man to man to God
week of February 14, 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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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.”
AT 101 YEARS OF
AGE, GEORGE BEVERLY SHEA IS STILL SERVING THE LORD
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.
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
Mathewes-Green: For Spiritual Exercise
Horton: To Lead Us to Christ
MINISTERS NOT THE FRIENDLIEST IN TOWN
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.
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 CHURCHES, HOW
MUCH RISK IS TOO MUCH?
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
TO PREPARE FOR ANOTHER LEAN YEAR
Churches and non-profits should prepare for another lean year
as Americans continue to grip their wallets, a researcher
"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
PRESBYTERIANS SEE SALVATION IN NON-CHRISTIAN FAITHS
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
WHERE GOD TALK
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
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
PARENTHOOD REPORT BLASTED AS DISTURBING
Conservatives say a new report released by International
Planned Parenthood Federation on comprehensive sex education is
inappropriate and oversexualizes ten-year-olds
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.
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
see “Mandatory Sex Education for Ten-Year-Olds? Yours?”
blog post by Albert Mohler
EXPLORE RELIGION, MORALITY LINK
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,
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.
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
BE NOT OF 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.”
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
1 Timothy 1:12-15
JERUSALEM: DIGGING UP TROUBLE
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.
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
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
VERSE TO PONDER
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances
you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave
“The church is the great lost and found department.”
IL CITY COUNCIL OPENING PRAYER TO BE HELD BEFORE MEETING
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
SEEKS BROADER TENT
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
MAY NOT MAKE YOU HEALTHIER AFTER ALL
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
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
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
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
WORD BY IPHONE
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.
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
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
GEAR UP TO WELCOME A WORLD OF GUESTS FOR 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS
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.
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
"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
PLAYERS SING &
TESTIFY IN MIAMI
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
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
"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
RECEIVES OVER 760,000 HITS
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
SEE THE TIM TEBOW
SUPER BOWL AD AND FOLLOW-UP INTERVIEW
LAUREN DUNGY SAYS
CHILDREN SUPPORTIVE OF 'COACH,' BUT GRATEFUL FOR 'FULL-TIME DAD'
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."
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.
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
SHARES FIRST-EVER TESTIMONY OF HIS FAITH IN GOD
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.
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.
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
TALKS FOOTBALL, 'BLIND SIDE'
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
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,
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.
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."
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
~ 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.
a dentist office: Be true to your teeth or they will be false to
~ 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
~ In a Maine restaurant: Open seven days a week
~ 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
John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition upon Psalm
CXXX , in Works of John Owen, v. VI, New York: R. Carter &
Bros., 1851, p. 563
Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a
deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
WEEK'S HYMN: LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING
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;
faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe Thy loving
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its
Set our hearts at liberty.
Let us all Thy life receive;
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let
Let us see Thy great salvation
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we
take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
in wonder, love, and praise.
>from NetHymnal at
National Day of Prayer is May 6, 2010
Global Day of Prayer is May 30, 2010
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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of the letter 'G'! It is the end of everything!
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.
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