Connecting man to man to God
For week of February 6, 2011
Issue 342


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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Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:12-13



     CONSIDER
All the persons of faith I know are sinners, doubters, uneven performers. We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves but because we trust that God is sure of us.”
Eugene H. Peterson



     AARON RODGERS, OTHER PACKERS, LOOKING TO ‘FOLLOW JESUS’ EXAMPLE’
NFL experts and newspaper headline writers have been quick to label Green Bay starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers the “Leader of the Pack.”

Something about 4,712 yards passing and 34 touchdowns, and leading the Packers to the verge of their first Super Bowl title in more than a decade will do that for you.

But Rodgers made it clear in Feb. 1’s jam-packed Super Bowl XLV Media Day he only wants to be a leader of God’s pack when it comes to influencing others to see his faith in Jesus Christ.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34574


     FOOTBALL FUN, BUT ISN'T ‘WHO WE ARE,’ STEELERS COACH TOMLIN SAYS
The Christian conversion of Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-year offensive lineman Tony Hills saw the team’s practice facility used for something unusual this season -- a baptism. And that on a team that needed new life to begin this storied season.

I appreciated everybody who came in because it was a big moment for me after I was saved,” Hills told Baptist Press during the annual Super Bowl media day on Feb 1 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “I had not been baptized before, obviously, and it was something I needed to do. Baptism stands for leaving the old ways behind and coming up anew. And I knew that’s exactly what I was trying to do. That is what our season is about this year.

In life everybody is different, but to know that some people on this team share the same values is a great blessing.” .... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34575


     A KINGDOM OF PARADOX
It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn’t want our success; he wants us. He doesn’t demand our achievements; he demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross a holy God is utterly glorified.  Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.”
Charles W. Colson



     OBAMA ELABORATES ON HIS CHRISTIAN FAITH AT PRAYER BREAKFAST
President Barack Obama gave a personal speech at the National Prayer Breakfast Feb. 3 reflecting on his faith, Scripture readings, and prayer life. The president used his appearance at the annual prayer breakfast to explain exactly when he “came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace him as my lord and savior” (5 minutes into the video). He also reflected on how his faith has sustained him over the last couple of years.

While Obama has made public mention of his faith in the past, this particular speech shared in detail how he approaches prayer and studies Scripture. The tone of the address was a deeply personal one.

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event that has been attended by every US president since Eisenhower. Guests from over 130 nations attended. Watch the speech at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/03/obama-national-prayer-breakfast-video_n_817975.html
a video clip is also at

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/03/obama-to-deliver-major-speech-on-personal-faith-white-house-official-says/

Read coverage “Obama Shares Personal Faith Stories at Prayer Breakfast”
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20110203/obama-says-daughters-godmother-organizes-prayer-groups-for-him/


     HISTORIC LAUSANNE DECLARATION CALLS WORLD'S EVANGELICALS TO ACTION
The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization released Jan. 28 Part 2 of its call to action to world evangelicals. More than 4,000 evangelicals from 198 countries met in Cape Town, South Africa, in October for the Congress. Part 1 of the document emphasized the call to love because God first loved us. Part 2 builds on discussions at Cape Town, naming the most important priorities for evangelism worldwide. It makes a number of specific calls, including the call to proclaim the truth through word and deed, to be ethical in evangelism, and to return to "humility, integrity and simplicity". Part of this return includes renouncing false gods and idols, including the idolatry of "disordered sexuality," power, success and greed. The statement also calls for the worldwide church to unite. "A divided church has no message for a divided world. Our failure to live in reconciled unity is a major obstacle to authenticity and effectiveness in mission," it states.... Read this in full at
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/historic.lausanne.declaration.calls.worlds.evangelicals.to.action/27431.htm


     PARKING YOUR THOUGHTS IN A GOOD SPOT
The reality of my dad's abandonment created some unhealthy habits that continued to linger in my life. Emptiness has a way of demanding to be filled. And when I couldn’t figure out how to fill what my heart was lacking, my stomach was more than willing to offer a few suggestions.

[I needed] a healthy thought to dwell on where [my dad is] concerned - one of those good thoughts the Bible tells us to think about: ‘Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things" (Philippians 4:8). I like to call this "parking my mind in a better spot.’

It's so easy to park our minds in bad spots. To dwell and rehash and wish things were different. But to think on hard things keeps us in hard spots and only serves to deepen our feelings of emotional emptiness. This is where pity parties are held and we all know pity parties demand an abundance of high-calorie delights, eaten and eaten some more. But pity parties ... leave behind a deeper emptiness than we started with in the first place.

What about you? Do you have something from your past that causes emotional emptiness? As a first step toward healing, can you think of one thing good from this past situation? Or maybe something good that has happened despite the pain from the event? If not, ask God to give you some good place to park your mind with this draining issue from your past.”
Lysa TerKeurst in the book Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food



     FOR EGYPT’S CHRISTIANS, CONDITIONS COULD WORSEN -- OR EVEN IMPROVE
The turmoil in Egypt threatens to unleash chaos in a country long ruled by a dictator where militant Islam has been growing for years -- and the outcome is difficult to predict, two Southern Baptist observers said Jan. 31.

Massive protests, at times violent, have rocked Egypt's major cities for nearly a week, partly inspired by successful democracy protests in neighboring Tunisia that drove that country's strongman from power. Over the weekend, police vanished from the cities and allowed mobs to pillage and loot at will, according to media reports. Gangs of armed men attacked at least four jails Jan. 30, freeing hundreds of Muslim radicals and criminals.

While some demonstrators in Egypt have called for democracy, most are venting their anger over poverty, joblessness, food prices, corruption and police brutality. The Muslim Brotherhood, a hard-line Islamist organization of 600,000 members, also has organized demonstrations.

"Islamic factions of various stripes are interacting with secular and democratic groups with common immediate goals in mind -- overthrow the tyrant," said Mike Edens, professor of Islamic studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. "The common energy of youthful idealism, awareness of the injustice of the status quo, and impatience with structure has caused these and other factions to cooperate for immediate outcomes with disregard for who will lead after the dust settles." .... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34553


     EGYPT: INTEGRAL TO CHRISTIANITY'S RISE
Calls for a change in leadership swelled into demonstrations and violent clashes in Egypt, two weeks after Tunisia's government toppled amid revolution. Followers of Christ in Egypt are waiting prayerfully to see what implications these events will have on the spread of the gospel in the region.

Egypt is the Arab world's most populous nation, with nearly 80 million people. The Arab Republic of Egypt is transcontinental, with a land bridge between Africa and Asia. Egypt long has been a pivotal place. It was from Egypt that God delivered the Israelites out of exodus and on Egypt's Mount Sinai that He gave the Ten Commandments to Moses.

The history of Christianity in Egypt has been one of both tribulation and blessing. Since its beginning, Christianity in Egypt has been influential in shaping doctrine and the way believers follow Christ.

TIMELINE
-- 2-3 AD Shortly after Jesus' birth, Joseph and Mary took Him to Egypt to escape the wrath of King Herod.

-- 43 AD Mark, the Gospel writer, took Christ's message to the Egyptians and saw many converts. While in the city of Alexandria, Mark meets Ananias, a shoemaker, who became the first convert of that great Christian city. Mark later made Ananias the bishop of Alexandria. Ananias is said to be the first bishop of the Coptic Church, which today is one of the oldest churches in Christianity.

-- 64 AD Nero persecutes Christians throughout the Roman Empire after the fire of Rome. The largest numbers of converts during Nero's persecution were not the Jews or the Greeks but Egyptians. Egyptian believers were bold in their faith and worshipped Christ in the open -- even building churches in full view of the empire.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34555


     SOME CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN CONVERT FEAR INTO SAFETY
Dog-eared and tattered, the blue book is an inch thick and sits on a dented metal table in the corner office of Jamia Naeemia, an Islamic school tucked in a scattering of cement-walled homes and roadside shops.

Many believe the book offers the promise of safety and perhaps even a better chance at prosperity. The book is a registry used to document religious converts to Islam and officials at Jamia Naeemia say business is brisk nowadays.

At least 20 to 25 former Christians adopt Islam each week by pledging an oath and signing a green and white document in which they accept Islam as “the most beautiful religion” and promise to “remain in the religion of Islam for the rest of my life, acknowledging that blessings are only from God.”

Human rights advocates say it’s no surprise some of Pakistan’s 3 million Christians are adopting Islam. These are vexing and dangerous days for the country’s religious minorities.... Read this in full at
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/925715--some-christians-in-pakistan-convert-fear-into-safety


     HOW TO RUIN A FALSE WORLDVIEW
by Chuck Colson
A while back on BreakPoint, I talked about a teenager who attended a worldview training camp run by Summit Ministries. The young man complained, tongue in cheek, that worldview training had “ruined” movie watching for him. He could no longer watch films without automatically searching for the worldview messages.

That's great news: The whole point of worldview training is to “ruin” attempts to convince teenagers that any worldview conforms to reality better than Christianity does. But we can’t wait until the teen years to start talking to kids about worldview — and parents know it. Many times I've had moms and dads come up to me and say, “What do you have for younger kids?” .... Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11644937/


     TEEN ROLE MODELS: WHO THEY ARE, WHY THEY MATTER
Teenagers’ preferences and tastes greatly influence America’s cultural identity. The people teenagers look up to as their role models matter a great deal in determining the shape and substance of the next generation of churchgoers, consumers and citizens. A study conducted by Barna Group among a national sample of teenagers gives new insight into whom teens select as their role models and why those individuals captured their attention.

The nationwide sample of teenagers asked 13- to 17-year-olds to identify the person whom they admire most today as a role model, other than their parents. A follow-up question probed the reasons they define that person as a role model. (David Kinnaman, who directed the study, explained that parents were left out of the assessment because so many teenagers — particularly younger ones — have high regard for their parents or feel compelled to list their parents as role models. Previous research shows that mentioning parents is almost an automatic response for many.)

So who do teenagers name as their role models? Even while limiting the answers to non-parents, family members still comes out on top. The most commonly mentioned role model is a relative — 37% of teens named a relation other than their parent as the person they admire most. This is typically a grandparent, but also includes sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncles. After “family,” teens mention teachers and coaches (11%), friends (9%), and pastors or other religious leaders they know personally (6%).... Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/467-teen-role-models


     HOW EVANGELICALS GIVE
Church members’ giving is decreasing in the recession, especially as a percentage of income. See the chart at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/february/howevangelicalsgive.html

Also see “Are American Evangelicals Stingy?”
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/february/areevangelicalsstingy.html


     MATTER MATTERS
God loves matter. In his original creative acts God affirmed matter again and again, declaring it good at every point along the way. We, therefore, should take the material world quite seriously; it is the "icon" of God, the epiphany of his glory. We must not dismiss material things as inconsequential--or worse yet, as genuinely evil. The stuff of the material world--what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called "holy matter"--has been created by God and again he declared it good, very good (Gen. 1:25,31). The material world is intended to enhance human life.”
Richard J. Foster, Streams of Living Water, Harper San Francisco, 1998, p. 260


You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”
Nehemiah 9:6



     DOCUMENTARY: ‘BEWARE OF CHRISTIANS’
Tired of going through the motions, four college students left their routine Christian lives in the USA in a quest to find what it really means to be a follower of Jesus outside the Christian setting. "Sometimes you just get churched out. You go to Bible studies, you go to Bible camp, and you just kind of keep doing the same things, hearing the same sermons, doing the same stuff,” Alex Carroll, one of the students, admits.

So the question sums up to: “How do we get away from that and really examine ourselves and try and figure out what does Jesus want from us?” "Beware of Christians” is a brave and fun new documentary that follows Carroll, Michael Allen, Will Bakke and Matt Owen who travel across Europe for six weeks. During their 10-city trip, they ask people on the streets for their views on Christians and tackle issues such as identity, materialism, sex and relationships, church, wealth, entertainment and alcohol.

Would you be able to say ‘they are Christian’ by the way that they act?” they ask passers-by on the street. The students often get back the answer “not really.” .... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20110131/documentary-beware-of-christians/


     GERMANY’S CONSCIENCE: THE MARTYRDOM OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Skyla Freeman reviews the book Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
His end is what most people recall of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: the creeping light of first dawn in a barren yard of Flossenbürg concentration camp where he — theologian and spy, pastor and conspirator — was hanged until dead by a thin wire. Mere days before, Bonhoeffer and his fellow captives heard the great booming march of American guns across the German landscape, and dared to hope for freedom. But he met a different freedom on that chill morning, one for which he was well prepared.

With such a story, it is tempting to view Bonhoeffer’s life exclusively through the lens of his death, and more than one chronicler of his story has done so. It is as if, peering through history with a 20/20 hindsight machine, we see him from boyhood ordained to die, a born martyr if there ever was one. Yet this discerning biography tells the story of a life lived, not in fear of death, but in defiance of it. Bonhoeffer, the author of Christology, plainly saw his life this way, and it is tempting to think that he would have agreed with Winston Churchill: “Although prepared for martyrdom, I prefer that it be postponed.” Bonhoeffer is a rich, colorful portrait textured with the small brushstrokes of daily living — a humane portrait of a humane man.... Read this in full at
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/germany-s-conscience_536859.html


     2011 CHRISTIANITY TODAY BOOK AWARDS
Judging began with 427 titles submitted by 62 publishers. Christianity Today's editors selected finalists in each category, and judges determined the books that best offer insights into the people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. The categories are: Apologetics/Evangelism; Spirituality; Theology/Ethics; Biblical Studies; Christian Living; Christianity and Culture; Missions/Global Affairs; The Church/Pastoral Leadership; Fiction; History/Biography.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/february/bookawards2011.html


     BILLY GRAHAM AND THE TEMPTATIONS OF POLITICS
by Peter Wehner
For those of us who claim the title Christian, faith should always be more important than politics.... Read this in full at
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/388236


     BILLY GRAHAM IN 'GOOD' HEALTH, WRITING BOOK
Evangelist Billy Graham is in "good overall health," enjoys keeping up with current events and is working on a book on aging, according to a statement from Graham's spokesman. Graham also enjoys weekly visits from his pastor, Don Wilton of First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, S.C.

Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross provided the statement after Baptist Press asked about the evangelist's health. “At age 92, Mr. Graham spends most of his time at his home in the mountains of western North Carolina, where he periodically receives family and long-time friends,” the statement read. “He remains in good overall health with a strong heart and clear mind, while dealing with various age-related conditions -- such as macular degeneration and hearing loss. He continues regular exercise as strength allows, including short walks at his mountain home, relying on a walker for balance”.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34577

Also see “Did Billy Graham say people ‘born Christian’?”
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34576


     LYING WITHOUT WORDS
The essence of lying is in deception, not in words. A lie may be told by silence, by equivocation, by the accent on a syllable, by a glance of the eye attaching a peculiar significance to a sentence. All these kinds of lies are worse and baser by many degrees than a lie plainly worded. No form of blinded conscience is so far sunk as that which comforts itself for having deceived because the deception was by gesture or silence instead of utterance.”
John Ruskin



     LIVING IN SIN’ STIGMA FADES
Marriage vows have become optional for some families as the stigma of “living in sin” fades in mainstream America. For others, it’s a financial necessity to hold off on the wedding. And in some cases, parents aren’t given the choice to marry a partner who flees.

Whatever the cause, unmarried families are booming. The number of children born to unmarried parents in the US grew tenfold in 70 years, from about 4% in 1940 to almost 40% in 2007, according to a study by The Future of Children.

And Americans have become more accepting of alternative families. Nearly 40% of people surveyed said marriage was obsolete, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center in 2008.... Read this in full at
http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/article_f4fa71da-2c24-11e0-b40c-001cc4c002e0.html


     BUILDING OUR SOUL CAPACITY
Imagine ... that every single day we could have our fill of the finest food imaginable, overload on dessert, and wash it all down with plenty of wine/beer/cola (delete as applicable). Would that make every day a feast?

No. I imagine that most of us would enjoy Day One to Day Seven. Anytime between Week Two and Week Four, each meal would start to fade into all the others. After a while, we'd barely be able to appreciate any of the luxuries we had. By Month Six, we'd probably be bored, sick or deceased!

Here's the principle: For any day to really be a feast, some days can’t be a feast. There’s a rhythm of life here ... Waiting and enjoying belong together as part of the same picture. If we never experience any delay or lack, our lives are poorer for it ... If we want for nothing, we end up missing what we need most.

Waiting builds our soul capacity. It enables us to carry tension. The problems of life and the ups and downs of human relationships will demand this of us.

That’s why the God of the Bible is a waiting God. He knows the pain of patience. He carries the tension of hope for a broken world. He's a spurned lover, a tireless dreamer and a lovelorn parent. It’s a costly path, but this is the price of relationship. History shows that he chose this rather than overwhelm us with his purity and justice. One of Peter's New Testament letters reads: ‘He’s restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone the time and space to change.’ [see 2 Peter 3:9] Because he loves, he waits.”
Revd. Mark Powley in the book Consumer Detox: Less Stuff, More Life



     ONLINE EVANGELISM MINISTRY REACHES 687,000 IN ONE DAY
An outreach ministry that specializes in sharing the gospel through online media announced Feb. 2 that it reached a record-breaking 687,000 people in just one day last year. Global Media Outreach, founded in 2004 by Campus Crusade for Christ, said that in just one day in December 2010 it reached that ministry-high figure. The 687,488 people that GMO said it presented the gospel to were from all 191 countries, and out of the total number, 56,854 people indicated a decision for Jesus Christ.

The Internet ministry’s media representative, Monica Sales, explained that GMO counts presenting the Gospel to one person when someone submits a request to one of GMO websites to speak to an online missionary.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20110203/online-evangelism-ministry-reaches-687000-in-one-day/


     VERSE TO PONDER
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8



     CONSIDER
You are a Christian today because somebody cared. Now it’s your turn.”
Warren W. Wiersbe



     WILL WE RISE TO BIBLICAL LITERACY?
In his work entitled "Eat this Book," Eugene Peterson rightly notes concerning the Bible, "We open this Book and find that page after page it takes us off guard, surprises us, and draws us into its reality, pulls us into participation with God on his terms."

I am confident that you agree -- the Bible is both foundation and fuel of spiritual vitality for the church as we seek to live out God's agenda in the world. As the great minister and philanthropist George Müller put it, "The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts." It is not surprising, therefore, that in a recent survey by LifeWay Research, the No. 1 predictor of spiritual maturity among church goers was whether or not they read the Bible on a daily basis.

Yet, only 16 out of 100 of those who regularly attend our churches read the Bible every day; another 32% read the Bible at least once per week. This means that more than 50% of people who come through our doors on a regular basis only read their Bibles occasionally, perhaps one or two times per month, if at all. Even more sobering, only 37% of those who attend church regularly say that reading and studying the Bible has made a significant difference in the way they live their lives. Only 37%.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34558


     BILL INTRODUCED TO PROTECT RELIGIOUS MINORITIES
In the wake of increasing violence, targeted attacks and heightened discrimination against Christians in Iraq and Egypt, and persistent concerns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, among other nations, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced bipartisan legislation calling for the creation of a special envoy at the US State Department for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia.

Wolf, co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, said threats against religious minorities have been increasing in recent months and that the United States has an obligation to speak out for the voiceless, to develop policies to protect and preserve these communities, and to prioritize these issues in our broader foreign policy.... Read this in full at
http://wolf.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=34&sectiontree=6,34&itemid=1685


     TELL THE GOOD NEWS
Apparently it did not occur to the earliest Christians that instructions in techniques of evangelism were necessary. They had all received the good news of salvation in Christ…and they went about the business of telling non-Christians about God’s mighty act.”
John Greenlee



     CHAPLAINS TRY A NEW PATH TO DEAL WITH PTSD
A Colorado theology school is teaching Air Force chaplains to consider the religious beliefs of servicemen and women to better help them cope with post-traumatic stress.

The goal is to build trust so a chaplain can encourage service members to draw on their individual concepts of God and spirituality, said Carrie Doehring, an associate professor of pastoral care at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

Doehring helped develop the one-year program for the Air Force, which wanted another way for its chaplains to respond to the stress of deployments amid two protracted wars.

Doehring said she believes it's the only program of its kind in the country. One student graduated last year and four are enrolled this year.... Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-01-29-chaplains-ptsd_N.htm


     CULINARY INSTITUTE SHOWS CHURCHES HOW TO PREPARE HEALTHIER MEALS
For years, many church cooks and culinary committees have served up heaping plates of Southern cuisine loaded with salt, sugar and fat. But some churches are turning over a new leaf, with help from a Kentucky program.

The Harriett B. Porter Culinary Institute is reaching out to Louisville-area churches to show them how to make healthier meals for their congregations and their families to reduce obesity and chronic illnesses.

People can learn through the church that eating is there to uplift the soul and not to drag the body down,” said Cynthia Chandler, a registered dietitian at Sullivan University, where part of the program takes place.... Read this in full at
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20110127/FEATURES03/301270009/1010/rss04


     BIBLE TRANSLATION TO BE LAUNCHED IN TWO UNREACHED REGIONS
Wycliffe Associates is launching Bible translation efforts in two new areas, one of which has a Christian minority constituting 0.02% of the population. President and CEO of the Bruce Smith, labeled the expansion “one of the most difficult efforts in Wycliffe Associates history.” “The gospel cannot be openly preached in these countries. The Scriptures can’t be read in public. Borders are closed, but hearts are open,” he said.

Though both regions could not be named for security reasons, one was revealed as a predominately Muslim country with a strongly Islamic government, where Christianity is heavily restricted and believers are severely persecuted and ostracized by family members and neighbors.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20110201/bible-translation-to-be-launched-in-two-unreached-regions/


     1,500-YEAR-OLD CHURCH FOUND IN ISRAEL
Israeli archaeologists presented a newly uncovered 1,500-year-old church in the Judean hills on Feb. 2, including an unusually well-preserved mosaic floor with images of lions, foxes, fish and peacocks.

The Byzantine church located southwest of Jerusalem, excavated over the last two months, will be visible only for another week before archaeologists cover it again with soil for its own protection.

The small basilica with an exquisitely decorated floor was active between the fifth and seventh centuries AD, said the dig’s leader, Amir Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He said the floor was “one of the most beautiful mosaics to be uncovered in Israel in recent years.” .... Read this in full at
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110202/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_ancient_church


     U.N. MARKS FIRST ANNUAL 'INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK'
The United Nations kicked off the first "World Interfaith Harmony Week" on Feb. 1 to promote dialogue and civility among the world's religions. The observances are meant to reaffirm that "mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace," according to a resolution passed by the U.N. General Assembly. The resolution establishes the annual events during the first week of February each year.... Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/02/un-marks-first-annual-int_n_817744.html


     OREGON SETS RECORD FOR ASSISTED SUICIDES
Oregon established a record in 2010 for the number of physician-assisted suicides in a year with 65. The total, which surpassed the previous high of 60 in 2008, means Oregon has recorded 525 deaths by assisted suicide since its Death With Dignity Act took effect in late 1997. That law permits terminally ill citizens of Oregon to take their own lives by using lethal doses of drugs prescribed by doctors.

The report comes amid some setbacks in Europe for what proponents call the "death with dignity" movement:
-- The French Senate defeated a bill Jan. 25 to legalize euthanasia in a 170-142 vote.
-- The European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously Jan. 20 there is not a right to government-sanctioned assisted suicide.

In assisted suicide, doctors are permitted to prescribe drugs to aid in suicides but not to administer them to the people taking their own lives. In euthanasia, physicians administer lethal drugs to people to cause their deaths.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34578


     CONSIDER
Can I be a Christian without joining other Christians in the church? Yes, it is something like: being a soldier without an army, a seaman without a ship, a business man without a business, a tuba player without an orchestra, a football player without a team or a bee without a hive.”
Mrs. William P. Jazen



     VERSE TO PONDER
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."
James 1:5



     THIS WEEK'S HYMN: LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING
Words: Charles Wesley, 1747
Music: John Zundel, 1870

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/l/d/ldalexcl.htm


     ON PRAYER
The childish idea that prayer is a handle by which we can take hold of God and obtain whatever we desire, leads to easy disillusionment with both what we had thought to be God and what we had thought to be prayer.”
Robert L. Short (1932-2009), The Parables of Peanuts [1968], New York: HarperCollins, 2002, p. 305



     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.

God is in mathematics (inspirational video)
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=7PKPLPNX

Beautiful mountain landscape photo
http://www.tasoeur.biz/images/2009/06/23/334307Moraine_Lake_2560x1600_by_Pat1926.jpg

What each number of your credit card means
http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/credit-card-code-01202011/

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.)


May we see our challenges through the filter of our blessings.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank@gmail.com


Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!



CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!


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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