man to man to God
week of January 31, 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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the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to
which you were called and for which you made the good confession
in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:12
are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.”
BOWL XLIV (44)
7, 2010; Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
television and radio
Bowl XLIV will be played Feb. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami
Gardens, Fla., a Miami suburb. To commemorate this occasion, the
Census Bureau has compiled a collection of facts examining the
demographics of the host city, as well as the cities represented
by the contenders, in this year’s edition of our nation’s
most celebrated sporting event.
the mail-out of 2010 Census questionnaires slightly more than a
month away, the Census Bureau will run three ads promoting census
awareness during the Super Bowl telecast -- two during the pregame
show and one during the third quarter.
FOR CHURCH SUPER BOWL PARTIES
planning a 2010 Super Bowl party will want to pay attention to 3
rules that will help protect them from being penalized by the NFL,
which is cracking down on use of its copyright.
The game must be shown on equipment that the church regularly
uses in the course of ministry. So, if the church already
owns a big screen and sound equipment, the game can be shown
using this equipment.
The church cannot charge admission for the party. The NFL has
said, however, the church may take up a donation to defray the
cost of the event if it desires.
To avoid any copyright infringements, churches may want to call
their events a "Big Game Party" rather than a "Super
DEFENDS TIM TEBOW SUPER BOWL AD
Tebow, who just finished his college football career at Florida,
will appear with his mother in an ad paid for by Focus on the
Family. According to reports, Tebow's mother will describe how she
was advised to have an abortion but chose to give birth to him.
Pro-choice groups are upset, and CBS defends its plans to air the
other Super Bowl news, Erwin McManus, pastor at Mosaic in
California, produced a commercial for Doritos, which is offering
up to $5 million in prizes to winners. McManus's ad is among six
ad portrays a man who stages a funeral so he can eat Doritos in a
casket. "It's a miracle and a divine comedy that we've made
it this far," McManus told USA Today. "I think it's
God's sense of humor." See the video at
BELIEVER'S TO-BE LIST: STEPS TO A FRESH START WITH GOD
I turned 50, I had a complete physical checkup. Doctors poked,
prodded, x-rayed, and even cut open parts of my body to assess and
repair the damage I had done. At the same time, I scheduled a
spiritual checkup, too. I went on a silent retreat led by a wise
those days of solitude, I pondered what I needed to change to keep
my soul in shape. The more I listened, the longer grew the list.
Here is a mere sampling, a portion of a spiritual action plan for
my next 50 years.
Question your doubts as much as your faith. By personality, or
perhaps as a reaction to a fundamentalist past, I brood on doubts
and experience faith in occasional flashes. Isn't it about time
for me to reverse the pattern?
Do not attempt this journey alone. Like many Protestants, I easily
assume the posture of one person alone with God, a stance that
more and more I see as unbiblical. The Old Testament tells the
story of the people of God; Jesus' parables unveil the kingdom;
the epistles went primarily to communities of faith. We have
little guidance on how to live as a follower alone because God
never intended it.... Read this in full at
OF THE EARLIEST DESCRIPTIONS OF CHRISTIANS
dwell in their own countries but simply as sojourners. As
citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all
things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their
native country, and every land of their birth as a land of
strangers. They marry, as do others; they beget children; but they
do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table but not a
common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the
flesh. They pass their days on the earth, but are citizens of
heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time
surpass the laws in their lives. They love all, and are persecuted
by all. They are poor, yet they make many rich; they are
completely destitute, and yet they enjoy complete abundance. They
are reviled, and yet they bless. When they do good they are
punished as evildoers; undergoing punishment, they rejoice because
they are brought to life.”
Epistle to Diognetus, author
unknown, written about AD 130
WORD IS YOUR BOND
an assignment for you. When you go to work tomorrow, find a way to
cheat one of your best customers. If you're a salesman, overcharge
your best client. If you're a lawyer, leak some privileged
information about your top client to the media. If you manage
someone's investments, skim a little off his profit and into your
absurd, right? Cheating your customer is a good way to lose that
customer, get fired, or land in jail. Or all three. Recent news of
high-level scandals in business notwithstanding, you simply cannot
be successful in your work if you cheat. At least not for very
long. Eventually, dishonesty catches up with you, and when it does
the results are disastrous. Whatever reputation you have earned in
your line of work, one slip in the area of integrity and you can
spend the rest of your career trying to repair the damage. And
because your behavior is a reflection on the company you
represent, responsible businesses expect you to be honest and
trustworthy, often spelling this out in ethics policies.
is not just a fancy word but something we need to work at and
integrate into practically every decision we make. More important,
it is something so vital that we are willing to go the extra mile
to protect our good reputations. I'm sure you could also tell
stories of being tempted to cut ethical corners and choosing
instead to take the high road.”
Louis Upkins Jr., Treat
Me Like A Customer
SPOTLIGHTS DARWIN’S FAITH, WIFE’S FEARS
debate. Loss of faith. Religious discord. Questions about death,
the universe, and our place in it.
to a new film, Charles Darwin saw, and wrestled with, all of that
and more as the implications of his theory of evolution became
clear for society as a whole, but even more so, within his own
a film by director Jon Amiel that opened Jan. 22, introduces
Darwin as a 40-something father working on his seminal work, “On
the Origin of Species,” which laid out his theory that would
revolutionize society’s understandings of human history.
(Paul Bettany) is haunted by the recent death of his daughter
Annie (Martha West). His grief, along with his gradual loss of
faith, creates a gulf between Darwin and his beloved wife Emma
(Jennifer Connelly), a devout Christian.
people who adore and respect each other are driven into opposite
corners by firstly a desperate loss, the loss of a child,”
Amiel said in an interview.... Read this in full at
AND THE GRIDIRON: WHY ARE US SPORTS SO CHRISTIANITY-FRIENDLY?
Colt McCoy of the University of Texas expressed his faith in an
interview following the Longhorns’ BCS championship game
loss to Alabama Jan. 7, the quarterback placed himself in a
growing cadre of Christian athletes becoming increasingly vocal
about their commitment to Jesus Christ.
always give God the glory,” said McCoy, who was knocked out
of the game -- the last of his college career -- by a shoulder
injury, probably contributing to his team’s defeat. “I
never question why things happen the way they do. God is in
control of my life. And I know that if nothing else, I’m
standing on the Rock.”
publicized expressions of faith have become standard fare in
college and professional sports at least since 1977, the year
running back Herb Lusk dropped to one knee after scoring a
touchdown for his Philadelphia Eagles. The end-zone prayer often
is cited as the first to be televised across the nation.
Christians find those high-profile testimonies encouraging,
prominently featuring evangelical sports figures in worship
services and evangelistic conferences. The trend prompted writer
Tom Krattenmaker to call big-time sports “one of the most
outwardly religious sectors of American culture.”.... Read
this in full at
RELIGION AND PRO SPORTS MIX?
the sign of the cross before swinging at a baseball pitch,
kneeling in prayer after making it to the end zone and thanking
God in post-game press conferences are among frequent practices
observed by professional athletes. Tom Krattenmaker, author of
"Onward Christian Athletes," says many ballparks have
been turned into pulpits and players into preachers. It is a
reality that some say has become all too common.... Read this in
TRADES ACTING CAREER FOR PASTORATE
walls of Jay Underwood's office are lined with books and textbooks
about the Bible. There is even a large Bible on his desk. Behind
his desk are photos of his family. Prints of Field & Stream
magazine covers line the walls. A child's drawing is tacked to a
shelf. Outside his office, a large entryway leads into a brightly
lit sanctuary lined with pews. Next door to the church are
mountains of logs waiting to be milled into lumber.
is little evidence in this environment -- the church where he is
pastor and the town where he lives -- of the career Underwood
spent 20 years pursuing.
the past two years, Underwood has worked as pastor at First
Baptist Church of Weaverville. He is low-key about his former
career as a movie and television actor, said Dan Beans, a deacon
at the church. "Probably not many people know he was an
actor, unless they come to church," Beans said.
list of credits include television episodes of "The West
Wing," "The X Files," "Star Trek: Voyager,"
"Murder, She Wrote," "ER" and "21 Jump
Street" and such movies as "The Boy Who Could Fly,"
"Desert Bloom," "Uncle Buck," "The
Invisible Kid," "The Cylinder" and "Win a Date
with Tad Hamilton!" But that's all in the past, Beans
said.... Read this in full at
you have an unanswered prayer? Not just a small daily request, but
a major heartbreaking, soul-wrenching, tear-soaking prayer that
God has not answered? I do. And as I have wrestled with it, my
thoughts at times have been in turmoil: Does God really love me?
Has He heard me? Does He care? If He cares, is He unable to
answer? Have I done something to displease Him? Why doesn't God
answer my prayer? And I have been confronted with the temptation
to blame God, to resent God, to turn away from God -- to just stop
praying because He doesn't seem to be answering anyway.
I have struggled with my "why?" I have sought answers in
God's Word. With loving patience and gentle wisdom, He has led me
to John 11 and the story of Martha's "unanswered prayer"
in order to teach me to trust Him when I just don't understand.”
Anne Graham Lotz, Into the Word
ARCHEOLOGIST RECOUNTS DISCOVERY OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
digging a single shovel of dirt, archaeologist Leen Ritmeyer found
the location of Solomon's Temple with a keen eye, biblical and
historical knowledge, and a tape measure.
Ritmeyer became one of the leading scholars in Temple Mount
research. And it all started with one unique stone.
to Ritmeyer, the original Temple Mount platform measured 500
cubits by 500 cubits. The "royal cubit" used for the
temple was 20.67 inches long. Later, King Herod expanded the
platform on the Temple Mount, doubling its size. It is the
expanded, Herodian platform that tourists in Jerusalem visit
today. The current platform has two levels. Eight staircases lead
from the lower level to the higher level where the Muslim Dome of
the Rock shrine stands.... Read this in full at
HAGGARD'S WIFE EXPLAINS HER FORGIVENESS IN MEMOIR
from the day Gayle Haggard learned in early November 2006 that her
famous evangelical husband, Ted Haggard, had a secret life of drug
use and homosexual liaisons, she knew she would try to forgive
what Christians do, she writes in her book, "Why I Stayed:
The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour." The candid memoir’s
official release was Jan. 26. Gayle Haggard says she searched her
memory, journal and records to answer this question: "Will I
be the woman who washes her hands of the situation and walks away
from Ted, or will I be the woman who loves him and shows
forgiveness? The choice was mine." Christians forgive, she
says.... Read this in full at
know about American missionaries going to Africa. Now African
missionaries from Nigeria are coming to the US, they say, to
restore Christianity and morality. At last count, the Nigerians
had more than 400 Redeemed Christian Churches in North America
alone, with more on the way. Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly
explores how the Nigerians have managed to do this and how their
leaders have the energy and money to keep growing.... Read and see
this in full at
CAN I GET STARTED READING THE BIBLE?
I’m a new Christian, and I want to learn more from the
Bible. I have an old Bible that belonged to my grandmother, and
it’s difficult to understand. Where do I begin? How can I
get more out of reading the Bible?
It’s great to hear about your desire to read God’s
Word. Many Christians long to know more about the Bible, but like
you, they feel frustrated because of the strange words and unusual
writing styles. If you’re reading an older version, such as
the King James Version, the Bible can feel particularly foreign to
you. How can you begin to understand what you are reading?
first step is to purchase a Bible that you can use at home and at
church. You might ask your pastor what version he uses when he
preaches. It’s helpful to own a copy of the same version so
that you can follow along during his sermon.... Read this in full
IS MOST-STOLEN BOOK DURING HOLIDAYS
bookstores are seeing theft increase in the down economy, and the
most often target are -- surprisingly -- Bibles. "I can see
the need people have, they need to buy more but don't have the
means to do it," said Maria Obregon, store manager for Noah's
Ark Christian Bookstore in San Antonio, Texas. Obregon looks at
the thefts with optimism. "So I just bless them that they can
[use it] and read it," she said. The store's Bibles range in
price from $10 to $70, but Obregon says she often gives discounts
on Bibles, even handing them out for free to new believers. Still,
she acknowledges that the pricey thefts have an impact. "It
hurts the cash register," Obregon said.... Read this in full
have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ
lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the
Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our
business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves. The idea
is to live all of our lives in the presence of God, under the
authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God. That is what
the Christian life is all about.”
R. C. Sproul
PASSES 50 MILLION ABORTION MARK
some point during the past two years the United States experienced
its 50 millionth legal abortion, the overwhelming majority of
which were conducted for reasons of convenience.
tragic statistic -- which spans the 37 years since the US Supreme
Court legalized abortion nationwide in 1973 -- is based on data
compiled by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute and tallied by the
National Right to Life Committee. Guttmacher's data is respected
by both sides of the issue and comes directly from abortion
mark of 50 million was passed in 2008 and likely approached or
reached 52 million in 2009, although data is not yet available for
that year. The 50 million figure actually is an estimate based on
Guttmacher data from 2005 -- the last year of data -- when 1.2
million abortions were performed. The abortion rate ranged between
1.2 and 1.3 million from 2000 to 2005. If the same number of
abortions performed in 2005 were performed in each succeeding
year, then the number stood at 52 million at the end of last
year.... Read this in full at
BY ULTRASOUND: WHY SO MANY ABORTION WORKERS HAVE TURNED PRO-LIFE.
David Daleiden and Jon A. Shields
rights activists have long preferred to hold themselves at some
remove from the practice they promote; rather than naming it, they
speak of “choice” and “reproductive freedom.”
But those who perform abortions have no such luxury. Instead,
advances in ultrasound imaging and abortion procedures have forced
providers ever closer to the nub of their work. Especially in
abortions performed far enough along in gestation that the fetus
is recognizably a tiny baby, this intimacy exacts an emotional
toll, stirring sentiments for which doctors, nurses, and aides are
sometimes unprepared. Most apparently have managed to reconcile
their belief in the right to abortion with their revulsion at
dying and dead fetuses, but a noteworthy number have found the
conflict unbearable and have defected to the pro-life cause....
Read this in full at
ECONOMY’S IMPACT ON CHURCHES: HOW CHURCHES HAVE ADAPTED
enduring some of the worst economic conditions in modern history,
many businesses, families and other charitable organizations are
coming out of panic mode and adapting to the “new normal.”
A Barna Group study with 1,114 pastors and church executives,
conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009, explored how
congregations and churches are coping with the economic downturn.
Protestant churches reported that the economy negatively affected
their financial resources over the last year, resulting in an
average decline of 7% across all such congregations. The Barna
study shows there have been three major ways that churches have
attempted to weather the downturn:
Reducing spending – Roughly one out of every five churches
(21%) have cut their spending to compensate for diminished
revenue. In addition to budget reductions, pastors indicated that
they were watching spending, conserving more, shopping for better
deals, eliminating non-essentials, freezing portions of the
budget, re-evaluating vendors. Each of these types of slices to
spending was mentioned by 2% to 3% of pastors.
Cutting staffing and missions – A second type of reduction
that churches made related to people, primarily staff members but
also including missionary partners. In all, about one out of every
six churches (18%) indicated that they had to eliminate positions,
reduce salaries, rely on more volunteer time, and cut hours from
full-time to part-time. Also, nearly one in every 25 churches said
they had reduced their giving to missions or missionaries.
Reducing facility budgets – One of the least commonly
reported adaptations was to related to church buildings and
facilities (3%). These types of alterations included scaling back
a building plan, eliminating a planned project altogether,
delaying construction, making better use of existing facilities,
delaying upgrades of equipment, and deferring maintenance and
half of church leaders (45%) said they had not made any changes to
their ministry as a result of the economic problems of the last
year.... Read this in full at
SADDLE UP FOR CHURCH
has forced Ohio's Christian cowboys inside on an early spring day.
Bull riders aren't the sort of people who complain about the
elements, but there are certain drawbacks to setting up a church
for cowboys in northeastern Ohio.
Royce Gregory, who tackled "1,800 pounds of mean" on the
rodeo circuit for 17 years before turning his life to God, isn't
worried about attendance. His pulpit, an engraved tan saddle
perched on spindly metal legs, stands before a wooden cross ringed
with a crown of thorns. It's a symbol, he says, of the simple
message of faith that is turning cowboy churches like his into a
lot of pastors don't like me and don't like the idea of [the
cowboy church]," Mr. Gregory says, referring to mainstream
religious leaders in a part of the country not exactly lacking in
places of worship. "But if you read the Bible, it is simple.
It's only man that made church hard."
is the ethos of cowboy church, which is bringing come-as-you-are
evangelical Christianity to the boots-and-Stetson set.
and the Western way of life have long been linked. But in recent
years cowboy churches have adopted a distinct identity -- favoring
riding arenas and barns instead of church buildings, carrying out
baptisms in horse troughs, welcoming wranglers whose blue jeans
are ripe with the smell of a working ranch -- that has allowed
them to grow faster than their founders thought possible.... Read
this in full at
AGE OF CHURCHGOERS NOW 61, CHURCH OF ENGLAND REPORT FINDS
report, compiled by the research and statistics department of the
Archbishops’ Council, also found half of those in the pews
are pensioners. Some rural congregations were older than 65 on
average, while the youngest Anglicans were found in London, with
the ‘standard’ churchgoer aged 54. It compares with
the population as a whole where the average adult age is 48.
is the first year in which the Church has analyzed the ages of its
congregations in detail, so no long-term trends can be determined.
However, weekly church attendance continues to fall according to
separate figures published on Friday. Around 1.14 million people
went to a church service at least once a week in 2008, the latest
figures show, but average Sunday attendance was down to 960,000
from 978,000 the previous year.... Read this in full at
LINKED TO HIGHER PAYCHECKS
faith stood out as an important characteristic of American life
from the beginning.These days, many Americans consider faith as a
kind of quality-of-life issue -- a significant factor for those
who practice, but entirely personal. It turns out, though, that
the practice of religion benefits all of us.
scope and scale of these good consequences are relatively
straightforward. In the non-financial sphere, for example, faith
tends to lead to happiness and optimism. More surprisingly, faith
produces financial rewards. In a nutshell, research shows a
positive correlation between income and religious practice.
typically find that, on average, those who practice
Judeo-Christian faith traditions do better financially than
non-religious people, all other things being equal. The General
Social Survey found that in 2004, the average "religious
person" -- someone who attends a house of worship at least
once a week -- had an income 8 percent higher than the average
"secularist," someone who attends once a year at most.
does going to church "cause" your income to rise?
Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, figured out an ingenious way to isolate and examine
what researchers call "causal effects."
true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory
and the grace of God.” Martin Luther (1483-1546), Luther's
Ninety-five Theses, Harold J. Grimm, ed., Fortress Press, 1957,
thesis #62, p. 14
all 95 theses at
RESEARCH FROM CASES AROUND THE WORLD, RADIATION ONCOLOGIST CLAIMS
PROOF OF THE AFTERLIFE
experiences have long been a fascinating phenomenon, prompting
more questions than answers. According to a Gallup poll, between 8
to 12 million Americans—around 5%—say they’ve
had a near-death experience. Despite these substantial numbers,
most scientists are at a loss to explain these events. Dr. Jeffrey
Long, a radiation oncologist, has spent the last 12 years studying
over a thousand cases of near-death experience. In his new book,
EVIDENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE: The Science of Near-Death Experiences
(HarperOne, 2010), Dr. Long provides scientific evidence that
supports what many have long suspected: near-death experiences
provide proof that life continues after we die.... Read this in
Is There Such a Thing as Life After Death?
should think less about what they ought to do and more about what
they ought to be. If only their being were good, their works would
shine forth brightly.”
thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy
because of what you have done.”
Psalm 92:4 (NLT)
WEEK'S HYMN: MY JESUS, I LOVE THEE
William R. Featherston, 1864 (he wrote it when he was 16)
Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876
Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
mansions of glory and endless delight,
ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
is not getting man's will done in heaven, but getting God's will
done on earth. It is not overcoming God's reluctance but laying
hold of God's willingness.”
Richard C. Trench
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 day is like a suitcase: the
same size, but some people can pack a lot more into it.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/
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