CONNECTIONS News – 08/31/2014

Connecting man to man to God
For week of August 31, 2014
Issue 526

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.

Today’s issue is going out to over 2,169 weekly subscribers. Thank you in advance for forwarding this issue to friends, family and associates! To have a friend start their own Free subscription to CONNECTIONS, please have them visit:

But, the one who brags should brag in the Lord. It isn’t the person who promotes himself or herself who is approved but the person whom the Lord commends.
– 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 CEB

He who has the Holy Spirit in his heart and the Scripture in his hands has all he needs.”
– Alexander MacLaren

The majority of Bible Gateway users responding to an online survey say they wish they knew more about the Bible than they currently do.

Readers of the Bible Gateway Blog were asked “How do you describe your personal knowledge of the Bible?,” to which more than 2,000 responded. Of that number, a total of 59% agreed with, “Wish I knew more.”

Almost a third of responders (28%) said they are “comfortably knowledgeable,” nearly a tenth (9%) called themselves “a Bible scholar,” and 4% said, “About all I know are some of the names of the books, but not in order.” …. Read this in full at

There are two kinds of Christians in America – those who watch porn and those who lie about it.

A new study by the Barna Group shows that 54% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women admitted to viewing pornography at least once a month, compared to 65% of men and 30% of women who identified as non-Christian and said they watched porn at the same rate.

Of the Christian men who did look at pornography, the majority did so several times per week.

Joel Hesch, president and founder of Proven Men Ministries, which commissioned the study, said the results point to a frightening pattern of addiction.

“It needs to be openly addressed in the church, a safe place within the church,” Mr. Hesch said. “[Pornography] is addicting. It is a problem not just affecting individuals, but families. The church needs to be the front-runner in this. Heaping guilt and shame on a person only leads them to escape into the things we’re trying to rescue them from.” …. Read this in full at

by Hollis Phelps
If you even nominally follow the world of evangelical Christianity, you already know that superstar pastor Mark Driscoll has stepped down for an indefinite period of time from his pastoral role at Mars Hill Church, the megachurch in Seattle that he co-founded. Even from an outsider’s perspective, Driscoll’s gradual fall from grace has been painful to watch.

Driscoll, of course, has always been controversial, which to his followers is part of his allure. But with the exception of his most stalwart defenders, recently his actions and overall persona have become almost impossible to defend. On Religion Dispatches, Becky Garrison recounted Driscoll’s misdeeds, from the charges of plagiarism, to his gaming of the New York Times Bestseller List, to his reputation as a hyper-masculine misogynist and homophobe with an authoritarian leadership style…. Read this in full at

by Adlen Robinson
In this third installment of the Forsyth County News series on resident Charles Payette’s Bible collection, readers will remember back to our first week when the Matthews Bible was profiled.

William Tyndale translated the Bible into English using the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts. That was the first time such a thing had been done for the entire Bible.

Tyndale primarily used Erasmus Desiderius’ translation of the Greek New Testament.

Erasmus was born in probably late 1466 to unmarried parents, but he was not an “accident” and indeed his name means “desired.”

His father was a priest. Though forbidden by church doctrine from marrying, many priests had wives or lived with the mother of their children…. Read this in full at

by Nicola Menzie
The American Bible Society’s’ stated mission is to engage people “with the life-changing message of God’s Word,” and the 200-year-old Christian nonprofit appears to be pulling out all the stops to stick to that mission. Its latest form of outreach is a new interactive “immersive experience” – a 3D game, dubbed “Dive In” that is supposed to turn players’ minds to the condition of their heart.

Dive In was unveiled less than a month ago outside of the American Bible Society’s New York City headquarters, not far from the heavily-trafficked Christopher Columbus Circle.

The game uses a 3D camera that incorporates gesture tracking. Once a player steps up to bat, their body movements are tracked and they can then control their avatar’s movements by leaning left or right, flapping their arms or waving as they swim through an imaginary water world…. Read this in full at

No struggle will come your way apart from God’s purpose, presence, and permission. What encouragement this brings! You are never the victim of nature or the prey of fate. Chance is eliminated. You are more than a weather vane whipped about by the winds of fortune.”
– Max Lucado (b. 1955), Come Thirsty: No Heart Too Dry for His Touch, Thomas Nelson Inc, 2004, p. 189

by Ron Edmondson
I believe, based on Scripture, that we can trust God not to say some things — especially in these days of grace.

Here are 25 things you’ll never hear God say:

Oh yea. I forgot about her.” #ThingsYoullNeverHearGodSay

Well I don’t know what to do now.”

I’m so worried.”

I just don’t understand him.” …. Read this in full at

by Michael Duduit
One of my favorite emails each day is called “Today I Found Out,” in which I often learn fascinating stuff I didn’t know before. The other day, it dealt with the miracle that is the ballpoint pen:

“Few people realize just how much technology, craftsmanship and effort goes into creating a single pen—probably because you can buy 30 of them for a few dollars, only to have them all disappear mysteriously within a week…. Read this in full at

by Katie Martin
Author Craig Gross is encouraging Christians to look at the viral “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” as an example of the Christian life.

Over the past several weeks, social media has been flooded with one of the most effective fund-raising campaigns of all time. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” encourages participants to dump buckets of freezing water on their heads to raise awareness for the debilitating condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It has become a national pastime to watch friends, family and favorite celebrities get wet in support of ALS research.

Participants are encouraged to donate $10 if they complete the challenge, or $100 if they don’t. In the past few weeks alone, the ALS Association has earned more than $88.5 million, a monstrous increase from their donations of about $2 million in the same period last year.

The ice-bucket challenge sets a great example to Christians of what a life of “going small” can look like. Often, Christians feel discouraged in their faith because they are told by culture they aren’t doing enough. In a world that champions the “biggest and the best,” many individuals feel they can’t do enough to actually make a difference…. Read this in full at

by Patrick Morley
On a recent January 1, I read the Creation account in Genesis 1 and said out loud, “Mystery abounds!” I then wrote Mystery abounds! at the bottom of the page.

Also, I decided to put the initials MA at the bottom of any page on which I found something that was mysterious, that seemed hard to understand, or that raised a question. Can you guess how many pages I initialed that year?

All of them.

Mystery, which is truth beyond human understanding, is built into the deal. God declares, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9, NIV)

We get this. We’ve all had to hold back information from someone we didn’t think could handle it.

Part of communion is trusting—and loving—the mystery of God. We must often squint at the beauty of God’s holiness through a thick veil of human limitation…. Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
was recently asked by a small group I was teaching, if the Bible had anything to say that would be helpful to understand how Christians should respond to the mass immigration of illegal children along our southern border.

Just in case you’ve been out of the loop, or are not a U.S. citizen here’s the issue; Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children (under 18 and as young as 6) are making their way to the U.S. from a number of Central American countries, specifically Honduras and Guatemala.  These are violent countries where parents fear for their children’s lives.  San Pedro Sula, Honduras has the highest murder rate of any city in the world.  So, parents are sending their children north, all alone, with the hope of living safely in the U.S. with relatives already here.  The trip is so dangerous, it’s estimated that only 60% ever arrive at the U.S. border, the rest give up, die, are kidnapped, sold into slavery into or the sex trade…. Read this in full at

by Preston Sprinkle
Religious people have been covering up obscene language in the Bible for years. Jewish scribes in the middle ages, who copied the Hebrew Old Testament used as the base for all English translations, edited out some vulgar words and replaced them with nicer ones.

The biblical prophets sometimes use offensive language, but not to produce shock for its own sake. Edginess was never the goal, and neither was some vague notion of Christian “freedom.” God’s messengers used vulgar images to shock their religious audience out of complacency. Because sometimes the goodness of God becomes lost in the fog of Christianese rhetoric and religious routine, and the only way to wake us up is to use provocative language…. Read this in full at

Rushing to work, I was driving too fast and as a result was pulled over by the highway patrol. The state trooper noticed that my shirt had the name of a local high school on it. “I teach math there,” I explained.

The trooper smiled, and said, “Okay, here’s a problem. A teacher is speeding down the highway at 16 m.p.h. over the limit. At $12 for every mile, plus $40 court costs, plus the rise in his insurance, what’s his total cost?”

I replied, “Taking that total, subtracting the low salary I receive, multiplying by the number of kids who hate math, then adding to that the fact that none of us would be anywhere without teachers, I’d say zero.”

He handed me back my license. “Math was never my favorite subject,” he admitted. “Please slow down.”

by Kevin Malarkey
The apostle Paul offers good advice in Philippians 3:13 where he says (my paraphrase), “I don’t consider that I’ve already arrived but here is what I do. I forget those things that are in my past and focus on my future in Christ Jesus.”

This is the guy who was complicit in many state-sponsored incarcerations and murders of Christians. Think his conscience didn’t torment him from time to time? Paul was a real person who had to discipline his mind to be filled with thoughts of the future God had called him to. We need to do the same. We need to say no to guilt.

First off, let’s recognize that for the forgiven, guilt over past sin is not an emotion that comes from the Holy Spirit. If guilt rises up to torment, it isn’t from God.

The deceiver wants you and me to wallow in the cesspool of guilt over past (but forgiven) sin. It’s one of his best tricks, distracting Christians from the life God intends by relentless guilt over that which has already been paid for. Feelings of guilt over forgiven sin are from the enemy, which Ephesians 6:12 makes clear. We’re not just wrestling within ourselves. This fight (a struggle, a war) is against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places…. Read this in full at

by Josh Reich
Every study on church and our culture largely says the same thing: Women are more likely than men to attend church, give, be involved, serve, lead, etc. Essentially, women are more willing and more likely to do anything spiritual than men.

There are a whole hosts of reasons: women are more spiritual, most pastors are not manly, churches are designed for women (this is true of a ton of churches but they won’t admit it), sermons are geared towards women, churches don’t know how to communicate to men who don’t have kids, pastors who do talk to men simply yell at them and tell them to get a job (while this might be needed I don’t think every man who walks into our churches is a lazy slob who lives at home and plays video games).

I was recently asked to join a team that helps to put events on for men in Arizona. I started to ask around about the organization because truth be told, I thought it was interesting since Revolution doesn’t have a men’s or women’s ministry. Essentially, we see our church as those…. Read this in full at

Whenever I feel my foot slipping, your faithful love steadies me, LORD. When my anxieties multiply, your comforting calms me down.
– Psalm 94:18-19 CEB

The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”
– Frederick Buechner

by Robert Crosby
As a pastor I have often urged people to “get closer to Christ,” but I’m not so sure I’ve helped them know when they have. How can we help people know when they’ve gotten closer to Christ? Do external changes confirm that growth? What internal ones occur, and how can we recognize them?

To ask the question in theological terms: If glorification is the goal of God’s work in our lives (Rom. 8:30) and grace is the means (Eph. 2:8) and sanctification is the process (1 Thess. 4:3) then what results are observable? How does intimacy with Christ change us? What impact does conformity to Christ have on our behavior and…our brains?

I’ve had long conversations with other pastors and leaders over the years about spiritual transformation. Who else would you talk with about such a subject? Well, how about a couple of neuroscientists? That’s exactly what I did. The results were surprising and enlightening…. Read this in full at

Want not to be worldly? Then take Jesus’ view toward life, what’s important, for instance, to give yourself to. If you give yourself to things, you will become hard and cold. We become the thing we worship. We get to be like what we worship. If we love God, what will happen to us? Well, we will get big hearts, for one thing. We will get so we love more people than we did in the beginning. We will find ourselves being open to what God does to us and what He is telling us.”
– Eugene M. Thomas, in a talk delivered May 15, 1983, on the subject “Not Being Worldly”

by A.J. Swoboda
How do we learn and grow after churches, pastors, spiritual authorities, or organizations have hurt or deeply disappointed us? How do we eat the meat and spit out the bones? In search of an answer, I like pointing out three disturbing historical insights from Christian history, three far-off heroes who let us down.

First, it recently came out that one of my heroes, John Howard Yoder—perhaps the most influential voice of pacifist theology in recent Christian history — was a womanizer who had a number of questionable relationships.

Second, a summer intern at my church who attends Princeton seminary informed me that one of my other longstanding theological heroes, Karl Barth, had a nearly three-decade relationship with his secretary that was anything but “appropriate.”

Third, I long-ago discovered that my favorite theological volume, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament — edited by Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich — was originally commissioned by the Hitler and the Third Reich during World War II. My favorite theological dictionary, it turns out, was paid for by the Nazis…. Read this in full at

by Mathew Sims
Richard Sibbes once said that “men love not to be judged and censured.”

Personally, I have yet to meet the person who enjoys criticism. Whether it’s criticism about your work, life, faith, or criticism from an unknown critic online or a loving family member. All criticism is hard to swallow.

My mom and I have a great relationship. I look back at my formative years and she provided a foundation for the love of God that hasn’t left me. I recall the words of Paul to Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you” (2 Tim. 1:5) …. Read this in full at

Jan Harding remains hospitalized indefinitely with ulcerated lye burns down the upper third of her esophagus but no longer faces a life-and-death struggle, her husband said during a press conference Aug. 21.

Jim Harding had no words of bitterness despite a number of media questions to elicit such a response.

“I’m not angry,” Harding said at least twice. “I’m sad. We’re sad. We’re sad for Dickey’s, for our family, for everybody involved.”

Jan Harding was seriously injured at a Dickey’s barbecue restaurant when she took a sip of sweet tea on Aug. 10 — tea that had lye in it.

“God’s got us; He’s got us,” said Harding, retired executive director of the Utah/Idaho Southern Baptist Convention who now is a professor at the Utah extension center of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and regularly serves as an interim pastor. “We have absolute confidence in our God.” …. Read this in full at

Also see “Released from hospital, Jan Harding ‘humbled’”

by Kimberly Winston
He was a minister to monsters.

That’s what Tim Townsend writes of Henry Gerecke, the unassuming Lutheran pastor from Missouri who shepherded six of the most notorious Nazis to the gallows in “Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis.”

The book is one of a string of new titles that dust off a remote corner of World War II history – the role religion played both in and beyond the conflict.

“That’s why I wanted to write this book,” Townsend said from Washington, D.C. where he is a senior writer and editor for The Pew Research Center.

“A large part was trying to figure out why did the Allies provide spiritual comfort for men who were on trial for what was ultimately called the Holocaust,” he said. “They clearly did not have anyone’s spiritual welfare in mind when they were murdering Jews, so why did we feel it was necessary and humane to provide them with chaplains to see to their spiritual comfort?” …. Read this in full at

Five men from the Missouri Baptist Bikers Fellowship struck up a conversation with a former pastor at a motel in Canada. The former pastor was newly married to an unbeliever and had grown frustrated with the church.

“We had the opportunity to have a rather lengthy conversation with him … and my heart really went out to him,” Randy Shipman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Clinton, Mo., said. “… He was struggling and very open to conversation.”

The former pastor, who isn’t a Baptist, willingly took a Biker Bible even though he said he already had many Bibles. He said his wife might read that particular one…. Read this in full at

by Ruth Kramer
When I say “Tique-Tique,” what comes to mind?

A deer -like creature? Slang for a specialty store? Toddler-speak? How about a village? Audio Scripture Ministries recently visited the village of Tique-Tique for an audio Bible distribution. This is why we’re focusing on the visit: it represents a fast-growing hunger for God’s Word in central Mozambique.

The staff of Crown of Victory studio in Mozambique finished building a brand new studio last year. Even as the dedication celebration streamers were still fluttering, people were approaching the ministry with requests…. Read this in full at

Fifty-six key influencers of global theological education, representing every continent, gathered 2-6 June in São Paulo, Brazil, for the Lausanne Consultation on Theological Education: Toward Biblical Partnership in Global Theological Education. The group included seminary presidents, institutional principals, heads of accreditation bodies, and leaders in theological education supporting agencies. In addition to The Lausanne Movement, the consultation was sponsored by The World Reformed Fellowship, World Evangelical Alliance, Overseas Council, Fellowship of Evangelical Seminary Presidents, Langham Partnership, and International Council of Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), WEAs global partner for theologcial education representing appr. 1000 theological schools, and was hosted by Mackenzie Presbyterian University…. Read this in full at

If you’re a believer – if you’re “in Christ” – then kick up your heels! Celebrate the Lord! Celebrate yourself! Discover a life of pleasure you never dreamed possible.”
– Anne Ortlund

The people who love your Instruction enjoy peace — and lots of it. There’s no stumbling for them!
– Psalm 119:165 CEB

Words & Music: Paul Rader, 1920

Mary beheld Him, and “Master!” cried,
After He came from the tomb;
Suddenly Jesus stood in their midst,
Entered the tight shut room.

He Who was dead is alive again!
He Who was dead is alive again!
Broken the stout, icy clutches of death—
He Who was dead is alive again!

Peter beheld Him there on the shore,
Ate with Him there by the sea;
Jesus was saying, with lips once dead,
Peter, dost thou love Me?”

Thomas beheld Him there in the room,
Called Him his Master and Lord,
Put forth his fingers into the holes
Made by the nails and sword.

>from NetHymnal at

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
– Abraham Lincoln


Aired 08/29/2014 @ 10:00pm central
When God revealed Himself through His prophet Moses, God described Himself. He said that He is ONE God, not many “gods.” The one and only God deserves ALL of our love, not just a part of it.
There is a foundation for all God’s commands. If many gods had made us, they might all have a right to our love. But the greatest fact of God is that He is ONE! One ALONE has the right to our love, That leads to the greatest command: That our WHOLE heart, soul, mind and strength should go to Him alone.

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!

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Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Video: Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

Video: Greatest building implosion ever?

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.)

The math teacher went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
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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