Connecting man to man to God
For week of December 8, 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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Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (CEB)
“You are one of a kind - designed to glorify God as only you can.”
- Unknown Author
DIED: NELSON MANDELA, SOUTH AFRICAN LEADER WHO STOOD AGAINST APARTHEID
by Gideon Strauss
The legacy of the president who prized reconciliation has much to teach Christians about the necessity, the difficulty, and the limits of politics.... Read this in full at
NELSON MANDELA DIES, PEOPLE OF FAITH REACT
The hero of South Africa — and an inspiration to millions worldwide — died Dec. 5 at 95. The Twitterverse lit up with memories, appreciations and prayers.... Read this in full at
DIED: PAUL CROUCH, 79, FOUNDER OF TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK
In the mid-1970s a vision came to Paul Crouch, but it wasn't what a man of the cloth might have expected.
A map of North America had appeared on his ceiling, glowing with pencil-thin beams of light that shot in every direction. "Lord," asked Crouch, a Pentecostal minister, "what does this mean?"
God, according to Crouch, had just one word for him: "Satellite."
Crouch, who belonged to the Assemblies of God, had been trying to spread the gospel through a small television station in Tustin, but the vision changed his business plan. He bought more television stations, then piled on cable channels and eventually satellites, filling the airwaves with evangelical programming until he had built the world's largest Christian television system — the Trinity Broadcasting Network, or TBN.
The controversial pioneer of televangelism, whose broadcast empire was called "one of evangelicalism's most successful and far-reaching media enterprises" by the Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism, died Nov 30, said his grandson, Brandon Crouch. He was 79.... Read this in full at
HOW ARE YOU CELEBRATING ADVENT THIS YEAR?
It’s December, and Advent is here! Chances are (if you’re in the U.S.) you’re just now fully recovering from the Thanksgiving holiday last week. But with Thanksgiving behind us, we’ve officially entered the countdown to Christmas. And while that stretch of time holds a lot of pleasant experiences—Christmas music, time spent with family, Christmas-themed activities at school and church, etc.—it’s also usually marked by a hectic pace, jam-packed schedules, and financial stress.
With all of that packed into just one month, how can you possibly experience spiritual peace this holiday season?
One simple way you can stay spiritually grounded this Christmas season is by participating in the season of Advent. Advent has just begun; now is a perfect time to choose to participate.... Read this in full at
HARD WON LESSONS ON LEADERSHIP
by Clare De Graaf
A few weeks ago I was teaching a group of young fathers and was asked this question, “How do I build confidence with my children for me as a godly father?”
I doubt if there’s ever been a true Christian and a parent, who has not asked that question. It’s the Holy Grail of both Christian parenting and Christian leadership, in general. So my answers will address all Christians who aspire to be men and women of integrity, on the job or in the home.
My answer to that father’s question was this; “Either live up to your children’s expectation for a true follower of Jesus, and/or manage their expectations.” The group understood the first half of my answer, but didn’t understand my “manage their expectations” advice. It sounded to them like a copout – an excuse for under-performing. I disagreed.
Here’s why I believe both observations are so important to build confidence in those you lead.... Read this in full at
11 GIVING GUIDELINES TO FIGHT THE PULL OF MATERIALISM
by Randy Alcorn
believe the only way to break the power of materialism is first, to see ourselves as stewards that God has entrusted these money and possessions to, and second, to give. Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). As long as I still have something, I believe I own it. But when I give it away, I relinquish the control, power and prestige that come with wealth. At the moment of release, the light turns on. The magic spell is broken. My mind clears, and I recognize God as owner, myself as servant and other people as intended beneficiaries of what God has entrusted to me.
The New Testament offers guidelines for giving that can help us fight the pull of materialism: .... Read this in full at
MEET SALLY LLOYD-JONES, THE MOST SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN AUTHOR YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
How do you get kids to read one of the world’s oldest books? Ask Sally Lloyd-Jones, whose “The Jesus Storybook Bible” recently passed the critical mark of 1 million copies sold.
The British ex-pat and now proud New Yorker has never married or had children of her own, yet aims to retell the Bible to something that comes alive for young people.
One of her editors told her once that there are two types of children’s books authors: the ones who are around children, and the ones who are children inside.
“It kind of freed me, because I think I know I’m that second one,” she said. “And I can still write from that place, because my childhood is so vivid.”
Her “The Jesus Storybook Bible” was not an overnight best-seller, nor was her path to best-selling children’s author a direct one.... Read this in full at
ARE CHRISTIANS MORE LIKE JESUS OR THE PHARISEES?
by Barna Group
One of the common critiques leveled at present-day Christianity is that it’s a religion full of hypocritical people.
A new Barna Group study examines the degree to which this perception may be accurate. The study explores how well Christians seem to emulate the actions and attitudes of Jesus in their interactions with others.
The research project was directed by David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, in conjunction with John Burke, author of Mud and the Masterpiece, a book exploring the attitudes and actions of Jesus in all of his encounters.... Read this in full at
ADVENTURE, ENVIRONMENTALISM OFFER OFF-ROAD ROUTE TO GOD
by Cathy Lynn Grossman
Some religious leaders are turning their ways of living the faith inside out — literally. They’re taking believers into the woods, rivers and deserts to find spiritual truth through adventure and environmental awareness.
Doug Gilmer, adjunct professor of teaching at Liberty University and the so-called Backcountry Chaplain, is one. “The whole Bible is a book of adventure,” he said. “Look at Abraham, Moses, Paul, setting out into the unknown.”
Gilmer teaches Christian adventure leadership in outdoor ministry as a way to make his students “more aware of, more reliant on, the Creator and His Creation.” .... Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“In the past, God spoke through the prophets to our ancestors in many times and many ways. In these final days, though, he spoke to us through a Son. God made his Son the heir of everything and created the world through him.”
- Hebrews 1:1-2 (CEB)
“It was when I was happiest that I longed most. The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find the place where all the beauty came from.”
- C. S. Lewis
TELL ME OH WISE ONE...
"Oh, master...tell me of fate."
"Ah, my son...it is what has brought great nations together. It has made the world a smaller place in which to live. It has inspired men of worth to work endless hours. It will some day enable men to span the universe and light years of travel will soon become mere seconds in time."
"And that, my master, is fate?"
"Oh, FATE! I thought you said FREIGHT."
BIKER CHURCHES LEAD OUTLAWS TO GOD
Members of outlaw motorcycle gangs are coming together throughout the Bible Belt where bikers who once thrived on sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and even a life of crime are now looking for calmness of Bible study and prayer meetings.
“Churches like this gather misfits,” Matthew Butler, who became the church’s pastor in 2010 after working in its music ministry, told Aljazeera America on Sunday, December 1.
“Without a church like this, there would be hundreds of people with nowhere else to go. We are literally reaching into the darkness.” .... Read this in full at
ARE THOSE REALLY ST. PETER’S BONES ON DISPLAY AT THE VATICAN?
by Eric J. Lyman
When Pope Francis cradled the small box said to contain nine bone fragments believed to be the mortal remains of St. Peter, the first pope, he fanned the flames of a long-standing debate over the authenticity of ancient church relics.
Most old churches in Italy contain some ancient relic, ranging from a glass tube said to hold the blood of St. Gennaro in Naples to a section of what is believed to be Jesus’ umbilical cord in the Basilica of St. John of Lateran in Rome. Perhaps the most famous religious relic in Italy — the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be Jesus’ burial cloth — will go on display again in early 2015, and Turin Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia this week invited Pope Francis to attend its public debut.... Read this in full at
TWO WORLD-CLASS LIBRARIES LAUNCH ONLINE ARCHIVE OF ANCIENT SCRIPTURES
by Trevor Grundy
Two of the world’s great libraries — the Vatican Library in Rome and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University — have scanned and loaded the first of 1.5 million pages of ancient Hebrew, Greek and early Christian manuscripts online Dec. 3.
The project brings rare and priceless religious and cultural collections to a global audience for the first time in history.
The website is the first step in a four-year project and it includes the Bodleian’s 1455 Gutenberg Bible — one of only 50 surviving copies.
The $3.3 million project is funded by the Polonsky Foundation, which aims to democratize access to information. Leonard S. Polonsky is chairman of Hansard Global PLC, an international financial services company.... Read this in full at
'JESUS WOULD NOT BE SAFE IN EGYPT TODAY,' PARLIAMENT HEARS
A three hour debate in England’s Parliament Dec. 3 resulted in broad spectrum of agreement on the severity of the global persecution of Christians and the need for the issue to receive wider attention worldwide.
Countries of concern mentioned during the debate were Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria, China, North Korea, Burma, Eritrea and Iran.
The issue of persecution against Christians was brought forward by the Democratic Unionist MP for Strangford, Jim Shannon, who opened the discussion with some harrowing statistics, stating that a hundred thousand Christians will have been killed in 2013 for their faith, while 200 million will have experienced persecution.... Read this in full at
FREE BIBLE FRIDAY
Common English Bible is posting a question about the Bible on its Live the Bible Facebook page every Friday. On the following Monday, the staff will select their favorite answer from everyone's responses, and that fan will receive a free copy of the new CEB Study Bible! .... Read this in full at
COINS DEPICTING JESUS UNCOVERED?
In what appears to be a “very significant” discovery of Art and Art History from the 1st century A.D., historian, historical archaeologist, and imaging inventor Dr. Ronald Stewart, Th.D., Ph.D., is stating that he has possibly uncovered hand-struck coins minted sometime between 33-47 A.D., which have images and depictions of Jesus Christ—many which correlate to well-known Biblical events, reports Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries.
According to a story carried in Breaking Christian News, “Research is ongoing, but these initial findings would be a major development throughout art history, Christianity, Near Eastern history, and numismatics" .... Read this in full at
NORMAN ROCKWELL MASTERPIECE SELLS FOR $46 MILLION
by Maria Puente
Norman Rockwell, long America’s favorite mass-market painter, now has auction records to match his popularity. “Saying Grace,” one of his masterpieces, sold for $46 million at auction Dec. 4 — a price three times higher than his previous record.
Two other iconic paintings by Rockwell, who died in 1978, also sold, for a total of nearly $12 million, according to The Associated Press.
There’s no word yet on who bought the paintings.
It was “Grace” that drew all eyes at Sotheby’s in New York. It is an affecting image of a crowded restaurant with a little boy and a woman bowed in prayer at their table as other diners look on.... Read this in full at
“What other people think of me is becoming less and less important; what they think of Jesus because of me is critical.”
- Cliff Richard
VERSE TO PONDER
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”
- John 1:1-2, 14 (CEB)
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: ARISE, THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND
Words: Johann Rist, 1651; translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, 1858
Music: Adapted & harmonized by William H. Monk, 1868
Arise, the kingdom is at hand,
The King is drawing nigh;
Arise with joy, thou faithful band,
To meet the Lord most high!
Look up, ye souls, weighed down with care,
The Sovereign is not far;
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
Behold the Morning Star!
Look up, ye drooping hearts, today,
The King is very near;
O cast your griefs and fears away,
For, lo, your help is here!
Hope on, ye broken hearts, at last
The King comes in His might;
He loved us in the ages past
When we lay wrapped in night.
Look up, ye souls weighed down with care,
The Sovereign is not far!
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
Behold the Morning Star!
The Lord is with us now, who shall
The sinking spirit feed
With strength and comfort at its need
To Whom e’en death shall bow.
Hope, O ye broken hearts, at last!
The King comes on in might,
He loved us in the ages past
When we sat wrapped in night;
Now are our sorrows o’er, and fear
And wrath to joy give place,
Since God hath made us in His grace
His children evermore.
O rich the gifts Thou bringest us,
Thyself made poor and weak;
O love beyond compare that thus
Can foes and sinners seek!
For this we raise a gladsome voice
On high to Thee alone,
And evermore with thanks rejoice
Before Thy glorious throne.
>from NetHymnal at
“We live in a day characterized by the multiplication of man's machinery and the diminution of God's power. The great cry of our day is work, work, work, new organizations, new methods, new machinery; the great need of our day is prayer. It was a master stroke of the devil when he got the church so generally to lay aside this mighty weapon of prayer. The devil is perfectly willing that the church should multiply its organizations, and deftly contrive machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ if it will only give up praying.”
- R. A. Torrey (1856-1928), How to Pray, Fleming H. Revell, 1900, p. 128
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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He ate so much over the holiday weekend he decided to quit cold turkey.
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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