Connecting man to man to God
For week of February 14, 2010
Issue 291

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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“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

“I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower -- the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.”
Helen Keller

by Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries
It is hard to believe that George Beverly Shea has reached the grand old age of 101, but he has -- and he celebrated this amazing event February 1, 2010 in Montreat, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife Karlene, and close to his dear friend, Billy Graham.

“Bev” Shea holds the record for singing to the most people in person because his wonderful bass-baritone has been a part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Team for so many years.

He has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, won a Grammy in 1965, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association in 1978, and in 1996 was also inducted into the National Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Some time back, I was interviewed Bev about his extraordinary life in which he has recorded over 70 albums of timeless songs and classic hymns. One of his latest at the time was a CD called “I’d Rather Have Jesus” (Word Records), which is a 20-song treasury celebrating his life and ministry.... Read this in full at

WHY BOTHER WITH LENT? (Feb. 17 - Apr. 3, 2010)
Steven R. Harmon: To Take Up the Cross

Frederica Mathewes-Green: For Spiritual Exercise

Michael Horton: To Lead Us to Christ

Less than 18% of Americans say the church is the friendliest place in town, a recent survey reveals.

Though the church is ranked second behind "my home," which 35% of Americans listed, Group Publishing –- which commissioned the survey -– says the low number indicates that what is generally considered to be one of the safest havens in the world isn't seen as that friendly by most Americans.

Even among self-declared Christians, less than a quarter named the church as the friendliest place. Even fewer non-Christians, 7%, agreed.

With attendance across churches in the US declining, Christians can't really afford not to be friendly, said Amy Nappa, who leads Group for Women's ministry team.

What makes a place friendly? The some 750 surveyed Americans, 500 of whom were Christian, said the most important factor that makes a place friendly is "making me feel like I belong." Subsequent factors include "making me feel comfortable" and "at ease," conversation, smiles and being non-judgmental.... Read this in full at

For Travis Hutchinson, the life of a pastor in a small-town Georgia church is about preaching the gospel, ministering to the needy and, increasingly, figuring out how to handle an ever-growing list of risks.

Some new risks are real and demand vigilance, says Hutchinson, pastor of Highlands Presbyterian Church in LaFayette, Ga. For example, conducting a criminal background check on everyone who works with children has become a necessity.
Other risks are more remote, he says. Still, vendors stoke anxiety about everything from shooting sprees to federal audits.... Read this in full at

Churches and non-profits should prepare for another lean year as Americans continue to grip their wallets, a researcher cautioned:

"Barring a significant event or shift, the prospects for a recovery of charitable giving during 2010 appear dim," said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group. "Even while some financial indicators show signs of life, most Americans are very concerned about the country’s long-term economic prospects and seem to be tightening budgets and scrimping on donations."

A new survey released Monday by the Barna Group shows that more Americans have cut back on their giving to non-profits and churches. Nearly half of all adults (48 percent) said they reduced their giving to non-profit organizations in the last three months. That marks a jump from 31 percent in November 2008, when the economy began slowing down.... Read this in full at

The Presbyterian Church USA's statement of faith says God through Jesus Christ delivers followers "from death to life eternal." But one in three members of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination seem to believe there's some wiggle room for non-Christians to get into heaven, according to a recent poll.

The Presbyterian Panel's "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians" finds that 36% of members disagree or strongly disagree with the statement: "Only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved." Another 39%, or about two-fifths, agree or strongly agree with the statement.... Read this in full at

by Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Peter King, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, admits his skepticism when players bring up their faith after a game. "I've seen enough examples of players who claim to be very religious and then they get divorced three times or get in trouble with the law," Mr. King said earlier this week. "I'm not sure that the public is crying out for us to discover the religious beliefs of the athletes we're writing about."

Faith is the belief in things unseen. Sportswriters are trained to write about the observable. "One of the problems that we have is determining the veracity of a person's claim that he has just won this game for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," Mr. King said.

In the Baltimore Sun before last year's Super Bowl, Washington Post reporter Rick Maese characterized his fellow journalists as "notebook-toting cynics who worship at the altar of the free media buffet." But he softened his language and cut his colleagues some slack when I spoke to him recently. A sports reporter might write one story with a strong religion angle and feel like the idea is no longer fresh for the next athlete he covers, Mr. Maese told me. "It's not like the reporter's going to bring an athlete's beliefs or religious affiliation up out of the blue," he said. But "if that's something the player cites as a motivating factor, I don't think you're telling the full story if you don't explore that angle a little bit.".... Read this in full at

Conservatives say a new report released by International Planned Parenthood Federation on comprehensive sex education is inappropriate and oversexualizes ten-year-olds

"This report isn't about doing what is right for young people and certainly not about offering them the very best options in life. It is about advancing an ideological agenda that is hostile to traditional families, religious faith, and the good of children," commented Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, in a statement.

The report, "Stand and Deliver," claims young people -– defined as 10- to 24-year-olds -– today do not have access to enough information and health services when it comes to sex and sexuality. Their "unmet needs and their desires" and the lack of access pose risks to their health and well-being, the report indicates.... Read this in full at

Also see “Mandatory Sex Education for Ten-Year-Olds? Yours?” blog post by Albert Mohler

Psychologists in a new study suggest that moral judgments operate independently of religious background. By this they conclude that religion is a by-product of evolved, non-religious, cognitive functions.

Contributing to the ongoing debate over the origins and evolution of religion, Dr. Ilkka Pyysiainen of Finland's University of Helsinki and Dr. Marc Hauser of Harvard University evaluated existing theories by specifically exploring the link between religion and morality.

"We were interested in making use of this perspective because religion is linked to morality in different ways," said Hauser. "For some, there is no morality without religion, while others see religion as merely one way of expressing one's moral intuitions."

In their study, which was published by Cell Press in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, the psychologists cite several studies in moral psychology, including one that involved thousands of students from the elementary school level to those with graduate degrees and another that involved the rural, Mayan population. Subjects read and judged the moral permissibility of an action. Drs. Pyysiainen and Hauser note that the moral judgments provided by religious subjects did not differ from that of atheists.... Read this in full at

“The invasion of the Church by the world is a menace to the extension of Christ's Kingdom. In all ages conformity to the world by Christians has resulted in lack of spiritual life and a consequent lack of spiritual vision and enterprise. A secularized or self-centered Church can never evangelize the world.”
John R. Mott (1865-1955), The Evangelization of the World in this Generation, New York: Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1905, p. 44

“I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners -- of whom I am the foremost.”
1 Timothy 1:12-15

The Jerusalem syndrome is a psychological disorder in which a visit to the holy city triggers delusional and obsessive religious fantasies. In its extreme variety, people wander the lanes of the Old City believing they are biblical characters; John the Baptist, say, or a brawny Samson, sprung back to life.

Archaeologists in the Holy Land like to joke that their profession is vulnerable to a milder form of the syndrome. When scientists find a cracked, oversize skull in the Valley of Elah, it can be hard to resist the thought that it might have belonged to Goliath, or to imagine, while excavating the cellars of a Byzantine church, that the discovery of a few wooden splinters might be part of the cross on which Christ died. This milder malady is nothing new. In the mid-19th century, British explorers who came to Jerusalem with a shovel in one hand and a Bible in the other used the holy book as a sort of treasure map in the search for proof of Christianity's origins.

Now an extreme case of the willful jumbling of science and faith is threatening Jerusalem's precarious spiritual balance. It could not come at a worse time: Israeli-Arab peace talks have stalled; Israel has a hawkish government disinclined to compromise; and radical Islamist group Hamas remains powerful among Palestinians. Any tilt in Jerusalem's religious equilibrium could create a wave of unrest spreading far beyond the city's ramparts. Eric Meyers, who teaches Jewish studies and archaeology at Duke University, says: "Right now, Jerusalem is a tinderbox.".... Read this in full at,9171,1957350,00.html

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3:13

“The church is the great lost and found department.”
Robert Short

An anti-religion group couldn't persuade Wheaton to drop its practice of saying a prayer at City Council meetings, but the city has decided it will have its invocation before the opening gavel rather than after.

The city received a letter in November from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison, Wis., group, saying Wheaton's practice of inviting religious leaders to offer an invocation at meetings violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits laws "respecting an establishment of religion."

After reviewing the issue, City Attorney James Knippen said Wheaton's practice was within constitutional guidelines, but he suggested to the council that the city tweak its policy and formalize it within city ordinances.... Read this in full at,0,1951074.story

Focus on the Family, the evangelical radio ministry that grew into a powerhouse of the religious right, enters a new era this month as founder James Dobson steps down, ceding his microphone to a leader with a markedly different style and set of priorities.

Mr. Dobson, a 73-year-old child psychologist, will record the last of his daily radio broadcasts for the Colorado Springs-based ministry this month. Taking over from him will be Jim Daly, an M.B.A. who has been with the ministry for two decades and became its president in 2005.

On the radio since the late 1970s, Mr. Dobson has built an audience estimated at 1.5 million daily listeners in the US and more than 200 million world-wide. He began his ministry advising parents, urging, for instance, a firm hand in child discipline, including spankings with a paddle.

In the past two decades, Mr. Dobson pushed into politics by funding ad campaigns and mobilizing his radio audience to bombard Congress with calls on hot-button legislation.

An anti-abortion television ad during the Super Bowl has drawn renewed attention to his ministry.

Mr. Daly, 48, said he wasn't backing away from Mr. Dobson's conservative social agenda, as the Super Bowl ad shows. The ministry collected more than $2.5 million just days after Mr. Daly proposed the idea.

But, Mr. Daly said, he has no use for the sharp personal attacks on politicians employed by Mr. Dobson.... Read this in full at

Religious people may have taken comfort from a number of studies over the past two decades showing those adhering to a faith tend to be healthier but a new study casts some doubt on this belief.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, suggests that when it comes to heart disease and clogged arteries, attending religious services or having spiritual experiences may not protect against heart attacks and strokes.

"There's not a lot of extra burden or extra protection afforded by this particular aspect of people's lives," concluded Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, of the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, who led the study.... Read this in full at

When Darren Sherkat published a paper in a major sociology journal in the 1990s, focused on Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, he said that the reaction from many senior scholars was "dismissive." He remembers one telling him "this is garbage" for citing Weber's views on the significance of religious values. "It can't be religion" driving human behavior, the scholar told the then un-tenured Sherkat. "It's got to be something else that caused the religion."

Sherkat, a professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, no longer has to worry about arguing for the key role of religion as a social force. As a new study has found, there has been a significant increase over the last 25 or so years not only in the quantity of work done by sociologists on religion, but also in how religion is treated in those studies. No longer is it assumed to be only a reflection of some other socioeconomic trend, but increasingly it is treated as *the* factor that may be central to understanding a given group of people.... Read this in full at

If religious programming brings to mind only televangelists and donation drives, chances are you haven't tuned in to some of the major faith-related networks in a while. And if you have missed out, you can always catch up on your iPhone.

The faith-based networks, much like their secular TV counterparts, are seeking multiplatform pathways to get their message out. And while preachers and requests for funds are still staples of the religious TV landscape, the space has broadened in recent years to encompass reality TV, interactive shows, and a robust and growing cross-platform presence. Trinity Broadcasting (TBN), the nation's largest Christian network, has just launched a mobile app that will allow viewers to download all seven of Trinity's channels to their iPhones.

Even long-running religious programming like the Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) 700 Club has undergone changes to attract a more multimedia-savvy audience. 700 Club is still the cable and syndication leader of the niche market, according to Nielsen. In June 2009, CBN launched 700 Club Interactive, which airs daily on ABC Family. Fifty percent of the show's viewers are under the age of 34, according to Gordon Robertson, CEO of CBN and son of the network's founder, televangelist Pat Robertson.... Read this in full at

As the Olympics are fast approaching, many Christians in British Columbia's Lower Mainland are anticipating some extraordinary opportunities during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Feb. 12-28.

For the region's Christian community - which has been praying and planning for years how they can best touch the lives of the thousands of people who will soon be arriving here - the challenge goes far beyond what others might define as hospitality.

"This is a great opportunity," said Bob Kraemer, operations director of More Than Gold, the officially recognized coordinator of Christian activity during the Olympics, "to show the radical hospitality of Christ to visitors from across the world and across the street. Not everybody is embracing that, by any means - but many are." .... Read this in full at

Official Olympics Website

Newly elected NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith spent most of the week of Super Bowl XLIV making the rounds with the players and the media, talking about his new league-wide responsibilities and the possibilities for labor unrest.

But when it came time for Friday night's 11th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, he was among the thousands who crowded into the downtown James L. Knight Center for an evening of inspiration as well as proclamation of their faith in Jesus Christ.

"This agrees with my spirit," Smith said. "We're not talking about work or problems or anything tonight, we're talking about faith. Being the executive director of the NFLPA is what I do, it's not who I am."

Among the players who gave their testimonies were Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, New York Jets wide receiver/returner Brad Smith and recently retired New England Patriots defensive lineman Don Davis, with 2006 Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward announcing some of the singing groups.... Read this in full at

An interview with Pam and Bob Tebow about their “miracle baby” received over 760,000 hits after a Super Bowl ad directed viewers to the video, said an official at Focus on the Family. After the highly-anticipated Tebow ad aired during the big game on Sunday, the ministry said its website traffic increased 40 times its normal volume.... Read this in full at


When NFL Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy announced his retirement in 2009, two years after leading his team to the Super Bowl XLI Championship in Miami, Lauren Dungy was ready to welcome him home in Tampa.

And so were the children. "The first couple of weeks, they would come home from school and say, 'Dad -- is he still here?'" Dungy said. "I mean they didn't believe that he actually wasn't going anywhere."

And Coach Dungy, his wife said, was looking forward to the "routine of being dad, a full-time dad."

In a brief interview after the NFL Super Bowl Breakfast Feb. 6, Dungy answered questions about life at home since her husband retired.

"Our children are thrilled," Dungy said, of their brood which this year has grown to seven. The former coach, who with his family has stayed connected to Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla., while attending Central Tampa Baptist Church, has this year also been involved in his children's school programs and enjoyed activities he hasn't been able to in the past, Dungy said.... Read this in full at

God's redemptive power in his once-troubled life was Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's theme at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast Saturday morning.

Speaking publicly for the first time as an adult about his faith in Jesus Christ, Vick said God was again the first priority in his life. He also shared for the first time about the role former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy played in his restoration with God.

"I feel I'm in the back seat now and God is in the front," Vick told Baptist Press in a post-breakfast interview. "Five months ago I was worried with what was going to happen (with the NFL), but now I'm more at peace. God has taken it over. I don't have to worry about being dynamic. God is in control of that."

Vick spoke standing beside Dungy before 1,100 fans, in his first-ever retelling of the role faith played in his life at the maximum security prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.... Read this in full at

Michael Oher, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, missed out on earning the NFL's top honor for a rookie, but he made a pitch that Sandra Bullock should win the Oscar for playing the part of his adoptive mother, Leigh Ann Tuohy, in "The Blind Side."

Days before Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida, Oher fielded reporters' questions in an informal press conference after a presentation for NFL Rookie of the Year Percy Harvin, wide receiver and kick returner for the Minnesota Vikings, was cancelled.

Oher, one of five ROY finalists, started every game in 2009, 11 at right tackle and 5 at left tackle. In his first post-season game against the New England Patriots Jan. 10, he did not allow a single sack in the 33-14 win.

Oher said the nomination was an honor.

"Coming from where I come from, it's been a long road," Oher said. "To come in and play right away and to have the type of season I had, it's been a break for me and I had a lot of fun."

The movie, "The Blind Side," the story of Oher's rise from poverty and instability -- and his ultimate rise to the NFL -- after he was taken in by a Christian family was a surprise box office hit last year, earning more than $150 million and an Oscar nomination for its star, Sandra Bullock.... Read this in full at

~ Billboard on the side of the road: Keep your eyes on the road and stop reading these signs.

~ Car Lot: The best way to get on your feet....Miss a car payment.

~ Church sign: To remove worry wrinkles, get your faith lifted.

~ Door of a plastic surgeon's office: Hello. May we pick your nose?

~ English sign in German cafe: Mothers, Please Wash Your Hands Before Eating.

~ Entrance of the large machinery plant: Warning to young ladies: If you wear loose clothes, beware of the machinery. If you wear tight clothes, beware of the machinist.

~ Gym: Merry Fitness and a Happy New Rear!

~ In a beauty shop: Dye now!

~ In a cafeteria: Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria. Socks can eat any place they want.

~ In a dentist office: Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you.

~ In a department store: Bargain Basement Upstairs.

~ In a dry cleaner's emporium: Drop your pants here.

~ In a dry cleaner's window: Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of.

~ In a farmer's field: The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but be aware that the bull charges.

~ In a health food shop window: Closed due to illness.

~ In a Los Angeles clothing store: Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks.

~ In a Los Angeles dance hall: Good clean dancing every night but Sunday.

~ In a Maine restaurant: Open seven days a week and weekends.

~ In a New York medical building: Mental Health Prevention Center

~ In a New York restaurant: Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.

~ Maternity clothes shop: We are open on Labor Day.

~ On a butcher's window: Let me meat your needs.

“See in the meantime that your faith bringeth forth obedience, and God in due time will cause it to bring forth peace.”
John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition upon Psalm CXXX [1668], in Works of John Owen, v. VI, New York: R. Carter & Bros., 1851, p. 563

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:19

Words: Charles Wesley, 1747
Music: John Zundel, 1870

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
>from NetHymnal at

The National Day of Prayer is May 6, 2010

The Global Day of Prayer is May 30, 2010


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.

Free Manuals

The drawings of Leonardo da Vinci


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.)

Beware of the letter 'G'! It is the end of everything!
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor

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CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!


The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
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