Connections – 06/28/09

For week of June 28, 2009
Issue 258

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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Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3

“We like someone because. We love someone although.” Henri de Montherlant

John Calvin, the Great Reformer, used dictatorial means in making Geneva a “Protestant Rome,” but he also planted the seeds of modern democracy. He enforced rigid morality and stressed the importance of helping others, while he also had a share in developing capitalism. He supported the destruction of religious statues and other images, but described the arts as gifts from God.

This is how Calvin’s role in history is being assessed by theologians and historians in countless lectures, studies, and biographies 500 years after he was born on July 10, 1509. The quincentenary is being observed around the globe with the Geneva-based World Alliance of Reformed Churches acting as a central organizer of “Calvin 09.”

Although he remains a controversial figure, Calvin’s teachings are still profoundly influential. Events marking the Calvin year range from congresses and exhibitions to concerts and theater performances. His portrait is on a special Swiss postage stamp and souvenirs are for sale…. Read this in full at

Also see

“One of the nasty side effects of a family going in separate directions all week is that they will invariably find it impossible to pull together in the rare moments that they are under one roof. However, the more families work, play, and study alongside each other on a day-to-day basis, the more family members develop an uncommon bond that is rarely seen in today’s postmodern world. That’s why spending a lot of time together as a family is such a critical decision a man needs to make.” Rich Wagner in The Expeditionary Man: The Adventure a Man Wants, the Leader His Family Needs

by Julie Vermeer Elliott
Jon and Kate Gosselin are stars of the wildly popular TLC show Jon & Kate Plus Eight, which documents the life of this Pennsylvania couple as they raise their eight children, 8-year-old twins and 5-year-old sextuplets. Until recently, Jon and Kate were celebrated as models of wholesome family values. Sure, they bickered a lot, but they were committed to staying together for the long haul. Indeed, last season featured them renewing their wedding vows on the beach in Hawaii. Such commitment endeared them to the watching public and made them TLC’s most profitable commodity. Now they’ve filed for divorce.

Of all the viewers who followed the Gosselins, evangelicals were among the most faithful. Jon and Kate’s refusal to resort to “selective reduction” when they found themselves pregnant with sextuplets, their membership in an Assemblies of God church, and their Isaiah 40:31 T-shirts all helped to make them icons of evangelical piety. Churches from across the country clamored to be added to their speaking tours. In the last two years the vast majority of Jon and Kate’s presentations took place at Christian conferences or at evangelical churches, most often Baptist, nondenominational or charismatic.

We evangelicals tend to be easily impressed. We cheered on Jon and Kate’s decision to carry all six babies to term but rarely considered the prior question: Was it right for them to undergo risky fertility treatments in the first place? They had been married only a matter of months when Kate, who was in her mid-20s at the time, took fertility medication to stimulate her ovaries for intrauterine insemination and became pregnant with their twins, Cara and Mady…

The breakdown of Jon and Kate’s marriage is but a symptom of the larger weaknesses of ethics in the evangelical community. We are easily seduced by wealth and fame. We are easily contented by the shallow rhetoric of hot-button issues. In short, we are easily deceived by cultural values painted in Christian veneers…. Read this in full at

by Patrick Morley
There is no formula for pain. Consequently, there is no formula to explain pain — only types of sufferings:

* Joseph unjustly sold as a slave and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Twenty-two years later he said, “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:5, 8).

* Job, a man of complete integrity, sifted by Satan with God’s permission. “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15).

* David, the archetype of a Godly man—“a man after God’s own heart,” who sinned deeply and was punished severely. “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word…. It was good for me to be afflicted…. In faithfulness you have afflicted men” (Psalm 119:67,71,75).

* Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thrown into the furnace for refusing to worship the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar. “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).

* Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined….” (Daniel 11:35).

* Jeremiah arrested and put in stocks for speaking God’s word. “But if I say, ‘I will not speak anymore in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a burning fire. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 29:9).

* The man born blind “so the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3).

* Paul who had a thorn in the flesh: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8).

Also, 380 years of slavery in Egypt, 40 years of wandering in the Wilderness, Daniel to the lion’s den, the persecution of the Christians in Jerusalem, the stoning of Stephen. And there are the sufferings of Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Asa, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Many despaired of life itself and wanted to die. Plus all the saints in Hebrews 11 who were tortured, jeered, flogged, chained, imprisoned, stoned, sawed in two, put to death by sword, destitute, persecuted, and mistreated. “The world was not worthy of them” (Hebrews 11:38).

Let us not be people who give formulaic answers for people’s pain. It’s tempting. I know — I’m tempted all the time to match reasons to people’s sufferings. Instead, let us bear their sorrows with them. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

“Work is a good thing created by God for our welfare. Work isn’t always pleasant, but we are doing a good thing in bringing order out of chaos and providing for our needs. The Bible does teach that the time may come to slow down as our ability and strength fade, but even then we are to keep making a contribution. Perpetual relaxation and desiring a life of no work and all play do not describe a biblical model. As the apostle Paul points out, “We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right” ( 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13). When we think about retirement, we must start with the idea that to work is a good thing.” Terry Hargrave in Boomers on the Edge: Three Realities That Will Change Your Life Forever

At least 5 congressmen live there, renting rooms from an organization affiliated with “the Fellowship,” the group that organizes the National Day of Prayer breakfast. …. Read this in full at

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) recently named Galen Carey, a longtime employee of World Relief, the NAE’s humanitarian arm, as director of government affairs. His appointment comes 6 months after Richard Cizik resigned after saying he was shifting his views on same-sex unions.

“What impresses me with all of this is that Galen is not someone who’s a theoretician,” said Leith Anderson, president of the NAE. “He’s a veteran practitioner in the issues that are of great concern in our culture and among evangelicals.”

The new director’s résumé spans four continents and numerous job descriptions. Carey spent 26 years working for World Relief, three of them in Washington as director of World Relief’s advocacy and policy. Most recently, Carey built a church network to combat HIV/AIDS in Burundi, Africa…. Read this in full at

“Many people seek a sympathetic ear and do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either; they will always be talking even in the presence of God. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there will be nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words … never really speaking to others.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 98

by Jon Hirst
As we continue to explore how information is validated and affirmed in this brave new world, I stumbled across a powerful example as I was following This person consistently shared the reality on the ground in a powerful and honest way. You felt their pain as they saw fellow countrymen beaten, their fear as they had to move locations to avoid detection, their anger as they shared about perceived injustice, and their joy as they imagined what might be. As I followed along with their feed, I saw that these people were for real. I wasn’t the only one. On Tuesday of last week they had 8,000 followers and now they have over 30,000!

But then something strange happened; the Iranian secret police started infiltrating Twitter and other social media sites to spread disinformation and catch this new generation of journalists. As this began to happen, @persiankiwi shared the following stream of tweets:

ok – tonight twitter is full of gov usernames. all users IGNORE all post except from reliable sources – #Iranelection

IMPORTANT to all tweeters in iran – follow my next message carefuully – #Iranelectionabout

do NOT follow any instructions on twitter except from the trusted sources #Iranelectionabout

ignore all instructions from new twitters or twitters with no history of accurate posts #Iranelectionsabout

i cannot name the reliable sources because we are now the main attention of censors – but you will know them by looking at their past tweets #Iranelection

When I read this, I couldn’t help but think about the profound statement that these simple little phrases had made. What they were saying was simple — look at what the person has said over time and if there is truth there, follow them.

In other words, find those authentic voices around you and stick close to them. But what makes a voice authentic? What makes it true? Websters Dictionary defined authenticity as:
–conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features
–made or done the same way as an original

In our lives as Christians, authenticity means “conforming to” Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives and representing that to others. Just like the Iranian Twitterer who challenged us to look for those voices who were speaking truth about the situation in Tehran, we are challenged to be voices that represent Jesus…. Read this in full at

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranging from 2 to 5 pounds. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.”

He continued, “If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight. But the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

“And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down.”

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

“Things you don’t say to your wife” (if you want to live a long and happy life)

“Are You Giving Away Your Personal Power?”
The moment we allow someone else to make a decision for us, we’re giving away our personal power. That goes for remaining silent when you know you need to speak up or not making a decision at all so someone or circumstances make it for you.

That’s where the our personal foundation starts to crack. Cracks turn into craters when one decision or lack of starts a ripple effect which impacts our worlds.

How are you going to take your personal power back? Leaders are expected to make decisions that move people and organizations forward, however on a daily basis as I Shadow Coach them, I see them make decisions based on emotion, assumptions and expectations. When things and relationships start breaking down, they go into ‘fix mode’ rather than ‘build mode’ and that’s where cracks turn into crevices.

We are creatures of habit so how do you break down those habits that no longer serve you and make decisions based on the future you want to build?

Are you so wrapped up in the day to day stuff, you forget to pay attention to the impact of your decisions? What do you need to do so slow down to the speed of conscious thought? In doing that you will respond to whatever comes your way instead of react.

Perspective is both the angle you see yourself and your life from as well as the viewing height. The higher the perspective, the clearer the view. How can you position yourself to increase your perspective there by helping you see what you’re not paying attention to? How are you questioning what doesn’t make sense, introduce paradoxes, and create stimulating arenas and environments that will expand your thinking as your world unfolds? That’s where you start dancing in the moment, making the decisions you need to make now to build ‘later’.

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

“Patience with ourselves is a duty for Christians and the only real humility. For it means patience with a growing creature whom God has taken in hand and whose completion he will effect in his own time and way.”
Evelyn Underhill

Dear Mr. President:
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America’s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the workforce. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. 40 million job openings – Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American car. 40 million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage. Housing Crisis fixed.

It can’t get any easier than that! (Of course, it would cost the government $40 trillion to initiate.) If more money is needed, have all members of Congress pay their taxes.

by Jim Wallis
“He did it again. Soon after my post about interviewing Jon Stewart, his interview with Mike Huckabee about abortion was brought to my attention. I was surprised and impressed to see The Daily Show handle with nuance and respect a topic that is often just a shouting match on news shows and in our public discourse.

“They didn’t solve the issue, but the depth of their dialogue and their respect for the other’s core values and opinions was clear. Huckabee began the interview by explaining that, unfortunately, this debate often ends up “generating more heat than light.” He also stated strongly that he does not believe abortion is murder and it doesn’t help the debate to call it that.

“They never quite reached common ground, but their dialogue was a great example of the type of civil discourse our country needs to be engaged in to get there. You can watch the full interview in three parts at

A new summary of the book The Great Evangelical Disaster by Francis Schaeffer (Crossway Books) is now available online. The book’s message: Within our generation, evangelicalism abandoned the concepts of Scripture’s inerrancy and sufficiency, an abandonment that marked the rapid collapse of Western culture evident today. To recover, we must lovingly, but firmly, oppose compromise and accommodation within the church. Otherwise, the collapse of Western culture and the rise of totalitarianism within our once-free society will be inevitable. Read the detailed summary at

Christians must show love to all people, even if they don’t support their values, evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren June 23 told breakaway Episcopalians and other Anglicans splitting from their national church over gay clergy and other issues.

“We are to love the people of the world no matter what they believe; we are to not love the value system of the world. And the problem today is a lot of Christians are getting that reversed. They love the value system and hate the people,” Warren told the crowd of 800 under a large tent on the lawn of St. Vincent’s Episcopal Cathedral Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Bedford. “God has never met a person he didn’t love.”…. Read this in full at

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama famously claimed that blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania clung to religion because of bitterness over lost jobs. Americans are now truly fearful, as unemployment has mounted and house prices fallen. Yet the theory that church attendance grows in times of economic crisis seems to be a myth.

Last year David Beckworth, an assistant professor of Economics at Texas State University, examined historic patterns in the size of evangelical congregations and found that, during each recession cycle between 1968 and 2004, membership of evangelical churches jumped by 50%. This report filled the newspapers and TV news-shows at the height of the depression panic just before Christmas; but the report’s findings focused on evangelicals, and do not apply to Americans at large.

According to Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief of Gallup Poll, which interviews 30,000 Americans every month, “to guess that attendance would increase [in recessions] is a common-sense assumption with no basis in data.” John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which recently published a study on the correlation between church attendance and economics, has found no link in the past 20 years…. Read this in full at

by Jackie O’Neal
Much has been said about how atheism has over the years has reached a level of unprecedented prominence. It appears to be ironic that in a nation where polls routinely show that 9 out of 10 participants affirm a belief in the divine. Statistics estimate that the number of atheists in the United States ranges from 1% to 10% and even higher.

Experts say atheists are becoming more and more visible, more so than in 1963, when the late atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair won a landmark Supreme Court ruling barring prayer from the public schools.

Since then, several best-sellers made their mark in the world of unbelief. For example, in May 2007, the popular writer and polemicist Christopher Hitchens, published “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” a volume that is expected to join Sam Harris’ “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason,” and Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” as widely cited arguments against religion and religious faith, according to a review on

Professor Harvey Cox of the Harvard Divinity School compared Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion” as the kind of Jerry Falwell of the atheists. He explained in a Religion & Ethics Newsweekly segment from Jan. 5, 2007, that Dawkins takes what he terms legalistic and narrow view of religion, and lashes out against it…. Read this in full at

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks, and backyard barbecues across the country.

2.5 million
In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.

307 million
The nation’s population on this July Fourth.

More than 1 in 4
The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.3 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2009. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (9.4 million) and Minnesota (7.3 million) were the runners-up.

About 4 in 10
The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 39% of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2008. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, and New York together accounted for 61% of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2008.

Please Pass the Potato Salad
Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Half of the nation’s spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2008.

$193 million
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2008, representing the bulk of all US fireworks imported ($202 million). US exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $28.1 million in 2008, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($5.8 million).

$3.4 million
In 2008, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.0 million) was for US flags made in China.

“The life without festival is a long road without an inn.”
Democritus of Abdera

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”
Psalm 90:2-4

“Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man’s will done in heaven, but for getting God’s will done in earth.” Robert Law


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.

Bible reading plans to choose from

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.)

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.
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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