CONNECTIONS – 11/01/09

For week of November 1, 2009
Issue 276

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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O give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good; for God’s steadfast love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:1

“We shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God, for, beholding His greatness, we realize our own littleness; His purity shows us our foulness; and by meditating upon His humility we find how very far we are from being humble.”
Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Concerned evangelicals gathered recently to search the soul of their movement and find a new way forward. Among evangelicals, who account for a quarter of the US population, the idea that they must focus their attention on shaping authentic disciples of Jesus has always had broad support. But how to do that in a consumerist society with little appetite for self-denial is fueling internal debate.

About 500 people attended a conference at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on “renewing the evangelical mission.” Leading thinkers called fellow believers to repent for a host of sins, from reducing the gospel to a right-wing political agenda to rendering God as a lenient father who merely wants “cuddle time with his kids.” …. Read this in full at

by Christopher Hitchens
Ever since I invited any champion of faith to debate with me in the spring of 2007, I have been very impressed by the willingness of the other side to take me, and my allies, up on the offer. A renowned scholar like Richard Dawkins, who is quite used to filling halls wherever he goes with his explanations of biology, is now finding himself on platforms with dedicated people who really, truly do not believe that evolution is anything more than “a theory.” I have been all over the South, in front of capacity and overflow crowds, exchanging views with Protestants most of the time, but also with Catholics and, in New York and the West Coast and Canada, with — mostly Reform — Jews in large and well-attended synagogues. (So far no invitations from Orthodox Jews, Mormons, or Muslims.)

I haven’t yet run into an argument that has made me want to change my mind. After all, a believing religious person, however brilliant or however good in debate, is compelled to stick fairly closely to a “script” that is known in advance, and known to me, too. However, I have discovered that the so-called Christian right is much less monolithic, and very much more polite and hospitable, than I would once have thought, or than most liberals believe. I haven’t been asked to Bob Jones University yet, but I have been invited to Jerry Falwell’s old Liberty University campus in Virginia, even though we haven’t yet agreed on the terms…. Read this in full at

by John Mark Reynolds
God exists, but what God? I mean the God that is all-powerful, all knowing, the God who is the Creator of the cosmos. By definition if such a God exists, there is only one God, because only one being could logically be omnipotent.

Some of my atheist friends assert that since I don’t believe in many gods, I am just an atheist who has refused to go all the way. After all, having given up on the worship of Zeus why do I cling to the worship of the God of the Bible?

My friends are mistaken, however. I don’t reject Zeus, because he does not exist, but because he is evil. The Zeus revealed to me in Homer is not worthy of worship, because he uses his power for evil. Now my friends who are atheists might immediately reply that the God of the Old Testament also commands or does things that appear evil to us, but this is different. The God of the Old Testament is presented as good and some of His reported actions are difficult to square with that goodness. At the worst a believer need only doubt the report, but the gods of the Greeks are presented as intentionally acting for our harm…. Read this in full at

by Billy Graham
Almost from infancy our children are assaulted by images of violence that would have shocked previous generations — and this can’t help but have a negative impact on them. The Bible says it is dangerous to “eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence” (Proverbs 4:17).

Parents too must take responsibility for many of the problems we see in our schools (and elsewhere) today. Many become so wrapped up in their own pleasures and pursuits that they pay little attention to what is happening to their children. Instead they take the path of least resistance — which is to let them do whatever they want to do. But this is a recipe for disaster.

There is a larger problem today, however: We have lost sight of the meaning of right and wrong. “Live for yourself” many declare; others cry “Do your own thing”. But when we lose sight of God’s standards of right and wrong, then anything goes – and we’ll run over anyone who gets in our way.

The biggest problem, however, is that we have forgotten God. When we ignore Him and His will for our lives, we end up in chaos and destruction. That’s why our greatest need is for spiritual revival – facing our need for God’s forgiveness and turning to Christ for the new life we need. Pray for our nation, and ask God to help you join others in making your community a better place.

An independent government panel that monitors global religious-freedom conditions thanked the State Department for its latest comprehensive report on the subject Oct. 26, but said the administration could move more boldly to protect freedom of conscience in some places.

“To date, President Obama has raised religious freedom in his speeches abroad without those sentiments being translated into concrete policy actions, and our hope is that this report will be the administration’s call to action” said Leonard Leo, chair of the bipartisan United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, in a statement. “This report can serve as a solid baseline for determining effective U.S. policy toward severe religious-freedom violators. The report makes clear that the United States must do more to ensure reforms are made and implemented.”

The USCIRF release was issued shortly after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released her department’s annual religious-freedom report to journalists…. Read this in full at

A word search of the New Testament for prayer terms such as “pray, prayed, prayers, intercede, intercession, supplication, ask, asked, etc.” unearthed the following 28 topics that God is asking us to pray for:
1) Our enemies and those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44)
2) God’s honor, God’s will and God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:9-10, 33)
3) Daily bread, provision (Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:3, 3John 1:2)
4) Forgiveness of sin (Matthew 6:12, 1 John 1:9) including the sins of others (Luke 23:34, 1 John 5:16)
5) Escape from hard testing, affliction and temptation (Matthew 6:13, 24:20, 26:41 James 5:13)
6) The blessing of little children (Matthew 19:13)
7) Healing (James 5:14-16, Acts 9:40, 28:18)
8) Deliverance from evil spirits (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29)
9) Acts of power that will glorify God (James 5:16-18)
10) Wisdom (James 1:5-8) …. Read this in full at

Every football team in the NFL has at least one chaplain to whom the players and coaches can turn for religious guidance. And though some may question the appropriateness of bringing one popular American Sunday pastime — God — into a considerably more commercial and violent Sunday pastime, the chaplains believe it is precisely their mission to help reconcile the two. Forget the mysteries of the sacraments — what about the answers to these theological questions: Does God want us to lose? Does he favor the Steelers? What makes Lambeau Field sacred? Is it right to pray for first downs when people are suffering? And who caused that fumble, Jesus or Julius Peppers?

Owners and coaches try to take care of their players physically, financially and psychologically, but they understand that players have spiritual needs too. And the more the players are spiritually at peace, the more they can focus on the game. Some teams favor a group approach — the Indianapolis Colts, for example, have three go-to spiritual receivers, covering Protestant and Catholic denominations. (The NFL is overwhelmingly Christian; when the occasional Jewish or Muslim player requires counsel, the teams generally outsource.) And it’s not just the players who make use of chaplains’ services. On game day, some chaplains can be seen in the cement concourses hustling back and forth from the owner’s box to the sidelines quelling anxieties and quieting doubt…. Read this in full at,8599,1933406,00.html

After 2,000 years of Christian prayer, many faithful still don’t know how to pray effectively, pastor Daniel Henderson says.
“Most Christians pray out of crisis or pray a grocery list,” he said, making “God a lifeline of last resort.”

Henderson teaches that prayer should be about worshipping God, having a one-to-one relationship through prayer. “Every believer wants to be intimate with God and experience his power in a personal way,” he said. “Many are hungry to be more effective, because they haven’t been taught.”

Teaching is what sends Henderson across the country. He’s on “The Creative Prayer Tour,” a series of workshops that will have stopped in 14 cities by year’s end. Henderson also is an author and head of a group called Strategic Renewal, based in Forest, Virginia, which aims to strengthen churches through worship-based prayer…. Read this in full at

The book Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden (Zondervan) is now available in a detailed summary online. The book’s message: If one thing stands out about the ministry of Jesus, it’s his focus on caring for those on the margins of society. Unfortunately, the American way of life and even the attitudes and practices of Christians promote the very things Jesus came to eliminate.

Throughout the biblical narrative, God hears the cry of the oppressed. Whether in slavery or in exile, His plan has always been to lead His people to the hope of Sinai. Failure to be a light to the world always drives people back to slavery. Jesus died to set people free from oppression; but He also calls them to be a light to the world. Read the summary at

30 Respected Leaders Weigh in on What It Takes to be a Master Leader:
* Hiring and firing: Sam Chand, a college president and leadership consultant, noted that you hire people for what they know and fire them for who they are (i.e., character issues). Ralph Winter underscored the importance of having detailed contracts with co-workers because “contracts are what you turn to if it doesn’t go well.”

* Developing trust: advice ranged from Seth Godin’s simple admonition to trust the people you lead to John Townsend’s suggestion that trust must be preceded by openness, availability and vulnerability. General Dees added the importance of “just being there” as a source of strength for people to draw from, particularly during the trying and tense times a group encounters.

* Handling pressure and criticism: Every leader will face criticism, but John Townsend suggested accepting it as a fact of life – “normalize criticism and pressure and expect it rather than hope it doesn’t happen.” Lou Holtz addressed the importance of doing your homework, saying that “pressure is when you have to do something you aren’t prepared to do.” And Barry Black reminded us that if we lead from an eternal perspective, “the pressure of the times is not nearly as cataclysmic” as it might otherwise seem. ….Read more at

[Jesus said:] “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

“Christians love one another. They never fail to help widows; they save orphans from those who would hurt them. If a man has something, he gives freely to the man who has nothing. If they see a stranger, Christians take him home and are happy, as though he were a real brother. They don’t consider themselves brothers in the usual sense, but brothers instead through the Spirit, in God. … And if they hear that one of them is in jail, or persecuted for professing the name of their redeemer, they all give him what he needs–if it is possible, they bail him out. If one of them is poor and there isn’t enough food to go around, they fast several days to give him the food he needs. This is really a new kind of person. There is something divine in them.”
Marcianus Aristides (2nd century), a lawyer, before HadrianThe Apology of Aristides on Behalf of the Christians, ed. J. Rendel Harris, Joseph Armitage Robinson, Cambridge: The University Press, 1891, p. 49-50

Religious leaders are urging their colleagues and politicians to keep comparisons to Nazism and the Holocaust out out of American public policy debates. The Interfaith Alliance responded to a recent onslaught of references to Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust, particularly as an analogy to the current discussion on health care reform.

“There is no place in civil debate for the use of these types of metaphors,” 15 religious leaders said in an open letter, released Oct. 21. “Perpetrators of such language harm rather than help both the integrity of the democratic process and the credibility of religious commentary.” …. Read this in full at

CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL ADDS DIGITAL MAGAZINE (TELL YOUR WIFE) announces the release of the inaugural issue of their monthly digital magazine (digizine), titled “Born Identity: Chosen in Christ. Called to Influence.”

In August 2009, Christianity Today International launched, a web-based 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. The new paid- access website combines articles, blogs, downloadable resources, and now this monthly digizine.

Each issue of the Kyria digizine will be devoted to a specific aspect of spiritual formation or a spiritual discipline. Included is an interview with a woman who has devoted herself to becoming more like Christ, as well as practical tools, Bible studies, and challenging commentary.

Editor Ginger Kolbaba says, “Women are such powerhouses in their families, churches, and communities. It’s exciting to lead and encourage them into greater depths of their faith through Kyria’s resources. It’s especially fulfilling to see women embrace the purposes and calling God has on their lives.”

Isn’t it strange how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

Isn’t it strange how two hours seem so long when you’re at church, and so short when you’re watching a good movie?

Isn’t it strange that you can’t find a word to say when you’re praying but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

Isn’t it strange how difficult and boring you think it is to read one chapter of the Bible but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn’t it strange how everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games but they do whatever is possible to sit at the last row in church?

Isn’t it strange how we need to know about an event for church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda but we can adjust it for other events at the last minute?

Isn’t it strange how difficult it is to learn things about God to share with others but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn’t it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven but they don’t want to believe, do or say anything to get there?

It’s hard to tell in the quiet of a color-splashed autumn morning, but Redeemer Fellowship Church is trying to set roots in a rough neighborhood. For churches, anyway.

Until this new church opened last month, its 19th-century Congregational church building in suburban Watertown was empty for nearly two years. Just across the street, a closed Baptist church is filled with condos. So is a former Catholic church a half mile away.

Dead churches are a familiar story in New England, which recent surveys indicate is now the least religious region in the country. But some see opportunity in a place where America’s Christian faith laid its roots.

“You look at this area and it’s a great area of potential, it’s a great area of need,” said Redeemer Fellowship pastor Chris Bass, a Houston native.

Several Christian denominations see New England as a “mission field” — a term often associated with unchurched, foreign lands. As they evangelize and work to plant new churches, they speak of possibility, but also frustration. The area’s highly educated population is skeptical and often indifferent to their faith…. Read this in full at

by Bruce Ware
Has anyone ever kept a secret from you? Maybe it was a birthday present or a special trip you were going to take or what your mom was planning to fix for dinner. If you’ve had this happen to you, then you can understand how important it is for others to tell us things that we cannot know unless they make it known. No matter how much you might want to know the secret, until someone tells you, you just cannot know what it is.

It is this way with knowing who God is. The only way that we could be thinking together about the greatness of God in this book is because God has shared with us the secret of who he is. We cannot discover who God is or figure him out on our own. We aren’t smart enough to do this, and God is way too big for us even to try. One of the very first things we must learn about God is very humbling to us, and it is this: unless God had decided to show us who he is, unless he had chosen to make known his own life and ways, we simply could know nothing — yes, nothing! — about him. We are dependent completely on God’s kindness and goodness to make himself known to us, and for this we ought to be grateful every day of our lives. After all, there is no one more important and more wonderful to know than God. So how thankful we must be that God did not keep to himself, as it were. Rather, he showed us in rich and wonderful ways just who he is…. Read this in full at

A radio ministry in the Upper Midwest of the United States has helped send hundreds of ‘radio missionaries’ — in the form of fixed-tuned, solar-powered radios — to Central America.

Minnesota Christian Broadcasters, Inc. (MCBI), a listener-supported radio ministry reaching an area northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, recently partnered with HCJB Global to send hundreds of SonSet® radios to Guatemala, according to Harold Goerzen, Senior Editor at the Ministry Service Center of HCJB Global in Colorado Springs, CO.

During the ministry’s sharathon this summer, listeners to three FM radio stations in St. Cloud and Pequot Lakes, located outside Minneapolis, pledged enough funds to not only cover the ministry’s operational expenses, but to send more than 405 of the fixed-tuned, solar-powered radios to the Central American country. The special sets are tuned to pick up only the local Christian radio station…. Read this in full at

The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has released what it describes as “the most comprehensive analysis to date of global religious trends.” Anyone studying its 9,000-word analysis and perusing 330 additional pages of references and tables will be quickly disabused of the idea that the currents of religious belief and practice are flowing in one or two or even a half-dozen clear directions.

“Religious change around the world is a complex phenomenon,” the report begins, in an almost comic understatement. “No simple description such as secularization, religious revival, or believing without belonging captures the complexity of the process.”

The report mines dozens of surveys by American and European social science researchers that measure religious trends over the last four decades in the United States, Western and Eastern Europe and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the world…. Read this in full at

Students come to George Washington University (GW) from across the country and around the world in large part because of its location in Washington, DC. With the US Capitol, the White House, and many Cabinet departments within walking distance of campus, GW’s internships and classes offer access to the halls of power unlike few other schools.

Dani Richards is studying international affairs and Arabic at GW. She grew up in Saudi Arabia, where her father worked in the oil business. She feels God calling her back to the Middle East. She connected with InterVarsity three years ago, following the suggestion of her pastor, during her first week on campus.

“Having a community strengthened me to stand by what I believed in,” she said. “When you get to college you will either lose your faith or grow it. At GW you get challenged a lot. In some of my classes I was being told that Christianity isn’t true. InterVarsity gave me a community to help me process that.”

Dani credits InterVarsity for helping her faith to grow just as her knowledge and understanding of international affairs, languages, science, and other topics has grown in college. By leading Bible studies, attending InterVarsity’s chapter camp, participating in a summer mission through an organization she met at Urbana 06, and taking advantage of other InterVarsity events, Dani has become a leader in the chapter…. Read this in full at

Overall, 76% of US adults disagree that “viewing hardc*re adult p*rnography on the Internet is morally acceptable” and 74% disagree that “viewing hardc*re adult p*rnography on the Internet provides, generally, harmless entertainment,” according to a survey commissioned by Morality in Media and conducted by Harris Interactive. This compares with 15% who agree that such viewing is “morally acceptable” and 18% who agree that such viewing “provides generally, harmless entertainment.” Combining the results of both questions, about two-thirds (67%) disagree both that viewing hardcore pornography on the Internet is morally acceptable and that such viewing provides, generally, harmless entertainment. Only 10% agree with both statements…. Read this in full at

“What we believe about God is the most important thing about us.”
A. W. Tozer

“Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.”
A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Of God and Men


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.


The Size of Our World

Online multi-converter calculator

Time Beat

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.)

Prevent truth decay. Brush up on your Bible.
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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