Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 24, 2012
Issue 413

The weekly 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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As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. He did this to make her holy by washing her in a bath of water with the word.”
– Ephesians 5:25-26 (CEB)

The mistake of centuries of Christianity has been to regard sin as a moral fault. Biblically this is not the case. Sin is a break with God and all that this entails.”
– Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), Anarchy and Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991, p. 20

Webb Simpson, who won the US Open golf tournament June 17, might be the newest member of the “holy hall of fame.” His Twitter bio describes him as a “*sinner* loved by a Savior.”

Simpson, who trailed by four entering the final day, finished at 1-over-par 281 to beat Michael Thompson and Graeme McDowell by one stroke. He studied religion at Wake Forest University and has hosted a Youth for Christ Challenge golf tournament.

“It was a cool day. I had a peace all day,” Simpson told reporters. “I probably prayed more on the last three holes than I’ve ever done in my life, and that kept me calm and got me home in 2 under.” …. Read this in full at

Nik Wallenda became the first man to walk right over Niagara Falls June 15, a 30-minute tightrope televised live on ABC News.

Wallenda told reporters it took “a lot of praying, that’s for sure. But, you know, it’s all about the concentration, the focus, and the training.” …. Read this in full at

Also see, “Wallenda prayed non-stop in tightrope walk over Niagara Falls”

by Clare De Graaf
You need to know this about me – I’m not always flat out in love with God.

I don’t know about you, but for years I felt guilty because I didn’t always feel the “the joy of the Lord” – this emotional high that other Christians appeared to be able to sustain. The warm, joyous, tearful feelings I do experience come most often when I’m singing praise choruses, listening to the testimony of a new believer, on a spiritual retreat or I experience the beauty of a bright, sun-filled day. They occasionally come in time of personal prayer, or when some new revelation of God washes over me. But those don’t happen every day, or even every week to me.

And, I’ve found that I can’t by an act of my will just conjure up these feelings of love for God and make them happen. I love it when I’m surprised by joy – I just can’t surprise myself into joy. I’ve tried, but when I do it feels phony and contrived.

So, in between these occasional mountain top experiences are there other ways we can demonstrate to God and others our love for him? Is it really possible to love God when we’re really not excited about him, or our hearts are heavy? Be encouraged. The answer is YES!…. Read this in full at

Public prayer has always been a bit awkward. The prayers are directed to God, mostly, but they’re intended to be overheard by the human beings within earshot. It’s sort of like talking to your wife, knowing the kids are eavesdropping. You say only the things you want the onlookers to hear. While you direct your words toward one person, they’re really intended for the benefit of others.

Gordon MacDonald has done a lot of public praying, and he’s heard even more. His reflection on public prayer will make yours better…. Read this in full at

the vote wasn’t taken with every head bowed and every eye closed, but delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting June 20 supported the “Sinner’s Prayer” after considerable debate.

Jimmy Scroggins, chairman of the SBC Committee on Resolutions, told the convention that the committee brought the resolution to the floor because of recent challenges to the emphasis on the Sinner’s Prayer — usually a prayer of repentance to “invite Jesus into your heart” that has become a hallmark of evangelical conversionism.

The committee wanted “to affirm our commitment to evangelism and to calling people to make a decision for Jesus Christ,” Scroggins said…. Read this in full at

Since the 1996 Atlanta Games the Christian community’s involvement with the world’s major sporting events has been under the banner “More Than Gold.” This provides a flag for united faith-based outreach, hospitality and service, and also an interface between the event’s organizing committee and the churches.

To get ready for the 2012 Games, More Than Gold was established as a charitable trust in 2008 under the chairmanship of Lord Brian Mawhinney. It has the support of all main denominations and over sixty Christian organisations and mission agencies.

The banner “More Than Gold” has been used for the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, All-Africa Games, Indian Ocean Games and Summer and Winter Olympic Games and Paralympics.

The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is on Friday, July 27, 2012.

“‘My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings.’  Col. 4:10

Those who traveled with Paul did not paste on their luggage stickers from the exotic cities they visited; their only souvenirs were scars. In Ephesus, an angry mob couldn’t find Paul immediately, so they vented their anger at Aristarchus and Gaius.

Aristarchus, a Thessalonian native, accompanied Paul to Rome, where later he apparently spent time in chains with the apostle. We have no record that Aristarchus was ever sent on any special missions by Paul. But he may have been the representative of the Thessalonian church in the team that took the collected money from the various Mediterranean churches back to Jerusalem to help the mother church.

In any case, it appears that Aristarchus’s main ministry was to Paul himself. The suggestion that he stayed in the background isn’t as important as the fact that he was always there. He could be counted on without requiring special attention or grabbing the limelight.

Being a devoted servant such as Aristarchus takes more commitment than many disciples have been willing to give. Most of us would rather be in charge than in chains. Where in your church or circle of Christian friends can you do quiet supporting work like Aristarchus did in the early church?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my devotion be evident.”
Source: Once-A-Day Men & Women of the Bible Devotional

When art historian Bruce Boucher wanted to reunite the three panels of a huge 14th-century altarpiece from three different countries, the Italian lender of one of the pieces had one condition: the finished product had to be shown at a big-city museum.

“And of course,” said Boucher, director of the University of Virginia Art Museum, “I immediately thought of [New York’s] MOBiA.”

It was a high compliment to the small institution in a city that’s awash in better-known art museums, and to Ena Heller, the Romanian emigrant with a PhD in art history who has led the Museum of Biblical Art as its founding director for the past 15 years.

The exhibit featuring the triptych, “The Adoration of the Magi by Bartolo di Fredi: A Masterpiece Reconstructed,” is the latest in a string of unexpected successes for MOBiA, which has hosted well-received exhibits ranging from a collection of Peruvian folk art to masterpieces by Marc Chagall to a recent collection of wartime Bibles.

Now, however, the future of one of the smaller and more eccentric pearls in the city’s cultural crown looks less certain as Heller steps down in July, its main financial lifeline gets cut in 2015, and the museum is dogged by rumors that it will lose its $1-a-year lease on Broadway near Lincoln Center…. Read this in full at

by Robert A. Ratcliff
If you want to be a Christian leader, you’ll have no trouble finding advice. The world seems awash in books, articles, web sites, videos, and more on the subject. Practically all of this literature suggests that Christian leadership is distinct from other varieties (and on that I agree); a lot of it assumes that figuring out how it’s different is a relatively simple matter (on that I’m not as sanguine). I wonder just how simple it is to discern those principles in the first place, and especially how easily leaders can apply them in their own life. So in what follows I’m going to try to talk about what makes leadership Christian without resorting to easy answers.

What do I mean by easy answers? For one thing, I mean taking garden variety leadership insights, wrapping them in the thin layer of a story from the Bible, and calling them biblical. Folks often point to Exodus 18, the day Jethro taught his son-in-law Moses how to delegate authority, as an example of a biblical leadership principle. But other than that one chapter, when does delegated authority ever figure in the larger story of Moses and Israel’s encounter with God? The rest of the story focuses on how good a job Moses and the Israelites are doing (or not doing) in following God…. Read this in full at

by Joyce Meyer
Too many of us are addicted to “stuff.” How many people don’t have time for God because they have to work two jobs to keep up the payments on their boats, cars and flat screen TVs? How many of us have purchased things we didn’t need and couldn’t afford just because everyone else was doing the same thing?

Things in themselves have no life in them. A car can’t comfort or encourage you. A house means nothing if there’s no life and love inside. Things cannot keep you happy. You may get an emotional thrill when you first buy something, but emotions are fickle. You buy that one thing you think will complete your happiness, but after awhile the feeling goes away and you have to go to the next thing. You just keep going from purchase to purchase looking for the one thing that will finally satisfy. But stuff can’t satisfy. Only God can…. Read this in full at

by Rob Horsley
Toronto pastor and church planter Darryl Dash maintains a daily blog, and frequently updates his Twitter feed. He says social media can be “a way to gain interest” for potential newcomers to church.

“I’ve found it useful to build credibility with people who are skeptical of the Christian faith,” Dash says. “It provides a small window into my life, and supplements our personal friendships.”

Social media exchanges with people who are new to church can be a good way to add to real-life friendships. Dash says, “Being authentic and real seems to be most effective in furthering a relationship with [non-Christians] and builds a platform for sharing the gospel.” …. Read this in full at

William (Bill) Paul McCartney (born August 22, 1940), a former American football player and coach and the founder of the Promise Keepers men’s ministry, has been named Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Promise Keepers.

McCartney, who was the head coach at the University of Colorado from 1982 to 1994, where he compiled a record of 93–55–5 and won three consecutive Big Eight Conference titles between 1989 and 1991, was recently given a plaque to celebrate his new title.

It read, “In recognition of his efforts in the founding, forming and fostering personally, the organization and ministry of Promise Keepers, an international ministry to men, and in recognition of the impeccable personal example of a repentant, humble life lived as a genuine man of integrity, we, the board of directors of Promise Keepers resolve that the permanent title of Founder and Chairman Emeritus be conferred upon Coach Bill McCartney this day, Sunday, May 20th, 2012…”
According to a story on the Promise Keepers website (, on receiving the permanent title “Founder and Chairman Emeritus” at last month’s meeting of the Promise Keepers board of directors, Coach Bill McCartney was so surprised and blessed that, for the first time ever, “he was nearly speechless.” …. Read this in full at

Just close your eyes and open your heart
And feel your worries and cares depart.
Just yield yourself to the Father above,
And let Him hold you secure in His love.
– Helen Steiner Rice

by Mark Ellis
It seems like it was only yesterday that I was teaching our sons how to ride bikes, attending their soccer games, going on outings with the Indian Guides or Boy Scouts, and sharing wonderful family times in our tent trailer during summer camping trips.

Now our boys are out of the house and it’s very quiet.

Fathers, you only have one opportunity to make a difference when your children are under your roof, and it’s very brief. There are not too many men who get to the end of their lives and say, “You know, I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

Sometime, before it’s too late, hug your son or daughter, tell them you love them and are proud of them. Think about even writing a letter to your child that expresses your feelings toward them…. Read this in full at

Despite the fact that millions of Christian men are members of local churches, many are looking outside the Christian community for their purpose in life, says the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

“It’s time for the church to address that 800-pound gorilla in the room,” said Pastor Kenny Luck, who wrote the book Sleeping Giant – No Move of God Without Men of God in order to help point churches and men towards a more Christ-centered direction.

“There’s 2.1 billion Christians in the world, over three quarters of them being Christian men, but where are they? The majority of them are finding significance outside the church. They are not finding their purpose or significance inside the church,” Luck told The Christian Post…. Read this in full at

As for parents, don’t provoke your children to anger, but raise them with discipline and instruction about the Lord.”
– Ephesians 6:4 (CEB)

The imagery of the heavens as being two thousand million light-years in diameter is awesome when compared to the tiny earth, but trivial when compared to the imagery of the ‘hand that measured the heavens.’”
– Fulton J. Sheen

by Skye Jethani
It isn’t just people that congregate at my church. The lawn between the building and parking lot attracts Canada geese. For those of you unfamiliar with the species, or who are blessed to live in a region beyond their imperial ambitions, allow me to explain. Canada geese are evil.

They swoop in like alien invaders and occupy a community’s grassy areas, especially golf courses, parks, and playing fields. At first their presence is viewed as benign, particularly as their little goslings add a storybook charm to the scene.

But these are not graceful swans or timid ducks. Draw too near and the birds extend their wings, lower their heads, and release an unholy hiss like a fell beast of Mordor. If the warning is unheeded, they will charge and attack with astonishing speed—something I witnessed firsthand in high school as a friend on rollerblades nearly lost his ear to a rogue goose. With their lifeless black eyes and taste for blood, Canada geese are the Great Whites of suburbia.

Why are they attracted to my church? I cannot say for certain. But the presence of these demon birds (I’m convinced they were the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s film) illustrates something about the spiritual enemy we contend with. Like the unseen “powers and authorities” the apostle Paul says we strive against (Eph. 6:12), the geese are not always visible on Sunday mornings. But their presence is still felt by all as we dodge their copious droppings on the sidewalk…. Read this in full at

I got what I thought was a $2 million idea for an online company called Lora and I invested the capital to get the business off the ground, but that $2 million idea turned out to be a $15,000 personal loss. In retrospect, I think I was trying to manufacture the miracle for God.

This is what we often try to do, isn’t it? When God doesn’t answer our prayer right away, we try to answer it for Him. Like the day Moses took matters into his own hands and killed an Egyptian taskmaster, we get ahead of God. But when we try to do God’s job for Him, it always backfires. Trying to get ahead of God cost Moses forty years. Of course, even then, God redeemed the forty years Moses spent as a fugitive tending sheep by prepping him to tend His sheep, the people of Israel. If we repent, God always recycles our mistakes.

The one upside to our failed business is that I did learn some valuable lessons about unanswered prayers that are worth far more than the $15,000 hit we took on

First of all, I came to the humble conclusion that our prayers are often misguided simply because we’re not omniscient. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve drawn some prayer circles around the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and God didn’t answer those prayers the way I wanted Him to! If we were absolutely honest, we would have to admit that most of our prayers have as their main objective personal comfort rather than God’s glory. If God answered those selfish prayers, they would actually short-circuit the purposes of God in our lives. We would fail to learn the lessons God is trying to teach us or cultivate the character God is trying to shape in us.

I learned that we shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. We get overanxious. We try to microwave our own answers instead of trusting God’s timing. But here’s an important reminder: If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. There comes a point after you have prayed through that you need to let go and let God. How? By resisting the temptation to manufacture your own answer to your own prayer.

It would have been easy to cash out on the $2 million promise after failed, but I keep circling that promise. I still believed God was going to answer that prayer somehow, someway, sometime. I would have never guessed that the payoff would happen in a meeting about church government, but I stopped trying to manufacture my own answer and simply trusted that God would give an answer when I was ready for it. Then one afternoon, right around three o’clock, God came out of nowhere and [gave me] a holy surprise.

God has surprised me so many times that I’m no longer surprised by His surprises. That doesn’t mean I love them any less. I’m in awe of the strange and mysterious ways in which God works, but I have come to expect the unexpected because God is predictably unpredictable. God always has a holy surprise up His sovereign sleeve! The only thing I can predict with absolute certainty is this: the more you pray the more holy surprises will happen.”
– Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears

Religions are thought to serve as bulwarks against unethical behaviors. However, when it comes to predicting criminal behavior, the specific religious beliefs one holds is the determining factor, says a University of Oregon psychologist.

The study, appearing in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, found that criminal activity is lower in societies where people’s religious beliefs contain a strong punitive component than in places where religious beliefs are more benevolent. A country where many more people believe in heaven than in hell, for example, is likely to have a much higher crime rate than one where these beliefs are about equal. The finding surfaced from a comprehensive analysis of 26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries…. Read this in full at

by Joni Eareckson Tada
You have a healthy walk with God when, even during seasons of suffering, you are:
1. Aware of God’s sustaining power, his grace, and power.
2. Dependent on God for stability and balance.
3. Obedient in hardships.
4. Thankful in times of sorrow.
5. Accepting of God’s purpose and will in ALL circumstances.
6. Patient while praying and waiting for God to answer.
7. Focused on Him instead of your fears and doubts.
Making Sense of Suffering pamphlet by Joni Eareckson Tada…. Read this in full at

A small handful of bones found in an ancient church in Bulgaria may belong to John the Baptist, the biblical figure said to have baptized Jesus.

There’s no way to be sure, of course, as there are no confirmed pieces of John the Baptist to compare to the fragments of bone. But the sarcophagus holding the bones was found near a second box bearing the name of St. John and his feast date (also called a holy day) of June 24. Now, new radiocarbon dating of the collagen in one of the bones pegs its age to the early first century, consistent with the New Testament and Jewish histories of John the Baptist’s life…. Read this in full at

Also see, “Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist’s as claimed, scientists say”

Hallie Foote was only 10 years old when To Kill a Mockingbird was published, and only 12 when her father, screenwriter Horton Foote, adapted Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winner into one of the great films of all time — winning Foote the 1963 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Hallie, now 62, says she paid little attention to her father’s work as a child, but she certainly has grown to appreciate it — and his vast body of work—over the years, calling him “the great American writer.” Now, on the 50th anniversary of the release of the film, she is reminisces about Mockingbird, her father’s legacy, and why his work resonates with Christians. She spoke to Christianity Today as part of a publicity campaign for a special screening of the film by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences…. Read this in full at

Young Americans are drifting away from God, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. Only 67% of Americans under 30 say they “never doubt the existence of God.” That’s down from 76% in 2009 and 83% in 2007 — a 15 percentage point drop in just 5 years. Why the big change? Here are 3 theories:…. Read this in full at

One of America’s most prominent Christian publications is planning to launch a Spanish language edition to take advantage of the booming Latino evangelical population…. Read this in full at

What makes someone brave or honest or compassionate or encourages any of the other virtues we tend to admire in fictional characters and real people?

Christian Miller, associate professor of philosophy at Wake Forest University and director of The Character Project (, explores the beliefs that help us act more virtuously for the re-launch of the high profile web site developed by The John Templeton Foundation called Big Questions Online.

Miller was asked to address the question, “Which Beliefs Contribute to Virtuous Behavior?” to launch the project featuring leading thinkers and writers discussing the Big Questions of human purpose.

This project is important because it encourages us to engage with the deepest questions in life about moral virtue, free will, good and bad, and ultimate meaning,” Miller said. “I hope readers will take advantage of the opportunity to think deeply about the different topics raised and also apply their own personal reflections practically in their lives.” …. Read this in full at

While many studies have shown that a father’s involvement improves a child’s well-being, newer research finds that fatherhood affects the men, too, USA TODAY reports.

“We’re finding that [fatherhood] does have mental health, well-being, and actual physical health benefits,” says David DeGarmo, a research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center.

DeGarmo is lead author of a 2010 study that found when a father was more involved with his kids, “he had better health, drank less, and had lower substance use.”

Other recent findings have shown that “fatherhood prompts men to be less self-centered, more giving, and more outward-focused,” says Richard Settersten, Jr., professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University. “It can prompt them to be more responsible and become more mature, especially to temper some of their risks.” He says involved fathering promotes “more positive attachments and relationships.” …. Read this in full at

A number of studies and articles have suggested that research shows no difference in outcome between children whose parents have same-sex relationships and those raised by heterosexual parents, but two peer-reviewed articles published in the academic journal Social Science Research challenge the validity of the “no difference” assertion, the Heritage Foundation reports.

One study, conducted by a Louisiana State University family scholar, concluded that data from previous research showing no difference in outcomes between children with gay parents and those with heterosexual parents was insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way…. Read this in full at

To please God…to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness…to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delight in, as an artist delights in this work or a father in a son…it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which your thoughts can hardly sustain. But it is so!”
– C. S. Lewis

Sing to God! Sing praises to his name! Exalt the one who rides the clouds! The LORD is his name. Celebrate before him! Father of orphans and defender of widows is God in his holy habitation.”
– Psalm 68:4-5 (CEB)

Words: William H. Clark; refrain added by Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901)
Music: Ralph E. Hudson; harmony by William J. Kirkpatrick, 1888

All praise to Him who reigns above
In majesty supreme,
Who gave His Son for man to die,
That He might man redeem!

Blessèd be the name! Blessèd be the name!
Blessèd be the name of the Lord!
Blessèd be the name! Blessèd be the name!
Blessèd be the name of the Lord!

His name above all names shall stand,
Exalted more and more,
At God the Father’s own right hand,
Where angel hosts adore.


Redeemer, Savior, friend of man
Once ruined by the fall,
Thou hast devised salvation’s plan,
For Thou hast died for all.


His name shall be the counselor,
The mighty Prince of Peace,
Of all earth’s kingdoms conqueror,
Whose reign shall never cease.

>from HymnTime at

In the beginning we are indeed the subject and the center of our prayers. But in God’s time and in God’s way a Copernican revolution takes place in our heart. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, there is a shift in our center of gravity. We pass from thinking of God as part of our life to the realization that we are part of his life. Wondrously and mysteriously God moves from the periphery of our prayer experience to the center.”
– Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, HarperCollins, 1992, p. 15


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 us to add you to our prayer chain 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.

The Complete Gift Solution

Books, Music & More!

Get your domain name here!

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why. 

What a Wonderful World (you really need to watch this video)

My Hope with Billy Graham

Prostate cancer resources

Facebook Olympic Hub

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.) 

If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.
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 in Chicago, IL.
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