to man to God|
For week of April 22, 2012
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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“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead. He’s the first crop of the harvest of those who have died. Since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came through one too. In the same way that everyone dies in Adam, so also everyone will be given life in Christ.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (CEB)
“A lot of people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.”
- Author Unknown
SURVEY: MILLENNIALS' RELIGIOUS UNAFFILIATION SIMILAR AT FAITH-BASED AND PUBLIC COLLEGES
Millennials enrolled in religious colleges are just as likely to leave the religious affiliation of their childhood as students enrolled at public universities, a new survey found.
"Among Millennials who have attended or are attending a religiously-affiliated college or university, only 5 percent were raised unaffiliated and 16% currently describe themselves as unaffiliated," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, to The Christian Post about his survey, which was presented at Georgetown University April 19.
"This suggests that they are about as likely to switch to become unaffiliated as Millennials overall."
The 2012 Millennial Values Survey was coauthored by Jones; Dr. Thomas Banchoff, director of Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs; and Daniel Cox, research director for PRRI.... Read this in full at
WHEN REDEMPTION IS REAL
by Rich Lowry
Watergate figure and Christian convert Chuck Colson, 80, was a giant of our time. He was a reminder of the true meaning of redemption, a concept that has been debased in our Tilt-a-Whirl media culture that can’t distinguish between notoriety and fame. In contemporary America, redemption begins sometime between the first check-in into rehab and the first cable-TV interview, and reaches completion when everyone gets distracted by someone else’s attention-grabbing disgrace.... Read this in full at
WHAT DROVE THE MASSIVE POPULARITY OF THE LATE ARTIST THOMAS KINKADE?
By Gregory Wolfe
When the newly renovated Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., was reopened in 2010, the single most dramatic work of art inside was a 15-by-31-foot mural called "The Cross," painted by Thomas Kinkade. In a video explaining the work, Kinkade speaks of the commission (by Franklin Graham) as "a moment of divine inspiration" and says that the painting offers viewers "a glimpse of a heavenly realm."
Humble as the Graham Library may be in comparison, it's hard not to see in this epic painting and its creator a faint echo of the Sistine Chapel and its own heroic muralist.
When it was reported that Kinkade had died on Good Friday this year, at age 54, after a night of heavy drinking, no one was more shocked than his legion of Christian admirers who consider his paintings beacons of serenity and faith.... Read this in full at
USA NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
May 3, 2012
A SOUL LIKE A BALLOON: REFLECTING ON SUFFERING, JOY, AND GROWTH
“During his years in Nazi death camps during World War II, [Dr. Viktor Frankl] observed that the prisoners who exercised the power to choose how they would respond to their circumstances displayed dignity, courage, and inner vitality. They found a way to transcend their suffering. Some chose to believe in God in spite of all the evidence to the contrary... They chose to love, however hateful the environment in which they lived.
“In other words, they refused to yield ultimate power to their captors and circumstances. Though the world was horrible to them, they identified with another world - a world inside themselves, over which they had some control. They affirmed that they were more than the product of their circumstances. As Frankl observed [in his book Man's Search for Meaning], these few people tried "turning life into an inner triumph" and so grew spiritually beyond themselves.
“It became clear to Frankl that ‘the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone.’ In the end he asserts: ‘The experiences of camp life show that man does have a choice of action. There were enough examples, often of a heroic nature, which proved that apathy could be overcome, irritability suppressed. Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.’
“It was this power to choose that kept the prisoners alive, Frankl noted. They learned that tragedy can increase the soul's capacity for darkness and light, for pleasure as well as for pain, for hope as well as for dejection. The soul contains a capacity to know and love God, to become virtuous, to learn truth, and to live by moral conviction. The soul is elastic, like a balloon. It can grow larger through suffering. Loss can enlarge its capacity for anger, depression, despair, and anguish, all natural and legitimate emotions whenever we experience loss. Once enlarged, the soul is also capable of experiencing greater joy, strength, peace, and love. What we consider opposites - east and west, night and light, sorrow and joy, weakness and strength, anger and love, despair and hope, death and life-are no more mutually exclusive than winter and sunlight. The soul has the capacity to experience these opposites, even at the same time.
“My own catastrophic loss thus taught me the incredible power of choice - to enter the darkness and to feel sorrow, as I did after the accident, even as I continued to work and to care for people, especially my children. I wanted to gain as much as I could from the loss without neglecting ordinary responsibilities. I wanted to integrate my pain into my life in order to ease some of its sting. I wanted to learn wisdom and to grow in character. I had had enough of destruction, and I did not want to respond to the tragedy in a way that would exacerbate the evil I had already experienced. I knew that running from the darkness would only lead to greater darkness later on. I also knew that my soul had the capacity to grow - to absorb evil and good, to die and live again, to suffer abandonment and find God. In choosing to face the night, I took my first steps toward the sunrise.”
- Jerry Sittser in A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss
OUR MISSION FROM GOD
by Clare De Graaf
This past Easter we remembered what Jesus did for us. I wrote the following story for our older grandchildren to remind them, “why?” Why did Jesus come and die for us besides guaranteeing our salvation and heaven someday? Is salvation really all about us, or about others, or God? The answer is “Yes!”
Consider reading this story to your children or grandchildren and then discussing the questions at the end with them.
There once was a beautiful country ruled by a good and just king who loved his people deeply. He cared for their every need. Therefore, his faithful subjects simply called him Father.
There was also in that land a terrible Prince they called The Evil One. Many centuries ago, The Evil One deceived the subjects of the Father’s kingdom and most became his slaves. As the centuries passed, this population of slaves grew until there was a vast slave camp encircled by a high fence and barbed wire, encompassing millions and millions of people.... Read this in full at
GLOBAL DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRY ESTABLISHES CANADIAN OFFICE
A local couple is working to establish a Canadian office of Global Disciples, a Pennsylvania-based international organization that works with churches and mission agencies around the world, helping them train disciples, develop leaders and equip church planters to help spread the gospel.
Paul and Arlene Kroeker began their work with Global Disciples shortly after Paul finished up his work as director of Outtatown, Canadian Mennonite University's discipleship training program, in June 2011.... Read this in full at
BELIEF IN GOD GROWS AS MORTALITY NEARS, SURVEY SAYS
Belief in God is highest among older people and increases with age, perhaps due to the growing realization that death is coming closer, University of Chicago researchers said on Wednesday.
Summarizing data from surveys performed in 1991, 1998, and 2008 in 30 countries from Chile to Japan, the university's National Opinion Research Center found that, on average, 43% of those aged 68 and older were certain that God exists.
By comparison, an average of 23% of people aged 27 and younger were firm believers in God, according to the report, which gathered data from the International Social Survey Program, a consortium of the world's leading opinion survey organizations.
"Looking at differences among age groups, the largest increases in belief in God most often occur among those 58 years of age and older. This suggests that belief in God is especially likely to increase among the oldest groups, perhaps in response to the increasing anticipation of mortality," researcher Tom Smith said in a statement.... Read this in full at
Q & A: ROSS DOUTHAT ON ROOTING OUT BAD RELIGION
The biggest threat facing America is not a faltering economy or a spate of books by famed atheists. Rather, the country meets new challenges due to the decline of traditional Christianity, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat suggests in Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press). Douthat has taken his own personal tour of American Christianity: he was baptized Episcopalian, attended evangelical and Pentecostal churches as a child, and converted to Catholicism at age 17. He argues that prosperity preachers, self-esteem gurus, and politics operating as religion contribute to the contemporary decline of America. Christianity Today spoke with Douthat about America's decline from a vigorous faith, modern heretics, and why we need a revival of traditional Christianity.
Q: What do you mean when you say we're facing the threat of heresy?
A: I try to use an ecumenical definition, starting with what I see as the theological common ground shared by my own Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations. Then I look at forms of American religion that are influenced by Christianity, but depart in some significant way from this consensus. It's a C. S. Lewisian, Mere Christianity definition of orthodoxy or heresy. I'm trying to look at the ways the American religion today departs from theological and moral premises that traditional Protestants and Catholics have in common.... Read this in full at
MORE CONGREGATIONS TURN TO FACEBOOK, WEB, HIGH-TECH OUTREACH
No matter where you live, you can go to church, so to speak, with Christ Fellowship. The McKinney, Texas, congregation is on board with almost every high-tech gambit under heaven.
Find the church by going online — the 21st-century version of sighting a steeple on the horizon. Beyond their website, Christ Fellowship has a Facebook page to give it a friendly presence in social media.
You can download the worship program by scanning their customized-with-a-cross QR code. The worship services are streamed online from their Internet campus — with live chat running so you can share spiritual insights in real time.
Afterward, says senior Pastor Bruce Miller, "someone will ask you, 'How did it go? Did God help you, today? How can we help you?' Just like we do when people come to our building in McKinney. We are here to help people find and follow Christ, wherever they are starting out from." And wherever they are in the digital world.... Read this in full at
RELIGIOUS PREMEDS PLAN TO HAVE FAITHFUL BEDSIDE MANNER
When Hasan Siddiqi saw a patient wearing a head scarf, the fourth year medical student at University of Michigan—Ann Arbor wished her "Assalamu alaikum." After returning the Arabic greeting, the patient—who, it turned out, attended the same mosque as Siddiqi—asked him about everything from the availability of halal food at the hospital to the proper times and direction to pray.
"That put her more at ease that there was someone at least familiar in this very strange environment," says Siddiqi, a former president of Michigan's Muslim Medical Students' Association. "There was something extra that I had to offer, because I understood some of the rituals and the religious context."
Doctors need to be cautious about bringing up religion in a hospital room, just as one does at the dinner table, Siddiqi says. But, he adds, connecting with patients on a variety of levels—including faith—can help physicians see their patients as people rather than as algorithms and can better appreciate the larger context of their ailments.... Read this in full at
RELIGIOUS BELIEF HIGHEST IN DEVELOPING AND CATHOLIC COUNTRIES
Belief in God is slowly declining in most countries around the world, according to a new poll, but the truest of the true believers can still be found in developing countries and Catholic societies.
The “Beliefs about God Across Time and Countries” report, released April 18 by researchers at the University of Chicago, found the Philippines to be the country with the highest belief, where 94% of Filipinos said they were strong believers who had always believed.
At the opposite end, at just 13 percent, was the former East Germany.... Read this in full at
IS MASS EVANGELISM DEAD?
by Shane Raynor
I’ve come to the realization that mass evangelism is becoming increasingly less effective. I know that’s not exactly an earth-shattering revelation. It has become fairly obvious, at least here in the United States.
In 1994 I attended my first open air evangelistic crusade in Raleigh, NC — the evangelist was Franklin Graham, and his father Billy made a special appearance on the final night of the event. It was huge! Over 20,000 people attended. If you’re Gen-X or older, you know the routine. There was opening music from a Christian rock band. (Franklin was considered much edgier than his dad back in the day.) Then there was a stirring sermon with an invitation to come down to pray with a counselor and commit your life to Christ. Many people became Christians or renewed their commitments to Jesus. Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Catholic churches (and every other Christian denomination) came together to make sure the event was a success. For this wide-eyed college student, it was a pretty awesome sight to behold.... Read this in full at
THE NEW CONVERSION: WHY WE 'BECOME CHRISTIANS' DIFFERENTLY TODAY
by Gordon T. Smith
It is not be an overstatement to say that evangelicals are experiencing a "sea change"—a paradigm shift—in their understanding of conversion and redemption, a shift that includes the way in which they think about the salvation of God, the nature and mission of the church, and the character of religious experience. Although there is no one word to capture where evangelicals are going in this regard, there is a word that captures what they are leaving behind: revivalism.
Revivalism is a religious movement heir to both the 17th-century Puritans and the renewal movements of the 18th century, but one that largely emerged in the 19th century. It was broadly institutionalized in the 20th century in the conservative denominations in North America as well as in parachurch and mission agencies that then in turn spread the movement within North America and globally. For evangelicals up until at least a generation ago, the language of conversion *was* the language of revivalism; it shaped and in many ways determined their approach to worship, evangelism, and spiritual formation.... Read this in full at
CHRISTIANS MARK 500 YEARS OF ‘HOLY ROBE’ PILGRIMAGE
Thousands of pilgrims are celebrating 500 years of the Pilgrimage of the Holy Robe, which centers on a sacred relic. Once the cause of conflict between Christians, the pilgrimage now is seen as an opportunity to promote unity.
"In the modern world, religions have to work together," said Bernhard Fresacher, a theologian working with the Catholic diocese of Trier. "In 2012, we are opening the ecumenical horizon to include many churches because we believe that the existence of Christianity today is only possible with an ecumenical spirit."
The Holy Robe, believed by some to have been the seamless garment worn by Jesus Christ shortly before his crucifixion, is usually kept out of public view in a reliquary at Trier Cathedral. The rare month-long public display is expected to draw 500,000 people.... Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation.”
- Romans 10:9-10 (CEB)
“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the Book widens and deepens with our years.”
- Charles Spurgeon
ARIZ. GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL TO ALLOW BIBLE CLASSES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill that allows the establishing of elective classes that focus on the Bible and its influence on western civilization.
Sponsored by State Representative Terri Proud, House Bill 2563 was passed by a 21 to 9 vote in the state Senate April 12 and signed by Brewer April 17.
According to HB 2563, "A school district or charter school may offer an elective course pertaining to how the Bible has influenced western culture for pupils in grades nine through twelve."
"A teacher who instructs a course offered under this section in its appropriate historical context and in good faith shall be immune from civil liability and disciplinary action," reads the bill.
The Bible class elective would teach students, among other things, "the contents of the Old Testament and the New Testament," "the history recorded by the Old Testament and the New Testament," and the "influence of the Old Testament and the New Testament on laws, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values and culture." .... Read this in full at
R.A. DICKEY JOINS TIM TEBOW AND JEREMY LIN FOR A NEW YORK GOD SQUAD OF UNDERDOGS
In a turn of events as improbable as Tim Tebow's "miracle in Miami" or Jeremy Lin's dumbfounding debut of Linsanity against the Nets, New York is now swelling with a trinity of evangelical Christian athletes in three different sports.
The third member of the list is the least well known of the group, but the New York Mets knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey has the most captivating story of the three, which he has penned in a page-turning memoir of sexual abuse, a marriage on the rocks, a near-drowning, and heaps and heaps of redemptive baseball reflection.... Read this in full at
'GOD IS NOT A GENIE IN A BOTTLE': WAYS WE MISUSE THE BIBLE
Owen Strachan interviews Eric J. Bargerhuff, the author of The Most Misused Verses in the Bible:
Q: Are there specific categories of verses that evangelicals tend to misinterpret?
A: Our temptation is to interpret the promises of God materially and temporally instead of spiritually and eternally. We Americans have bought into a materialistic, right-now mindset, and so we're tempted to pull verses out of context to fit that mindset. We need to understand that God's greatest desire is to glorify his name. Too often, we interpret God's promises in a way that is appealing to our sinful side. We often grab things out of Scripture and try to use them for our own benefit, instead of taking the necessary steps to submit to Scripture, to be humbled by it.... Read this in full at
KIRK CAMERON: FROM PRIME-TIME HEARTHROB TO ‘HOLLYWOOD FREAK’
Kirk Cameron was once one of Hollywood's babies, the spunky, handsome teenager who starred in the 1980s hit "Growing Pains," and whose picture was taped inside many a schoolgirl's locker.
But now, Hollywood scolds and even mocks Cameron who, at 41, is a vocal evangelical Christian, and, in the view of many of his fellow celebrities, kind of a jerk.
Cameron's more recent acting and directing projects almost always carry a deeply Christian message, and he knows he is now the darling of only a certain segment of America. He even seems to take some pride in the fact.
"I'm kind of a Hollywood freak," he said in a recent interview. "I didn't really turn out the way most people turn out growing up in this industry."
Which raises the question: Can an actor be both a pop culture icon and an outspoken Christian? .... Read this in full at
7 LIFE LESSONS FROM A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR
by Caroline Stoessinger
At age 108, Alice Herz-Sommers is the world's oldest survivor of the Holocaust. She was imprisoned at Theresienstadt, which was conceived by Hitler as a "model" concentration camp.
Herz-Sommers - Alice, as I know her - is a pianist. In between summer 1943 and the camp's liberation at the end of the war, she played more than 100 concerts at Theresienstadt. Most were solo recitals culled from memory from her extensive repertoire. She has survived for more than a century with a profound faith in humanity intact and a smile on her face.
As music is her kind of prayer, Alice still practices piano - Bach, Beethoven, Schubert – for three hours every day.... Read this in full at
IN AFRICAN HORN, WITCHDOCTOR AND MUSLIM SHEIK FOLLOW JESUS
It used to be a brothel, the sandy house where Mike and Abbey Nettles* are raising their children in the Horn of Africa.
When they arrived, their first act was to make the place a home. The second was to learn enough local language to tell people how to get there.
"I can't tell someone how to make bread, but I can tell them how to get to my house, and when they get here, I can tell them about Jesus," Abbey said. "We didn't come to be masters of this language. We came to learn as fast as we could how to tell people about Jesus." And tell people they have..... Read this in full at
VATICAN MARKS 1,700TH ANNIVERSARY OF CONSTANTINE'S CONVERSION
A 4-day academic congress at the Vatican marked the 1,700th anniversary of the battle of the Milvian Bridge and the conversion of Emperor Constantine.
Constantine ruled the Roman Empire from 306 to 337 and was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.
The congress, "Constantine the Great, the Roots of Europe", was a collaboration between the Vatican Secret Archives, the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Italian National Research Council, the Ambrosian Library and the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan.
It was the first of two international academic congresses being arranged by the institutions, the second of which will take place in Milan next year to mark the 1,700th anniversary of the promulgation of the Edict of Milan, agreed by Emperor Constantine and Licinius Augustus to grant religious freedom across the empire.
The edict signalled the end of the persecution of Christians, which had often been severe up to that point.... Read this in full at
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: WHY A BATTLE 1,700 YEARS AGO IS RELEVANT TODAY
For Vatican historians, the roots of a Christian idea of religious liberty go way back: in fact, back 1,700 years to the Emperor Constantine's victory on Rome's Milvian Bridge and to his conversion.
At a Vatican conference in late April marking the anniversary, the head of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences said Constantine's victory in 312 under the sign of the cross was "the foundation of a new world" marked by religious freedom for Christians and separation between church and state.... Read this in full at
GROUP SAYS ‘TITANIC’ FILM GETS ‘WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST’ DOCTRINE ALL WRONG
A spate of books, films, TV programs, and commemorative events are seeking to capitalize on this year’s 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s sinking, especially the new 3-D version of James Cameron’s 1997 epic movie, “Titanic.”
But for one Texas-based Christian ministry, Cameron’s film still delivers a decidedly un-Christian message: That “class warfare” aboard the doomed ocean liner resulted in the disproportionate deaths of poor, female, and young passengers, thus sinking the “Christian doctrine” of “women and children first.”
That’s why Vision Forum Ministries in San Antonio and the Christian Boys’ and Men’s Titanic Society are sponsoring “Titanic 100: An International Centennial Event” in the resort town of Branson, Mo., which is also home to a Titanic museum.
Using drama, music and interactive events, including an “Edwardian Ladies Tea,” the group aims to “set the record straight” by disproving Cameron’s portrayal of the ship’s demise, and to showcase “the legacy of heroism” aboard the Titanic, “as men and boys on board the ship gave their lives so women and children might live.” .... Read this in full at
JESUIT SEMINARIAN TOOK PHOTOGRAPHS OF TITANIC'S INFAMOUS VOYAGE
Commemorations of the sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago are putting the spotlight on a young Irish priest whose photographs are some of the only surviving images of life onboard the liner on its first and last voyage.
Jesuit Father Frank Browne, 1880-1960, became a prominent documentary photographer and a much-decorated chaplain in the British army in World War I.
A collection of his photographs, "Father Browne's Titanic Album" has been reprinted to mark the centenary of the demise of the massive liner, which was constructed in Belfast, Ireland, and was believed to be unsinkable.
More than 1,500 people died when it sank April 15, 1912.... Read this in full at
See Father Browne's photos at
FAITH ON THE DECKS OF THE TITANIC
In every large tragedy, New Yorkers' religious faith has been a key element in the city’s perseverance and recovery.
On June 14, 1904 the General Slocum sank in the East River while carrying down the whole congregation of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church from the Lower East Side to a church picnic on Long Island. An estimated 1,021 of the 1,342 people on board died. The General Slocum disaster was the New York area's worst disaster in terms of loss of life until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Brooklyn Eagle newspaper reported, “One of the survivors, dripping wet and very much excited, took pains to tell an Eagle reporter that the musicians had displayed marked heroism at the time of the panic. They played up to the last moment, then, abandoning their instruments, they hurried to the upper deck and began handing out to the frightened women and children the life preservers which they tore from the racks.
People of all faiths pulled together to help the Lutherans in their grief. Reverend Father Donahue of St. James Catholic Church comforted and administered last rites to forty-five people who were brought to one of the islands in the river.... Read this in full at
Q & A: JEFFERSON BETHKE ON THE SPIRITUAL REALITIES OF SEX
Spoken-word poet and YouTube sensation Jefferson Bethke’s newest video, “Behind the Pen,” hasn’t quite gained the momentum of January’s breakout “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus,” but at over 50,000 views in two weeks, it’s definitely not slacking. From The New York Times and Nightline to the Gospel Coalition, there’s been no shortage of opinions, both positive and negative, on Bethke’s messages. His “Sexual Healing” poem and subsequent “Sex, Marriage and Fairytales” laid Bethke’s views on gender out on the table.
The 22-year-old Washington native and Mars Hill member spoke with Her.meneutics guest writer Kate Roberts about his views on sexuality, parenting, and gender roles.
Q: In “Sexual Healing,” you address the repercussions of premarital sex. What do 20-somethings in the church get wrong about sex?
A: I recently read an article called “Why Young Christians Aren't Waiting Anymore,” and the stats were that 88 percent of non-Christians adults have had sex, while Christians were 80 percent. There is only an 8 percent difference, which is really staggering when you think about it. What Christians are missing out on, what everyone is missing out on, is the depth of sex, the spiritual layers God created it to have, rather than just two bodies slamming together. Sex is suppose to be a picture of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual nakedness—seeing the other person just how they are and still saying, “I accept you, I want you, I want to become one with you.” And you continually [have sex] to renew that covenant to [say], “We're one,” which is ultimately a picture of what we are with Christ.... Read this in full at
CHRISTIANS DEBATE: WAS JESUS FOR SMALL GOVERNMENT?
What would Jesus do with the US economy? That's a matter of fierce debate among Christians — with conservatives promoting a small-government Jesus and liberals seeing Jesus as an advocate for the poor.
After the House passed its budget last month, liberal religious leaders said the Republican plan, which lowered taxes and cut services to the poor, was an affront to the gospel — and particularly Jesus' command to care for the poor.
Not so, says Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee. He told Christian Broadcasting Network last week that it was his Catholic faith that helped shape the budget plan. In his view, the Catholic principle of subsidiarity suggests the government should have little role in helping the poor.... Read this in full at
A GLOBAL GENOCIDE AGAINST CHRISTIANS UNDERWAY?
In addition to the widespread persecution of Christians in the Muslim-majority Middle East, one religious freedom expert says Christians are "very much threatened" throughout the rest of the world.
Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, says, "We're seeing a very vicious attack on Christians in a number of countries. ... In many places in Iraq, we're seeing a religious cleansing. That's a euphemism -- it means that Christians are being killed and driven out. About two-thirds of the Christians in Iraq have already left."
In Saudi Arabia, she says, the government is now hunting down people who pray in their homes, and in Egypt, Christians are "very, very worried about their future because there's an Islamist parliament now." However, Shea notes that it isn't just the Middle East that's seeing an increase in Muslim extremism: "There is a radicalization of Islam going on throughout the world and this is having an impact on the tolerance that there is for non-Muslims. So Christians are very much threatened throughout the world." Those countries include Nigeria, North Korea, China, Vietnam and Pakistan, and "anyone who defends [Christians] who are Muslim -- they're being attacked and killed," Shea says.... Read this in full at
“Our dependence upon God ought to be so entire and absolute that we should never think it necessary, in any kind of distress, to have recourse to human consolations.”
- Thomas a Kempis
VERSE TO PONDER
“Where is your victory, Death? Where is your sting, Death? ( Death’s sting is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.) Thanks be to God, who gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
- 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (CEB)
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: ALL HAIL TO THE PRINCE OF LIFE
Words: Mrs. R. N. Thomas, 1900
Music: Isaac H. Meredith
All hail to the Prince of Life,
All hail to the Lord divine!
For over the whole glad earth
His glorious light shall shine!
He comes from the tomb of night,
The shadow of death laid by,
He comes as a Conqu’ror comes,
His banner of light on high.
All hail to the Prince of Life!
Hosanna to Him we sing—
He comes as a mighty Victor,
He comes as a conq’ring King!
Go forward ye sons of men
And welcome the glorious King!
Go meet Him with songs of joy
That over His path shall ring!
He brings from the grave of death
The blessing of life and peace,
Who seeks Him shall find a part
In joys that shall never cease.
Then come with your hearts of love
And come with your songs of praise,
For Christ Who hath ris’n indeed
Your anthems of vict’ry raise!
For never in ages past
And never in coming years
Shall Victor and Monarch rise
Like Him Whom the world reveres.
>from NetHymnal at
“As the Christian prays, he actually anticipates his own liberation from anxiety even when engulfed by it. Praying to God, he can no longer have it, nor be possessed by it.”
- Karl Barth (1886-1968), Church Dogmatics, v. IV, part 3 , Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, p. 673
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
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!
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will
Raises or bonuses
Sales & commissions
Estates & inheritances
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.]
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Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
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CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, email@example.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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