Connections 05/10/09


For week of May 10, 2009
Issue 251

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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“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” Ray Bradbury

A new survey has suggested that men who go to church would like less hugging and holding hands and more singing of anthems and “proclamational” songs. A survey of 400 readers of UK’s Sorted, a Christian magazine for men, found that 60% of men did not like flowers and embroidered banners in church. Around 52% also said they were not too keen on dancing in church either.

The survey suggested that men were uncomfortable with physical contact such as holding hands and with activities such as sitting in circles to share their feelings.

Almost 60% of the respondents said they enjoyed singing in church, but many added comments saying they preferred anthemic or “proclamational” songs over emotional love songs.

Sermons and talks were popular with respondents, with 72% saying they were the best part of the service…. Read this in full at

An independent federal panel on religious freedom has added two countries to its list of “countries of particular concern” — Iraq and Nigeria — and six others to its watch list.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom released its 2009 report on May 1. It sends an annual set of recommendations to the president, secretary of state and Congress.

Commissioners had already announced in December that Iraq is now among its “countries of particular concern,” which are those designated as having “systemic” or “ongoing” violations of religious freedom…. Read this in full at

Does conservative Christianity encourage torture? That debate has been reignited by new numbers from the Pew Research Center that show white evangelicals are more supportive of “torture to gain important information from suspected terrorists” than any other religious or political group in the survey.

Less than half of the general public (49%) say government-sponsored torture can “often” or “sometimes” be justified, compared to almost two-thirds of white evangelicals (62%).

That view is almost identical to the view of Republicans (64%), giving fuel to the charge that evangelicals’ views on torture are rooted more in politics than their faith…. Read this in full at

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation designating May 7 as the National Day of Prayer. Asking the American people to come together in a moment of “peace and goodwill,” Obama stated, “I call upon Americans to pray in thanksgiving for our freedoms and blessings and to ask for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection for this land that we love.”

The proclamation was released as members of Congress, ministers, and the National Day of Prayer Task Force gathered on Capitol Hill to observe the annual day. Unlike previous years, task force chair Shirley Dobson and her husband, Dr. James Dobson, did not begin the day with a visit to the White House.

Former President George W. Bush had traditionally held formal White House observances for the National Day of Prayer with the Dobson’s, but this year Obama ended the tradition, choosing instead to only sign a proclamation and pray privately…. Read this in full at

by Chuck Colson
Young men, dressed as animals, follow several attractive women down the street. As they close in, the men shoot darts into women’s bodies—as if the women were animals and the men big game hunters. Moments later, all the women are lying on the ground.

This scene is from a music video by a band called the Bloodhound Gang. The lyrics include such gems as: “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals. Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” That’s about as explicit as I’m allowed to get—or want to get.

The song, like many others, not only contains offensive language; it also describes men treating women in degrading ways. And now there’s evidence that listening to this music leads teens to engage in the same kind of behavior the songs describe…. Read this in full at

Shane Hipps was a former strategic planner in advertising, and is now a Mennonite pastor. In both vocations, he has learned a great deal about how technology quietly shapes people, for good and for ill. His latest book, Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith (Zondervan), tries to help Christians understand some of the spiritual dimensions of that shaping. Christianity Today magazine interviewed Hipps at the recent National Pastors Convention in San Diego:

Q: You argue that a significant technology shift occurred in 1890 that affects us today. What do you mean?
A: Between 1850 and 1890, there was an uninterrupted flow of inventions that radically altered communication structure in the West. The primary ones did the biggest damage to the print age—the telegraph, the photograph, and the radio. These three are the inventions to which all of our most recent innovations, including the iPhone, can be traced back…. Read this interview in full at

Last year, John Voelz, a pastor, was tweeting at a conference outside Nashville about ways to make the church experience more creative — ways to “make it not suck” — when suddenly it hit him: Twitter.

Voelz and David McDonald, the other senior pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Mich., spent two weeks educating their congregation about Twitter, the microblogging site that challenges users to communicate in 140 characters or less. They held training sessions in which congregants brought in their laptops, iPhones and BlackBerrys. They upped the bandwidth in the auditorium…. Read this in full at,8599,1895463,00.html

A year after stepping down as director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins is embarking on a new venture, one that may be even harder than deciphering DNA. Collin’s new BioLogos Foundation, which launched on April 28, aims to be a bridge in the debate over science and religion and provide some answers to life’s most difficult questions. Through an interactive website, gatherings with pastors and scientists, and possibly developing science curricula for Christian schools, Collins aims to tell others about the deep compatibility he sees between Christianity and science:

Q: What led you to this new project?
A: After my book (“The Language of God”) I got thousands of e-mails from people, many of them troubled, many of them excited, many of them puzzled by what they heard. They wanted to engage in a further discussion that would drill more deeply. I tried to keep up with those letters and quickly found out there was no way I could. I felt bad because the point was to start a conversation and I wasn’t holding up my end. There needed to be a place to provide some kind of responses to the questions that came up over and over again, and that sounds like a website…. Read this interview in full at

Move over Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend. Worship music at some evangelical churches is cranking up — driven by electric guitars. Many churches have long provided services that appeal to their congregants’ musical interests: traditional, contemporary or blended. Now, some of them also have expanded into rock-style worship. It’s not so loud that you need earplugs, but we’re talking the sounds of alternative pop rock, straight rock, pop punk and indie rock…. Read this in full at

Following in the footsteps of previous winners Sir Winston Churchill and Audrey Hepburn, the founders of the world’s largest hospital ship charity were honored with a humanitarian award at a glittering ceremony in London May 5.

The annual Variety Club International Humanitarian Award was given to Don and Deyon Stephens. Speaking about receiving the Humanitarian Award, Don Stephens said, “In challenging economic times which affect us all, the world’s poorest suffer even more. Twenty percent of newborn babies will not live to the fifth birthday, largely due to preventable disease. The average lifespan of women where our ships serve is 46 years.”…. Read this in full at

Willow Creek Community Church Senior Pastor Bill Hybels purchased 10,000 copies of “The Hole in Our Gospel” by World Vision President Richard Stearns for his congregation because “it is one of the finest books I have ever read.”

Hybels, who interviewed Stearns at two services on April 26, remarked that two church donors enabled his church to buy 10,000 copies of Stearns’ book.

“Rich Stearns is one of the finest leaders I have ever met,” Hybels said.

Stearns joined World Vision in 1998, leaving his seven-figure salary as president CEO of Lenox, America’s fine china and tableware company, and taking a 75% reduction in salary.

“He walked away from what the world worships,” Hybels said. And Stearns’ decision shows that “if you surrender your life fully to God, He might change your career and give you a self-sacrificing assignment.”

That “self-sacrificing assignment” has taken Stearns to more than 40 developing nations. His book, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” challenges American Christians, many of whom, he contends, have embraced “a shallow and diminished version” of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hybels noted that the book “explains how intelligent Christians should engage with the poor in a more compelling way than any other book I’ve read,” and told the Willow Creek congregation that he purchased the 10,000 copies as “an investment in your mind and in your heart on engaging with the poor.”…. Read this in full at

The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) has honored bestselling author Cecil Murphey by giving him the 2009 Extraordinary Service Award, one of their most prestigious awards. This award reflects the great respect the ASJA membership holds for Murphey and his extraordinary service to other writers.

More than 30 years ago when Cecil Murphey sensed God wanted him to write, he made a double commitment to never stop learning and to help other writers in any way he could. Every day since then Cecil has prayed that double commitment because he wants it to remain a significant part of his daily living. Through his mentoring, teaching, and philanthropy, he has helped countless writers around the world.

Murphey is the author or co-author of 112 published books and has enjoyed great success in recent years. “90 Minutes in Heaven,” the book he wrote with Don Piper, has been on the New York Times bestseller list since October 2006 and has sold more than four million copies. “Gifted Hands” (with Dr. Ben Carson) premiered as a Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation® movie on TNT in February, starring Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. Originally published by Zondervan in 1990, the book continues to sell thousands of copies each year…. Read this in full at

PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity
Here are questions that may provoke some good conversation with your son or daughter about any big ideas that emerge from watching “Wolverine.”
* How would you rank “Wolverine” when compared with the other “X-Men” movies? How about when compared to recent superhero movies like “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man,” and the Spider-Man films?
* Is Wolverine your favorite of the “X-Men”? If not, who is?
* How would you describe the film’s main message or big ideas?
* What assumptions does the story make about evolution and natural selection? Does the world of the X-Men seem to suggest that mutations generally result in favorable change in species? In the real world, such mutation usually leads to illness or disability. Does it ever result in beneficial change for the human species?
* Do you think Logan should have been held accountable for his killings over the years? How about Victor/Sabertooth? Are both of them criminals by legal standards? Why or why not? …. Read this in full at

“Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6

“God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.” D. L. Moody

Asians and Africans see religion as most important in their daily lives, with Europeans least of the view that faith matters, according to new research. The study also found that Muslims in key European states identify with their country of residence more than the general population, contrary to the widespread view that they are not loyal to their homeland.

Bangladesh is the country with the most people – 99% — agreeing that religion is part of their daily lives, followed by Pakistan, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, and Senegal within a few points.

Only 20% of people in Norway view religion as important, followed by France with 25%, Britain with 29%, and the Netherlands with 33%, according to the study co-authored by pollsters Gallup…. Read this in full at

The Jehovah’s Witnesses is the most prayerful religious group in the United States, a survey released Thursday said.

The Pew Research Center said Jews are the least likely among those professing a religious faith to say they pray every day, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday. While 89 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses and 82% of Mormons report daily prayer, only 26% of Jews do.

About 80% of members of historically black churches say they pray daily. They are followed by white evangelicals, Muslims, Hindus, members of Orthodox churches and Catholics…. Read this in full at

Gordon Parsons was in church a lot, but he hadn’t gotten real with Jesus. Then a couple of friends invited him to join them on a motorcycle ride up into North Carolina. A couple of days later, Parsons responded to an altar call and opened his life to Jesus.

“Gordon and my sister were to be married and Gordon had been coming to church with us for a few months,” said Tony Marsh, a member of Kelleytown Baptist Church in Hartsville, S.C. “He was not a believer but we knew the Lord was working on him.

“Another fellow in our church, Manly Kelley, had been talking with me for years about going on a motorcycle camping trip,” Marsh added. “We heard about a Christian motorcycle rally at Ridgecrest and thought that would be the perfect opportunity. We rode up and camped at Chimney Rock, then went on to Ridgecrest. We talked to Gordon about going with us.”

The motorcycle rally at Ridgecrest was the annual “Rally to Ridgecrest” sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources over the Memorial Day weekend. The 2008 event drew 319 bikers from 14 states at the LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina for a time of casual fellowship, exhilarating rides through the Blue Ridge Mountains and real-life conversations about the difference Jesus makes in a person’s life…. Read this in full at

by Miguel De La Torre
No one reads or interprets the Bible literally — regardless as to what they profess. To do so is simplistic, if not dangerous. All of us read our bias, our theology, and our social location into the text. There is no such thing as an objective reading; all readings are subjective.

There is, however, the power for some to make their subjective reading objective. Those with the power to shape reality can impose their reading of Scripture — a reading that justifies their privilege and lifestyle — upon everyone else. For the marginalized to accept the predominant Eurocentric reading of Scripture, whether slaves of old or the disenfranchised of today, is to participate in their own self-policing.

Although the mythology of taking the Bible literally must be sustained so as to maintain a privileged social location, I will wager that those who insist on objective literalism have never bothered to live their lives according to such a literal, exhaustive reading. If they did, they would live illegal — if not immoral lives. To prove my point, I prepared a pop quiz:

1. The biblical definition of a traditional marriage is one between a man and: a) many wives or concubines, b) sex slaves, c) prostitutes, d) his harem, e) all of the above.

2. Homosexuals are to be: a) tolerated, b) encouraged, c) killed, d) banned.

3. Women are saved: a) through baptism, b) by reciting a sinner’s prayer, c) through child-bearing, d) accepting Jesus, who died for their sins, as Lord as Savior…

1. e — I Kings 11:3, Deut. 21:10-14, Gen. 38:15, Lev. 18:18
2. c — Lev. 20:13
3. c — I Tim. 2:14-15

….Read more questions and answers at

Those who object on religious grounds need legal protection too.

As a growing number of states stand poised to pass same-sex marriage laws, they should consider this: It’s possible to legalize gay marriage without infringing on religious liberty. But it takes careful crafting of robust religious protections. And no state has gotten that right yet.

The country is deeply divided on same-sex marriage. But once it is recognized legally, all kinds of people — clerks in the local registrar’s office, photographers, owners of reception halls, florists — might not have the legal right to refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings, even if doing so would violate deeply held beliefs. Religious organizations could be affected too. For example, a Catholic university that offers married-student housing might have to rent to married same-sex couples or risk violating state law.

So what should states do to respond to these clashes between same-sex relationships and religious liberty?… Read this in full at,0,3336814.story

Can evangelicals and Roman Catholics be skeptical of human-created climate change but still want to combat global warming? Sure. A new poll showing majority evangelical and Catholic support for tackling climate change jars with a recent Pew poll that reveals faith-based skepticism toward human-created global warming. But the pollster behind the new poll, religion-and-politics numbers guy Robert P. Jones, emails to say that that’s not so. It turns out that Jones’s findings on Christian support for combating climate change track pretty closely with Pew’s numbers showing Christian skepticism about human-created global warming…. Read this in full at

In a 21st-century version of the age of discovery, teams of computer scientists, conservationists and scholars are fanning out across the globe in a race to digitize crumbling literary treasures. In the process, they’re uncovering unexpected troves of new finds, including never-before-seen versions of the Christian Gospels, fragments of Greek poetry and commentaries on Aristotle. Improved technology is allowing researchers to scan ancient texts that were once unreadable — blackened in fires or by chemical erosion, painted over or simply too fragile to unroll. Now, scholars are studying these works with X-ray fluorescence, multispectral imaging used by NASA to photograph Mars and CAT scans used by medical technicians.

A Benedictine monk from Minnesota is scouring libraries in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Georgia for rare, ancient Christian manuscripts that are threatened by wars and black-market looters; so far, more than 16,500 of his finds have been digitized. This summer, a professor of computer science at the University of Kentucky plans to test 3-D X-ray scanning on two papyrus scrolls from Pompeii that were charred by volcanic ash in 79 A.D. Scholars have never before been able to read or even open the scrolls, which now sit in the French National Institute in Paris…. Read this in full at

In an effort to meet the needs of the poor and deprived children in India, Operation Mobilization (OM), has launched an appeal for sponsorship of the children.

The appeal tagged “Help Feed a Child in India” is targeting more than 15,000 of the poorest children in India, from the severely oppressed Dalit people, also known known as “the untouchables.”

This is information is contained in a statement by the ministry that was founded by George Verwer, adding that the appeal is expected to give hope to the children of India and that education would normally be out of reach for them, but they are students in OM’s nearly 100 Dalit schools.

“The English-based education offers them future job opportunities that would otherwise be impossible. In addition, the students take what they learn in school about God and His love and share it with their families at home,” the statement said…. Read this in full at

New research shows young Americans are dramatically less likely to go to church — or to participate in any form of organized religion — than their parents and grandparents.

It’s a huge change,” says Harvard University professor Robert Putnam, who conducted the research. Historically, the percentage of Americans who said they had no religious affiliation (pollsters refer to this group as the “nones”) has been very small — hovering between 5% and 10%. However, Putnam says the percentage of “nones” has now skyrocketed to between 30 percent and 40% among younger Americans…. Read this in full at

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is looking for men and women who love working with students and faculty, who have a minimum of 3-5 years of ministry experience. IVCF’s focus is on building communities of committed Christians on the campuses of US colleges and universities. InterVarsity, based in Madison, Wisconsin, annually hires between 100 and 150 staff persons for its national campus ministry.

InterVarsity is in the middle of a five-year campaign to plant 100 new fellowship groups on campuses that are currently without chapters. Evangelistic skills are required for planting these new groups. Our campus ministry embraces all ethnicities, and also includes focused ministries to fraternity and sorority students, nursing students, graduate students and faculty, and international students.

Applicants should review InterVarsity’s Purpose Statement and Doctrinal Basis, which is available at All field positions are funded through personal fund development by the employee.

For an application, or more information, contact Melissa Moser by phone at 608-443-3776 or by email at InterVarsity is a Christian, inter-denominational, evangelical ministry active on US college campuses since 1941.

“Not much evil is done by evil people.  Most of the evil is done by good people, who do not know that they are not good.” Reinhold Niebuhr

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” Oswald Chambers


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.

Stunning weather-related photos

Interview with God

Tiger/child photo

Visual representation of miscommunication

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.)

On your birthday, send a thank you card to your mom.
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.
Visit our website at:  


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