CONNECTIONS News – 05/04/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 4, 2014
Issue 509

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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Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus: Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings. When he found himself in the form of a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
– Philippians 2:5-8 (CEB)

We do not exist for ourselves.”
– Thomas Merton

by Mandrallius Robinson
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney has responded to complaints from the Freedom From Religion Foundation expressing “constitutional concerns about how the public university’s football program is entangled with religion.”

According to the Wisconsin-based foundation, Swinney has promoted a culture in the program that promotes Christianity and violates constitutional guidelines of the separation of church and state.

In a statement released by the university, Swinney asserted that religious activity is not a requirement of his program.

“Over the past week or two, there has been a lot of discussion of my faith,” he said. “We have three rules in our program that everybody must follow: (1) players must go to class, (2) they must give a good effort and (3) they must be good citizens. It is as simple as that…. Read this in full at

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
Had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

by Nicholas Kristof
With Easter and Passover freshly behind us, let’s test your knowledge of the Bible. How many mistakes can you find:

Noah of Arc and his wife, Joan, build a boat to survive a great flood. Moses climbs Mount Cyanide and receives 10 enumerated commandments; for all the differences among religious denominations, the Ten Commandments are a common bedrock that Jews, Catholics and Protestants agree on…. Read this in full at

In light of Hollywood’s abundance of Bible-related films this year, Bible Gateway thought it would be interesting to create a brief test to see how well you can discern Scripture from literary and movie script. The quiz contains 16 quotes. It’s up to you to decide which ones are from the Bible, The Lord of the Rings, the Game of Thrones series, or the Harry Potter series. Once you do, encourage your Facebook and Twitter friends to try it for themselves…. Take the quiz at

In case you find these to be fun, here’s another Bible quiz:

While the general American population is divided in their views of the Bible, African-Americans are overwhelmingly pro-Bible. African-Americans came out on top in Bible engagement and Bible friendliness in American Bible Society’s fourth annual State of the Bible survey. They also led in the use of technology and frequent Bible reading when compared to all other races as well as the combined US adult population.

The survey found the percentage of African-American adults who are engaged with Scripture is 27%, compared with 19% of the general population. In addition, 45% of African-American adults are considered Bible friendly, compared with 37% of all adults…. Read this in full at

The Bible stands at the heart of the Christian faith, but people disagree about its nature and authority. Can we trust the Bible completely? Can a book written so long ago be relevant to the demanding challenges of the 21st century?

Rev. Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan.

Bible Gateway interviewed Rev. DeYoung about his book, Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me (Crossway, 2014).

Q: Your book seeks to answer such questions as, “Can we trust the Bible completely,” yet you begin by talking about the longest book in the Bible, Psalm 119, which you call a love poem. Why?

Rev. DeYoung: The longest chapter in the Bible is a love poem about the Bible. In one sense, I wanted to start the book with the application. Psalm 119 tells us what to feel about the Bible, how to think about the Bible, what to do with the Bible. The rest of the book is meant to lead you to the conclusion that the affections and attitude of Psalm 119 are not an overstatement…. Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
Love God Enough to Trust Yourself to Him.

Like you, I’ve probably told God I love him and have sung it ten thousand times, but when it gets right down to it – what does loving God actually mean?

It’s quite natural that in thinking about loving God, our minds would automatically go to worship and specifically to worship in church. It’s the place and the way we’re most accustomed to “loving God.” When we join with other lovers of God in singing praises, prayer and hearing from God in a sermon or message we are loving God and he loves it when we do.

I don’t know about you, but I feel guilty sometimes because I don’t always feel as emotional about loving God or Jesus as other Christians seem to be. The warm, joyous, tearful feelings I experience most often come when I’m singing praise choruses, listening to the testimony of a new believer, in times of personal prayer or when some new revelation from God or about God, washes over me. But those don’t happen every day or even every week, to me…. Read this in full at

Mariano Rivera, arguably the greatest closer in MLB history, was recently honored not because of his future MLB Hall of Fame career, but because of his impact on the Hispanic community through his Christian faith and love of Jesus.

The star baseball player received the honor at the Bible in Hispanic America event on April 24 to mark his efforts to teach about the importance of reading the Holy Scriptures to the Latin community…. Read this in full at

We must be ready, indeed eager, to see God’s Name being hallowed outside the Church as well as inside. It may be that today the philosopher is honouring the Name of God when he insists that we should know what we mean when we utter our religious language and that we should be ready to have that meaning tested. It may be that other philosophers hallow the Name when they refuse to allow us to withdraw it to some supernatural realm, but insist on wrestling with the unknown God in the agony and joy of existence, crying with Jacob, ‘Tell me, I pray thee, thy Name.’ And is not the scientist honoring the Name when he patiently and obediently follows where the evidence leads? Or the social scientist when he asks us to understand what is before we begin pronouncing what ought to be? God does not spend all His time in Church.”
– Howard Hewlett Clark (1903-1983), “Sermon at the Opening Service,” included in Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. 11

by Jay Green
Journalists who covered the 2014 “origins” debate between creationist Ken Ham and evolutionist Bill Nye were able to avail themselves of two ready-made narratives about American evangelicals. One underscored the tensions between traditional evangelical beliefs and those of a modern secular society. The other highlighted evangelicals’ presence and participation in American public life. Of course, the Ham–Nye debate offered fuel for both storylines at once.

Among journalists and scholars, the keys to understanding and interpreting evangelicals have long been their distinct theological beliefs and their values-based activism. Even many self-proclaimed evangelicals use these benchmarks to explain ourselves to ourselves. This is why we elevate figures like Billy Graham, a paragon of evangelical belief, and (take your pick) James Dobson or Jim Wallis, who together represent the spectrum of evangelical social action, to typify our movement.

But historian Todd M. Brenneman wonders if the beating heart of evangelical identity lies elsewhere, perhaps most centrally along the aisles of the local LifeWay Christian Store. In Homespun Gospel: The Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press), Brenneman shifts the conversation away from beliefs and actions toward feelings. He shows how popular forms of evangelical expression traffic in familial and tender imagery: God as father, people as “little children,” and nostalgic longings for home and the traditional middle-class nuclear family.

Brenneman draws compelling links between the worlds of religious consumer goods — from Christian CDs, DVDs, and books to toys, home decor, and devotional art — and the “core evangelical message” of God’s love. These products, he argues, “construct religiosity as a practice of sentimentality instead of one of intellectual discovery.” This is why, in our search for spiritual resources at LifeWay, we’re likelier to encounter the works of tobyMac or Bob the Tomato than Abraham Kuyper or Alister McGrath…. Read this in full at

by Glenn Packiam
I’m not here to critique the new movie or poke fun at the popular Christian song (which was co-written by an old friend). But since the phrase “God’s not dead” is central to both and thus bandied around a lot by evangelicals today, I’d like to start there. You see, “My God’s not dead…he’s living on the inside” is not what the apostles said about Jesus. In fact, it might be the very opposite of what they said. The heart of early Christian preaching was that God raised Jesus from the dead. This is a hope that is better than you might have imagined.

So, what’s the difference? I mean, aren’t these simply semantics? If God raised Jesus from the dead, then God’s not dead, right? Let’s a take a closer look…. Read this in full at

God wanted to make the glorious riches of this secret plan known among the Gentiles, which is Christ living in you, the hope of glory. This is what we preach as we warn and teach every person with all wisdom so that we might present each one mature in Christ.
– Colossians 1:27-28 (CEB)

Anybody can become angry- that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.”
– Aristotle

For many, theologians included, the most difficult questions often relate to the existence of inexplicable evil and suffering. “It is the young child with leukemia, or natural catastrophes that may kill thousands,” says Dr. Gary Burge, professor of biblical and theological studies. “Many look at these things and wonder: Could God not intervene?”

Spiritually intentional on the whole, Wheaton students ask a host of challenging questions every year, and Wheaton’s biblical and theological studies faculty see these questions as opportunities to foster growth and Christian development.

Theology is a dialogue, a conversation. Our intention is to stir people to think theologically,” says Dr. David Lauber ’89, associate professor of theology, who notes it’s through asking questions and arriving at answers that some students begin to own their faith.

For everyone who longs for answers, these next pages provide an opportunity to look over the shoulders of Wheaton’s theologians, and to read their perspectives on the answers to a few common questions—answers they’ve arrived at after studying God’s Word and centuries of Christian thought…. Read this in full at

by Jonathan Merritt
Have you seen that new movie “Hell Is for Real?” Of course, you haven’t. Because it doesn’t exist. It’s heavenly counterpart, however, earned $21.5 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend.

Sixty-four percent of Americans believe in the survival of the soul after death, and a majority believes in both heaven and hell, according to a Harris Poll released in December 2013. But while most are comfortable discussing the afterlife and heaven, talk of hell can scatter the masses.
So why are Americans afraid to talk about hell? …. Read this in full at

The Rev. Dr. Scot McKnight was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons by Bishop Todd Hunter in a morning worship service at Church of the Redeemer in Highland Park, IL, on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Given his extensive experience, Dr. McKnight’s role in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO) will include assisting Bishop Hunter and other C4SO leaders with providing theological mentoring of ordination candidates, theological training for C4SO clergy, and reflecting upon contemporary theological issues. While canonically resident in C4SO, Dr. McKnight will be licensed to function as a Deacon at Church of the Redeemer under the oversight of Bishop Ken Ross, PEARUSA, and Canon Jay Greener, Rector of Redeemer…. Read this in full at

by Greg Heyman
A circuit court judge who believes there has been a breakdown in the state’s incarceration program is taking his case to Alabama’s churches.

Judge Dale Segrest, Circuit Judge Fifth Judicial Circuit, said churches are essential to the success of his “probation sponsorship,” a program he believes will not only lower the state’s incarceration rate, but also give inmates a better chance at making something of their lives.

The basic idea for probation sponsorship is that defendants can enlist the help of members of their communities to assist them in successfully completing the term of probation,” he said.

Segrest said probation sponsors sign a contract that outlines the nature of the sponsor’s duties, with no financial responsibility on the part of sponsors…. Read this in full at

The former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Rowan Williams, says Britain is now a “post-Christian” country.

His statement comes as research suggests that the majority of Anglicans and Roman Catholics now feel afraid to express their beliefs.

In an interview with The Telegraph newspaper, Lord Williams of Oystermouth says Britain is no longer “a nation of believers” and that a further decline in the sway of the Church is likely in the years ahead.

While the country is not populated exclusively by atheists, the former archbishop warns that the era of regular and widespread worship is over, The Telegraph reported…. Read this in full at

According to one American stereotype, Europe is somewhere on the road between lazy godlessness and mass conversion to Islam. Does it have any kernel of truth? This much is true: in most European countries there is no obvious equivalent of the American religious right in which a large standing constituency spoils for a fight over hard ethical issues. Those kinds of issues arise in Europe of course, but it is hard for European politicians to build a career by claiming the traditionalist ground; they would generally lose more votes than they would gain.

What does exist in Europe is the politics of identity, including religious identity. In this area Europe’s parties and politicians always think carefully about the signals they send and getting it right or wrong has consequences. That’s a helpful way to see David Cameron’s re-embrace of the Anglican church. In a column for the Church Times, he advocated “being more confident about our status as a Christian country” albeit without “doing down other faiths or passing judgement on those with no faith…” He carefully described himself as a “rather classic” member of the Church of England-“not that regular in attendance and a bit vague on some of the more difficult parts of the faith…” And in an Easter message he described the feast as “incredibly important”. His words were deplored by secularists (who probably wouldn’t vote for him anyway) and welcomed by Hindus and Muslims. Doubtless they will help him to retain some supporters attracted by the nativism of the UK Independence Party…. Read this in full at

This year’s annual William Wilberforce Award, presented by the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, will be awarded to Canon Andrew White in recognition of his service to Christianity internationally and, in particular, his service to the Middle East.

Like the award’s namesake, White has taken great risks to bring about radical change in some of the most dangerous places in the world. Commonly known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” White leads St. George’s Church, the only Anglican congregation in Iraq and one of the biggest churches in the country. He also has worked tirelessly to bring about reconciliation between various sectarian groups in Iraq, including the Shia and Sunni.

In addition to his work in Iraq, White has been instrumental in reconciling various groups in Israel and Palestine over many years. He recently hosted a historic meeting that convened Iraqis, Israelis and Palestinians in Cyprus…. Read this in full at

by Chris Stedman
If he is successful, Arizona’s James Woods will be the first person elected to United States Congress to openly campaign as an atheist.

The last admitted atheist in Congress, Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, served for decades before publicly sharing his atheism. Similarly Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, opened up about his atheism last year—after he was no longer in office.

Woods, who is running for Congress in Arizona’s Congressional District 5, wants to be the first to successfully campaign as an atheist, as well as the first blind member of Congress in nearly 100 years.

He’s one of several nontheists making waves in Arizona politics, where atheists are increasingly visible—State Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, acknowledged his atheism last year. But associating with atheism continues to be a significant political risk in many places, including Arizona. During her congressional campaign in 2012, a number of news outlets and blogs identified Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, as an atheist — until she released a statement saying that she “believes the terms non-theist, atheist or non-believer are not befitting of her life’s work or personal character.” …. Read this in full at

What reason have [atheists] for saying that we cannot rise from the dead? What is more difficult, to be born or to rise again; that what has never been should be, or that what has been should be again? Is it more difficult to come into existence than to return to it?”
– Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensees (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #222, p. 80

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead. He’s the first crop of the harvest of those who have died. Since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came through one too. In the same way that everyone dies in Adam, so also everyone will be given life in Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (CEB)

Words: Isaac Watts, 1707
Music: William Dixon, 1750-1825

Blest morning, whose young dawning rays
Beheld our rising God,
That saw Him triumph o’er the dust,
And leave His dark abode!

In the cold prison of a tomb
The dead Redeemer lay,
Till the revolving skies had brought
The third, th’appointed day.

Hell and the grave unite their force
To hold our God in vain;
The sleeping Conqueror arose,
And burst their feeble chain.

To Thy great Name, almighty Lord,
These sacred hours we pay;
And loud hosannahs shall proclaim
The triumph of the day.

Salvation and immortal praise
To our victorious King;
Let Heav’n, and earth, and rocks, and seas,
With glad hosannahs ring.

>from NetHymnal at

5/2/2014 @ 10:00 PM central:
[Here’s a replay of a popular episode. I pray you enjoy it & pray for the implementation of it in our lives.]
Without a doubt, the clergy is a profession and members of the clergy are professionals. This profession, like any profession, dictates standards of conduct for how its members should dress, speak, and act, both on-duty and off-duty. And, like other professions, it dictates standards of education, preparation, admittance to the profession, procedures for job searches and applications, and retirement. Clearly, Catholic priests and Protestant ministers alike are expected-by their parishioners, friends, hierarchies, denominational authorities, and themselves-to have a distinct kind of training, be certain kinds of people, and perform certain kinds of duties.

Is this the New Testament model for elders (leaders) in the body of Christ?–what-if-there-were-no-clergy

Prayer is the expression of a good desire. The human heart is full of restless desires, and the prayers of men consist for the most part of the unsifted petitions which are urged by their varying passions… To desire what is right, and to desire it consistently, and passionately, is the first condition of true living. The desires can be corrected only by truth, the mind must apprehend God, and then it will say, ‘There is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.’”
– James Hastings (1852-1922), The Christian Doctrine of Prayer, Edinbugh: T. & T. Clark, 1915, p. 25


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. 

Photos of abandoned places and ghost towns

Upgrade a Wall Outlet to Charge USB Devices

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.) 

Archaeologists never discover anything new.  
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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