CONNECTIONS News – 07/20/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of July 20, 2014
Issue 520

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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Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
– James 1:21

“Forgiveness is a stunning principle: your ticket out of hate and fear and chaos.”
– Barbara Johnson

The feelings that members of America’s religious groups have about one another run from warm to neutral to cold, but some of the chilliest attitudes found in a new Pew Research Center survey were between evangelicals and atheists.

Pew Research asked Americans to rate eight religious groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 to 100, with higher numbers indicating warmer, more positive feelings and lower numbers indicating colder, more negative feelings. On average, Catholics give atheists a rating of 38, and Protestants give them a frosty 32 – lower than either group’s ratings for Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Mormons or Muslims. White evangelical Protestants express particularly cold feelings toward atheists, with an average thermometer reading of 25…. Read this in full at

Andy Stanley’s many books and preaching style demonstrate his passion for reaching unchurched people. The founder and senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, aims not only to effectively and engagingly communicate the gospel to an audience with wide-ranging beliefs and backgrounds (31,000 people attend North Point’s five campuses any given Sunday) but also to help other preachers do the same.

Stanley talked with CT assistant online editor Kevin P. Emmert about the best ways preachers can communicate the gospel to unchurched and biblically-illiterate people in their congregations…. Read this in full at

by Jack Wellman
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble and so what are some of the best Bible verses on humility? What verses would you include?

The world defines humility as a lowering of oneself in relation to others, a state or the act of being humble, a freedom of pride and arrogance, and having a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own worth. It is not groveling in front of others, being a doormat, or is a sign of weakness. Moses was said to be the meekest man on earth (Numb 12:3) but meekness is not weakness but it’s actually strength that is under control. The fact is that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). The word James uses for “opposes” is the Greek word “antitasso” which means “to range in battle against” so we could put James 4:6 like this; “God is in battle against the proud but gives grace to the humble.” The fact is that until a person humbles themselves they can never receive the grace of God which is a gift that He only gives to those who are of a humble and contrite nature. Isaiah testified of this by writing “this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (66:2) and that “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (57:15). So we see that it is in the person’s best interest to humble themselves, otherwise God is at war with them and He will not “revive” their heart or will not even look upon them. I could put it this way; we are not who we think we are…what we think, we are! …. Read this in full at

The Bible devotes 50 chapters to the tabernacle, the portable tent complex that God instructed Moses to build and transport when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness in their escape from slavery in Egypt. It was meant to reassure the 12 tribes of Israel of God’s presence.

While the original tabernacle existed thousands of years ago, it’s being recreated today in a mobile life-size exhibit. Bible Gateway interviewed Jeanne Whittaker, founder and guardian of The Tabernacle Experience…. Read this in full at

by Kimberly Amici
My seven-year-old boy loves sports. So far, he has played soccer, baseball, football, floor hockey, lacrosse, and basketball. When I ask him which one is his favorite, he has a tough time choosing. While the sports he plays will change from season to season, I hope the one thing that will remain the same is his good sportsmanship.

“Sportsmanship is the ability to win without bragging, lose without complaining, and play while respecting others.”

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul frequently used athletic competition as a metaphor for the challenges of the Christian life. You can also find fundamentals of good sportsmanship weaved throughout Scripture, all of which can be applied both on and off the playing field.

Here are just a few of the things the Bible says about good sportsmanship…. Read this in full at

Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation around the world, has announced plans to support new translation efforts in Benin, a West African nation known as the birthplace of voodoo.

Located between Nigeria and Togo, and bordered on the north by Niger and Burkina Faso, Benin is roughly the size of Pennsylvania, with a population of more than 10 million. About half of the country’s population practices voodoo.

“Brand-new research from our partners in Benin has uncovered an amazing need in this lost nation, and it is greater than we ever anticipated.” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates…. Read this in full at

Ronald F. Youngblood, one of the original translators of the NIV Bible, passed away recently, shortly after being diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was 83. He turned a childhood passion for the Bible into a lifetime of making sure that everyone, even the smallest child, can read and understand God’s Word.

Ron Youngblood had the heart of a Bible translator from an early age. After he accepted Christ when he was 8 years old, his pastor encouraged him to read the gospel of John. “When I arrived at John 3:3,” he later recalled, “I asked my pastor if I was really a Christian.”

In the 1611 King James Version, this passage reads, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I’m just a kid. What about me? wondered 8-year-old Ron. What seemed perfectly clear in 1611 wasn’t so obvious to a third grader trying to learn about God more than 300 years later. Ron had to ask his pastor, “Could women and boys and girls be saved as well as men?” …. Read this in full at

An Arkansas Baptist church plant, led by a pastor who could pass for a cast member on the hit reality show “Duck Dynasty,” is seeking to reach people for Jesus Christ by appealing to their love of hunting and fishing.

A 2011 survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service reported 1.3 million people hunted, fished or participated in wildlife watching in 2011 -– spending nearly $2 billion on wildlife recreation in Arkansas.

The 1.3 million individuals mentioned in the survey included both residents of Arkansas and non-residents, with the vast majority being residents of the state.

All of these statistics point out that in Arkansas –- a mostly rural state with a population of just under 3 million -– easily more than half of the state’s population either hunts, fishes or spends time participating in wildlife-related activities…. Read this in full at

What does it take to be a good dad? As it turns out, many want to know, but only one man tackles the topic in such a unique way that we chatted with him live and posed your questions from social media.

Faithgateway interviewed Jim Daly, the “head guy” at Focus on the Family and author of the new release, The Good Dad. Not only did Jim have a wealth of information to share from his role hosting Focus on the Family’s daily radio how, but he was quite candid in sharing examples from his own upbringing. After all, Jim says, “Want to know how important fathers are? Ask the guy who didn’t have one.”

The father of two boys himself, Jim invites the audience into his childhood where he spent most of his childhood without a loving father, or any father at all for that matter. The good news in all this? Jim lets dads everywhere know “it’s never too late to become the father you were meant to be” …. See this chat in full at

by Chandler Vannoy
What is God’s will for your life?

This question tends to haunt us while we go through our college years. We struggle through it by choosing our major, deciding where we will spend our summer, figuring out where to go to grad school, and so many other decisions.

If you are like me, anxiety creeps up on you every time you think about your future plans.

But why do we get so anxious? For me, I start thinking about how I have one opportunity at every decision I make, and when I choose one path, I am saying no to another. But how do I know the path I choose is the right one? …. Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
For 17-18 years your children have lived under your roof and hopefully have lived by the rules of your family. Then, they head off to college with all the freedom in the world (even at Christian colleges). When they come back for breaks or the holidays, what then? What household or family rules now apply?

Healthy parents want their children to learn to live independently. However, when they return home, we often treat them as the children we raised, rather than the adults they are becoming.

Even if you’re a long way from that time of life or your past it and are empty-nesters yourself, read this blog and if you agree, forward it to a friend or relative about to face these decisions.

Unfortunately, the Bible gives very little specific directions about these issues. The following are ideas my wife, Susan and I learned by painful trial and error after raising six college students of our own…. Read this in full at

by Barnabas Piper
It’s not easy to make sense of scripture. Parts of it are downright weird or even horrific. The story of Judah and Tamar, God’s interaction with Hosea and Gomer, and any story using the phrase “devoted to destruction” come to mind. They are the stories you don’t see in children’s Bible story books, or if they are included it is with some serious sanitation and airbrushing (a Thomas Kinkade version of reality, so to speak).

Those passages get ignored because they gross us out or break our fragile understanding of God. But there are other portions of scripture we ignore in an entirely different way – commands that are uncomfortable or nigh impossible to follow. It is so easy to willfully overlook them, much easier than learning how to reconcile them to my life and God’s reality.

Love your enemies.

Forgive 70 x 7 times (that means ALL of the times).

Bless those who curse you and pray for those who persecute you…. Read this in full at

Lights flicker on the bedroom ceiling, signaling to Matthew Davis that someone is at the door. It’s Monday — his friends have come to learn a new Bible story.

Deaf students Ani Bi and Pola Garo greet Davis, rapidly signing and updating each other on happenings since they last met. It’s been only a little over five months since Davis arrived in South Asia, but the three young men have become close friends.

Like Bi and Garo, Davis is also a Deaf student. He can sign with them, using signs he’s learned from their language. They head to Davis’s dimly lit sitting area where they gather every week…. Read this in full at @baptistpress

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her name plate that the teller’s name is Patricia Whack. So, he says, “Ms. Whack, I’d like to get a loan to buy a boat and go on a long vacation.”

Patti looks at the frog in disbelief and asks how much he wants to borrow. The frog says, “$30,000.”

The teller asks his name and the frog says that his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it is okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patti explains that $30,000 is a substantial amount of money and that he will need to secure some collateral against the loan. She asks if he has anything he can use as collateral. The frog says, “Sure, I have this,” and produces a tiny pink porcelain elephant, about half an inch tall. Bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patti explains that she’ll have to consult with the manager and disappears into a back office. She finds the manager and says, “There is a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000. And he wants to use this as collateral.” She holds up the tiny pink elephant. “I mean, what IS this?”

The bank manager looks back at her and says, “It’s a knick knack, Patti Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man’s a rolling stone.”

I’m not ashamed of the gospel: it is God’s own power for salvation to all who have faith in God, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
– Romans 1:16

“The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.”
– D. L. Moody

Andy Davis’ office has two of four walls filled with books. Most of them — Bible commentaries, books on counseling and church history and more — nearly stretch from floor to ceiling.

But Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, NC, will tell you there is one book that has captured his heart; it is the Bible. And his desire to know God’s Word has led him to memorize 35 of its books.

He noted he’s never claimed to have been able to recite in detail each of the 35 books he has memorized. “There is a limit to memorization,” said Davis, who is currently working to memorize book 36: Zephaniah.

“But what I really want to know is,” he said, “‘Why are you memorizing?’ The goal should be: life transformation by comprehension of God’s perfect Word.” …. Read this in full at

The Old Testament book of Job can be mysterious, exhausting, and frustrating. Yet, for millennia, readers have also drawn comfort and hope from the story of Job’s extreme suffering.

Bible Gateway interviewed Rev. Christopher Ash about his book, Job: The Wisdom of the Cross (Crossway, 2014).

Q: Why do you say the book of Job is not fundamentally about suffering?

Rev. Ash: Like every Bible book, Job is most deeply a book about God and specifically about Jesus Christ, the righteous man who suffers unjustly and is finally vindicated by his Father. It is a mistake to think the book speaks simply to human suffering as a universal experience; for the central character who suffers is very far from a typical or universal human being; he is conspicuously great, exceptionally upright, and definitively righteous. Job in his extremeness foreshadows Jesus in his uniqueness….. Read this in full at

by Len Wilson
When everything is a good idea, nothing is a good idea. You must choose which things are most important.

That’s a tweet I shot off the other day. Us idea people have to be careful. We can be like the dog from “Up”: Walking along, eating our bone, then all of a sudden — “Squirrel!” The allure of the new thing annihilates the good thing we already had. In dogs, a constant attraction for new things can be mildly annoying. In life, it can be disastrous. Without sufficient commitment and follow through, good ideas are beautiful drives we keep firing off the first tee, without developing the wedge or putting skills necessary to sink the ball in the hole.

The same results happen in our organizations and in our personal life. In organizations, staff get jerked around from emergency to emergency. In life, we jump from interesting hobby to interesting hobby. In neither place do we experience much traction or progress — just a never ending tyranny of tasks…. Read this in full at

by Alan Rappeport
The evangelical Christian family that owns Hobby Lobby, the chain of craft stores, made history two weeks ago when the Supreme Court overturned the Obama administration’s mandate that family-owned companies must provide contraceptive coverage to their employees.

Now, the family is looking to build a permanent presence on the Washington landscape, by establishing a sprawling museum dedicated to the Bible – just two blocks south of the National Mall.

The development of a Bible museum has long been a dream of the Oklahoma-based Green family, which has built Hobby Lobby into a $3 billion company in which its Christian beliefs infuse every aspect of the business, from the music played in its stores to being closed on Sundays…. Read this in full at

by Joseph L. Price
More than half of Americans believe that divine forces play a role in the outcome of sporting events (according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute conducted prior to this year’s Super Bowl).

American sports fans are not alone in seeking God’s help. Shortly before the World Cup soccer competition began in Brazil, the Church of England issued a news release authorizing several prayers related to the games. For this year’s World Cup, the Bishop of Leeds, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, who is described as a “die-hard Liverpool fan,” revised the set of prayers ecclesiastically embraced four years earlier for the World Cup events in South Africa…. Read this in full at

by Bill Federer
In colonial America, Bibles had to be imported from Britain as the British government strictly regulated their printing.

It was illegal to print Bibles in the English language without a license from the King.

Licenses were only granted to Oxford and Cambridge University presses and a printer in Scotland.

The Revolutionary War interrupted trade with the King’s authorized printers in Britain resulting in shortages of the King James Authorized Version, which was used by clergy, courts of justice and in education…. Read this in full at—.html?soid=1108762609255&aid=kMnnepWETaE

by Tim Challies
I have written about envy before and have referred to it as “the lost sin.” Envy is a sin I am prone to, though I feel like it is one of those sins I have battled hard against and, as I’ve battled, experienced a lot of God’s grace. It is not nearly as prevalent in my life as it once was. Recently, though, I felt it threatening to rear its ugly head again and spent a bit of time reflecting on it. Here are three brief observations about envy…. Read this in full at

~ Intense: Where campers sleep
~ Kinship: Your brother’s boat
~ Jury: Twelve people who determine which client has the best lawyer
~ Laughing stock: Cattle with a sense of humor.
~ Laundress: A gown worn while sitting on the grass
~ Left Bank: What the robber did when his bag was full of loot
~ Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
~ Midget: Center engine of a three-engine fast plane
~ Minimum: A very small mother
~ Misty: How golfers create divots
~ Multitasking: Screwing up several things at once
~ Nitrate: Cheapest price for calling long distance
~ Observatory: What George Washington asked his spies to do
~ Pandemonium: A housing development for pandas
~ Paradise: Ivory cubes used in craps and backgammon
~ Paradox: Two physicians
~ Paraffins: Found on the sides of fish
~ Paralyze: Two untruths
~ Parasites: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower
~ Pharmacist: A helper on the farm
~ Polynesia: Memory loss in parrots
~ Praise: Letting off esteem
~ Primate: Removing your spouse from in front of the TV
~ Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy
~ Rampage: Section of a book about male sheep
~ Relief: What trees do in the spring
~ Sarcasm: Quip lash
~ Selfish: What the owner of a seafood store does
~ Sesame: A seed useful for opening caves
~ Sherbet: A tip on a horse race or sporting event
~ Shin: A device for finding furniture in the dark
~ Skier: A person who jumps to contusions
~ Sleet: A slipcover
~ Stirrup: What you do with cake batter
~ Subdued: Like, a guy who, like, works on one of those, like, submarines, man
~ Subsidy: A town underneath another town
~ Suburbia: where they tear out the trees and then name streets after them
~ Sudafed: Brought litigation against a government official
~ Sweater: A garment worn by a child when the mother feels chilly
~ Taxes: Of life’s two certainties, the only one for which you can get an extension
~ Teenager: An adolescent whose hang-ups do not include his clothes
~ Teenagers: People who express their desire to be different by dressing alike
~ Tenure: A year after nineure
~ Thesaurus: Ancient reptile with an excellent vocabulary
~ Thursday: How you feel crossing the desert on a hot day
~ Trapeziod: A device for catching zoids
~ Unabated: A fishhook without a worm
~ Valorous: A big animal vit tusks vot lives in vater
~ Vanguard: A person who protects trucks
~ Violinist: A high-strung musician
~ Warehouse: What you ask when you are lost
~ Wholesale: Where a gopher goes to buy a home

by Joe Palazzolo
At a recent meeting of the Osceola County, Fla., board of commissioners, many attendees bowed their heads in silence as they listened to an invocation delivered by an atheist.

“Habit, I guess,” says David Williamson of Central Florida Freethought Community, who, in lieu of calling on the almighty, invoked the spirit of goodwill during his roughly one-minute speech.

Mr. Williamson, the first nonbeliever invited to perform the county ritual, is among a handful of atheists around the country who have given or are scheduled to give invocations before local-government meetings. The speeches have championed self-government, the human condition, intellectual openness and minority viewpoints.

At the same time, several town boards that had done away with prayers that include references to specific faiths are trying to revive them…. Read this in full at

“The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.”
– St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Enarr. in Ps. xc, sermon 2

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
– John 15:10

Words: Isaac Watts, 1707; Ralph E. Hudson wrote the refrain in 1885
Music: Hugh Wilson, 1800

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away
’Tis all that I can do.

>from NetHymnal at

“We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.”
– Andrew Murray

Aired 7/18/2014 @ 10:00pm CENTRAL
I cannot accept the idea that God gave us a mind without the freedom and responsibility to use it. Organized religion has demonstrated through the ages that it is opposed to independent thought. The man-made and man-managed religions only allow the freedom to follow tradition. Even religious movements established upon the principles of religious freedom soon established rules to limit or completely destroy independent thought.
Religious tradition limits free expression of ideas. To receive the blessing of the church – and salvation itself – we must stay within the box. Thinking outside the box is prohibited. This religious box – centered on the church building – defines practically all of modern day Christianity. Spiritual growth is stifled in such an atmosphere.
Is there a way out?

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.)

We child proofed our home – but they’re still getting in. 
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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