending proliferation of marketing
strategies that colonize their consciousness and daily lives.
Under the tutelage of Disney and other megacorporations, children
have become an audience captive not only to traditional forms of
media such as film, television and print, but even more so to the
new digital media made readily accessible through mobile phones,
PDAs, laptop computers and the Internet. The information,
entertainment and cultural pedagogy disseminated by massive
multimedia corporations have become central in shaping and
influencing every waking moment of children's daily lives -- all
toward a lifetime of constant, unthinking consumption.
culture in the United States and increasingly across the globe,
does more than undermine the ideals of a secure and happy
childhood: it exhibits the bad faith of a society in which, for
children, “there can be only one kind of value, market
value; one kind of success, profit; one kind of existence,
commodities; and one kind of social relationship, markets.”
But corporate-controlled culture not only exploits and distorts
the hopes and desires of individuals: it is fundamentally driven
toward exploiting public goods for private gain, if it does not
also more boldly seek to privatize everything in the public
realm.... Read this in full at
believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not
only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
C. S. Lewis
has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD
require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly
with your God."
WEEK'S HYMN: STANDING AT THE PORTAL
Frances R. Havergal, 1874
Franz J. Haydn, 1775
at the portal
the opening year,
of comfort meet us,
thru the silence
our Savior’s voice,
strong and faithful,
then, and fear not,
of the day;
His Word shall never,
the Lord, am with thee,
thou not afraid;
will help and strengthen
thou not dismayed.
I will uphold thee
My own right hand;
art called and chosen
My sight to stand.”
the year before us,
what rich supplies!
the poor and needy
streams shall rise;
the sad and sinful
His grace abound;
the faint and feeble
strength be found.
will never fail us,
will not forsake;
His eternal covenant
will never break.
on the promise,
have we to fear?
is all sufficient
the coming year.
my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God."
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
God and man
Be in God’s will
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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YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
us what sites you find enjoyable and why.
photos of year-end celebrations around the world
Bible Reading Plan
for Social Action
magazine article: How to Save a Life
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.)
is square. Why is sandwich meat round?
Frank Coleman, Editor
for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
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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