CONNECTIONS News – 02/23/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of February 23, 2014
Issue 499

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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I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.
– Romans 8:38-39 (CEB)

Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”
– Charles Spurgeon

There were probably fewer American fans in Sochi than at previous Winter Games, partly because of concerns about security, and partly because of the time and expense it takes to get to the Russian resort town on the Black Sea.

But Americans were represented there, with gusto, by a group of evangelical Christians who call themselves the International Sports Chaplains. Members of the group have been going to the Olympic Games since 1988.

On a recent sunny day at the Olympic Park, with bands playing and fans strolling around the venues, the chaplains move through the crowd in teams of three or four…. Read this in full at

Scarves, lanyards, hats, backpacks and jackets display small metal tokens of past Olympics as well as newly acquired ones in a collectors’ sport that visually represents the Olympic spirit.

“The unofficial Olympic spectator sport is pin trading,” said Marc Hooks, co-director of the Engage Sochi outreach at the Olympics. “People coming to the Olympics love to trade pins, so we’ve designed a pin that is fun to trade, that people like and that they want, but has elements that allow us to share the Gospel.”

Decked out in pins as badges of honor, spectators share stories of past Olympics and use the tokens as conversation starters to initiate relationships.

“One thing I think is so cool and unique about the Olympics is how much people want to talk, no matter where you are,” said Morgan Gandy, a young Engage Sochi team member from Colorado. “A lot of people that we meet are very grateful for the pins, so it’s easy to give them and start a communication with them.” …. Read this in full at

The sight of a Russian athlete crossing herself before a race was one small example among many of how the country has changed in the generation since it last hosted the Olympic Games.

Elena Nikitina, 21, performed the ritual gesture before setting off in her fourth and final skeleton run at the Sanki sliding centre, where she ended up with the bronze medal.

Communist philosopher Karl Marx described religion as the “opium of the people” and it was harshly suppressed in Soviet times.

Young Communists were brought up to be atheists, churches operated under close state surveillance and worshippers could expect to draw the unwelcome attention of the KGB security police…. Read this in full at

Seminaries have a reputation for being late adapters when it comes to modern technology.

Southern Evangelical Seminary & Bible College in Matthews, NC, wants to change that. On Feb. 14 it introduced a humanoid NAO robot (pronounced ‘now’).

The 22-year-old Christian apologetics school claims it’s the first in the world to use a robot to study the ethics of emerging technologies.

The white robot with an orange cap from the French company Aldebaran Robotics stands 23 inches high and includes voice and facial recognition and full mobility. It translates text to speech in seven languages. The robot retails for $16,000, but Southern got an end-of-the-year deal at $9,300…. Read this in full at

“He who is the Creator God is the creative God, and he created us in his image and likeness. He created us with imagination and curiosity, with the capacity to hope and dream, and he placed within us all the material necessary to live an extraordinarily creative life.”
– Erwin Raphael McManus, The Artisan Soul

by Andy Rau
There’s something special about hearing the Bible read aloud. Every Sunday, millions of Christians around the world listen to Scripture read out loud from a church pulpit. Many people read the Bible aloud at the dinner table or recite their daily devotional readings.

Did you know you can listen to the Bible at Bible Gateway?

Bible Gateway has a large library of audio Bibles, and while they’re extremely popular, we like to mention them here periodically for those of you who might be unaware that you can listen to the Bible for free at Bible Gateway. If you didn’t know you could listen to audio Bibles online, here’s how…. Read this in full at

An excerpt from Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton
Let’s begin our conversation by answering a seemingly simple question: “What exactly is the Bible?” I’ve heard people describe the Bible as the “Owner’s Manual.” I’m looking at the owner’s manual for my Ford Mustang as I write these words. It begins with a table of contents that starts with the basic safety features of my car, then moves to how to operate my vehicle, then how to do routine maintenance and repairs. Near the end it
offers troubleshooting.

Sitting next to my owner’s manual is my Bible. I wish it were written like my Ford manual. Instead, its table of contents begins with stories of people who lived in the ancient Near East thousands of years ago. Next come books of poetry, followed by books written by fiery prophets warning about the wrath of the Assyrian and Babylonian armies. Next are the New Testament Gospels telling stories about what Jesus said and did, about his Crucifixion and resurrection. These are followed by 21 letters, called the Epistles, written by people called apostles, to Christians living in the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. Finally, about where the troubleshooting guide should be, there’s the Book of Revelation with stories of multiheaded beasts and dragons. This is definitely not written like an owner’s manual…. Read this in full at

by Ted Olsen
Stephen Smith doesn’t look like a mad scientist, because he’s not one. Not really. He’s not even a code guy by training. But he has packed the room at BibleTech, an occasional gathering of coders, hackers, publishers, scholars, and Bible technology enthusiasts. And the standing-room-only crowd is starting to turn on him. No pitchforks and torches. But for once in this collegial, tight-knit retreat, you can feel the tension growing.

They’ve seen his experiments before. You might have, too. He’s the guy who wrote the code to quantify what folks on Twitter gave up for Lent and how the fasts change from year to year (forswearing swearing is up, dropping alcohol is down). He figured out what Bible verses went viral after Osama bin Laden was killed, or at any other time (chances are good that “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” and “For I know the plans I have for you” are doing really well right now), and the most popular saints and mountains in American church names. (Mt. Pisgah beats out Mt. Nebo. And Lutherans almost never call their church “First Lutheran” — though “First” is a fifth of Presbyterian churches.) …. Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
For years when asked about books I recommend on marriage, I referred to two that have most impacted Susan and me, Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerich and The Five Love Languages, by Chapman. I now have a third book, the Meaning of Marriage, by Tim Keller. My wife, Susan, suggested I read Keller’s book while we were on vacation awhile back, and like most husbands, I groaned inwardly. I just wanted to veg, not read another marriage book and then have to talk about it on vacation!

But, I read it and loved it! It’s not your typical “how to” book. It’s an honest book about why marriage can be so difficult and at the same time the most rewarding of all human relationships. So, rather than talk about the book further, I’m offering you a few of my favorite quotes in the hopes you’ll get a copy of your own. Enjoy! …. Read this in full at

Who will separate us from Christ’s love? Will we be separated by trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us.
– Romans 8:35,37 (CEB)

I do not know of a denomination or local church in existence that has as its goal to teach its people to do everything Jesus said.”
– Dallas Willard

by David Kinnaman and Jun Young
In the past 15 years a revolution has taken place. You know about it because you’ve lived through it, but you may have missed its profound implications. Everyone’s heard of the digital revolution, but this is so much more. It’s the knowledge revolution.

Here is what this revolution looks like:
Not so long ago, we had to wait for information about our world to come to us. Books and other print items were among the first media that collected and distributed information in a relevant package for humans. Then came radio and television — electronic media that helped satiate human beings’ thirst for more immediate knowledge. But all the media thus far have the disadvantage of being limited to bursts of information packaged for the largest possible audience. In other words, the information we gain via television and radio and newspapers is knowledge for mass consumption.

We still have access to information produced for mass consumption. But the knowledge revolution — with information now available through interconnected digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers — is about personalized knowledge. It’s not simply information for the masses; it’s customized, personalized, on-demand information…. Read this in full at

Eight times a day, a group of nuns files into a chapel in their rural northwest Missouri monastery to chant and worship.

Quite unexpectedly, this private, prayerful pursuit has made the Benedictines of Mary a chart-topping recording industry curiosity. After being named Billboard’s No. 1 Classical Traditional Artist of 2012 and 2013, the nuns released their third album, called “Lent At Ephesus,” Feb. 11 on the De Montfort Music/Decca/Universal Classics label…. Read this in full at

by Roma Downey
I played an angel on “Touched by an Angel” for almost a decade, and I’ve learned a thing or two about spiritual warfare:
* We shine his light but the darkness exists.
* The devil is real.
* When you are trying to do something good in the world there will always be opposition.

Tired of cursing the darkness, my husband Mark and I wanted to shine a light. To do this, we set up a production company called LightWorkers Media. “The Bible” miniseries, born out of this intention and released last year, grew so popular that we were able to make it into our Jesus film, “Son of God.” …. Read this in full at

by Cathy Lynn Grossman
In the land of science, it turns out, there nearly as many believers and churchgoers as there are to be found in the nation at large and many in each camp say science and faith have a lot to offer each other, says sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund.

The Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion program within the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) presented a major national study examining how these two worldviews do — and often don’t — communicate.

Indeed, Ecklund said her research finds that scientists who identify as evangelical are more religious than American evangelicals who are not in science and that 48 percent of evangelicals believe science and religion can work in collaboration. And right there at the DoSER symposium, to discuss collaboration in the future, was Galen Carey, vice president for government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), which is advising AAAS in the project…. Read this in full at

Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him.”
– C. S. Lewis

This is the message that you heard from the beginning: love each other.
– 1 John 3:11 (CEB)

Words: Charles Wesley, 1739
Music: Carl G. Gläser, 1828

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.

In Christ your Head, you then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.

Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever given,
By saints below and saints above,
The church in earth and heaven.

On this glad day the glorious Sun
Of Righteousness arose;
On my benighted soul He shone
And filled it with repose.

Sudden expired the legal strife,
Twas then I ceased to grieve;
My second, real, living life
I then began to live.

Then with my heart I first believed,
Believed with faith divine,
Power with the Holy Ghost received
To call the Savior mine.

I felt my Lord’s atoning blood
Close to my soul applied;
Me, me He loved, the Son of God,
For me, for me He died!

I found and owned His promise true,
Ascertained of my part,
My pardon passed in heaven I knew
When written on my heart.

Look unto Him, ye nations, own
Your God, ye fallen race;
Look, and be saved through faith alone,
Be justified by grace.

See all your sins on Jesus laid:
The Lamb of God was slain,
His soul was once an offering made
For every soul of man.

Awake from guilty nature’s sleep,
And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep,
And wash the Æthiop white.

Harlots and publicans and thieves
In holy triumph join!
Saved is the sinner that believes
From crimes as great as mine.

Murderers and all ye hellish crew
In holy triumph join!
Believe the Savior died for you;
For me the Savior died.

With me, your chief, ye then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.

>from NetHymnal at

If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts we are deceivers, and since only in prayer can we obtain it, let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication… Think not to be a messenger of grace to others till you have seen the God of grace for yourselves, and had the word from his mouth.”
– Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), Lectures to My Students, New York: R. Carter & Brothers, 1890, p. 80-81


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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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.) 

I like to look at the chart of the chemical elements periodically.  
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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