Connections 03/22/09

For week of March 22, 2009
Issue 245

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!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“It is always springtime in the heart that loves God.” Jean Vianney

by Jeff Cook
God’s world is good and ought to be seen as a means to our bliss. But when we make created things into an end–an idol requiring devotion–we slip into that form of hell known as greed.

Greed is not gluttony, which indulges to the point of bursting. Greed in many ways couldn’t care less about enjoying its spoils. Greed pursues accumulation. Greed is the desire to possess more than I need, because of fear or idolatry. A fitting personification of Greed is Ebenezer Scroge, who sat alone at night with a single candle to light his cold bedroom. “Darkness is cheap,” wrote Charles Dickens, “and Scrooge liked it.”

Scrooge’s desire for accumulation may seem like an innocent mistake–an unhealthy love of wealth. But when the greedy spend all their time and talents staching away gain, what was meant for all is hoarded in the vaults of the few efficent collectors.

Dante depicted the greedy as being chained to the ground, with their backs turned to heaven and their eyes fixed on the earth. The destructive power of greed was noted by one of these shades, who said, “Greed quinched our love of good, thus all our labors were in vain.”

Dante rightly sees the problem. Greed is a misdirected love.

by Charles R. Swindoll
Psalm 84:1-2
It’s gone on long enough. The pigsty in the landscape has to go. If we expect the tourist traffic to increase and the visitors to return to Lake Evangelicalism, we’re gonna have to do something about the ugly ducklings. Some changes are long overdue.

Somebody should’ve tarred ‘n’ feathered the very first stingy board member or strung up the whole squint-eyed, tight-fisted committee way back when. Whoever they were, they did us no favor. They—and the long line of those who follow in their train—are the ones who erroneously confuse excellence with extravagance. Somehow, by means of pious-sounding put-downs they succeed in convincing God’s people that God’s work shouldn’t look too nice . . . that quality is carnality . . . that taste is waste . . . that something well done is overdone . . . that elegance calls for apology, and a touch of class belongs only to the secular.

“If it’s spiritual,” they say, “it shouldn’t be too attractive or very expensive.” …. Read this in full at

On March 7, evangelist David Wilkerson posted an “urgent message” to his blog, ministry website, and mailing list. It began:
I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world. AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE — EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US….”

Q: Doesn’t that sound like the warnings about Y2K that some Christian groups were giving in 1999?
A: Many critics think so. “It does not resonate with my spirit when he claims that God told him to ‘lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials’ because when disaster comes ‘grocery stores are emptied in an hour,’ ” John Piper wrote on his blog. “God might have said this. But it doesn’t smell authentic to me. Too prudential. Too reminiscent of the embarrassing Y2K excesses. … [M]y own effort to be discerning says: Stick with the Bible, David. It is scary enough. And it is absolutely true. And your credibility will never fall.” …. Read this article in full at

The Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics was created on the campus of Calvin College in 1997 to continue the work of integrating Christian faith and politics advanced by its namesake, educator and public servant Paul B. Henry.

The Institute continues Paul Henry’s quest to promote serious reflection on the interplay between Christianity and public life, by becoming a national forum for research, dialogue, and information on their interaction. Join this group at

Less than 1% of the youngest adult generation in America has a biblical worldview, found a new study examining the changes in worldview among Christians and the overall U.S. population. The Mosaic generation, those between the ages of 18 and 23, “rarely” have a biblical worldview as defined by The Barna Group. The research data found that less than one-half of one percent of Mosaics have a biblical worldview.

A biblical worldview, as defined by the Barna study, is believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

Only if someone held all the above beliefs did the research consider the person as having a biblical worldview.

George Barna, who directed the research, commented on the “troubling” generational pattern that suggests “parents are not focused on guiding their children to have a biblical worldview. One of the challenges for parents, though, is that you cannot give what you do not have, and most parents do not possess such a perspective on life,” he noted.

The research shows that only nine percent of all American adults have a biblical worldview, which although significantly higher than that of the Mosaic generation is still a small proportion of the total population.

Among “born again Christians,” the study found that they are twice as likely as the average adult to have a biblical worldview. However, that still amounted to no more than about one out of five (19 percent) born again Christians, a small minority, the study pointed out.

A born again Christian is defined by Barna as those who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today and that they are sure they will go to Heaven after they die only because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior…. Read this in full at

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began but no one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as: “Oh, WAY too difficult!!” “They will NEVER make it to the top.” “Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one, except for those who, in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!” More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But one continued higher and higher and higher. He just wouldn’t give up! At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! All of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it. A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal. It turned out that the winner was deaf.

by John Maxwell
The reason I started blogging was to teach leadership and try to add value to you, my readers. But in today’s post I need to tell you something of a more personal nature. I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life. Early in my marriage I would win arguments with my wife, Margaret, and hurt her feelings really badly. I have made business moves that lost tens of thousands of dollars at a time. And I’ve made leadership decisions that led to failures for my organizations. But up until now, none of the dumb things I’ve done has gotten me arrested. Here’s how this came about…. Read this in full at

People need to be spiritually connected to others, and Rick Warren lists 10 reasons why.

Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, was among the featured speakers addressing the value of small group ministry during a NEXT conference Feb. 19-21 at Saddleback in Lake Forest, Calif., and cosponsored by Serendipity by LifeWay, the small group ministry area of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Warren’s 10 reasons, paraphrased:
1. Connections are the essence of life. Each person’s body has to connect muscle to bone to nerves for it to work.

2. We were created for connections. The pain of loneliness proves this. Love God and love each other — that’s the Cliffs Notes of the Bible.

3. Love is the ultimate connection. The No. 1 secret of church growth is not marketing or advertising, it’s love. If your church genuinely loves others, you’ll have to lock the doors to keep people out.

4. Connections help us understand life. The more you understand connections, how things fit together, the better you understand life.

5. Connections empower us. Power flows through connections.

6. Connections keep us growing. Knowing the right thing to do is rarely enough. To keep doing it over the long term you need partners.

7. Connections help us balance our lives. Memory is our connection to the past; awareness is our connection to the present.

8. Connections increase our confidence. We gain confidence knowing that others are going with us through this journey called life.

9. Connections make us more productive. The better connected we are to God and others, the greater the impact on our ministry.

10. Connections must be learned. Connecting is neither natural nor automatic. That’s why God sent Jesus.

by Martin E. Marty
Virtually every church newsletter, denominational website, religious periodical, or other medium, disseminated in print or electronically, makes some reference to the economic situation in which all classes of Americans find themselves today. Local congregations’ offers of spiritual sustenance, community-sharing burdens, and hopes are still among the main and best things they do, as well as providing counseling, tips, and sometimes guidance to non-church organizations and experts who may be of help. These concern issues of joblessness, home foreclosures, and other devastating realities of 2009…. Read this in full at

GOTelecom, the television minnistry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, will premiere Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ, a program highlighting Orthodox Christian Pascha, or Easter. The program, produced for ABC television network, and sponsored by FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, is scheduled to air on ABC affiliates across the country in mid to late April.

“Can You Pass a C.E.O. Test?”
The New York Times feature Corner Office, a new Sunday Business feature, offers highlights from conversations about leadership and management. The following interview is with Greg Brenneman, chairman of CCMP Capital:

Q. What do you consider the keys to effective leadership?
A. The most important thing is that you treat everybody incredibly well and lead with a bit of humility. I’ve found that when I go into a company to lead it’s important to have a plan and to make that plan a simple one that everybody can understand. So even before I go into a company, or even if we’re looking at a business here at CCMP, I’m constantly asking the question, “What are the two or three levers that, if done right, if pulled correctly, will really turn this business?” Then what I do is take that and put it into a one-page plan.

Q. If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?
A. I’d have probably gone into the ministry. I’d have probably gone into a profession where I feel I could help other folks…. Read this interview in full at

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
Psalm 23:1-3

“The publicity surrounding religious activities is usually in inverse ratio to their intrinsic importance.”
Aelred Graham

by Courtny B. Davis Olds
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote to a friend who had just lost a loved one, “Nothing can make up for the absence of someone we love, and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute; we must simply hold out and see it through.  That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bonds between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; he does not fill it, but on the contrary, he keeps it empty and so helps us to keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain.”

There is no doubt that great pain comes with loss. How can we best support those who are grieving? Is there any point in grieving?  Below is a collection of helpful resources…. Read this in full at

The things I say and do today
In memory’s book, I’ll keep,
And when I’m old and read them-
Will I laugh or will I weep?
Author Unknown

Halfway to the 100-day mark, the Obama administration is treading carefully through hot-button religious issues, unveiling key policy changes late in the week and giving its revamped faith-based office a low public profile.

The Obama policies that most inflame religious groups — embryonic stem cell research, lifting restrictions on international family planning and reversing conscience protections for healthcare workers — were all disclosed on Fridays. Even less controversial issues, like the overhaul of the White House faith-based office or where the First Family attends church, have been kept outside the public eye.

Mark Silk, a professor of religion in public life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., said the White House may be cautious because of the campaign controversy involving Obama’s fiery former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the inauguration uproar over conservative Pastor Rick Warren…. Read this in full at

President Obama has been without a pastor or a home church ever since he cut his ties to the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. in the heat of the presidential campaign. But he has quietly cultivated a handful of evangelical pastors for private prayer sessions on the telephone and for discussions on the role of religion in politics.

All are men, two of them white and three black — including the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., a graying lion of the civil rights movement. Two, the entrepreneurial dynamos Bishop T. D. Jakes and the Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, also served as occasional spiritual advisers to President George W. Bush. Another, the Rev. Jim Wallis, leans left on some issues, like military intervention and poverty programs, but opposes abortion.

None of these pastors are affiliated with the religious right, though several are quite conservative theologically. One of them, the Rev. Joel C. Hunter, the pastor of a conservative megachurch in Florida, was branded a turncoat by some leaders of the Christian right when he began to speak out on the need to stop global warming.

But as a group they can hardly be characterized as part of the religious left either. Most, like Mr. Wallis, do not take traditionally liberal positions on abortion or homosexuality. What most say they share with the president is the conviction that faith is the foundation in the fight against economic inequality and social injustice…. Read this in full at

After an exhaustive due diligence process and with the overwhelming support of church members and governing boards, Tullian Tchividjian, 36, has accepted the call to serve as senior pastor at South Florida’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. In doing so, the church of 650 people which Tchividjian founded 5 ½ years ago just outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida will merge with the 2,200-member Coral Ridge church founded in 1960. Tchividjian is only the second pastor in Coral Ridge’s history. Its founder Rev. D. James Kennedy pastored for 47 years and died in September of 2007 at the age of 76.

Tchividjian preached to a full house at a combined worship service at Coral Ridge March 15. Following the worship service, the members of Coral Ridge gathered for a congregational meeting and voted with 91% of the congregants accepting their Pulpit Nominating Committee’s invitation for Tchividjian to serve…. Read this in full at

by Miguel De La Torre
I recently wrote what turned out to be the most controversial column in the history of Associated Baptist Press. It was based on one of the most difficult passages in the New Testament — the Gospel story of Jesus calling a woman from another culture a “dog.”

As I read everything people said about me, I did agree with one accusation I saw repeated several times: that I am a heretic. I am a heretic because I read Scripture for what it says, not what I want it to say. (Never thought being literal would get me into trouble with conservatives and fundamentalists — go figure.) Scripture states, plainly, that Jesus called this woman a “dog.”

I acknowledge that this is certainly a legitimate way to approach the text. But I don’t think the way I approached the text is any less legitimate, nor does my approach take the text less seriously than the “traditional” interpretation. No matter how much we try to explain the passage away, a plain reading of it remains problematic…. Read this in full at

A Kentucky museum that advocates creationism unveiled an exhibit March 15 that affirms Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection even as they reject his teachings on evolution.

“All we’re doing is helping people to understand that natural selection is not evolution (even though) it’s portrayed that way in public schools,” said Ken Ham, founder of the Christian ministry Answers in Genesis, which operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

Natural selection was Darwin’s explanation for how organisms gain new traits over time. Ham said the exhibit was added to the museum to show that creationists can believe in natural selection without having to embrace evolution.

The exhibit, entitled “Natural Selection is Not Evolution” features a cave aquarium with blind cavefish to show how organisms possess traits specific to their environment. It also features a “Creation Orchard” that shows the family tree of each original kind of created plant or animal as described in Genesis…. Read this in full at

by Dinesh D’Souza
I write this fresh from debating bioethicist Peter Singer on “Can we be moral without God?” at Singer’s home campus, Princeton University. Singer is a mild-mannered fellow who speaks calmly and lucidly. Yet you wouldn’t have to read his work too long to find his extreme positions. He cheerfully advocates infanticide and euthanasia and, in almost the same breath, favors animal rights. Even most liberals would have qualms about third-trimester abortions; Singer does not hesitate to advocate what may be termed fourth-trimester abortions, i.e., the killing of infants after they are born.

Singer writes, “My colleague Helga Kuhse and I suggest that a period of 28 days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others.” Singer argues that even pigs, chickens, and fish have more signs of consciousness and rationality—and, consequently, a greater claim to rights—than do fetuses, newborn infants, and people with mental disabilities. “Rats are indisputably more aware of their surroundings, and more able to respond in purposeful and complex ways to things they like or dislike, than a fetus at 10- or even 32-weeks gestation. … The calf, the pig, and the much-derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy.”

Some people consider Singer a provocateur who says outrageous things just to get attention. But Singer is deadly serious about his views and — as emerged in our debate — has a consistent rational basis for his controversial positions…. Read this in full at

Prostate cancer screenings given to millions of American men each year have little or no effect on whether patients will die from the disease, according to two large studies just released. Although the new trials produced slightly different results, both raise the question of whether early detection of prostate cancer — whose treatments can leave men impotent and incontinent — does more harm than good.

After nearly a decade of follow-up, American scientists leading a trial of 77,000 men found there were slightly more deaths among men who were randomly assigned to undergo annual screening for PSA (prostate-specific antigen) as there were in the comparison group. Because prostate tumors usually grow so slowly, however, doctors say there haven’t been enough deaths yet to know whether that small increase is a real problem or due to chance…. Read this in full at

CONSIDERIs death the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.”
Walter Scott

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

O Lord our God,
Who has called us to serve You,
In the midst of the world’s affairs,
When we stumble, hold us;
When we fall, lift us up;
When we are hard pressed with evil, deliver us;
When we turn from what is good, turn us back;
And bring us at last to Your glory.
… St. Alcuin (c. 735-804)


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.

Traffic “Experiments” and a Cure for Waves and Jams

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.)

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
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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