man to man to God
For week of August 21, 2011
The weekly newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
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not ashamed of the gospel: it is God’s own power for salvation to
all who have faith in God, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16 (CEB)
God of the infinite is the God of the infinitesimal.”
END EXTREME POVERTY
is a Christ-centered global initiative to end extreme poverty. The
name comes from Isaiah 58 where God desires that his people carry out
a True Fast, one that cares for the poor and oppressed. Learn more at
BIBLE TRANSLATION SEEKS COMMON GROUND
the same time the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution
denouncing one new Bible translation, another rolled off the presses
that is being billed as “built on common ground.”
Common English Bible debuted in June and the paperback format was
introduced July 13 at the International Christian Retail Show in
by an alliance of five mainline denominations, the contemporary
English translation from the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts
is the work of 120 biblical scholars in 24 different denominations.
They represent various ethnic groups and theology schools ranging the
spectrum from the conservative Wheaton College and Denver Seminary to
the liberal Princeton and Yale.
Spencer, professor of preaching and New Testament at Baptist
Theological Seminary at Richmond and one of 17 Baptists included,
called it “one of the highlights of my academic and ministerial
Franklyn, associate publisher for the Common English Bible, described
the four-year project as “collaboration between opposites.”
includes not only liberals and conservatives, but also scholars
working with general readers, teens with senior adults, men, women
and different ethnicities all working toward a goal of a
“denomination-neutral” Bible for the 21st century.
set out to combine scholarly accuracy with vivid everyday language.
It is written in common language, similar to USA Today style, and the
first Bible translation to widely use contractions where the text is
in conversational style, as opposed to poetic or divine
pronouncement. It uses detailed color maps from National Geographic,
well known for accuracy.... Read this in full at
A PEOPLE ABANDONS VIRTUE, GOVERNMENT STEPS IN
Chuck Colson and Timothy George
freedom survive where virtue doesn't thrive? It was an important
question for the founders of the American republic, and it is a
timely one for today.
Founding Fathers saw the critical connection: They pledged their
lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to defend the self-evident truths
"that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
understand life and liberty as foundational, but happiness? The
problem with happiness as it is defined today lies in the little word
hap, chance. Happiness is circumstantial. It depends on what happens
to give us pleasure or fulfillment. But the founders understood
happiness in the classical sense of what the Greeks called
eudaimonia, that is, the result of a life well lived, a life based on
truth and virtue.
know something else: true virtue, and hence genuine happiness, is not
merely a matter of thinking correctly or behaving properly. As
Jonathan Edwards put it, the seat of true virtue is in the heart.
Real happiness flows from character and comes to those, as Jesus
said, who are poor in spirit, merciful and meek, and who hunger and
thirst for righteousness and peace.... Read this in full at
me to watch over all my ways, that I may never be surprised by sudden
temptations or a careless spirit, nor ever return to folly and
vanity. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and keep the door of my
lips, that I offend not in my tongue, neither against piety nor
charity. Teach me to think of nothing but Thee, and what is in order
to Thy glory and service; to speak nothing but Thee and Thy glories;
and to do nothing but what becomes Thy servant, whom Thy infinite
mercy by the graces of Thy Holy Spirit hath sealed up to the day of
Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living , in The
Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London:
Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 35
PRO SOCCER TEAM: ‘SCORING SOULS, NOT GOALS’
12 minutes left in the game, the Charlotte Eagles are losing 2-0. The
North Carolina humidity hangs thick in the evening air. The home
crowd becomes restless as the opposing team's goalie blocks kick
the team gets a big break in the 78th minute and scores twice in two
minutes against the Rochester Rhinos. This men’s soccer match
in a tie. Did God bless the Eagles with those goals?
don’t think God cares if we win or lose,” Eagles captain
Rife says, shrugging.
Mark Steffens agrees: “Our No. 1 goal is not winning games. Our
goal is to bring glory to God.” .... Read this in full at
CAN USE YOU
was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got
drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure,
Miriam was a gossip, Mary was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah
was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short,
Abraham was old and Lazarus was dead. Now..... what's YOUR reason for
thinking God won't use you?
CAN use you where you are...if you let him! :)
twice before you eat what society feeds us, come follow the king, his
name is Jesus.” Watch this video of a young man
STOTT EXPLAINS WHY HE STAYED SINGLE FOR 90 YEARS
Stott is being remembered as an evangelical statesman, a
pastor/scholar, and an inveterate birdwatcher. He was also a lifelong
bachelor. While researching my book on a theology of singleness, I
had the opportunity to meet Stott and interview him about his views
and experience as a single. He later revised and expanded his candid
remarks into a more thorough treatment of the subject, from which the
following is excerpted.
the balance of marriage and singleness:
must never exalt singleness (as some early church fathers did,
notably Tertullian) as if it were a higher and holier vocation than
marriage. We must reject the ascetic tradition which disparages sex
as legalized lust, and marriage as legalized fornication. No, no. Sex
is the good gift of a good Creator, and marriage is his own
marriage is good, singleness is also good. It's an example of the
balance of Scripture that, although Genesis 2:18 indicates that it is
good to marry, 1 Corinthians 7:1 (in answer to a question posed by
the Corinthians) says that "it is good for a man not to marry."
So both the married and the single states are "good";
neither is in itself better or worse than the other.... Read this in
almost two decades of marriage, Lisa and I have settled into certain
habits like an old pair of jeans. When we come back from a trip, Lisa
invariably checks the phone messages while I unload the car. Lisa
hates filling up the car's gas tank, so before I leave on a trip, I
try to make sure it's full. If Lisa knows I'm coming home, she'll
nurse that tank until she's riding on nothing more than fumes. I
don't resent this, and Lisa doesn't resent the fact that she's
usually folding laundry when she watches a movie while I just sit
there like an all-star couch potato.
not just after the imitation of Christ's actions in our home; we also
want to model Christ's spirit and attitude. There are times to serve,
and times to receive service. The beauty of this commitment is that
it makes both Lisa and me God-dependent rather than spouse-dependent.
If Lisa is faithfully serving me when I'm in a surly mood, she still
receives an inner affirmation and sense of fulfillment from God. She
has the joy of that inner witness declaring that her Creator is
pleased with her.
become a servant is to become radically strong spiritually. It means
you are free from the petty demands and grievances that ruin so many
lives and turn so many hearts into bitter cauldrons of disappointment
and self-pity. There is true joy when true service is offered up with
a true heart. I've learned to guard not just my servant's actions but
my servant's spirit. If I serve Lisa with little puffs of
exasperation, grunting every time I lift a finger on her behalf, I'm
exhibiting a proud, false-martyr's spirit, not the attitude of Jesus
Christ. The attitude of Jesus is the attitude of service: ‘The
of man did not come to be served, but to serve’ (Matthew 20:28).
Every Christian home should be marked by the spirit as well as the
act of service.”
Gary Thomas in Simply Sacred: Daily Readings
ONE READS THE BIBLE LITERALLY
this month, John Candide had taught religion at Calvin College,
affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church, for 25 years. But his
"fall from grace," as the website InsideHigherEd put it,
came after he "wrote about challenges science poses to a literal
reading of the gospels." For that offense, he has agreed to
leave his tenured teaching job.
Mr. Candide explains, he recently became troubled by conflicts
between science and literal readings of gospel accounts of Jesus'
resurrection: "The more I read, the more I talked with
biologists, the more it became clear to me: science tells us that
when people die, they stay dead." He adds that he continues to
believe in the importance of the Bible.
their joint statement, Mr. Candide and Calvin College said that they
agreed to part ways because of tensions raised by his scholarship and
a desire not to create "harm and distraction." Despite this
peaceful resolution, his departure raises questions about freedom of
scholarship at the college.
not — I invented John Candide. The actual story at
from which I have borrowed liberally above, was a bit different. The
alleged offense involved challenges posed by science to a literal
reading of Genesis, not of Jesus' resurrection. And the professor in
question is named John Schneider.... Read this in full at
NATIONS AFFIRMS THE HUMAN RIGHT TO BLASPHEME
followed the debates on religion and freedom of expression at the
United Nations over the last several years, I have become accustomed
to passing on bad news, such as a decade of resolutions by the Human
Rights Council and the General Assembly “combating the defamation
of religions.” Now that there is some good news, almost no one
July, the UN issued a new statement on the extent of freedom of
speech under international law. It says that laws restricting
blasphemy as such are incompatible with universal human rights
standards.... Read this in full at
WINS? TWO BOOKS ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL
Martin E. Marty
you and him fight!” The old comic-book trope is good advice for
bystanders as Mark Galli’s God Wins counters Rob Bell and his
Love Wins. The two are respected evangelical leaders, an editor and a
pastor, who attract headlines and readerships as they debate
Hell” and the “Good News.” Their subject is a
alternative to the otherwise preoccupying evangelicals’ debates
over homosexuality and abortion. “The Good News” is a
whether “Love Wins” or “God Wins,” and those
who hear the
biblical word that “God is Love” may have trouble telling
players without a program. Both sides agree that this is all about
“the ultimate fate of human beings,” a classic concern of
believe that there is an afterlife.
follows is not a taunt but a challenge: let us have a Volume Two,
especially from Galli. He offers soft but evangelically-orthodox
answers to most questions which Bell posed last year in his book. But
he slights the biggest, hardest, most troubling questions about the
love and justice of God. He is anthropocentric, of course, but his
“anthro-” who asks questions and ponders fate tends to be
familiar with the biblical questions with which serious apologists
for centuries have dealt as they set out “to justify the ways of
God to man” (and woman).... Read this in full at
ARTIST EVANGELIST BACK IN THE SLAMMER
years to the day – Wisconsin-based escape artist and evangelist
Anthony Martin (http://www.anthony-escapes.com/) will return to the
jail that earned him the title of "King of Escapists" by
Ripley's Believe It Or Not. This special anniversary escape attempt
will be on August 22, at 1:30 P.M. The event will take place at the
old Waushara County Jail, located at 221 South St. Marie Street in
says he uses his escapes as a metaphor for escaping eternal death
through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
successful escape in 1986 was from one of the general population
cells in the jail. For this attempt Anthony will be locked in a
double door solitary confinement cell that no one in the history of
the facility has ever escaped from.
jail now turned museum, gained fame for having once housed Edward
Gein, "America's most bizarre murderer." The Gein case was
the horror story on which Hitchcock's movie "Psycho" and
the film "Silence of the Lambs" were based. Martin, who
last year handily survived a shackled jump from an airplane at 14,000
feet, will be placed in a strait-jacket and strapped to a ladder
before being locked behind the 4 steel doors that will stand between
him and freedom.... Read this in full at
Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in
Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every
power and authority.”
Colossians 2:9-10 (NIV)
is not the belief that God will do what you want. Faith is the belief
that God will do what is right.”
WELCOME TO HONEST LIVING
Bible is honest about life in this fallen world. This honesty is a
sign of God's love. He's the wise and gentle father preparing his
child for that walk through a tough neighborhood on the first day of
school. He's the faithful friend praying with you before you face an
unusual challenge. He's the caring physician informing you of what to
expect from the disease he's just diagnosed.
primary goal of all this diagnosis, description, warning, comfort,
and counsel is to call us to certain ways of living. Why would you
need to be "completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing
with one another in love," (Ephesians 4:2-3) if you were not
living in a community of flawed people where this kind of character
is essential? Relationships in a fallen world are hard. Ministry to
flawed people is fraught with difficulty. Character is needed because
the world is broken.
being honest, the Bible welcomes you to be honest as well. In its
refusal to minimize, diminish, or deny the harsh realities of this
broken-down house, the Bible calls us to face the facts as well.
Things are not okay around us or inside us. The brokenness presses in
on every side. What should we do with all this? Let me suggest five
ways to pursue the character qualities to which God calls us, and in
that way prepare ourselves to participate more effectively in the
great task of restoration.... Read this in full at
BIBLE SAYS THAT…” REALLY?
James Emery White
real mistake when it comes to the Bible isn't getting our quotes of
the Scriptures just right, it's failing to get right with the
Scriptures.... Read this in full at
FUNDAMENTALIST AND BORN-AGAIN AREN’T THE SAME
week or two after the 2004 election, I was dining with some friends
in New York when the conversation turned to religion and politics
the two things that you’re never supposed to discuss in polite
W. Bush had just been re-elected with the help of what was described
in the media as “evangelical voters.” And knowing that I am
evangelical Christian, my friends were terribly curious.
exactly, is an evangelical?” one gentleman asked, as if he were
inquiring about my time living among the lowland gorillas of
Cameroon. I suddenly found myself as cultural translator for the
I understand it,” I began, “what `evangelical’ really
that a person believes in Jesus Christ, has a personal relationship
with him and because of that relationship feels compelled to share
their experience of God’s love with other people.
they choose to share that `good news’ with others is entirely up
the individual. Beyond that, the rest is details and style.” ....
Read this in full at
RELIGIOUS LIFE OF TWO US SENATORS
be told, when asked to name a spiritual role model, few people would
likely pick a sitting US senator.
fact, with congressional approval ratings at record lows, few
lawmakers -- Democrats or Republicans -- would seem to qualify as a
profile in righteousness.
two new books this summer, Sen. Jim DeMint's "The Great American
Awakening" and Sen. Joe Lieberman's "The Gift of Rest,"
are trying to push back against the image of a godless Senate.
be sure, DeMint and Lieberman have differences both political and
religious: DeMint is a Tea Party Republican from South Carolina and a
self-described "follower of Christ," while Lieberman, an
observant Jew from Connecticut, is a sometimes unpredictable
their books offer equally intimate glimpses into the spiritual lives
of America's elected officials.... Read this in full at
RESTRICTIONS AROUND THE WORLD
a television interview with FOX News, Pew Forum Senior Researcher
Brian J. Grim discusses findings from the Pew Forum's recent report
Rising Restrictions on Religion
The report finds that more than 2.2 billion people - nearly a third
(32%) of the world's total population of 6.9 billion - live in
countries where either government restrictions on religion or social
hostilities involving religion have risen substantially.... View this
in full at
ALL THE DRINKING AND CHEATING, COUNTRY MUSIC IS COMFORTABLE WITH
is tough to find in popular music these days.
writer Joe Carter went looking recently and found that among the top
60 country songs, 23 include at least one theme of family, faith, and
yet, the music world still considers it peculiar," Carter
writes. "The willingness of country musicians to talk about God,
family, and other topics counted among the most important in people's
lives is considered aberrant. Compared to other pop music genres,
this strain of country is definitely eccentric."
beyond the "music world," is country music more in step
with traditional American values?.... Read this in full at
JOURNEY NOW A FACEBOOK GAME
is a cartoon with a big head, a small body and beady black button
eyes with a spiky grey beard and spongy grey hair in a new game on
art style is meant to reflect "the casual social game" that
it is, says Brent Dusing, CEO of Hexify, creator of the first
biblically based Facebook game, The Journey of Moses. "It's a
fun, immersive, adventure game, so it's meant to be fun but
respectful to the content and appropriate for the gravity of the
says "300 million people play social games on Facebook."
That's close to the population of the United States, so his target
audience is "anyone from 13 to over 70 ... it's a timeless story
that billions around the world know."
the beginning of the game, pharoah's daughter, reminiscent of a
Cleopatra bobble-head, picks up a bundled baby Moses and cradles him
in her arms.... Read this in full at
NOAH'S ARK IN KY. AIMS TO PROVE TRUTH OF BIBLE
away in a nondescript office park in northern Kentucky, Noah's
followers are rebuilding his ark.
biblical wooden ship built to weather a worldwide flood was 500 feet
long and about 80 feet high, according to Answers in Genesis, a
Christian ministry devoted to a literal telling of the Old Testament.
modern ark, to be nestled on a plot of 800 acres of rolling Kentucky
farmland, isn't designed to rescue the world's creatures from a
coming deluge. It's to tell the world that the Bible's legendary
flood story was not a fable, but a part of human history.... Read
this in full at
TECHNOLOGY USHER IN ANOTHER PENTECOST?
Baptists are partnering with a non-denominational ministry to harness
online language-translation technology that advocates say could be
the best tool for cross-cultural evangelism since Pentecost.
Hope Chat, the tool harnesses the power of ABBY, an advanced online
artificial intelligence translation platform developed at Carnegie
Mellon University. It allows people to converse across languages in
real time about spiritual matters, and the technology contextually
translates what people type, allowing cross-language conversations to
Shuffield, director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas
Evangelism/Missions Center, said language and culture are two
historical barriers to sharing the gospel. He said the ABBY system
removes one of those barriers, enabling Christians to build bridges
to people around the globe. .... Read this in full at
NOT HARD TO ROOT FOR TIM TEBOW
James A. Smith Sr.
don't have to be a Florida Gator to love Tim Tebow. Indeed, I'm
certain many -- like me -- have become Gators because they were first
fans of Tebow.
Tebow's emergence as a college football phenom, I was a nominal
Florida State Seminole fan. After all, it's hard not to love Bobby
Bowden (especially as a Florida Baptist), and my daughter is a rabid
during Tebow's freshman year at the University of Florida, I began to
cheer for the Gators -- in the closet, I would joke later with
friends, so as to not enrage my daughter. In his second year, I
publicly declared my admiration (what my Tennessee Volunteer
son-in-law calls my "man crush") for Tebow, living with the
consequential familial conflict.... Read this in full at
DEAD SEA: DEADER THAN EVER AND GETTING MORE SO
is dead and there is dying. The Dead Sea manages both. It's dead
because the water in it contains way, way too much salt — eight
times as much as the oceans — for virtually any living thing to
survive. With a shoreline at the lowest land point on the globe —
1,388 ft. below sea level — and no outlet, millennia of
has left the seabed so caked with minerals the freshwater that flows
in turns immediately lethal.
that much freshwater flows in these days. That's why the sea is
dying, or drying up, at the rate of more than 3 vertical feet (1 m)
per year — which on the gradual slope of the western shore can
translate into 65 ft. of exposed seabed. Most of the damage has been
done in the last half-century, when almost all the water that once
reached the Dead Sea was diverted to farms and taps. The Jordan
River, so mighty in the Bible, is today a puny creek that draws
snarls from disappointed tourists. "Everything changed when we
started diverting water from the Sea of Galilee," says Mira
Edelstein of Friends of the Earth Middle East. "The Jordan River
used to bring 1.3 billion cu. ft. of water a year. Today it's 50
million. That's 2% of what it was." .... Read this in full at
IS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, ANYWAY?
is nothing unusual about a priest who is dressed in clerical garb
having a stranger ask him a religious question during a long airline
ask a guy where he's from and what he does and then he asks you the
same thing. Many people just want to talk," explained the Rev.
John David Finley, a missionary priest in the Antiochian Orthodox
Christian Archdiocese of North America.
man in the next seat recently asked the priest a question he has
heard many times: "What is Orthodox Christianity, anyway?"
Finley was -- at that moment -- writing some comments about a contest
in which participants prepared a 30-second "elevator speech"
response to strangers who asked that very question. The contest was
organized by the archdiocesan Department of Missions and Evangelism,
Finley's home base.
particular man was a convert to Buddhism, although he was raised in a
home that was Christian, to one degree or another. He was interested
in how different churches interpret Scripture and how Eastern
Christians pray.... Read this in full at
'CHRISTIAN' EUROPE WITHOUT CHRISTIANITY
European Christendom need Christianity to survive? It may seen an odd
question for a religious culture that once stretched from Britain to
the Bosphorus, born of a deep and diffuse faith that inspired great
cathedrals and monasteries and filled them with believers for
when right-wing extremist Anders Breivik killed 77 people in a
horrific rampage in Norway last month, he highlighted a novel
development in the history of the West: a burgeoning alliance between
believers and nonbelievers to promote Europe's Christian identity.
Christendom and the cross will be the symbol in which every cultural
conservative can unite under in our common defense," Breivik
wrote in his rambling 1,500-page manifesto. "It should serve as
the uniting symbol for all Europeans whether they are agnostic or
Breivik himself can be considered a bona fide Christian given his
lack of a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God,"
as he put it, was a topic of much debate. There was no doubt,
however, that he was a devout believer "in Christianity as a
cultural, social, identity and moral platform." In fact, that's
been the case for any number of unbelievers for more than a
decade.... Read this in full at
DAYS INCLUDED ON TENN. UNIVERSITY CALENDAR
and pagan students at Vanderbilt University might get to take an
excused day off from class to dance around the maypole.
Office of Religious Life recently sent professors a calendar of
2011-12 "religious holy days and observances" and a related
policy on student absences. The faith listed next to four of the days
on the calendar is "Wicca/Pagan."
whose believers are called Wiccans or witches, is just one form of
paganism, an umbrella term for beliefs in multiple gods and
goddesses. Some religious believers consider paganism to be outside
the mainstream because it bucks the monotheistic tradition of
Christianity, Judaism and Islam.... Read this in full at
have an exceptional calling- to be the very best you God created you
to be. Your goal is to unwrap this gift and use all that you've been
given in the pursuit of what matters most- loving God and loving
will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous
Psalm 119:7 (NIV)
WEEK'S HYMN: JESUS ONLY IS OUR MESSAGE
Albert B. Simpson, 1890
James H. Burke
only is our message,
all our theme shall be;
will lift up Jesus ever,
only will we see.
only, Jesus ever,
all in all we sing,
Sanctifier, and Healer,
Lord and coming King.
only is our Savior,
our guilt He bore away,
our righteousness He gives us,
our strength from day to day.
is our Sanctifier,
us from self and sin,
with all His Spirit’s fullness,
all our hearts within.
only is our Healer,
our sicknesses He bare,
His risen life and fullness,
His members still may share.
only is our Power,
the Gift of Pentecost,
breathe Thy pow’r upon us,
us with the Holy Ghost.
for Jesus we are waiting,
for the advent call;
’twill still be Jesus only,
ever, all in all.
is the contact of a living soul with God. In prayer, God stoops to
kiss man, to bless man, and to aid in everything that God can devise
or man can need. Prayer fills man's emptiness with God's fullness. It
fills man's poverty with God's riches. It puts away man's weakness
with God's strength. it banishes man's littleness with God's
greatness. Prayer is God's plan to supply man's great and continual
need with God's great and continual abundance.” E. M. Bounds
(1835-1913), The Reality of Prayer, Racine: Treasres Media, Inc.
2007, p. 7
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
DAILY BLESSING PACT
following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or
situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.
agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!
with God and man
in the mail
to be found
decrease while blessings increase
all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou
shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut. 28:2).
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.]
looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and
I'll put it in this newsletter.
your next vacation with us!
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not a REAL sponge cake unless you've borrowed all the ingredients.
Frank Coleman, Editor
for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations,
articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth.
Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact
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spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all
have in Christ.
Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to
participate in a men's discipleship program.
Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
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