Connections – 08/02/09

For week of August 2, 2009
Issue 263

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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“Keep my steps steady according to your promise, and never let iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from human oppression, that I may keep your precepts.” Psalm 119:133-134

“They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew…Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” Martin Niemöller, German theologian and pastor (1892-1984)

by Dave Gibbons
The suburban enclaves — with their middle-class citizens and well- manicured lawns, gates and guards protecting their Orwellian lifestyle and toys, Starbucks a few minutes from each busy intersection, and some of the best schools in the country — may actually be the most dangerous places to live. We may not have the high murder counts or robberies that urban centers have, but I wonder if the suburbs have become breeding grounds for the accessible and shallow thrills of drugs and alcohol abuse, extravagant parties and proms, and mere facades of happiness and the American dream. Just ask your local city drug dealer about his primary consumers: suburban teenagers and college students.

I’m not a researcher, but my gut impression from my travels and interactions with youth in the major cities of the world, as well as in suburbs and rural communities, is that they are all equally dangerous, just in different ways…. Read this in full at

“The ancient Jews and the early Christians spread God’s message by making copies of the original writings — and copies of copies. No one had a Xerox machine, of course, or a laser printer, so copies were made slowly and meticulously by devout scribes. These copyists were obsessed with accuracy. Every letter was carefully copied, every line checked and rechecked. Old Testament scribes counted every letter of every biblical book, and each new copy had to come out exactly right or they started over from scratch.

“God in his watchfulness has allowed hundreds of these ancient copies to survive. We have fragments of copies made just a few years after the originals were written. But even with meticulous care, occasionally a word would be dropped or two letters mixed up. By comparing the manuscripts, however, we can easily determine the correct reading. Less than 1% of the text of the New Testament is even questioned — that’s one word in 4,000! Furthermore, no major teaching of the Christian faith rests on a disputed or doubtful reading. ‘Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion,” Charles Spurgeon says. ‘Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself.’” from Christianity for Blockheads: A User-Friendly Look at What Christians Believe by Douglas Connelly and Martin Manser

Baptists in El Paso, Texas, are distributing nearly 250,000 CDs containing selected Scripture passages and Christian testimonies in a pilot launch of a campaign to share the gospel with every un-churched person in the state by Easter 2010.

Texas Hope 2010 is the brainchild of Randel Everett, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The project aims to put bilingual multimedia discs into all of the state’s 8.8 million homes.

“We want to make sure every person in Texas has an opportunity to respond to the gospel of Christ, regardless of their ethnicity, language or socioeconomic status,” Everett said.

Each disc includes the Gospel of John in English and Spanish that can be played on either a CD player or a computer. Those with computers can watch video testimonies of individuals describing the difference Christ makes in their lives. With Internet access, they can link to a website where they can download the New Testament in any of more than 350 languages and a 24/7 live online chat about becoming a Christian…. Read this in full at

The Texas Board of Education is debating whether to modify its American history curriculum to acknowledge the influence that religion had on the country’s founding. Supporters of amplifying the religious aspects of U.S. history in Texas public schools argue that it is simply telling the truth about how America was founded.
Peter Marshall, an evangelical minister and president of Peter Marshall Ministries, is one of six experts appointed by the Texas Board of Education to review the state’s social studies curriculum. Marshall says the “foremost problem” he sees with the current curriculum is that it does not give enough credit to “the biblical motivations of America’s settlers and founders. Our children need to know the truth about how our country got started,” Marshall said to…. Read this in full at

Also see

by Chuck Colson
Most of us have used expressions like “Faustian bargain” and “selling your soul to the Devil.” That, unfortunately, is all we know about the legendary Dr. Faust and the transaction that turned his name into an adjective. “Unfortunately,” because Goethe’s poem articulates, in dramatic form, parts of the human experience that still—if you’ll pardon the pun—bedevil us today: our longing for freedom from any kind of authority, our thirst for knowledge, and our desire to bend nature to our will.

Faust, however, is a hard read, which is why you need a guide like my friend Ken Boa and his Great Books Audio CD Series. As Ken tells his listeners, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe didn’t invent the character of Dr. Faust. The German legend of the man who sold his soul for knowledge dates back to at least the 16th century.

In the age of the Reformation, the story of Faust was seen as an object lesson and a warning. But in Goethe’s era, the Enlightenment, Faust was a prototype of man’s ideal aspirations. Faust had become a symbol of man’s emancipation from authority. His salvation no longer mattered — what mattered was his courage in seeking to obtain previously unobtainable knowledge…. Read this in full at

“In 1941, in a village in Nazi-controlled Poland, a young man came home to discover that his father had died while he was at work. What made his father’s death exceedingly more unbearable was that several years earlier, both this young man’s sister and mother had died. As he held his father’s dead body in his arms, he lamented, ‘I’m all alone. At twenty, I’ve already lost all the people I’ve loved.’

“One writer described it like this: ‘Ripped out of the soil of his background, his life could no longer be what it used to be. He now began a journey to deeper communion with God. But it didn’t come without tears, and it didn’t come without what seems to have been a certain existential horror.’

Suffering can do that to us. We’re jolted, kicked, prodded, and shoved into new realities we never would have brought about on our own. We’re forced to imagine a new future because the one we were planning on is gone. And that young Polish man? His name was Karol Jozel Wojtyla, but later in life he was known as Pope John Paul II.” from Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell

For the first time, Global Media Outreach (GMO) saw over 1 million people indicate decisions for Jesus Christ in one month. In June, 1,030,581 people indicated either a first-time decision to follow Jesus or a decision to recommit their life to Christ through one of more than 90 GMO Gospel websites.

Whether by mobile phones or computer, millions of people continue to go online to seek God every day. GMO has seen the number of people indicating decisions for Jesus on their Gospel websites triple over the last year…. Read this in full at

Mormons are the faith group most likely to say Hollywood threatens their values, followed by Jehovah’s Witnesses and evangelicals, according to a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The survey showed more than two-thirds of Mormons (68%) rebuffed the entertainment industry, followed by 54% of Jehovah’s Witnesses and 53% of evangelicals. Less than half (42%) of the general population said Hollywood threatens their values.

In contrast, majorities of all other major religions disagreed that stars and the silver screen are a moral threat…. Read this in full at

The gay and lesbian population, which constitutes about 3% of adults, has garnered national attention in the past several years thanks to issues like gay marriage, gay adoption, and other gay rights conflicts. In the wake of those controversies and the spotlight aimed at gays, Americans have developed numerous assumptions about the lives of the homosexual population.

According to a new survey by the Barna Group that explores the spiritual life of gay and lesbian individuals, a majority of the spiritual measures studied revealed statistically significant differences between “straights” and “gays.”

Although most adults affirm the importance of faith in their life, regardless of their sexual orientation, straight adults (72%) were more likely than gay adults (60%) to describe their faith as “very important” in their life. And even though most Americans consider themselves to be Christian, there is a noticeable gap between heterosexuals who self-identify that way (85%) compared to homosexuals (70%). Another gap was then noted among those who say they are Christian: about six out of ten heterosexuals say they are absolutely committed to the Christian faith, compared to about four out of ten among homosexuals…. Read this in full at

“I sure am glad I have my own Jesus. If I didn’t have my own personal walk with him, my life would be one giant vat of emotion, a tempest tossing me from one whim to the next. Which is why I have learned I need my own Jesus — my own relationship with the Lord of all creation. I can’t live by what I feel but by the truth God’s Word reveals.

“This last line may sound familiar because it’s part of the bridge in East to West — a song I wrote about learning to accept and live in the reality of God’s forgiveness. The lyrics describe where I’ve been in my walk with Jesus over the past few years. No matter how many times my old life comes haunting, God calls me to rest on his truth and not on what I feel or think.” from Your Own Jesus: A God Insistent on Making It Personal by Mark Hall of Casting Crowns with Tim Luke

When God chisels the dead weight out of our lives it can be very painful. In one of their most requested skits, Tommy and Eddie give a creative look at a typical believer having to go through the process of discipline. See the video at

British Emmy Award-winning actor David Suchet is the voice behind the new audio recording included in the Deluxe Edition of The Jesus Storybook Bible — Every Story Whispers His Name by bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones, available in October.

The popular storybook Bible has become a favorite for readers of all ages — pastors are using it to help them preach, children, seniors couples young families, educators, and even theologians are reading it. The Jesus Storybook Bible has sold close to 200,000 copies since releasing in March 2007 and has consistently appeared on the CBA Bestseller list…. Read this in full at

The radio program Speaking of Faith explores television as a center of storytelling in US culture — and listen in on intriguing, important themes of our time being played out in a new generation of shows like Lost, The Wire, House, and Battlestar Galactica that now have eternal life online. Guest Diane Winston appreciates good television, studies it, and brings many of its creators into her religion and media classes at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California…. Listen to this program at

“I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.” Psalm 119:60

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we as Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined.” Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, theologian, and ethicist (1813-1855)

Robert “Borneo Bob” Williams, who planted hundreds of churches in Indonesia over a 70-year ministry died July 29 in Fresno, California, at the age of 98. He also was one of the three founders of New Tribes Mission, now one of the world’s largest missionary movements.

Williams and his late wife Rena began their missionary career in Indonesia (then known as the Dutch East Indies) in 1939. Over the next six decades he established schools, clinics, a small boat ministry and a seminary that has trained and sent out hundreds of native Indonesian pastors, teaches and evangelists.

His life story was recently chronicled in the book, A Promise Kept – the 70-year Ministry of Borneo’s Jungle Evangelist.

Williams was born on November 27, 1910, and first came to faith at an Aimee Semple McPherson crusade in his native Denver. He and Rena were married in 1930 and attended LIFE Bible College in Los Angeles before joining forces with evangelist Paul Rader and his Courier Ministry. Rader introduced them to Dr. Robert Jaffray, one of the most influential leaders in Asian missions for the Christian & Missionary Alliance…. Read this in full at

Organizations that advocate the separation of church and state say they are concerned about President Obama’s pick as Secretary of the Army.

Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, said July 30 that US Rep. John M. McHugh, a five-term Republican from New York, has a voting record that shows he is no friend to religious liberty.

Walker said McHugh, who is expected to be confirmed at the conclusion of hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, has a background that is “generally well-suited for the job,” but his voting record “raises serious questions about his understanding of the constitutional restraints on government in matters of religion.” …. Read this in full at

During the current economic recession, is your family more reluctant to cut back on the grocery bill or the Internet bill?

In a survey of 500 British families, the Internet got priority over food, and it wasn’t even close. The survey by the British Internet provider O2 showed that given several options, 67% of families were more reluctant to cut back on the Internet bill than they were on school uniforms (59%), family vacations (30%) and the weekly grocery bill (24 percent).

The survey, O2 said in a release, provides insight into “what is regarded as essential and what is regarded as discretionary” spending by modern British families. But American families might agree, too, according to a recent survey by the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for Communications. That June poll shows that as household Internet usage has increased, family time has decreased.

According to the USC Annenberg survey of 2,000 U.S. households, the percentage of people who say they spend less time with household members since being connected to the Internet grew from 11% in 2006 to 28% in 2008. The total hours per month devoted to family time had changed, too, from an average of 26 hours per month during the middle of the decade to 17.9 hours per month in 2008…. Read this in full at

Contrary to Newsweek’s claim about the decline and fall of Christian America, evangelical churches around the globe are thriving. Pastors at charismatic, Pentecostal and other evangelical churches say that as people are suffering the effects of the financial downturn, houses of worship are experiencing dramatic rises in attendance.

Although many evangelical churches have experienced steady growth in the last decade, pastors say they haven’t seen this kind of upsurge since hippies disenchanted with the 1960s and 1970s counterculture discovered the original revolutionary — Jesus Christ…. Read this in full at

With the institution of marriage weakening in American society, Christians are left with three options. “They can yield to the trends devaluing marriage. Or they can admit defeat in society but try to maintain traditional teachings inside the church. Or they can swim against the current and insist that both church and society lend a hand in strengthening marriage,” says Alan Wisdom, vice president for Research and Programs at The Institute on Religion and Democracy.

IRD released a new paper touting the social value of traditional marriage and taking stock of the debate about its future in U.S. society. The paper is part of the Institute’s “Mount Nebo” series which offers an overview, “from an orthodox Christian perspective,” of public policy issues, and suggestions on how Christians should engage them…. Read this in full at

by Julia Duin
The problem with evangelicals, author Mark Regnerus says, is that they value marriage less than individual freedom, which is why their 20-somethings are encouraged to get out in the world, travel and find themselves before marrying. As a result, he says, young evangelicals are marrying later — if at all, but 80% are having premarital sex. All the abstinence pledges in the world, he adds, aren’t going to change this. Early marriage will…

A lot of people warn against early marriage, saying it leads to early divorce, poverty and greater odds of a poor match. It does provide an answer to raging hormones and allows women to have their children in their 20s rather than waiting until their less fertile 30s and 40s….I just wish that evangelical pastors would deem unacceptable the current ratio of serious Christian men to women and that married church members would do far more to help their single friends find mates. …. Read this in full at

Divorce causes more than bitterness and broken hearts. The trauma of a split can leave long-lasting effects on mental and physical health that remarriage might not repair, according to new research. “People who lose a marriage take such damage to their health,” said Linda Waite, a sociologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois.

Waite and co-author Mary Elizabeth Hughes, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that divorced or widowed people have 20% more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer than married people. They also have 23% more mobility limitations, such as trouble climbing stairs or walking a block…. Read this in full at

by Mark Galli
In short, traditional Christians feel like the armored tank of history is rolling over them, crushing traditional marriage under its iron treads, impervious to argument, the ballot box, or judicial logic. Even more disheartening has been to witness how, in each mainline denomination, and even in some evangelical seminaries, fellow Christians lobby hard for gay marriage.

The depressing feeling of inevitability is precisely what advocates of gay marriage want to instill in their opponents. But relying as many do on historical determinism—”Side with us because we’re going to win”—suggests that gay marriage advocates have run out of arguments. It also demonstrates historical amnesia. Arguments from historical inevitability have often been assumed by millions—to take two examples, the inevitability of Communism and the death of religion—and yet have proven to be wrong.

Still, we are at our wits’ ends about what to say next, impervious as the gay marriage juggernaut is. We know biblically and instinctively that “male and female he created them,” and that these complementary sexual beings are designed to become one flesh. We know that this spiritual instinct and biblical argument will not make much headway in the public square. So what do we say? …. Read this in full at

2009 marks the 40th anniversary of humankind’s first steps on the moon. Auspiciously timed is Craig Nelson’s new book, Rocket Men–one of the most detailed accounts of the period leading up to the first manned moon mission. Here are ten little-known Apollo 11 facts unearthed by Nelson during his research.

1. The Apollo’s Saturn rockets were packed with enough fuel to throw 100-pound shrapnel three miles, and NASA couldn’t rule out the possibility that they might explode on takeoff. NASA seated its VIP spectators three and a half miles from the launchpad.

2. The Apollo computers had less processing power than a cellphone.

3. Drinking water was a fuel-cell by-product, but Apollo 11’s hydrogen-gas filters didn’t work, making every drink bubbly. Urinating and defecating in zero gravity, meanwhile, had not been figured out; the latter was so troublesome that at least one astronaut spent his entire mission on an anti-diarrhea drug to avoid it…. Read this in full at

Armstrong: “That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.”

[At the time of the mission, the world heard Neil say “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind”. As Andrew Chaikin details in A Man on the Moon, after the mission, Neil said that he had intended to say ‘one small step for a man’ and believed that he had done so. However, he also agreed that the ‘a’ didn’t seem to be audible in the recordings. The important point is that the world had no problem understanding his meaning. However, over the decades, people interested in details of the mission – including your editor – have listened repeatedly to the recordings, without hearing any convincing evidence of the ‘a’. In 2006, with a great deal of attendant media attention, journalist/ entrepreneur Peter Shann Ford claimed to have located the ‘a’ in the waveform of Neil’s transmission. Subsequently, more rigorous analyses of the transmission were undertaken by a number of people, including some with professional experience with audio waveforms and, most importantly, audio spectrograms. As of October 2006, none of these analyses support Ford’s conclusion. The transcription used above honors Neil’s intent.]

President Obama says he starts his day with a devotional that the director of his Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative, Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois, sends to his BlackBerry each day. And though he was in the habit of praying every night before going to bed, Obama says since becoming president, he prays “all the time now.

“I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate and I need guidance all the time,” he told ABC News’ Terry Moran in an interview for “Nightline.” “I think that every president who’s had [this job] is constantly humbled by the degree to which there are a lot of issues out there and the notion that one person alone can solve all these problems I think you’re cured of that illusion very quickly,” Obama added. “This is something where you just hope that you are aligning your work with His purposes and that you’re attuned to the needs of the people you’re there to serve.”

Prior to winning the presidency, Obama had informed the public that Christ “is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis” for him…. Read this in full at

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without guideposts.” C. S. Lewis

“Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.” Psalm 112:5

“How far away is heaven? It is not so far as some imagine. It wasn’t very far from Daniel. It was not so far off that Elijah’s prayer, and those of others could not be heard there. Christ said when ye pray say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven.’ Men full of the Spirit can look right into heaven.” D. L. Moody


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.

US Debt Clock

Over 5,000 images of Wild Mushrooms

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.)

The sentence below is true.
The sentence above is false.

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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