man to man to God
week of January 30, 2011
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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us to number our dayst, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
puts our circumstance between us & God, but faith puts God
between us & our circumstances.”
CHURCHES ARE FANS OF FACEBOOK, SOCIAL MEDIA
are turning increasingly to social networking tools as ministry
aids and Facebook is by far the most popular tool, according to a
new study by LifeWay Research.
survey of 1,003 Protestant congregations was conducted in
September and sponsored by LifeWay's Digital Church partner,
Fellowship Technologies. It found that 47% of churches actively
second most popular way of networking is through the tools
included in church management software packages, actively used by
20% of congregations. Three percent use MySpace, 2% a
church-specific package like Cobblestone, Unifyer, or The City,
and 1% use Ning. However, a full 40% of churches do not use any
social networking tools.... Read this in full at
HAVE WEBSITES BUT MANY AREN'T UTILIZING THEM, LIFEWAY SURVEY FINDS
most churches have a website, there is a divide between
congregations that use their sites only for one-way communication
and those that maximize their online presence with interactive
is the finding of a new LifeWay Research study sponsored by
Axletree Media, one of LifeWay's partners in its Digital Church
initiative designed to enhance delivery systems and keep up with
the digital needs of the church.
survey of 1,003 Protestant churches found that while 78% have a
website, less than half of those congregations use their sites for
interactive purposes like obtaining and distributing prayer
requests (43%), registering people for events and activities (39%)
and automating more church processes (30%).... Read this in full
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,
commemorate the Super Bowl, the Census Bureau has compiled a
collection of facts examining the demographics of the host city,
as well as the cities represented by the contenders. See it at
PICKETT APPEARS IN VIDEO FOR CHURCH PORN EVENT
Bay Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett, who will be playing
against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, will appear
that same day in a video message showing his support for a
nationwide church event dealing with porn. Pickett and his wife
Jennifer, who sits on the board of directors for XXXchurch.com –
a ministry which helps people struggling with porn and sexual
addictions – are shown in a welcome video for National Porn
Sunday that will be played in over 300 churches on five continents
on Feb. 6.... Read this in full at
OUT WHAT FIXED POINT HAS TO SAY AT THIS YEAR'S SUPER BOWL
Point Foundation is launching a new initiative called "LookUp
316" (http://lookup316.com/). Through this initiative a
commercial will air in Alabama during this year's Super Bowl on
February 6th. This commercial won't sell a product, it won't
advance a political cause, and it won't promote an organization.
Instead, it will simply encourage people to look up John 3:16 and
consider its profound message of hope.
project started several months ago with this thought: If you had
thirty seconds to speak to millions of people, what would you say?
Would you sell something? Offer social or political commentary? Or
would you want to say something else? Fixed Point Foundation saw
it as an opportunity to say something truly meaningful. The
purpose of the LookUp 316 Super Bowl commercial is simply to
deliver a message of hope.... Read this in full at
VIA SUPER BOWL?
Sarah Pulliam Bailey
week I moved to the Green Bay area, the ushers at church handed us
kitchen magnets listing the Packers schedules with a little plug
for the men’s ministry. That was when I realized that sports
and religion blend quite frequently here in cheese town.
recent Wall Street Journal article about how Steelers is
practically a religion in Pittsburgh could similarly apply to this
city. Of course, we will be interested to see if religion angles
come out in some of the inevitable profiles of key players.
the Steelers’ side, we’ve talked before about coach
Mike Tomlin’s Christian faith, safety Troy Polamalu’s
Orthodox Christian faith, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s
attempt to capture the team’s faith as a whole.
we might see further analysis of Ben Roethlisberger’s
“redemption,” perhaps with comparisons to Michael
Vick. Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault twice. No
criminal charges were filed, and the league suspended him for four
games earlier this season. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vick
served time in prison for his involvement in an illegal dog
fighting ring. Back in 2009, Terry asked whether Vick’s
redemption was completely faith-free, and I’m curious how
the divisive quarterback stories will play out. After all, he said
after last night’s victory, “God is good.” It’s
definitely worth considering whether a redemption story is a push
for good PR, but specific details might help us sort this out....
Read this in full at
TO BE WHOLE-HEARTED
early Christians in the first century were in uncharted territory
when it came to standing strong for Christ. They were rejected by
the religious leaders of their time because they preached that the
long-awaited Messiah had come. Their activities were considered
illegal by some of the governing authorities. They had little
money for food to feed them, no technology to help them, no
buildings to shelter them, no consultants to advise them, not even
a New Testament to inspire and guide them. Yet they forged
courageously into the Roman world and ‘spoke the word of God
boldly’ (Acts 4:31).
catch a glimpse of the apostle Paul’s all-out commitment in
his farewell comments to the Ephesian elders. He tells about his
upcoming trip to Jerusalem, how dangerous it is likely to become,
and then says, ‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to
me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the
Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the good news
of God's grace’ (Acts 20:24).
had no assurance that he would come out of his next mission all
right. (In fact, he didn't; he was taken into custody there in
Jerusalem and spent most of his remaining years in chains.) ...
The authorities, whether religious or civil, really could not
defeat Paul, because he didn't care what happened to him
personally; it was all about the will of God [see Phil.
1:22-24]. His devotion to Jesus consumed every part of his being.
same could be said of others in that century and throughout church
history. Wholehearted followers of God do not worry about their
comfort level, their retirement, or their reputation among their
peers. They seek only to stay on track with their Lord.”
Jim Cymbala (with Dean Merrill) in the book You Were Made for
10 MOST-SEARCHED BIBLE VERSES: WHAT’S MISSING?
watching many National Football League games growing up, I finally
grew curious enough to walk into my parents' office and pick up
the family Bible. It seemed every football broadcast included
shots of someone standing in the end zone, behind and between the
goal posts, holding up a simple sign: JOHN 3:16. I knew enough
about the Bible to locate the Book of John in the New Testament.
When I read John 3:16, I wasn't impressed. Turns out the verse was
familiar, thanks to Sunday school. I guess I expected to read some
sort of decoded message that would unlock a valuable secret. In
some sense that's exactly what I read, but I didn't yet have the
eyes of faith to behold the beauty of what God has done in Jesus
probably won't be surprised to learn that John 3:16 is the
most-searched Bible verse, according to statistical analysis
provided by the folks at Bible Gateway. They reviewed the behavior
of some of the 8 million visitors who stop by their site each
month, many of them chasing results provided by Google. I was
intrigued to review the top 10 results, which I've listed in
reverse order.... Read this in full at
see “The 100 most-read Bible verses at BibleGateway.com”
TRENDS TO WATCH FOR IN EVANGELICALISM: 2011-2020
Chastened Expectations of Culture Change through Politics
Growth of Evangelical-Style Prosperity Teaching in South America
For evangelicals in North America, homosexuality will become a
wedge issue that reveals the major cracks in our theological
We will tighten the belt for ourselves and (hopefully) recommit to
Polarization regarding Philosophy of Ministry
Read this in full at
is not the distance of the earth from the sun, nor the sun's
withdrawing itself, that makes a dark and gloomy day; but the
interposition of clouds and vaporous exhalations. Neither is thy
soul beyond the reach of the promise, nor does God withdraw
Himself; but the vapours of thy carnal, unbelieving heart do cloud
John Owen (1616-1683), Works of John Owen, v.
VIII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, Sermon IV, p. 237-238
GOD, WHY EVIL? - DR. NORMAN GEISLER TAKES ON CHRISTIANITY'S
problem of evil is perhaps the most difficult question the
Christian must face. If God is good and all-powerful, why is there
suffering in the world? Can't God put an end to murder, rape, and
starvation? What about earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis? Why
couldn't a perfect God have made a perfect world?
a renowned reputation in both apologetics and theology, Dr. Norman
Geisler carefully answers these tough questions in his new book If
God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think About the Question
(http://j.mp/fyTbKl). Using step-by-step explanations and
compelling examples, Dr. Geisler -- whose books have sold over 1.5
million copies -- approaches the subject in a clear and concise
yet thorough and systematic way.... Read this in full at
see a complete video lecture by Dr. Geisler on the subject (22
minutes into the video)
Feb. 14, 2011
MAN'S GUIDE TO VALENTINES DAY
says that Valentine was imprisoned, where he fell in love with the
jailer’s daughter. Just before his execution he wrote her a
love letter and signed it, “From your Valentine.”
English popularized Valentine’s Day in the 1700s. Americans
picked up on this and began exchanging handmade valentines.
Printed Valentines first appeared in America around 1840.
Valentine’s Day is the 2nd largest day for greeting cards
(after Christmas), and women purchase 85% of all valentine cards
(www.historychannel.com, retrieved December 10, 2003).
Day is a day for lovers. My mom and dad were married on
Valentine’s Day. My wife and I were married on the Saturday
closest to Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day presents a
perfect opportunity to invest in your marriage. Here’s a
plan to make Valentine’s Day special for you and your wife.
First, though, let’s review some reasons why it’s
worth investing the effort.... Read this in full at
THE MOST OUT OF LIFE?
asked a group of Christians about this once: Christianity is about
getting the most out of life. True or false?
people went for true. They hadn’t worked out how much I love
trick questions. Maybe they were also thinking that it's bad to
waste God’s gifts, that Christianity enhances life, that
kind of thing. But actually, it’s not the case.
speaking, the Bible isn’t about getting the most out of
anything. In fact, it is full of limits. It places many things
out-of-bounds: stealing, murder and envy, for starters. When God’s
people [were] farmers in the Promised Land, they were instructed
to deliberately leave the edges of their fields unharvested. Why?
So the poor wouldn’t be left with nothing. Don’t
pursue whatever you want; don't maximize your harvest. Why not?
Because there’s a bigger picture than your individual
fulfillment. Because there's a God who will somehow make sure that
tend to think of freedom as the absence of all containment (tell
that to a goldfish!). We tend to think our happiness increases the
more we keep our options open. But that can’t be right. For
many people, what’s the happiest day of their life? A
wedding. At a wedding you limit your options to one. You embrace
limitation. But through that decision a whole world of faithful
love opens up.
is actually the way God longs to relate to people. Throughout
history he can’t seem to last five minutes without making a
covenant - a binding agreement - with someone. Noah gets a
covenant; Abraham and Sarah get a covenant. So do Moses and all
Israel. So does Aaron. Even Phinehas gets a covenant (Who?
Exactly!). God seems to take delight in the power released by
saying, ‘I choose you.’ Is this not mind-blowing? God
- The Limitless One - freely accepts limits. The God for whom
everything is possible makes choices and sticks by them. As with a
marriage, God embraces limitation because of love. Because of you.
And just like a wedding, he does it with joy.”
Mark Powley in the book Consumer Detox: Less Stuff, More Life
OUR GOVERNMENT BY THE CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER
David Brooks makes an important point about the impending debate
over whether government is too big: "It will be largely
beside the point."
the size of government is not the key to getting us back on track,
Brooks argues. "National destinies are not shaped by what
percentage of G.D.P. federal spending consumes. They are shaped by
the character and behavior of citizens. … The size of
government doesn’t tell you what you need to know; the
social and moral content of government action does."
crucial question, he writes, is this: "How does government
influence how people live? … Does a given policy arouse
energy, foster skills, spur social mobility and help people
transform their lives?" To this list of criteria, I would
add: Does a policy help empower those who are most vulnerable to
live with sufficiency and dignity? Does it promote environmental
sustainability alongside economic viability across an inclusive
field of opportunity?
focus on "quality, not quantity" moves the argument
about government onto more constructive ground, though I believe
he defines "quality" too narrowly in terms of economic
productivity. (I am also compelled to correct his statement that
welfare reform, as an example of good government policy, "did
the job" – this is only true if success is measured by
numbers of beneficiaries working and leaving welfare, not by
numbers of people actually leaving poverty through work. See this
insight from Brooks' commentary is that both Democrats and
Republicans (and Independents) have positive ideas to champion. We
are not yet locked into a course of budget action that locks out
good ideas – if we keep focused on the goals of Good
Government and not the rhetoric of Small/Big Government.
David Brooks’ complete commentary at
COLLECTION PLATES MAY GO EMPTY AS ELECTRONIC GIVING RISES
tradition of passing the church plate might become a relic of the
past, as a majority of Americans pay bills electronically and move
away from using cash or writing checks. Despite concerns about
commercializing something so personal, electronic giving to
churches is growing.
the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, about half
of the 1,600 congregants who give regular donations do so
electronically, up from 20% four years ago. "For some people,
they'll never change," said its pastor, Monsignor John
Enzler. "Other people find it's a wonderful way to do their
with Catholic dioceses, religious organizations such as the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Greek Orthodox
Archdiocese of America have approved electronic giving as an
option for their members.... Read this in full at
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN
fourth chapter of Proverbs contains a beautiful picture of three
generations of fathers passing along Godly wisdom to their sons:
King Solomon taught his sons, and he remembered his father, King
David who taught him at a tender age. Each was taken under wing by
a loving father and given instruction to prepare him for manhood.
my sons, to a father’s instruction;
attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
hold of my words with all your heart;
my commands, and you will live.
is especially useful to prepare young men starting out in life,
but we can apply it more broadly to any parent-child instruction –
and to all of us who are adopted as children by the Father above,
who freely offers us His wisdom and love.
his passing last year, Irving Kristol quoted the startling fact
that “almost two-thirds of rapists, three-fourths of
adolescent murderers, and three-fourths of long-term prison
inmates were abandoned by their fathers. Another study revealed
that 92% of prison inmates hated their fathers.
is a grim picture. Something has gone terribly wrong. Why are
there so many deadbeat dads? Why have so many young men and young
women been wounded by the absence of a father – a father
who’s been either physically or emotionally absent, perhaps
both. Others have been deeply hurt by the presence of an abusive
father.... Read this in full at
ME JACOB': JEWISH NAMES TOPS IN BABY DERBY
few weeks ago, I wrote about the stranglehold Christians have on
our current Congress. While 77.8% of American adults self-identify
as Christians, 90.3% of our current representatives in the House
and Senate affiliate with some form of Christianity. America looks
a lot less Christian, however, if you turn your sights from the
Congress to the crib. In fact, it looks like a Jewish nation.
to data from the Social Security Administration website, Jacob (as
in "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob") was the most popular name
for boys born in the United States in 2009. In fact, it has been
the most popular name for newborn boys since 1999.... Read this in
RISING RELIGIOUS TIDE IN CHINA OVERWHELMS ATHEIST DOCTRINE
of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure.
And not just any kind of failure. China has enforced its
anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion and
persecution, but the lack of success is spectacular, according to
a major new study.
more than 15% of adults in the world's most populous country are
"real atheists." 85% of the Chinese either hold some
religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion, according to
the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey.
of the Chinese Communist Party and Youth League are required to be
atheists, yet 17 percent of them self-identified with a religion
and 65 percent indicated they had engaged in religious practices
in the last year, reported sociologist Fenggang Yang of Purdue
University, a lead researcher in the project.... Read this in full
& A: BILLY GRAHAM ON AGING, REGRETS, AND EVANGELICALS
by Sarah Pulliam Bailey
through he struggles with his hearing, sight, and other health
issues in his ninth decade, Billy Graham continued to do what he's
done with every American President since Harry Truman. Last year,
he met and prayed with President Obama and in December, he met
again with former President George W. Bush. But if he could go
back and do anything over again, he told Christianity Today, he
would have steered clear of politics.
his wife's death nearly four years ago, he spends most of his time
in his home in Montreat with around-the-clock care. Although he
rarely appears in public, his son Franklin Graham said his father
would like to preach again on video, but a date is not confirmed.
Christianity Today magazine submitted brief questions for Billy
Graham to his staff by e-mail for an update on his health and a
reflection on his years in ministry.
What advice would you give to people who are aging?
First, accept it as part of God's plan for your life, and thank
him every day for the gift of that day. We've come to look on old
age as something to be dreaded—and it's true that it isn't
easy. I can't honestly say that I like being old—not being
able to do most of the things I used to do, for example, and being
more dependent on others, and facing physical challenges that I
know will only get worse. Old age can be a lonely time also —
children scattered, spouse and friends gone.
God has a reason for keeping us here (even if we don't always
understand it), and we need to recover the Bible's understanding
of life and longevity as gifts from God — and therefore as
something good. Several times the Bible mentions people who died
"at a good old age" — an interesting phrase
(emphasis added). So part of my advice is to learn to be content,
and that only comes as we accept each day as a gift from God and
commit it into his hands. Paul's words are true at every stage of
life, but especially as we grow older: "Godliness with
contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:6).
other piece of advice I'd give is the other side of the coin, so
to speak. It's this: As we grow older we should focus not only on
the present, but more and more on Heaven. This world, with all of
its pains and sorrows and burdens, isn't our final home. If we
know Christ, we know we have "an inheritance that can never
perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you" (1 Pet.
1:4). I know it won't be long before I'll be going there, and I
look forward to that day. Heaven gives us hope, and makes our
present burdens easier to bear.... Read this in full at
CAFÉ DOES MINISTRY THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS, ART, CLASSES
may be many things but one thing it’s not is business as
usual. Ministry business, that is. Run by the London City Mission
in London’s East End, an area called the Docklands,
Departure is a café/secondhand bookshop/art gallery —
a welcoming place, in which you might find any sort of people,
participating in any variety of activity.
calls us to be fishers of men,” said Adam Gage, Departure’s
team leader. “But there are different kinds of bait.”
In his native Northern Ireland, said Gage, fishermen use all
different sorts of bait, with each type used to attract a
different sort of fish, so to speak.
East End of London is an interesting mix of people —
long-term working class Britons referred to as “East Enders”
have begun to mix with Bangladeshi immigrants with Muslim
backgrounds. There are city workers, old money, new money and
students. There is a scrap metal yard across the street. And,
according to common wisdom (though not necessarily verifiable)
there are more artists in the community per square yard than
anywhere else in Europe.... Read this in full at
TO CATHOLICS ONLINE: IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT HITS
Benedict XVI told Catholic bloggers and Facebook and YouTube users
Jan. 24 to be respectful of others when spreading the gospel
online and not to see their ultimate goal as getting as many
online hits as possible.
his annual message for the church's World Day of Social
Communications, Benedict called for the faithful to adopt a
"Christian style presence" online that is responsible,
honest, and discreet.
must be aware that the truth which we long to share does not
derive its worth from its 'popularity' or from the amount of
attention it receives," Benedict wrote. "The
proclamation of the gospel requires a communication which is at
once respectful and sensitive.".... Read this in full at
anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the
new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17
kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without leaving
better and happier."
MARK OF LOVE
you been "Marked" yet? The Mend Mark
(http://www.mendmark.com/) is a mission, a movement, an entire
revolution. It is a bracelet meant to remind its wearers of
Christ's love and sacrifice, and its message is the passion of its
creator, Hunter Harrison.
Mend Mark is a distinctive bracelet that is designed to reflect
the scars and nail holes of Jesus. When worn, the band resembles
the deep holes of the nail driven into the wrists of Jesus during
bringing the story of Jesus' life and death to constant awareness
by wearing a bracelet, Mend Mark is meant to powerfully remind
wearers of the ultimate act of love Jesus made for all of
humankind.... Read this in full at
LESSONS FROM THE WORLD CUP
World Cup is the most popular sporting event in the world, and
even Americans showed significant interest [last year] –
helped, no doubt, by the success of the US team, despite their
ultimate disappointing finish.
Australian newsletter Sitepoint Tribune offers some leadership
lessons from the World Cup: “The players and teams that are
there in South Africa are the best in their sport. They don’t
just happen to have talent; they also work hard to improve. Here
are just some of the traits you’ll find being displayed on
and off the grass.
people don’t give up. They’ve reached that position
because they’ve battled through many obstacles and shown
there are 11 people on a field, they all know the value of
teamwork. As well as being great individually, they work hard on
being a cohesive team.
players kept on improving even when they’d made the big
league. They constantly train and refine, spending years learning
what works and what doesn’t.... Read this in full at
WORLD WITHOUT STEVE JOBS – THE GOSPEL OF A SECULAR AGE
Jobs’s medical leave of absence is the top story in today’s
newspapers. The Wall Street Journal says his brief and poignant
memo raises “uncertainty over his health and the future of
the world’s most valuable technology company.” These
two questions - Jobs’s health and Apple’s health - are
the focus of almost all the coverage today.
I’m interested in the health of our culture, and what will
happen to it when (not if) Steve Jobs departs the stage for the
remarkable as Steve Jobs is in countless ways - as a designer, an
innovator, a (ruthless and demanding) leader - his most singular
quality has been his ability to articulate a perfectly secular
form of hope. Nothing exemplifies that ability more than Apple’s
early logo, which slapped a rainbow on the very archetype of human
fallenness and failure - the bitten fruit - and made it a sign of
promise and progress.
the 2000s, when much about the wider world was causing Americans
intense anxiety, the one thing that got inarguably better, much
better, was our personal technology. In October 2001, with the
World Trade Center still smoldering and the Internet financial
bubble burst, Apple introduced the iPod. In January 2010, in the
depths of the Great Recession, the very month where unemployment
breached 10% for the first time in a generation, Apple introduced
the iPad.... Read this in full at
GREG SELTZ NAMED THE NEW SPEAKER OF THE LUTHERAN HOUR
Hour Ministries announces that the Rev. Gregory P. Seltz of
Orange, California, will become the eighth Speaker of The Lutheran
Hour® radio program. The Lutheran Hour, which first aired in
1930, is the world's longest-running Christian-outreach radio
broadcast; its first Speaker, the Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, is
considered a pioneer in 20th-century Christian mass media.
succeeds to The Lutheran Hour's microphone following the Rev. Dr.
Ken Klaus, who served as Speaker from 2002 until his retirement
from full-time duties at the end of the 2010 calendar year. Seltz
will officially begin his ministry with Lutheran Hour Ministries
on a part-time basis Feb. 1 and will become full time on or before
June 1.... Read this in full at
movies are in the running for the Best 2010 Movie for Mature
Audiences, the executive producers of the 19th Annual Faith &
Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry
announced January 21, 2011. The awards ceremony will be held Feb.
18 at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, near
to a news release from Dr. Tom Snyder at Movieguide®, the 10
nominees, in alphabetical order with major distributor, are:
in Wonderland" - Disney
Book of Eli" - Warner Bros.
Low" - Sony Pictures Classics
Man 2" - Paramount
King's Speech" - Weinstein Co.
to Juliet" - Summit
Last Dancer" - Samuel Goldwyn Films
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" - Disney
Grit" - Warner Bros.
Read this in full at
UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS DO NOT DISCUSS RELIGION
Elaine Howard Ecklund, PhD
is strong evidence that religion is resurging among students on
America's top university campuses. Yet, a large number of academic
scientists firmly feel that they should not discuss religion in
their classrooms. I have spent the last five years surveying
nearly 1,700 natural and social scientists working at elite U.S.
universities -- talking with 275 of them in-depth -- in an effort
to understand their religious beliefs and practices, or lack
thereof. As I traveled the country, I asked scientists about the
role of religion within the university. Many scientists believe
that religion has no legitimate place in the modern American
academy; 54% mentioned the dangers that religion could bring to
universities (and in particular to science) when it goes wrong.
About 36% of scientists I talked with said they have a model of
university life that does not allow any positive role for
religious people, institutions and ideas. And they have few models
for how scientists (with or without faith) might sustain
productive interaction with or respond to religious people and
ideas. In their models of the university, such people and ideas
exist primarily as a threat to science.... Read this in full at
EGYPT, IT'S 'C' FOR CHRISTIAN AND 'M' FOR MUSLIM
M. Lynx Qualey
kindergarten Egyptian citizens are branded as Christians or
Muslims – a practice that many feel deepens divisions
arrived in Egypt in 2001, having given up my job as a US-based
journalist. I wanted to do something away from the world's daily
troubles, something practical, and so I took on the task of
educating well-heeled kindergarteners in Cairo. This went on for
two exhausting years.
my first week as a teacher, I was given a list of my pupils. Each
had a letter in the column beside his or her name, either a C or
an M. Nada and Daniel and Sara were Cs. Other students – I
believe the rest of them – were Ms.
didn't pay much attention to this, except perhaps to the novelty
of it. Perhaps I assumed that these letters were meant to increase
teacher sensitivity around the holidays. I certainly didn't see it
as a fundamental division in a country growing more and more
divided along criss-crossing fault lines of suburban and urban,
Muslim and Christian, private- and government-school educated....
Read this in full at
POGROMS SWEEP MIDDLE EAST
group right now may be suffering more in the Middle East than
Christians. Recently the Times’ John Leland and his
colleague Duraid Adnan wrote about how "the last Christian
man in town," Habbaniya Cece, Iraq, "goes to church to
clean the building and to remember the past." But this is not
the only town which a whole variety of Christian sects have
deserted. The lone Christian man may be a touching symbol, and I
don't mean to be cynical about this. But Iraq is being drained of
its Christians the way a soldier who's been shot has his blood
slowly drained from his body.
anti-Christian impulse has now translated into what is really a
wave of pogroms, not less brutal than those that assaulted the
Jews at the cusp of the 20th century in the Ukraine and in Russia.
Even the European Union, weak though it is, has raised a timid
protest against the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
So not only in Iraq, but also in Iran , Nigeria ,"Palestine,"
Egypt.... Read this in full at
see “Iranian Christians Suffer for Christ”
IN EVERY AGE WORRY ABOUT THE COLLAPSE OF THE FAITH
Jennifer Powell McNutt
I were to write about the burdens of the preacher as I have
experienced them and as I know them," declared Martin Luther,
"I would scare everybody off."
glance at 21st-century headlines about religion and the church
would not have made Luther feel any better than he did in the
16th. We live in a context of ominous bulletins about the value
and place of religion in society. Many people still believe in the
classic secularization theory, that modernity inevitably entails
the steady decline of religion.
magazines like Newsweek announcing "The End of Christian
America," it is easy to give in to fear and the perception of
decline. Not only can worries like that become self-fulfilling,
more often than not, they also blind one to the enduring nature of
the visible church in our world.
would be hard to find a century when the church and clergy have
not faced challenges in ministry and concerns about decline. Just
counting the number of historical studies detailing the "crisis"
and "anxiety" of ages past suggests these labels are too
worn-out to be descriptive anymore.... Read this in full at
KOREA DEEMED 'MOST DANGEROUS FOR CHRISTIANS'
the third year running, North Korea was ranked the world's worst
persecutor of Christians, according to a report that was examined
by the Council of Europe. Hundreds of Christians were arrested in
North Korea in 2010, with some killed and others sent to
concentration camps, according to the report by Protestant
evangelical group Open Doors International (ODI). Iran,
Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia ranked just below Pyongyang in the
50-nation ranking of violence perpetrated against Christian
communities, according to Open Door's latest World Watch list.
ODI did note some improvements, including in Mauritania, and
China, which dropped several notches to 13th and 16th places,
respectively. In China, "there were fewer arrests, thanks
doubtlessly to the economic overture," said Michel Varton,
president of the Strasbourg-based Open Doors France. The report
was examined on the sidelines of a parliamentary debate at the
47-member Council of Europe on violence perpetrated against
Christians in Near and Middle Eastern nations.
BY WORLD VISION ON RULING BY THE US COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH
Vision applauds the Jan. 25 action by the US Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit, upholding our legally protected practice of
hiring people who share the same faith.
court rejected a petition to re-hear a case involving three former
employees terminated in 2007 because, after several years working
for the Christian humanitarian organization, they no longer agreed
with World Vision U.S.'s statement of faith. The court ruled 2-1
last August that World Vision qualifies as a religious
organization under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, thereby, upholding
the terminations. We hope today's action by the court settles this
Christian faith has been the foundation of our work since the
organization was established in 1950, and our hiring policy is
vital to the integrity of our mission to serve the poor as
followers of Jesus Christ.
of any further legal proceedings, World Vision will continue to
vigorously defend our organization's freedom to hire employees who
share our faith, as do other religious organizations, whether
Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or Christian.”
NFL AND THE CONCUSSION CRISIS
traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., is the name for a condition
that is believed to result from major collisions — or from
the accumulation of subconcussions that are nowhere near as
noticeable, including those incurred in football practice. It was
first diagnosed, in 2002, in the brain of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Hall of Fame center Mike Webster, who died of a heart attack after
living out of his truck for a time. It was next diagnosed in one
of Webster’s old teammates on the Steelers’ offensive
line, Terry Long, who killed himself by drinking antifreeze. Long
overlapped, at the end of his career, with Justin Strzelczyk, who
was also found to have C.T.E. after he crashed, fatally, into a
tanker truck, while driving the wrong way down the New York
Thruway.... Read this in full at
federal government has issued a travel warning due to the cold
weather. They suggest that anyone traveling in the current
blizzard conditions should make sure they carry the following:
Blankets or sleeping bag
Extra clothing including hat and gloves
24 hours worth of food
Flashlight with spare batteries
Road flares or reflective triangles
Full spare gas can
First aid kit
looked like an idiot on the bus this morning.
helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the
tormentor, never the tormented."
the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits..."
WEEK'S HYMN: BREAK, NEWBORN YEAR
Thomas H. Gill, 1855
Arthur Cottman, 1872
newborn year, on glad eyes break,
rolling time; thou canst not make
Father cease to love.
parted year had wingèd feet;
Savior still doth stay;
new year comes; but Spirit sweet,
goest not away.
hearts in tears may oft run o’er;
Lord, Thy smile still beams;
sins are swelling evermore,
pardoning grace still streams.
from this year more service win,
glory, more delight:
make its hours less sad with sin,
days with Thee more bright.
we may bless its precious things
earthly cheer should come,
gladsome mount on angel wings
Thou wouldst take us home.
golden then the hours must be;
year must needs be sweet;
Lord, with happy melody
opening grace we greet.
in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of
it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its
sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread
C. S. Lewis
FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
“Persecution Watch: The State of Persecution Around the
World from ASSIST News”
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
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YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
us what sites you find enjoyable and why.
questions that could change your life
Father Who Creatively Captures His Kids (20 photos)
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.)
oven has a "Stop Time" button on it. It probably means
"Stop Timer" but I don't touch it just in case.
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
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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, email@example.com
if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
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