Connections 04/27/09

For week of April 27, 2009
Issue 249

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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“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

“Some people live their whole lives just around the corner from the world of truth.” Carl Henry

by John Calvin with Knox Bucer-Beza
It is not just those enamored with the prosperity gospel who have pursued health, wealth, and happiness as if they were divine rights and signs of God’s blessing. Or who have avoided adversity and poverty as if they were curses. But God’s ways are more mysterious than we perceive.

God so governs the universe by his secret providence that while nothing happens apart from God’s decree, his hand remains largely hidden from us. What could be more natural than the changing seasons? Yet there remains such unevenness and diversity that every year, month, and day is seen to be governed by a new providence of God.

Church father Basil the Great said that fortune and chance are pagan terms, and ones the godly should not use. But even though all things are ordained by God’s plan, for us they seem fortuitous—their order, reason, end, and necessity seem accidental. Yet in our hearts it nonetheless should remain fixed that nothing will take place that the Lord has not previously foreseen…. Read this in full at

Christian business and financial representatives from at least 15 nations and 40 US states convened in Austin, Texas, to discuss potential economic strategies and solutions for the troubled economy.

Patterned loosely after the World Economic Forum, the 2nd Annual Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (K.E.Y.S.) was held at the PromiseLand Church and featured speakers including bestselling author Dr. Richard Blackaby, president of Blackaby International; Johnny Enlow, president of Daystar International; and Os Hillman, president of Marketplace Leaders Ministries.

According to K.E.Y.S. organizer, convener and host Dr. Bruce Cook, this year’s summit was especially significant considering the state of the marketplace today….. Read this in full at

The Worldwide Church of God announced that, effective April 3, 2009, it changed its denominational name to Grace Communion International. Although the church’s official, incorporated denominational name has changed, it nonetheless retains ownership of the United States Registered Trademark “Worldwide Church of God” and continues to license that name to those of its local congregations across the country who wish to use it.

The denomination, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong in 1934, was originally called the Radio Church of God. It became the Worldwide Church of God in 1968.

After Armstrong’s death in 1986, the church re-examined its doctrines and teachings. This process led to a complete reformation to Christian orthodoxy by the mid 1990s. The evangelical denomination is now a member of the National Association of Evangelicals with church president, Joseph W. Tkach, serving on its board. The story is captured in the book The Liberation of the Worldwide Church of God: The Remarkable Story of a Cult’s Journey from Deception to Truth by J. Michael Feazell (

Members, pastors, national directors, and missions directors from around the world were included in the name selection process, which began in late 2005. After all factors and criteria were considered, the Church Board and its Advisory Council of Elders settled on the name “Grace Communion International.” Denominational leaders believe the new name better describes what the church has become and will serve it more effectively in the future.

The church’s message now centers on Trinitarian, Incarnational theology and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. By 1995, the church had abandoned its former legalistic doctrines, exclusivist teaching, and prophetic speculation and has been warmly embraced by the Christian community. The church sees itself in full communion with the greater Body of Christ and a participant in the collective effort to proclaim the gospel of grace.

“Grace lies at the heart of our values and mission as a transformed church. Our spiritual unity with God and with one another is reflected in the word Communion. The word International identifies us as a unified body of believers who span the globe, sharing a common history and journey of faith,” said denominational president Joseph W. Tkach. “We are a church that God radically transformed. Our new name is consistent with that transformation and aptly describes what God has made of our fellowship.”

United States congregations who wish to continue to use the name Worldwide Church of God will be able to do so, and some of our non-US National Churches will as well. However, they will all be part of the denomination named “Grace Communion International.” The denominational website, currently, will eventually be moved to the domain name

Grace Communion International has about 42,000 members worldwide, meeting in nearly 900 congregations. Denominational offices are in Glendora, California. The denomination publishes the free magazine Christian Odyssey and produces several video programs available on its website.

“There are some cases that will drive you to your knees,” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said…. Read this in full at

“It is not that we keep His commandments first, and that then He loves; but that He loves us, and then we keep His commandments. This is that grace, which is revealed to the humble, but hidden from the proud.” St. Augustine (354-430), Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel according to St. John, lxxxii.3

HCJB Global, an international media and healthcare ministry, is launching its Voice and Hands Contest to encourage and enable Americans both to pray and to reach out to their communities and the world during these tough economic times. The Voice and Hands Contest is a part of the “Me and My Household” initiative, which HCJB Global announced in February.

According to Wayne Pederson, HCJB Global president, the goal of the contest is to “challenge individuals, households, and churches to come up with ministry projects that have a ‘voice’ component that declares Jesus and a ‘hands’ component that demonstrates the love of Jesus in tangible ways.”

Pederson is inviting people to submit their project ideas to HCJB Global, and 10 submissions will be selected to each receive a $200 prize that can be used toward their outreach or short-term mission trip and a flip video camera to record their experience. HCJB Global also will be allowing people to vote for a subset of entries as part of the selection process…. Read this in full at

Some call it “going green,” but churches big and small are discovering that examining utilities usage also can translate into significant savings.

More than a year ago, First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., which has about 6,000 attendees on Sunday mornings, began a partnership with the company Energy Education to cut into its electric, gas and water bills — a significant endeavor because the church was spending roughly $1 million annually on its utility bills for its two campuses in Springdale and Rogers and its private school, Shiloh Christian.

In the ensuing year, the church didn’t do anything dramatic but simply tried to take common-sense approaches to saving energy: switching off lights when not in use, turning off computers when leaving for the day and paying close attention to thermostat settings, particularly Monday through Saturday. The church examined every point of energy consumption.

The result? The church estimates it saved $268,000 during the first year of its initiative, which ended in February. The figure is a “cost avoidance” calculation that uses, among other things, degree days.

The money saved is money that can be spent elsewhere, such as on missions…. Read this in full at

CNN’s Naamua Delaney interviews the directors behind the movie “Earth” following 3 animal families across the planet.

See the trailer at

Every year between 2001 and 2008, former President Bush’s calendar was cleared on the first Thursday in May to mark the National Day of Prayer in the White House East Room with prominent evangelicals. This year it’s May 7.

Now the Obama White House is facing questions of inside-the-Beltway etiquette: Should Obama maintain the open door to conservative critics like James and Shirley Dobson, and if so, should they accept? Or, will the White House have an official observance at all?

With those questions unanswered less than three weeks before the annual observance, the National Day of Prayer Task Force headed by Shirley Dobson is moving ahead with other plans…. Read this in full at

For the first time ever, Promise Keepers is opening the door to women for its 20th anniversary event in Boulder, Colo. The evangelical men’s organization, which has drawn more than 5.5 million men to its conferences since 1990, is inviting wives, daughters, mothers and sisters to the July 31-Aug. 1 “A Time to Honor” event at Folsom Field at the University of Colorado.

“We expect men to invite thousands of women to ‘A Time to Honor.’ This will be powerful,” said Bill McCartney, who was recently called back to lead Promise Keepers as chairman. “We want to honor women in a profound way at this event.”

“We need to rally around women and raise the bar for what it is to be virtuous,” he stated, noting that many teen girls are having sex outside of marriage. “The next generation must have a true model for womanhood.”

The anniversary conference is the only planned event for Promise Keepers this year and the first major event since McCartney returned to the helm of the ministry in September…. Read this in full at

When she was 10-years-old Laura Smit, a Calvin College religion professor, had an immediate reaction when she first learned at the dinner table of the doctrine of predestination, the teaching that some people are elected by God while others aren’t.

“I thought that was a really wrong idea,” she said on Thursday night during a panel discussion on the topic of predestination at Calvin Theological Seminary. The discussion was held in conjunction with a conference that celebrates the 500th anniversary of the birth of reformer John Calvin. “I was a child of the ‘60s and had a strong sense of individualism… Freedom was autonomy.”

In subsequent years, however, the Calvin religion professor has had change of mind about the doctrine. “As a member of a confessional community, I keep getting called back to this doctrine. I’m much closer to accepting it now than I was many years ago.”

Her view of freedom and individual responsibility have changed over time. “I’m groping my way toward an embrace of the doctrine of predestination as it relates to God’s absolute sovereignty… I like to think of God as the final cause drawing us to a relationship of love with him.”

The panel discussion, which drew a packed crowd to the seminary chapel, also included Richard Muller, the P.J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology at Calvin Seminary, and Richard Mouw, a former Calvin College philosophy professor who is now president of Fuller Theological Seminary in California.

The doctrine of predestination remains one of the thorniest, and perhaps least understood, among the teachings of the Reformed tradition, said Mouw. On the surface, it can seem to reflect a cruel God who capriciously chooses who to save and who is not to be saved. There is much more to it than that, and included in this doctrine is a fair amount of mystery, in that God is God, wholly other than man and yet is alive and active today in the world. God has purposes and plans that are light years away from human understanding. If looked at in one important way, though, the doctrine can give great comfort to people, as it did to Calvin and as it does to Mouw…. Read this in full at

Academy Leadership newsletter features 5 lessons leaders can learn from the Battle of Gettysburg. Here is 1 of the 5:

THE HISTORY LESSON: Pickett’s Charge. On July 3, nearly 15,000 Confederate soldiers massed for a frontal assault against Federal troops dug in along Cemetery Ridge, nearly a mile distant. Lee had every reason to believe his men, who had been victorious in almost every meeting with the Union Army, would prevail, break the spine of the Union position, split the enemy forces and send them running. Lee would then move on to Washington, and the war could be over in a week.

Lieutenant General James Longstreet was Lee’s most trusted and experienced subordinate. He counseled Lee against the assault: It was unnecessary, unwise and, as he saw it, doomed to fail. Longstreet argued his case for hours. Lee listened but finally overruled him. Longstreet was right, and Pickett’s charge turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.

THE BUSINESS LESSON: Know When to Listen. “One of the hardest things to do is to accept that your convictions may be wrong,” says [historian Ed] Ruggero. “I think the lesson here is that when a trusted subordinate or partner approaches you with a viewpoint that’s vastly different from your own, you should push aside ego and preconceived notions and carefully consider what he or she is saying. This doesn’t mean you should concede every point — but true leadership means knowing your own limitations and respecting the insights of others.” …. Read this in full at

[Jesus said,] “‘I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’” John 10:28–30

“In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.” Howard Hendricks

~ Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
~ Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
~ A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
~ Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.
~ Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
~ Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
~ Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
~ It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
~ You cannot unsay a cruel word.
~ Every path has a few puddles.
~ When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
~ The best sermons are lived, not preached.
~ Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
~ Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
~ Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
~ Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
~ Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.
~ If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
~ Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
~ The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
~ Always drink upstream from the herd.
~ Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
~ Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
~ If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

Unlike many evangelical leaders of recent decades, the Rev. Rick Warren doesn’t want to be a lightning rod. When I asked him before the last election whether the Christian right had tarnished the image of American evangelicals, Warren didn’t blink: “without a doubt.”

“I never was a part of it,” Warren said of the Christian right. “I’m trying to stake out what I call a common ground for the common good.”

Indeed, Warren has adopted causes important to the political right and the left. He toes the conservative evangelical line on gay marriage and abortion rights but has also decried global warming and taken a high-profile role battling AIDS in Africa, two traditionally liberal issues…. Read this in full at

Leaders from the traditional Pentecostal/Charismatic community as well as leaders in new emerging ministries gathered together for two separate meetings for the Commission on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century. The leaders conversation track met on the campus of Oral Roberts University on April 9 and 10 and the next generation conversation track met at Gateway Church in Dallas on April 16 and 17. Each group had deep discussions on issues facing the future of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement…. Read this in full at

by Peter Wooding
Now in his 70s Operation Mobilization founder George Verwer shows no signs of slowing down his itinerant ministry to continue to mobilize people around the world into missions.

At the recent mission-net congress in Oldenburg, Germany wearing his usual global jacket and laying hands on his inflatable globe, George led a passionate prayer time for the 3,000 delegates for the world’s top 10 most unreached nations. Earlier that day I asked George what motivated him to keep going in his ministry: “God has called me to this ministry, that’s more important than any technicalities of what job you’re doing. By the way most of my friends and heroes, they’re all passing on, including Homer Payne at 96 years of age. So there’s no retirement program for Kingdom people.

“You may lose your health you may become very limited. One man was stuck in his bed in Switzerland and led a literature ministry from his bed touching lives. So these are the kinds of people that inspire me. Amazingly enough non-Christians sometimes are more pro-active than Christians in making their senior years count and that should be such a slap in the face to the average all age evangeli-fish of our day. We should be at the foot of the cross repenting and may God grant us that kind of reality, humility and brokenness right through our senior years.”

As well as challenging people in their senior years to carry in ministry I asked George why he’d come to this congress to motivate the next generation of young missionaries: “I’m here because they asked me to share in one of the main plenary sessions Saturday night and also a seminar this afternoon, but I’m also here because I’m a raving fan of what they’re trying to do. Many organizations, church and alliances have come together, including OM to make this happen. We haven’t had something like this for quite a few years and it’s greatly needed, so I’m just believing God that He’s going to do great things in the lives of everyone who’s here young and old…. Read this in full at

While earning an undergraduate degree in the United States and a graduate degree in England, Palestine native  was “shocked” at how her homeland was portrayed in the Western media.

“I thought the media might be one-sided, but I didn’t expect that many negative images and wrong images,” said Kharroub. Most news reports she saw on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict usually featured “the bad guys” and “the good guys” with the Palestinians always cast in the negative light.

These days Kharroub, 27, is manager of the Bethlehem Media Center. She and a small staff produce programs that she says show the world a more complete and accurate portrayal of Palestinians.

“We try to show the human dimension of the Palestinian people,” Kharroub says. “We try to focus on the cultural aspects of Palestine, the arts and social issues. We try to bring good news from Palestine.”

Telling the good news does not mean that BMC ignores the pressing problems created by years of war and occupation. One program focused on the wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem…. Read this in full at

“The devil’s boots don’t creak.” Scottish proverb

“Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

“Do I want to pray or only to think about my human problems? Do I want to pray or simply kneel there contemplating my sorrow? Do I want to direct my prayer towards God or let it direct itself towards me?” Hubert Van Zeller


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.

Scrabble meets Tetris

Stop Motion Photo Art with 1300 pictures

Create your Google Profile

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.)

Is it possible to scream at the bottom of your lungs?
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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