Connections 05/03/09


For week of May 3, 2009
Issue 250

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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“Turn from all known sin and spend your time in doing good. Try to live in peace with everyone; work hard at it.” Psalm 34:14 (The Living Bible)

“There remains for us only the very narrow way, often extremely difficult to find, of living every day as though it were our last, and yet living in faith and responsibility as though there were to be a great future.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), “After Ten Years” in A testament to Freedom, HarperCollins, 1995, p. 484

Bible verses are now available in a “Bible Promises” application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch. With “Bible Promises” you can electronically access bite-size spiritual guidance on the move.

Preparing for a meeting with clients? Check out the “Success” verses. The train’s late again? Look for the “Anger” verses. Missed your girlfriend’s birthday? Find guidance in the “Courage” section.

The product was designed by ReignDesign. Creative director Nicholas Kruse says: “This is a meaningful app which people from all walks of life can use. Everyone carries a cellphone wherever they go and now everyone can have guidance from the Bible available wherever they are.”

The app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store by visiting the Bible Promises website at

The current economic woes of the nation are really a distraction from the more fundamental problem facing our country today. The United States is immersed in a serious decline that shows no signs of reversal. It is not our public officials who hold the key to restoring our country to strength and stability; it is the country’s dominant faith communities who possess that potential. Based on research we have been conducting, I have analyzed statistics from more than 30,000 personal interviews with Americans across the land. It is clear to me that the demise of the U.S. in its core institutions – such as families, schools, media, churches, and government – is related to the collapse of our values and morals – i.e., our character. And it is just as clear that if the country is going to be restored to strength and health, it will be done primarily through the work of the seven dominant “faith tribes” in America, working with families, leaders, the citizenry, the media to bring about a wholesale rehabilitation of our country. And there is a window of opportunity for facilitating this recovery…. Read this in full at

Americans are changing their religious affiliations at unprecedented rates, but Catholics are much more likely to cite concerns about their religion as a reason for leaving than are Protestants, who more often cite changing life circumstances.

The churn within American religion — about half of American adults have changed their faith affiliation at some point — was one of the key findings of a major study released last year by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life; today, the Pew Forum is releasing a new study that attempts to explore the reasons why Americans change denominations or religions, or, increasingly, drop out of institutional religion altogether.

Among the most striking findings are that most people who change their religious affiliation leave the denomination in which they were raised by age 24, and many change religious affiliation more than once. And the study found that the growing population of unaffiliated Americans are more disenchanted with institutionalized religion than with the idea of God.

But the differences between Catholics and Protestants are also significant, suggesting that Catholics who become alienated from their church often leave, whereas Protestants have the option of simply switching denominations…. Read this in full at

Also see the report’s executive summary, Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the US

Evangelical leaders concerned about possible growth in the number of Americans unaffiliated with any religion may have found some good news Monday: A new study shows that many adults who were raised in an unaffiliated home later became Christian, mainly because they found themselves searching.

The finding is part of a study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that examined why Americans change their religious affiliation. It is a follow-up study to Pew’s 2007 US Religious Landscape Survey, which found that unaffiliated adults make up 16% of the population. That same ’07 survey also found that, among those who were raised unaffiliated — a category that includes agnostics, atheists and those who don’t identify with any religion — only 46% remain unaffiliated. That retention rate is far lower than Protestants (80% of whom remain Protestants) and Catholics (68% of whom remain Catholic).

“It does suggest that many people who are unaffiliated and who are raised unaffiliated are open to religion,” Gregory A. Smith, research fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, said during a conference call with reporters…. Read this in full at

by Charles Stanley
Genuine friends are rare treasures. However, the Lord created us for meaningful relationships; it’s difficult to flourish if we live in isolation. By design, we are made to share life with others, as well as to give and receive love.

Surface friendships don’t satisfy this need. But unfortunately, many people never experience anything deeper. This is why so many individuals are lonely — even if they’re always surrounded by others.

What some men and women don’t realize is that healthy relationships require diligent work. Once God brings the right people into our lives, we must devote time and effort for appropriate and fruitful intimacy to develop.

In the book of 1 Samuel, David and Jonathan exemplify this type of closeness, although they seemed like improbable companions: David was merely a shepherd, whereas Jonathan was a prince. But to them, status didn’t matter. In addition to humility, they demonstrated great respect for each other’s faith and courageous love of Israel. The two felt as committed as brothers and gave of themselves generously. For example, Jonathan gave David his robe — a prized possession of the king’s son — in order to show his loyalty and love (v. 4). The prince even risked his life and reputation in order to save his friend (1 Sam. 20:27-32).

Do you have a person like this — someone with whom to share your joys and sadnesses, strengths and weaknesses, fears and pain? Thankfully, Jesus is the best friend we can have. But He also desires that we have close relationships with others. What can you do today to build this type of friendship?

by Adelle M. Banks
On the Sunday after Easter, famed Southern Baptist preacher Adrian Rogers appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network, asking his congregation in suburban Memphis to turn to a passage of the Gospel of John.

“A Christian with a witness in his heart is never at the mercy of a man with an argument in his mouth,” he said in the trademark deep voice that has been heard on TV and radio for 22 years. “Learn that, my friend.”

Within hours, the Rev. D. James Kennedy was on Ion Television, comparing Americans who have drifted away from God to secular humanism to the New Testament’s prodigal son.

Both evangelical preachers, along with radio broadcaster J. Vernon McGee, all have something in common. They all died years — and in McGee’s case, decades — ago.

Yet their messages continue via TV, radio and the Internet, even as some listeners probably don’t even know they’re long gone.

“McGee, of course, is king of the hill,” said Frank Wright, president and CEO of the Virginia-based National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). “He is today the most widely listened-to Christian broadcaster anywhere in the world.”

The three broadcasters, Wright said, remain on the airwaves because of their knack for telling “timeless stories” and their focus on the unchanging texts of the Bible…. Read this in full at

Q Place (formerly Neighborhood Bible Studies) announces the launch of How to Start a Q Place, a new resource designed to effectively equip God’s people to engage the spiritually curious — many of whom are untouched by the local church — in ongoing spiritual conversations.

In a post-modern culture, how can Christ-followers be effective witnesses for Jesus? What approach will appeal to people who aren’t interested in church or the Bible?

Discover how to have natural, ongoing spiritual conversations with people in a Q Place. Learn how discussions based on tough questions about God can raise interest in studying the Bible and heighten curiosity about Jesus.

This book explains the Q Place method and ministry and will give you the practical tools and confidence to launch your own Q Place. It is also designed as a discussion guide for small groups of potential initiators (group facilitators) who can support one another and become equipped together as they apply its content.

Dr. Rick Richardson, professor of evangelism, Wheaton College and author if Reimaging Evangelism states, “Q Place connects contemporary spiritual seekers to Scripture and an affirming conversational community. It is ideal both for the spiritually exploring, and for the everyday Christians who want to serve them and love them toward Jesus.”

How to Start a Q Place is a simple resource that will give you all the tools you need to launch your own Q Place! This book is now available for purchase at a special introductory price of $8.00 by contacting Q Place at 1-800-369-0307. For more information, go to

The 2nd issue of Purpose Driven Connection magazine, developed through a collaborative partnership between Dr. Rick Warren and The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., hit newsstands April 28 with fresh content providing clarity for readers with a biblical perspective on issues and current events.

“Everyone has a worldview,” Editor-in-Chief Rick Warren writes in this Spring issue’s opening editorial message. “Your worldview includes all you believe about life and death; right and wrong; pain and happiness; good and evil; time and money; God and truth; the past and the future; yourself and others. Unfortunately, not everything we believe is true” …. Read this in full at

by John Ortberg
“Are we witnessing the process of secularization here in America similar to what Europe experienced in the middle of the twentieth century?” Read this article in full at

“Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.” Psalm 112:1

“You will never be an inwardly religious and devout man, unless you pass over in silence the shortcomings of your fellow men, and diligently examine your own weaknesses.” Thomas Kempis

     MR. MOMS
5.1 million people across the country have lost jobs in a recession that has put more men than women out of work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployed fathers can now be seen at the elementary school and the grocery stores, or walking with children along the quiet streets, taking their places, by necessity, in the largely women’s world of childcare, housework and school life…. Read this in full at

A Puritan funeral sermon sets death in its true perspective.

Most people think about their own death as a fearful prospect, but the title of a famous Puritan funeral sermon offers a pleasing alternative: a believer’s last day on earth is his or her best day.

The Puritans of the 16th and 17th centuries produced a wealth of writing that can be read devotionally. They were at their devotional “best” in a genre that falls into the category of “best kept secrets,” namely, funeral sermons. By the time a Puritan funeral sermon found its way into print, it had often been expanded into a small book. Puritan funeral sermons announce a single Bible verse at the outset, but as the sermons unfold they almost always become a mosaic of evocative verses on the subjects of death, heaven, and immortality. Some of these sermons are small anthologies of choice Bible verses.

When Thomas Brooks preached a sermon at the funeral of Mrs. Martha Randall at Christ’s Church, London, on June 28, 1651, he chose a title that is a stroke of genius. By calling a believer’s last day on earth his or her best day, Brooks at once demolished the conventional view of death as an earthly calamity. The following excerpt brings together a few key passages from the sermon…. Read this in full at

For a rising generation of Christians, the conversation about homos*xuality is changing. Not that same-sex relationships jibe with biblical teachings, but that a rhetorical onslaught isn’t very Christian, either…. Read this in full at

by Robert H. Knight
Marriage is of such importance that it is uniquely protected in the law and culture. It predates the law and the Constitution, and is an anthropological and sociological reality, not primarily a legal one. No civilization can survive without it, and those societies that allowed it to become irrelevant have faded into history. 

Marriage is the union of the two sexes, not just the union of two people. It is the union of two families, and the foundation for establishing kinship patterns and family names, passing on property and providing the optimal environment for raising children.

The term “marriage” refers specifically to the joining of two people of the opposite sex. When that is lost, “marriage” becomes meaningless. You can no more leave an entire sex out of marriage and call it “marriage” than you can leave chocolate out of a “chocolate brownie” recipe. It becomes something else.

Giving non-marital relationships the same status as marriage does not expand the definition of marriage; it destroys it. For example, if you declare that, because it has similar properties, wine should be labeled identically to grape juice, you have destroyed the definitions of both “wine” and “grape juice.”  The consumer would not know what he is getting…. Read this in full at

Chuck Colson talks about a strategy in the movement to legalize gay marriage when he says, “I suspect gay rights leaders began to realize how difficult it would be to argue that homosexuality is equivalent to heterosexuality, because they’d be up against the weight of 3,500 years of considered moral determinations of every civilized society. Instead, gays have decided to try to change the very *definition* of marriage to simply a contractual agreement between two people — *any* two people.

“The problem, of course, is that this definition flies smack in the teeth of the biblical definition of marriage. Christian tradition treats marriage as a covenant, or a sacrament. It’s a man and woman covenanting before God to become one flesh and to perpetuate the human race. That’s the reason society has set marriage apart and given it certain sanctions and privileges in the law.

“But if government were to say that marriage is simply a contract for sharing economic benefits, it would unravel the most basic structure of society. It strikes at the heart of what a civilized society is — and that is deadly dangerous.”

A laundry bag containing several unusual items has been instrumental in doing more than storing dirty clothes — it’s changing lives. More than 1 million Freshman Survival Kits (FSKs) containing Bibles, books, water bottles, highlighters, and a downloadable music card packaged in a laundry bag have been distributed on campuses since 1996. Campus Crusade for Christ created the Freshman Survival Kits to provide college students with spiritual direction. IBS-STL partners with Campus Crusade to supply the New International Version Bibles or New Testaments for the kits.

On Thursday, April 23, 2009, Campus Crusade President Steve Douglass presented IBS-STL CEO/President Keith Danby with a plaque celebrating the partnership that has resulted in the million-Bible milestone. Danby thanked Douglass for Campus Crusade’s partnership and presented Douglass with a framed print of Bible covers used in joint distribution…. Read this in full at

As Lincoln wrestled with questions of faith, he redefined America.
Interview with Ronald C. White Jr. by Jennifer Trafton

Ronald C. White Jr., a Huntington Library fellow and a visiting professor of history at UCLA, is the author of the bestselling books Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln Through His Words. His latest book A. Lincoln: A Biography (2009) has been a New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times bestseller and a History Book Club selection. He is in high demand as a speaker, especially as the Lincoln Bicentennial and Barack Obama’s use of the Lincoln Bible for his inauguration have sparked a new wave of interest in the 16th president.

Q: February 12, 2009, was the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, and the country is celebrating with numerous bicentennial books and events this year. Why does Lincoln still fascinate us?

A: Think of the Lincoln story—the humble beginnings, the minimal education. Washington and Jefferson are notable figures in our history, but they’re patricians. But Lincoln shows that anybody (in Lincoln’s own words) “has the right to rise”—that by character, by hard work, by education, one can rise in this society. Lincoln personifies that American dream…. Read this interview in full at

Despite the economic downturn, more than half of actively religious donors plan to give the same or more to charitable causes in 2009 as they did last year, a new survey shows…. Read this in full at

Christianity, it turns out, has a rhythm — and it crescendos this time of year. The rumba of Carnival gives way to the slow march of Lent, then to the staccato hymnals of the Easter parade. From revelry to reverie. After 40 days in the desert, sort of …” Read this in full at

YouDiligence ( is teaming with Focus on the Family ( to provide Internet safety services to families who want to protect their children from online predators and cyber-bullies and inappropriate online exchanges.

YouDiligence is web-based and works directly over the internet on Facebook and MySpace. There is no complicated software installation or download necessary on any computer. Parents can feel comfortable that no matter where, or on what computer their child is posting material from, when a keyword match is found, the word, its context and location are sent to the parent’s email in real-time, allowing them to react to potentially dangerous situations appropriately…. Read this in full at

Former president Jimmy Carter delivered the closing address at a diverse gathering of Baptists over the weekend, and urged them to come together to help the people of America in their time of need. During his address at the Southeast regional gathering of the New Baptist Covenant, Carter said the shared faith in Jesus Christ should be enough reason for Christians to unite and that other divisive issues need to be put aside if they stand in the way of unity.

Disharmony among Christians, he said, “is like a cancer metastasizing in the body of Christ.” “We’re saved by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ. That’s a fundamental in which I believe. And I think for Christians that’s basically adequate,” the former president said to the more than 800 attendants gathered at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. “If you believe in that, no matter how you feel about homosexuality or the death penalty or church and state being separated … we should put those things aside.”

The April 25-26 regional gathering was one of a number that grew out of the initial Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, held in Atlanta in January 2008, which brought together nearly 15,000 Baptists representing more than 30 Baptist organizations…. Read this in full at

What is a crisis?
According to the Institute for Crisis Management (ICM), every crisis begins as a problem. A problem becomes a crisis when it escapes the organization before its people can control it. Based on this premise, a church may define a crisis as a significant disruption in normal activities that stimulates media coverage and public scrutiny.

What types of crises should we expect?
Crises generally fall into two categories, according to ICM. First is the sudden crisis that occurs with little warning. Examples include natural disasters such as floods or tornadoes; accidents such as food poisoning at potluck suppers; sabotage or vandalism of church property; the sudden death of a church leader; bomb threats; and injury or death on church property.

The second type is the smoldering crisis, a potentially damaging condition that is known to one or more persons. According to ICM research, 77 percent of crises are of the “smoldering” type. Examples include scandals such as embezzlement of church funds; immorality or ethical breaches; picketing of church facilities; blogging campaigns against the church or church members; even theological issues that divide congregations and expose the church to public ridicule…. Read this in full at

Also see–Q&A: Working with the news media

When Leonard Horowitz died at Putnam Hospital recently, the 92-year-old developmentally disabled man left behind no family, no friends, no savings and no final requests.

Nevertheless, Horowitz was buried with full Jewish rites at Staten Island’s Mount Richmond Cemetery, where Rabbi Shmuel Plafker recited blessings as two workers lowered Horowitz’s plain pine casket into the muddy ground.

The brief ceremony, which concluded within 20 minutes and with Plafker the only mourner present, was the second of the morning for the Hebrew Free Burial Association, a nonprofit organization founded in 1888 to provide funerals for underprivileged Jews.

The financial downturn has contributed to a jump in requests for the association’s services in the past four months, officials said, while donations and investment income have dropped about 15% since last year…. Read this in full at

“Christ has turned all our sunsets into dawns.” Clement of Alexandria

“We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

“Can we believe that God ever really modifies His action in response to the suggestions of man? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it. But neither does God need any of those things that are done by finite agents, whether living or inanimate. He could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food; or give us food without the aid of farmers, bakers, and butchers; or knowledge without the aid of learned men; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, He allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds, and wills of men to cooperate in the execution of His will. “God,” says Pascal, “instituted prayer in order to lend to His creatures the dignity of causality.” But it is not only prayer; whenever we act at all, He lends us that dignity. It is not really stranger, nor less strange, that my prayers should affect the course of events than that my other actions should do so.” C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Efficacy of Prayer, pp. 9-10


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.

How healthy are your finances? (calculator)

The Master List of Free Online College Courses

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.)

Locomotive: A crazy reason for doing something.
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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