man to man to God
week of January 3, 2010
Men’s Ministry newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
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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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.’”
your lamp burning, and let God place it where He will.”
PERSONAL MANIFESTOS FOR 2010
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
A MAGNA CHARTA OF TRUST BY AN OUT-OF-CONTROL DISCIPLE
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
A JESUS MANIFESTO FOR THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH
made the gospel about so many things … things other than
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.
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.
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
JOHN WESLEY'S COVENANT PRAYER
"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
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED
"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.
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
A PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
"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,
READ THE BIBLE IN 2010
a reading plan is a great way to make the Bible part of your daily
life. YouVersion.com 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
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
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
your past is serving as a springboard to a better tomorrow, or it
is the proverbial albatross keeping you from moving forward
Les Parrott III, Shoulda, Coulda,
TOP 10 NEWS STORIES OF 2009 AND THE DECADE BY CHRISTIANITY
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
4. The Obama administration permits
federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research and overseas groups
that promote abortion, while cutting funds for abstinence-only
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
7. Multisite churches and video-venue campuses
evolve from megachurch experiment to near-default option as large
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
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.
TOP 10 NEWS STORIES OF THE
January 2001: President Bush launches his faith-based
September 2001: NYC terror attacks prompt
intense reflection on Christian-Muslim relations.
2003: U.S. invasion of Iraq prompts debate on just war and Muslim
extremists' retaliation against Mideast Christians.
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
April 2005: Rick Warren launches PEACE Plan,
targeting global poverty, HIV/AIDS, and other ills.
2007: Supreme Court upholds partial-birth abortion ban, the first
national restriction since Roe v. Wade.
Taliban takes Korean missionaries hostage, igniting debate on
MY TOP TEN THEOLOGY STORIES OF 2009
1. Both NIV and TNIV Will Be Phased Out
2. SBC Seeks a Great Commission Resurgence
ELCA Okays Gay Unions, Pastors
4. Coral Ridge Hires
Tullian Tchividjian, Critics Break Away
Declaration Prods Culture, Invites Pushback
Push Gains Steam
7. Rick Warren Prays at Obama
8. Rob Bell Shapes Gospel Discussion
Split Widens Between US Episcopalians and Anglican Communion
'Coming Evangelical Collapse' Predicted .... Read this list in
“Journalists Vote Obama's Cairo Speech #1
Religion Story of
Ten Religious Liberty Stories of
Research Offers a Year-in-Review
CHRISTMAS FLIGHT 253: WISCONSIN FAMILY SAYS FAITH HELPED THEM
THROUGH DETROIT JET SCARE
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.
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.
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
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
“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
LEADERSHIP TIPS (BUSINESS, FAMILY, LIFE)
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
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
VERSE TO PONDER
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.”
be sensible of our corruption and abhor our own transgressions is
the first symptom of spiritual health.”
A PRAYER TO FINISH WELL
Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
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.
me to finish well.
May I be a man of greater moral
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.
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
A man who is less judgmental and more giving of
A man who realizes that the plank in my own eye is
And that I should forgive even as You forgive me.
strengthen me to finish well.
May my life have greater joy
with each day.
May I see the blessings of life and count them
May I not grow older and more bitter,
But grow older
rejoicing in You always.
Lord, strengthen me to finish
As the day draws closer when I meet You face to
May I be a man who was already drawing closer to You,
man who eagerly anticipated that day,
And a man who left behind
a legacy and not regrets.
Lord, strengthen me to finish
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
I LOVE MY JOB
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.
love my computer and all its ware; I hug it often to show I
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:
men who've come to visit today, in lovely white coats to take me
URBANA 09 KICKS OFF WITH CHALLENGE TO REACH NEIGHBORS
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
“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.
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
MOST SENIOR PASTORS WORK AT LEAST 50-HOUR WEEKS
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.
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
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.’
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
"‘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
"‘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
“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?*
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
STUDY: HOME-SCHOOLED CHILDREN EXCEL AS ADULTS
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.
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
EUROPE TALKS WITH FAITHS IT ONCE THOUGHT WOULD FADE
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.
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
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."
VERSE TO PONDER
yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
THIS WEEK'S HYMN: ADVENT TELLS US, CHRIST IS NEAR
Frances R. Havergal, 1874
Music: Samuel S. Wesley,
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
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
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy
Another year of service, of witness for Thy
Another year of training for holier work above.
year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in
Heaven, another year for Thee.
has one Son who lived without sin, but he has no Son who lived
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED
the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother
or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.
agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake
God and man
Be in God’s will
Raises or bonuses
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Bills decrease while blessings increase
all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou
shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut.
[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.]
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A Tour of New York City
News 2009 Year in
News Decade in Review
Vision of Tomorrow: Cracking Open a Time Capsule from 1999
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you think you are too small to make a difference, you've never had
a mosquito in your bedroom.
Frank Coleman, Editor
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!
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.
Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, email@example.com
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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