Connecting man to man to God
For week of November 24, 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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“Come, let’s sing out loud to the LORD! Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation! Let’s come before him with thanks! Let’s shout songs of joy to him!”
- Psalm 95:1-2 (CEB)
“Marriage should be made up of two forgivers. We need to learn to say, ‘I was wrong, I’m sorry.’ And we also need to say, ‘That’s all right, I love you.’”
- Billy Graham
GRATITUDE AND THANKSGIVING DETERMINE LIFE’S VALUES
by Bill Ellis
In just a few days, Thursday, November 28, our nation and most of its citizens, will celebrate Thanksgiving Day in some manner. It will change with families over time. It was always an important day in our family. It was a time when family members would gather at grandmother’s house or in the home of an older relative.
Where, when and who are changing times as births, deaths and marriages enter into the plans. There was a time when mother and dad would want to go to their parent’s house to show off a new baby whose name may have been John or Mary. Sixty years later those new babies have become parents and grandparents and the family would gather at their house.
During Thanksgiving Day as families gather, there is a lot of story telling, remembering, laughter and expressions of gratitude. It is a time to review the past, be caught up on the present and look at the future that is always just ahead.... Read this in full at
GOSPEL OF SELFISHNESS PERVADES AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY
by Amanda Marcotte
Anyone who has worked in the restaurant business will be happy to tell you that waiters always fight each other to avoid working Sunday lunch shift. Not because they want to sleep in, but because it’s a widespread belief that the post-church crowd is loud, demanding and unwilling to tip appropriately. In the food service industry, “Christian” is synonymous with “selfish.”
Unfair stereotype? Probably. Big groups, regardless of affiliation, tend to tip poorly. More to the point, waiters probably remember the bad Christian tippers more because the hypocrisy is so stunning. The image of a man piously preening about what a good Christian he is in church only to turn around and refuse the basic act of decency that is paying someone what you owe them perfectly symbolizes a lurking suspicion in American culture that the harder someone thumps the Bible, the more selfish and downright sadistic a person he is. And that perception — that showy piety generally goes hand in hand with very un-Christ-like behavior — is not an urban myth at all. On the contrary, it’s the daily reality of American culture and politics.... Read this in full at
8 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN YOU READ THE OLD TESTAMENT
by Andy Rau
It’s not a secret that many people, Christians included, find the Old Testament more challenging and difficult to understand than the New Testament. The reasons for this are many and much-discussed; foremost among them is the great cultural and literary gap between our era and Iron Age Mesopotamia. What it means is that while Christians can appreciate individual Old Testament stories, it can be tricky to connect those stories to the New Testament, and more specifically to the gospel message we’re so familiar with.
This was the topic of Christopher J.H. Wright‘s plenary address recently at “A Missionary Reading of Scripture,” a conference at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI.... Read this in full at
EVANGELIST BILLY GRAHAM RETURNS HOME FOLLOWING BRIEF STAY AT MISSION HOSPITAL IN ASHEVILLE, NC
Evangelist Billy Graham returned to his home in Montreat Nov. 21 following a two-day stay at Mission Hospital, flagship hospital of Mission Health in Asheville, North Carolina. He was admitted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, for pulmonary-related tests and observation.
"Mr. Graham was alert and in good spirits during his stay," said William R. Hathaway, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Mission Hospital. "We are pleased with the results of Mr. Graham's evaluation."
Graham, who celebrated his 95th birthday on November 7, was admitted at Mission Hospital last month for similar tests.
His son, Franklin Graham, who now runs the Billy Graham said in a Thursday statement that his father is prone to chest congestion.... Read this in full at
C.S. LEWIS: 50 YEARS AFTER DEATH, MORE POPULAR THAN DURING LIFETIME
by Jonathan Merritt
When Clive Staples Lewis breathed his last on November 22, 1963, the world was looking elsewhere. The beloved American president, John F. Kennedy, had just been assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Oddly, science fiction writer Aldous Huxley also died the same day, creating a trifecta of influential deaths. But 50 years later, one of the three deceased stands above the rest in terms of continued global impact.
“[C.S.] Lewis is now more popular than he ever was,” says Robert Banks, an author and professor with a particular interest Lewis. “And each year he becomes more popular than he ever was by far in his lifetime.” .... Read this in full at
GOSPEL OUTREACH PLANNED FOR THE 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS
While the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, won’t begin until next year, a number of Christian ministries have long been gearing up for a massive outreach effort. International organizations are partnering with local churches to prepare for visitors from around 100 nations.
Mission Network News details the work of Russian Ministries in mobilizing and equipping Christians to share the gospel during the games:
Sochi is just one of those cities, says Kulakoff. "The churches are already being mobilized and the churches are being prepared for this once-in-a-lifetime event. The churches are praying that God will give them wonderful opportunities." .... Read this in full at
HELPING MILLENNIAL MEN PRIORITIZE FAMILY VS. WORK
by Tim Elmore
The Harvard Business Review just published a piece about young males and work. It may not come as a shock to you—but these guys seemed to have learned a lesson from their Boomer parents who might have been workoholics: work should be a “guide” to your identity but not a god. Here is the summary: For males, working more than 50 hours a week — let’s call it overwork — is often rewarded with higher salaries and prestige. Executives can work more than 90 hours a week. Surgeons, more than 100 hours. It’s also considered a badge of honor in some industries — a sign of ambition. But white-collar millennial males aren’t subscribing to the iron-man ethos of previous generations. Many are avoiding the rat race and seeking more work-life flexibility. And if their companies don’t give them what they want, they leave. Family is king — without exception.... Read this in full at
HARD WON LESSONS ON LEADERSHIP – PART TWO
by Clare De Graaf
Many leaders make the mistake of trying to introduce a big vision before they’ve done the hard work of winning the confidence of those they lead.
I once made this observation to the leader of a large company: “When you’re sitting on top of the mountain, you can make the mistake of thinking all is well in the village below.”
This isn’t just true of big corporations; it’s true of churches, organizations, and even families. Do you know, and do you care, what most stresses your employees, volunteers in ministry, or even your spouse and children? What questions or fears can you help them address, or at very least, show empathy for? It’s not all about you. In a Christian worldview it’s all about God and others.... Read this in full at
TRANSFORMATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP ASSESSMENT REVEALS BIBLE ENGAGEMENT SHORTCOMINGS IN CANADA
LifeWay Research has recently released research about Bible engagement in all of North America, with part of that research particularly focusing on Canada.
Two-thirds (66%) of churchgoers surveyed agree with the statement, "I desire to please and honour Jesus in all I do."
However, when asked how often they read the Bible outside of church, a third (34%) say rarely or never. Only 11% read the Bible daily. Just over a quarter (27%) read it at least a few times a week or once a month.... Read this in full at
10 REASONS READING THE BIBLE MAKES ME MORE PROGRESSIVE
by Benjamin L. Corey
A study I read the other day showing that the more people read their Bible the more liberal they become demonstrates something I have found to be completely true.
I’ll use the term “progressive” here since that’s what I identify as. Looking back on my own journey out of fundamentalist thinking and into a Christianity that is life-giving instead of life-sucking for me, this trajectory of moving away from the hard right the more I read my Bible has been a daily reality. (Quick point of order: I’m not saying that reading your Bible will make you all the way left, because certainly I am not on many issues. The argument is simply that for those of us on the hard right, when we read our Bibles more often, it tends to move us in a leftward motion on certain issues.) The question is: Why? .... Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice, doesn’t stand on the road of sinners, and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful. Instead of doing those things, these persons love the LORD’s Instruction, and they recite God’s Instruction day and night!”
- Psalm 1:1-2 (CEB)
“Earthly fears are no fears at all. Answer the big question of eternity, and the little questions of life fall into perspective.”
- Max Lucado
FROM AUTO SHOP TO SACRED SPACE
The old Chevrolet paint and body shop was vacant -- 24,000 square feet of metal and concrete surrounded by a sea of asphalt.
But when some members of Congregation Or Hadash saw it, they saw a home.
Since it was founded in 2003, the conservative Jewish congregation had bounced from location to location outside Atlanta -- a Methodist church, a windowless space in a school, any place they could rent or borrow as they grew.... Read this in full at
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S CHURCH HOME REMEMBERS HIS LEGACY
“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Most Presbyterians have heard these words from President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delivered 150 years ago yesterday, on Nov. 19, 1863.
But how many know that Lincoln considered New York Avenue Presbyterian Church his home church? .... Read this in full at
HOW THE STATE DEPARTMENT IS GETTING RELIGION
by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
When Secretary John Kerry took over the State Department from Secretary Clinton, he found that the legal and conceptual framework for an Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives had already been laid. Deciding to go ahead with the new office, Kerry called a professor of theology at Wesley Theological Seminary named Shaun Casey, who happens to be one of the most religiously knowledgeable and connected people in Washington.
Responding to the opportunity, Prof. Casey took a leave from his position at the seminary and, since the middle of the summer, Casey has been busy launching the new initiative in the hopes that awareness about religion and religious actors will someday be included the training and day to day execution of America's foreign policy.
I recently spoke to Prof. Casey, who now has the title of 'Special Advisor' on the phone about the exciting work he is doing, what he hopes to be the future of religion at State, and why his wife tells him to wipe that dopey grin off his face when he comes home from work.... Read this in full at
CHRISTIANITY IS 'A GENERATION AWAY FROM EXTINCTION" IN BRITAIN, SAYS FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
Unless the church makes a substantial breakthrough in attracting young people back to the faith, Christianity in Britain is just "a generation away from extinction," says former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.
Referencing the Church of England's warning that shrinking attendance could challenge its role as a "national institution," Lord Carey pointed out at a Christian Conference that clergy are currently grappling with a "feeling of defeat" and congregations are weighed down with "heaviness," according to The Telegraph.
On top of that, he said, the public's reaction to all of this is simply "rolled eyes and a yawn of boredom."
Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, highlighted the gravity of the dying church by telling members they need to "evangelize or fossilize." .... Read this in full at
TEACHING BOYS TO BE MEN OF GOD
by Marlon De La Torre
All too often the attempt to freely exercise our moral nerve is met with disdain by those who would characterize this behavior as too oppressive or judgmental. Imagine a person who is trying to publicly exercise their moral nerve being chastised for doing so. Unfortunately this type of scenario is happening more often than not today.... Read this in full at
MORE EVANGELICALS BELIEVE SUICIDE IS A MORAL RIGHT
About a quarter of evangelicals believe that a person has a moral right to suicide if he or she is ready to die because living is now a burden, or if that person is an extremely heavy burden on his or her family.
The number keeps rising for other situations, according to a substantial study released by Pew Research on views of end-of-life medical treatment. About a third of white evangelicals and a third of black Protestants believe suicide is a moral right for those who have an incurable disease. And 42% of both groups believe suicide is a moral right for those in a great deal of pain with no hope of improvement.... Read this in full at
20 THINGS THE RICH DO EVERY DAY
by Dave Ramsey
1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.
2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.
3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.
4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.
5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor.... Read this in full at
NEW SURVEY EXAMINES PUBLIC’S VIEWS ON END-OF-LIFE MEDICAL TREATMENTS
At a time of national debate over health care costs and insurance, a new Pew Research Center survey on end-of-life decisions finds most Americans say there are some circumstances in which doctors and nurses should allow a patient to die. At the same time, however, a growing minority says that medical professionals should do everything possible to save a patient’s life in all circumstances.
When asked about end-of-life decisions for other people, two-thirds of Americans (66%) say there are at least some situations in which a patient should be allowed to die, while nearly a third (31%) say that medical professionals always should do everything possible to save a patient’s life. Over the last quarter-century, the balance of opinion has moved modestly away from the majority position on this issue. While still a minority, the share of the public that says doctors and nurses should do everything possible to save a patient’s life has gone up 9 percentage points since 2005 and 16 points since 1990.... Read this in full at
‘JERUSALEM,’ A TRIBUTE TO THE HOLY CITY, COMES TO THE GIANT SCREEN
It may be as close as a person can get to praying at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall, without actually going there.
The newly released movie “Jerusalem,” filmed in 2D and 3D and playing on IMAX and other giant-screen theaters across the U.S. and the world, gives viewers grand, hallmark panoramas, at once awe-inspiring and intimate.
For years filmmakers had sought the rights to capture the city from the air, but never before had permission been granted, in part because the holy city is a no-fly zone.
Still, before filming began in 2010, producer Taran Davies came up with an extensive wish list of all the sites and rituals he wanted in the film, and presented it to advisers familiar with the spectrum of religious and secular officials who would have to approve.... Read this in full at
SHILOH ALTAR FROM TIME OF BIBLE KINGS DISCOVERED
For decades archaeologists have been searching for evidence to support the hypothesis that Shiloh served as a religious center in ancient times. Now, a stone altar dated to the Iron Age — the period of Israelite kings — was accidentally exposed during a dig conducted by an archaeological staff officer of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.
The altar was found amid the stones of a wall dated to the Byzantine period. Apparently, the Byzantines removed the altar from its original location in Tel Shiloh and used it to build a structure at the foot of the tel. The discovery is the first tangible evidence that Shiloh was a cultic center prior to and during the First Temple period.... Read this in full at
“The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, ‘I was wrong.’”
- Sydney J. Harris
VERSE TO PONDER
“Your word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey.”
- Psalm 119:105 (CEB)
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD
Words: Martin Rinkart, circa 1636; translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, 1856
Music: attributed to Johann Crüger, 1647; harmony by Felix Mendelssohn, 1840
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
>from NetHymnal at
“Prayer concerns three, not two but three. God to whom we pray, the man on the contested earth who prays, and the evil one against whom we pray. And the purpose of the prayer is not to persuade or influence God, but to join forces with Him against the enemy. Not towards God, but with God against Satan--that is the main thing to keep in mind in prayer.”
- Samuel Dickey Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer, Fleming H. Revell Co., 1904, p. 120
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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What do we want? PROCRASTINATION! When do we want it? Next week!
Frank Coleman, Editor
Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
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