Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 12, 2011
Issue 360


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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God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (CEB)



     CONSIDER
This, indeed, is probably one of [God's] motives for creating a dangerous world -- a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees... that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.”
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Screwtape Letters, Macmillan, 1944, p. 148



     105,000 CHRISTIANS MARTYRED ANNUALLY, SAYS OFFICIAL
According to Italian sociologist Massimo Introvigne, another Christian dies for his faith every five minutes. CatholicCulture.org reports that Introvigne's figures do not include the victims of civil wars, or wars between nations, but only the people put to death because they are Christians. He estimates 105,000 Christians are killed every year. Introvigne told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, "[I]f it is not recognized that the persecution against Christians is the first worldwide emergency with regard to religious discrimination and violence, dialogue between religions will only produce wonderful symposia but no concrete results." .... Read this in full at
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=10555


     MOST AMERICANS STILL BELIEVE IN GOD; NONBELIEF RISES
More than 9 in 10 Americans still say they believe in God, a new poll shows. While belief in God remains strong in the US, the Gallup poll also found that nonbelief has risen from 1% in 1944 to 7% today. And the percentage of Americans who affirm their belief in God has decreased slightly from 96% in 1944 to 92% today. Notably, those least likely to believe in God are 18- to 29-year-olds. Only 84% agreed that they believe in God compared to 94% of older Americans.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/most-americans-still-believe-in-god-nonbelief-rises-50791/


     LIGHTEN UP IF YOU WANT TO LIVE
What makes people act in unloving ways toward those they once loved the most? Does a marriage license also provide a legal right to mistreat those closest to us, to treat each other and our children worse than any other person we know, or to micromanage changes only God is qualified to make? Marriage, to survive the satisfying yet challenging thing it is, must be playful and kind, or it cannot be healthy. It cannot remain sacred if it is not healthy, and it will surely not be full of the life you want and need if it does not remain playful. The lighthearted side of life, the part that gives us balance and makes us happy, like the children we are meant to become [if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven; this lighthearted side] must infuse our attitudes, our emotions, and our deepest life struggles. We have the power to destroy those we love. The trick is not to. In other words, quit acting like everything you say is a revelation from God.

Learn to appreciate the positive power of opposites and how beautiful your differences can be. This power, first and foremost, is love. By it we can create a life worth celebrating, and when we do, the joy of our hearts will provide for others a glimpse now and then of what heaven must be. Marriage is also mystery, and it is part of a larger mystery. Union emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually with a soul who is a polar opposite is a reflection of the mysterious differences and unity we experience with God. In our failings, the differences between us are a wide chasm, yet with love these same differences become the source of great celebration and fulfillment in life. To betray the joyful fountain that sustains you is to destroy part of yourself.

You and those you love are the main characters in the story of your life. Whether yours is a story worth telling depends on how you live it, on how well you love each other.”
Wes Yoder in Bond of Brothers: Connecting with Other Men Beyond Work, Weather, and Sports



     REFUGEE STATUS DENIED OVER JESUS ANSWER
A Chinese migrant seeking refugee status in Canada on the grounds that he faced persecution back home for his Christian beliefs was repeatedly asked by the Immigration and Refugee Board last year to describe what Jesus was "like as a person."
The man's inability to attribute human characteristics to Jesus formed part of the board's decision to deny his refugee claim.

The details are contained in a recent Federal Court ruling, which dismissed the man's application for a judicial review of the board's decision but did agree that the board's line of questioning about Jesus was "somewhat awkward."

In assessing Wang's refugee claim, board adjudicator Daniel Mc-Sweeney asked Wang: "So tell me about Jesus as a person. What was he like?" He did not accept answers such as "the son of God" and "he is my saviour," telling Wang they sounded too much memorized creed rather than personal experience.... Read this in full at
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Refugee+status+denied+over+Jesus+answer/4909659/story.html


     LAWSON MURRAY STRIVES TO IGNITE EXCITEMENT FOR THE WORD OF GOD
Lawson Murray is on a mission to get Canadians excited about engaging with the Word of God.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianweek.org/stories.php?id=1590


     RELIGIOUS AMERICANS OFTEN DON’T SUPPORT SPECIFICALLY RELIGIOUS CHARITABLE CAUSES
A new study shows only a minority of religious donors support specifically religious work through non-profit organizations. The study also shows Black donors are twice as likely as White donors to support higher education. And the causes people choose to support are often quite dependent on their political views.

These findings are from Heart of the Donor, an in-depth study commissioned by Russ Reid Company of Pasadena, California, and conducted by Grey Matter Research & Consulting of Phoenix, Arizona.

Most of the reports about the causes people give money to classify that giving by type of organization, but many organizations do more than one type of work,” explained Ron Sellers, president of Grey Matter Research. “A poverty relief organization may also advocate for public policy, while a medical research organization may have an arm that focuses on education. It can also be difficult to classify some organizations – is a Catholic school classified as religion, or education? So in this study we asked donors what kinds of causes they support, not what kinds of organizations – and we let donors decide these definitions according to how they perceive the work being done.” .... Read this in full at
http://www.greymatterresearch.com/index_files/Causes.htm

Also “What inspires you to give? New survey has answers”
http://yourlife.usatoday.com/mind-soul/doing-good/kindness/post/2011/06/what-inspires-you-to-give-new-survey-has-answers/173209/1


     MONEY AND POSSESSIONS
by Patrick Morley, PhD
Ironically, most men think money will do what it can't and that God can't do what He will. A man cannot love both God and money (Matthew 6:24). A man cannot love both God and the world (1 John 2:15). Money is God's chief competitor, and you must choose between the two.

Money is a hand of providence. Not the only hand, but by money God directs the affairs of men. By giving it to us or taking it away, God directs us into His best plan and purpose for our lives. Men must feed their families, so He uses their need for money to direct them into work that "tends the culture." 

Beyond exhorting us to share with the church and the poor, and to not make money a god, the Bible gives us great freedom over money and possessions. While all things are permissible, however, not all things will leave us happy. Here are three ideas to help you think through your own "theology of money and possessions."

First, don't own things you do not use on a regular basis. For seven years we owned a weekend lake house just outside of town. Virtually every Friday afternoon we would "kidnap" our children and spend the weekend doing country things. When our daughter turned eleven, though, her in-town friends became very important to her. We only went to the lake house once that year, so we decided to sell the property. There was nothing wrong with owning the property; there was no requirement to sell the property; there was no special virtue to own or not own the property. It did, however, keep us lean and responsive to God's leading in our lives. 

This idea is not for everyone. Nor does it make one man more spiritual than another. However, it may free a man up tremendously. Why? Everything you and I own requires maintenance, worry, insurance, money, and represents an opportunity cost. 

Second, don't own things just because you can. A neighbor about a mile down the shore owned a completely restored mahogany 1957 Chris Craft Sportsman inboard boat. I mentioned that I would be interested if he ever wanted to sell. Six months later he did, and we agreed upon what I considered a fair price. But a test drive revealed the boat needed several maintenance items. 

It took nearly a month to have the repairs made. During that time I continued to pray about selling our boat to buy the antique Chris Craft. One day the question came to mind, "Why not deny yourself this boat?" Since I had been thinking about this boat for three years, that thought came as quite a jolt. However, I had also been wondering if I should buy it just because I could. Over several days I came to the conclusion that, for me, it would be a good lesson in self-restraint and personal discipline to forego the purchase. On the other hand, there were other financial purchases I was considering at the time with which I went ahead and felt just fine. 

Third, the more you give away the happier you will be. Because Man in the Mirror is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, we receive financial gifts from donors. Over the years I have developed beautiful friendships with many of these donors and have been able to observe their lives. Here is an iron law: The greater proportion of a man's income he gives, the happier he is. I believe this is well borne out by Scripture. 
 
Ironically, for some men, it's almost as though the more money they have, the more afraid they are that it's going to run out. If that has been the concern of yours, the Bible makes it clear that if you’re generous toward others, God will be generous toward you.
http://www.maninthemirror.org/


     C. S. LEWIS’S AENEID
by Carol Zaleski
During the early 1960s, the Christian Century published a series of answers by prominent authors to the question, "What books did most to shape your vocational attitude and your philosophy of life?" The June 6, 1962, issue featured advice columnist Ann Landers, who provided an impressively erudite list, and C. S. Lewis.

Lewis's list holds much interest, but few surprises. George MacDonald's Phantastes and G. K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man, the two Christian books that captivated Lewis at the height of his skeptical period, receive top billing, followed closely by the great English poems of vocation, Herbert's The Temple and Wordsworth's The Prelude. Other books on the list are The Consolation of Philosophy, Boswell's Life of Johnson, Charles Williams's Descent into Hell, Arthur Balfour's Theism and Humanism and Rudolf Otto's The Idea of the Holy (a sure defense against mistaking Aslan for a tame lion).

Notably, all but one of the books Lewis mentions are Christian. The one exception, the one permanent debt he records to a pre-Christian book, is Virgil's Aeneid, the epic poem in which the Trojan Aeneas, lacerated by war and Juno's wrath, travels to Italy under divine summons and lays the foundation of Rome. Long before Lewis became a Christian, the Aeneid acted upon him almost as a Christian epic; long after he became a Christian, the Aeneid remained central to his understanding of vocation. Lewis's debt to the Aeneid, already evident from his discussion of the epic in A Preface to Paradise Lost, is now more clear than ever, thanks to the publication this spring by Yale University Press of Lewis's "lost" Aeneid translation, skillfully reconstructed by classicist A. T. Reyes.... Read this in full at
http://christiancentury.org/article/2011-05/c-s-lewis-s-aeneid


     3 WAYS WE'RE FAILING FATHERS IN THE CHURCH
According to researchers C. Kirk Hadaway and P.L. Marler, “Church attendance is increasingly a private matter, and it is correspondingly easier for each of us to maintain an idealized image of ourselves as regular attenders when in fact we may only manage to attend church two or three times a month at the most.” Most men don’t even bother to rationalize their lack of attendance in church.

It was the buzz two decades ago that men didn’t go to church as often or in as great a number as women. Bill Hybels even set his church on a course to attract young males, knowing that (hopefully) vibrant, beautiful, and “seeking” young women would follow — thus attracting more males! I don’t know what time has “revealed” for them on this issue.

Why don’t men go to church? The “Religion of Masculinity,” as defined by David Murrow in his book Why Men Hate Church suggests that many men see Christianity as being incongruous with their manhood. Maybe so, but the church is probably at least partially to blame for this.... Read this in full at
http://www.churchcentral.com/blog/5791/3-Ways-We-re-Failing-Fathers-in-the-Church


     HELD HOSTAGE BY THEIR OPINIONS
Author Harriet Braiker, in her book The Disease to Please, [shares my] conclusion that people pleasing is actually a form of addiction. She identifies four characteristic symptoms of Pleasers, and I identified with all of them: (1) a tendency to take criticism personally, (2) a constant fear of rejection from those around them, (3) difficulty in expressing their true feelings, and (4) reluctance to say no even when it's clear they should. Any of these sound familiar to you?

To grow out of this dangerous disease, we've got to understand that people pleasing is more of a spiritual problem than a relational problem. Though most people would try to accept the need to please others as a normal part of life, we have to embrace that people pleasing is a form of idolatry. We have to be weird enough not to care what people think of who we are and how we live. Living for others' opinions is putting people ahead of God.

Are you afraid of what people will think if you don't go with the flow? Do you find yourself doing things you know you shouldn't because you want to be popular, liked, or approved? Do you feel the pressure to conform to a certain lifestyle, image, or role when you're around certain people you admire? There's only one solution to this problem, one antidote to the poison of pleasing. The fear of God is the only cure for the fear of people.

Think of it this way. If you ride the biggest roller coaster in the world, the kids' ride at the county fair won't scare you. If you live through a hurricane and a tornado, a spring rain won't intimidate you. And when you truly know the God of the universe, people's opinions will no longer hold you hostage.”
Craig Groeschel in Weird: Because Normal Isn't Working



     ACTUALLY, THAT'S NOT IN THE BIBLE
NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible. “Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season. “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Ditka’s biblical blunder is as common as preachers delivering long-winded public prayers. The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches - all types of people - quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.... Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/05/thats-not-in-the-bible/?hpt=hp_c1


     JIM TRESSEL SHOULD MAKE US RETHINK SPORTS EVANGELIZATION
by Tom Krattenmaker
Now that Jim Tressel is out as the coach of the mighty Ohio State University football team, resigning under the weight of rampant NCAA violations by his players and program, it’s tempting to bring the customary snark and cynicism.

Here, after all, is a coach who came on strong with the Christian faith-and-character message, a man honored by the prominent Christian ministry group Athletes in Action just one year ago with induction into AIA’s “Hall of Faith” — an honor meant to recognize recipients’ faith, leadership, character, and integrity.

Tressel kept a prayer-request box on his desk, preached the importance of a moral and spiritual foundation to his players and staff, and presented an image of himself that prompted admirers to call him “senatorial” or, to quote the title of the 2009 book about him, “More Than a Coach.”

Yes, the hypocrisy card is an easy play now for those who are skeptical about lavishly paid athletic champions being held up as poster men for faith and values, and about the Christian religiosity that has become such a conspicuous part of big-time spectator sports.... Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/03/my-take-jim-tressel-shows-whats-wrong-with-sports-evangelization/


     TEBOW DETAILS BLESSED LIFE ROOTED IN FAITH
Tim Tebow is a 23-year-old second-year, second-string quarterback on a so-so NFL team. So who's going to buy his memoirs? What's to remember? Only ...

-- The play-by-play of his life from conception (his missionary dad, Bob, prayed for a son and promised God to raise him to preach) to birth (a "miracle" tale told in a Super Bowl commercial).

-- High school gridiron statistics that made college recruiters pant (he had 80 scholarship offers). An ESPN documentary called him "The Chosen One" when he was just 17.

-- A Heisman trophy and college championships at the University of Florida, where Tebow is already immortalized in a bronze statue on campus.

-- His selection in the first round of last year's NFL draft by the Denver Broncos, along with a GQ profile that praised his physique in prose that read like a romance novel.

Woven throughout Tebow's new memoir, "Through My Eyes," is the bone-deep religious side of the evangelical young player who writes Bible verses beneath the play codes on his wristbands, just as he once inscribed them in his eye black for his college games.

The book, written with co-author Nathan Whitaker, starts each chapter with a Bible verse and is laced as much with "glory to God" as it is with pages of grit-and-grunt details of Tebow's trademark punishing workouts. He trains relentlessly, determined to confound everyone who has questioned whether he can make it as an NFL quarterback.... Read this in full at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/03/tebow-details-blessed-lif_n_871168.html


     PRESSING FORWARD IN YOUR RACE
by Mark Ellis
The Apostle Paul often compared the Christian life to a race. We know he lived in Ephesus for three years, and during the time he lived there, he probably witnessed Olympic-style competitions in a stadium that held as many as 100,000 people.

I’ve been a casual jogger for years, but I’ve never won a race. One reason I’ve never won a race is that I’ve never actually entered a race. I’ve never been in a 5K, or any other race – until now.... Read this in full at
http://blog.godreports.com/2011/06/pressing-forward-in-your-race/


     THE SIGNATURE IN THE CELL
by Regis Nicoll
One of the most vexing and long-standing mysteries of science is the origin of life: that is, how did the building blocks of matter (atoms and molecules) lead to the building block of life: the biological cell? As recently as 2008, Richard Dawkins (who believes that everything is the product of evolutionary processes) confessed, “No one knows.”

Up until the nineteenth century, leading scientists generally assumed that an organizing Intelligence was involved. But after the popularization of Darwinian theory, origin-of-life researchers began narrowing their investigative scope to unintelligent causes.

For a time, explaining life as the unplanned effect of natural forces went rather swimmingly. Then, in 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick unraveled the architecture of DNA, the now famous double helix “molecule of life.” Although their discovery solved one thorny mystery of science—how biological information is stored—it led to another, even deeper, mystery: its source.... Read this in full at
http://www.breakpoint.org/features-columns/breakpoint-columns/entry/2/17220


     NO ADAM, NO EVE, NO GOSPEL
Science as we know it grew from pagan, occult, and biblical roots. The story of creation, told in Genesis and elaborated in the New Testament, pictures a rational intelligence creating an orderly and predictable cosmos. Without that predictability in the natural world, neither Newton nor Einstein would have been possible. There are times, however, when a careful reading of the natural world seems to conflict with our reading of Scripture.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/june/noadamevenogospel.html


     NEW POLL: MILLENNIAL GENERATION COMMITTED TO AVAILABILITY, CONFLICTED ABOUT MORALITY OF ABORTION
Americans age 18-29 years old strongly support the availability of abortions in their local community, despite being conflicted over its morality, a new study finds.

The Millennials, Abortion, and Religion Survey, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute released June 9 at the Brookings Institution, is one of the largest public opinion surveys on abortion and religion ever conducted. The survey also finds that there are large generational differences on two issues that have often been linked in political discourse: abortion and same-sex marriage.

"Millennials embody the decoupling of the so-called ‘values voter' agenda," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. "On the issue of abortion, Millennials mirror their parents' views, with about 6-in-10 saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases. But they are much more supportive than their parents of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. This suggests that we may see these issues moving on separate tracks in the future." .... Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/pressreleases/new_poll_millennial_generation_committed_to_availability_conflicted_about_m/


     VERSE TO PONDER
The LORD is good to those who hope in him, to the persont who seeks him. It’s good to wait in silence for the LORD’s deliverance.”
Lamentations 3:25-26 (CEB)



     CONSIDER
Not tongues nor faith nor prophecy nor knowledge nor martyrdom nor philanthropy, but *love* is the Christian's mark of distinction.”
Vance Havner



     SOLZHENITSYN'S COMMENCEMENT SPEECH
by Dan Graves
The fight for our planet, physical and spiritual, a fight of cosmic proportions, is not a vague matter of the future; it has already started. The forces of evil have begun their decisive offensive. You can feel their pressure, yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?”

These perceptive and challenging words were uttered by one of the great Christians of the 20th century in the heart of a commencement address at Harvard University. Alexander Solzhenitsyn was in exile in America after suffering years in Communist prison camps for criticizing Stalin. He had found faith in the "Gulag Archipelago," the Soviet Union's cruel prison system which devoured alive millions of individuals who opposed or circumvented the atheistic regime.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianity.com/ChurchHistory/11630842/


     MISSING FAITH: GETTING RELIGION IN THE NEWSROOM
by Allison Pond and Michael De Groote
Selling heaven wasn’t easy. But in early 2005, ABC News producer Rob Wallace knew he had the perfect subject for a Barbara Walters television special. His idea was to examine the effect of belief in heaven on the way people lived their lives. But when Wallace pitched the idea, his colleagues at the network resisted because there is, of course, no footage of the afterlife. Wallace pushed back. “Listen, you’ve got to do this because if you want to talk about what drives people, this belief is what drives people,” he said.

Wallace, a veteran news producer, prevailed, and a Barbara Walters special titled “Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There?” was broadcast on Dec. 20, 2005. It brought ABC News its highest ratings in four years. “Everyone was pleasantly surprised,” Wallace said. “We were tapping into an audience that usually doesn’t come to us.”

Wallace has successfully produced several stories that focused directly on belief. But for various reasons the American mainstream media, especially major outlets and national networks, are sometimes reluctant to cover religion. It’s hard to quantify, but it’s one reason faith elements of major news stories are often missed or ignored.

A 2002 survey (the most recent data available) of 1,149 randomly selected journalists conducted by the Indiana University found that 34 percent of journalists say they have no religious affiliation, compared with 13 percent among the general population who said the same in a 2002 Pew Research Center survey.... Read this in full at
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700141645/Missing-faith-Getting-religion-in-the-newsroom.html


     10 THINGS THE BELIEF BLOG LEARNED IN ITS FIRST YEAR
by Dan Gilgoff
CNN’s Belief Blog has just marked its first birthday. After publishing 1,840 posts and sifting through 452,603 comments (OK, we may have missed one or two) the Belief Blog feels older than its 12 months would suggest. But it also feels wiser, having followed the faith angles of big news stories, commissioned lots of commentary and, yes, paid attention to all those reader comments for a solid year.
10 things we've learned:
1. Every big news story has a faith angle. Even the ordeal of 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months. Even the attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Even March Madness. Even – well, you get the point.
2. Atheists are the most fervent commenters on matters religious.
3. People are still intensely curious about the Bible, its meaning and its origins.... Read this in full at
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/08/10-things-the-belief-blog-learned-in-its-first-year/


     WHAT WORSHIP SAYS ABOUT US
“‘
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple’ (Psalm 27:4). David's devotion to worship oozes from this verse. More than anything, David wanted to bask in the beauty of God's presence. He was enamored with God's glory. The ‘one thing’ David longs for is intimacy with God and a chance to worship his heavenly Father.

Because worship was such a high priority for David, he bristled whenever God wasn't given the honor he deserved. What stirred David to take on Goliath was not the threat he posed to Israel but the giant's blatant disrespect for [God]. David asked angrily, ‘Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?’ (1 Samuel 17:26). God's glory and reputation were at stake, and David felt compelled to take action. Upon confronting the Terminator from Gath, David shouted, ‘This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand ... that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel’ (1 Samuel 17:46). You can always discern your priorities, for better or worse, by what angers you or stirs you, what frustrates you and what excites you. Honoring God was the utmost priority for David.

David was convinced that there was absolutely no place he could go and no circumstance he could encounter that could put him out of God's reach... So it's never a question of how present God seems to us, but how present we are to God. Worship increases our awareness of God's presence... Are you experiencing an ever-increasing awareness of God's presence in your life? Are you noticing increased delight in the attributes of God? Is worship changing you into the image of Christ?”
Rory Noland in Worship on Earth as It Is in Heaven: Exploring Worship as a Spiritual Discipline



     DC CHURCH BECOMES OWNER OF HISTORIC MOVIE HOUSE
The Christian Post reports that one church is mixing Christianity and culture with the acquisition of a 1930s-style movie theater in Washington, D.C. National Community Church acquired the theater in the Barrack’s Row area of Capitol Hill as a compliment to Ebenezers, the churh's coffee house. The coffee house is the largest on Capitol Hill and has been operating for more than five years. “We like doing ministry in marketplace environments similar to how Jesus hung out at the well,” said Mark Batterson, who is the lead pastor of National Community Church. “Coffee houses are like postmodern wells and movie theaters are like the Aeropagus, marketplace of ideas, of American culture today.” The theater will play selected first-run, independent, and family films. “Why have a building that’s only used a couple times a week? I’m not sure that’s the best stewardship. So, we will have a movie house that will operate seven days a week,” Batterson said.... Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/news/dc-church-turns-owner-of-historic-movie-house-50974/


     CHANGE OF FOCUS
by J. Adrian Stanley
Abortion. Same-sex marriage. Politics. Culture at large. For years, James Dobson was a barking guard dog stridently defending "traditional family values" on all these issues. Quick to temper, and slow to apologize, Dobson never had to be asked twice about what he really thought.

And that's important to remember, because Focus on the Family's current president, Jim Daly, is no James Dobson. While the founder of the right-wing evangelical organization was predictable in his views, Daly is full of surprises. When you least expect it, he'll compliment President Barack Obama. Or scold Christian couples.

We'll get to all that in a minute, but first there's something you need to know. The [Colorado Springs] Independent is involved in a community-based partnership with Focus. No, hell has not frozen over. Here's what happened: Our publisher, John Weiss, realized that there was at least one issue on which Focus and the Indy can agree: We want all kids to grow up in a loving home.... Read this in full at
http://www.csindy.com/colorado/change-of-focus/Content?oid=2244124


     EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN MARYLAND TO CONVERT TO ROMAN CATHOLIC PARISH
An Episcopal church in Maryland — including its pastor — has decided to convert to Catholicism, the first in the United States to make the move under new Vatican rules meant to appeal to disaffected Protestants.

St. Luke’s, a small, tight-knit congregation in Bladensburg with a majority of members from Africa and the Caribbean, will be allowed to hold onto its Anglican traditions even as it comes under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. That will include being led by its married pastor, the Rev. Mark Lewis, and retaining much of its liturgy.

Leaders of the church said Monday that they were not leaving the Episcopal Church because of the ordination of gays and women — issues that have bitterly divided the American wing of the Anglican Church and coincided with stepped-up efforts by the Vatican to reach out to Anglicans. Instead, church members said, they were satisfying their longing for a clear religious authority by welcoming the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI.... Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/episcopal-church-in-bladensburg-to-convert-to-roman-catholic-parish/2011/06/06/AGLsiIKH_story.html


     THE CIRCUMCISION WARS
By Brad A. Greenberg
Across Jewish culture, customs vary greatly—but not regarding circumcision. The ritual, which forms the covenant between infant Jewish boys and God, is essentially the same everywhere: Eight days after the boy is born, his father or a mohel slices away his foreskin in a ceremony typically accompanied by a white pillow and a few uncomfortable onlookers.

This custom is as old as Judaism itself. Commanded by God to a 99-year-old Abraham, circumcision was to signify fidelity to the Lord. It has been a central part of Jewish tradition ever since, so much so that even Yom Kippur — the holiest of holidays — doesn't delay the circumcision of an infant.

But the practice has its critics. Judaism's small but vocal anti-circumcision movement insists that pain and bodily modification aren't necessary for forming a child's covenant with God.

Outside of Judaism, the anti-circumcision movement began as a loose union of "intactivists" in 1960s and '70s San Francisco. It has since coalesced into groups like the National Organization for the Restoration of Men — and they are now looking for some legislative leverage.... Read this in full at
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303745304576359760716199794.html


     BANNING CIRCUMCISION: THE TARGET IS RELIGION, NOT JEWS
by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein
For centuries, circumcision kept Jews apart from members of other faiths. Jews practiced it as a core religious obligation, but outside of Muslim countries, no one else around them did. More recently, circumcision is emerging as a force to accomplish the opposite. Efforts in San Francisco and Santa Monica to criminalize the circumcision of minors will bring Jews and non-Jews closer together, because the target is not Jews, but religious belief itself.... Read this in full at
http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Banning-Circumcision-The-Target-Is-Religion-Not-Jews-Yitzchok-Adlerstein-06-01-2011.html

UPDATE: “Santa Monica anti-circumcision backer drops ballot measure bid”
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/06/07/3088044/santa-monica-anti-circumcision-backer-drops-ballot-measure-bid

UPDATE: “Evangelicals join Jews against circumcision ban”
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/faith/2011/06/circumcision_ban_1.html


     WHY DO CHRISTIAN GROUPS IN CHINA PUT AUTHORITIES ON RED ALERT?
The Shouwang Church and other Protestant Christian groups have a potentially powerful mix of Calvinist ideology, social activism, and influence among China's educated elite — even members of the ruling Communist party.... Read this in full at
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2075386,00.html


     TWIN FRIARS DIE ON SAME DAY AT AGE 92
Identical twin brothers Julian and Adrian Riester, who spent 65 years wearing the identical brown robes of the Franciscans, have died in Florida at age 92. The brothers were rarely apart and in their 20s they joined the Franciscan order together, The Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported. The twins died June 1, just hours apart, at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Julian died Wednesday morning, followed by Adrian that evening.... Read this in full at
http://www.arcamax.com/religionandspirituality/religiousnews/s-896749-471386


     READ THE LABEL
I should have figured it out sooner. It's the shampoo I use in the shower. When I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body. Printed very clearly on the shampoo label it reads, "FOR EXTRA VOLUME AND BODY."

I have gotten rid of THAT shampoo and I am going to start using Dawn dish detergent. Its label reads, "DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE."

Problem solved! It sure pays to read the label!
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com


     CONSIDER
Christianity may not always offer supernatural deliverance from earth’s problems, but it always offers supernatural use for them. It is likely that Peter, who was delivered from prison, learned less than Paul, who stayed there.”
L. Thomas Holdcroft



     VERSE TO PONDER
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry. This is because an angry person doesn’t produce God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20 (CEB)


     THIS WEEK'S HYMN: LET SONGS OF PRAISES FILL THE SKY
Words: Thomas Cotterill, 1819
Music: L. Herman Ilse, 1910

Let songs of praises fill the sky:
Christ, our ascended Lord,
Sends down His Spirit from on high
According to His Word.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

The Spirit by His heav’nly breath
Creates new life within;
He quickens sinners from the death
Of trespasses and sin.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

The things of Christ the Spirit takes
And shows them unto men;
The fallen soul His temple makes,
God’s image stamps again.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

Come, Holy Spirit, from above
With Thy celestial fire;
Come and with flames of zeal and love
Our hearts and tongues inspire.
Be this our day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/l/s/p/lspfisky.htm


     ON PRAYER
Praying puts us at risk of getting involved in God's conditions. Be slow to pray. Praying most often doesn't get us what we want but what God wants, something quite at variance with what we conceive to be in our best interests.”
Eugene Peterson



     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.

Christian College Guide
http://www.ChristianCollegeGuide.net

News Quiz
http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

Newspaper Map
http://newspapermap.com/

LEGO artwork
http://thebrickman.com/index.php?option=com_morfeoshow&Itemid=53

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.)


The number of red lights you continue to encounter will always be in direct correlation with how late you are already running.
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.org/  


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