Connections – 09/06/09

For week of September 6, 2009
Issue 268

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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“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT)

“Keep me, Lord, from ever hardening down into the state of being just another average Christian.”
A. W. Tozer

The global board of Biblica today announced its intention to update the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, the first time it has been revised since 1984. The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), the independent body of global biblical scholars solely responsible for the translation of the world’s most popular Bible, is slated to finish its revision late next year, with publication in 2011. The announcement was made at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., the site of the historic first meeting of the CBT in 1965.

“We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand,” said Keith Danby, Global President and CEO of Biblica. “This is why we are recommitting ourselves today to the original NIV charter, complete with its charge to monitor and reflect developments in English usage and Biblical scholarship by regularly updating the NIV Bible text.

“As time passes and English changes, the NIV we have at present is becoming increasingly dated. If we want a Bible that English speakers around the world can understand, we have to listen to, and respect, the vocabulary they are using today.”

The CBT represents the very best in evangelical biblical scholarship and its members are drawn from denominations across the world. As an independent body, it alone has the authority to revise and update the text of the NIV Bible.

“The committee exists to ensure that the NIV continues to articulate the words of God, as we find them recorded in the original languages, in a form of English that is comprehensible to the broadest possible audience,” said CBT Chairman, Professor Douglas Moo.

“As a committee, our response to this challenge has always been to follow the example of the original Bible writers who wrote in forms of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that reflected the language spoken by the everyday working people of their day. Just as the New Testament is written in ‘Koine’ or ‘common’ Greek, our aim with the NIV Bible is — and has always been — to translate the Bible into what you might call ‘Koine’ or ‘common’ English.

“So it is fitting that the new edition of the NIV Bible will be coming out in 2011, the year which marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version,” said Moo. “Our goal in the NIV Bible translation mirrors that of the 17th Century translators themselves: to produce a Bible that removes all unnecessary obstacles to comprehension by drawing on the best available scholarship.”

The 2011 NIV will represent the latest expression of the CBT’s translation work. Previous expressions included the 1978 and 1984 editions of the NIV and the 2005 TNIV…. Read this in full at

Also see

To hear the audio portion of the news conference webcast
US Toll Free: 1-877-344-7529
Conference Number: 433568

In announcing a major revision of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, Biblica CEO Keith Danby said, in the past, mistakes were made.

“In 1997, IBS announced that it was forgoing all plans to publish an updated NIV following criticism of the NIV inclusive language edition (NIVi) published in the United Kingdom. Quite frankly, some of the criticism was justified and we need to be brutally honest about the mistakes that were made,” Danby said. “We failed to make the case for revisions and we made some important errors in the way we brought the translation to publication. We also underestimated the scale of the public affection for the NIV and failed to communicate the rationale for change in a manner that reflected that affection.”

Danby said it was also a mistake to stop revisions on the NIV. “We shackled the NIV to the language and scholarship of a quarter century ago, thus limiting its value as a tool for ongoing outreach throughout the world,” he said.

“Whatever its strengths were, the TNIV divided the evangelical Christian community,” said Zondervan president Moe Girkins. “So as we launch this new NIV, we will discontinue putting out new products with the TNIV.” …. Read this in full at

Dissident members of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church have taken the next step in their effort to oust Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, turning in petitions to call a congregational vote.

Romeo DeMarco, one of six members spearheading the drive — including founder D. James Kennedy’s daughter Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy — said the petitions were delivered with about 400 names August 31 to leaders of the Fort Lauderdale church. According to denominational laws of the Presbyterian Church in America, a congregational meeting should be called within 30 days of such a petition. “Now, we’re looking forward to a fair and impartial vote of the congregation,” DeMarco said.

The action doesn’t affect a disciplinary process the church has begun against the six. A newly appointed judiciary commission met with them on Aug. 26, in a process that could lead to a formal hearing on whether to excommunicate them…. Read this in full at,0,2521621.story

by Jason Byassee
When I told a friend I was planning on visiting the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, he offered a warning. “There are no books. They really should call it the ‘Billy Graham Experience.'”

The library is an experience indeed — both tackier and more interesting than I had imagined. The schmaltz has been well documented in critical reviews, which have duly noted, for example, the mechanized talking cow that greets visitors with stories of how cold young Billy’s hands were before sunrise on the dairy farm near Charlotte where he grew up. (Rather oddly, the narrative is accompanied by an apparently black woman’s voice singing about how God “owns the cattle on a thousand hills.”)

But the physical artifacts of Graham’s life have an eloquence that the cheesiness can’t quite spoil. If you admire him at all, you will find something here to enjoy. I especially liked seeing the engagement ring he gave his wife, Ruth, paid for with a $65 honorarium for preaching at Sharon Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, and “with a diamond so small you need a magnifying glass to see it,” as he wrote in a personal note on display…. Read this in full at

Facebook users announce their spiritual identity with the stroke of a few keys. And what they are typing into the open-ended box offers a revealing peek into modern faith and what happens to that faith as it migrates online.

Of its 250 million users worldwide, Facebook says more than 150 million people choose to write something in the religious views box.

Amid the endless trivialities of social networking sites — the quotes from Monty Python, the Stephen Colbert for Prez groups, the goofy-but-calculatingly-attractive profile pics — the tiny box has become a surprisingly meaningful pit stop for philosophical inquiry.

Millions have plumbed their innermost thoughts, struggling to sum up their beliefs in roughly 10 words or less. For many, it has led to age-old questions about purpose, the existence of the divine and the meaning of life itself…. Read this in full at

If there were such a thing as evangelical royalty, Anne Graham Lotz would be the crown princess. Billy Graham’s daughter is an author and preacher who has led revivals for tens of thousands of people around the globe. But having a recognizable last name doesn’t mean she always feels comfortable in church. In her new book, The Magnificent Obsession, Graham Lotz writes about feeling alienated at times from “religious people” and pursuing her own religious calling despite the disapproval of her famous parents…. Read this in full at,8599,1919959,00.html

A longtime practice at Scott & White Memorial Hospital is undergoing a change. For at least 40 years, Bibles have been distributed to hospital rooms by members of The Gideons International, an interdenominational association of Christian business and professional men. Recently, hospital administrators made the decision to stop the practice of having the Bibles distributed to hospital rooms by Gideons, but group members will continue to work with the hospital to provide Bibles to its patients. “Actually, what we’ve done is modified the distribution of Bibles,” said Pat Currie, chief of hospital services at Scott & White. Patients can get one by making a request to one of the hospital chaplains…. Read this in full at

An unclear understanding of spiritual maturity may be an underlying reason why there is so little progress in seeing people develop spiritually in the United States, despite overwhelming access to churches and unlimited products and resources, The Barna Group says.

“America has a spiritual depth problem partly because the faith community does not have a robust definition of its spiritual goals,” David Kinnaman, Barna’s president, said. “The study shows the need for new types of spiritual metrics.”

Barna found that most Christians equate spiritual maturity with following the rules described in the Bible. Also, many churchgoers were unable to identify how their church defines spiritual maturity. Most Christians, Barna said, offer one-dimensional views of personal spiritual maturity, giving answers such as having a relationship with Jesus, living a moral lifestyle or applying the Bible…. Read this in full at

African Americans are more likely to exhibit evidence of being Christian when compared to three other race categories and to the general population, according to a new study by The Barna Group.

The study finds that faith continues to be important in the lives of African Americans, an ethnic group that comprises about 15% of the national population.

Based on telephone interviews with more than 1,200 adults who described themselves as African American, Barna found that 66% of them agreed with the statement that “the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches,” compared to 46% of whites and 49% of the general population…. Read this in full at

The Hispanic population, the largest ethnic group in the United States, rapidly has been adopting the mainstream beliefs and practices of all Americans, according to a study by The Barna Group.

The study compares the faith of Hispanics today to their faith profile of 15 years ago and finds 11 faith dimensions on which there had been substantial change.

Barna found that Hispanics’ alignment with the Catholic Church was down by 25 percentage points, and Hispanics who believe a good person can earn his way into heaven was down 9 percentage points.

Being a born-again Christian by Barna’s definition was up 17 percentage points among Hispanics, and having made a personal commitment to Jesus that is important in their lives was up 15 percentage points…. Read this in full at

Grandparents Day was the brainchild of Marian McQuade of Fayette County, W.Va., who hoped that such an observance might persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. President Jimmy Carter signed the first presidential proclamation in 1978 — and one has been issued each year since — designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The first official observance was Sept. 9, 1979. In honor of our nation’s grandparents, the US Census Bureau presents an array of data about these unsung role models and caregivers.
* 6.2 million: The number of grandparents whose grandchildren younger than 18 lived with them in 2007.
* 2.5 million: The number of grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren who lived with them in 2007.
* 6.6 million: The number of children living with a grandparent in 2008; these children comprised 9% of all children in the United States.
* 2.6 million: The number of children who lived with both a grandmother and a grandfather in 2008…. Read this in full at

For years a war was raging inside him, but outwardly the Christian author sat in church and pretended all was well. Now he is ready to reveal his secret – he doesn’t want to go to church anymore. At the mature age of 65, Dr. Larry Crabb, who has gone to church his entire life, admits he’d rather go to his favorite local coffee shop and read a newspaper than go to church on Sundays.

But perhaps more shocking than the Christian leader’s confession is that he believes he’s not alone and that many of his peers feel the same way.

“I think it is rather a widespread thing among people in my generation,” said Crabb to The Christian Post in an interview. It’s just that people his age, the psychologist explained, are “not comfortable enough” or “maybe not open enough” to share about their dislike of going to church.

In the past year, Crabb said he has shared his problem with going to church to 40 to 50 peers and not one person has said, “My gosh, what is your problem. I love church!”

The people more favorable to church say that they go because they suppose it is a good thing, but they don’t think it is doing for them what it should. On the other end of the spectrum, people respond by describing the church as boring or saying they’re indifferent about attending service…. Read this in full at

We subject ourselves to a position of fear, allowing anxiety to dominate and define our lives. Joy-sapping worries. Day–numbing dread. Repeated bouts of insecurity that petrify and paralyze us. Fear will always knock on your door. Just don’t let it in. Learn to trust more and fear less. Follow Max Lucado’s 8 steps and learn how to overcome fear…. Read this in full at

The president of HCJB Global discusses how the evangelistic organization known for shortwave broadcasting is changing in light of new media realities.

Q: Why is HCJB now emphasizing leadership training?
A: It’s taken us 200 years of [Western] missiology to learn this, but we are much more effective in missions by developing leadership among local believers who know the language to produce local media and health-care ministries. They know the culture. Many of them are bivocational missionaries using their skills to meet their financial needs.

Q: How has the economic downturn impacted HCJB?
A: It’s helping us decide what’s core to our ministry by having to prioritize and focus. We have to get before the Lord and say, “What’s the most urgent? What’s the most strategic? What’s the highest priority?” So it forces us to focus on our global ends, which are reaching people groups that have never heard, groups with restricted access to the gospel, and mobilizing local believers to participate in global outreach. If it doesn’t fit that filter, we don’t do it…. Read this in full at

Christianity Today International has launched, a resource for women who want to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ and in faithfully influencing the people around them to respond to Christ. is a web-based resource for these women that provides solid, strong teaching material, and helps women understand what it means to live out their gifts to make a kingdom impact within their local church and throughout the world.

Ginger Kolbaba, founding editor, says, “We’ve heard from many women who want something different from the women’s ministry resources and events that are designed simply to make women more comfortable. A lot of Christian women want materials that will make them think and grow, and will help them go beyond themselves to make disciples of others.”…. Read this in full at

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah 6:8

“God doesn’t want to keep changing your circumstances; he wants to change you.” J. Sidlow Baxter

On US Navy ships and forward operating bases around the world, military chaplains are using Audio Bibles to give comfort and hope to troops.

Faith Comes By Hearing, the world’s foremost Audio Bible ministry, designed and distributed more than 14,000 Military BibleSticks to chaplains and troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.

“Last year, Faith Comes By Hearing felt burdened to bring the Word of God in audio to our nation’s military community,” said Troy Carl, Faith Comes By Hearing’s national director. “So, we developed a specialized, portable audio player just for their use–camouflaged and loaded with the dramatized New Testament–and sent it to those who are deployed or deploying.”

The Military BibleStick has been popular for both troops and chaplains…. Read this in full at

by Rick Warren
We all get angry, but we do so in different ways. Some of us explode. Others simmer silently. But none of us is immune. It’s a very normal human reaction. Jesus got angry. In the Old Testament it says 375 times that God got angry. The Bible says, “In your anger, don’t sin.” There’s a right way and a wrong way to get angry. How do you deal with anger appropriately? Let me give you 5 steps…. Read this in full at

“A lot of stress in life results from our hiding behind masks, living double lives, being unreal with others, or trying to be somebody we’re not. Insecurity always produces pressure in our lives, and when we are insecure, we feel coerced to perform and conform. We set unrealistic standards for our lives, and even though we work, work, work, we still can’t meet those unrealistic standards. Tension and pressure naturally occur as a result.

“The first way to balance stress in my life is to get an internal balance of who I am. And I know who I am by knowing whose I am. I am a child of God. I was put on earth not by accident, but for a purpose. I am deeply loved by God. I am accepted by him. He has a plan for my life, and because he put me here, I am significant. And because he put you here, you are significant. To handle stress you must know who you are. Until you handle this issue, you will be hindered by insecurity.” from God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions by Rick Warren

by Mark Galli
After a spate of atheist-authored books decrying religion, along comes the contrarian An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity Is Better Off with Religion than Without It.  Atheist author Bruce Sheiman reminds us of what many sociologists of religion have been proving for some years: that religion helps people live happier and healthier lives by giving them meaning and purpose; and it benefits society enormously, by establishing food closets and hospitals and rescue missions and what not. As the subtitle says, all told, humanity is better off as a result of religion.

The question, though, is whether Christianity will be better off as a result of this well-meaning book.

Unfortunately for fans of religion, the Christian gospel is not primarily interested in religion. To be sure, the New Testament talks about religion. It discourages sexual license and other forms of immorality. It encourages patience, kindness, and other virtues. It tells believers how to worship aright. There is nothing unusual in all this—all religions have similar admonitions. In this respect, the New Testament is realistic. It doesn’t pretend that the common rules of morality and social concern don’t apply to the church. It understands that groups of people, even if you call them churches, have to behave themselves if they’re going to get anything done!

But this sort of thing, religion, does not stand at the heart of the New Testament message. The gospel isn’t primarily about helping individuals to live the life they’ve always wanted; it tells people to die to their yearning for self-fulfillment. It is not about helping people feel good about themselves, but telling them that they are dying. It’s not about improving people, but killing the old self and creating them anew. It’s not about helping people make space for spirituality in their busy lives, but about a God who would obliterate all our private space. The gospel is not about getting people to cooperate with God in making the world a better place — to give it a fresh coat of paint, to remodel it; instead it announces God’s plan to raze the present world order and build something utterly new…. Read this in full at

Has Noah’s Ark run aground on a Hong Kong beach? From afar, viewed against the Tsing Ma bridge, it looks like a spectacular shipwreck washed ashore from the South China Sea. The ark, the city’s newest theme park, is moored on the coast of Ma Wan, an island 20 minutes by ferry from the main city hub. It’s next to a parking lot and not far from typical eateries selling curry pork chops and iced tea with milk. Get closer and the ark looks awesome, with life-sized fiberglass models of animals on the gangplank. The structure’s religious theme — drawn from Christian, Jewish and Islamic culture — has stirred admiration and ambivalence among the city’s mostly Taoist and Buddhist population. It is 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high: the ark’s builder and the city’s biggest developer, Sun Hung Kai Properties Co., claims it’s the first in the world built to measurements in the Bible…. Read this in full at

Recently, ACT published its results for 2009. On a scale of 1-36 homeschoolers scored an average of 22.5, which beat the national average of 21.1. “This is a remarkable achievement and shows that homeschool parents are successfully preparing their children for college,” said Michael Smith, president of HSLDA.

According to ACT officials, research shows that high achievement on the ACT strongly indicates a “greater likelihood of success in college.” Success on the ACT test also reveals that the courses taken by high school students to prepare for college have been effective.

A total of 1.48 million students took the ACT in 2009 which included 11,535 homeschoolers or just under 1 percent of the total.

The new ACT results also support the numerous studies which show that homeschoolers are out- performing their public school peers in K-12. The latest study from the National Home Education Research Institute shows that the average homeschooler scores 37 percentile points higher on standardized achievement test than the average public schooled student…. Read this in full at

“Our Lord has many weak children in his family, many dull pupils in his school, many raw soldiers in his army, many lame sheep in his flock. Yet he bears with them all, and casts none away. Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren.”
J. C. Ryle

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1

“To be prayerless is to be without God, without Christ, without grace, without hope, and without heaven.” J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), A Call to Prayer, published in the 1850’s as a pamphlet, p. 1


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.

World Clock

Earth Album

Photo Essay: The Most Alien Landscapes on Earth

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.)

Have you ever thought that life is a car wash, and you’re on a bike?
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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