man to man to God
week of March 28, 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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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."
least pain in our little finger gives us more concern than the
destruction of millions of our fellow men.”
RESURRECTION CHANGES EVERYTHING
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
SUPPER HELPINGS HAVE GROWN
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.
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.
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
LESS THAN HALF LINK EASTER TO THE RESURRECTION
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.
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.
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
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
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 , in Works of John Owen, v.
III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 546-547
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 , Norman P. Grubb, Read Books, 2008, p. 163
HITS CHURCHES AT UNPRECEDENTED RATE
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 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."
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
an Executive Summary with media charts/graphs and access to the
complete research data, go to
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.”
(1824-1905), "The Cause of Spiritual Stupidity", in
Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1886, p.
HABIT IS A
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.”
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD
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.
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."
the leader of the group of unorthodox fighters, is also an
evangelical pastor who brings a new meaning to the term "bible
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."
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
SPIRITUAL PATHWAY TO MARCH MADNESS
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.
biblical imagery of triumph against the odds would have greatly
appealed to the game's founder, Dr. James 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.
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
A ROAD MAP
TO SPIRITUAL REVIVAL AND AWAKENING IN AMERICA
Patrick Morley, PhD
describing what happened in Jonathan Edward's Northampton,
Massachusetts church in 1734, observers said, "It pleased
God...to 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."
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.
has a deep, rich history of revivals and awakenings:
Great Awakening, 1734-43.
Second Great Awakening, 1800-1840.
Businessmen's Revival of 1857-1858.
Civil War Revival, 1861-1865.
Urban Revivals, 1875-1885.
Revivals of 1905-1906.
Azusa Street Revival, 1906.
Post-World War II Awakening.
Charismatic Renewal and Jesus Movement.
Promise Keepers Revival, the most publicized of the mid-1990s.
Characteristics of Revivals
THE HOLY SPIRIT
GLORY FOR GOD
REFORMATION AND RENEWAL
Read this in full at
YOUR HOBBY OR YOUR KING?
the Western church seems stagnant, in decline, or under attack,
the church in the developing world is flourishing.... Read this in
CONTINENT? RETHINKING OUR VIEWS ON AFRICA
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
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.
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
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.
Connect with loved ones.
Nurture your health.
Give back.... Read this in full at
GROUPS HOP ON TECH WAVE WITH IPHONE APPS
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.
created by LifeChurch.tv, 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.
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
LAUNCHES THE NRSV BIBLE E-BOOK AND FIRST EVER MAINSTREAM DIGITAL
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
CHRISTIAN CAMPING AND RETREAT CENTER TO OPEN IN MISSOURI
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.
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
BIBLE MORE VIOLENT THAN THE QURAN?
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.
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,"
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
sentence: 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' uses every
letter of the alphabet.
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
man who covets is always poor.”
PHILOSOPHER EXPLORES CAUSES OF ATHEISM
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.
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."
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
'HOW-TOS' OF APOLOGETICS
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.
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.
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
ANTHEM SPLITS INDIANA'S GOSHEN COLLEGE
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
BROWN SETS OUT 'CHRISTIAN' VISION, URGES MORE RELIGION IN PUBLIC
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.
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
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
DADS GRAPPLE WITH GOING BACK TO WORK
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.
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.
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
OF YESTERYEAR: OBSOLETE OCCUPATIONS
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.
CHOLESTEROL THE NATURAL WAY
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
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.
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."
on, old man," the braggart replied. "It's a bet! Let's
see what you got."
reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then,
nodding to the young man, he said, "All right. Get in."
world wants to see demonstrators of the faith rather than
defenders of the faith.”
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."
WEEK'S HYMN: EASTER, JOYOUS EASTER
Flora Kirkland, 1905
Carl H. Lowden
joyous Easter, holy happy time!
ring out their message, joy in every chime;
through their music, faint an echo swells,
seem to mingle with the bells. (Glad Easter bells.)
ye not the living here among the dead;
the Lord is risen, risen as He said;
reassurance, gone the weary night,
is risen! Easter breaks in floods of light!
in a garden, near a rock-hewn tomb,
heav’nly voices, cheering earth’s dark gloom;
from the glory, sent from thence to tell,
lives again! Immanuel! (Immanuel!)
voices echo, through the Easter chime
above all others, speaks with pow’r sublime;
words of comfort, peace and love profound,
the world today His words resound. (His words resound.)
requires more of the heart than of the tongue.” Adam Clarke
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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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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