Connecting man to man to God
For week of July 27, 2014
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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Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.
– Isaiah 41:10
“Whoever loves much, does much.”
– Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.xv.2, p. 51
WHAT MEN WHO FAIL HAVE IN COMMON
by Patrick Morley
Working with men is my vocation, and I love it. However, every day I hear from men whose lives, marriages, and families are falling apart or barely hanging on. Often it’s because of emotional neglect–chasing some dream that didn’t include their families. Other times it’s because of mishandling money, substance-abuse, pornography, prostitution, lapses in integrity, and so on.
While there is no common denominator for why men fail, most of these men do tend to have one thing in common. If they are Christians, it is uncanny how most of these men were part of a small group they no longer attend. As a result, they have become isolated.
Isolation is the devil’s #1 strategy. Why? Because it’s so effective. We all know from the National Geographic Channel that the the lion never goes after the herd. The lion always attacks the stray…the one who has become isolated. That’s because every predator understands the strategic value of isolation–whether in the animal kingdom, human traffickers, or sexual predators…. Read this in full at
A BIBLE DESIGNED FOR BEAUTIFUL READING
To escape from Bibles that are “ubiquitously dense, numerical, and encyclopedic in format,” an energetic venture is underway to create an “entire biblical library in four elegant volumes, designed purely for reading. The text is reverently treated in classic typographic style, free of all added conventions such as chapter numbers, verse numbers, section headers, cross references and notes.”
Bible Gateway interviewed Adam Lewis Greene about his ambitious Kickstarter project, Bibliotheca…. Read this in full at
CHANGING SIDES (THE STORY OF SALVATION)
by Clare De Graaf
I’ve been meeting with a gifted athlete and student, not yet a believer. He was raised in the church, so he knows the storyline, but he’s not yet committed his life to Jesus and he knows it. The good news is, like many young people, he finds Jesus compelling and wants to believe, but is wary of religious Christianity.
Perhaps you too, have a son, or daughter, or grandchild who believes Jesus is the son of God and has an interest in being more like him, but just doesn’t know what it means to step over the line and follow him.
The following is a presentation I’ve used of what it means to leave your old life and commit yourself to another life and lifestyle. Please cut me some slack. This isn’t a presentation of the gospel but once a person has been presented with the basic facts of the gospel story, what does it mean to “commit your life to Jesus Christ?” …. Read this in full at
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS FORM BY AGE 6
by David Roach
As early as kindergarten, people have decided whether they believe God intervenes in the world or whether the universe is a closed system of natural causes, a new study by researchers at Boston University, Harvard and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology suggests.
Published in the July issue of Cognitive Science, the study by Kathleen Corriveau, Eva Chen, and Paul Harris asked 5- and 6-year-olds to identify whether the protagonists in various stories rendered in several sentences were real people or fictional ones and then provide a reason for their classifications.
Some of the stories were adapted from the Bible and included miraculous events brought about through divine intervention — though several of the accounts got biblical details wrong. Other stories, labelled “fantastical,” were modifications of the same Bible stories with all references to divine intervention removed and the supernatural events presented as magic. A third group of stories, labelled “realistic,” modified the Bible stories further to exclude supernatural events and replace them with events that were “plausible due to human intervention.” …. Read this in full at
8 TIPS ON HOW TO TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT THE SERMON
by Joe Holland
They sit there next to you and their feet don’t even hit the floor. You’re thinking, “What, if anything, of this sermon is sinking into my kid’s head?” And with that little thought you’ve already decided not to engage with your child about the sermon. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let me introduce you to the most important rule when talking to your kids about a sermon: They retain more than you think they do. The second most important rule is like it: They understand more than you think they do…. Read this in full at
FAREWELL TO THE GOLDEN AGE: HOW PUBLISHING HAS CHANGED
by Philip Yancey
I have lived through the golden age of publishing, first with magazines and then with books. I began my career at Campus Life in 1971, and in ten years saw our circulation leap from 50,000 to 250,000. Like many magazines, Campus Life eventually bit the dust as advertising dollars migrated to flashier (and cheaper) online sources and consumers no longer responded to direct mail offers and renewal letters.
For almost four decades (yikes!) I’ve worked as a freelance writer, feeling enormously blessed to make a good living by writing about issues of faith that I would want to explore even if no one bought my books. Every year my royalties go down, though with more than 20 books in print I can still pay bills and find publishers willing to sponsor new books…. Read this in full at
LAY CALLINGS CONFIRMED THROUGH STEPHEN MINISTRY
by Ken Camp
Tiffany Wright believes the priesthood of believers involves equipping the laity to bear one another’s burdens and give Christ-like care to hurting people.
That’s why Wright leads the Stephen Ministry at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, a program that provides one-to-one ongoing lay Christian care. Stephen Ministry takes its name from one of the seven laymen the early church selected to provide caring ministry to people in need, as recorded in the New Testament book of Acts.
“When a person has a problem, the Stephen Minister is not there to fix it, but rather to be present, listen, pray and love. It’s a unique role,” said Wright, minister for care ministries at Wilshire…. Read this in full at
WORLD WAR I AT 100: NEW BOOKS EXAMINE THE BATTLE OF BELIEFS BEHIND THE ‘GREAT WAR’
by Kimberly Winston
Some called it “The Great War.” Others called it “The War to End All Wars.” History proves it was neither.
As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I — a conflict that left 37 million dead or wounded and reshaped the global map — a number of scholars and authors are examining a facet of the war they say has been overlooked — the religious framework they say led to the conflict, affected its outcome and continues to impact global events today.
More than that, they argue, today’s religious and political realities — ongoing wars, disputed borders and hostile relationships — have their roots in the global conflict that began when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914…. Read this in full at
TO KEEP DREAMING
Rick McKinley interviewing Luis Palau
At a recent gathering in Portland, Oregon, hundreds of local pastors cozied up in a packed church gym to hear grizzled evangelist Luis Palau share wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of gospel preaching. Pastor Rick McKinley had questions for Palau—both on “dreaming big dreams,” and the difficult details that such a lofty aspiration demands in a culture that squints at proselytizing.
McKinley: Twenty-five years ago, I heard you preach on “dreaming great dreams.” At that time, you were going to preach the gospel to the Queen of England—something you’d dreamed of your whole life. How is God growing that desire for great dreams in you?
Palau: I still quote the missionaries. You know? They taught us “the whole world.” That is a great dream. But probably half the world still has not heard John 3:16 properly explained. So, I keep looking forward for more opportunities, more open doors, more possibilities…. Read this in full at
DADS, DATE YOUR DAUGHTER’S BOYFRIEND
by Marshall Segal
One of the most terrifying moments of a not-yet-married man’s life is meeting his girlfriend’s father.
The much-anticipated introduction is an unending fountain of humor for friends and family, but it’s more often an occasion for horror for the young man. What will dad say? What will he ask? Will he be armed? The moment is a mountain to overcome in almost any relationship, but I believe it’s a mountain we, as Christians, can capture for the good of the daughter, the suitor, and the father…. Read this in full at
CHRISTIANITY IS HARDER THAN WE PRETEND IT IS
by Stephen Mattson
We make a lot of pitches with Christianity. “It’s a free gift.” “The peace and satisfaction your heart desires.”
These are the expectations we set. And expectations help preface either disappointment or fulfillment.
Unfortunately, for many Christians, the reality of faith is a shocking letdown compared to the false premises that were guaranteed them by pastors, churches and other believers.
As people obsess over church attendance, burnout rates and demographic changes within Christianity, we become infatuated with solving today’s problems-determined to find the perfect fix…. Read this in full at
A man from Poland goes to the optometrist. The doc shows him a chart:
C Z W X N Q S T A C Z
“Can you read this?” the optometrist asks. The Pole replies, “Read it? I know the guy!”
VERSE TO PONDER
God highly honored him and gave him a name above all names, so that at the name of Jesus everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
– Philippians 2:9-11
“God has a time for everything, a perfect schedule. He is never too soon, never too late. The when of His will is as important as the what and the how.”
– Richard C. Halverson (1916-1995), No Greater Power: Perspective for Days of Pressure, Multnomah Press, 1986, p. 213
MENTAL ILLNESS AND SPIRITUAL EVIL
by Shane Raynor
USA Today has a story today about mental illness currently overwhelming the criminal justice system. The most recent numbers show that 56% of state prison inmates and 45% of those in federal prisons are dealing with some kind of mental health problem.
Mental illness is becoming a bigger problem in society as a whole, not just with criminals. According to the World Health Organization, the number one cause of disability for adolescents is depression. Antidepressant use in the U.S. has increased by almost 400% in the last two decades, and the suicide rate from 1999 to 2010 among Americans ages 35-64 increased 28.4%…. Read this in full at
BIBLE SOCIETIES: NEW TRANSLATIONS IN 18 LANGUAGES PRODUCED IN 2013
New Bible translations in 18 languages spoken by 15 million people were published by Bible Societies and their partners in 2013. This is one of the highlights of the United Bible Societies’ Global Scripture Access Report, which has just been released.
The report, produced annually, keeps track of Bible Society translation projects and the rapidly increasing availability of Scriptures through the United Bible Societies’ Digital Bible Library (r) – one of the world’s largest collections of digitised Scriptures with over 600 languages spoken by over 4 billion people…. Read this in full at
AIR FORCE PERSONNEL CUTS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF CHURCH IN MILITARY LIFE
by Jeff Brumley
As if the tempo of military operations and deployments aren’t stressful enough, US Air Force members were jolted by news this week the service will slash nearly 3,500 positions over five years.
But that announcement — including that most of the reductions would be “aggressively” sought in the next 12 months — may be taken in stride by Air Force members who belong to Baptist and other churches which cater to military members, pastors and former servicemen say.
“It plays a huge and important role to have that sense of family and that sense of place” provided by a church, said Jeff Stinson, 41, former Air Force security forces personnel and member of Freedom Life Church, a Baptist General Association of Virginia congregation in Hampton, Va…. Read this in full at
THE MOON COMMUNION OF BUZZ ALDRIN
July 20, 1969, US Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) landed on the Moon (while astronaut Michael Collins continued to orbit the Moon in the Command Module).
Today, included in the 45-year anniversary celebrations of the event is the commemoration of Aldrin taking communion on the lunar surface. Yasmine Hafiz, associate editor for The Huffington Post‘s Religion section, writes, “Aldrin wanted to commemorate the moment in a way he found most personally meaningful.” …. Read this in full at
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SEARCHING FOR IN THE BIBLE?
Earlier this year, GMI created an informative infographic breaking down popular Bible searches by country. They’ve just released a new “video Infographic” that walks through the highlights, and presents some discussion questions based on the data:…. Read this in full at
PROMISCUITY OR MONOGAMY
by Jonathan McKee
What’s more enjoyable, a monogamous sexual relationship, or promiscuity (sleeping with whoever you want)?
Most entertainment media seems to lean towards the latter. Why is this? Does promiscuity really make more sense?
This week I finished writing a book to teenagers about sex that will be released at the end of this year/early next year. It’s a book addressing some pretty candid questions about sex and intimacy. In a world full of explicit lies, this book shares the explicit truth…. Read this in full at
Ushers perform a central ministry in churches of all denominations. They welcome, seat, and assist congregants, helping to create an environment conducive to worship. Often following in the footsteps of their parents, ushers are guided by Psalm 84:10, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Many ushers communicate during services using a sequence of hand signals called the “National Silent Uniform System.” Devised by George T. Grier in the 1940s, these signals have gradually evolved. And they’re still taught to hundreds of volunteers each year by the National United Church Ushers Association of America…. See the signals at
CHARISMATIC CATHOLICS WANT MORE FROM CHURCH
They gathered in the little chapel at St. Ignatius of Antioch, lit by stained-glass abstracts capturing the setting sun, ready to experience something outside the bounds of Mass.
Some strummed guitars; others grabbed maracas and tambourines from a basket and joined in; still others quietly paged through Bibles brought from home. After each song came shouts of “We praise you! We glorify your holy name!” One man dropped to his knees, palms facing upward, whispering “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” over and over.
None of that would look unusual in Middle Tennessee’s Pentecostal-leaning congregations, but these charismatics are challenging the notion of Catholicism as a buttoned-up faith. They’re also claiming a powerful ally in Pope Francis, who in interviews and speeches has joked that he first regarded the animated charismatics as “samba school” students but now endorses them as a great force — possibly because Pentecostal denominations are converting millions of South American Catholics…. Read this in full at
NURSING HOME EVANGELISM: PREACHING AT THE LAST ‘BUS STOP TO ETERNITY’
by Adelle M. Banks
Rhonda Rowe and her team gathered around a diagram of the nursing home’s floor plan and determined how to split up to avoid praying with anyone twice.
Rowe made her way to a room where a 93-year-old woman lay in her bed while her 87-year-old roommate sat in a wheelchair. Rowe knelt between them and went through her “Nursing Home Gospel Soul-Winning Script.”
“Fill me with your Holy Spirit and fire of God,” the 93-year-old repeated. “I’m on my way to heaven. I have Jesus in my heart.”
Rowe was soon off to the next room, but before she left, acknowledged that she might never see them again on earth. “I’ll see you girls in heaven!” she chirped.
Welcome to the world of nursing home evangelism, where teams of lay evangelists target senior citizens for one last chance in this life for glory in the next…. Read this in full at
CONVERT, PAY TAX, OR DIE, ISLAMIC STATE WARNS CHRISTIANS
Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy, or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul.
The statement issued by the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot which led last month’s lightning assault to capture swathes of north Iraq, and seen by Reuters, said the ruling would come into effect on July 19.
It said Christians who wanted to remain in the “caliphate” that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract – a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya”…. Read this in full at
CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ ‘FACING EXTINCTION’ AT ISLAMISTS’ HANDS
Islamic militants have eradicated virtually every trace of Christianity from Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, said July 23.
“There are no Christians left in Mosul,” Shea told CBN News. “They have all been driven out. They have been told to convert to Islam or die, or to leave.”
Mosul has been the center of Iraq’s Christian community for two millennia, but it is also a site with a significant place in biblical history. Ancient Mesopotamia was the location of both the Babylonian and Assyrian empires, as well as the ancestral homeland of Abraham. The city of Mosul is located on the site of the ancient city of Nineveh, the capital of the brutal Assyrian empire and the location of Jonah’s preaching in the biblical account. Nineveh, according to the Bible, was established by Noah’s grandson Nimrod…. Read this in full at
OFFICIALS: ISIS BLOWS UP JONAH’S TOMB IN IRAQ
If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment Jonah’s tomb in Mosul, Iraq, explodes.
The first few frames show the revered shrine towering over its landscape. There’s a sudden burst of dust, fire and smoke. Then, nothing.
CNN could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video, which was posted to YouTube.
The holy site is thought to be the burial place of the prophet Jonah, who was swallowed by a whale or fish in both the Islamic and Judeo-Christian traditions…. Read this in full at
PRAY FOR PEACE IN THE BIBLE LANDS
The war between Gaza and Israel is intensifying, bringing death and destruction. Extremism and hatred between Jews and Arabs is growing and reflects itself in demonstrations both in Israel and the West Bank. The three Bible Societies serving the Israeli, Arab Israeli and Palestinian communities earnestly ask you to join them in praying: …. Read this in full at
THIRD WORLD OSTEEN
Showing that the American-centric, success-based teaching of Joel Osteen has no application outside of, for example, the G20 nations, see
“Will you be the rock that redirects the course of the river?”
– Claire Nuer
VERSE TO PONDER
LORD God, you created heaven and earth by your great power and outstretched arm; nothing is too hard for you!
– Jeremiah 32:17
THIS WEEK’S HYMN: ALL AS GOD WILLS
Words: John G. Whittier, 1856
Music: Charles Hutcheson, 1832
All as God wills, who wisely heeds
To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs,
Than all my prayers have told.
Enough that blessings undeserved
Have marked my erring track;
That, wheresoe’er my feet have swerved,
His chastening turned me back.
That more and more a providence
Of love is understood,
Making the springs of time and sense
Sweet with eternal good.
That death seems but a covered way
Which opens into light,
Wherein no blinded child can stray
Beyond the Father’s sight.
And so the shadows fall apart.
And so the west winds play;
And all the windows of my heart
I open to the day.
>from NetHymnal at
“Be filled with his Spirit, and he will give you objects enough to pray for. He will give you as much of the spirit of prayer as you have strength of body to bear.”
– Charles G. Finney (1792-1875), Lectures on Revivals of Religion, New York: Leavitt, Lord & Co., 1835, p. 76
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
FRIDAY NIGHT RECAP
KNOWING JESUS – REBROADCAST
Aired 7/25/2014@ 10:00pm CENTRAL
REBROADCAST FROM LAST YEAR
Let’s review the event that proved the truth of all Jesus taught and claimed to be. The fulfilling an amazing promise – that three days after His death He would return alive from the grave. His disciples did not understand how this was possible. They did not expect it to happen. Jesus removed every doubt by proving in every way, to all their senses, that His destroyed body had come back to life. He was “declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4). His resurrection proves that “He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25).
It’s good to look at some basics of the Christian faith from time to time.
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 the church guys 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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You know you’re getting old when you come to the annoying realization that your parents were right about almost everything.
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 at 6459 S. Campbell Ave. Chicago, IL 60629.
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