CONNECTIONS News – 06/15/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 15, 2014
Issue 515

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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Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork. One day gushes the news to the next, and one night informs another what needs to be known.
– Psalm 19:1-2

“Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal.”
– A. Maude Royden

Three in four Americans say they believe the Bible is the Word of God, according to a recently released Gallup (@Gallup) survey. But 21% consider it fables and history. These statistics mirror the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as Christian (76%) and non-Christian (22%) in Gallup’s 2013 religion aggregate.

The poll shows that 28% of Americans believe the Bible is the actual Word of God and that it should be taken literally; that’s down from the 38% to 40% reported in the late 1970s. About half of Americans continue to say the Bible is the inspired word of God, not to be taken literally…. Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
One of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn, and am still learning, is to listen and only listen to my wife. Susan and I have been married for 46 years. As a young husband and a problem-solver by nature, when Susan would come to me and share a problem, a pain or frustration, I tried what 99% of all husbands want to do – fix it!

As she began to explain what or who was frustrating her, I was quiet, but not really listening. My mind was racing, looking for a solution for her problem. I wanted to be her rescuer! Wasn’t that the job of husbands? And, lucky Susan, she married a clever guy who loved solving problems for people. This was going to be a win-win, if there ever was one!

So before she’d even finish talking, I’d interrupt her and give her some options and my best advice, fully expecting a big smile to come over her face, so thankful for the solution…. Read this in full at

by Nick Batzig
I am often overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to God for placing me in a Christian home with a wise and godly father who diligently taught me the Scriptures; and, although I didn’t know the saving grace of God until I was an adult, there are certain inestimably valuable things my father taught me when I was a teenager that continue to have an impact on me today. One of these was the way in which my father challenged me to read the Proverbs. Perhaps it continues to impact me in a significant way, in part, on account of the fact that there are ten father-to-son talks in the Proverbs (1:8; 2:1; 3:1; 4:10; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1; 23:19; 24:13; and 27:11). These talks reflect something of the concern that a godly father has for his son; but—foundational to that—they reflect what God the Father desired of His eternal Son as the Redeemer, then of His is adopted sons who are united to Him by faith. It is only as we read the Proverbs in light of the perfection of the Son of God that we will be able to put them into practice in our lives and see them practiced in the lives of our children…. Read this in full at

“Patience is the virtue that transforms an angry tongue. Patience takes time to hesitate and evaluate. It rejects anger sins. True patience finds its strength in an unflinching focus on God and an unconditional love toward those who have hurt us.”
– Joseph Stowell

by Jared Brock
I just spent the last year of my life on a 37,000-mile prayer pilgrimage around the world. As I trekked around our giant planet, I discovered an entire world of interesting prayer traditions—silent prayers with Quakers, loud prayers at a Benny Hinn convention, dancing prayers with ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jews, desperate prayers as I walked across a bed of hot coals, prayers of thanksgiving when I had lunch at the pope’s house.

As I experienced the vast array of incredibly beautiful Judeo-Christian prayer traditions, I discovered one powerful thing that unites the Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox worlds: Beards…. Read this in full at

For 40 years, evangelicals at Bowdoin College have gathered periodically to study the Bible together, to pray and to worship. They are a tiny minority on the liberal arts college campus, but they have been a part of the school’s community, gathering in the chapel, the dining center, the dorms.

After this summer, the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship will no longer be recognized by the college. Already, the college has disabled the electronic key cards of the group’s longtime volunteer advisers.

In a collision between religious freedom and anti-discrimination policies, the student group, and its advisers, have refused to agree to the college’s demand that any student, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, should be able to run for election as a leader of any group, including the Christian association…. Read this in full at

“Life is short and we have not too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark way with us. Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.”
– Henry Frederick Amiel

by Tom Fuerst
I read an article recently claiming to have discovered the real reason men are singing less in church these days. I’m not sure if there’s really any objective verification of this non-singing phenomenon, but if we do assume that it is true – that men are singing less in church these days than they did twenty or thirty years ago – then it is certainly worth asking why.

The article proposes this lack of singing is due, specifically, to the fact that men don’t know what they’re singing. With the arrival of the projection screen and the downfall of the hymnal, the church’s choral corpus has vastly expanded, leaving us with a situation where each week we’re singing newer and increasingly unknown songs. In short, the article says, in the last ten to twenty years, we’ve gone from 250 well-worn and comfortable hymns to over 250,000 contemporary songs which are far less known. The author then goes on to argue that, if we want men to sing more in church, we need to create familiarity with the songs… or, uh, go back to singing hymns.

I think this article may miss some far more simplistic reasons for this problem…. Read this in full at

by Mel Lawrenz,
People in my town, Waukesha, Wisconsin, are reeling from an incident a few days ago in which two 12-year-old girls allegedly stabbed one of their best friends, an act that they had plotted for months, all because of delusional thinking about a mysterious internet urban legend called Slender Man. The girls believed this bogey man actually existed, and that killing someone would be a way of gaining his favor. So after a birthday sleepover they descended on the friend as they played in a park. They stabbed her 19 times and abandoned her in some bushes where they thought she would die (thankfully, she dragged herself to a road and was saved).

One of the 12-year-old attackers described what was going on: “The bad part of me wanted her to die, the good part of me wanted her to live.” …. Read this in full at

Now know that I am God! I am exalted among all nations; I am exalted throughout the world!
– Psalm 46:10

What’s true of biology is also true of faith: If it isn’t growing, it’s probably dead.

by Aaron Armstrong
What kind of pronouns should we use when we talk about God? We typically default to the masculine “He,” but *should* we? Is there anything wrong with referring to God as “She”?

While the answer might seem obvious, it is worth considering. After all, as Christians, we want to speak of God in a way that is pleasing to Him.

So, here are a few things to keep in mind when considering how to talk when we talk about God:
1. God is not a man but is spirit (Numbers 23:19a; John 4:24).
Simply, human gender does not apply to God. God is neither male nor female.

God is spirit, and we are wise to remember this, even as we hold to the necessary tension of things like the eternal sonship of Jesus as the second member of the Trinity…. Read this in full at

by Roland C. Warren is
Most of the stories about families in the Bible focus on the relationship between fathers and sons. This is one of the reasons that I find the story of Laban to be a very special, important, and instructive one for fathers. In Genesis 29, we learn that Laban had two daughters, Leah and Rachel.

One day, Laban’s nephew Jacob arrived for a visit. The instant he saw Rachel he was smitten and wanted to marry her. So he and Laban worked out a deal. In order for Jacob to marry Rachel, he would have to work for Laban for seven years. So Jacob worked hard like any love-struck man would and kept his end of the bargain. But Laban did not. On the wedding night, he tricked Jacob and switched Leah for Rachel.

As you can imagine, when Jacob found out that he was now married to “weak eyes,” he was livid. But Laban told him that it was customary for the older sister to be married before the younger one. However, to assuage Jacob, Laban offered him a special deal. All he needed to do was work another seven years and Laban would give him Rachel as a wife as well. So Jacob agreed. He worked seven more years and married Rachel, and everyone lived happily ever after. Well, not quite . . . as the saying goes, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” And due to Laban’s trick, Jacob had just married two women who would bring a fury into his home for which he was not prepared…. Read this in full at

“If a bird is flying for pleasure, it flies with the wind, but if it meets danger it turns and faces the wind, in order that it may rise higher.”
– Corrie ten Boom

Three elderly men are walking through the park.

The first says, “It sure is windy.”

The second responds, “No it isn’t, it’s Thursday.”

The third says, “I am too. Let’s get something to drink.”

College and university policies that stipulate that Christian student groups on campus must follow non-discrimination policies in the selection of the groups’ leaders could squelch student conversation about faith in the future, says a leader from InterVarsity.

Greg Jao, national field director for the Northeast InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, told The Christian Post that college institutions such as California State University (Cal State), the largest university system in the US, that are prepared to withdraw recognition from certain evangelical clubs this summer, are an example of a nation at a crossroads.

“There’s just enough of them that it’s not just Vanderbilt, for example, that have taken this to an illogical extreme, it’s an increasing number of schools that actually believe that the best way to avoid discrimination is to prevent religious groups from becoming authentically religious. There is enough of them that it is actually a trend,” Jao explains. “The United States is in the middle of reassessing what it thinks the role of religion should be in our society. Health and Human Service questions, denial of service questions, marriage equality, they are all different questions about religion and its role in society, but they are all being asked right now and the U.S. is coming to a very different answer than it used to come up with.” …. Read this in full at–121372/

On May 4, Mark Driscoll preached at Mars Hill Church in Seattle on Acts 6:1-7. As usual, the video of the sermon was not posted on the church’s website until two weeks later. However, Mars Hill Church deleted a section from the video of Driscoll’s original message. In that deleted section, Driscoll distinguished between sin and mistakes, claiming that Jesus never sinned but that he did make mistakes. Driscoll was referencing Luke 2:52, where Jesus is said to have grown in “wisdom and stature.”

Christianity Today asked experts, “Did Jesus make mistakes?” Answers to the question are arranged below on a spectrum from “yes” at the top to “no” at the bottom…. Read this in full at

After the Army recently permitted “humanist” as a religious preference, many thought a humanist chaplain might follow.

But the Navy rejected the application of Jason Heap for a commission, a Navy official familiar with the case confirmed. The details of the decision were not divulged due to privacy concerns…. Read this in full at

The US Senate by unanimous consent passed a bill to include a prayer plaque at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

The prayer to be included on the plaque was delivered over the radio to millions of Americans by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the morning of the D-Day invasion, the Allied push into Europe that eventually led to the end of the conflict.

“O Lord, give us Faith,” the prayer reads in part. “Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade.” It concludes: “Thy will be done, Almighty God.” …. Read this in full at

Being a good Christian demands concrete action and deeds, Pope Francis said.

And, he said, the “how-to” manual is found in the beatitudes and the Last Judgment, which spells out the consequences awaiting those who fail to help others in need.

Jesus offers a guide to life that is “so simple, but very difficult,” the pope said June 9 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives…. Read this in full at

The BBC and other broadcasters have an “allergy” to religion and regard it as an eccentricity that is best ignored, according to Ed Stourton.

The presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme said the British media’s “blind spot” had led to a “catastrophic misreading of events” in the Middle East and other regions where religion plays a crucial role in political life.

“In the aftermath of the revolution in Egypt, for example, we listened to the secular liberals in Cairo, and were completely caught by surprise by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“No honest journalist can look at what is happening in the Middle East – in Syria and Iraq, for example – without conceding that we have repeatedly underestimated the importance of religion in the region,” he told Radio Times…. Read this in full at

Denmark’s parliament voted by a large majority through a new law on same-sex marriage, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages…. Read this in full at

by Catesby Leigh
In prehistoric times, when people wanted to commemorate something or someone, they erected a monument—even if it was nothing more than an upright slab or heap of stones. Elaborating on those origins, traditional architecture would come to embrace an array of monumental forms readily recognizable for their symbolic import. As a result, the Washington Monument is an obelisk, the nearby Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials are temples, Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a modernist rendition of a triumphal arch and Felix de Weldon’s Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., a realist sculptural composition. All mine the monumental vein in one way or another.

But more recently we have seen a remarkable shift from the vertical to the horizontal, with a significant number of major memorials designed as places rather than objects. They are symptomatic of a civic-art disease: memorial sprawl. Memorials are now sprawling both physically and conceptually—and becoming unnecessarily expensive in the bargain…. Read this in full at

“If we are to follow Christ, it must be in our common way of spending every day.”
– William Law (1686-1761)

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
– Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Words: Martin Luther, 1524
Music: 15th Century melody

Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!
Be all Thy graces now outpoured
On each believer’s mind and heart;
Thy fervent love to them impart.
Lord, by the brightness of Thy light
Thou in the faith dost men unite
Of every land and every tongue;
This to Thy praise, O Lord, our God, be sung.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Thou holy Light, Guide divine,
Oh, cause the Word of Life to shine!
Teach us to know our God aright
And call Him Father with delight.
From every error keep us free;
Let none but Christ our Master be
That we in living faith abide,
In Him, our Lord, with all our might confide.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Thou holy Fire, Comfort true,
Grant us the will Thy work to do
And in Thy service to abide;
Let trials turn us not aside.
Lord, by Thy power prepare each heart
And to our weakness strength impart
That bravely here we may contend,
Through life and death to Thee, our Lord, ascend.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

>from NetHymnal at

“Prayer is not so much the means whereby God’s will is bent to man’s desires, as it is that whereby man’s will is bent to God’s desires… The real end of prayer is not so much to get this or that single desire granted, as to put human life into full and joyful conformity with the will of God.”
– Charles H. Brent (1862-1929), With God in the World [1899], London: Longmans Green, 1914, p. 29-30


Aired – 6/13/2014 – 10:00PM central
Scripture does not mention an “order of worship”. The ‘order of worship’ is a result of man’s imagination and tradition. Instead of a list of commandments (or orders) God has given principles to guide us so that our assemblies may accomplish their intended purpose (Eph.4). Following these principles also preserves order, decency, and peace.

The assembly should be a place of freedom where each individual may contribute and where spontaneity and creativity are not quenched. It is a meeting of loved ones, of family, each there to help the other. The assembly is made up of lively stones not dead wood. We should not assemble solely to receive, but also to give. Do your present assemblies provide such opportunities?

Why not?

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 the church guys 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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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.)

Of course talk is cheap – supply far exceeds demand. 
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 at 6459 S. Campbell Ave. Chicago, IL 60629.
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