Connecting man to man to God
For week of January 3, 2010
Issue 285

The Men’s Ministry 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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[Jesus said,] “‘You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’”
Matthew 5:14, 16

“Keep your lamp burning, and let God place it where He will.”
Unknown Author

As the new year dawns, you may find one of the following declarations personally useful guidance:

"Today I am stepping across the line.  I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering.  I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable.  I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!  I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory.  I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word"....  Read this in full at

"I once was a control junkie, but now am an Out-of-Control Disciple.  I've given up my control to God.  I trust and obey the Spirit.  I've jumped off the fence, I've stepped over the line, I've pulled out all the stops.  There's no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away, letting up, or shutting up.  It's life Against the Odds, Outside the Box, Over the Wall, the game of life played Without Goal Lines other than 'Thy Will Be Done....'  I am not here to please the dominant culture.  I live to please my Lord and Savior"....  Read this in full at

Christians have made the gospel about so many things … things other than Christ.

Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without him, all things lose their value. Without him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space.

It is possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ . . . who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts.

Seek a truth, a value, a virtue, or a spiritual gift, and you have obtained something dead.

Seek Christ, embrace Christ, know Christ, and you have touched him who is Life. And in him resides all Truth, Values, Virtues and Gifts in living color. Beauty has its meaning in the beauty of Christ, in whom is found all that makes us lovely and loveable.

What is Christianity? It is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. Christianity is not an ideology. Christianity is not a philosophy. Christianity is the “good news” that Beauty, Truth and Goodness are found in a person. Biblical community is founded and found on the connection to that person. Conversion is more than a change in direction; it’s a change in connection. Jesus’ use of the ancient Hebrew word shubh, or its Aramaic equivalent, to call for “repentance” implies not viewing God from a distance, but entering into a relationship where God is command central of the human connection.

In that regard, we feel a massive disconnection in the church today. Thus this manifesto....  Read this in full at

"I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing; put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or brought low for you"....  Read this in full at

"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast.  I have stepped over the line.  The decision has been made.
I'm a disciple of His.  I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.  My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.  I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals"....  Read this in full at

"I pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ -- my rescuer and leader -- and to his command, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you.’  I pledge to live this day by faith in God, to love him with all my prayer, passion, intellect, and muscle, and to bear the Holy Spirit fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."  (copyright 2002,

Following a reading plan is a great way to make the Bible part of your daily life. has 20+ plans, with options for customization and support to help you stay on track. See what God reveals to you when you spend time in Scripture each day.

“Having faced the personal misery and relational pain of doing things my way, having experienced the futility of living life to be noticed, and having carried the heavy burden of making pleasure my idol, I'm far more willing to pay the price for transformation.  There's pain in either direction.  I may as well embrace the pain that leads me to God instead of suffer the pain of being drawn away from him.  So I hope you'll take these words as an encouragement. Pain in this world is a foregone conclusion.  The only question is whether we choose to live a life of redemptive pain or of self-destructive pain.  I pray you'll choose redemptive pain.” 
Gary Thomas, The Beautiful Fight: Surrendering to the Transforming Presence of God Every Day of Your Life

According to the US Census Bureau, the population of America at the start of 2010 is projected to be 308,400,408. This would represent an increase of 2,606,181, or 0.9%, from New Year’s Day 2009.  In January, the US is expected to register 1 birth every 8 seconds and 1 death every 12 seconds.  Net international migration is expected to add 1 person every 37 seconds.  The result is an increase in the total US population of 1 person every 14 seconds.  The world population is more than 6.7 billion.... Read this in full at

“Either your past is serving as a springboard to a better tomorrow, or it is the proverbial albatross keeping you from moving forward today." 
Les Parrott III, Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

1. The Great Recession reduces missionary sending and closes hundreds of Christian schools as layoffs hit World Vision, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Focus on the Family, Asbury Seminary, CT, and many other ministries.

2. Orthodox Anglicans launch a North American province as the Episcopal Church drops its moratoria on gay clergy and same-sex unions. The ELCA narrowly approves clergy in same-sex relationships, prompting conservative Lutherans to create a rival body. Methodistsand Presbyterians maintain their bans.

3. Religious groups agitate for health-care reform. Pro-life Democrats and Republicans in the House surprisingly succeed at adding a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions to the House reform bill, largely thanks to Catholic clergy's lobbying.

4. The Obama administration permits federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research and overseas groups that promote abortion, while cutting funds for abstinence-only education.

5. Deadly Gojra riots in August prompt a government examination, and fresh international criticism, of Pakistan's notoriously abused blasphemy laws.

6. Swine flu causes Christian churches worldwide to modify services. Egypt slaughters all pigs, devastating the livelihood of its Christian minority.

7. Multisite churches and video-venue campuses evolve from megachurch experiment to near-default option as large congregations expand.

8. Zondervan discontinues the controversial TNIV and announces that an updated NIV translation will debut in 2011.

9. Gaza war hinders reconciliation efforts between Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians. Believers continue to flee Iraq; Somalia's Christians almost entirely vanish.

10. Hispanic evangelical leaders debate boycotting the 2010 Census as a way to call attention to immigration reform. Meanwhile, the National Association of Evangelicals and other groups prepare for the immigration debate to reignite in 2010.

January 2001: President Bush launches his faith-based initiative.

September 2001: NYC terror attacks prompt intense reflection on Christian-Muslim relations.

March 2003: U.S. invasion of Iraq prompts debate on just war and Muslim extremists' retaliation against Mideast Christians.

August 2003: Gene Robinson, who is in a same-sex relationship, is confirmed as an Episcopal bishop.

February 2004: Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ shocks observers by earning more than $600 million.

November 2004: "Values voter" analysis draws more attention to U.S. evangelicals as a voting bloc.

December 2004: A Southeast Asian tsunami, followed by Hurricane Katrina, mobilizes unprecedented compassion efforts.

April 2005: Rick Warren launches PEACE Plan, targeting global poverty, HIV/AIDS, and other ills.

April 2007: Supreme Court upholds partial-birth abortion ban, the first national restriction since Roe v. Wade.

August 2007: Taliban takes Korean missionaries hostage, igniting debate on short-term missions.

by Collin Hansen
1.  Both NIV and TNIV Will Be Phased Out
2.  SBC Seeks a Great Commission Resurgence
3.  ELCA Okays Gay Unions, Pastors
4.  Coral Ridge Hires Tullian Tchividjian, Critics Break Away
5.  Manhattan Declaration Prods Culture, Invites Pushback
6.  Adoption Push Gains Steam
7.  Rick Warren Prays at Obama Inauguration
8.  Rob Bell Shapes Gospel Discussion
9.  Split Widens Between US Episcopalians and Anglican Communion
10. 'Coming Evangelical Collapse' Predicted .... Read this list in full at

also see
 “Journalists Vote Obama's Cairo Speech #1 Religion Story of 2009”

 “Top Ten Religious Liberty Stories of 2009”

 “Barna Research Offers a Year-in-Review Perpective

Members of a Wisconsin family aboard a Northwest Airlines flight in which a Nigerian man allegedly tried to set off an explosive on Christmas Day said their faith helped them endure the ordeal.

The Keepman family's nearly 30-hour journey started with the adoption of two orphans from Ethiopia. But near the end of their flight back to the United States, they tried to stave off the fear from the attempted bombing by holding hands and singing "Jesus Loves Me" at the back of the airplane bound for Detroit.

The ordeal happened about 20 minutes before the plan landed, said Charles Keepman, 53, whose family lives in Oconomowoc, Wis., about 35 miles west of Milwaukee.... Read this in full at,0,7683879.story

"‘Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.’ John 16:22

“There are some days when, frankly, I don't feel much like worshiping God. There are probably more days like that than I'd care to admit.

“Usually those are days when I'm staring at my circumstances and I struggle with the God-truth that he is in the circumstances surrounding my life -- all the circumstances.

“Jesus was so sure that God's faithfulness would be present in all circumstances that his certainty radiated throughout his whole being. Heading into a crisis that would ultimately cost him his life, at the Last Supper Jesus exhibited such radiant certainty about God's faithfulness that not one of his disciples discerned his death was lurking outside the door.

“We, also, can have this radiant certainty about God's hand in our lives. We can say, ‘When it comes to God's faithfulness, I know because I know that I know.’" Jon Walker, Growing with Purpose

by Gordon MacDonald
When you find yourself in a reflective mood, go see Robert De Niro's movie, Everybody's Fine. Perhaps you'll come out of the theater 90 minutes later as I did: feeling some deep distress and a desire to put into words some issues long stored in the archives of the soul. De Niro is Frank, an aging, lonely and unwell recent widower. What Frank learns during visits to his children’s homes about himself and his family becomes the tenderloin of the movie, which I will not spoil for you.

I can say this much, however, and you've already guessed it: everybody in Frank's family isn't fine. There are lots and lots of family secrets, and until they are surfaced and owned, this is a family in serious trouble.

I left the theater wishing for a place to cry because the movie reminded me that I grew up in a world similar to Frank's: both in my family and in my church. In my childhood. appearances were everything (right doctrine, right answers, right behavior), and what was underneath the appearance was to be kept there: unexposed and unexplained.

I lived at least three parallel lives in my early childhood, and adjusting to them was a daily challenge requiring cleverness and duplicity.... Read this in full at

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:12-13

“To be sensible of our corruption and abhor our own transgressions is the first symptom of spiritual health.”
J. C. Ryle

by Thom Rainer  
Lord, strengthen me to finish well.

May I, as I draw closer to the end of my earthly life,
Be a man who loves Your Church more than I ever have,
A man who prays for Your Church and Your leaders in the church,
A man who shows his commitment to Your bride in all that I do.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.

May I be a man of greater moral purity,
So indwelled in Your Word and in prayer,
That I am able to resist the temptations of the enemy,
That my life shines as an example for You to the watching world.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.

May I be a man who loves my family more with each passing day,
A man more in love and dedicated to his wife,
A man who loves his adult children even more than I did when they were younger,
And a man who loves his grandchildren and generation to come.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.

May I be a man who loves others more as I grow older,
A man who is less judgmental and more giving of grace,
A man who realizes that the plank in my own eye is large,
And that I should forgive even as You forgive me.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.

May my life have greater joy with each day.
May I see the blessings of life and count them daily.
May I not grow older and more bitter,
But grow older rejoicing in You always.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.

As the day draws closer when I meet You face to face,
May I be a man who was already drawing closer to You,
A man who eagerly anticipated that day,
And a man who left behind a legacy and not regrets.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.

And then, and only then, can I say that my life was not lived in vain.

“Not that I have already reached the goal, or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I have been taken hold of it by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14, HCSB).

(apologies to Dr. Seuss)

I love my job, I love the pay, I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss and he's the best. I love HIS boss and all the rest.
I love my office and it's location. I hate to have to take vacation.
I love my desk, drab and gray, and love those paper piles each day.
I love my chair in my padded cell; there's nothing else I love so well.
I love to work among my peers. I love their leers 'n jeers 'n sneers.
I love my computer and all its ware; I hug it often to show I care.
I love each program and every file; I even try using it once in a while.
I'm happy to be here, I am, I am...I'm the happiest slave to my Uncle Sam.
I love this work; I love these chores; I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job AND I'll say it again, I even love these friendly men:
These men who've come to visit today, in lovely white coats to take me away!

Some 17,000 youth convened for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's preeminent student missions convention, which kicked off in St. Louis Dec. 27 with a strong emphasis on personal evangelism.

“Your neighborhood -– God’s mission,” said Urbana Director Jim Tebbe on the first day of Urbana 09, as he exhorted the crowd of mostly US and Canadian college students to reach out to those close to them.

The missions leader challenged students gathered for the five-day conference to write the name of someone they could help on the palm of their hand and hold it up in a pledge to reach out to their neighbors with the gospel.... Read this in full at

Full-time senior pastors tend to work 55 hours or more in a typical week, according to a new survey. While the median number of work hours for Protestant pastors is 55 hours, 42% work 60 or more hours, LifeWay Research found.

When including bivocational pastors, part-time senior pastors and volunteer pastors, 35% work at least 60 hours a week and 30% work 50 to 59 hours.

Not surprisingly, much of the time is spent in sermon preparation. Half of those surveyed spend five to 14 hours a week preparing their sermons. Meanwhile, 9% spend 25 hours or more and 7% spend less than 5 hours on their sermons before preaching.... Read this in full at

“[My wife] said, ‘You know, when our marriage is at its best, you can listen and laugh and be spontaneous. You haven't been doing that for a while. I love that guy and I miss that guy.’

“I knew what she was talking about. ‘I miss that guy too,’ I told her. ‘I'd love to feel free like that. But I feel like I'm carrying so many burdens. I have personnel issues and financial challenges at work. I have writing projects and travel commitments. I feel like I'm carrying this weight all the time. I get what you're saying, but I need you to know, I'm doing the best I can.’

"‘No, you're not,’ she responded immediately. That was not the response I had anticipated. Everybody is supposed to nod their head sympathetically when you say, ‘I'm doing the best I can.’ But Nancy loves truth (and me) too much to do that. So she rang my bell.

"‘No, you're not. You've talked about how it would be good to see a counselor, or an executive coach, or maybe a spiritual director. You've talked about building friendships, but I haven't seen you take steps toward any of that. No, you're not.’ As soon as she said that I knew she was right.

“But I didn't say that to her immediately because my spiritual gift is pouting, which I exercised beautifully over the next few days. As I did, a question emerged in my mind: *What is it that you really want?*

“I began to realize that what I really want isn't any particular outcome on any particular project. Those are all just means to an end. What I really want is to be fully alive inside. What I really want is the inner freedom to live in love and joy.” John Ortberg, The Me I Want to Be

Despite what many might believe, a vast majority of home-schooled children say they have plenty of opportunities for socialization with other children and, as adults, come to excel in all measured areas of adult life, according to a new study.

The study, released by the Canadian Centre for Home Education (CCHE), surveyed young adults in Canada whose parents responded to a 1994 study on home education. Ranging in age from 15 to 34, the study’s participants answered questions on a variety of topics with comparable data from Statistics Canada.

The results, according to CCHE, were “astounding.” “In terms of income, education, entrepreneurial endeavors, involvement in their community, and all the other characteristics measured, home-educated adults not only excel, but also make meaningful contributions to their communities,” commented CCHE president Paul Faris. “They are the type of neighbors we all want.” .... Read this in full at

Europe, the most secularized region on Earth, has decided to launch a regular dialogue with the organized religions that many on the continent once thought would wither away.

In a little-noticed article of its Lisbon Treaty, which went into effect on December 1, the European Union agreed to hold an "open, transparent and regular dialogue" with churches, religious associations, and secular groups.

What this dialogue will look like is not yet clear, but the fact the European Union has agreed to it reflects the evolving role of religion in a region where it is often overlooked.... Read this in full at

A little boy asked his father for assistance in repairing his broken wagon. When the job was done, the boy looked up and said, "Daddy, when I try to do things by myself, they go wrong. But when you and I work together, they turn out just fine."
Unknown Author

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
James 4:10

Words: Frances R. Havergal, 1874
Music: Samuel S. Wesley, 1864

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

>from NetHymnal at

“God has one Son who lived without sin, but he has no Son who lived without prayer.”
Unknown Author


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.

Book your next vacation with us!

Books, Music & More!

Get your domain name here!

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
It's as easy as 1-2-3!

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Slideshow: A Tour of New York City churches

CBS News 2009 Year in Review

Yahoo! News Decade in Review

Yesterday's Vision of Tomorrow: Cracking Open a Time Capsule from 1999

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.)

If you think you are too small to make a difference, you've never had a mosquito in your bedroom.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor

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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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