Connecting man to man to God
For week of January 17, 2010
Issue 287

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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“The Lord exists forever; your word is firmly fixed in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”
Psalm 119:89-90

“The whole purpose of the Bible, it seems to me, is to convince people to set the written word down in order to become living words in the world for God's sake. For me, this willing conversion of ink back to blood is the full substance of faith.”
Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church

Evangelical leaders have identified the greatest moral issues facing America today and topping the list is abortion. "The moral scandal of abortion tops my list…not because murder is worse than other moral evils, but because of the massive numbers of this killing field and intentionality of so many to put self-gratification, greed and political advantage above life itself," said Jeff Farmer of the Open Bible Churches in Des Moines, Iowa.

Abortion, moral relativism and mistreatment of others almost came in a three-way tie as the top concerns among America's evangelical leaders, according to the survey released by the National Association of Evangelicals.... Read this in full at

God is the most God-centered person in the universe, says Baptist pastor John Piper. And some people take offense to that. Addressing more than 21,000 college students at Passion 2010, Piper posed the question on whether Jesus is an egomaniac.

"God demands that we all get on our face and worship Him, admire Him, treasure Him ... and count Him as the supreme value in the universe and He's angry when we don't," the long-time evangelical said Monday at the Atlanta, Ga., conference.

For someone who has never questioned glorifying God, Piper has found that "God's God-centeredness is an unbelievably powerful test of my God-centeredness."

A lot of people do not want to go near God who demands worship and praise. Eric Reece of An American Gospel and talk show host Oprah Winfrey are unwilling to draw near to what they see as an egomaniac, Piper listed as some examples.

It was a struggle for C.S. Lewis as well. But the famed author got his breakthrough. "Wherever you hear God saying 'praise me' what He's really saying is since praise is the completion of pleasure in greatness, please come to the fullness of your joy ... [and] of your satisfaction," Piper explained, citing Lewis' realization.... Read this in full at

Which of the 50 states has the most religious population? Since there are many ways to define "religious," there is no single answer to this question. But to give a sense of how the states stack up, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life used polling data to rank them on four measures: the importance of religion in people's lives, frequency of attendance at worship services, frequency of prayer and absolute certainty of belief in God. Mississippi stands out on all four, and several other Southern states also rank very high on the measures. See how the states rank according to each of the four measures in the interactive graphic at

Two of the most notorious and restrictive regimes in the world top the Open Doors 2010 World Watch List (WWL) of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.

In the No. 1 spot for the eighth straight time is North Korea, the country where every religious activity is recognized as an insurrection to the North Korean socialist principles. In 2009, the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-Il targeted Christians all over the country. That resulted in arrests, torture and killings. North Korean leaders are desperately trying to control society in order to eradicate all Christian activities. There are an estimated 200,000 North Koreans in political prisons, including 40,000 to 60,000 Christians.

A veteran North Korean watcher, who can't be identified due to security reasons, states: "Christians are the target of fierce government action, and once caught, are not regarded as human. Last year we had evidence that some were used as guinea pigs to test chemical and biological weapons."

Iran is now No. 2 on the list. Iran was previously No. 3 on the WWL for many years, behind Saudi Arabia. The wave of arrests of Christians which started in 2008 continued even stronger during 2009, resulting in the arrest of at least 85 Christians. It is suspected that the arrests are a way for the Iranian government to distract attention from internal problems, including the domestic turmoil after the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Most of those arrested were mistreated in prison. The turmoil and rioting continued at the end of 2009.

Of the countries on the top 10 list, eight have Islam as their dominant religion -- Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Afghanistan, Yemen, Mauritania and Uzbekistan. North Korea and Laos are communist countries. Also, 35 of the 50 countries on the list have Islamic governments.... Read this in full at

by Katelyn Beaty
Our Holy Land tour guide from the Ministry of Tourism had no interest in Nazareth Village. The site is billed as a "living museum" where tourists, mostly Christians, can see an ancient Middle Eastern farm, with locals decked out in beige robes working the land and herding livestock. The decade-old ministry had some of the trappings of Sunday school flannel boards and 1950s Jesus films, going more for the picturesque than the living past.

Our guide, Karl -- a secular Jew with a master's degree in archaeology -- was having none of it. He kept to the back of our group, waiting for the closing evangelistic message to end so we could attend to weightier sights, like Masada and the Qumran Caves.

A first-time visitor to the Holy Land, I was prepared to share Karl's distaste for quaint depictions of Jesus and his home. Even Karl, with seemingly no interest in getting to know the Man from Nazareth, at least recognized that man as a person who lived in time and space. He knew we were dealing in historical meat, not myth.

Yet something happened as we toured the Village that snuffed out my snobbery and mistrust of marketed experiences. The millennia-old olive trees, the dust in my nose, even the garbed employees -- they all helped me to see Jesus as a man deeply acquainted with the essentials of human life. And they unearthed the fact that I was the one who had turned Jesus into a nice story.... Read this in full at

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the self-same wind that blows.
‘Tis the set of the sail and not the gale
That tells us which way it goes.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we journey along through life;
‘Tis the set of the soul that determines the goal
And neither the calm nor the strife.
Unknown Author

In his new book Primal (Multnomah), Mark Batterson talks about reclaiming the core of the Christian faith. Early in the book he observes: "It goes without saying that Christianity has a perception problem. At the heart of the problem is the simple fact that Christians are more known for what we're against than what we're for....But before confronting what's wrong with our culture, we need to be humble enough, honest enough, and courageous enough to repent of what's wrong with us....By and large, 20-somethings are leaving the church at an alarming rate. According to some statistics, 61% of 20-somethings who grew up going to church will quit going to church in their 20s. And the temptation is to ask this question: What's wrong with this generation? But that is the wrong question. The right question is this: What's wrong with the church? My answer is simply this: We're not great at the Great Commandment. In too many instances, we're not even good at it. That, I believe, is our primal problem. That is the lost soul of Christianity.... Read this in full at

While timeouts and other disciplinary methods are encouraged by some child psychologists, a Calvin College psychology professor says her research shows corporal punishment forms more well-adjusted people later in life.

Marjorie Gunnoe says the study finds children who remember being spanked on the backside with an open hand do better in school, perform more volunteer work and are more optimistic than others who were not physically disciplined.

"This in no way should be thought of as a green light for spanking," said Gunnoe, who has studied spanking for more than a decade. Her research contradicts claims that spanked children are more aggressive and have other detrimental consequences. The practice should be considered when lawmakers across the county consider banning spanking, Gunnoe said, noting 24 countries have barred the punishment.... Read this in full at

The head of the nation's largest faith-based medical association has ended his membership in the American Medical Association.

"I can no longer associate with or support an organization that is unscientific, unprofessional and controlled by special interests," David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, wrote in a letter to the AMA dated Dec. 14.

In a Dec. 16 news release, Stevens said he is advising others in the Christian group who belong to the AMA "to carefully consider" whether they also should terminate their AMA memberships.

In his letter to the AMA, Stevens cited the AMA's pro-abortion advocacy and support of embryonic stem cell research, same-sex marriage and medical marijuana -- and its negotiations with U.S. Senate leaders over Medicare reimbursement rates -- as AMA policies "that contradict and undermine the positions of many physicians.".... Read this in full at

Pastors and pro-family leaders across America are being encouraged to take part in a weeklong effort next month to help strengthen, enrich, and repair marriages in their churches and in their communities.

“National Marriage Week USA,” which will be observed the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, is a collaborative effort to encourage churches and many diverse groups to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which organizers say in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children.

“There is no question that more needs to be done within our congregations to create a more thriving marriage culture and assist marriages and families to remain happily intact,” campaign organizers say.

Referring to a recently released report on marriage co-published by the Institute for American Values and the National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting (NCAAMP), the organizers note that the percentage of United States’ adults who are married has dropped from 78% in 1970 to 57% in 2008.... Read this in full at

“The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day "evangelist." He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.”
A. W. Pink (1886-1952), Studies on Saving Faith, Swengel, Pa.: Reiner Publications, 1932, p. 9-10

by Patrick Morley, PhD
Thanks, Tim, for the many unforgettable memories. Thanks also for your "glare strip" ministry. Google reported 93,000,000 hits when you inscribed John 3:16 for last year's BCS Championship Game. So this year I wrote them down as the year progressed. I think I got them right:

September 5, 2009. Charleston Southern. You saw a little girl during Gator Walk with a sign that read, Proverbs 3:5-6, and that was your first pick of the year. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.?"

September 12, 2009. Troy State. Mark 8:36, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"

September 19, 2009. Tennessee. Romans 8:28 put things in perspective: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

September 26, 2009. Kentucky. Who will ever forget your concussion? Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

October 10, 2009. LSU. You made it back! 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

October 17, 2009. Arkansas. A Squeaker at home. Psalm 23:1, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want."

October 24, 2009. Mississippi State. Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

October 31, 2009. Georgia. You broke Hershel Walker's TD record. Your glare strips read Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

November 7, 2009. Vanderbilt. Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

November 14, 2009. South Carolina. Joshua 1:8-9, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

November 21, 2009. FIU. Romans 1:16, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."

November 28, 2009. Florida State. Hebrews 12:1-2 which Verne Lundquist misquoted on air as Hebrews 12:12. But then in an ironic twist he also read a portion of the correct verse! "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

December 5, 2009. SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama. John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

January 1, 2010. Sugar Bowl. What else? A complete description of the gospel in Ephesians 2:8-10, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

You have a good heart, Tim. May you continue to find favor with God and man. God bless.

“During the two-week period when I was snowbound in a mountain cabin in Colorado, blizzards closed all roads and I had nothing to do but read the Bible. I went through it slowly, page by page. In the Old Testament I found myself identifying with those who boldly stood up to God: Moses, Job, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, the psalmists. As I read, I felt I was watching a play with human characters who acted out their lives of small triumph and large tragedy onstage, while periodically calling to an unseen Stage Manager, ‘You don't know what it's like out here!’

“Job was most brazen, flinging to God this accusation: ‘Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees?’

“Every so often I could hear the echo of a booming voice from far offstage, behind the curtain. ‘Yeah, and you don't know what it's like back here either!’ it said to Moses, to the prophets, most clearly to Job. When I got to the Gospels, however, the accusing voices stilled. God, if I may use such language, ‘found out’ what life is like in the confines of planet Earth. Jesus got acquainted with grief in person, in a brief, troubled life not far from the dusty plains where Job had travailed. Of the many reasons for incarnation, surely one was to answer Job's accusation: Do you have eyes of flesh? For a time, God did.

“If only I could hear the voice from the whirlwind and, like Job, hold a conversation with God directly! I sometimes think. And perhaps that is why I now choose to write about Jesus. God is not mute: the Word spoke, not out of a whirlwind, but out of the human larynx of a Palestinian Jew. In Jesus, God lay down on the dissection table, as it were, stretched out in cruciform posture for the scrutiny of all skeptics who have ever lived. Including me.”
Philip Yancey, Grace Notes

“The happiest marriage is where both parties get better mates than they deserve.”
Unknown Author

The research, conducted by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI), involved 6,700 employees in 62 organizations across North America to identify great workplaces with a Christian mission and/or values.

The 2010 Certified Best Christian Workplaces in the US include:
Apartment Life - Hurst, TX
Christian Heritage Academy - Northfield, IL
Church Web Works - Renton, WA
Coalition for Christian Outreach - Pittsburgh, PA
Crossroads Church - Cincinnati, OH
Dallas Christian College - Dallas, TX
English Language Institute/China - Ft. Collins, TX
Evangel University - Springfield, MO
Joni and Friends - Agoura Hills, CA
KSBJ - Humble, TX
Lenawee Christian School - Adrian, MI
Logos Research Systems, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
MOPS International - Denver, CO
Naples Christian Academy - Naples, FL
New Mission Systems International - Fort Myers, FL
Olivet Nazarene University - Bourbonnais, IL
Phoenix Seminary - Phoenix, AZ
Samaritan Ministries International - Peoria, IL
Southland Christian Church - Nicholasville, KY
SpringHill Camps - Evart, MI
Tacoma Rescue Mission - Tacoma, WA
The Foundation for Evangelism - Lake Junaluska, NC
The Master's College - Santa Clarita, CA
The Master's Seminary - Sun Valley, CA
Upward Unlimited - Spartanburg, SC
Wheaton Academy - West Chicago, IL
World Harvest Mission - Jenkintown, PA .... Read more information at

“When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).”
Colossians 3:4-5

“The man who will not act till he knows all will never act at all.”
Jim Elliot (1927-1956), citing a popular saying of ancient Greece, The Journals of Jim Elliot, ed. Elisabeth Elliot, Revell, 1990, p. 131

Parental demand for “designer babies” screened to lack faulty genes will grow dramatically over the next decade, with new discoveries about the influence of DNA on health, a leading geneticist has predicted.

As science learns more about the genetic roots of disease, couples will increasingly seek DNA tests on their embryos when starting a family, according to David Goldstein, of Duke University in North Carolina.

By 2020, researchers will have discovered many more genetic variations that substantially raise the risk of common conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and psychiatric disorders, and it will be possible to detect these in embryos, he said. This will feed much wider interest in embryo screening, which is currently used by only a few dozen couples each year, and encourage fresh controversy over the ethics of designer babies.... Read more information at

Mobilize Faith, LLC announced today that it has introduced the Bible Memory app for iPhone and iPod touch, making it easier and more fun to build Bible knowledge and memorize scripture. Just in time for anyone who wants to make memorizing verses a key part of their 2010 New Year’s resolutions, the Bible Memory app is available on the iTunes App Store for $3.99.

Bible memorization is an essential practice in Christian life, but there is no simple, organized and effective way to ensure that intention translates into practice, especially given today’s busy lifestyle. Many have resorted to index cards or paper, which are outdated and inefficient, and identifying a catalog of verses to memorize can be cumbersome and difficult.

Bible Memory is the first app for the iPhone and iPod touch that solves many of the barriers associated with creating a daily, weekly or monthly practice of memorizing scripture. Bible Memory puts 250 categorized verses in four translations at users’ fingertips wherever and whenever they have a free moment for quiet study and reflection.... Read more information at

“As my six-year-old tried to open a package, I sat patiently waiting for him to ask me for help. It was one of those hard plastic packages that are nearly impossible to open.

“I knew my son wouldn't be able to open the package on his own, but I wanted him to make his own choice about whether or when he would ask me for help. It didn't take long before he looked up at me and asked for help.

“Today, you may be holding a package in your hand that is wrapped in a hard plastic shell -- inside is a gift, what Jesus calls the "abundant life." You may be straining to open the package, using anything you can think of to get inside.

“Meanwhile, God is patiently waiting for you to abandon your attempts to create the abundant life and say, ‘I can't, but God, you can.’ He is waiting for you to let him loose in your life so he can become your strength.”
Jon Walker, Growing with Purpose

When church leaders envision their next building project, many are selecting interior and exterior styles that may deter the very people they're trying to reach -- the unchurched -- from visiting.

According to the Church Facilities Expansion Study, a joint research project in 2009 between the Cornerstone Knowledge Network (CKN) and Christianity Today International, church leaders consistently chose building designs that are the opposite of what the unchurched said they preferred in a prior study, Sacred Space, conducted by CKN and Lifeway Research in 2008.

In the Church Facilities Expansion Study, most churches that are planning to build within the next 18 months say they will go with a more modern look for their exterior, sanctuary, and foyer designs. However, Sacred Space respondents, all of whom are unchurched and do not currently attend a church, said they prefer churches with a much more traditional, cathedral-like design.... Read this in full at

After decades of no growth in the ranks of female senior pastors serving in Protestant churches, a new Barna study that has tracked the ratio of male-to-female pastors indicates that women have made substantial gains in the past ten years.

From the early 1990s through 1999 just 5% of the Senior Pastors of Protestant churches were female. Since that time the proportion has slowly but steadily risen, doubling to 10% in 2009.... Read this in full at

“There is nothing in the Bible that benefits you unless it is transmitted into life, unless it becomes a part of yourself, just like your food. Unless you assimilate it and it becomes body and bone and muscle, it does you no good.”
Henry Weston

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”
Romans 12:9-13

Words: Richard W. Adams, 2004
Music: William F. Sherwin, 1877

Builder of ages, Planner divine,
Drawing the length and breadth of space and time;
Yet also Monarch with kingdom to build,
And golden capital still yet unfilled.

Surveyor, Architect, Craftsman sublime,
He drew the blueprint ere the start of time,
Building with living stones fair temples bright,
Fixing our hearts into His halls of light.

First came the Cornerstone, Jesus, our Lord;
We hear this mighty Rock call from the Word:
“Build up My Church,” says He, “it cannot fail;
As long as you believe, you will prevail.”

“As you are gathered here, so here am I,
Lift up your hearts and song unto the sky;
Call in My citizens, do not delay;
Bring in My kingdom of the perfect day.”

So, in this year to come, we vow to build
Two things for Christ our King, with spirit filled:
First, we will make a house, fit for a King;
And build within ourselves hearts fit to sing.

>from NetHymnal at

Intercessors: participants in world events
by Elizabeth Kendal
When I watch football, I do so as a spectator. When my son (a footballer) watches football, he does so as a participant, always looking to learn things he can apply to his own game. One of the most valuable habits prayer leaders and intercessors can develop is to watch, hear and read the news not as spectators, but as participants. We should be looking to learn things we can apply to our intercession. The world's stereotyping of intercessors as passive simpletons without 'real' options is a lie of the devil built on misconceptions. While the faithless noisily rush around the horizontal plain of their two-dimensional world, intercessors quietly engage by faith in a three-dimensional world whose height attains the heavens and whose depth reaches into a spiritual realm of unimaginable proportions. Our eternally faithful Sovereign God rules over all this and has given Jesus Christ 'as head over all things to the church' (Ephesians 1:22ESV).

In terms of religious liberty and Christian security, 2010 promises to be an even more challenging year than 2009. Increasingly, states once known for persecution are becoming notorious for sectarian mob violence and ethnic-religious cleansing. States that once courted the world from behind a facade of modernity and prosperity are revealing the darkness of their hearts with impunity. States busily excavating their Christian foundations with a view to cultural renovation are increasingly adopting repressive authoritarian measures to maintain order in the wake of moral erosion and cultural collapse. So may our 'New Year's resolution' for 2010 be that we commit to being intercessors who are participants in and not mere spectators of world events.


Use the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.

I am agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!

Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
Rebates & returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Money to be found
Bills decrease while blessings increase

"And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut. 28:2).

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you'd like the church guys to pray for your safety and spiritual effectiveness. I'll add your name to the list for the time you'll be away.]

Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I'll put it in this newsletter.

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Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

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Travel time to major cities: A global map of Accessibility

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.)

Sometimes the best helping hand you can give is a good, firm push.
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.
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