man to man to God
week of April 18, 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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just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for
the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God
demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us."
a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion -- it is
a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”
~ Billy Graham
RULES NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER UNCONSTITUTIONAL
federal judge has ruled that the National Day of Prayer, observed
the first Thursday of May, is unconstitutional. In Madison,
Wisconsin, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in favor of the
Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of atheists and
agnostics that brought a lawsuit against former President George
W. Bush's administration. According to a 2008 Associated Press
article, Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer
Task Force at the time, was named in the lawsuit.
is unfortunate that this court failed to understand that a day set
aside for prayer for the country represents a time-honored
tradition that embraces the First Amendment, not violates it,"
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the the American Center for Law and
Justice, said in a statement.... Read this in full at
see “ACLJ: Court Decision Declaring National Day of Prayer
Unconstitutional 'Flawed' -- Case Could End up before the Supreme
first Christians, men and women who had seen Jesus live and die,
were not stupefied by the knowledge, content to sit in a corner
somewhere and pine for heaven. They were galvanized into action.
Fear of death and fear of life vanished. They crossed continents
and oceans with strong news -- declaring that not only was Jesus'
message unique, Jesus himself was unique. His words about who he
was and who we were had been corroborated by his return from the
dead. Not only was life after death possible; life before death
was possible too. Human existence was revitalized by the Christ in
first Christians still looked forward to being with Jesus in
heaven. But they also looked forward to being with him on earth.
They were excited about dying and being with Christ. But they were
also excited about living and being with Christ. Christ's
resurrection was meant not to deflate human life but to expand it.
Not to restrict it to a distant date when death would return our
souls to God but to throw it wide open so that every living day
would return our souls to God. The resurrection of Jesus fleshed
out human life. It did not spiritualize it. He came back body and
soul and redeemed both, made both equally significant. Not just
for later. For now. Beginning with the present. ‘I have come
that they may have life,’ Jesus says, ‘and have it to
the full’ (John 10:10).”
~ Murray Andrew Pura, Rooted
AFRICANS DEEPLY COMMITTED TO CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
vast majority of people in many sub-Saharan African nations are
deeply committed to one or the other of the world's two largest
religions, Christianity and Islam, and yet many continue to
practice elements of traditional African religions. Most people
support democracy and say it is a good thing that people from
other religions are able to practice their faith freely. At the
same time, many also favor making the Bible or sharia law the
official law of the land. And while many Muslims and Christians
describe members of the other faith as tolerant and honest, there
are clear signs of tensions and divisions between the faiths.
are some of the key findings of a new survey released by the Pew
Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. "Tolerance
and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa" is
based on a major public opinion poll exploring religion and
society in the region. It is funded by a generous grant from The
Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation as part of
the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, which aims to
increase people's knowledge of religion around the world.... Read
this in full at
see “Africa goes to church, the mosque and the witch doctor”
among world's most religious people, study finds”
Christianity and Africa: A beacon of faiths”
CUP 2010 PLAYOFFS
WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA
11 – July 11
WITH JOEL HUNTER
April 21, the Rev. Joel Hunter’s Florida megachurch will
hold what organizers bill as the largest ever faith-based
gathering to celebrate Earth Day.
say the simulcast from Hunter’s Northland Church will draw
thousands of churches of all faiths in partnership with Blessed
Earth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading
environmentalism among churches.
61, is part of a new vanguard of influential leaders pushing
evangelicalism beyond traditional hot-button social issues. He
prayed with President Obama on Inauguration Day and served on the
White House’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and
Neighborhood Partnerships. He is on the board of the National
Association of Evangelicals and has lobbied Congress on climate
congregation draws more than 10,000 on Sundays to its four
locations around Orlando and online. Hunter talked about Earth
Day, climate change and “Avatar.” Some answers have
been edited for length and clarity.
Tell me about the Earth Day event. How did Northland get involved?
Through my involvement in what we call creation care, I met
Matthew and Nancy Sleeth (of Blessed Earth). We formed a
friendship, and when this brainchild of his came up, he knew we
were a church of remarkable technology. He came to us, and I said
we’d be glad to do it because this is what we do.
Are we seeing a new religious environmental movement -- people who
see environmental protection as not only a scientific issue, but a
moral one as well?
Yes. There is a growth from simply an anthropocentric theology to
a Christocentric theology. That means the story of evangelical
theology is not so much getting someone saved and getting them to
heaven, but it is Christ redeeming not only the individual person
but all creation as well. You’re seeing a transformation of,
or a maturity of, interpreting Scripture to do with God’s
broader agenda of redemption to things, beyond just the personal,
individual salvation.... Read this in full at
CULTURE OF DEBT INTO A CULTURE OF THRIFT
growing number of American Christians and even some secular groups
are beginning to believe John Wesley had the right idea: “Make
all you can; save all you can; give all you can.”
work, thrift and philanthropy seem counter-cultural in a time and
place where debt is pervasive, with individuals, families,
companies and even the government borrowing increasing amounts of
can offer American culture the gift of stewardship, Texas Baptist
Christian Life Commission Director Suzii Paynter said. Church
leaders preach about wise stewardship of time, energy and
resources. Through church-sponsored financial seminars, people
learn how to get out of debt and stay that way. And some
congregations take seriously the responsibility to model wise
stewardship to the world.
group of primarily African-American congregations in three Central
Texas counties have formed Texas Congregations United for
Empowerment, an effort that brings together 6,000 church members
to create better access to financial services, including loans
from banks, for lower-income individuals and families.... Read
this in full at
can help poor avoid predatory-lending trap
the Bible through the lens of poverty affects interpretation
in developing world interpret Bible differently
in life we face difficult situations and experience times of
suffering. Jesus experienced difficult times in life and he
suffered greatly as he died on the cross.
as Jesus continued to demonstrate love to others throughout his
trials he calls us to do the same. When a difficult situation
comes along, think and pray before reacting. Ask, ‘How can
God be glorified in this situation? How would Jesus react to this
left us an example of unconditional love; even in extremely
distressing circumstances. If he is living in us, we have the same
power to love and overcome any situation that he has. We should
strive to live in such a manner that Jesus will shine through us
~ André K.
Dugger, Dear God
the first Men in Black movie, Will Smith ("J") at first
refuses to believe Tommy Lee Jones ("K") that the earth
is playing host to thousands of creatures from other planets. K
dismisses J's "knowledge":
hundred years ago, everyone KNEW the world was the center of the
universe, 500 years ago everyone KNEW the earth was flat, and
15 minutes ago you KNEW we were alone on this planet. Imagine what
you'll KNOW tomorrow!"
do you really know?
you've ever been involved in teaching, whether it is teaching
history to a room full of bored eighth graders, teaching dog
obedience to a bunch of frisky pups and their masters or teaching
a Lenten Bible study, you quickly come to one conclusion: The more
you endeavor to become learned, the more you define yourself a
more we "know," the more embarrassingly obvious it
becomes how much we have to learn.
PROF RESIGNS AFTER PRO-EVOLUTION VIDEO ROW
started as an interview about science and faith, grew to become an
increasingly popular web video, and was eventually pulled down at
the request of a conservative seminary has now led to the
resignation of the professor behind it.
Theological Seminary has announced that Dr. Bruce Waltke from the
RTS Orlando campus was one of three professors who would not be
returning to RTS out of the more than 50 on staff.
the other professors reportedly chose not to commit to another
year in order to return to the pastorate and in response to health
issues, Waltke was reported as having simply resigned from his
position as Professor of Old Testament.
not stated, those who watched how events unfolded over the past
two weeks believe that the resignation is related to the
controversy that ensued following the posting of a video in which
the evangelical professor discusses the danger the Church will
face if it does not engage with the world around it – in
particular with the issue of evolution, which many evangelicals
the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that
reality will make us a cult … some odd group that is not
really interacting with the world,” said Waltke in the video
that went up on YouTube and the website of the BioLogos Foundation
as part of its “Conversations” collection.
rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting God’s
Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness,”
the distinguished Old Testament scholar added.
Waltke believes that creation by the process of evolution is a
tenable biblical position and the best Christian apologetic to
defend Genesis 1-3 against its critics, many evangelicals cannot
reconcile the belief in evolution with the authority of the
Bible.... Read this in full at
see “Bruce Waltke headed to Knox Theological Seminary”
FIND FERTILE GROUND IN LATIN AMERICA
a deeply divided society, Pentecostal churches offer a level of
equality difficult to find elsewhere.... Read this in full at
CHURCH ATTENDANCE STEADY, BUT MAKEUP OF CHURCHGOERS CHANGES
church attendance rates have held relatively steady over the past
three and a half decades, a new study shows. But the makeup of the
nation's congregations has undergone significant changes during
that same time.
of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist Philip Schwadel applied a new
multi-level estimation method to uncover several original findings
about how often Americans -- and certain groups of Americans --
findings challenge some popular notions: First, aside from a
moderate decline in the 1990s, the study shows that Americans'
churchgoing routines have been fairly constant over the decades,
at around 23 to 28 services a year.
is a small decline in church attendance over time, but not nearly
as large as suggested in popular culture, or even by some social
scientists," Schwadel said.
sizeable shifts have occurred within traditionally reliable
churchgoing groups -- women, southerners and Catholics -- that
suggest those groups' overall impact on church attendance rates in
the United States has begun to wane.... Read this in full at
UNCHURCHED ADULTS ARE CHRISTIANS HURT BY CHURCHES BUT CAN BE
HEALED OF THE PAIN
of the objectives of many churches is to attract people who do not
participate in the life of a church. New research from The Barna
Group, however, points out that most of the unchurched in America
may be different than expected.
Barna data indicate that 28% of the adult population has not
attended any church activities, including services, in the past
six months. That translates to nearly 65 million adults. When
their children under the age of 18 who live with them are added to
the picture, the number swells to more than 100 million people.
the aggregate proportion of unchurched adults is down from its
high point of the past quarter century (32%), it remains within
sight of that high water mark. Consequently, due to the continued
expansion of the nation’s population, the total numbers of
unchurched people has remained relatively steady in recent years
despite the minor proportional fluctuations.
of the biggest surprises to some people, however, is that a large
majority of the nation’s unchurched population is drawn from
the sector comprised of people who consider themselves to be
Christian. In the United States, 83% of all adults label
themselves “Christian.” The percentage is lower among
the unchurched, but such self-identified Christians still
outnumber those who do not embrace Christianity by a three-to-two
margin (61% vs. 39%).... Read this in full at
ARCHEOLOGISTS DISCOVER OLD TESTAMENT-ERA TABLET
archeologists in Turkey have unearthed an ancient treaty written
in cuneiform that could have served as a model for the biblical
description of God's covenant with the Israelites.
tablet, dating from about 670 BC, is a treaty between the powerful
Assyrian king and his weaker vassal states, written in a highly
formulaic language very similar in form and style to the story of
Abraham's covenant with God in the Hebrew Bible, says University
of Toronto archeologist Timothy Harrison.
biblical scholarship differs, it is widely accepted that the
Hebrew Bible was being assembled around the same time as this
treaty, the seventh century BC.... Read this in full at
TO RELEASE C. S. LEWIS BIBLE
in October. Thought-provoking meditations from beloved author C.
S. Lewis’s own spiritual writings are paired with
corresponding Bible passages in The C. S. Lewis Bible. This NRSV
Bible provides readings comprised of over 600 selections from
Lewis’s celebrated spiritual classics, a collection that
includes Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great
Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, The Four
Loves, and The Weight of Glory, as well as letters, poetry, and
Lewis’s lesser-known works. Each reading, paired alongside
relevant passages in the Bible, offers C. S. Lewis as a companion
to a reader’s daily meditation of Scripture.... Read this in
IN GOD IS INNATE
to Oxford University Press's "World Christian Encyclopedia,"
84% of the world's population belongs to some form of organized
religion. That equals 5.7 billion people who belong to about
10,000 distinct religions, each of which may be further subdivided
and classified. Christians, for example, may be apportioned among
over 33,000 different denominations. Among the many binomial
designations granted our species (Homo sapiens, Homo ludens, Homo
economicus), a strong case could be made for Homo religiosus. And
Americans are among the most religious members of the species. A
2007 Pew Forum survey of over 35,000 Americans found the following
percentages of belief:
God or a universal spirit 92%
Scripture is word of God 63%
powerful is the belief that there must be something else out there
that even 21% of those who identified themselves as atheists and
55% of those who identified themselves as agnostics expressed a
belief in God or a universal spirit.... Read this in full at
BECK: THE POLITICS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
News commentator Glenn Beck claims that faith-based calls for
"social justice" are really ideological calls for
"forced redistribution of wealth ... under the guise of
charity and/or justice," and that Christians should leave
their churches if they preach or practice "social justice."
Jim Wallis disagrees, saying social justice is a faith-based
commitment "to serve the poor and to attack the conditions
that lead to poverty," central tents of the teachings of
Jesus and at the heart of biblical faith.
right? How does the pursuit of justice fit into your faith? Is
'social justice' an ideology or a theology? .... Read this in full
himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might
die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have
~ 1 Peter 2:24
darkness there is no choice. It is light that enables us to see
the differences between things; and it is Christ who gives us
~ Augustus Hare
OF GOD LEADER BOWS OUT OF CIVILITY STATEMENT
top leader of the Assemblies of God wants his name removed from a
civility statement signed by religious leaders after learning that
its signatories included non-
O. Wood, general superintendent of the prominent Pentecostal
denomination, decided earlier this month that he no longer wanted
his name on the statement issued in March, his denomination's
problem is the tent that has grown so large on the signatures of
this that are including people who are supportive of gay marriage
and abortion rights," spokeswoman Juleen Turnage said in an
interview April 13.
just felt that he could not become a part of a large tent."
an executive committee member of the National Association of
Evangelicals, signed the document during an NAE board meeting in
March that he hosted at Assemblies of God headquarters in
Springfield, Mo.... Read this in full at
LEADERS SEND ATOMIC FIREBALLS TO CONGRESS
the slogan "Atomic Fireballs are great candy, but terrible
foreign policy," evangelical college presidents,
denominational executives, pastors, veterans, professors, and
missionaries are showing strong support for US moves to reduce
nuclear arsenals. Citing Jesus, Scripture, and foreign policy
experts such as George Shultz, they claim "overcoming the
nuclear threat requires international cooperation" and
"nuclear weapons are a moral threat" that must
eventually be eliminated.
historic Matthew 5 Project (http://www.matthew5project.org)
statement, which "calls on our nation to be willing to talk
with and listen to antagonists," applauds the "new
START" treaty and the Nuclear Summit. The statement was sent
to President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State
Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates, the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
and all 535 members of Congress.... Read this in full at
INSCRIPTION SETS TONE FOR NEW MINISTRY EFFORT
simple inscription found on all US currency was the inspiration
behind a new effort of hope for people struggling with financial
challenges. The Pocket Testament League and Kingdom Advisors have
partnered together in a new initiative to encourage Christians to
read, carry and share the Word of God, while solving financial
problems at the same time.
in partnership with Kingdom Advisors, The Pocket Testament League
has produced a Gospel of John cover design that cuts directly to
the issue of trust. Featuring a close up of the distinctive phrase
"In God We Trust" found on US currency, and the headline
"Where do you place your trust?," this new Gospel cover
is ideal for helping people think about what they look to as their
source of security.
see the words "In God We Trust" each and every day, yet
few understand the amazing wisdom or power behind them. This
phrase, inscribed on all US currency, has a remarkable history....
Read this in full at
DEAD TO REST
Argentinean scientist Mercedes Doretti, the radio program Speaking
of Faith explores the human landscape of forensic sciences and its
emergence as a tool for human rights. Doretti has unearthed bones
and stories of the dead and "the disappeared" in more
than 30 countries, including victims of Argentina's Dirty War,
over two decades. She shares her perspective on reparation, the
need to bury our dead, and the many facets of justice.... Read
this in full at
FOR COLD WATER SHAVING
you notice how soldiers in the HBO series Band of Brothers,
ill-supplied and freezing, still made time to shave? The clean
shaven face was and is military policy. Even today, US soldiers,
although they must do without hot water and baths for months at a
time, still try to get in a daily shave. It might seem like a
strange policy to civilians, but requiring the men to be
well-groomed is believed to be important in preserving the men’s
sense of discipline and the esprit de corps.
with cold water seems like a hardship, a practice that must be
endured in Spartan living conditions. After all, it’s wet
shaving doctrine that a man must always shave with hot water. It
not only feels nice, it softens the beard and supposedly gives you
a more comfortable shave.
what if that advice is wrong? What if it’s actually better
to shave with cold water, even when you’re not fighting the
Battle of the Bulge?
according to a bunch of authors in the 19th century, cold water
shaving is indeed superior to shaving with hot water.... Read this
in full at
have become a mature person when keeping a secret gives you more
satisfaction than passing it along.”
~ Unknown Author
can never please God without faith, without depending on him.
Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God
and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.”
~ Hebrews 11:6 (The Living Bible)
WEEK'S HYMN: CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD
Henry A. Becker, 1880
Walter B. Gilbert, 1865
is risen from the dead!
now no more shall reign;
no more shall crown the head
was bowed with grief and pain:
the Lord, the mighty King,
our sin hath made us free.
O death, is now thy sting?
O grave, thy victory?
now no more will say:
Thou be the Christ, come down
the cross, and prove today
to Thee belongs the crown!
our risen Lord and King
our sin hath made us free,
O death, is now thy sting?
O grave, thy victory?
now knows He is the Lord,
assent to His decree,
the promise in His Word,
is crowned with victory,
praises to the King,
from sin hath made us free.
O death, is now thy sting?
O grave, thy victory?
heard about a guy whose fifteen-year-old daughter ran away from
home, and, of course, it just devastated him. This guy was a
fired-up Christian so he did what every Christian is taught to do
when tragedy strikes: he prayed that God would send his daughter
back to him. I don't mean he just said a little prayer and went
about his business. He really prayed. Every morning when he woke
up, it was the first thing he did. He prayed on the way to work
and on the drive back home, and he ended every day praying until
he fell asleep. If anyone ever followed the biblical instruction
to ‘pray without ceasing,’ this guy came pretty close.
The last I heard, he had kept praying like that for more than a
year -- and still no sign of his daughter. You know what he said
when a friend told him he should start to accept the fact that she
was never coming back?
I already have, but I don't know if God has, and until I know for
a fact that she won't come back, I'm going to keep praying.’
don't know this man, but he's my kind of guy! Or more accurately,
he's God's kind of guy. He understands an important truth that
allows him to have hope, no matter what. He knows that God never
makes a mistake and that whatever God chooses to do regarding his
daughter is what's best. We so often make the mistake of thinking
that if we don't get what we ask for, God must not care about us.
Nothing in the Bible supports that. To the contrary, God loves us
so much that he gives us what we need, even if it's not what we
want. And he does it at exactly the perfect time.”
~ Ken Hutcherson, Hope is Contagious
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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money doesn't grow on trees, how come banks have branches?
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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