CONNECTIONS News – 03/02/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of March 2, 2014
Issue 500

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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For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6

The observable practice of truth and the observable practice of love go hand in hand with the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.”
– Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The Mark of the Christian, Inter-Varsity Press, 1976, p. 23

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of legislation that would have protected the religious freedom of that state’s citizens signals “something entirely new in human history” — “the rise of erotic liberty at the expense of religious liberty,” according to R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Brewer, a Republican, vetoed the bill Feb. 26 after days of deliberation under intense pressure from gay advocates, corporations, the NFL and even Christians. The bill garnered so much national attention that similar legislation in Tennessee was shelved without consideration.

Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, joined Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in supporting Arizona’s religious liberty bill, which was intended to clarify an existing state law…. Read this in full at

When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really… Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.”
– C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 93

Which Bible verses are searched for most often in the world’s 10 most populous countries? Psalm 23, Genesis 1, and 1 Corinthians 13, according to the world’s leading Bible website.

Yet China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russia, and Japan each search the Bible differently, according to a new study of 2013 visits to in conjunction with GMI.

Psalm 23 appeared in the top five searches in nine of the 10 countries, followed closely by Genesis 1 in eight of the 10, and 1 Corinthians 13 in seven of the 10. When looking for a book of the Bible, people begin at the beginning: “Chapter 1” appears in more than 30 percent of Bible Gateway’s searches. (CT previously reported that John 3:16 topped the list of searches for individual verses in 2013.)…. Read this in full at

When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, He will concern Himself with how we use our time and spend our money; with honesty and moral integrity and Christlike quality of character; with what is happening to our children; with the health of our relationship with other people and with our God. If our need is severe enough, the Holy Spirit will turn our lives upside down.”
– Catherine Marshall

The season of Lent — the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday — begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5.

Christians around the world, from many different theological traditions, observe Lent in a variety of ways. Some commit to daily Scripture meditation, devotional reading, or regular prayer. One common practice during Lent is to “give up” something you take for granted as an act of self-denial — and as a way to center our priorities around Jesus Christ…. Read this in full at

by Will Willimon
Lent is that time when we all-too-worldly ones learn and relearn the great scandal that lies at the heart of the Christian faith — Christ came to save sinners, only sinners.

Much of the time we get away with the fiction that we are, after all, down deep, rather nice people who have no need of salvation. We know we may not be the best people in the world, but we are not the worst. We are making spiritual progress, lifting ourselves (by ourselves) out of the muck and mire of what once was called “sin.”

And then comes the church smearing ashes upon our foreheads, forcing us to our knees in confession, teaching us to say, “Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy upon us sinners.”

That’s not something many of us want the church to do anymore.

Have you experienced any particular temptations during the past week?
How did you react or respond to those temptations?
Is there anything you are trying to keep secret, and if so, why?

A federal judge in California has ruled that a veterans monument that includes the symbol of the cross is an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.

As previously reported, the city council of Lake Elsinore unanimously approved the creation of the monument in November 2012, which was to be erected in Diamond Stadium. The 5-0 vote followed a public hearing where over 100 residents attended to voice their opinion, mainly in support of the display.

However, the 6-foot granite monument was met with disapproval by atheist groups and others who asserted that one aspect of its design went too far. The monument, which declares, “In honor of our brave men and women who by their service give life to our most precious gift — freedom,” also depicts a soldier kneeling before a row of cemetery markers in the shape of a cross. A star of David is also featured on the display, as well as an American flag and a soaring eagle…. Read this in full at

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) and Paramount Pictures jointly announced Feb. 27 the decision to add an explanatory message to future marketing materials for the upcoming film Noah from acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

The move follows an appeal by Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, to help audiences better understand that the feature film is a dramatization of the major scriptural themes and not a line-by-line retelling of the Bible story

Dr. Johnson’s request to Paramount Pictures to consider adding this clarification to Noah’s marketing materials ahead of release was an idea fully embraced by the studio, and follows a precedent established by other films based on biblical stories.

NRB’s reaching out to Paramount was prompted by a special public event earlier this week at the NRB 2014 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN, where Dr. Johnson led an engaging and insightful panel discussion with John Snowden, a biblical consultant for Noah, along with filmmaker, media consultant, and writer Phil Cooke, who is also a member of the NRB Board of Directors…. Read this in full at

by Jonathan Merritt
In a blog published this week titled, “Should Christians take Medication for Mental Illness?,” mega-church pastor Perry Noble said Christians struggling with anxiety or depression should consider taking mood-altering drugs to help them cope. He admitted that he used to believe mental illness could be treated with prayer and scripture, but Perry said he has “done a complete 180 in regards to how I used to feel about them.” The leader of NewSpring Church in South Carolina credits the transformation to a period in his life that began in 2008, which he called “darkest time of my entire life.” For the next three years, Noble said he wrestled with depression and even contemplated suicide. He also shares these stories in his new book, “Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry,” due out April 1.

Here I talk to Pastor Noble about his struggle with suicidal thoughts, antidepressants, and what advice he gives Christians who have mental health issues.

RNS: You’ve now shared with the world that you’ve been depressed and considering suicide. Can you share more about your journey to that place?

PN: I was on my way home from work one day and had this thought: “I wish someone would run that red light, hit my car and kill me instantly.” Soon, my thought about someone else taking my life led to me thinking thoughts–infrequent at first, becoming more frequent as time went on–about taking my own life. I remember sitting on the back porch of my house when I reached a breaking point and actually saying, “I am going to do this.” That thought still freaks me out. I was so close…. Read this in full at

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
– Deuteronomy 7:9

The destiny of every human being depends on his relationship to Jesus Christ.  It is not on his relationship to life, or on his service or his usefulness, but simply and a solely on his relationship to Jesus Christ.”
– Oswald Chambers

by Brandon Cox
The church is living in an age of tremendous evangelistic opportunity.

As we venture into the social, digital era, the gospel can travel further and faster than ever before. If the church is a vast volunteer army of people carrying the Good News of Jesus to the least, the lost and the last, then it is safe to say this army is better equipped and more effectively mobilized than any other age to carry out its marching orders — the Great Commission…. Read this in full at

Union University President David S. Dockery will assume the leadership of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill., after the institution’s Board of Regents unanimously elected him as president Feb. 28.

“We are overwhelmingly grateful to God for the invitation from the Trinity Board to serve the students, staff, faculty and various institutional constituencies in the days ahead,” Dockery said. “We are humbled by the confidence that the Board has communicated to us in this call to guide Trinity forward in the days and years to come.”

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, one of the most highly respected evangelical institutions in the country, is one of four schools comprising Trinity International University. The university also consists of Trinity College, a small, liberal-arts based institution; Trinity Graduate School, with programs in such fields as biomedical ethics, leadership and education; and Trinity Law School. Total enrollment for the university is about 2,800…. Read this in full at

by Jonathan Merritt
Sarah Kovac was born with Anthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a congenital birth defect that left her with arms she could barely use. She’s learned to use her feet to drive a car, type on a computer, prepare meals, apply makeup, and change diapers. Kovac even typed her book, In Capable Arms: Living a Life Embraced by Grace, with her toe. She hopes that her story and ability to maintain her faith in the face of difficulty will encourage others. Here, we discuss her battles and her book.

RNS: As you were growing up, what would you identify as the biggest challenges about growing up with AMC?

SK: I wouldn’t say the biggest challenge was the physical aspect of the disability, but rather the emotional insecurities that I had to learn to overcome. I believed I wasn’t good enough and that people didn’t like me. It was all in my head, but it took me years to begin to overcome this things. That was way more crippling than any physical disability…. Read this in full at

God has called us to shine, just as much as Daniel was sent into Babylon to shine. Let no man or woman say that they cannot shine because they have not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have. Daniel probably did not have much influence down in Babylon at first, but God soon gave him more because he was faithful and used what he had.”
– Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), “To the work! To the work!”: Exhortations to Christians, Chicago: F. H. Revell, 1884, p. 139

Bill Gothard, an Illinois-based advocate for home schooling and conservative dress who warned against rock music and debt, has been placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexually harassing women who worked at his ministry and failing to report child abuse cases.

Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles was once a popular gathering spot for thousands of Christian families, including the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute conferences were also popular among devotees of the Quiverfull movement, who promote large families and eschew birth control.

He’s also rubbed shoulders with Republican luminaries. He and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee were photographed at a campaign lunch together; former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue spoke at one of Gothard’s conferences; and Sarah Palin, when she was a small town mayor in Alaska, attended his International Association of Character Cities conferences and declared Wasilla among Gothard’s “Cities of Character.” …. Read this in full at

I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ and the brightest evidences that he is indeed our master.”
– John Newton (1725-1807), in a letter, 1757, The Works of the Rev. John Newton, v. II, New York: Williams and Whiting, 1810, p. 62

In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
– 1 Peter 3:15

Words: Unknown author, 11th Century; translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale
Music: Saxony, 1568

By precepts taught of ages past,
Now let us keep again the fast,
Which, year by year, in order meet
Of forty days is made complete.

The law and seers that were of old
In divers ways this Lent foretold,
Which Christ Himself, the Lord and Guide
Of every season, sanctified.

More sparing therefore let us make
The words we speak, the food we take,
Deny ourselves in mirth and sleep,
In stricter watch our senses keep.

In prayer together let us fall,
And cry for mercy, one and all;
And weep before the Judge, and say,
O turn from us Thy wrath away.

Thy grace have we offended sore
By sins, O God, which we deplore;
Pour down upon us from above
The riches of Thy pardoning love.

Remember, Lord, though frail we be,
That yet Thine handiwork are we:
Nor let the honor of Thy Name
Be by another put to shame.

Forgive the ill that we have wrought,
Increase the good that we have sought;
That we at length, our wanderings o’er,
May please Thee now and evermore.

Blest Three in One, and One in Three,
Almighty God, we pray to Thee,
That Thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
Our fast with fruits of righteousness.

>from NetHymnal at

Prayer is the mortar that holds our house together.”
– Mother Teresa


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.

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Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why. 

Amazing macro-photography of individual snowflakes [10 Pictures]

The Ultimate Guide to Worldwide Etiquette

National Geographic Wallpaper

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 all your troubles are behind you, you’re probably a school bus driver.  
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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