CONNECTIONS News – 09/08/2013

Connecting man to man to God
For week of September 8, 2013
Issue 475

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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God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the LORD sees into the heart.”
– 1 Samuel 16:7 (CEB)

You aren’t an accident. You weren’t mass-produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth by the Master Craftsman.”
– Max Lucado

by Dave Staal
1. Leadership requires courage in large amounts. And because Bill Hybels devoted his entire opening talk on this topic, it must be an issue for many other leaders and not just me. Whew, what a relief! Too often, leadership talks leave me feeling wildly inadequate to continue under the weight of an organization rather than motivated to make a difference. Speakers certainly don’t set out with that goal, but many messages share the ideal rather than what’s real. They can come just short of saying, “C’mon, it’s just that easy,” while leaving out the barriers and challenges.

Leadership is many things, but easy is not one.

The very welcome turn down reality road came immediately after Hybels said, “God didn’t make you a leader so that you could merely reside in a position — God made you a leader to move people from ‘here’ to ‘there.'”

He continued, “It looks so easy when I just draw this on a chart. But it is a battle. It requires courage.”

“Finally,” I whispered to myself, “someone admits it’s not so simple. I’m gonna make it.”

Hybels’ continued use of Joshua 1:9, God’s words to a new leader, etched that verse into my active memory: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Special emphasis belongs on the words “be strong and courageous.” …. Read this in full at

When we go through tough times, our enemy is hopelessness, our enemy is despair,” bestselling author Max Lucado tells Lucado’s latest book is titled You’ll Get Through This, and his aim in writing it is to encourage anyone walking through life’s valleys that they can visit the mountaintop again. Watch this interview at

by Jessica Morris
How many times have you heard yourself say, “It will be ok!” or “God will make it work out.”? As Christians, it seems we often use the promises of the Bible, or our interpretation of them, to make ourselves feel a little better.

The fact that God does not guarantee everyone a husband or wife, or the truth that some believers will. in fact, die a cruel and horrible death often sits on the back burner when we are reassuring our friends and ourselves that the future will be rosy because, well, we’ve got Jesus.

Contemplating these statements can often become a foundation for our faith and sideline the somewhat harsh truths and promises of the Bible. By our own misjudgments, we form unrealistic expectations of ourselves and God that can carry us through life and influence our behavior. Here are five lies Christians believe that don’t come from the Word…. Read this in full at

It is perilous to separate thinking rightly from acting [rightly]. He is already half false who speculates on truth, and does not do it. Truth is given, not to be contemplated, but to be done. Life is an action, not a thought. And the penalty paid by him who speculates on truth, is that by degrees the very truth he holds becomes to him a falsehood.”
– Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons Preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton, v. I, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1857, p. 335

by Bill Ellis
Look at the words friend and friendship if you have not done so recently. Even write your own definition. It may be better than anyone else has written.

Friendship is linked with companionship, fellowship, rapport and affection. Anne Swetchine said it means, “To feel as one while remaining two.” Walter Winchell of radio and newspaper fame defined a friend as the “One who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

In recent days, I have become aware of the fact that friendships, even of many years, can be interrupted by moving miles away, by illness, and shattered by death. The memories continue, but the presence is absent…. Read this in full at

by David Delk
You probably know the story of Chicken Little, who felt an acorn land on his head and began to tell all the animals he saw, “The sky is falling.” Of course the sky wasn’t falling, and Chicken Little’s hysterics caused all sorts of mischief.

But what if the sky were falling? How would you warn the other animals?

In this article, I’m going to argue that in many ways, for men in America, the sky IS falling. But I’m not going to scream hysterically in all caps. Instead, I’m going to present some of the data and let you decide for yourself. I won’t present a lot of conclusions; I’m hoping we can work to find those together over the next few months.

And in spite of this data, we believe God is at work. The Great Commission still stands, and it certainly applies to men. We have made our decision; by God’s grace we will continue the fight until every church disciples every man–by the power of Christ alone, and to glory of God alone. This is a battle we must win.

Let’s take a look at some of the most significant areas of a man’s life and see how we are doing…. Read this in full at

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

by Curt Devine
As I integrate more and more social media into my daily routine, I find it increasingly difficult to clear my thoughts and focus on one subject, and I doubt I’m the only one who struggles with this. Twitter feeds and Tumblr dashboards condition us to engage in multiple conversations at once. Instagram trains our minds to rapidly jump from one subject to the next in less than a few seconds.

Our brains effectively adapt to process the most common forms of sensory perception they receive, so this begs the question: Are our phones and social media killing our patience? Are they changing our conversations with one another and with God? …. Read this in full at

What is wrong with the world in general, is wrong likewise more or less with you and me, and with all human beings; for after all, the world is made up of human beings; and the sin of the world is nothing save the sins of each and all human beings put together; and the world will be renewed and come right again, just as far and no farther, as each human being is renewed and comes right. The only sure method, therefore, of setting the world right, is to begin by setting our own little part of the world right–in a word, setting ourselves right.”
– Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), All Saints’ Day, and other sermons, ed. William Harrison, London: Kegan Paul, 1878, p. 46

by Mark Ellis
Corrie ten Boom and her family were Dutch Christians who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. Her bestselling book, “The Hiding Place,” describes the affliction they suffered and the power of forgiveness to heal wounds from the past.

Even though ten Boom lost her father and two siblings in the Nazi death camps, she often quoted sister Betsie, who died in the Ravensbruck camp: “There is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still.

After the war ten Boom visited a prison camp at Darmstadt, which housed some of the former Nazi female guards from Ravensbruck, where she had been imprisoned. Now the tables were turned. Ten Boom had her freedom, but these former guards were now the ones behind bars…. Read this in full at

God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble.”
– Psalm 46:1 (CEB)

If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace. If he has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him.”
– Oswald Chambers

All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.”
– John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.vii.5, p. 623

by Oswald Chambers
Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you . . . John 12:35

Beware of not acting upon what you see in your moments on the mountaintop with God. If you do not obey the light, it will turn into darkness. “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23). The moment you forsake the matter of sanctification or neglect anything else on which God has given you His light, your spiritual life begins to disintegrate within you. Continually bring the truth out into your real life, working it out into every area, or else even the light that you possess will itself prove to be a curse…. Read this in full at

     ON TIME
[The demon Screwtape writes:] “The humans live in time but [God] our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time—for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.” excerpted from The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

by Paul Nyquist
Between the ages of 15 and 30, Tom was in and out of jail. Though he managed to earn an associate’s degree in nuclear engineering, he was a drunk and a drug addict. As a result, he ruined his marriage, lost his job, and alienated his family. He landed in jail again in 1979.

I’m afraid that if I had bumped into Tom prior to 1979, I might not have befriended him. But I didn’t meet him until years later. We have a tendency to look at people and quickly evaluate their worth to us based on external factors, don’t we? For instance, how successful are they? How attractive are they? How spiritual are they? Do they have it all together?

In studying the life of Jesus, it’s interesting to observe how Jesus evaluated people. Many of the men and women Jesus chose to engage wouldn’t have fared well on our scorecards. They were outcasts, often defined by their poverty, sickness, social standing, and sinful lifestyles. It is amazing to note that Jesus recognized value in everyone — men, women, children, sinners, Samaritans, lepers — and He often sought out those whom others condemned and ridiculed…. Read this in full at

by John Adair
Christ’s church has fallen into a troubling rut. Studies show that Christians know less of the Bible than at any other time in recent history. The level of Bible knowledge has decreased even among our best and brightest. One administrator of more than 20 years at a Christian college noted, “Our assumption now is that incoming freshmen know nothing about the Bible, and that we must start at the most basic level.” Did you catch that? Christian colleges assume that incoming students know nothing about the Bible! What has happened? Why has our collective knowledge of the Bible dropped so dramatically in recent decades?

The most obvious reason is that Christians are not spending as much time reading and learning Scripture. In a world where so many enticements battle for our attention, the Bible often gets lost in the shuffle — even for those who desire to read it. Yet the Bible stresses the importance of hearing and knowing God’s Word (Psalm 1:2; 119:11; 1 Timothy 4:13). Therefore, Christ’s church must recommit to spending time reading, memorizing, and hearing God’s Word. Parents need to encourage these good habits in their children, just as fellow believers need to encourage them in each other. One can find a number of creative ways to study the Bible…. Read this in full at

by Mart De Haan
A friend and co-worker recently passed along some thoughts that he’s had about our natural inclination to miss the big story of the Bible. Jeff, is a licensed counselor who has a deep concern about how our hearts interact with the heart of God. While reflecting on Revelation 3:14-20, he suggests,

There are two ways to read the story of the Bible. One is to read it mostly as an indictment on the human race. In other words, we are sinful rebels bent on finding life apart from God.

The other is to read the “greatest story ever told” as an invitation. Yes, we are sinners who have turned away from our Creator God and His design for our lives (Romans 3:23). Yes, we’ve rebelled, but God longs to forgive and to restore us so that we can declare to the world His story of rescue and renewal…. Read this in full at

Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the omnipresent God bursts through everywhere.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I rejoice in the content of your laws as if I were rejoicing over great wealth.”
– Psalm 119:14 (CEB)

Words: Attributed to Hilary of Poitiers, 4th Century, and others; translated from Latin to English by Richard E. Roberts, 1906
Music: melody from Guidetti’s Directorium Chori, 1582; harmonized in The English Hymnal, 1906

Rejoice! the year upon its way
Has brought again that blessèd day,
When on the chosen of the Lord
The Holy Spirit was outpoured.

On each the fire, descending, stood
In quivering tongues’ similitude—
Tongues, that their words might ready prove,
And fire, to make them flame with love.

To all in every tongue they spoke;
Amazement in the crowd awoke,
Who mocked, as overcome with wine,
Those who were filled with power divine.

These things were done in type that day,
When Eastertide had passed away,
The number told which once set free
The captive at the jubilee.

And now, O holy God, this day
Regard us as we humbly pray,
And send us, from Thy heavenly seat,
The blessings of the Paraclete.

To God the Father, God, the Son,
And God the Spirit, praise be done;
May Christ the Lord upon us pour
The Spirit’s gift forevermore.

>from NetHymnal at

Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid.”
– EM Bounds


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.]

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Video: Temporal Distortion

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.) 

Become richer instantly…desire less.
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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