Connections – 09/27/09

For week of September 27, 2009
Issue 271

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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“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

“Someone has pointed out that the mere knowledge of religious truth without an honest attempt at translating it into action and putting it into practice, will not profit a person very much. Medicine left in a bottle, unused, will not help anybody. Machinery stored in a shed and never used will be of small value to anyone. Books that are kept on a shelf and never read will help nobody.”
Abraham Feldman

The number of American adults who do not identify with a particular religion is growing and may comprise more than 20% of the population in two decades, according to a new study.

Conducted by researchers at Trinity College, the study, titled “American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population,” showed that people who profess no religion, or “Nones,” are similar to the general public in marital status, education, racial and ethnic makeup and income.

According to the study, it is possible that one in five Americans
will put themselves in the “None” category by 2030.

“We are here. We are like everybody else. We are part of the community.” said Jesse Galef, communications associate at the Secular Coalition for America.

Galef hopes that this trend will dispel stereotypes that Nones have no morals because of their lack of religion and help them gain a political voice…. Read this in full at

The number of atheist or agnostic student groups on U.S. campuses has more than doubled in the past two years — from 80 to 162 — according to the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), the national organization for the secular student movement.

PZ Myers, an outspoken atheist and associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, suggested the growth could be related to authors saying that it is okay to be “godless.”

Myers, who last year angered Catholics when he publicly tried to desecrate consecrated Communion wafers, writes a blog and often speaks at SSA affiliate group meetings, where he urges students to go public about their unbelief and foster a positive image.

Although SSA has four high school affiliates, most of the groups are on college campuses. Lyz Liddell, the alliance’s senior campus organizer, noted that college is a time when many people question their beliefs and break away from their religious background…. Read this in full at

An entry buried in a 120-year-old manuscript has confirmed what local historians long have believed: Wheaton College was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Officials said they knew the college was founded and led by abolitionists. But it was difficult to substantiate the claim that the school — called Illinois Institute at the time — was directly involved with the network of stops and routes that aided escaping slaves. “We never had the hard evidence that strict historians want to see,” said David Malone, the college’s head of archives and special collections. That changed earlier this year when Wheaton College history professor David Maas was doing research for a book…. Read this in full at

“‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). Recently, I’ve been thinking this should be my life verse. I do believe, yet I have so much unbelief in my life. I walk in faith, yet my faith is often more in the things I see than in the things I don’t see. I follow God, yet I repeatedly find myself stumbling down a path of my own choosing.

“Oswald Chambers says, ‘Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason — a life of knowing him who calls us to go.’

“I believe. God, help me overcome my unbelief. Help me to live like I deeply believe you are trustworthy. Help me to abandon my mythology where I believe I am more trustworthy than you, where I live with more faith in my own efforts than in your ability to create the universe.” from Growing with Purpose: Connecting with God Every Day by Jon Walker

Chuck Colson has spent a lifetime atoning for his involvement in the Watergate cover-up. The founder of Prison Fellowship has spent more than three decades working with prisoners in more than 100 countries, and he has mentored generations of conservative Evangelical leaders. This month he launched the Chuck Colson Center, an online research and education center that he calls “the Lexis-Nexis of resources on the Christian worldview.” The last of the original religious-right leaders still actively engaged with the movement, Colson spoke with TIME about his latest endeavor, why he thinks churches have failed society, and the biggest mistake the religious right made.

Q: You say you’ve been wanting to create this center for decades. What first prompted the project?
A: “It goes back to the earliest days of our prison ministry. At the end of the first year, we’d gotten to all 42 federal prisons. But in that time, they’d built 10 more. As fast as we would get a Bible study started, they’d build a new prison. I realized that we could be working in the prisons forever and doing good work, but it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t address the bigger cultural questions, the things that were causing crime. So many of these kids in prison came from broken families. They were products of a failed worldview — that modernity would make everything better.” …. Read this in full at,8599,1925795,00.html

All journalists want to write a story that makes a big splash. John T. Elson, the religion editor at Time magazine, was no exception. But in 1966 he got more than he bargained for.

For more than a year, Mr. Elson had labored over an article examining radical new approaches to thinking about God that were gaining currency in seminaries and universities and spilling over to the public at large. When finally completed, it became the cover story for the issue of April 8, as Easter and Passover approached. The cover itself was eye-catching, the first one in Time’s 43-year history to appear without a photograph or an illustration. Giant blood-red letters against a black background spelled out the question “Is God Dead?”

The issue caused an uproar, equaled only by John Lennon’s offhand remark, published in a magazine for teenagers a few months later, that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. The “Is God Dead?” issue gave Time its biggest newsstand sales in more than 20 years and elicited 3,500 letters to the editor, the most in its history to that point. It remains a signpost of the 1960s, testimony to the wrenching social changes transforming the United States…. Read this in full at

The Center for Inquiry will draw attention in several major cities across the continent with its “robust” participation in International Blasphemy Day. Events are scheduled for Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Indianapolis, Washington, DC, Austin, Tucson, Tampa Bay, and Amherst, NY.

Sept. 30 is the anniversary of the original 2005 publication of the Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. The fury which arose within the Islamic community following this publication led to massive riots, attacks on foreign embassies and deaths. Four of the cartoons were reprinted in Free Inquiry magazine in support of the public’s right to free expression and criticism.

Participation in Blasphemy Day is part of the Center for Inquiry’s larger Campaign for Free Expression, an effort to focus attention on one of the most crucial components of freethought: the right of individuals to express their viewpoints, opinions, and beliefs about all subjects–especially religion. “Placing religion off limits in social discourse is just another, gentler way of prohibiting examination and criticism of religion,” CFI President and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay said. “In my view, all subjects of human interest should be open to examination and criticism by humans.” …. Read this in full at

by Bill Ellis
Most churches in the United States, Canada and other countries take time during October each year to express their deep gratitude for their pastor and pastoral associates. Different classifications are included such as pastor emeritus, retired and associate pastors.

The entire month becomes a time when congregational members pause, deliberately take the time, and expend the effort to let pastors know they are deeply appreciated. Pastors are on call twenty-four-seven that means they are called upon for service 24 hours per day and seven days each week…. Read this in full at

The percentage of churches in the United States employing a woman as senior pastor has doubled during the past decade, according to a new survey by the Barna Group.

The evangelical pollster said one church in 10 now employs a female pastor. From the early 1990s through 1999, just 5% of pastors of Protestant churches were women. Barna called it a “substantial” gain.

The majority of women in the pastorate – 58% — are affiliated with a mainline Protestant denomination such as the American Baptist Churches USA, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Methodist Church, or Presbyterian Church.

[The Lord says,] “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Isaiah 46:4

“Almost all men are affected with the disease of desiring to obtain useless knowledge.”
John Calvin

As many as 60,000 people representing over 300 churches and 65 youth organizations gathered Sept. 20 for an hour of prayer in New York City’s Times Square. On the day that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed to be “Prayer in the Square Day,” the thousands who gathered for “Prayer in the Square” prayed for the nation in three-minute intervals with songs performed by a 180-voice gospel choir between each prayer segment. “Since its establishment, this event has encouraged the faith of all those in attendance, celebrating their beliefs through praise and worship,” commented Bloomberg, who is Jewish by faith…. Read this in full at

Members of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church on Sunday, September 20, 2009, turned back an attempt to fire Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, voting in his favor by a two-thirds margin.

According to a story by James D. Davis for the online version of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, after a contentious, two-hour congregational meeting closed to non-members, Tchividjian won 940 of 1,362 ballots cast at the Fort Lauderdale church.

The Sun-Sentinel reported that the vote climaxed a months-long conflict in the church, long known for its conservative evangelical stance and politics. With 2,678 members, the church has championed evangelism, Bible-based faith and education. It also has hosted rallies called Reclaiming America for Christ, spurring thousands for grass roots activism on issues like abortion, homosexuality, evolution, and school prayers…. Read this in full at

When a congregation moves from a traditional to a contemporary style of worship, the change can often lead to painful conflict in the pews but also, according to a new study, higher attendance.

Almost two-thirds – 64% — of congregations that switched to contemporary worship in the last five years saw an increase in worship attendance of 2% or more, the latest Faith Communities Today survey shows.

David A. Roozen, author of “Faith Communities Today 2008: A First Look,” said the findings on contemporary worship held true regardless of the congregation’s denominational affiliation (or lack of one).

“What it seems to suggest is that if you make the change, you’re going to get an immediate impact, positive impact,” said Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and professor of religion and society at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, in an interview…. Read this in full at

Rick Moore and his growing church hope to implement their big plans in a small way. The pastor and his congregation are part of an emerging shift away from single-location megachurches toward multiple site churches that hope to bring a best-of-both-worlds approach to ministry.

These multi-site churches, also known as campus or satellite churches, typically consist of a central worship service from which the sermon is transmitted or streamed to smaller congregations that can be right next door or on the other side of the world.

The core concept is to provide as many people as possible with a strong sermon message while moving away from the impersonal, humongous single-site church – such as Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, where 44,000 people meet each Sunday in a former NBA arena…. Read this in full at

ABC News has produced a new special series that examines how the Ten Commandments are being applied in today’s world. Starting with “Though Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” ABC News’ Nightline program tackles each commandment during its “The Ten Commandments” series, looking at what they mean, and how they apply to life in the 21st century…. Read this in full at

See the series’ site at

Frank (then Franky) Schaeffer, youngest son of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, grew up hearing his father’s lectures and his mother’s prayers and witnessing the passionate searching by young people like me. But as his new book’s subtitle suggests (Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back), Frank’s book is not another homage to the Schaeffer and L’Abri legacy. It is his mea culpa for his part in taking his father away from theological work and into the world of American religious-right politics…. Read this in full at

Author Dan Brown is a friendly, normal guy — not the type you’d expect to have created the dark world of “The Da Vinci Code.” The book, published in 2003, has sold more than 80 million copies worldwide, and the 2006 movie starring Tom Hanks grossed over $758 million. His new book is The Lost Symbol.

Q: Are you religious?
A: I was raised Episcopalian, and I was very religious as a kid. Then, in eighth or ninth grade, I studied astronomy, cosmology, and the origins of the universe. I remember saying to a minister, “I don’t get it. I read a book that said there was an explosion known as the Big Bang, but here it says God created heaven and Earth and the animals in seven days. Which is right?” Unfortunately, the response I got was, “Nice boys don’t ask that question.” A light went off, and I said, “The Bible doesn’t make sense. Science makes much more sense to me.” And I just gravitated away from religion…. Read this in full at

Sept. 21 the nation’s largest association of Christian media professionals marked 65 years since the face of religious broadcasting was “forever changed.” It was on that date in 1944, that a committee of evangelical broadcasters held a constitutional convention in the Moody Memorial Church in Chicago after first coming to together the year before to discuss the challenges they faced in purchasing airtime – something that was virtually impossible for them.

“NRB’s founders came together to face a great challenge, yet they experienced a surprising blessing, as the unity forged out of those early trials continued in bonds of fellowship that have extended from generation to generation down to this day,” remarked Dr. Frank Wright, president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, whose member organizations today represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers worldwide.

“NRB was birthed in the fires of adversity and these many years later the fires burn hotter than ever,” he added, noting that challenges still exist today, including proposed legislation that could potentially influence their content and hiring policies…. Read this in full at

“I have never heard anything about the resolutions of the apostles, but a great deal about their acts.”
Horace Mann

“I lift up my eyes to the hills -– where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

“Our desires must not only be offered up to God, but they must all terminate in him, desiring nothing more than God, but still more and more of him.”
Matthew Henry


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.

Photos of amazing natural formations

Cool clock

the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci

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.)

Q. What do you give someone who has everything?
A. Antibiotics.

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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