Connecting man to man to God
For week of March 28, 2010
Issue 297

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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"I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble."
Psalm 59:16

The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern than the destruction of millions of our fellow men.”
William Hazlitt

The apostle Paul cut to the core of Christianity with his statement on the Resurrection: "But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Cor. 15:13-14). So why do some Christians seem to neglect the Resurrection? And if Jesus Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, what are the implications for how we live? Adrian Warnock, a prominent blogger and part of the leadership team at London's Jubilee Church, explores these and other questions in an interview about his new book, Raised With Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything.... Read this in full at

The Christian faith holds several acts of "super-sizing" to be miracles accomplished by Jesus Christ -- a handful of fish and loaves of bread expanded to feed thousands; a wedding feast running low on wine suddenly awash in the stuff. Now a new study of portion expansion puts Jesus once more at the center.

In a bid to uncover the roots of super-sized American fare, a pair of sibling scholars has turned to an unusual source: 52 artists' renderings of the New Testament's Last Supper. Their findings, published online in the International Journal of Obesity, indicate that serving sizes have been marching heavenward for 1,000 years.

"I think people assume that increased serving sizes, or 'portion distortion,' is a recent phenomenon," said Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think." "But this research indicates that it's a general trend for at least the last millennium." .... Read this in full at,0,7531075.story
also see

While most Americans describe Easter as a religious holiday, less than half of U.S. adults surveyed link it specifically to the Resurrection of Jesus, a Barna Group study shows.

Seven in 10 respondents mentioned religion or spirituality in their response to an open-ended question about how they describe what Easter means to them personally. But just 42 percent tied Easter to the Resurrection.

At 73%, baby boomers (ages 45 to 63) were the most likely to describe Easter as a religious holiday, compared to two-thirds of those ages 26 to 44 and Americans 64 and older. The youngest group of adults (ages 18 to 25) were least likely, at 58%, to use that kind of description.

Other than the day Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead, respondents described Easter as "a Christian holiday, a celebration of God or Jesus, a celebration of Passover, a holy day" or a special day to go to church, Barna researchers said.... Read this in full at

Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until he be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so will he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.”
John Owen (1616-1683), A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V [1674], in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 546-547

When in hand-to-hand conflict with the world and the devil, neat little Biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter; one needs a man who will let go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, in the power of the Holy Ghost... Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will
C. T. Studd (1860-1931), quoted in C. T. Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer [1933], Norman P. Grubb, Read Books, 2008, p. 163

Nearly 40% of churches across the country experienced a decline in church giving and offerings in 2009, representing two consecutive years of significant decreases, according to the 2nd annual "State of the Plate" research by Maximum Generosity and Christianity Today International.

"Churches today are in unchartered waters financially," says Brian Kluth, founder of Maximum Generosity. "After the October 2008 stock market drop, 29% of churches experienced a decline in giving and this past year the number has climbed up to 38% of churches. Multiple research projects last year documented the sharp decline in church giving and our research this year shows things have only gotten worse for a growing number of churches."

Part of the reason for 2009's continued decline: An unexpected number of churches (30%) reported lower- than-expected collections for December, a month that traditionally helps many churches meet their budgets.

For an Executive Summary with media charts/graphs and access to the complete research data, go to

When I trouble myself over a trifle, even a trifle confessed -- the loss of some little article, say -- spurring my memory, and hunting the house, not from immediate need, but from dislike of loss; when a book has been borrowed of me and is not returned, and I have forgotten the borrower, and fret over the missing volume, ... is it not time that I lost a few things when I care for them so unreasonably? This losing of things is the mercy of God; it comes to teach us to let them go. Or have I forgotten a thought that came to me, which seemed of the truth? I keep trying and trying to call it back, feeling a poor man until that thought be recovered -- to be far more lost, perhaps, in a notebook into which I shall never look again to find it! I forget that it is live things that God cares about.”
George MacDonald (1824-1905), "The Cause of Spiritual Stupidity", in Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1886, p. 53-43

It is my custom every night, as soon as the candle is out, to run over the words and actions of the past day; and I let nothing escape me, for why should I fear the sight of my errors when I can admonish and forgive myself? I was a little too hot in such a dispute; my opinion might well have been withheld, for it gave offense and did no good. The thing was true; but all truths are not to be spoken at all times. I would I had held my tongue, for there is no contending, either with fools or with our superiors. I have done ill, but it shall be so no more. Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it.”
Horace Mann

On a late Friday night recently at the Pure Country Bar in Paducah, Ky., a brawl is about to break out. It's not a drunk fist fight -- it's a team of "warriors for Christ" gearing up for a fight in the name of the Lord.

"Father, we just thank you for the opportunity to go out tonight and to train and compete," coach John Renken says. "Lord, we just pray that you protect our fighters, as well as the other guys. We pray that we will be a representation of you."

Renken, the leader of the group of unorthodox fighters, is also an evangelical pastor who brings a new meaning to the term "bible beater."

"I was fighting as a brand new Christian. I was fighting all the way through bible college...This is just a part of who I am," he says. "Look at what Jesus endured for our sake. He goes down the walk that is roughly about a mile long with the Roman soldiers beating him bloody. He faced his own cage in life."

The sport is mixed martial arts -- a combination of wrestling, kickboxing, and other martial arts where competitors can do almost anything to knock out their opponents. Popularized by cable TV's "Ultimate Fighting Championship," the sport is so brutal it's been banned in seven states.... Read this in full at

That is arguably one of the best parts of March Madness -- the exciting possibility of a small-college program beating a nationally ranked team. Who can forget Princeton's upset win over UCLA in the mid-'90s or, more recently, Davidson College's triumphs over Gonzaga, Wisconsin and Georgetown in the 2008 season? Many wonder if this will be the miracle year that the 16th seed finally topples a No. 1 seed.

The biblical imagery of triumph against the odds would have greatly appealed to the game's founder, Dr. James Naismith.

Naismith himself overcame great tragedy and adversity early in life. Orphaned at age 9, he was raised primarily by his grandmother (until her death two years later) and then by a bachelor uncle. Although he was a high-school dropout, he eventually finished both secondary school and college.

As a young Christian, Naismith received a master's degree from Montreal's Presbyterian Theological College. Convinced that he could better exemplify the Christian life through sports than in the pulpit, he moved to Springfield, Mass., to serve as a physical-education instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association's International Training School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College). Naismith's vision? "To win men for the Master through the gym." .... Read this in full at

by Patrick Morley, PhD
In describing what happened in Jonathan Edward's Northampton, Massachusetts church in 1734, observers said, "It pleased display his free and sovereign mercy in the conversion of a great multitude of souls in a short space of time, turning them from a formal, cold, and careless profession of Christianity, to the lively exercise of every Christian grace, and the powerful practice of our holy religion."

That's about as clear a definition as we'll ever get! During a revival, God supernaturally transforms believers and non-believers in a church, locale, region, nation, or the world through sudden, intense enthusiasm for Christianity. People sense the presence of God powerfully; conviction, despair, contrition, repentance, and prayer come easily; people thirst for God's word; many authentic conversions occur and backsliders are renewed. Revival and awakening are, generally, synonyms. The larger the geography a revival covers, the greater the tendency to call it an awakening.

America has a deep, rich history of revivals and awakenings:
The Great Awakening, 1734-43.
The Second Great Awakening, 1800-1840.
The Businessmen's Revival of 1857-1858.
The Civil War Revival, 1861-1865.
The Urban Revivals, 1875-1885.
The Revivals of 1905-1906.
The Azusa Street Revival, 1906.
The Post-World War II Awakening.
The Charismatic Renewal and Jesus Movement.
The Mid-1990s Revivals.
The Promise Keepers Revival, the most publicized of the mid-1990s.

Ten Characteristics of Revivals
.... Read this in full at

by Jim Denison
While the Western church seems stagnant, in decline, or under attack, the church in the developing world is flourishing.... Read this in full at

With the explosive growth of Africa's Church and its increasing influence in world evangelism and missions, maybe it's time to rediscover African Christianity -- and grow deeper in our own faith.

In Rethinking Life (Biblica Publishing), former Rwanda Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini and Dr. Peter Holmes illuminate the rich beauty and wisdom of African spirituality and culture. God prepared Africa for the gospel, they say, and God is now using Africa to transform the Western Church.

The authors explore pre-Christian African spirituality, noting its similarities with Old Testament thought and tradition. They briefly trace the history of the missionary movement in Africa, noting both its importance and its mistakes. They conclude by showing how African values -- the importance of living in community, a reverence for God's creation, a belief that life is primarily spiritual -- can enrich the North American Church.... Read this in full at

The Sabbath Manifesto is a creative project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world. Here are 10 core principles to carve a weekly timeout into your life.
01. Avoid technology.
02. Connect with loved ones.
03. Nurture your health.
04. Get outside.
05. Avoid commerce.
06. Light candles.
07. Drink wine.
08. Eat bread.
09. Find silence.
10. Give back.... Read this in full at

Christian organizations are widely thought to be slow in adopting new technology and innovations. But there are a number today that are breaking the stereotype and catching on more quickly to what the secular marketplace has embraced. One of the latest tools churches and Christian companies have picked up is application software, or apps, for portable media player.

YouVersion, created by, is a popular iPhone and iPod touch app that allows users to read their Bible on the go. Users can select their translation of choice, including the New International Version, the King James Version, and American Standard Version, among others. The app also allows people to read the Bible in other languages besides English. Some of the available languages are Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, and Russian. Altogether, YouVersion offers 41 translations in 21 languages.

The free iPhone app also suggests Bible reading plans, searches for requested key words in Scripture, and allows people to read user-submitted analysis on a particular passage.... Read this in full at

HarperOne, publisher of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible, announces the launch of the NRSV Bible e-book, including electronic editions of the NRSV, NRSV with Apocrypha, NRSV Catholic Edition, The HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV), and The Green Bible.

For the first time, the most trusted, accepted, and accurate translation of the Bible -- the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) -- is available in an all major e- book formats. It can be read on dedicated e-ink readers, such as the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, and B&N Nook, as well as laptops, desktops, tablets, PDAs, the iPhone, Blackberry and other smartphones. This is also the first time a mainstream Study Bible -- The HarperCollins Study Bible -- will be available in digital format. The Green Bible will also be available as an e- book making it even greener.... Read this in full at

by Philip Yancey
This will be my final column for Christianity Today -- for a while, at least. After writing Back Page columns since 1983, I have decided to take a break. Since this magazine describes itself as one "of evangelical conviction," it seems appropriate to use this last column to make a few overall observations on the movement.

Evangelicalism has become a global phenomenon. In the past year I have visited the Middle East, India, Africa, Latin America, and Europe as the guest of churches and ministries. In each place, evangelicals exude life and energy. While staid churches change slowly, evangelicals tend to be light on their feet, adapting quickly to cultural trends.

The Jesus movement, the house-church movement, seeker-friendly churches, emergent churches -- evangelicals have spawned all of these. In their wake, worship bands have replaced organs and choirs, PowerPoint slides and movie clips now enliven sermons, and espresso bars keep congregants awake. If a technique doesn't work, find one that does.

Although I admire the innovation, I would caution that mimicking cultural trends has a downside. At a recent youth workers conference I attended, worship meant a DJ playing techno music at jet-engine volume while a sweaty audience crowded the stage, jumping up and down while shouting spiritual one-liners. At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I couldn't help questioning the depth of worship. Seminaries now recommend 15-minute sermons in light of shorter attention spans. Publishers want slimmer books, with simpler words and concepts. Will we soon have a 140-character Twitter gospel?.... Read this in full at

Point 11, a $4 Million Dollar Christian Camping and Retreat Center will open for Christian retreats and group camping rentals on May 31st, 2010. The rental camp facility is located on a 70- acre peninsula on Table Rock Lake near Shell Knob, Missouri. The camp is owned and operated by Kids Across America, along with its other three camps that serve urban youth from across the country. When fully operational, Point 11 will bring over 3000 people to stay overnight in the Ozarks.

Point 11 Director, Bruce Morgan has over 30 years of camping management and youth ministry. He will lead the team opening the new facility and provide leadership and guidance for the Group Coordinators renting the facility. "Christian camping has provided children and adults time away from life. Time needed for introspection and examining spiritual issues." His own story echoes that value and his life's work has prepared him to begin this new camp. "I have seen 1000's of lives turn 180 degrees at camp. Kids and adults alike will discover the truth of the Gospel at Point 11. That gets me excited about the years ahead." .... Read this in full at

When Osama bin Laden declared war on the West in 1996, he cited the Quran's command to "strike off" the heads of unbelievers. More recently, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan lectured his colleagues about jihad, or "holy war," and the Quran's exhortation to fight unbelievers and bring them low. Hasan is accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, last year.

Given this violent legacy, religion historian Philip Jenkins decided to compare the brutality quotient of the Quran and the Bible. "Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible," Jenkins says.

Jenkins is a professor at Penn State University and author of two books dealing with the issue: the recently published Jesus Wars, and Dark Passages , which has not been published but is already drawing controversy.... Read this in full at

The sentence: 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' uses every letter of the alphabet.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-5

The man who covets is always poor.”

James S. Spiegel has an uncomfortable thesis to propose. He contends: Religious skepticism is, at bottom, a moral problem. A professor of philosophy and religion at Taylor University in Upland, Ind., Spiegel has written a 130-page book, The Making of an Atheist, in response to the New Atheists. But unlike the numerous responses that have emerged from Christian apologists, Spiegel's book focuses on the moral-psychological roots of atheism.

While atheists insist that their foundational reason for rejecting God is the problem of evil or the scientific irrelevance of the supernatural, the Christian philosopher says the argument is "only a ruse" or "a conceptual smoke screen to mask the real issue -- personal rebellion."

He admits that it could appear unseemly or offensive to suggest that a person's lack of belief in God is a form of rebellion. But he said in a recent interview with the Evangelical Philosophical Society that he was compelled to write the book because he is convinced that "it is a clear biblical truth." .... Read this in full at

Due to the virulent attacks of the New Atheists, the Internet Infidels, and all manner of Biblical Bashers, along with a rising anti-evangelical bias in the media, evangelical Christians are demanding training in how to defend their Christian faith. William Lane Craig's new book, On Guard, intends to be a well-rounded training manual that provides the "how-tos" of defending the Christian worldview.

Combining the four core arguments for God's existence with a case for the historicity of Jesus, this book also addresses difficult issues such as the problems of suffering and religious relativism. Writing in a personable way, Dr. Craig relates his own winding path to faith and tells the story of how God saved him and equipped him to become a leading Christian apologist.

Packed with stories of Dr. Craig's encounters with religious skeptics, On Guard provides more than philosophical arguments. It relates real life experiences that illustrate the themes of current culture. Dr. Craig maintains: "If the gospel is to be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women today, then it's vital that we as Christians try to shape American culture in such a way that Christian belief cannot be dismissed as mere superstition."

A decision by a northern Indiana Christian college to play the national anthem at home sporting events is getting mixed reviews from students, faculty, and community members. The anthem has never officially been banned at Goshen College, where about 55% of the student body is Mennonite. Even so, it hasn't been played at home games since the school began intercollegiate competition in 1957 because of its commitment to peace and the anthem's connection to a military battle, college spokeswoman Jodi Beyeler said.... Read this in full at

Gordon Brown has set out his ‘Christian’ vision of politics and said that religion should not just be tolerated, but encouraged in public life. The Prime Minister’s comments come in a new book in which the three main party leaders write open letters to the churches.

I have always believed that the public square is more than a marketplace. Our common realm is not and cannot be stripped of values – can never be merely a place for calculation, contract and exchange” Brown writes. “So I do not subscribe to the view that religion should somehow be tolerated but not encouraged in public life -- that you can ask people to leave their faith at the door when they enter a Town Hall or the Commons’ chamber.” .... Read this in full at

Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Schrute on The Office, is perhaps now the best known adherent of the Baha’I religion, though actress Carole Lombard and songwriting/music duo Jim Seals and Dash Crofts can be counted among Baha'is as well. If you want to know more about Rainn’s beliefs, there’s a video of him being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey at

Even before the recession began, the number of stay-at-home dads was on the rise. According to the Census, in 2006 there were 159,000 fathers with working spouses who stayed at home to care for their families, up from 105,000 in 2002.

But that's only part of the picture, says Aaron Rochlen, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Rochlen, who studies gender roles and psychology, says many dads with working wives try to work part time or consider themselves "consultants." But many are, in fact, the primary caregivers to their children.

By that expanded definition, he says, there are about 2 million at-home dads. That number has also likely risen during the recession because about 70% of the lost jobs affected men.... Read this in full at

As computers and automated systems increasingly take the jobs humans once held, entire professions are now extinct. Click through the photos in the NPR gallery to see examples of endangered professions, from milkman to telegrapher, and hear from people who once filled those oft-forgotten jobs.

The general medical community pays lip service to diet and lifestyle changes as a first line of therapy for abnormal cholesterol levels -- but many patients are pressured to begin drug therapy right away, while these changes are only an afterthought. Conventional doctors often tell patients that they have a genetic cholesterol problem and that cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, are their only option. For some people, such as those who have acute cardiovascular issues or extremely high total cholesterol levels (above 350 mg/dL) and/or significantly elevated LDL levels (above 200 mg/dL), this is true. However, many people can bring their cholesterol and lipid levels into normal range by watching what they eat, exercising, and reducing their stress levels. Nutritional supplements also are an option.... Read this in full at

A strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of Morris, one of the older workmen. After several minutes, Morris had enough.

"Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" he said. "I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."

"You're on, old man," the braggart replied. "It's a bet! Let's see what you got."

Morris reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right. Get in."

The world wants to see demonstrators of the faith rather than defenders of the faith.”
Unknown Author

[Jesus said,] “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:43-45

Words: Flora Kirkland, 1905
Music: Carl H. Lowden

Easter, joyous Easter, holy happy time!
Bells ring out their message, joy in every chime;
Sweetly through their music, faint an echo swells,
Voices seem to mingle with the bells. (Glad Easter bells.)

Seek ye not the living here among the dead;
Christ the Lord is risen, risen as He said;
Blessèd reassurance, gone the weary night,
Christ is risen! Easter breaks in floods of light!

Voices in a garden, near a rock-hewn tomb,
Gracious heav’nly voices, cheering earth’s dark gloom;
Voices from the glory, sent from thence to tell,
Jesus lives again! Immanuel! (Immanuel!)

Other voices echo, through the Easter chime
One above all others, speaks with pow’r sublime;
Tender words of comfort, peace and love profound,
O’er the world today His words resound. (His words resound.)

>from NetHymnal at

Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.” Adam Clarke


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.

Jim Denevan makes temporary drawings on sand earth and ice that are eventually erased by waves and weather.


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.)

If my calculations are correct, SLINKY + ESCALATOR = EVERLASTING FUN
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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