CONNECTIONS News – 07/06/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of July 6, 2014
Issue 518

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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Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other.
– Matthew 7:13-14

“I choose gentleness. Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”
– Max Lucado

A recent Gallup poll on Americans’ views of the Bible got fairly broad media attention, though it wasn’t entirely clear what made the poll newsworthy. Was it that “Most Americans see the Bible as the Word of God”? Hard to see the news there—that’s been true for as long as Gallup has been asking the question, and it remains true of 75% of the country.

But New York Times columnist Charles Blow still said he was “shocked and fascinated” by the religious literalism found by the poll. “What worries me is that some Americans seem to live in a world where facts can’t exist,” he wrote.

Others noted the poll’s uptick in those who say, “The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.” The 21% of Americans who agreed with the statement is up from 17% in 2011, but matches the number from 2008 (and all of that falls within the poll’s 4% margin of error).

“The 21% viewing the Bible in secular terms nearly matches the combined 22% who identify with another religion or no religion,” the Gallup release said. But further down, in discussing a new way the polling firm is starting to ask its Bible questions, it noted that only half of non-Christians agreed with the description of the Bible as “an ancient book of fables.” …. Read this in full at

by Sam O’Neal
Many of us have relied on websites and other electronic resources as the primary tools for our quick-reference experiences with God’s Word. And in the past decade, no electronic resource has been more reliable or useful for our quick-reference needs than

Now that I’ve had a chance to explore the relaunched BibleGateway experience, I’m happy to announce that the premier Bible website has become even better. In fact, I won’t be surprised if the new features on convince many people to use it as their “go to” Bible study resource.

BibleGateway has always been a quick and reliable source for engaging the Bible. The search feature has been top notch for years, and it remains so in the new website. The ability to quickly cycle through multiple versions and translations has been a wonderful tool, and it remains so.

In short, everything you’ve always appreciated about BibleGateway will remain at your service, including a number of features you may not have been aware existed — features such as: …. Read this in full at

by John Strubel
Tim Howard is hard to miss. After all, he’s a 6-3, 210-pound goalkeeper who became the face of the US men’s national soccer team prior to this summer’s FIFA World Cup. He sports a full, dark beard, menacing brown eyes, a shaved head and – perhaps not as noticeable for those unfamiliar with him – an upper body teeming with tattoos.

Howard’s first ink came when he was 16, a Superman symbol branded on his right biceps. Since then, he’s added so many tattoos now blanketing his torso and arms that he’s literally lost count. Let’s just say that, over the past few years, his frame has become a work of art.

Yes, Timothy Matthew Howard is comfortable in his own skin. But that hasn’t always been the case…. Read this in full at

by Tim Howard
Having spent the first ten years of my life with an undiagnosed case of Tourette Syndrome — a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable physical and verbal tics — I did not experience a lot of peace. Yet even though my life often felt chaotic, I knew I could always count on one person to provide calm and stability — my grandmother.

Nana’s sense of peace was powerful because it came from her faith in the Lord. Through her, God revealed His love for me as well. It wasn’t long before I followed in her footsteps. I wanted the same kind of faith and peace she had, and that is exactly what God gave me…. Read this in full at

by Kristen Eicher
The Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition teamed up with the Family Research Council to deliver a petition with 105,000 signatures to the Air Force Academy seeking the restoration of First Amendment freedoms, particularly religious liberty, to cadets at the Colorado Springs school.

Religious freedom and the First Amendment have been a source of conflict at the academy in recent years. In 2011, administrators issued an apology for an email regarding the Operation Christmas Child outreach of Samaritan’s Purse to send holiday gifts to impoverished children around the world.

Most recently, in March of this year, a cadet leader voluntarily removed a Bible verse from the whiteboard on his dorm room door after someone complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. The verse, Galatians 2:20 reads, “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” …. Read this in full at

by Tyler Huckabee
“After we’re done here, we’re gonna hold a little Bible Study.”

The man talking is Kelsey. He’s a good friend, a firefighter, and, at the moment, a personal trainer at my new gym. He’s also, apparently, a Bible study leader.

I haven’t been a member at the gym for an hour yet. I’m standing with about two dozen other members, all of us just finished with a morning workout. We’re heaving. Our hands rest on our shaky knees. Our excess clothing has been cast into sweaty piles around the gym. And our trainer is asking us to partake in a Bible study. I wouldn’t have been more surprised if he’d asked us to do a jig.

I’m skeptical, and I try to figure out why. I’m a Christian, after all. I go to Bible studies. I just don’t usually mix them with exercise…. Read this in full at

Football is a snap to Clint Gresham. Overcoming doubt takes time.

Blessed with the gift of handling a specialized job in the National Football League, the Seattle Seahawks’ long snapper admits he struggled with uncertainty early in his career. That was until he found peace and solidified his faith.

Gresham, a Christian leader and Super Bowl XLVIII champion, follows Xs and Os during the season, but his preferred playbook is the Bible.

Here’s why:

“I struggled with a lot of insecurity as a young person and I really carried that into my walk with God,” Gresham told his audience during a recent talk in Kent. “I brought this insecurity and this lack of understanding of who I was in Christ into my relationship with God but into my career on the football field. Because I had this insecurity and this doubt, I struggled with the fear of man.” …. Read this in full at

by Heather Adams
Defensive lineman Israel Idonije was recently released from the Chicago Bears and, as a free agent, he isn’t sure what the future holds. But when he’s not on the gridiron, the Nigerian-born Idonije has another page in his playbook.

Idonije has a side business, Blessed Communion, that sells pre-filled Communion cups to churches.

“It’s not about how many people I tackle each day. It’s not about how many hundreds of millions cups we sell at the end of the day. It’s about the platform,” Idonije said. “With that platform, ultimately, what are we doing to make our world better? What are we doing to impact the communities that we live in?” …. Read this in full at

America may have been one of the last to embrace the sport, but this year’s record-breaking viewership of the World Cup is proof enough: Soccer/football has found a place among America’s favorite obsessions.

Each of the three US team’s matches in the 2014 World Cup have shattered American viewing records. The second game—a Sunday primetime match against Portugal—brought in the most, with 18.22 million on ESPN and an additional 6.5 million viewers on the Spanish language channel, Univision. While that 24.7 million is still far short of the 111.5 million who watched the 2014 Super Bowl, it does beat out viewership for last year’s NBA finals (15.5 million) and the World Series (14.9 million). Nothing draws an American (or global) crowd quite like sports. But is that a good thing? Have sports become too important? And what about the constant controversies surrounding the industry, from concussions to salaries to ongoing prejudice? In a new Barna study, we look at American’s views on this favorite of pastimes…. Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
Many of the men I mentor were raised by legalistic parents or in a legalistic church. While they believe legalism isn’t spiritually healthy, they’re often clueless as to how to teach their own children to live Christ-like lives, without rules.

The first thing I tell them is this; you can’t raise children or spiritually mature adults, without teaching them that there are rules for Christian living! Isn’t that legalism? I don’t think so. Legalism is a form of Christianity that adds extra-biblical, man-made rules, to God’s laws.

So, here are some ideas to teach your children or those you mentor, to organize their thinking about these issues. All Christian thoughts, and moral or ethical teachings fall into one of these three general categories:…. Read this in full at

While many religious leaders have been vocal about abortion, same sex marriage and other social concerns, they have remained fairly quiet on one major issue: domestic violence.

According to a survey from LifeWay Research which interviewed 1,000 senior pastors of Protestant churches in the US, pastors rarely include the topics of domestic and sexual violence in their sermons…. Read this in full at

by Kate Shellnutt
Meet the millennials. They are 33 and younger. They are all on Twitter. And they are bringing innovation to the wide-ranging work of the kingdom. Behold, they are doing a new thing.

Ever since Paul began training Timothy in the faith, every generation has had to look to the next to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. Today, as American Christianity faces declining affiliation, intense public debates over religious freedom, changes in the family structure, and technological advances, millennial Christians have already picked up the baton.

For this story, CT set out to find young believers who we think are leading today’s church in key ways—and who embody what it will look like in the years to come. We consulted ministry leaders, highly connected social media mavens, and millennials themselves to create the following list of 33 Christians 33 and younger to watch. The age cutoff corresponds with the start of the millennial generation in 1980…. Read this in full at

The Barna Group, in partnership with American Bible Society, just released its annual “State of the Bible” study.

“Not only are Millennials more likely to be skeptical toward Scripture, they are also less likely to read the Bible (39% say they never read the Bible, compared to 26% of all adults), less likely to own a Bible (80% compared to 88%) and less likely to believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life (35% compared to 50%). Given the increase in Millennials who don’t believe the Bible is sacred and the decrease in Bible awareness among Millennials, Bible skepticism will likely continue to rise in the next five years,” says Barna…. Read this in full at

by J. Mark Bertrand
Adam Lewis Greene made history over the weekend by launching a Kickstarter project to fund a beautifully designed four-volume edition of the Bible optimized for reading. I backed the project before I’d even watched the video (below), having been tipped off by Crossway’s creative director Josh Dennis. In a little over 24 hours, the project, Bibliotheca, had reached its $37,000 funding goal, and as of this writing (Sunday night) it’s hovering at just over $54,000. If anyone in Bible publishing still thinks there’s no demand for reader-friendly, novel-formatted Bibles in multiple volumes to allow for opaque paper, well … this is the wakeup call.

When I first imagined writing this post the support level was still just a few thousand dollars and I was planning to end with a plea: “Let’s make this happen!” I had no idea just how quickly Adam’s project would go viral. Now it’s going to happen, the only question is on what scale. The more money he raises, the more ambitious the project can become. If you have any doubts, take a look: …. Read this in full at

by Michael L. Johnson
The reason I advocate for physical books isn’t that I think e-books are wrong, or in any way harmful. It’s just that technology isn’t a zero-sum game. Sometimes the best technology for the job isn’t the new one, it’s the old one. Smart phones make the Bible text readily available in the most unlikely places, and that’s a good thing. But if I have a choice, and have the option of reading from a well-designed physical book, that’s what I’ll do.

They call it The Bertrand Effect. When J. Mark Bertrand writes a review for his BibleDesignBlog about various Bible editions or even proposing suggestions for improvements, his loyal readers aren’t the only ones impacted by The Bertrand Effect. Bible publishers also sit up and take notice.

Since BibleDesignBlog’s humble beginnings in 2007, Mr. Bertrand has become Bible publishing’s most influential person. At least that’s what I was going to assert.

Corresponding with some people in the Bible publishing industry for this post, a recognized veteran in the field who has a deep appreciation for Mr. Bertrand’s work, kindly disagreed. Bertrand isn’t Bible publishing’s most influential person. Instead, he’s Bible production’s most interesting person.

Semantics aside, The Bertrand Effect is clearly felt, from the Bible publishing world (and related entities) to the consumer…. Read this in full at

by Mark Wingfield
Have you heard the story about a time long, long ago, in a faraway place, when adults gathered for Bible study and everyone in the class studied the same thing at the same time and learned the same way?

Yeah, that day is gone – if it ever really existed.

It turns out that just because you gather people in a room and call it Bible study, they don’t all “get it” in the same way. We now know a lot more about learning styles, teaching styles, personality types and every other aspect of how adults learn.

It’s impossible to keep up with all the research on learning, but one thing is clear: it can be overwhelming to try to please every student. Whatever approach a teacher takes, he or she inevitably risks alienating others who have a different learning style.

As someone who has taught adult Bible study groups for about 30 years, I’d like to suggest a simpler way to think about adult learning styles. Here are four types of adult learners that I’ve found in church small groups: …. Read this in full at

The LORD God is my strength. He will set my feet like the deer. He will let me walk upon the heights.
– Habakkuk 3:19

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
– C. S. Lewis

by Shane Raynor
Is truth in trouble? What does the culture say about truth and why does the church seem to be so confused about it? How should we balance truth and grace?

Shane Raynor interviews Rob Renfroe, president of Good News, a national organization committed to the doctrinal integrity and spiritual renewal of the United Methodist Church. Rob is the author of The Trouble with the Truth…. Listen to this podcast in full at

by Andy Rau
Ramadan has begun! For the next several weeks, millions of Muslims around the world will be fasting, praying, and reflecting on their moral responsibilities as followers of Allah.

Why should Christians spend time thinking about a Muslim holy season? Well, at the very least, it’s neighborly to be aware of any event that commands the attention of so many people (23% of the world’s population!). But more to the point, Christians are called to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world, and that means loving and seeking to understand our Muslim neighbors. (Consider how the apostle Paul’s presentation of the gospel in Athens reflected his understanding of his audience’s spiritual beliefs and questions.)…. Read this in full at

A diverse coalition of church and synagogue leaders has penned a letter to congressional leaders asking them to renew support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Citing the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and other leaders from around the country expressed concern that the 1993 law guaranteeing religious rights from overt government intrusion may soon come under attack because of its role in the June 30 landmark case.

In the letter addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R.-Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D.-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R.-Ky., the signatories asked congressional leaders to stand firm against efforts to “amend or repeal RFRA, one of our nation’s most vital legal protections for the religious freedom and rights of conscience of every person of every faith.” …. Read this in full at

by Elizabeth Dias
Hillary Clinton once described her faith as the background music of her life. Whether she hears it as Chopin, Bach or even U2, she did not say, but the tune, she said, never fades away. “It’s there all the time. It’s not something you have to think about, you believe it,” she said in an interview with the New York Times. “You have a faith center out of which the rest flows.”

It can be easy to tune out background music, especially amid the political cacophony that has so often dominated Clinton’s public life. But the former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady is, and has always been, a Methodist. Her faith is at once public yet personal, quiet yet bold. She is part of the second-largest Protestant group in the country, but her brand of faith has never been mainstream: Methodists make up about 6% of the total U.S. adult population, according to the Pew Research Center…. Read this in full at

by Chris Hall
You may think that the church is having a hard time in the Middle East and North Africa, as it struggles with the rise of armed fundamentalist militias, government crackdowns and civil war. You would be right, but that is only half the story.

According to Martin Accad, director of the Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES) at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) in Lebanon, this is one of the most exciting times for the church in the Middle East for years…. Read this in full at

by Gary Lane
The advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has left few safe havens for Iraq’s Christians. Many have found protection in Iraqi Kurdistan and help from American believers.

When CBN News learned that many fleeing Christians found refuge in the northern Ninevah town of Alqosh, we traveled to the ancient Christian community to meet them.

Alqosh is mentioned in the Bible — it was the hometown of the Old Testament prophet Nahum. Today, it’s exclusively Christian; no Muslims are allowed to live in Alqosh.

Radi Yusef and his son had arrived in Alquosh just two hours earlier from Qaraqosh, near Mosul…. Read this in full at—–/

“An atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman.”

Before the mountains were born, before you birthed the earth and the inhabited world — from forever in the past to forever in the future, you are God; because in your perspective a thousand years are like yesterday past, like a short period during the night watch.
– Psalm 90:2,4

Words: John Fawcett, 1782
Music: Lowell Mason, 1830

Afflicted saint, to Christ draw near—
Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear,
His faithful Word declares to thee,
That as thy days thy strength shall be.

Let not thy heart despond and say
“How shall I stand the trying day?”
He has engaged by firm decree,
That as thy days thy strength shall be.

Thy faith is weak, thy foes are strong,
And if the conflict should be long,
The Lord will make the tempter flee,
For as thy days thy strength shall be.

Should persecution rage and flame,
Still trust in thy Redeemer’s Name;
In fiery trials thou shalt see,
That as thy days thy strength shall be.

When called to bear thy weighty cross,
Or sore affliction, pain, or loss,
Or deep distress or poverty,
Still as thy days thy strength shall be.

>from NetHymnal at

“Prayer gives a man the opportunity of getting to know a gentleman he hardly ever meets. I do not mean his maker, but himself.”
– William Inge

* Rebroadcast* RECOGNIZING FALSE PROPHETS * Rebroadcast*
Aired July 4, 2014 @ 10:00PM central

*Rebroadcast Call-in lines are not available*
False prophets are all over the landscape today, and they are a sign of the times pointing to the soon return of Jesus.
Let’s discuss a few ways of recognizing a false prophet
*Rebroadcast Call-in lines are not available*

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.

The Complete Gift Solution

Books, Music & More!

Get your domain here!

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

This Young Family Decided to Spend Life Traveling The Country In An Airstream

How much sugar is in that drink?

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.)

A will is a dead giveaway. 
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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