Connecting man to man to God
For week of February 20, 2011
Issue 344


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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"Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."
1 John 3:18



     CONSIDER
To love someone means to see him as God intended him.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky



     A CHRISTIAN, JEOPARDY-WINNING SUPERCOMPUTER
IBM's Watson defeated former Jeopardy champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter during a three-night showdown, winning a $1 million prize. But what does a super computer do with a million dollars? He gives it to charity. To Christian charity.

World Vision, an international Christian humanitarian organization, gets half of Watson's winnings. (The other half goes to World Community Grid, an IBM-sponsored nonprofit effort to create the world's largest public computing grid.) .... Read this in full at
http://blogs.chron.com/believeitornot/2011/02/a_christian_jeopardywinning_su.html


     EGYPT'S CHRISTIANS AFTER MUBARAK
There is much to make Christians in Egypt anxious about their relationship with Muslims. On January 1, a suicide bomb killed 23 people at an Alexandria church, and today's resignation of President Hosni Mubarak signals changes that may make Christians' presence more precarious. It's no wonder that the country's Christian minority is praying for peace more fervently than ever.

The demonstrations demanding Mubarak's resignation, which began after the January collapse of Tunisia's authoritarian government, were a rare instance of the country's Muslims and Christians uniting in common cause. Many pastors and church leaders had urged Egyptian Christians, traditionally known as Copts, not to participate in the demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

"The things that are happening now are against God's will," Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III, 88, said on national television in early February. But many Copts joined the protests anyway, and even stood guard when Muslims paused for prayer.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/march/egyptaftermubarak.html


     INVESTIGATION LED EX-KGB AGENT TO CHRISTIANITY
Sasha Tsutserov remembers well the luxurious life he once lived as a former member of the KGB. In 1991, as the Soviet Union was disintegrating, Tsutserov was converting to Christianity. By July 1993, he had been baptized, and the transformation was complete. As a convert, he had to give up his salary, the traveling allowances he enjoyed, the paid groceries -- perks that the average Russian lived without. Yet, he doesn't regret leaving that life behind.

From 1917 to 1987, the KGB executed some 200,000 Christian ministers in Russia and destroyed roughly 40,000 churches. "I feel I owe it to Russia -- 200,000 ministers to be trained, and 40,000 churches to be planted," Tsutserov said from Moscow in a telephone interview.... Read this in full at
http://www.indystar.com/article/20110210/LOCAL1801/102100341/Investigation-led-ex-KGB-agent-to-Christianity


     STOP BEING A GARBAGE CAN
"In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

God uses everyone for something. Christian or not, walking closely with Him or not, we all serve His ultimate purposes in one way or another. In a sermon on this passage, Pastor Ray Stedman quoted a sign that said, "It may be that my whole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others." I think that can really happen.

As a Christian, though, today's passage says you can do something about the way God uses you in this life. If you want to be used for noble things, you can clean yourself up. That's not about cleaning your sin away to earn heaven (which you could never do); it's about avoiding sin once you're a Christian and embracing obedience to make yourself available to be used by God for great things on earth.

Paul's metaphor is a little confusing, because the trash bucket your house can't decide to clean up its act and become a crystal vase. But you can decide to stop filling your life with garbage. With God's help, you can demonstrate the beauty of His truth by letting others see it at work in your everyday choices.

Think: How important is it to you to have your life used by God for good and important things? According to today's passage, what can you do about that?

Pray: Thank God for giving you the opportunity to be used by Him to accomplish His purposes. Ask Him to help you to keep your life clean of sin and to obey the teaching of His Word.

Do: Make a short list of a few people in your life that God has used to do some good and important things.
http://www.planetwisdom.com/devotional/Stop_Being_a_Garbage_Can/


     NEVER READ A BIBLE VERSE
by Gregory Koukl
If there was one bit of wisdom, one rule of thumb, one single skill I could impart, one useful tip I could leave that would serve you well the rest of your life, what would it be? What is the single most important practical skill I've ever learned as a Christian? Here it is: Never read a Bible verse. That's right, never read a Bible verse. Instead, always read a paragraph at least.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/Home/Christian%20Living%20Features/11645738/


     MY FAITH: SUFFERING MY WAY TO A NEW TOMORROW
by Rob Bell
This truth, about the latent seeds of creativity being planted in the midst of suffering, takes us deep into the heart of the Christian faith. We are invited to trust that in the moments when we are most inclined to despair, when all appears lost and we can't imagine any way forward - that it is precisely in those moments when something new may be about to be birthed.

Jesus hangs naked and bloody on a cross, alone and abandoned by his students, scorned by the crowd, and yet defiant, confident, insistent that God is present in his agony, bringing about a whole new world, right here in the midst of this one.

This is a mystery, and one we are wise to reflect on it, because of the countless disruptions we experience all the time.

God is in those moments, grieving with us, shedding tears with us, feeling that pain and turmoil with us, and then inviting to trust that something good can come from even this.

So keep your eyes and your heart open. Be quick to listen and slow to make rash judgments about how it's "all going to turn out," because you never know when you'll find yourself miles from home, laying in a hospital bed with a bad case of brain squeeze, all of your plans crashing down around you, wondering how it all went wrong, only to discover that a whole new life is just beginning.... Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/13/my-faith-suffering-my-way-to-a-new-tomorrow/


     LIVING LEVITICUS: WHO COULD DO IT? WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO?
by Cathleen Falsani
It is entirely possible to be a churchgoing Christian for 40 years and never hear a sermon preached solely from the Old Testament book of Leviticus.

Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Scriptures that contains the laws, large and small, that God gave the Israelites. Most people might be familiar with the Ten Commandments or the really odd edicts against, for instance, eating lobster or shaving your sideburns, and laws ordering menstruating women to sit in a tent apart from the rest of the community.

When viewed through the lens of modernity, Leviticus seems to be an arcane, strange and wholly irrelevant book.

It’s no wonder, then, that many pastors, preoccupied with attracting — not repelling — people choose to ignore Leviticus altogether. But Daniel Harrell is not your average pastor. Call him an ecclesial Captain Courageous or a foolhardy glutton for punishment.... Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/godfactor/living_leviticus_who_could_do_it_who_would_want_to/


     EVANGELICALS TURNING TO JEWISH CUSTOMS? IT'S COMPLICATED
by Theo Hobson
There was an interesting article in Feb. 12's New York Times about a trend among American evangelical Christians. Some couples are spicing up their nuptials with ancient Jewish customs. The report focuses on a couple whose ceremony included the joint signing of a document called a ketubah. They now proudly display this ornately decorated pledge on their living room wall. The report notes that some other evangelical couples choose to marry underneath the Judaic wedding canopy, the huppah.

What's going on here? Why are evangelicals so keen on Jewish traditions? It is, of course, complicated. There is no single explanation for the philosemitism that has blossomed in evangelical theology and culture in recent decades. The assumption of the liberal observer is that the key factor is Zionism, political support for Israel. These Christians are Zionists because they believe that Christ's second coming will be heralded by a powerful Jewish state (a theory called premillennial dispensationalism). Maybe some evangelicals do indeed have a rigid belief in this account of eschatology, but I don't see this as the source of evangelical philosemitism; it is more a symptom of it. The key point, surely, is that evangelicals admire aspects of Jewish religion and culture: the emphasis on the family, and community, the clear moral precepts, and the biblical fusion of religion and nationhood. They are drawn to the idea of religion permeating every aspect of cultural life, rather than being an optional event on Sundays.... Read this in full at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/feb/17/evangelical-christians-jewish-customs-judaism


     STUDY: POST-GRAD DEGREES DON'T LEAD TO ATHEISM
Old wisdom: Post-graduate degrees, benchmark of the intelligentsia, lead people astray from religion and promote atheism.

New wisdom: Not so much, says a newly published study, the first ever look at religious beliefs and behavior of people with masters degrees, doctorates and professional degrees such as lawyers and physicians.

It turns out that on Sunday mornings, "the educated elite look a lot like the rest of America," says Barry Kosmin of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., author of the report published Feb. 14 at the online site of the American Religious Identification Survey statistics.... Read this in full at
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/02/atheists-belief-faith-education-barry-kosmin-aris/1


     THE REASONS FOR UNBELIEF ARE MORE COMPLEX THAN MANY ATHEISTS LET ON
by Jim Spiegel
The recent publication of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow's The Grand Design has reignited debate over God's existence. The ironically titled book proposes that the cosmos was spontaneously generated "from nothing," with no God (or gods) required to make sense of existence. Never mind the question-begging: How can nothing produce something, let alone hundreds of billions of galaxies? Many atheists celebrate this bestseller as further grounds for dismissing religious belief.

Most atheists would have us think they arrived at their view through cool, rational inquiry. But are other factors involved? Consider the candid remarks of contemporary philosopher Thomas Nagel: "I want atheism to be true …. It isn't just that I don't believe in God, and, naturally, hope that I'm right about my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that." Could Nagel's attitude — albeit in a more subtle form — actually be common among atheists? .... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/january/35.48.html


     ATHEISTS HEAD FOR HIGH SCHOOLS WITH NEW CLUBS FOR GODLESS TEENS
If Glee shows singing geeks as high school pariahs, imagine being an atheist on campus. Now, the Secular Student Alliance, which promotes atheism and humanism with chapters at more than 200 colleges, is sending in reinforcements for teen free-thinkers -- a push to launch 50 new high school clubs.... Read this in full at
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/02/atheists-group-takes-on-high-school-/1


     CAMPUS MINISTRIES SIGN 'NO COMPETE' AGREEMENT
Seventeen US college campus ministries have signed an agreement designed to usher in a new era of mutual cooperation and respect.

The document known as the "Chicago Agreement: Unity In Mission," states that the organizations will not to criticize or take members from each other. Instead, the groups will work with each other in order to minister to students.

InterVarsity spokesman Scott Wilson said there is ample room for campus ministries that serve students in different ways.

Among the groups that signed the agreement were  InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade for Christ, The Navigators, Reformed University Fellowship, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"I see the Chicago Agreement as a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit in our movement and in leadership of these other movements," said Jim Lundgren, senior vice president and director of Collegiate Ministries for InterVarsity.
http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/February/Campus-Ministries-Sign-No-Compete-Agreement/


     MAKING THE MOST OF OUR IN-BETWEEN TIME
Imagine a father and child in the garage, working on building something together. The father knows the plan and could certainly build it himself, but he delights to have his small child with him. He hands the small child a hammer and some nails and some simple instructions. The child does not fully understand the entire project or how it will come together, but she happily starts banging and hammering. The child certainly helps the father, but it is only because the father equipped her. The father delights in including the child because he loves the child and longs to see her participate, but the father alone knows the plan.

First Corinthians 15:58 says, ‘Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.’ Ultimately, in paradise, not only does the Father know the plan, but he alone transforms and redeems the whole project. He will ‘make all things new.’ Yet we are still called to participate in the healing of creation - that somehow our efforts impact the future, the overall plan, and carry over into paradise.

N. T. Wright explains [in Surprised by Hope], ‘What we do in the Lord is “not in vain” and that is the mandate we need for every act of justice and mercy, every program of ecology, every effort to reflect God’s wise stewardly image into his creation.’ Creation is to be redeemed. God declared the whole project ‘very good.’ This challenges me with the idea of what am I to do in this in-between time - between the resurrection of Jesus and when God makes all things new? As a woman in the church, am I called to just wait in my comfortable life, feeling somewhat bad about the suffering in the world, or am I to work to bring the kingdom of heaven here and now?”
Shayne Moore in Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World is Easier Than You Think



     JUSTIN BIEBER: TWEEN EVANGELIST?
With a smooth voice, a signature mop of hair and a string of hits, Justin Bieber has accumulated millions of fans and sold 3.7 million albums in the United States last year.

Now Bieber's handlers are showcasing another side of the 16-year-old pop sensation: Christian icon for the tween set.

Bieber's faith is on display in the new 3-D concert film/documentary "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," which hit theaters Feb. 11. Paramount Pictures has screened the movie for faith leaders across the country and distributed spiritual discussion guides -- the same tools used to promote "The Passion of the Christ" and "The Blind Side" as family-friendly fare.

"People will walk away (from the movie) knowing faith is very important to him," said Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager and one of the film's producers. "As a Christian, he's someone to look up to. ... When (fans) are getting the real person is when they can connect to that person."

Bieber has never shied away from faith. He was singing Christian songs on YouTube before he became famous. His born-again Christian mother Pattie Mallette has shared her spiritual conversion on a Christian TV show and openly shares her beliefs and Bible verses with 281,000-plus Twitter followers.

Bieber's come-from-nowhere climb to become the fourth top-selling artist of 2010 has given a higher profile to his Christian beliefs and background, which he also addressed in last fall's autobiography, "First Step 2 Forever: My Story."

"I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins," Bieber told Billboard last November. "He's the reason that I'm here." .... Read this in full at
http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2011-02/justin-bieber-tween-evangelist


     2011 COULD BE DEFINING MOMENT FOR 'GAY MARRIAGE'
In what is shaping up as a pivotal moment for the future of "gay marriage" in America, a dozen or so state legislatures are expected to debate the issue this year, with two or three potentially legalizing it and at least seven states moving in the opposite direction by possibly protecting the traditional definition in their constitutions.

It likely will be the busiest year since 2004, when Massachusetts' "gay marriage" law went into effect and 13 states passed marriage amendments. It is legal only in five states and the District of Columbia.

Traditionalists are eyeing victories in Indiana, Minnesota, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, all of which now have legislatures controlled by Republicans, who have generally been friendlier to conservative arguments on marriage. Each of those states could see legislation passed placing constitutional amendments on the ballot defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Elsewhere, New Hampshire's legislature might consider a bill that would reverse its "gay marriage" law, while in Iowa -- where "gay marriage" also is legal -- conservatives will continue to pressure the Democratic-controlled senate to take up a marriage amendment that already passed the GOP house there.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34654


     REPORT: CHURCHES, CHARITIES DON'T COMPETE FOR DOLLARS
Houses of worship and other charities often aren't in competition for dollars but instead tend to reap donations from similar donors. Slightly more than 50% of people who financially supported congregations also gave to at least one charitable organization in the last year, according to a study conducted by Phoenix-based Grey Matter Research Consulting. Researchers also found that the more Americans give to a house of worship, the more they donate to other groups. For example, donors who gave between $100 and $499 to a congregation gave an average of $376 to other groups. "Americans who give to their church or place of worship are more likely to give, period -- including to charitable organizations," said Ron Sellers, president of the research firm, formerly known as Ellison Research. "Rather than be in competition for the donor dollar, it seems that giving fosters giving." .... Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/02/report-churches-charities-not.php


     IN THE WATERY NETHERLANDS, A MODERN NOAH BUILDS AN ARK
If there was ever a country that understands floods, it is the Netherlands, where one-quarter of the land is below sea level, and it is there that a modern Noah is constructing an ark.

Dutch building contractor Johan Huibers is close to completing a full-sized replica of the legendary boat in Dordrecht, located on the Maas river. It all began in 1992, when Huibers dreamt of a flood. "I saw the Netherlands disappearing under an enormous mass of water, comparable with the tsunami in Southeast Asia," he said in media interviews. "The next day, I found a book about Noah's Ark in the local bookshop, and since then, my dream has been to build the ark."

In Genesis 6:15, God gives Noah the dimensions: "The length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, the breadth of it 50 cubits and the height of it 30 cubits." Although there is some variation in today's theories as to what constituted a cubit in biblical times, one equivalent in modern times is half a metre, or a foot and a-half.

Huibers, a creationist and evangelist, started out with a modest plan. He decided to build a half-sized replica of the ark. Using modern tools, Huibers began in 2005, working six days a week and doing most of the work himself with occasional help from his son after school.... Read this in full at
http://eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=4709


     THEOLOGY AND THE CHURCH AFTER GOOGLE
by Philip Clayton
It is difficult to describe how much the audience for systematic theology has changed over the last few decades.1 In this article I’ll be arguing that theology needs to change just as radically if it’s going to communicate effectively with Gen-Xers, Millennials, and the increasingly large group of non-religious Americans (“non’s”2) over the coming 10-20 years.

The changes are like the shifting of tectonic plates, which means earthquakes and tsunamis. When I arrived in Munich to study under Wolfhart Pannenberg in the fall of 1981, German theologians still set the tact for Christian theology worldwide. American doctoral programs in theology accepted large numbers of entering students, and most of those students could count on tenure-track jobs when they graduated. Theology journals thrived, and traveling theologians drew large crowds at universities and seminaries. When I asked Pannenberg and other established theologians what was the reason to do abstract academic theology, they invariably appealed to the trickle-down effect: “Our publications influence doctoral students and other academic theologians; their teaching molds the next generation of pastors; and pastors’ sermons and ministries guide the thinking and practice of the vast numbers of people who flock to the churches.” Or something like that.... Read this in full at
http://tpcmagazine.org/article/theology-and-church-after-google


     GOD, SCIENCE NOT WHOLLY EXCLUSIVE, ASTRONOMER SAYS
A Christian astronomer who sued the University of Kentucky for religious discrimination says the perceived divide between faith and science is an "illusion." Martin Gaskell claimed he lost out on a top science job because of his professed faith and statements he made that were taken to be critical of evolution. The controversy fueled the long-running debate between scientists and Christians who believe the Bible refutes some scientific discoveries.

Gaskell said the two sides can find agreement. He has, as a devout Christian who uses the tools of science to study the universe. "That's one of the things that people like myself really want to counter, is this idea of some sort of incompatibility between religion and science," Gaskell told The Associated Press.

The university reached a $125,000 settlement with Gaskell last month in exchange for dropping the civil action. He said professors who discussed his employment misunderstood his faith and his views on evolution in interoffice e-mails that later became court evidence.... Read this in full at
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110209/ap_on_re/us_rel_religion_today


     2011 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: SOUTHERN BAPTISTS DECLINE; JEHOVAH WITNESSES INCREASE
Church membership for more than a third of the nation's largest churches took a hit last year while non-Orthodox Christian churches are on the rise, a new report on denominations finds. The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second largest denomination, reported a .42% decline in membership to 16,160,088 members, according to National Council of Churches' 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, released Feb. 14. Still dominating the list of the nation's top 25 mainline churches is the Catholic Church, which posted a .57% growth at 68.5 million members.

But a few church bodies, regarded as cults by some Christians, continue to increase in size. Ranked 20th in size, the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination reported a 4.37% gain in membership, with 1,162,686 members total. Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which didn't make the Top 25 list for at least the past two years, squeezed in the list this year in the 24th spot. The denomination – which observes the Sabbath on Saturdays instead of Sundays – now has 1,043,606 members, up 4.31%.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/2011-church-membership-southern-baptists-decline-jehovah-witnesses-increase-48984/


     VERSE TO PONDER
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."
Galatians 6:7-8



     CONSIDER
And now in his cradle somewhere under the flag the future illustrious Commander-in-Chief of the American armies is so little burdened with his approaching grandeur and responsibilities as to be giving his whole strategic mind at this moment to trying to find out some way to get his big toe into his mouth.”
Samuel L. Clemens 1866, in Autobiography of Mark Twain Vol. 1 p. 70 University of California Press 2010



     DO AMERICANS SUPPORT CHRISTIAN BUSINESSES AND BRANDS?
The American consumer marketplace is a patchwork of niche audiences and target markets. Many brands have achieved success by identifying and reaching ever more focused pockets of consumers, as marketers hone in on favorable ethnic factors, sexual orientation, affluence, and education, among many other variables.

Where does faith fit in such a diverse marketplace? A new study by Barna Group explores whether Americans are supportive of businesses and brands that have an overtly Christian connection.

The research uncovered that those who would support Christian-branded enterprises significantly outnumber those who refrain from such brands because of that faith connection. At the same time, most American consumers simply reported being indifferent to faith-oriented businesses.

The research looked at Christian-friendly consumers from two different angles. The first query asked the nationwide sample of US consumers if they would be “more likely or less likely to buy a particular brand if they knew it was from a company that manages its business according to Christian principles, or wouldn’t it make a difference."

Overall, about two out of every five adult consumers (43%) said they would be receptive to this type of transaction (with 27% of adults strongly so). While most respondents claimed to be indifferent (51%), only 3% indicated that an overt connection to the Christian faith would make them less likely to do business with this type of vendor. In other words, a product or service managed according to Christian principles generated a positive-to-negative ratio of 14 to 1.... Read this in full at
http://www.barna.org/culture-articles/472-americans-christian-business


     SLAIN US MISSIONARY RECEIVES MEDAL OF FREEDOM
The family of a murdered American missionary received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House Feb. 15. Dr. Tom Little and other members of his medical missions team were killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan last summer. He had worked as an optometrist there for more than 30 years. President Obama presented the medal to Little's wife, Libby.... Read this in full at
http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/February/Slain-US-Missionary-Receives-Medal-of-Freedom-/


     HAVE FAITH, LOSE WEIGHT. BUT FIRST, CANDY.
If you have ever looked in the mirror and thought, “Good Lord, I need to lose weight,” some very cheerful people in Forest Hills, Queens, are waiting to share the good news with you. And in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and in Greenwich Village. And they’ve got snacks.

They are members of the Journey Church, a modern evangelical outfit that has expanded to four New York locations since its arrival in 2002. As part of a push to reach a wider circle of city residents, they have recently undertaken direct mail, social networking and just about anything else to publicize a six-week teaching series called BOD4GOD, inspired by the writings of the Virginia minister Steve Reynolds.

BOD4GOD, with its txt msg transliteration, with its mixture of spirituality and too too solid flesh, might strike some purists — of religion or fitness — as an irreverent, even offensive, title. These purists would not have heeded the church’s outreach literature. Under the heading “New to the Journey? If so, here’s what to do,” the first suggestion is “relax.” .... Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/nyregion/13critic.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


     THE CHRISTIAN DIVORCE RATE MYTH (WHAT YOU'VE HEARD IS WRONG)
by Glenn T. Stanton
Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!” It’s one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it's perhaps one of the most inaccurate.

Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population.

Here’s the truth....

Many people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith -- be it Christian or other -- have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population.

The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes -- attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples -- enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers.... Read this in full at
http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34656


     THE WONDER OF AGING
An older couple was perfectly healthy, but they had problems remembering things. Their doctor recommended that they make written notes to help them remember. So one night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair and his wife asked, "Where are you going?"

He replied, "To the kitchen."

She: "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?"

He: "Sure."

She: "Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?"

He: "No, I can remember."

She: "Please put some strawberries on it. You better write that down 'cause I know you'll forget."

He: "I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."

She: "Well, I'd also like whipped cream on top. I know you'll forget that, so you'd better write it down."

He: "No, I don't need to write it down! I can remember!"

Fuming, he went into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes he returned and handed her a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stared at the plate for a moment and said, "You forgot my toast."
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com


     ARTSANDFAITH.COM PRESENTS TOP 100 FILMS LIST
ArtsandFaith.com has released its Top 100 Films list showcasing classic films and directors from around the world and spanning cinematic history. It’s the culmination of years of discussion and debate among the cinephiles of the A&F community. See the list at
http://artsandfaith.com/t100/


     PRODUCER TRIED TO EDIT BIBLE OUT OF SONY’S 'SOUL SURFER'
Tom Hamilton prayed for the best but expected the worst. He and his family, all devoted Christians, thought they had lost their bid to keep an overt reference to the Bible in the upcoming film Soul Surfer, based on the true story of Hamilton’s daughter Bethany, who, at age 13, had her arm chewed off by a tiger shark in Kauai but returned to her board to pursue her dream of becoming a pro surfer.

When religious leaders were shown an early version of the Sony movie, set for release in April, the words “Holy Bible” had been digitally removed from the cover of the book in a scene depicting Hamilton reading in a hospital where his daughter was fighting for her life. Hamilton says producer David Zelon, an executive at Mandalay Pictures, had lobbied to tone down the film’s Christianity in an effort to broaden its appeal to non-Christian audiences. But the Hamilton family objected, and when they attended a subsequent screening, they were pleasantly surprised with what they saw.

"I could see the words bright and clear," Hamilton says. “I looked at my wife and whispered, ‘Thank you God, they put it back.’” .... Read this in full at
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/producer-tried-edit-bible-sony-100356


     FROM RADIO TO THE INTERNET: CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING AT 90
Ninety years ago, the first Christian program – the worship service of Calvary Episcopal Church – went out over the air on KDKA in Pittsburgh. Since that time, Christian broadcasting has flourished in the United States and around the world.

Not only do I think Christian broadcasting is still relevant and vibrant, I’m increasingly impressed at how the Lord is using every aspect of media technology to get the gospel to unreachable areas via radio, TV and Internet programs,” said Craig Parshall, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters, a trade association based in Manassas, Va.

Today, approximately 2,400 Christian radio stations and around 100 full-power Christian television stations send out the gospel message via Christian music, preaching and teaching programs, and Christian talk shows. NRB estimates that between 300 and 400 Christian production companies produce programming for radio and TV stations, in addition to thousands of churches that broadcast some content, usually Sunday morning services.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/from-radio-to-the-internet-christian-broadcasting-at-90-48986/


     VATICAN RADIO MARKS 80 YEARS, LOOKS TO NEW MEDIA
Vatican Radio, which broadcasts the pope's message in 45 languages worldwide, is looking to a future in new media, said a top official Feb. 10, as the station launched an exhibition commemorating 80 years of broadcasting.

Monsignor Peter Wells of the Vatican's secretariat of state said the broadcaster must embrace new media - "from the podcast to the iPad, from social networks like Facebook to micro-blogging platforms like Twitter" - to take advantage of the opportunities offered for evangelizing in the 21st century.

He said the radio station must continue to be the voice that contests those who say the church is not capable of inner renewal, "showing instead the tireless desire for purification expressed by her supreme pastor." It needs to be the voice that promotes religious freedom and calls for dialogue in a world increasingly in conflict, he added.... Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/10/AR2011021004355.html?wprss=rss_religion/wires


     CHURCHES WRESTLE WITH GUNS IN THE PEWS
The way Rev. Jonathan Wilkins sees it, members of his Baptist church in Thomaston, Ga., should have the right to carry guns into worship services to protect the congregation.

Wilkins' Baptist Tabernacle and a Georgia gun-rights association are challenging a new state law that prohibits weapons in houses of worship. A lower court ruled against them in January; the case is now headed for appeal.

"What we're fighting for is not that just any old body can carry guns in church," Wilkins said. "We would be responsible. We would want people who are trained, and so forth, to carry, people that we designate for protective purposes."

Recently, state legislatures in Georgia, Michigan and Louisiana have been caught in the crossfire of the debate between gun rights and gun control as they consider allowing weapons in houses of worship.... Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-02-15-church_guns15_ST_N.htm


     NATIONAL DEBT IS NEW HOT ISSUE FOR EVANGELICALS
Many economists warn that the government's huge national debt is a looming threat to long-term prosperity. But is it also immoral? According to a growing number of conservative Christians, the answer is a resounding "Yes."

As Washington debates President Obama's proposed 2012 budget, the immorality of the deficit has become the hot topic on right-leaning Christian blogs, radio programs and political mailings.

The concern is not only that the estimated $14.13 trillion debt could cripple the economy, some conservative Christian leaders say, but also that borrowing so much money violates important biblical tenets.... Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/02/national-debt-is-new-hot-issue.php


     CONSIDER
The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use. He does not flow through methods, but through men.”
E. M. Bounds



     VERSE TO PONDER
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19



     THIS WEEK'S HYMN: MY JESUS, I LOVE THEE
Words: William R. Featherston, 1864
Music: Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/m/j/mjesusil.htm


     ON PRAYER
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” (Thomas Merton)


     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.

SomersaultNOW Dashboard
http://netvibes.com/somersault

Free Online File Converter
http://www2.online-convert.com/

All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry.

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.)


Bald spot? No, that's a solar panel for brain power.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank@gmail.com


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


The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, frank@frankcoleman.com if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/  


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