Connections 06/14/09

For week of June 14, 2009
Issue 256

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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Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them- the Lord, who remains faithful forever.” Psalm 146:5-6

CONSIDER
“Love slays what we have been that we may be what we were not.” Augustine of Hippo

SURVEY EXAMINES AMERICA’S MEGACHURCHGOERS
Compared to attendees of a typical Protestant church, people who attend megachurches are more likely to be young, single, more educated, and wealthier, a new survey reveals. The majority of megachurch attendees (62%) are under the age of 45 whereas less than half (35%) of those in a typical congregation fall in the 18-44 age group, according to a megachurch report by Scott Thumma of Hartford Institute for Religion Research and Warren Bird of Leadership Network.

The report — “Not Who You Think They Are: The Real Story of People Who Attend America’s Megachurches” — is based on data from a national survey that drew 24,900 responses from 12 selected megachurches across the country. It is claimed to be the largest national representative study of megachurch attendees conducted by any researchers to date.

With more than 5 million people worshipping at megachurches — Protestant churches of 2,000 or more weekly attendees — in a typical week, Thumma and Bird sought to provide a look at who these worshippers are, why they come, and why some stay…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20090609/survey-examines-america-s-megachurchgoers/index.html

FOUNDER OF CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL HANDS OVER LEADERSHIP TO HIS DAUGHTER
The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral (http://www.crystalcathedral.org) and a pioneer of the megachurch movement, is passing his leadership role to his eldest daughter, a spokesman said June 10.

Schuller announced during the June 7 Sunday service in Garden Grove that Sheila Schuller Coleman will take over leadership of the entire ministry, effective immediately, said spokesman Mike Nason.

Coleman, 58, will also appear on the weekly televangelist show “The Hour of Power” every Sunday, but it hasn’t been decided how much she will preach, Nason said.

In his remarks, the 82-year-old Schuller described the father-daughter pair as “co-leaders” of the 10,000-member megachurch, which was founded more than a half-century ago in Orange County. The weekly broadcast also attracts millions of viewers worldwide.

“I think he’s the visionary and she’s going to be the implementer,” Nason said of the transition.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-schuller11-2009jun11,0,2690433.story

SOMETHING WE NEED TO DO
“I believe the closer we get to the heart of God, the greater the desire we will have to reach out to those who are hurting. Serving people is not just something we want to do; it’s something we need to do. People discover personal healing through helping others. When tragedy strikes, serving helps to ease our pain, gets our focus off of our own problems, and brings healing to our souls. It is so important that we don’t always just send a check; whenever possible, we also need to engage with those who are hurting. When you do this, not only do you help the people who are in need, but you also strengthen those who join you in serving.” from Servolution: Starting a Church Revolution through Serving by Dino Rizzo

ALWAYS BE AN EXAMPLE
Watch this video ad for Gatorade in which basketball coach Hall-of-Famer John Wooden recites this inspiring poem that every man should take to heart:
A careful man I must always be;
A little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he’ll go the self same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate’er he sees me do, he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be;
This little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see;
This little chap who follows me.

I must be careful as I go
Through summer’s sun and winter’s snow,
Because I’m building for the years to be;
This little chap who follows me.
http://adsoftheworld.com/media/tv/gatorade_john_wooden

RECENT VIOLENCE IN CHURCHES EXPOSES LACK OF SECURITY, EXPERTS SAY
Dr. George Tiller wore a bulletproof vest as he handed out bulletins in his church’s lobby on May 31. But it wasn’t enough to save the abortion provider when a man aimed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger. Fortunately for the other members of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kan., the gunman turned and walked away instead of carrying out his vendetta on the congregation.

But experts say that as congregations offer shelter for victims of domestic violence, protest gun laws or take controversial stands on abortion, gay rights and the Middle East conflict, houses of worship have become battlegrounds and targets for attack. The prevailing false sense of security only adds to the danger, they say…. Read this in full at
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-church-safety-08-jun08,0,5828362.story

A NEW WAY OF LIFE
“Shortly after the young Francis of Assisi embraced a faith that would help color the face of Christianity for centuries to come, he sensed God telling him, ‘Francis, all those things that you have loved in the flesh you must now despise, and from those things that you formerly loathed you will drink great sweetness and immeasurable delight.’

“ As the young Christian rode his horse out of town, he saw what he once most despised — a leper. Exuberant in his newfound faith and with joy flooding his soul, Francis chose not to run from the leper, as he would have done earlier in his life. Instead, he leaped from his horse, knelt in front of the leper, and proceeded to kiss the diseased white hand.

“ Francis’s initial conversion was invisible, exhibited only in the changed expression on his face. That’s as far as many of us ever go — a superficial change of mind in response to a compelling argument for faith. This act was astonishingly explicit — a grotesquely gorgeous parable of a radically changed man. The very instant Francis’s lips touched the leper, what could have been merely a religion crumbled under the weight of a new way of life.” from Holy Available: What If Holiness Is about More Than What We Don’t Do? by Gary Thomas

ELCA SURVEY REVEALS INFLUENCES ON CONGREGATION LEADERS
A survey conducted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reveals how the personal theological views of its lay leaders are influenced by contemporary religious thought in the United States. It evaluated the church’s work in the Middle East and an initiative on reading the Bible.

The tabulated responses show how “a major popular focus of American religion” shapes the views of Lutheran leaders, said Dr. Kenneth W. Inskeep, executive for ELCA Research and Evaluation. The 16-book “Left Behind” series of Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins has made talk of “the end times,” rapture, the Antichrist, and the battle of Armageddon part of US culture.

“Lutherans don’t talk about those issues very much,” Inskeep said. “That leaves many of the members open to drawing their own conclusions.”

US society has come to a “generic, conservative, evangelical, popular understanding of the Christian faith” that’s different from Lutheran tradition, Inskeep said. “It’s hard for our members to articulate (that difference) because we don’t see ourselves as a distinctive kind of Christian, which isn’t true at all.”

Answers to survey questions about “accepting Jesus as one’s personal Savior” showed that many Lutheran leaders embraced salvation as the result of a personal decision. “It’s important for Lutherans to challenge that perspective as a part of historical Lutheran theological thinking,” Inskeep said. “Luther was fairly specific about God giving faith to people.” …. Read this in full at
http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4153

LIVE BOLDLY
“Apprenticeship is not about half-measures. It involves perseverance, practice, dedication and the readiness to learn. It means investing our passion, our talents and our whole selves. But the rewards are beyond price. And the resultant journey is the most thrilling adventure we will ever experience.

“ As the poet Ted Hughes wrote in a letter to his son, Nicholas, ‘The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough.’ Live boldly.” from Apprentice: Walking the Way of Christ by Steve Chalke

GINGRICH’S FIRST ADVICE FOR GOP: FIGHT FOR AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS HERITAGE
When’s the last time you saw a Republican say that the GOP’s first step back to power relies on it fighting to recover the nation’s religious heritage? Check out this clip from Newt Gingrich’s keynote speech at June 8th’s Republican Senate-House Dinner. He discusses the need to restore America’s religious heritage ahead of economic and national security issues…. See this video clip at
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/06/09/gingrichs-first-advice-for-gop-fight-for-nations-religious-heritage.html

VERSE TO PONDER
“O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.”
Psalm 117

CONSIDER
“Suddenly I heard the words of Christ and understood them, and life and death ceased to seem to me evil, and instead of despair I experienced happiness and the joy of life undisturbed by death.”
Leo Tolstoy

RELIGIOUS LEADERS SAY TIME RUNNING OUT FOR PALESTINIAN CHRISTIANS
Religious leaders are warning President Obama that continuing strife between Palestinians and Israelis threatens to wipe out a Christian presence in the Holy Land.

Fifty-six representatives of various Protestant and Catholic faiths — including several Baptists — wrote a letter June 4 applauding the president for making peace in the Holy Land a top priority, but warning that time is running out for a viable and peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While also concerned about Jews and Muslims, the leaders said they are particularly worried about the plight of the Palestinian Christian community.

“In the birthplace of our faith, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities is dwindling rapidly, and with them the possibility of a day when three thriving faith communities live in shared peace in Jerusalem,” the letter said…. Read this in full at
http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4137&Itemid=53

I WILL DO SO
“‘Preacher,’ the Hindu man continued, ‘these … seven [children] have no one who will take care of them. They have no clothes, no food, no home, and certainly no money. Tonight you said that we need to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for those who have nothing…. Will you take care of them? Will you live the words you asked us to live?’

“ John Douglas had come to India to preach, not be a nanny. Yet as if he were looking into the face of God, the American nodded. ‘I will do so.’

“ Falling back on his business experience, Douglas formed a nonprofit organization to expand orphan care beyond those initial seven children. In 1957, with the backing of just a handful of people, World Missionary Evangelism was founded. Two decades after his death, World Missionary Evangelism is still supporting the work John E. Douglas began and is heavily involved in what he had longed to do on the day he died. Through the organization he started, African AIDS orphans are being cared for, educated, and given the same kind of devotion Douglas gave those first seven Indian orphans brought to him by a Hindu man intent on challenging the preacher’s faith.” from Stories behind Men of Faith by Ace Collins

TAMING TWEEN DIVAS
by Mark Earley
Georgie loves looking through fashion magazines and can’t pass a mirror without checking to see if she’s put on weight. She’s got 20 kinds of lip gloss and a closet chock full of expensive clothes, shoes, and handbags. In fact, she’s already saving up for enhancement surgery, reports Diana Appleyard of the Daily Mail. But here’s the catch: Georgie is just 10 years old.

Newsweek calls girls like Georgie “Generation Diva.” They are tween girls who are becoming obsessed with hair, make-up, clothing, and body image at earlier and earlier ages. “Forget having mom trim your bangs, fourth graders are in the market for lush $50 haircuts,” writes Newsweek columnist Jessica Bennett….Whatever its roots, this trend among young girls points to the fact that we moderns have forgotten one of the cardinal virtues: temperance…. Read this in full at
http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=11790

DISQUIET CHRISTIANITY
“ What Jesus was about was starting a revolution. He called this revolution ‘the Kingdom of God.’ This revolution isn’t centered on getting people to believe particular religious beliefs and engage in particular religious behaviors, though these may be important, true, and helpful. Nor is it centered on trying to fix the world by advocating the ‘right’ political causes or advancing the ‘right’ national agendas, though these may be noble, righteous, and effective. No, the Kingdom of God that Jesus established is centered on one thing, and one thing only: manifesting the beauty of God’s character and thus revolting against everything that is inconsistent with this beauty.” from The Myth of a Christian Religion by Gregory A. Boyd,

DRUGS, ALCOHOL CARRY HEFTY SOCIAL COST, STUDIES SHOW
The social cost of drug use has been analyzed in two federal studies released recently, including one that says half of the men arrested in 10 major US cities tested positive for at least one illegal drug.

A second study finds that substance abuse and addiction cost federal, state, and local governments at least $468 billion in 2005, accounting for more than one-tenth of combined government expenditures for all purposes.

According to the first report, from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a survey of drug use among booked male arrestees in metropolitan areas across the country found that as many as 87% tested positive for an illegal drug.

Drug use among the arrestee population is much higher than in the general population, the study, released May 28, said. The percentage of arrestees testing positive for at least one illicit drug ranged from 49% in Washington, DC, to 87% in Chicago.

The most common substances present during tests, in descending order, were marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and methamphetamine, the report said. Many men tested positive for more than one illegal drug within 48 hours of their booking…. Read this in full at
http://bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=30653

CHILD FROM TOGO, WEST AFRICA, NAMED COMPASSION’S MILLIONTH SPONSORED CHILD
Compassion International, a leading child development and sponsorship organization, has reached a major milestone as it celebrates the sponsorship of its 1 millionth child, an 8-year-old boy from the country of Togo in West Africa.

The newly sponsored child lives with his father outside Togo’s capital city of Lomé. Togo, a country whose population is seriously affected by the devastation of AIDS, is the most recent country to join the growing list of nations where Compassion works.

The child’s sponsor is from South Korea, the country in which Compassion began its mission 57 years earlier. The sponsor is most recently noted for a gold medal she won at last year’s Beijing Olympics…. Read this in full at
http://www.compassion.com/sponsordonor/features/compassionstories/compassion-one-millionth-sponsored-child

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PANEL MEETS WITH CLINTON
Members of a religious freedom watchdog panel met June 8 with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who noted their concerns without promising specific actions, one of the panel’s members said.

Nina Shea, a member of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), said Clinton was agreeable and took notes on their 40-minute discussion, but did not commit to take public action on the panel’s proposed agenda.

Shea said the commissioners of the bipartisan panel insisted in the meeting that the administration oppose a proposed United Nations resolution that would ban the defamation of religion. Pakistan and other Middle Eastern nations support the ban, which would bar public criticism of religions.

They also urged the administration to secure the release of all Arabic-language textbooks used at a Saudi-funded private school in Northern Virginia that critics say teaches a militant form of Islam. Moreover, commissioners asked the administration to support the rights of Egyptian Muslims who convert to Christianity in Egypt; and, to designate Vietnam as a “country of particular concern” for its religious freedom record…. Read this in full at
http://ncronline.org/news/religious-freedom-panel-meets-clinton

A WINDOW INTO THE FAITH OF RELIGION REPORTERS
Faith celebrated. Faith lost. Faith inspected and detected, from neurological research to relics of saints venerated in exotic shrines. USA TODAY religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman talks to four journalists who, drawn to write about religion, make their explorations personal in their new books.
…. Read this in full at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-06-03-faith-journalists_N.htm

STUDY: RELIGIOUS COLLEGES HAVE HIGHEST GRADUATION RATES
Religiously affiliated universities rank the highest nationwide in graduating their students, while hundreds of public and private universities fall far below the devastatingly low average of graduated students, according to a recent report based on data from the US Department of Education.

From Catholic to Jewish and Baptist to Methodist, religious colleges and universities topped the charts in the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) survey, which found an average of just 53% of entering students at four-year colleges graduate within six years…. Read this in full at
http://www.headlinebistro.com/en/news/religious_colleges_grad_rates.html

NEWS QUIZ: YOU WANT ME TO BRING WHAT TO CHURCH?
A pastor wants his congregation to show and tell, Harvard graduates sign a new pledge, and other questions from the religion news headlines. Take the quiz at
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/quiz/?id=ALGAC

‘MINDFULNESS’ MEDITATION GAINING MEDICAL ACCEPTANCE
Once thought of as an esoteric, mystical pursuit, meditation is going mainstream. A government survey in 2007 found that about 1 out of 11 Americans, more than 20 million, meditated in the past year. And a growing number of medical centers are teaching meditation to patients for relief of pain and stress.

More than 240 programs in clinics and hospitals teach the same type of meditation that Ryan learned, says Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed mindfulness-based stress reduction 30 years ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Other types, such as transcendental meditation, use a mantra or repeated phrase…. Read this in full at
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2009/06/mindfulness-meditation-gaining.php

A WORD PUZZLE
What is a 9-letter word where you can remove one letter at a time and still be left with a word?
Answer:
There are actually several words in the English language that can be broken down character by character into smaller words. The most common answer to this question is the word, “Startling.”
Original word: Startling
Take away the….
L- Starting
T- Staring
A- String
R- Sting
T- Sing
G- Sin
S- In
N- I

If one can rearrange the letters occasionally….
1. i
2. it
3. sit
4. site
5. tires
6. insert
7. tinders
8. inserted
9. president
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_9-letter_word_where_you_can_remove_one_letter_at_a_time_and_still_be_left_with_a_word

DOWN THE BABY BOOMER’S MEMORY LANE
~ 45 rpm spindles

~ Metal ice cubes trays with levers

~ Beanie and Cecil

~ Roller-skate keys

~ Cork pop guns

~ Marlin Perkins

~ Drive-in movies

~ Drive in restaurants (LONG before Sonic)

~ Car hops

~ Studebakers

~ Topo Gigio

~ Washtub wringers

~ The Fuller Brush Man

~ Sky King

~ Reel-to-reel tape recorders

~ Tinkertoys

~ Erector sets

~ Lincoln Logs

~ 15 cent McDonalds hamburgers

~ 5 cent packs of baseball cards

~ Penny candy

~ 25 cents a gallon gasoline

~ Jiffy Pop popcorn

~ 5 cent postage stamps

~ Green stamps

~ Gum wrapper chains

~ Chatty Cathy dolls

~ 5 cent Cokes

~ Speedy Alka-Seltzer (Plop-Plop Fizz-Fizz oh what a relief it is)

~ Burma Shave signs

~ Brownie camera

~ Flash bulbs

~ TV test patterns

~ Old Yeller

~ Chef Boy-Ar-Dee

~ Fire escape tubes

~ Timmy and Lassie

~ Ding Dong! Avon calling

~ Brylcreem

~ Aluminum Christmas trees
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

CONSIDER
“Cheerfulness and content are great beautifiers, and are famous preservers of good looks.”
Charles Dickens

VERSE TO PONDER
“We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.”
1 John 4:16-19 (The Living Bible)

ON PRAYER
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
http://christiansincrisis.net/

DAILY BLESSING PACT
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!

PERSONAL
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

FINANCIAL
Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Benefits
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Settlements
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.]

CLASSIFIEDS
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!
Http://www.ChristianConnectionTravel.com

Books, Music & More!
http://www.ChristianConnectionBooks.com

Get your domain name here!
http://www.GoGlobalDomains.com

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
http://www.earnGlobalVacations.com/
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Bing: New Search (“decision”) Engine
http://www.bing.com/

100 Ways to Save The Environment
http://www.seql.org/100ways.cfm

Fun photo of a dog on a bike
http://blog-imgs-41.fc2.com/m/o/u/mousouteki/A_dog_riding_the_bicycle.jpg

Medieval Castles
http://www.medieval-castle.com/

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

(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.)

I find television very educational. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank@gmail.com

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, frank@frankcoleman.com 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: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/

———-

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Comments

  • jessica  On June 18, 2009 at 12:46 am

    i’m an associate of mary anne radmacher, the author of a larger piece of writing called “live boldly” and thought you might like to check it out further. i know mary anne is so happy when people find inspiration from her words in the context of their daily lives. for this piece and more work from mary anne’s hand visit her website maryanneradmacher.com. mary anne has written several books and shares her work in many forms including conferences and classes. If you’d like more information feel free to e-mail me at jessicaformaryanneradmacher@gmail.com. thanks!

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