to man to God
For week of March 4, 2012
The weekly newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.
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“My God will meet your
every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ
Philippians 4:19 (CEB)
I have anyone else in heaven? There’s nothing on earth I desire
except you. My body and my heart fail, but God is my heart’s rock
and my share forever.” Psalm 73:25-26 (CEB)
need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer
than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.” A. W.
AND THE SCIENCE OF SELF-DENIAL
it comes to good-time holidays, Lent does not rank very high. Nor do
Ramadan or Yom Kippur, of course, and no wonder. They are all about
saying no to something (or many things) you love. Where’s the egg
nog and holiday joy in all that? But we observe these
less-than-festive celebrations all the same — and we have good
reason to do so. There are hidden benefits to so much ritualized
of the open secrets of all religions is that even if you don’t
for the priestly raiment in which their traditions come draped, some
of them can be very healthy all the same. And those, like Lent, whose
secular message is nothing more complicated than practicing
self-control, can be among the most salutary of all — something
science is beginning to prove.... Read this in full at
HOLY LENT IN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY
Easter holiday season has officially begun with the onset of the
forty day period of Lent.
great lent in holy Orthodox Church is called ‘Tesseradocaste'
derived from the word forty, depicting the forty days of holy fasting
prior to Pascal celebrations. Some of the oriental orthodox churches
observe fifty days of fasting, especially the Syrian and Indian
Orthodox Churches where as Coptic Orthodox Church have forty days of
fasting. The Ethiopian Orthodox Lenten days extend up to 56 days.
There are three major parts of the holy Paschal cycle namely: the
pre-lenten period, the holy lenten days and the holy week. This cycle
ends with the celebration of Pasha or Easter.
great lent prepares the orthodox faithful to feel and enter into the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. The totality of orthodox Christian life
is centered on resurrection. It is the preparatory workshop for the
true believers by spending more time with prayers, confession,
forgiveness, kindness, humility, chastity along with holy traditions
and scriptures of the church to help feel the ultimate grace of
God.... Read this in full at
CHURCH MEMBERS GET TATTOOS OF JESUS' DEATH FOR LENT
many churches do different things to observe the season of Lent, one
pastor at a Texas church is encouraging something very different:
Seay, a pastor at the Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas, called on
members to get permanent tattoos that would depict designs
symbolizing the crucifixion and death of Jesus. The tattoos by church
members will collective be part of an art exhibit for Lent, Stations
art show is something we do every year to share the story of Jesus
with our city," said Seay in an interview with The Christian
year we wanted to engage an art form that has not been embraced by
the church but it is common among people in our part of the city.
Next year it will be a different art form, maybe crochet."
whose church has an average weekly attendance of around 1,500 people
over five weekend services, said that initially he and Ecclesia's
artist-in-residence Scott Erickson were looking for ten volunteers to
depict ten scenes as tattoos.
have seen about 50 [volunteers] so far. I spend most of my time
discouraging people from getting these," said Seay.... Read this
in full at
IS NOT THE PROBLEM
night, I was doing some reading and writing our weekly MentorUs
resource, and I came across this verse. It isn’t new, but it hit
heart in a brand new way: “Submit to one another out of reverence
for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21
word submit gets a bad rap sometimes. We say it in our wedding and
then resent it in our marriage. But the word submit simply means
put someone else ahead of yourself.” Your preference is more
important than my preference. Your desires more important than my
desires. Your wishes more important than my wishes. You being right
more important than me being right. You are more important than me.
That is submission. God’s desire is that both people in a
make the other person more important than themselves.
the last week, we’ve had several people email us or talk to us
personally about pornography. How did I stop watching it? Do I have a
desire to watch it? Am I still addicted to it? How did we overcome
I’ve realized is what kept me in bondage to a sexual addiction
wasn’t porn; it was pride. It was a lack of submission. My pride
wouldn’t allow me to admit my problem. My pride wouldn’t
to seek help. My pride was more important than submitting to Christ
or to my wife. My pride was bigger than my porn problem. My pride
kept my porn problem big.... Read this in full at
that you are at the starting line of a race. You have been training
for months. You’ve competed on this track before, but today you
determined to win. As soon as the starting gun goes off, you break
out in a burst of speed. Amazingly, you keep it up, rounding the
track twice and then heading across the finish line. But guess what!
Despite your heroic efforts, and the fact that this was your best
time yet, you lose again. It isn’t for lack of trying. Your
is that you aren’t properly equipped to win a race against a
only a rough analogy to highlight the fact that merely trying hard
won’t win the race when it comes to living our lives as
Even though many of us are working very hard at it, we rarely if ever
experience the joy and peace that is promised in the Bible. So
the problem? .... Read this in full at
GOD OF SURPRISES
Tutu says that despite all the evil and suffering in the world, human
beings are "remarkable things" who are "made for
goodness." The radio program On Being explored how his
understanding of God and humanity has unfolded through the history
he's shape.... Listen to this conversation in full at
A FIRE: ON MANHOOD THAT'S HONEST, STRONG AND ... WEAK?
the end, if you are a man at all, you will be an honest man. Or you
will be dishonest, something less than a complete man, with a dead or
dying heart. Not even you can fully convince yourself you are a real
man as long as your heart is dead.
the choices are yours. You will be false, or you will be true. You
will be hard, brittle, and acerbic, or you will be strong, gentle,
and true. You will be authentic and present in the circumstances and
relationships of your life, or you will be a counterfeit, irrelevant,
and emotionally absent man when it really matters. You will display
courage in the face of danger, or you will fold in fear. You will
demonstrate dignity and honor, or not.
you continually mature, you will find you are strong and courageous
in one setting and a fearful shell of a guy in another. Don't be
afraid to think and to ask yourself what part of your manhood is
completely formed and what part must yet grow into the person you
really are, into the person God says you are... Build a fire with
your brothers; identify your masks — your false self — and
throw them into the roaring flames. You'll walk away together with a
renewed fire in your hearts for the adventure ahead.
asking your friends a few questions about what being a man is all
about, and watch where the conversation goes.” Wes Yoder in Bond
Brothers: Connecting with Other Men Beyond Work, Weather, and Sports
SCHOLAR: SABBATH NOT ABOUT KILLING TIME
scholar and pastor Eugene H. Peterson, best known for The Message
Bible translation, asserts that Christians must make the Sabbath a
meaningful part of their lives, as it provides an opportunity for
change. Peterson's comments came during a Q Ideas discussion with
organization founder Gabe Lyons.
today's society, the idea of the Sabbath often gets muddled and lost
in nonstop activity, but Peterson insists, it can and has to be
how Christians can celebrate the Sabbath, presented as a day of rest
in the Bible, Peterson said bluntly that people need only to "show
up, and shut up." The Bible scholar further explained that in
the celebration of the Sabbath, one should not be afraid of silence
or boredom because that period of inactivity provides time to notice
God's activity.... Read this in full at
a limited time, Peterson’s comments on video can be seen at
WE CAN LEARN FROM JEREMY LIN'S SUDDEN RISE TO LEADERSHIP
February has been more exciting than ever, dominated by Linsanity,
the phenomenon surrounding the improbable rise of New York Knicks
point guard Jeremy Lin.
his first six games in the starting lineup, Lin has been unstoppable.
He scored more points than any other NBA player ever had in his first
five starts. In his fifth game, Lin hit a game-winning three pointer
with less than a second left on the clock. In his sixth start, he had
a career-high thirteen assists. Six starts, six wins. It has been
Lin story is so compelling, not just because of the endless puns
based on his name or what he has accomplished on the court, but also
because of who he is as a person and the road he has traveled to get
to this point.
is Taiwanese-American, the very rare American born Asian player to
make an NBA roster. He went to Harvard University, which is not
exactly known as a basketball powerhouse. In fact, he is the first
Harvard graduate to play in the NBA since 1954. When people imagine
great basketball players, they don't normally picture an
Asian-American from Harvard.... Read this in full at
JESUS HATE RELIGION? (PART 2)
Clare De Graaf
continuing the conversation about Jesus and religion. I said last
week I don’t think Jesus hated it, but to be sure he was wary of
some aspects of it and we should be also. I’m also hoping that
will use the YouTube I featured last week as a springboard for
teaching your own children and grandchildren to think biblically and
speak honestly about these issues.
was sitting with a group of Christian high school students in Panera
a few weeks ago and I asked this question, “What bothers you most
adults will often describe a church where the congregation sang with
gusto, “I surrender all…”, but obviously
didn’t. “Take my
silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold”, but they did.
From the looks of the cars in the parking lot, they withheld millions
of mites. Their parents would greet people with a hug, or handshake,
but gossip about them behind their back. Their parents would be
screaming at each other in the car on the way to church, but all
smiles and love when they walked through the doors of the church....
Read this in full at
link is to a video on YouTube that’s an ad for Nike. It promotes
the idea that “every day is an opportunity to reach your
That goal in the ad is to be physically active. But I wonder what
kind of video could be produced that demonstrates the daily goal of
being spiritually active? How many candy pieces would you accrue with
that goal in mind? See the Nike vide at
REVERSAL: THE PROBLEM OF THE INCREASING MARGINALIZATION OF MEN
to the matriarchal society of Meghalaya, India, where, in a vast
reversal of traditions the world over, property names and wealth are
passed along from mother to daughter instead of father to son. Women
have the luxuries, opportunities, and advantages typically enjoyed by
men. Even the preference for baby boys is gone; as one Khasi man told
the BBC, at the hospital, “If it’s a girl, there will be
cheers from the family outside. If it’s a boy, you will hear them
mutter politely that ‘whatever God gives us is quite all
the Khasi men are experiencing the crippling prejudice,
discrimination, and oppression that women throughout history have
known all too well. Keith Pariat, a leader in Meghalaya’s
rights movement, told BBC reporter Timothy Allen that they "do
not want to bring women down….We just want to bring the men up
where the women are." According to Allen, Pariat was “adamant
that matriliny is breeding generations of Khasi men who fall short of
their inherent potential, citing alcoholism and drug abuse among its
story is depressing and frustrating.... Read this in full at
FOSTER DEEPER RELIGIOUS LIFE, RESEARCH SHOWS
proves what most ministers long have suspected: Friendships developed
at church positively influence religious behavior and -- to a lesser
degree -- beliefs.
Stroope, a doctoral student in sociology at Baylor University,
analyzed data from the Baylor Religion Survey, a random survey of
more than 1,600 adults nationwide conducted by the Gallup
organization. His wrote about his findings in an article that will be
published in the summer issue of the journal Sociology of Religion.
greater the proportion of friends a person has at church, the greater
the likelihood of that person’s involvement in religious
activities, he discovered.
matter more than any other factor -- income, age, gender, geography,
denominational background or how long a person has been going to
church,” Stroope noted in an interview.
activities include publicly observable behaviors such as singing in
the choir, attending worship, participating in Bible study classes,
joining in church social event and performing church-related
volunteer work.... Read this in full at
PRODUCER TEACHES A SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS ABOUT GREAT MOVIES. SO CAN
Winter has been producing movies for almost three decades, starting
with 1984's Star Trek: The Search for Spock. A devout Christian who
once considered going to seminary and becoming a pastor, Winter has
more recently overseen such projects as the X-Men and Fantastic 4
movies, plus a handful of independent films geared more toward a
faith audience (including The Least of These, Thr3e, House, The
a Sunday school class at Montrose Church in Montrose, California,
Winter teaches about how movies connect with our everyday lives,
exploring the theological and sociological themes of film. Paul
Shrier, a practical theology professor at Azusa Pacific University,
interviewed Winter about the class, how others might replicate it in
their own churches, and, the Oscars.... Read this in full at
MOVIE ON AMISH FACED MANY HURDLES
with subjects whose religion and culture prohibit them from giving
interviews on camera or even posing for pictures, many filmmakers
would have given up.
folks at PBS' "American Experience" stuck with it, however,
and emerged with a revealing look at the Amish, a religious community
of about 250,000 centered primarily in rural Pennsylvania, Ohio, and
Indiana. The film
Tuesday on PBS stations (8 pm EST).
Amish, distinguished by their horse-and-buggy mode of transportation,
proved not only elusive to study but more complex than most outsiders
grew on me how interesting they were and how intriguing they were and
how relatively little we knew about them, even though busload after
busload of tourists come in to see them," said Mark Samels,
executive producer of "American Experience."
he got to know many Amish, Samels found them as baffled by the idea
of being a tourist attraction as the outsiders were of them.... Read
this in full at
SAYS QUEBEC PARENTS CAN'T PULL STUDENTS OUT OF RELIGION CLASS
highest court has ruled that children in Quebec schools cannot opt
out of a course on ethics and world religions. The Supreme Court Feb.
17 unanimously rejected an appeal from Catholic parents who sought to
keep their children out of the class because they felt exposing them
to a variety of religions would confuse them. The nine high court
judges disagreed, saying that exposing children to different beliefs
and values was a fact of life in Canada's multicultural society.
Simply teaching children other religions "does not constitute an
indoctrination of students that would infringe on the freedom of
religion," the court said. The mandatory course is seen as part
of Quebec's ongoing march toward secularism; it covers many world
religions from a cultural perspective. When it was established in
2008, some parents argued it infringed on their freedom of
conscience; the Supreme Court decision upheld two lower court ruling
that dismissed the parents' claim.... Read this in full at
CHARLES R. SWINDOLL ON PUBLIC SPEAKING AND LETTING GOD LEAD OUR LIVES
admired evangelical pastor Charles R. Swindoll has just penned a new
book about his growing up with a speech impediment and how, with
God's help, he was able to overcome that and help others to find the
strength to overcome the challenges in their lives.
Swindoll spoke with The Christian Post about his life as well as the
inspiration and drive behind his new book, Saying It Well.
In the book you reveal that despite your success at being a
communicator it was not always that easy for you. The speech problem
you experienced was paralyzing for you, how did that shape your
vocational view point?
You are referring to my battling with stuttering when I was younger.
If anyone has ever seen the movie "The King's Speech,"
though I am not in a category of a king, they will see something of
the struggle that I went through. There is nothing more fearful for
the average person in our society than to stand before a group of
people and speak. When you add to that the battle of stuttering, your
problem is exacerbated beyond words.
when I began to learn how to speak I still had the fear because I
always had my speaking interrupted with the impediment. So it took
some time to gain confidence over that. I am thankful that over time
I have been able to conquer that battle though admittedly there are
still times that I go back to the principles that were taught by my
speech teacher. My book is designed not to hide that, but to
highlight it and to let people know that even if you struggle with
some fears or an impediment in your speech, there is help available.
You can conquer that and go on to be successful as a speaker or as a
preacher or whatever is your calling.... Read this in full at
GRAHAM ASSOCIATION CUTTING ALMOST 50 JOBS, SHIFTING TO ONLINE
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, one of the world's largest
evangelical ministries, has announced it is cutting 50 jobs, or 10%
of its staff, as the organization shifts its focus toward the
organization leads spiritual training and retreats, Graham family
crusades and festivals, the Billy Graham Library and various
evangelical programs through books, print, television, radio, and the
association has close to 500 employees, and works on dozens of
programs around the world in different countries, but the changing
times are forcing it to change focus toward online evangelism, The
Charlotte Observer reported.
to Brent Rhinehart, a spokesman for the organization, a few of the 50
or so laid-off people will be able to continue working until June,
but others will only be kept on until mid-March. He explained that
the laid off workers will be getting severance packages and career
assistance.... Read this in full at
YOUR YES BE YES
grew up in a small, mill village church where every Sunday we were
told what not to do. We would get together the next Sunday and praise
God we hadn't done anything. In my little church, we were against
what I said. I said we were against sinning. I didn't say anything
about what we were for. Honestly, we didn't know what we were for. We
were just against. For most of us, Christianity seems to be defined
by those things we aren't supposed to do. We always know what we
aren't supposed to do, but few of us know what we should be living
I started thinking about it, I was reminded of a Bible verse that had
troubled me for a long time. Now remember, I went to church multiple
times a week. I spent a lot time listening to Bible stories and
sermons, and there is one verse that always has puzzled me.... Read
this in full at
SECULAR MUSIC IN THE CHURCH ENDANGER SACREDNESS?
New Jersey megachurch's latest effort to engage the culture by using
pop songs in its worship services has drawn some criticism and
reignited a debate about whether secular music should be used in
Church's worship team led the congregation in songs like Adele's
"Rolling in the Deep" and Bruno Mars' "Grenade"
as part of its "Pop God" sermon series in February, a move
that some said endangered the sacredness of the church.
Birch, Liquid's spokesman, said the church was trying to "redeem
the culture" through those songs, but Dr. John Hardin of the
ministry 9Marks cautioned that "the sacred ceases to be that
which is set apart when it is framed in that which is perhaps all too
McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity: When Church &
Cool Collide, said he believed such initiatives stemmed from the fact
that many churches felt pressure because young people are departing
in record numbers, but cautioned that when you attract people with
"gimmicky things," there has to be something substantial in
terms of discipleship to keep them engaged. "As Christians, we
should focus on quality songs that are well-crafted and honest in
their lyrics, and theologically rich," he said.... Read this in
children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and
truth.” 1 John 3:18 (CEB)
value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish
the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” Robert
WARREN: BIBLE'S COHESIVENESS PROVES IT TRUE
Rick Warren continues to push members of his Saddleback Church
campuses in Southern California and more than 6,200 other churches
globally toward improved biblical literacy. He says, "Only God
could have put the Bible together. It is 66 books written over 1,600
years by 40 different authors – and it has one theme. It is one
the reasons we know that the Bible is God's Word: It has a single
unified theme. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is all about God
redeeming man. Jesus is its star."
best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, launched his 40-day
study of the Bible (http://www.40daysintheword.com/) during worship
services of the third weekend in January by preaching that the Bible
is not only historically and prophetically accurate, but
scientifically trustworthy as well.... Read this in full at
MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN
being becoming a quadriplegic, unable to use her hands or legs, after
a tragic 1967 diving accident in Chesapeake Bay, Joni Eareckson was
so depressed that she even contemplated suicide.
just so grateful there were no Jack Kevorkian's around back then
because my problem wasn't so much my quadriplegia; it was clinical
depression,” Joni told me in a previous interview at her offices
Agoura Hills, California.
just needed somebody to come alongside me and show me the ropes and
teach me and lead me through the maze of questions I had to the point
where I could say that ‘I can do this. I really can live life in
wheelchair and live it with a smile, not in spite of the problems but
miraculously because of them.’
because I began to lean harder on Jesus, the stronger you discover
Him to be and the more you realize what you can do.”
Joni is an internationally known mouth artist, a talented vocalist, a
radio host, author of 17 books, and an advocate for disabled persons
worldwide. But in those early days of her disability the last thing
on her mind was marriage; after all, who would want to marry someone
confined to a lifetime in a wheelchair?” .... Read this in full at
CAMPUS CRUSADE'S 60 YEARS IN MINISTRY
Christian Post interviews Vonnette Bright, widow of Compus Crusade
for Christ founder, Bill Bright.
N.T. FRAGMENT: MORE DETAILS EMERGE
seminary professor who surprised the academic world by saying a
first-century fragment of Mark's Gospel had been found has released
new information along with two new claims - an early sermon on
Hebrews and the earliest-known manuscripts of Paul's letters also
have been discovered.
about the finds will be published in an academic book in 2013, says
Dallas Theological Seminary's Daniel B. Wallace, a New Testament
professor. Wallace started the buzz on Feb. 1 when, during a debate
with author and skeptic Bart Ehrman, he made the claim about the Mark
fragment, which would be the earliest-known fragment of the New
Testament.... Read this in full at
EXHIBIT IN ROME TELLS SURVIVAL STORY OF SCRIPTURE
must have-items are sleek hand-held devices that let us download a
thousand apps and perform a dozen tasks at once. But for faithful
Christians down the generations, the must-have item has been a copy
of God's Word in their own hands – a dream some have been willing
to give up their own lives for.
a few clicks on the web or a trip to the local bookstore are all
Americans need to get their hands on a Bible, the story of recording
and preserving Scriptures over thousands of years has often been one
of struggle, suffering and painstaking personal effort.
of all, it is a story of the extraordinary survival of God's word in
spite of the odds, says Dr. Scott Carroll, the driving force behind a
major new Bible exhibition recently launched at the Vatican.... Read
this in full at
CHURCHES REALIGN MAINLINE PROTESTANTISM
a popular saying in church-planting circles: It's easier to make
babies than to raise the dead.
principle applies to denominations as well, said the Rev. Paul
Detterman, who helped found the Evangelical Covenant Order of
Presbyterians in January.
thought it was easier in the long run to create something new rather
than to keep on trying to modify existing forms," he said.
"existing form," in Detterman's case, was the Presbyterian
Church (USA), which remains the nation's largest Presbyterian
denomination despite a decades-long plunge in membership.
ECO may steepen that decline. Thousands of conservative
Presbyterians, upset over the PC(USA)'s vote to lift its ban on
partnered gay and lesbian clergy last year, are eyeing the new group.
Planning for the ECO, which will not ordain sexually active gays and
lesbians, preceded that vote, Detterman said.... Read this in full at
PASTORS PLAN TO IMPROVE THEIR CHURCHES
organizations face pressure to stay current, efficient, and relevant.
This is especially true for nonprofit organizations, like churches. A
new Barna Group study examined how pastors of Protestant churches
plan to improve the strategic, operational, and administrative
aspects of their ministries.
nationwide research project was conducted by asking pastors in what
ways they are likely to improve their churches in the next year.
Respondents were presented with 12 possible activities and asked to
rate the priority of each activity. Many, though not all, of these 12
activities related to getting assistance, expertise or resources from
organizations outside the church.... Read this in full at
JESUS DOESN'T PROMISE US AN 'AFTERLIFE'
Russell D. Moore
a cemetery plot, somewhere out there, waiting for your corpse.
Regardless of who and where you are, you will one day be quite dead.
And in 100 years, chances are no one will remember your
name—including the people carrying your genes in their
bloodstreams. We see our mortal future in everything from the natural
forces that sap our hair color to the bacteria that eventually grind
our bodies to a maggoty pulp. The universe rolls around us
frenetically, and, in every single case, it eventually kills us.
not just a matter of our individual destinies. If we are honest, the
world around us seems pretty good proof that the gospel isn't true.
Doesn't the cosmos seem to be just as the nihilists describe it: a
bloody, merciless machine in which power, not goodness or beauty, is
ultimate? What, then, is the meaning of life? What's the purpose of
history? If it's all heading nowhere, then what difference at all
does my existence make?
gospel of the kingdom doesn't shy away from such questions, but our
preaching tends to swerve around the answers it gives. Often we
Christians start our gospel proclamation with triumph over sin. Fair
enough: The gospel of Christ is indeed the reversal of sin, and of
death and hell. But without a broader context, such teaching can
treat Christ as a means to an end, a step from the alpha of Eden to
the omega of heaven. In a truly Christian vision of the kingdom of
God, though, Jesus of Nazareth isn't a hoop we jump through to extend
our lives into eternity. Jesus is the kingdom of God in person. As
such, he is the meaning of life, the goal of history, and the pattern
of the future. The gospel of the kingdom starts and ends with the
announcement that God has made Jesus the emperor—and that he
to bend the cosmos to fit Jesus' agenda, not the other way around....
Read this in full at
YOUNG CHALLENGES READERS TO ABANDON THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
and bestselling authors Hayley and Michael DiMarco live in the real
world. They understand that self-fulfillment is part of the American
Dream. They also understand that the only way to a truly rich and
fulfilled life is death: death to self.
counter-cultural message is spelled out clearly in the pages of Die
Young: Burying Your Self in Christ (Crossway, 2012). The DiMarcos
guide readers into a practical understanding of what it means to
become "living sacrifices" for Jesus Christ.
to a news release from Jana Muntsinger of McClure Muntsinger Public
Relations, Die Young is a manifesto written by a transparent
husband/wife duo who are committed to living intentionally and
helping others do the same. Today's culture drives people towards
selfishness and ego, but Die Young flips that notion on its head and
offers a better way-a way that leads to life as God intends. As Paul
calls to readers in Romans 12, so the DiMarcos call their readers to
become "living sacrifices."
DiMarcos weave Biblical teaching with "first person"
confessionals from each of the authors, so Die Young is both
theologically rich and completely relatable. Hayley confesses how her
obsession with perfection permeates led to her first engagement being
called off. Michael describes how doing time in jail was exactly what
he needed to wake up to whole concept of dying young. Michael
explains, "For me, to die young was to remove me as the center
of my world, and put God and others in my place, loving and serving
them as much, if not more, than I do myself." Hayley adds, "It's
about an ability to deny yourself so you don't serve your desires
over God's." .... Read this in full at
GOD AT WORK IN THE “ABOVE-GROUND” CHURCH IN CHINA?
we hear frequent reports about the underground house church movement
in China, especially many of the hardships they face due to their
resistance to government control, it may surprise some to realize
there is life in the registered, “above ground” church,
officially known as the Three-self Patriotic Movement.
Partner serves the registered church in China “above board and
legally” by supplying Christian literature, pastoral training,
forging partnerships to build the church.
Burklin, president of China Partner, recently returned from China,
where he worked with several pastors currently seeing God’s hand
work in significant ways. Rev. Zhao and his wife graduated from
Sichuan Theological Seminary in 1995 and came to Yibin city to serve
the local church.
they arrived, there was one church building and one meeting point
(two ecclesias); today there are 18 churches. Yibin had 200 believers
when they started to minister in that city; today there are over
4,000.... Read this in full at
ORANGE TOUR ONLINE SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 6
Orange Tour Online (http://whatisorange.org/orangetouronline) will be
held next Tuesday, March 6. Hosted by Orange, a nonprofit
organization providing resources and training to help churches
maximize their influence on the spiritual growth of the next
generation, this online event will be packed with practical ideas for
church leaders and ministries. It is designed to move teams toward a
unified strategy and provide easy-to-implement suggestions for
partnering with parents. Reggie Joiner, founder of Orange, will focus
on leadership essentials, big ideas for churches, and the nine core
insights to shaping the next generation's worldview.... Read this in
LODGE MARKS THE LIFE OF KEITH MILLER
and staff of Laity Lodge (http://www.laitylodge.org/) marked the
death and celebrated the life and national impact of Laity Lodge's
founding director John Keith Miller, who died Jan. 22, 2012 at the
age of 84. Howard E. Butt, Jr., president of the H. E. Butt
Foundation and Foundations for Laity Renewal and founder of Laity
Lodge, called Miller "instrumental in introducing the open,
candid philosophy that made this the 'safe place' it is today."
"new kind of honesty," Butt said, encouraged clergy and
laity alike to share spiritual struggles as well as victories. Miller
helped make Laity Lodge one the first Christian retreats to integrate
the small group concept into regular programming.
work marked a decisive change in American Christian culture, cutting
across a broad swath of church life," Butt said.
first book, The Taste of New Wine, was published in 1965 while at
Laity Lodge, selling more than a million copies. He wrote or co-wrote
24 books on subjects from Christian living, addictions and
codependence, to spiritual transformation, and business. His writing
with Bruce and Hazel Larson influenced the Christian world's
practical understanding of "relational theology." "Keith's
commitment to the adventure and the story gave many others a way to
know Jesus and to live their faith," Butt said.... Read this in
VIDEO GAMES HAVE VIOLENT VIEW OF RELIGION
over violent or sexually-explicit video games have been raging since
the early days of gaming, as titles like Mortal Kombat, Night Trap
and others fueled the fires of controversy.
Greg Perreault, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri
School of Journalism, decided to explore an untapped avenue of gaming
controversy: religion. More specifically, he focused on the
correlation between violence and religion, both organized and more
studied five games, and while the specifics differ, he found that in
each case, religion was closely tied to violence.... Read this in
CAMPING ASSOCIATION KICKS OFF EFFORT TO PROVIDE CAMP EXPERIENCE FOR
Camp and Conference Association launched an effort this week to send
underprivileged kids to camp for a week, regardless of their ability
to pay. “Corners of the Field” is a national initiative to
campership dollars and to help local camps across the U.S. give kids
the best week of their lives in the beautiful setting of a camp.
"Imagine the impact if any kid, anywhere could go to camp
regardless of their ability to pay. Imagine if kids struggling with
their identity, longing to be loved, faced with huge peer pressure or
thoughts of self-injury could experience in a beautiful place the
love of a God who has a plan for their lives," said Gregg
Hunter, CCCA CEO/President
conjunction with a national awareness building effort called The
Power of Camp, CCCA is educating parents and the public about the
need for camp and the unique benefits children receive from a week
away at camp.... Read this in full at
MORE KIDS GETTING SEX-CHANGE TREATMENTS
to a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics, sex-change
treatments for teens and young children are on the rise at clinics in
the United States, although still a small number, CBN
The treatments, which include taking drugs to stop puberty, often
start around age 11. Dr. Norman Spack, who wrote the report, said
pediatricians "need to know there are children who think they
were born the wrong sex." Spack is the director of one of
America's first gender identity medical clinics at Children's
Hospital Boston, which averages about 19 sex-change procedures on
kids every year.... Read this in full at
US CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK
research shows more than half of births to American women younger
than 30 are outside of marriage, the Daily Mail reports. With
two-thirds of children in the USA born to mothers under age 30, it
appears the majority of births are out of wedlock. Across all
ages, four in 10 women are not married when they have
shows the fastest growth in the past 20 years is among white women in
their 20s with some college education but no four-year degree; most
college graduates, however, marry before having children, suggesting
family structure is becoming a new class divide. "Marriage has
become a luxury good," said Frank Furstenberg, a sociologist at
the University of Pennsylvania. But studies consistently show that
children born to married couples do better in school and develop
fewer social, cognitive, behavioral and emotional problems.... Read
this in full at
AMERICANS REJECTING MARRIAGE IN 50S AND BEYOND
growing number of men and women in their 50s and 60s are opting out
of marriage and venturing into old age on their own.
the past 20 years, the divorce rate among baby boomers has surged by
more than 50 percent, even as divorce rates over all have stabilized
nationally. At the same time, more adults are remaining single. The
shift is changing the traditional portrait of older Americans: About
a third of adults ages 46 through 64 were divorced, separated or had
never been married in 2010, compared with 13 percent in 1970,
according to an analysis of recently released census data conducted
by demographers at Bowling Green State University, in Ohio.... Read
this in full at
INVITES ARAB WORLD ON 'JOURNEY OF HOPE'
than a year after "Arab Spring" upheavals began to oust
governments in North Africa and shake up much of the Middle East,
another wave of hope continues to sweep across the region. The
pioneering missionary radio broadcaster HCJB Global launched its
"Journey of Hope" campaign March 1
(http://www.hcjb.org/journey-of-hope-about), showcasing a media
outreach effort that offers a better future - and eternal destiny -
for those still living amid social, political and cultural
uncertainty.... Read this in full at
THERE'S MORE TO WINNING THAN WINNING
last we left the NCAA, it was February madness, colleges were jumping
conferences, suing each other, coaches were claiming rivals had
cheated in recruiting — the usual nobility of college sports.
then, in the midst of all this, the men's basketball team at
Washington College of Chestertown, Md., journeyed to Pennsylvania to
play Gettysburg College in a Division III Centennial Conference game.
was senior night, and the loudest cheers went to Cory Weissman, No.
3, 5 feet 11 inches, a team captain — especially when he walked
onto the court as one of Gettysburg's starting five.
he was a captain, but it was, you see, the first start of his college
career. Cory had played a few minutes on the varsity as a freshman,
never even scoring. But then, after that season, although he was only
18 years old, he suffered a major stroke. He was unable to walk for
two weeks. His whole left side was paralyzed. He lost his memory, had
seizures.... Read this in full at
strongest moral decisions are the ones we make before temptation
strikes.” Life Application Study Bible
didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful,
loving, and self-controlled.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (CEB)
WEEK'S HYMN: MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE
Ray Palmer, 1830
Lowell Mason, 1830
faith looks up to Thee,
Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
let me from this day be wholly Thine!
Thy rich grace impart
to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
warm, and changeless be, a living fire!
life’s dark maze I tread,
griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
let me ever stray from Thee aside.
ends life’s transient dream,
death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!
many people regard prayer as a formalized routine of words, a refuge
for weaklings, or a childish petition for material things. We sadly
undervalue prayer when we conceive it in these terms, just as we
should underestimate rain by describing it as something that fills
the birdbath in our garden. Properly understood, prayer is a mature
activity indispensable to the fullest development of personality--the
ultimate integration of man's highest faculties. Only in prayer do we
achieve that complete and harmonious assembly of body, mind and
spirit which gives the frail human reed its unshakable strength.”
Alexis Carrel (1873-1944), "Prayer is Power", from The
Reader's Digest, March, 1941, included in The Questing Spirit,
Halford E. Luccock & Frances Brentano, New York: Coward-McCann,
1947, p. 645
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.
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Steps for Boosting Creativity
links to websites are provided as a
service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry.
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
does not buy happiness, but it's a lot more comfortable to cry in a
Mercedes than on a bicycle.
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
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.
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.
our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.org/
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