Connecting man to man to God
For week of November 17, 2013
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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“Christ himself suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous. He did this in order to bring you into the presence of God. Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit.”
- 1 Peter 3:18 (CEB)
“God is more interested in the workman than in the work.”
- Warren Wiersbe
PERSPECTIVES ON BIBLICAL INERRANCY: LIVE-BLOGGING THE INERRANCY DISCUSSION
by Bible Gateway blog
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…. — 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
What does it mean to profess that the Bible is “God-breathed”? Does it mean the Bible is “true” and “perfect”—and if so, what do those words mean in this sense? Does it mean the Bible contains no spiritual errors? What about its scientific and historical accuracy? And how should we understand the process by which God revealed Scripture to us through the channel of fallible human scribes and authors? .... Read this in full at
“Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement. He is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor -- that is the only way out of our 'hole.' This process of surrender -- this movement full speed astern -- is what Christians call repentance.”
- C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 44
ARE THERE REALLY 100,000 NEW CHRISTIAN MARTYRS EVERY YEAR?
by Ruth Alexander
How widespread is anti-Christian violence?
"Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that every year an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are killed because of some relation to their faith," Vatican spokesman Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi announced in a radio address to the United Nations Human Rights Council in May.
On the Internet, the statistic has taken on a life of its own, popping up all over the place, sometimes with an additional detail - that these 100,000 lives are taken by Muslims.
The number comes originally from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in the US state of Massachusetts, which publishes such a figure each year in its Status of Global Mission (see line 28).
Its researchers started by estimating the number of Christians who died as martyrs between 2000 and 2010 - about one million by their reckoning - and divided that number by 10 to get an annual number, 100,000.
But how do they reach that figure of one million? .... Read this in full at
“The offering of ourselves can only be the offering of our lived experience, because this alone is who we are. And who we are--not who we want to be--is the only offering we have to give. We give God therefore not just our strengths but also our weaknesses, not just our giftedness but also our brokenness. Our duplicity, our lust, our narcissism, our sloth--all are laid on the altar of sacrifice.”
- Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, HarperCollins, 1992, p. 31
11 SIGNIFICANT EVENTS THAT CHANGED CHRISTIANITY SINCE AD 100
by Clare De Graaf
Earlier this year, our family went on Spring Break. All 21 of us! But, it wasn’t all vacation. I decided to begin teaching our 14 grandchildren (or at least 7 of the “olders” ages 8-15) eleven events that changed Christianity. It’s what our grandchildren call “Papa School”.
I wanted to give them a brief history of historical Christianity from the New Testament to the ‘60s. I also wanted them to know the major events, people and movements that have shaped the Christian faith and the church.
My second goal was to shore up their confidence about the Bible. I wanted them to know how we got it and who determined which writings should be in our Bible. It’s been my experience if a Christian does not have confidence and conviction about the Bible, he or she will never live under its authority.
So, here, what in my estimation, are the 11 significant events that changed Christianity since AD 100.... Read this in full at
“Since you have forsaken the world and turned wholly to God, you are symbolically dead in the eyes of men; therefore, let your heart be dead to all earthly affections and concerns, and wholly devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ. For you must be well aware that if we make an outward show of conversion to God without giving Him our hearts, it is only a shadow and pretence of virtue, and no true conversion. Any man or woman who neglects to maintain inward vigilance, and only makes an outward show of holiness in dress, speech, and behavior, is a wretched creature. For they watch the doings of other people and criticize their faults, imagining themselves to be something when in reality they are nothing. In this way they deceive themselves. Be careful to avoid this, and devote yourself inwardly to His likeness by humility, charity, and other spiritual virtues. In this way you will be truly converted to God.”
- Walter Hilton (1330?-1396), The Scale of Perfection [early 15th century], ed. Serenus Cressy, Book I, I.i
MAN FINISHES TWEETING ENTIRE BIBLE AFTER THREE YEARS WORK
A UK man has recently completed his three-year mission of tweeting the entire bible, chapter by chapter. Since its beginning, the man has seen his small project blossom into an international viral phenomenon on social media.
Chris Juby, the 30-year-old worship director at Kings Church in Durham, UK, decided in 2010 that he would summarize each chapter of the bible in a tweet. Since taking on this daunting task, Juby hasn't missed a single day of tweeting the 1,189 chapter summaries, and successfully completed his deadline of three and a half years with a final summary of Revelations 22 posted on Nov. 8: "Rev22: The river of life flows from the throne of God. 'Behold, I am coming soon. I am the beginning and the end.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"
Juby, who has reportedly read the bible three times in its entirety in his life, wrote on the website for his Twitter mission, Bible Summary, that he does not plan to tweet any more using the Bible Summary handle now that he has completed his task. Since he first started his Bible Summary project on Twitter three and a half years ago, the Twitter account has gained the attention of nearly 30,000 followers.... Read this in full at
HOW CS LEWIS LIT THE WAY TO BETTER APOLOGETICS
by Michael Ward
In the south transept of London's Westminster Abbey—where for a thousand years the kings and queens of England have been enthroned—sits a crowded collection of statues, plaques, and engraved flagstones. Geoffrey Chaucer, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Charles Dickens are buried there; dozens more are commemorated there. On November 22, 2013, 50 years to the day after his death, C. S. Lewis will join them.
Poets' Corner may seem like an odd place for a writer whose poetry is largely overlooked (though his first two publications were volumes of verse, and Lewis's poetry is far better than many remember or realize). But you needn't be a poet to join Poets' Corner. Musicians like George Frideric Handel and actors like Laurence Olivier mingle with Tennyson and Chaucer. The Corner is devoted to poets in the older, deeper sense of the word. They are "makers" who assemble words (or musical notes or dramatic performances) for artistic ends.... Read this in full at
ZONDERVAN BESTSELLER CALLS FOR MEN TO 'MAN UP'
A Zondervan-published book that calls for men to “man up” debuted at No. 7 on a New York Times bestseller list.
The book “FIGHT: Winning the Battles that Matter Most” by Craig Groeschel is on the Times’ list of advice, how to and miscellaneous books.
The book also debuted at No. 58 on the USA Today bestseller list on Oct. 31.
Groeschel is LifeChurch.tv's founding and senior pastor. LifeChurch.tv has17 locations in five states and an attendance of 50,000 in person and tens of thousands online.... Read this in full at
“Let us pardon those who have wronged us. For that which others scarcely accomplish -- I mean the blotting out of their own sins by means of fasting and lamentations, and prayers, and sackcloth and ashes -- this it is possible for us easily to effect without sackcloth and ashes and fasting, if only we blot out anger from our heart, and with sincerity forgive those who have wronged us.”
- St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), in "To those who had not Attended the Assembly," A, Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, v. IX, New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889, p. 232
HOW DID THE PEREGRINE FALCON EVOLVE?
by Bob Russell
I recently learned some fascinating facts about the Peregrine Falcon, related by my friend Tom Ellsworth, minister of the Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, Bloomington, Indiana.
The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest creature on the planet. While he spends most of his time high above the earth searching for food, it’s his incredible sky-diving ability that sets him apart. The falcon exceeds 200 miles an hour in a steep dive!
His aerodynamic shape, swept-back wings, stiff feathers and pulse rate that reaches 900 beats per minute, certainly enable him to reach those breakneck speeds. But that incredible velocity creates other challenges. For instance, how can the falcon’s eyes focus on prey a mile away while being blasted by air? .... Read this in full at
WHY HATERS NEVER CHANGE THE WORLD
by Sharon Miller
On the whole, I am a lot angrier a person than I would like to be. Someone cuts me off in traffic? I get angry. Someone posts an insensitive political rant on Facebook? I get angry. Someone writes a mean-hearted comment on my blog? I get angry. Someone mistreats my husband? I get angry.
Some of my anger is justified and some of it is not, but suffice it to say that I waste a lot of time feeling yucky. Anger is not a gratifying emotion. I don’t feel better after I get angry. I only feel worse.
I think a lot of us struggle with anger. One of my fellow Her.meneutics writers often refers to our cultural climate as being “poised for outrage.” So many of us are crouched and ready, waiting to be offended, looking to pounce. It happens on the Internet, but it also happens in our neighborhoods, business meetings, even our churches.... Read this in full at
DID A PRAYER MEETING REALLY BRING DOWN THE BERLIN WALL?
by Peter Crutchley
The date 9 November 1989 is etched in history as the day the Berlin Wall came down. But was it actually a prayer meeting held exactly one month earlier that made the fall of the Wall inevitable?
Ignoring death threats and huge banks of armed police, thousands gathered at St Nicholas Church in the East German city of Leipzig on 9 October to pray for peace.
The congregation then joined an estimated crowd of 70,000 on a protest march against the country's communist regime.
It was the largest impromptu demonstration ever witnessed in East Germany, but this was no spontaneous flash mob. It was the culmination of years of weekly prayer meetings organised by Christian Führer, the pastor of St Nicholas.
So how did the church end up playing such a prominent political role under an atheist regime? .... Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“Don’t love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them. Everything that is in the world—the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
- 1 John 2:15-16 (CEB)
“The foolish person seeks happiness in the distance; the wise person grows it under his feet.”
- James Oppenheim
WITH ECHOES OF FRANCE, DEBATE ON RELIGION DIVIDES QUEBEC
The government in Canada's Quebec province has proposed a "secularism charter" that would, among other things, ban government workers from wearing religious symbols.
A similar debate played out in France nearly a decade ago and has now traveled across the Atlantic to the French-speaking Canadian province.... Read this in full at
WHY HAS FOOTBALL BECOME SO BRUTISH?
by Frank Deford
Not surprisingly, in the explosive revelations about the Miami Dolphins team turmoil, most attention has been paid to the fact that, in the midst of a locker room predominately composed of African-American players, a white, Richie Incognito, slurred a black teammate, Jonathan Martin, with the ugliest racial epithet –– and was actually publicly supported by some blacks on the team. Incognito's sadistic employment of the word has not only sickened but also astounded most of us.
However, I would submit that once we accept the inherent racism in this one dismal affair, the greater lasting impression will be to damage the sport of football itself, for the broader implications illustrate again how brutish our most popular American game has become.... Read this in full at
CHARITY TO THE UNDESERVING
“It seems to me to be the best proof of an evangelical disposition, that persons are not angry when reproached, and have a Christian charity for those that ill deserve it.”
- Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536), The Colloquies of Erasmus, v. II, London: Reeves & Turner, 1878, p. 298
CAN YOU CULTIVATE DEEP DEVOTION IN THIS DIGITAL AGE?
by David Murray
I want to give you some tips to keep your spiritual head above the water in the face of the digital deluge.
1. Take guilt to God.
Mention devotions to most Christians and the guilt meter goes straight to red: guilt over failure to do them, guilt over lack of profit in them, guilt over rushing through them.
As there’s nothing so motivating as starting with a clean sheet, let’s take all our guilt to God and find the energy and freedom that comes from a full and free forgiveness in Jesus Christ.... Read this in full at
RECOVERING THE DISCIPLINE OF HOSPITALITY: AN INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN WILSON-HARTGROVE
by Jonathan Merritt
Ten years ago, a group of Christians in Durham, North Carolina, launched a community of hospitality in a historic neighborhood called Walltown. Since then, the Rutba House has welcomed folks who are homeless, returning home from prison and others who just need a safe place to land. Now In his new book, Strangers at My Door: A True Story of Finding Jesus in Unexpected Guests, Rutba co-founder Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove shares some of the remarkable everyday stories he’s encountered. Here we talk about why he thinks hospitality has declined in Western culture and how we can recover it.... Read this in full at
EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY IS BIG IN NIGERIA — 87 FOOTBALL FIELDS BIG
by Rowan Moore Gerety
All-night prayer vigils are at the core of Nigeria’s booming Pentecostal movement. Some churches draw worshippers in the hundreds of thousands.
At one church, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Friday night vigils take place in what locals call an "auditorium." It's a covered pavilion the size of 87 football fields, and it’s not quite big enough. The church has already cleared ground for a bigger one.
In fact, it's something of a pattern: the church's old pavilion was demolished a few years back, and now vendors have set up shop on the old foundation.... Read this in full at
THE LIFE YOU LOSE
“God says, "The life you save is the life you lose." In other words, the life you clutch, hoard, guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself, and only a life given away for love's sake is a life worth living.”
- Frederick Buechner (b. 1926), Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC, Harper & Row, 1973, revised, HarperCollins, 1993, p. 28
“Pride, security, and other sins that are common effects of prosperity, are enemies more dangerous than beasts of the field, and more apt to increase upon us.”
- Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Concise Commentary on the Bible , Deut. 7:12-26
VERSE TO PONDER
“God roars with his wondrous voice; he does great things we can’t know. He says to the snow, ‘Fall to earth,’ and to the downpour of rain, ‘Be a mighty shower.’”
- Job 37:5-6 (CEB)
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: O Render Thanks To God Above Hymn
O render thanks to God above,
The fountain of eternal love,
Whose mercy firm through ages past
Hath stood, and shall forever last.
Who can His mighty deeds express,
Not only vast, but numberless?
What mortal eloquence can raise
His tribute of immortal praise?
Extend to me that favor, Lord,
Thou to Thy chosen dost afford;
When Thou return’st to set them free,
Let Thy salvation visit me.
O may I worthy prove to see
Thy saints in full prosperity,
That I the joyful choir may join,
And count Thy people’s triumph mine!
“The life of prayer is just love to God and the custom of being ever with Him.”
- Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), Santa Teresa, an Appreciation, Alexander Whyte, ed., London: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1897, p. 75
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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Self-defense instructor: "What steps would you take if someone were coming at you with a large, sharp knife?"
Student: "BIG ones."
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, firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
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