For week of March 15, 2009
Issue 244

The Men’s Ministry 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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In This Issue:

  8. Pray For A Brother Today – Daily Blessing Pact
  9. Classifieds
  10. Favorite Websites
  11. Much, Much More!

“God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me.”
~A. W. Tozer~

What the recession makes very, very clear, if you can see it.
by John Ortberg
We posted a position for our church on Craigslist recently. We got 140 applications. The Dow Jones is down. NASDAQ is down. Housing values are down. Venture capital is down. Consumer confidence is down. Employment is down. Auto industry is down. Commercial real estate is down. Foreign markets are down. Is anything going up? Some things are.

The opportunity to serve people in need is going up. The opportunity to trust God when trusting isn’t easy is going up. The opportunity to build a faith that will last when the storms of life hit it is going up. The opportunity to help our churches become communities where people actually we get real with each other and love and support each other is going up.

We know this is true because certain truths remain unchanged:
God remains sovereign. The blood of Jesus is still more powerful than the stain of sin. The Holy Spirit still guides confused church leaders. The Bible is still the word of God. The tomb is still empty. Prayers still get answered. Love still beats bigotry. Hope still trumps despair. The church is still marching. The Kingdom is still alive and well, and does not need to be bailed out by a stimulus package…. Read this in full at

“All the traditional disciplines, like setting aside time for prayer and fasting, keeping periods of silence, or denying ourselves certain legitimate creature comforts — these disciplines all have the same character: they are not ends in themselves, but a means of replacing faulty desires with the desire for God.

“Retraining ourselves to do what is right is just like physical exercise, and we have to work at it. Paul tells us that physical exercise is good, but spiritual exercise is far more important. Sin comes naturally; holiness doesn’t. It requires the constant supervision of the Holy Spirit and constant prayer, study of the Word, and discipline of the individual Christian. But soon we find we can’t live without it. We hunger more for virtue than for vice.” Charles W. Colson, The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

by Adrian Rogers
When you’re quick to get angry, you can lose so much — your job, friends, children, wife, health, testimony — there’s nothing more debilitating to your Christian testimony than for you to fly off the handle.

Confess Our Anger
If we repress our anger rather than confess it, our anger can do all kinds of damage. You may say that you’re not angry but your stomach will keep the score. So, the first thing you must do to control your anger is to confess it to the Lord. Tell Him, “There’s something moving in me I don’t like. And I need You to take control of me and prevent me from acting uncontrollably or unrighteously.”

Consider Our Anger
When you take a step back from your anger and begin to seek understanding from the Lord, He will show you the answer. It is so important to analyze the source of your anger, so you don’t go off half-cocked. Psalm 4:4 says, “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”

God promises He will show us the way if we will seek Him. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye” (Psalm 32:8). And don’t look around at the world to see how they are handling it, look to God. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Control Your Anger
Now, you’re ready to work on controlling your anger. You say, “I can’t control it.” Oh, yes you can. One day you may be having one of those discussions that can be heard about two blocks away and suddenly the phone rings. One of you stomps over to the phone, jerks it off its base, and says, “Hellooooo.” Now, don’t tell me you can’t turn it on and off. You can! Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” Fools spout off anything and everything, but a wise man can choose to control his tongue.

Faith & Doubt by John Ortberg. The beliefs that really matter, Ortberg writes, are the ones that guide our behavior. While it is easy to think of doubt as the polar opposite of faith, he says, we must realize that questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope. See the detailed summary of this book at

Purchase your copy at

Love Life Live Lent book and booklets contain over 40 simple things to do during Lent: one action for each day. These actions help us to transform our world — locally, nationally and globally. With separate booklets for kids and for adults/youth, a book for families and supporting resources for churches and schools, everyone can get involved. (Also on Twitter at

This Lenten Season, pary for our world to be made new. Gather your family, friends, neighbors, and church members to pray for the poor and vulnerable who have been hardest hit by the global economic crisis — download the public prayer for Justice, Mercy, and Humility below. While each of us is affected by these hard times, it is the people around the world living on less than $1/day, facing hunger, thirst, and often illness who bear the greatest burden. You can use the Millennium Development Goals as a guide for issues to pray about.

Ways to Be the Answer:

  • Reflect on the need for renewal using the MDG prayer guide. Order the guide.
  • Publicly pray the Prayer for Justice, Mercy, and Humility in church, at the dinner table, or on campus.
  • Educate your community about the most crucial needs in our world. Find Bible studies, movie lists, and other activities at the URL below.
  • Advocate for wealthy nations to pledge financial aid to the most impoverished nations at the G20 meeting in April.
  • Join Micah Challenge and thousands of other Christians in Washington, DC for the culmination of the “Be the Answer” campaign at the Sojourners Mobilization to End Poverty, April 26-29. Register at
  • Give more to organizations working to achieve the MDGs. For a great list of trusted organizations check out the Micah Challenge USA members
  • Tell others about this campaign. Download a one pager with all the details for participation in this Lent Campaign.

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
~Albert Einstein~

Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ means being willing to say “yes” unconditionally to God, knowing he likely will lead his followers into uncomfortable places, Kay Warren recently told a conference at Baylor University. For Warren, it meant becoming a global advocate for people with HIV/AIDS, for orphans and for other marginalized and vulnerable groups.

Her husband, Rick, is pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of The Purpose Driven Life.

Accepting Christ’s invitation to deny self, take up a cross and follow him means being “dangerously surrendered, seriously disturbed and gloriously ruined,” she told The Next Big Idea conference, an event sponsored by Baylor’s School of Social Work, Truett Theological Seminary and the Leadership Network.

Warren told participants both at a conference plenary session and workshop how she became “seriously disturbed” a few years ago by reading an article about AIDS in Africa.

“The article said there were 12 million children in Africa orphaned by AIDS. And I couldn’t name a single one of them. There were 33 million people with AIDS. And I couldn’t name a single person who was HIV-positive,” she said.

“It rocked my world. It was a pivotal moment when I said ‘yes’ to God, and he broke my heart. It turned my life upside-down.” That kind of “signpost moment” happens when a Christian becomes “so broken by brokenness, so disturbed, that you feel like you can’t live with it another second,” Warren explained…. Read this in full at

Since September, pastors nationwide say they have seen such a burst of new interest that they find themselves contending with powerful conflicting emotions — deep empathy and quiet excitement — as they re-encounter an old piece of religious lore: Bad times are good for evangelical churches.

“It’s a wonderful time, a great evangelistic opportunity for us,” said the Rev. A. R. Bernard, founder and senior pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York’s largest evangelical congregation, where regulars are arriving earlier to get a seat. “When people are shaken to the core, it can open doors.”

Nationwide, congregations large and small are presenting programs of practical advice for people in fiscal straits — from a homegrown series on “Financial Peace” at a Midtown Manhattan church called the Journey, to the “Good Sense” program developed at the 20,000-member Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and now offered at churches all over the country…. Read this in full at

International World Water Day is held annually as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. The 2009 theme for World Water Day is “Shared Water – Shared Opportunities.” Special focus will be placed on transboundary waters. Nurturing the opportunities for cooperation in transboundary water management can help build mutual respect, understanding and trust among countries, and promote peace, security, and sustainable economic growth.
also see

by Courtny B. Davis Olds
I heard an interesting statistic last week, a statistic that stopped me in my tracks: Around the world, more people die because they don’t have access to clean water than die because they don’t have access to antibiotics. I admit that I didn’t double-check the accuracy of that particular statement. But a quick search on the internet revealed that over 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water. Over 2 billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities. Nearly 2 million children die each year as a result of water-borne diseases. Millions and billions of people. I can’t even visualize numbers that large.

Most people in the United States can’t imagine life without readily accessible, clean water. It is something we all take for granted. Sure, we complain about the cost of utility service whenever the water bill arrives. But most days, we don’t give water a second thought; turn on the tap, and there it is. We use water to cook, clean, drink, bathe, brush our teeth, wash our cars and our dogs, grow grass in the front yard, and keep our children entertained in the summertime. Yet in a single flush of the toilet, we use more water than many families in Africa will use for an entire day’s worth of drinking, cooking, cleaning, and washing. And in most of those families, the women or children will have walked several miles to get the water and carry it home. That puts a whole different perspective on flushing the toilet, doesn’t it?…. Read this in full at

A college student drove his ratty, raggedy old car into the shop. The mechanic looked at it a couple of minutes and said, “What you really need is the radiator cap solution.” “Oh,” said the student, trying not to sound too confused. “Do you mean the radiator cap isn’t holding enough pressure?” “That’s part of the problem” the mechanic said. “You need to lift the radiator cap and drive another car under it. Then you can replace the radiator cap, and it should solve your problem.”

A new NBC drama, Kings, modeled after the fabled life of Israel’s most famous king, reads at time like a modern romance novel with a religious twist. Kings is what creator Michael Green calls “the modern-day David and Goliath.” “The more we examined the biblical story, the more contemporary it felt. And the more we looked at the values in the biblical story, the more they seemed to have applicability today,” executive producer Erwin Stoff says.

David was a monumental figure in the Hebrew Bible. The youngest of eight sons, he is literally plucked from tending his sheep and groomed for royalty. He slays Goliath, establishes Israel’s capital in Jerusalem and authors several Psalms. Only two of David’s descendents compete for fame: his wise son, Solomon, and Joseph, who several generations later would provide a home for a miraculous son born to his virgin wife, Mary. But that’s another screenplay all its own.

Green moved the action from ancient Israel to the fictional modern day kingdom of Gilboa, where characters use cellphones instead of parchment, cars instead of chariots, and automatic weapons instead of spears. A young farm boy, David Shepherd (Chris Egan), follows his brothers into the military to fight an endless border war. An act of heroism (and a little divine assistance) catapults him into the national spotlight when he single-handedly conquers a Goliath tank. King Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane) promptly calls young David to the capital, hoping to capitalize on his popularity as well as to keep David from becoming a rival. David is drawn to the king’s daughter Michelle (Allison Miller), a political force in her own right, and to her hard-partying brother Jack (Sebastian Stan). Queen Rose (Susanna Thompson) manipulates the press while her brother connives to keep the kingdom at war. Only the minister Rev. Samuels (Eamonn Walker) speaks for the Almighty and the cause of the people.

With the biblical David — described in Scripture as “a man after God’s own heart” even as he orders a man killed to cover up David’s affair with the man’s wife — creators had to work hard to include his spirituality without letting the show lapse into another “sandals and sand” epic…. Read this in full at

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
~1 John 3:18 ~

“The Christian is a man who can be certain about the ultimate even when he is most uncertain about the immediate.”
~D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones~

“Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided” (Genesis 22:13-14).

“It is hard to read the story without imagining how Abraham must have felt. Was his hand shaking as he held the knife? Was his mind reeling under the burden of the terrible command he was about to obey? It is not hard to imagine his agony.

“But have you ever considered it from God’s point of view? Watching the man and his son, did God feel something tearing at his heart, knowing that what he asked but did not require of Abraham — the sacrifice of his son — he would one day require of himself?” Ann Spangler, Praying the Names of God

A self-proclaimed “stick-and-ball” kind of guy, Tim Griffin was a stranger to the world of NASCAR racing before joining the ranks of his colleagues at Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) ten years ago. The five chaplains of Motor Racing Outreach, a 20-year-old Christ-based organization, travel across the country, delivering sermons, car-side prayers, counseling after accidents and anything else the drivers and crews need while on the road.

“These guys and gals are on the road 38 weekends out of the year, and the pressures that come with that can often be too much to handle,” said Griffin, lead chaplain for the Sprint Cup Series. “All the more reason for us to offer our service, and help these folks stay connected to their families and values while they’re away.”

Griffin spoke recently to students at Grand Canyon University — a leading Phoenix-based private, intentionally Christian university — where a large concentration of the auditorium was filled by student athletes. During his sermon, Griffin made poignant parallels between the lives of NASCAR racers and college student athletes…. Read this in full at

A wide-ranging study on American religious life finds that the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all. Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2% in 2001 and 8.2% in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey. The study finds that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state. The percentage of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation. The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely….Read this in full at

Also “America becoming less Christian, survey finds”

by Karlyn Bowman
In an attempt to quantify how superstitious Americans are, pollsters have explored our beliefs about prophecies like the soothsayer’s warning about Caesar’s imminent death. They’ve also studied what we think about all things supernatural and fantastical. 31% told Harris interviewers they believed in astrology, but in answer to a National Opinion Research Center question, a much larger proportion, 57%, admitted having read a horoscope or personal astrology report. 31% said they thought astrology was “very” or “sort of” scientific. 17% told Gallup surveyors they had consulted a psychic or fortune teller. Responding to a question from Yankelovich, a third said they believed intelligent beings from other planets have visited the US. In Harris’ survey, 36% of people surveyed believed in UFOs, 25% weren’t sure and 39% didn’t believe…. Read this in full at

In 2006 and 2007, David Plotz blogged the Bible for Slate, starting with ‘In the beginning …’ and reading right through to the end. Plotz has now published Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible, a book sparked by the Slate project:

”Should *you* read the Bible? You probably haven’t. A century ago, most well-educated Americans knew the Bible deeply. Today, biblical illiteracy is practically universal among nonreligious people. My mother and my brother, professors of literature and the best-read people I’ve ever met, have not done much more than skim Genesis and Exodus. Even among the faithful, Bible reading is erratic. The Catholic Church, for example, includes only a teeny fraction of the Old Testament in its official readings. Jews study the first five books of the Bible pretty well but shortchange the rest of it. Orthodox Jews generally spend more time on the Talmud and other commentary than on the Bible itself. Of the major Jewish and Christian groups, only evangelical Protestants read the whole Bible obsessively.

“Maybe it doesn’t make sense for most of us to read the whole Bible. After all, there are so many difficult, repellent, confusing, and boring passages. Why not skip them and cherry-pick the best bits? After spending a year with the good book, I’ve become a full-on Bible thumper. Everyone should read it — all of it! In fact, the less you believe, the more you should read. Let me explain why, in part by telling how reading the whole Bible has changed me.” …. Read this in full at

Phil Zuckerman spent 14 months in Scandinavia, talking to hundreds of Danes and Swedes about religion. It wasn’t easy.

Anyone who has paid attention knows that Denmark and Sweden are among the least religious nations in the world. Polls asking about belief in God, the importance of religion in people’s lives, belief in life after death or church attendance consistently bear this out.

It is also well known that in various rankings of nations by life expectancy, child welfare, literacy, schooling, economic equality, standard of living and competitiveness, Denmark and Sweden stand in the first tier.

Well documented though they may be, these two sets of facts run up against the assumption of many Americans that a society where religion is minimal would be, in Mr. Zuckerman’s words, “rampant with immorality, full of evil and teeming with depravity.”

Which is why he insists at some length that what he and his wife and children experienced was quite the opposite: “a society — a markedly irreligious society — that was, above all, moral, stable, humane and deeply good.”

Mr. Zuckerman, a sociologist who teaches at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., has reported his findings on religion in Denmark and Sweden in “Society Without God” (New York University Press, 2008). Much that he found will surprise many people, as it did him…. Read this in full at

Churches can stop a shooter or anyone else intent on harming church members with the proper security measures in place, an expert on protecting places of worship says. “A church is not helpless when they have a plan, and properly trained security,” said Jeff Hawkins, the executive director of the Christian Security Network.

First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois, had a security plan in place when a gunman walked into services Sunday morning, March 8, and killed Pastor Fred Winters, said Tim Lawson, another pastor at the church.

It’s essential that a church must balance having a security presence while still keeping a house of worship open to everyone, Hawkins said. “Some churches choose armed guards, some have a much more subtle security presence where you wouldn’t even know it’s there.” A church should have five security plans in place to deal with evacuation, long-term shelter, medical emergencies, lost or missing children and violent confrontations, he said.

“Every church is different so you need something that is going to work for that particular church’s culture and size,” he said. “And I think now, especially after September 11, people want to feel secure. They want to know if they bring their family somewhere, it’s going to be a safe environment. Everyone should approach this realistically and not say, ‘This couldn’t happen here in church,’ because we see it happen all the time.”…. Read this in full at

by John Lukacs
Historical knowledge—indeed, any kind of human knowledge—is necessarily subjective. That is what I tended to think in my early 20s. Soon I found that I was wrong. Subjectivity is merely the obverse side of objectivism and objectivity; there is something wrong with the entire Cartesian coin, of a world divided into object and subject, because subjectivism as much as objectivism is determinist.

Every human being sees the world in his own way. That is inevitable but not determined. We choose not only what and how we think but what and how we see. According to subjectivism I can think and see in only one (my) way; he in another (his) way. This is wrong, because thinking and seeing are creative acts coming from the inside, not the outside. Which is why we are responsible both for how and what we do or say as well as for how and what we think and see (or, for what we want to think and for what we want to see).

Knowledge, which is neither objective nor subjective, is always personal. Not individual: personal. The concept of the individual has been one of the essential misconceptions of political liberalism. Every human being is unique, but he does not exist alone. He is dependent on others (a human baby for much longer than the offspring of other animals); his existence is inseparable from his relations with other human beings.

But there is more to that. Our knowledge is not only personal; it is also participant. There is — yet there cannot be — a separation of the knower from the known. We must see further than this. It is not enough to recognize the impossibility (perhaps even the absurdity) of the ideal of their antiseptic, objective separation. What concerns — or should concern — us is something more than the inseparability; it is the involvement of the knower with the known. That this is so when it comes to the reading, researching, writing, and thinking of history should be rather obvious. Detachment from one’s passions and memories is often commendable. But detachment, too, is something different from separation; it involves the ability (issuing from one’s willingness) to achieve a stance of a longer or higher perspective. The choice for such a stance does not necessarily mean a reduction of one’s personal interest, of participation — perhaps even the contrary…. Read this in full at

“If God is your co-pilot — swap seats!”

“Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
~Psalm 34:9-10~

“Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change; and when we are right, make us easy to live with.” Peter Marshall (1902-1949)


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!

Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
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.]

Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I’ll put it in this newsletter.

Book your next vacation with us!

Books, Music & More!

Get your domain name here!

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Click Boxes


All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by our church.

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.)

Do you brighten a room just by entering or just by leaving?
Min. 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, 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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