Connecting man to man to God
For week of January 10, 2010
Issue 286

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.

Today's issue is going out to 1,915 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:
or subscribe via rss feed here:

“This is what the Lord says, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.’”
Isaiah 43:16, 18, 19

“Nothing promotes the activity of the devil more than the Christian's proximity to God.”
John Blanchard

by Brett Clemmer, VP of Man in the Mirror
Growing up, I used to love watching the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Of course, Wile E. tried every trick in the book to catch up to the speedy Road Runner, often with the use of a mail-order device from the Acme Corporation.

While some believe that Acme simple stood for "A Company that Makes Everything," it was really a clever use of irony. "Acme" means the highest point of achievement or development. In other words, it's as good as it gets. Unfortunately, operator error consistently doomed the incompetent canine to epic failure even as Acme's product worked flawlessly.

What if Wile E. Coyote had someone to help him? What if he went to Acme's annual convention and met other Acme customers who had successfully hunted and caught a Road Runner? Can you imagine the workshop titles? Slingshot Strategies on Uneven Terrain, or Parachute Safety for Rocket Users.

Men's discipleship is the true Acme of the local church. Yet too often operator error dooms our efforts to spectacular failure. Most leaders are not as tireless as Wile E. Coyote. After a couple of "crash and burn" experiences, we often see leaders quietly remove themselves from the hunt. Maybe you're easing that way yourself right now, or you know someone who is.

That's why the Annual Summit is so important to us, and why you should come. The Summit brings together leaders who are successfully "catching the road runner." They are making men's discipleship work in their church, community, region or denomination. They are the "super-users," using the Acme products to perform the Acme tasks, often with Acme results. Best of all, they are eager to share what they've learned with leaders who are as committed to men's discipleship as they are. Leaders like you.

This isn't a cartoon. Our stakes aren't scrawny fleet-footed birds. We can't afford to lose our most enthusiastic leaders. If you want to learn from the experts, if you need encouragement as a disciple-maker, or if you have fellow leaders who need to learn, grow and be inspired, you can't miss the Summit. It's the Acme Convention of Men's Discipleship.

For more information on the 2010 Man in the Mirror Annual Summit, go to You'll find workshop leaders and main session speakers, schedule and registration pages, travel and lodging information, local area attractions and more.

James Dobson may be leaving Focus on the Family in late February, but he’s not going away. Dobson, who founded Focus in 1977, announced on his Facebook page that in March he will launch a nonprofit Christian group and host a new radio show with his son, Ryan. Retiring is attractive, Dobson writes, but “the institution of the family continues to be in deplorable condition, and children are growing up in a culture that often twists and warps their young minds.” His new organization will be called James Dobson on the Family and be based in Colorado Springs. Its goal is similar to that of Focus -- standing up for family values.... Read this in full at

Religion has become the hottest topic of study for US historians, overtaking the previous favorite -- cultural studies -- and pulling ahead of women’s studies in the latest annual survey by the American Historical Association. Younger historians are more likely than older ones to turn their sights on faith issues.

The proportion of US historians working on religious issues now stands at 7.7%. If that seems low, compare it with the more traditional fields in the study of the past -- political history (4.6%), military history (3.8%) or diplomatic history (3.8%). Cultural studies stood at 7.5% and women’s studies at 6.4%.

Among the reasons cited by the AHA were:
* Interest in the rise of “more activist (and in some cases ‘militant’) forms of religion.”
* An “extension of the methods and interests of social and cultural history.”
* The impact of the “historical turn” in other disciplines, including religious studies.
* Increased student demand for courses on the subject.... Read this in full at

“When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flock, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace ... to make music in the heart.”
Howard Thurman, American author, civil rights leader, and theologian (1899-1981)

The racial divide is beginning to erode in some churches and it is fading fastest in one of American religion's most conservative precincts: Evangelical Christianity.... Read this in full at,9171,1950943,00.html

As far back as 2800 BC, the Assyrians warned that the end of the world was near. Mayans predicted the apocalypse for 2012. Jerry Walls of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame talks about our ongoing fascination with the end of days.... Read and listen to this in full at

"Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond," a book in Zondervan's popular Counterpoints series, provides a useful dialogue on the major millennial positions of Christian eschatology.

Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary edited the decade-old book, which features proponents of postmillennialism, amillennialism and premillennialism by Kenneth Gentry, Robert Strimple and Craig Blaising with each offering an apologetic for their position followed by responses from the remaining two authors.

The reader would do well to keep a Bible handy along with the book. In his preface, Bock writes that eschatology for some means "'future things' only, but all of these authors note that we already live in an era of initial fulfillment of promises concerning the Messiah Jesus. We are in a world where eschatology is at work." .... Read this in full at

Harold Camping lets out a hearty chuckle when he considers the people who believe the world will end in 2012. "That date has not one stitch of biblical authority," Camping says from the Oakland office where he runs Family Radio, an evangelical station that reaches listeners around the world. "It's like a fairy tale." The real date for the end of times, he says, is in 2011.

The Mayans and the recent Hollywood movie "2012" have put the apocalypse in the popular mind this year, but Camping has been at this business for a long time. And while Armageddon is pop science or big-screen entertainment to many, Camping has followers from the Bay Area to China.... Read this in full at

by Robert Peters
Over the Christmas weekend, my wife and I went to see "The Blind Side," a film about an affluent white family in Memphis who took Michael Oher, a homeless African American youth, into their home and made him part of their family. As a result of the Tuohy family's out-of-the-ordinary Christian kindness, Oher turned his life around and became a success on the football field and in the classroom.

For those who aren't football fans, the film is entitled "The Blind Side" because Michael Oher became one the nation's top left offensive tackles while playing at the University of Mississippi. It is the job of the left offensive tackle to protect the quarterback's "blind side" from defensive players whose job it is to get to the quarterback when he drops back to pass. In a day when quarterbacks drop back to pass frequently, the left offensive tackle position is considered one of the most important; and talented, motivated players are highly prized.... Read this in full at

“Putting things back together is never easy, which makes mending a tear a very sacred act.

“I'm not good at this kind of magic on my own. I am defensive and proud and-more than anything-scared. I'm quick to punish others and myself because I'm afraid of getting hurt or getting hurt again. All of these things and more make me a bad candidate for forgiving and forgetting.

“I want to be the one who will thread the needle, no matter how difficult, and begin stitching, but I need help to actually get started. Desperately.

“Somehow, if we will let him, God will be that help. He will be the invisible glue that seeps in and re-adheres what has been ripped open. He will soften our hearts when we can't do it on our own. He will help us turn toward each other when all we want to do is walk away. He will help us let go of our grievances when we desperately want to protect and nurture them. He will give us moments and places that will bind us up forever.

“All we have to do is remain the slightest bit open to becoming well.”
Leeana Tankersley, Found Art

Scott Pospisil knew it years ago. He could see something unique in his eldest son. Ross Pospisil, now a senior linebacker at the U.S. Naval Academy who is preparing for the final game of an impressive four-year career, had plenty of typical boyish vigor, but there was something else. He also possessed a precocious tenderness. Ross loved to serve others.

During Ross's junior year at Temple High School in Temple, Texas, he noticed a table of kids who sat by themselves at lunch. In the often harsh world of high school pecking orders, this group of misfits had fallen through the cracks.

Crossing racial and social lines, Ross decided to eat lunch with them. At first, it took the group by surprise. Ross was a popular two-sport athlete and a member of the National Honor Society. What was he doing at their table? Ross's friends wondered the same thing. It didn't matter. He ate at their table every day for an entire semester.... Read this in full at

At Jan. 1’s Sugar Bowl, Tim Tebow had his own webcam and a Bible on his side, which may be why his performance was the sweetest in the game's history. Tebow threw for a career-high 482 yards and three touchdowns, rushing for another 51 yards and a score. With his No. 5 team, the Florida Gators, Tebow decimated No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats 51-24. "This has been the best four years of my life," Tebow said. "We wanted to end it on a good note."

That's an understatement - Tebow finished with 533 total yards, which is more than anyone in the history of the Bowl Championship Series. Texas' Vince Young had previously set the record with 467 yards in the 2005 Sugar Bowl.

Tebow, who is known for touting bible verses during football games, tore through the Louisiana Superdome with "Ephesians 2:8-10" printed beneath his eyes. The reference suggests that, despite his team's win, Tebow will not be boasting anytime soon.

The King James Version (KJV) of Ephesians 2:8-10 reads: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." .... Read this in full at

Brit Hume turned evangelist on Fox News Sunday, in a segment with panelists predicting the future for Tiger Woods after Woods' notable "transgressions" (now a 2009 top euphemism, along with "Appalachian Trail," as a signifier for "mistress.") .... Read this in full at

The humble push-up. Used by militaries all over the world to get their soldiers in fighting condition and middle school P.E. teachers to punish punk kids. The push-up is the ultimate bodyweight exercise. It requires no special equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime. The push-up often gets overlooked because many men find it too simple or too boring to perform. But by switching up your hand and feet positions and adding in a few twists, the push-up becomes a versatile muscle builder that will leave you begging for mercy. The Art of Manliness website has compiled the ultimate resource on push-ups; here is a primer on every variation (with video) that could be found. Your muscles will hate you, but they’ll never get bored.... Read this in full at

It's everywhere at the multiplex these days: religion. Or if that word makes you uncomfortable, you can go with the more general "spirituality."

In movies as varied as the dead serious "The Road," the uplifting family picture "The Blind Side," the biting comedy "The Invention of Lying," and even James Cameron's sci-fi opus "Avatar," issues of faith and morality and mankind's place in the universe are all the rage.

Not all of these movies embrace religion. Some question human gullibility. Some ask for evidence of a higher purpose in what often seems a random universe. But whether they encourage prayer or doubt, they're all part of the zeitgeist.

But why now? .... Read this in full at

Though Christ a thousand times
In Bethlehem be born,
If he's not born in thee
Thy soul is still forlorn.

The cross on Golgotha
Will never save thy soul;
The cross in thy own heart
Alone can make thee whole.
... Anonymous, 3rd century, from the German of Angelus Silesius, included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 148

There were at least 1,237 crimes committed against Christian churches and ministries in the United States this past year, according to a new report. Included among the crimes are 12 homicides and 38 other violent incidents -- including three sexual assaults and three kidnappings -- 98 arsons and over 700 burglaries, according to the 2009 “Crimes Against Christian Organizations in the United States” report published by the Christian Security Network. The network said the church burglaries resulted in an estimated $24 million in property loss.... Read this in full at

When Pope Benedict XVI visited Africa last March, he made countless pleas on behalf of the poor and the war-weary. Yet the words that got the most attention were spoken on the papal plane when he said condoms are part of the problem, not the solution, to Africa’s HIV/AIDS pandemic.

And so it was in the year of religion in 2009, when well-intended gestures of goodwill and reconciliation erupted into firestorms of controversy. Even the best-laid plans, 2009 reminded us, often carry unforeseen consequences.

“People can have good motives toward a middle position and cooperation and all of that, but it just turns out to be extremely difficult to do because our divisions are so deep-seated,” said John Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.

Many of the controversies revolved around a president and a pope, both of whom spark strong personal reactions.

In January, President Obama reached out to evangelicals by inviting megachurch pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. Gay groups seethed because of Warren’s activism against same-sex marriage. When Obama offered another prayer slot to openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, conservatives detected signs of homosexual activism.... Read this in full at

An analysis of more than 350,000 interviews conducted by Gallup finds Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas to be the most religious states in the nation. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts are the least religious states. The United States is generally a religious nation, although the degree of this religiosity varies across states and regions of the country. A robust 65% of all Americans -- across the entire US population -- reported in 2008 that religion was important in their daily lives. The polls were released in 2009.

Survey findings released by Ellison Research show that 7 out of 10 regular churchgoers would be at least somewhat open to switching denominations, with dramatic differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Respondents who attend worship services once a month or more were asked what denomination they attend most often. Then they were asked what role that denomination would play if they could no longer attend their current church. Three out of 10 churchgoers say they would only consider attending one denomination—they would be open to nothing else. Another 44% report having one preferred denomination, but they would also consider others. Eleven percent has a small number of denominations they would consider, with no particular favorite among them. Six percent don’t have any particular denomination they prefer, but they do have certain ones they would not consider. And 9% say denomination does not factor into their decision of what church to attend.... Read this in full at

by Warren Cole Smith – Evangelical Press
Back in January 2009, President-elect Barack Obama invited the Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, prompting those on both sides of the political spectrum to take notice. Conservative evangelicals -- most of whom did not vote for Obama -- didn’t criticize him so much as they did Warren, for accepting the invitation. Outrage from the homosexual-activist community -- most of whom did vote for Obama -- criticized the invitation because Warren had actively campaigned for traditional marriage during California’s Proposition 8 campaign.

And, of course, atheist Michael Newdow organized a group of 11 atheist and humanist groups to file suit against the government. He wanted to prevent prayers of any kind from being offered at the presidential inauguration.

So the New Year began on the eve of a new president who had promised hope and change. He was promising change. However, while all improvement requires change, not all change is an improvement. So would the changes coming as 2009 began offer hope? Way back then, 12 months ago, ancient history to the American mind, who could know what the year would bring. What we know now is that the year was like that iconic and contentious moment on the Capitol Mall back in January: it offered something for everyone—both to love and to hate.... Read this in full at

Then-Sen. Barack Obama was right when he said back in 2008 that change was coming. The year 2009 was a time of change – but that was only partly because of the man who was heralded into the White House on the platform of “Change.” The changes in 2009 rippled from a number of scale-tipping moments, the votes of both the many and the few, the rise of some, and the emissions of the plentiful – according to some.

The following is a look back at the year 2009 and what changes came about – ten areas that The Christian Post and much of the Christian community had their eyes fixed upon: .... Read this in full at

Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can ACTUALLY accomplish? Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:

~ Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
~ Stop exercising. Waste of time.
~ Read less. Makes you think.
~ Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
~ Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
~ Spend more time at work, surfing the web.
~ Take a vacation to someplace important, like to see the world's largest ball of twine.
~ Don't jump off a cliff just because everyone else did.
~ Stop bringing lunch from home--eat out more.
~ Don't have eight children at once.
~ Get in a whole NEW rut!
~ Start being superstitious.
~ Personal goal: Don't bring back disco.
~ Speak in a monotone voice and only use monosyllabic words.
~ Only wear jeans that are 2 sizes too small and use a chain or rope for a belt.
~ Spend my summer vacation in cyberspace.
~ Create loose ends.
~ Get more toys.
~ Get further in debt.
~ Don't believe politicians.
~ Break at least one traffic law.
~ Don't drive a motorized vehicle across thin ice.
~ Don't swim with piranhas or sharks.
~ Spread out priorities beyond the ability to keep track of them.
~ Wait for opportunity to knock.
~ Focus on the faults of others.
~ Mope about faults.
~ Never make New Year's resolutions again.

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

“It is not in life's chances but in its choices that happiness comes to the heart of the individual.”
Unknown Author

by Thom Rainer
The Millennial Generation fascinates me. Depending upon the years you frame the generation, it is the largest -- or nearly the largest -- generation in America’s history. For example, if the birth years 1980 to 2000 are the parameters, the Millennials are larger than the Boomers. Perhaps it’s their sheer size that fascinates me.

Two particular pieces of data caught my attention as I reviewed the massive amount of data we have. Those insights seem to have particular relevance for churches that are looking to be more effective reaching this generation. First, most Millennials (nearly 90%) say that their parents are key influencers in their lives. Second, another highly influential group for the Millennials is their own friends.... Read this in full at

I once regularly met with a man under tremendous stress -- the kind of stress that could send a weaker soul into a nervous breakdown. He had to endure a spiritual crisis, a relational crisis, and a vocational crisis -- all at the same time. As we sat together one evening as part of the same small group, somebody told a hilarious story. Everyone started laughing until our sides hurt, which reminded someone else of an equally funny story. This went on for a good 45 minutes until our diaphragms were sore from laughter.

"’Well, this meeting got away from me,’ I thought. ‘We should have been praying for this guy all that time and giving him some counsel.’

“But as he stood up, he looked at us and said, "You have no idea how much this ministered to me tonight."

“Ministered? With laughter? The truth is, he got exactly what he needed.

“After all, God created laughter. Why can't we celebrate him as we use what he created to help make his points? It's a fact -- I think a significant one -- that humans are the only creatures who laugh. Laughter, in this sense, gloriously reflects being made in God's image.”
Gary Thomas, Pure Pleasure

by Dave Barry
It was a year of Hope -- at first in the sense of “I feel hopeful!” and later in the sense of “I hope this year ends soon!”

It was also a year of Change, especially in Washington, where the tired old hacks of yesteryear finally yielded the reins of power to a group of fresh, young, idealistic, new-idea outsiders such as Nancy Pelosi. As a result Washington, rejecting “business as usual,” finally stopped trying to solve every problem by throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at it and instead started trying to solve every problem by throwing trillions of taxpayer dollars at it.

To be sure, it was a year that saw plenty of bad news. But in almost every instance, there was offsetting good news: .... Read this in full at

Some Christians in the United States are quick to cry “persecution” if courts, schools, or businesses fail to favor their religion above others. But in places around the world where Christians face beatings, economic reprisal, imprisonment, or even death because of their faith, Americans' claims of religious persecution in the United States ring hollow.

“Since I began to answer this email, I have been writing non-stop for the last two hours, and still I am only scratching the surface of your multivalent questions,” wrote Chris Van Gorder, a Baylor University religion professor and expert in global persecution of Christians, responding to an email query about religious persecution.... Read this in full at

Evangelist Billy Graham and Pope Benedict XVI are among the top 10 people that Americans most admired in 2009, according to a new poll. In the USA Today/Gallup Poll, Graham was ranked 6th in the list of men living today that Americans most admire -- a result that comes as no surprise given that he has been on the top-10 list every year since 1955. Pope Benedict XVI, meanwhile, was virtually tied with Graham with 2% of the open-ended survey’s votes but was ranked one notch higher.

Other than Graham and the pope, however, there were no other religious figures on the 2009 most-admired list -- unless you’re among those consider talk show host Oprah Winfrey an influential spiritual leader, as Christianity Today magazine concluded in 2002. Instead, both the men and women’s lists were dominated by politicians and those connected to politics.... Read this in full at

“It is a vital moment of truth when a man discovers that what he condemns most vehemently in others is that to which he is himself prone.”
Unknown Author

"Teach us to number our days right, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

Words: Thomas H. Gill, 1855
Music: Arthur Cottman, 1872

Break, newborn year, on glad eyes break,
Melodious voices move;
On, rolling time; thou canst not make
The Father cease to love.

The parted year had wingèd feet;
The Savior still doth stay;
The new year comes; but Spirit sweet,
Thou goest not away.

Our hearts in tears may oft run o’er;
But Lord, Thy smile still beams;
Our sins are swelling evermore,
But pardoning grace still streams.

Lord, from this year more service win,
More glory, more delight:
O make its hours less sad with sin,
Its days with Thee more bright.

Then we may bless its precious things
If earthly cheer should come,
Or gladsome mount on angel wings
If Thou wouldst take us home.

O golden then the hours must be;
The year must needs be sweet;
Yes, Lord, with happy melody
Thine opening grace we greet.

>from NetHymnal at

“May I be careful to have my mind in order when I take upon myself the honor to speak to the sovereign Lord of the universe, remembering that upon the temper of my soul depends, in very great measure, my success.”
Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism (1669-1742)


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.

The Top 10 Sports Moments of 2009,28804,1945379_1944649,00.html

Best Of The 2010 Snowboarding Videos

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.)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they are sticking to their diets.
Min. 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.
Visit our website at:  


Subscribe to CONNECTIONS here

Get Archives of all past issues here:

Check out my blog