man to man to God
week of May 2, 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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discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time,
but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those
who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands
and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your
feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather
is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see.”
GROUP CLAIMS 'NOAH'S ARK' DISCOVERY IN TURKEY
group of Hong Kong and Turkish evangelical explorers said Monday
they believe they may have found Noah's Ark at the top of Turkey’s
legendary Mount Ararat.
team said they recovered wooden specimens from a structure on the
eastern Turkish mountain that carbon dating indicated was 4,800
years old -– from roughly the same time period the ark is
said to have been in use.
not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark, but we think it is 99.9
percent that this is it," Yeung Wing-cheung, a Hong Kong
documentary filmmaker and member of the 15-member team from Noah's
Ark Ministries International, told AFP.
structure had several compartments, some with wooden beams, which
were believed to house animals, he said.
group of evangelical archaeologists ruled out an established human
settlement on the grounds that one had never been found above
3,500 meters in the vicinity, Yeung said.
Turkish officials will ask the central government in Ankara to
apply for UNESCO World Heritage status so the site can be
protected while a major archaeological dig is conducted, Yeung
said.... Read this in full at
MINISTRY CAUTIOUS ABOUT ARK FIND
that a group of Turkish and Chinese explorers have found Noah's
Ark in eastern Turkey are being met with caution by one of the
world's leading creation science organizations.
in Genesis, the apologetics ministry that operates the Creation
Museum just outside of Cincinnati, said in a statement it needs
more time to study the findings.
Wing-Cheung, one of the explorers of the Noah's Ark Ministries
International team that made the find, said at a Hong Kong press
conference the explorers are "99.9 percent that this is it."
The discovery resides on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. The team
even says carbon dating has dated the wood to 4,800 B.C., possibly
preserved over the centuries under ice and snow.
few years we hear of claims that Noah's Ark (or what may remain of
it) has been found on the mountains of Ararat in Turkey,"
Answers in Genesis said. "... Answers in Genesis has seen
many photos that were released, but without corroboration by the
leading creationist organizations and not knowing all the research
methods that were employed, we will withhold judgment until
further study. Over the decades, we have learned to be cautious
about such Ark claims." .... Read this in full at
see video: “Finding Noah's Ark: Hong Kong Filmmaker Claims
to Have Found Biblical Treasure”
what am I, to know
promises, your mercies, your grace, your love?
my heart is (as I can only too well believe)
unfruitful, deep, deceitful--is that beyond the power
the fingers that made the heavens?
majestic Lord, you care for me,
have me in your mind and heart.
that I rest.
Dudley-Smith (b. 1926), Someone Who Beckons: readings and prayers
for 60 days, InterVarsity Press, 1978, p. 29
FOR YOUR ENEMIES
love the Bible. I really do. I love reading it, studying it,
teaching it, and preaching it. But wouldn't life seem a lot easier
if a few verses just sort of disappeared from the Bible? Not
better, but easier. For example, that verse about turning the
other cheek when someone hits you. I know it's the right thing to
do, but come on, do I have to? Then there's the teaching about
being slow to speak and quick to listen. I'm a preacher!
perhaps the most difficult teaching from the Bible is slipped into
the middle of the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matt. 5:44).
Unfortunately, we can't delete or ignore verses in the Bible that
we don't like or that seem impossible to obey. Jesus was preaching
to His followers, people who came from great distances to hear Him
teach about the way they should live as Christians. He knew that
anyone who associated with Him would be persecuted, perhaps even
killed, so this teaching takes on even greater meaning. Later, He
demonstrated this very teaching by asking His Heavenly Father to
forgive those who nailed Him to the cross. Jesus knew the powerful
witness that comes from demonstrating love to those who are
opposed to us. One of the reasons the early church prospered was
the way that believers responded to their enemies, and we are
asked to do the same thing.”
André K. Dugger, Prayer: Your Own Letter to God
DAY OF PRAYER
CUP 2010 PLAYOFFS
WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA
11 – July 11
RICK STEVES’ TRAVEL ENLIVENS HIS FAITH
writer Rick Steves talks about the difference he observes in
people of faith in less developed countries with those in more
advanced nations. Watch it at
we learned from Jews, Muslims, and Arab Christians as we traced
the footsteps of Christ in Galilee.
land around Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine, was
remarkably beautiful one October morning last fall. Green
vineyards and silvery olive groves added patches of color to the
brown hills. But my blistered feet were aching for a rest, so I
was glad when I saw a man picking dates from a tree in front of
his spacious house. Marwan, a 41-year-old lawyer, invited us to
join him and his wife and brother for coffee.
his family arrived, Marwan told us that when he was very sick as a
boy, his Muslim mother promised God that she would make him a
Christian if he would heal her son. Marwan got better, and his
mother regularly took him to church. "I now believe," he
told me, "that Jesus will return one day and save everyone.
But I am not a Christian."
his wife and brother joined us, they explained that another man
had been crucified in Jesus' place, and that Jesus was taken
without dying to heaven. Marwan quietly disagreed: "Jesus was
crucified and then rose from the dead."
my photographer son, Ross, and I discovered on the new Jesus Trail
-- a 40-mile path from Nazareth (Jesus' boyhood home) to Capernaum
(Jesus' ministry headquarters) that winds through Jewish and Arab
villages -- Nazareth's most famous citizen still attracts
disciples and divides families in the land of his birth. We wanted
to ask Jews, Muslims, and Arab Christians what they thought about
the man from Galilee.... Read this in full at
MOST 'MILLENNIALS' DON'T PRAY, READ BIBLE, OR ATTEND CHURCH
thirds of Americans born between 1980 and 1991 identify themselves
as Christians, but most do not regularly pray, read the Bible or
attend church, according to findings of a new LifeWay Research
Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources who is using the
research for an upcoming book, estimated that no more than 15% of
the 80 million young adults known as "Millennials" have
a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
an interview with USA Today, Rainer said on the current trajectory
thousands of churches will close in America each year, placing
denominations and other thriving ministries in jeopardy.
a more positive note, Rainer noted in his blog that the relatively
small number of Millennials who are Christians are more likely to
embrace a radical gospel commitment than believers in previous
Christians will not settle for business as usual in our churches,"
Rainer said. "They will not be content with going through the
motions, programs without a purpose and spectator Christianity."
said Millennial Christians take their faith seriously and are
serious about taking the gospel to the nations and to their
communities.... Read this in full at
see “Survey: 72% of Millennials 'more spiritual than
can’t blame you if the television series by the same name
was your first thought when you read the title of this article.
After all, the fiction/fantasy series does get a lot of attention.
my concern is about a different kind of lost, really the most
recently did an interview with USA Today about an upcoming book my
son, Jess Rainer, and I are writing. The book, The Millennials, is
based on a massive research project conducted by LifeWay Research.
The interview and research are reported in an article on the front
page of USA Today.
interview and article served as a powerful reminder to me about
the spiritual lostness of America’s largest generation, the
Millennials, who were born from 1980 to 2000. Though we cannot
know with certainty the spiritual condition and eternal destiny of
persons, we can have an idea through a series of questions we
asked each of them in our research.
best estimate is that only 15% of this generation is Christian.
Among nearly 80 million Millennials, only 12 million have personal
relationships with Christ.
means 85% are lost. That means 68 million young people are
lost.... Read this in full at
and actor Max McLean is interviewed by megachurch sermon site
Goodnewsline about his hit play, "The Screwtape Letters."
After briefly introducing the play to those who haven't seen it,
McLean talks in detail about his inspiration for the show,
techniques used in performing, and challenges presenting C.S.
Lewis' classic book about two demons to today's culture, where not
everyone believes in spirits. Watch the video at
do we find rest in a 24/7 world? Just as the Hebrew people were
slaves in Egypt, we have become slaves to technology. Cell phones,
email, television, and the Internet are our twenty-first century
taskmasters. Our technological tools allow 24-hour productivity
and connectivity, give us more control ... and subtly enslave us
to busyness itself.
is about restraint, about intentionally not doing everything all
the time just because we can. Setting aside a day of rest helps us
reconnect with our Creator and find the peace of God that passes
all understanding. The Sabbath is about letting go of the controls
one day a week and letting God be God.
say that it is not the notes but the pauses between them that make
the song. Similarly, the pauses between our workweeks add beauty
and meaning to our lives. These Sabbath "stop days" turn
the buzz of our busy lives into music.”
Matthew Sleeth, MD, Blessed Earth: Hope for Humanity
GRAHAM, OBAMA MEET FOR 1ST TIME
Obama visited with evangelist Billy Graham April 25, becoming the
12th consecutive chief executive to meet Graham and the first
sitting president to do so at the minister's North Carolina home.
and the 91-year-old Graham talked for about 30 minutes, and Graham
gave Obama two Bibles -- one for him and one for First Lady
Michelle Obama. The visit came at the end of a short vacation for
Obama in Asheville and just before he spoke at a memorial service
in West Virginia for the 29 miners who died during the April 5
son, Franklin, was present during the meeting.
conversation was very cordial, very nice," Franklin Graham
said, according to the Associated Press. "When the president
got ready to leave, the president prayed for my father, my father
prayed for him."
elder Graham prayed for the nation and for wisdom for Obama,
Franklin Graham told AP, and Obama thanked God for Billy Graham's
life.... Read this in full at
“Obama meets with Billy Graham”
BLASTED ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
bipartisan US commission on religious freedom says President Obama
is softening his stand on protecting the right to one's faith at a
time when religious persecution is on the rise.
11th annual report by the US Commission on International Religious
Freedom says Obama's recent call for nations to respect "freedom
of worship" rather than "religious freedom" allows
regimes to claim they are not oppressing certain religions if
those faiths exist in a form acceptable to the regime.... Read
this in full at
WRIGHT RETIRING AS BISHOP
New Testament scholar N. T. Wright, 61, will retire after seven
years as the Bishop of Durham on August 31. He will take a chair
in New Testament and Early Christianity at St Andrew's in
has been the hardest decision of my life," Wright said in a
statement. "But my continuing vocation to be a writer,
teacher, and broadcaster, for the benefit (I hope) of the wider
world and church, has been increasingly difficult to combine with
the complex demands and duties of a diocesan bishop. I am very sad
about this, but the choice has become increasingly clear."
.... Read this in full at
we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw
off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
of the roads most used lead nowhere.”
CROSS A SIGN FOR CHRIST OR JUST CIVIC SCULPTURE?
latest Supreme Court ruling could inspire a new hymn, an anthem
for American civil religion: "The Old Rugged War Memorial.
why at least one evangelical legal expert is suggesting Christians
may hold down the cheers over the ruling announced April 28
concerning a five-foot cross perched on a desert outcropping high
over a federal preserve.
been covered with a plywood box for years as courts argued
Congress acted constitutionally when it approved the transfer of
the patch of ground it stands on to private hands. The Supreme
Court ruling sends it back to lower courts for reconsideration and
the case could go on for many years.... Read this in full at
A STRANGE NEW WORLD WHERE ATHEISTS DO OUTREACH AND EVANGELICALS
obvious reasons, atheists and evangelicals often find themselves
on opposite sides of the cultural battle line. The rise of “New
Atheism” via best selling books by Richard Dawkins and
Christopher Hitchens, and the emergence of “Constitutional
Evangelicals” comprised of people more likely to know the
Second Amendment than the Second Commandment, has inflamed the
tensions between the two groups.
the new breeds of atheists and evangelicals may have more in
common than they’d like to admit. For example, some within
New Atheism are proselytizing their beliefs with the fervor, and
in come cases anger, more often associated by our culture with
evangelicals. From an international ad campaign on buses
dismissing belief in God, to rallies at universities inviting
students to exchange their Bibles for pornography, some atheists
are no longer content with a live-and-let-live approach to those
adhering to religion. Instead, they are actively trying to
convert, or is the word un-convert, the masses.... Read this in
LOOKS AT JESUS, MARY MAGDALENE AND THE MEANING OF LOVE
Jesus of Nazareth have written a letter to Mary of Magdala that
shed light on the nature of their relationship -- the subject of
speculation for centuries? Author Evan Drake Howard imagines the
earth-shaking consequences of such a letter in his new novel The
Galilean Secret (Guideposts Books). It's a unique combination of
Da Vinci Code-style intrigue with a fresh perspective on the
teachings of Jesus such as millions of readers embraced in The
the runaway success of The Da Vinci Code has shown, readers are
hungry for fiction that mixes religion, history, and conjecture
about long-lost scrolls and the esoteric secrets they hold. And
Jesus and Mary Magdalene have fascinated scholars and believers
for centuries. A gifted storyteller who has completed years of
study, including research in Israel, Howard brings all of these
elements into a fast-paced and inspiring exploration of the nature
of love, the possibility of lasting peace, and the essential
message of Jesus.
Galilean Secret weaves together two plot lines, one set amidst the
modern-day conflict in the Middle East, involving the discovery of
a long-lost letter from Jesus to Mary Magdalene in the caves near
Qumran, where ancient manuscripts have been uncovered. The second
story, set in the Roman era, follows Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and
other biblical characters such as Judas Iscariot, Nicodemus, and
Dismas, "the good thief." .... Read this in full at
is re-emerging as an online video service focused on the Christian
initial launch in 2007 skyrocketed this Christian video-sharing
site, with an eventual average of 2.7 million users each month. In
an effort to widen the reach of the GodTube.com audience and to
better serve its thriving user base, tangle.com was launched in
2009, redirecting the GodTube.com users to the new platform.
tangle.com is the world’s largest social networking platform
for the faith-based and family-friendly marketplace.
the successful launch of tangle.com, GodTube.com is now back by
popular demand under its own moniker. In just a few weeks since
its return to the Web and through word-of-mouth promotion,
GodTube.com has realized more than 400,000 unique visitors,
indicating the viral community’s excitement.... Read this in
KNAPP QUESTIONS BIBLE TRANSLATION ON HOM*SEXUALITY
Knapp, the Christian music artist who announced this month that
she is gay, recently questioned the authenticity of Bible
translations on the issue of hom*sexuality. During her appearance
on CNN’s Larry King Live April 23, Knapp pointed out that
believers rely on a text that is not in the original language. She
said scholars have questioned the interpretation of the original
Greek words that have been translated to hom*sexuality.
acknowledging that she is by no means a scholar or theologian,
Knapp brought up the Bible translation issue to challenge those
who cite the Bible as stating that hom*sexuality is a sin.... Read
this in full at
THIS WALL: A NOTE FOR PASTORS AND LAITY
US President Ronald Reagan stood at the wall in Eastern Europe in
June 1987. Following are excerpts from that historic speech:
“Behind me stands a wall…a barrier that divides the
entire continent of Europe. … armed guards and checkpoints…
This scar of a wall …There is one sign that would advance
dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary
Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity… if
you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev,
open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
12-foot concrete wall extended for one hundred miles and stood as
a stark symbol of the decades-old Cold War. Two years later, East
Germans issued a decree for the wall to be opened. Families that
had been separated for decades were finally reunited.
I attended Lausanne II in Manila in 1989, my friend, Lee Yih,
delivered his memorable “Frogs and Lizards” speech. In
it, he compared the ministry of the clergy to frogs, whose food
comes to them. He continued by comparing the ministry of the laity
to lizards, who go hunting in the nooks and crevices of their
world to find their food. It grabbed the imaginations of the
attendees, many of whom realized for the first time the
significance of the differences between the two groups, and the
importance of each.
again thought of walls, and prayed that the wall of misperception
and misunderstanding that existed between the “professional
minister” and the “ordinary believer” would
finally begin to come down.
wall was erected within a few hundred years of Christ’s
ascension, and still affects us today. Lausanne is about the
“whole Church” presenting the whole gospel to the
whole world, but the “whole Church” does not feel the
primary responsibility to accomplish this. Although there has been
progress made over the last twenty years, there is still much to
be done. The workplace movement of the late 1990s and this present
decade has caused the creation of hundreds of workplace
organizations around the world.... Read this in full at
PROBE WHETHER, WHY, 'FREE WILL' EXISTS
people really responsible for all the things they do? Do they have
what theologians call God-given "free will" to choose
between right and wrong?
questions are at the heart of a four-year research project
underway at Florida State University that aims to determine
whether, and how, free will exists.
by a $4.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the
project will gather together scientists, philosophers and
theologians around the question of what factors -- free will,
genetics, environment, God or something else -- lead us to do all
the things we do.
evidence for it one way or another, it's quite possible,"
said Alfred Mele, a professor of philosophy at Florida State who
will lead the project. "Scientists have been looking for
evidence for and against free will since the early `80s."
debate however, is much older. For instance: Do humans, through
their own freely chosen actions and decisions, determine whether
they will go to heaven or hell? Does an omniscient God already
know how things will turn out in the end? Does God given humans
the free choice to turn away?.... Read this in full at
WORSHIPPERS, CHURCH CAN BE OVERWHELMING
Jesus were to take a Myers-Briggs personality test, would he rank
as an introvert or an extrovert? He was, after all, popular with
crowds, but often retreated to pray in solitude.
an undergrad, Daniel Perett wrestled with similar questions as a
member of the evangelical InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at
Middlebury College. He soon discovered that his introverted
personality clashed with the group's prayer-and-share ethos.
expectation is if you really are having a spiritual experience,
the first thing that you're going to do is share it very
publicly," said Perett, 31, now a graduate student at the
University of Notre Dame.
other words, "if the Holy Spirit were working in your life,"
you'd be talking about it--"you would be an extrovert,"
he said. But what Perett really needed most was time to process
what was happening to him spiritually.
says evangelical Christianity--with a bigger-is-often-better
strain deeply embedded in its DNA--is stacked against introverts
like himself. And so, like other introverts, he began to develop
coping methods rather than a deeper theology.... Read this in full
PROVIDER STOXX CATERS TO EUROPEAN CHRISTIAN INVESTORS
investors avoiding the pitfalls of the financial crisis are
seeking for moral investment choices, leading one index provider
to launch a stock index for Christians.
Europe Christian Index launched on April 26, grouping together
companies including BP, HSBC, Nestlé, Vodafone, and Royal
Dutch Shell, which have business practices that they believe
comply with Christian moral doctrine.
the launch of the STOXX Europe Christian Index, STOXX acknowledges
the growing number of Christian market participants who wish to
invest in accordance with their religious beliefs,” said
STOXX Ltd. Chief Executive Hartmut Graf, whose company has
recruited experts from the Christian community, including those
from the Vatican, academia and the investment community to screen
the stocks as an independent committee.
screening process, according to STOXX, measures the amount of
company revenues generated from pornography, weapons, tobacco,
alcohol, birth control, and gambling. The index excludes companies
that do not pass requirements.... Read this in full at
TRYING TO TELL US WITH EYJAFJALLAJOKULL?
What do homosexuality, health care reform, and British advertising
standards all have in common? They're all things that have ticked
God off, some religious leaders say, and he's venting his
frustration with the angry fires of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull
Interfax newswire reported that the Association of (Russian)
Orthodox Experts blamed the April 14 eruption -- whose gigantic
cloud of ash grounded transatlantic flights for more than a week
-- on gay rights in Europe and Iceland's tolerance of
commentator Rush Limbaugh, meanwhile, said God was angry over
health care reform. San Antonio megachurch pastor John Hagee, the
founder of Christians United for Israel, said God was unleashing
his wrath on Britain for deciding that Israeli tourism ads
actually featured parts of the disputed Palestinian territories,
eruption is the latest in a long line of natural events to which
some religious leaders attribute divine judgment. In short, God is
using nature to channel his displeasure with human behavior --
both the sinners and those who tolerate them -- and that we had
better shape up.... Read this in full at
worries about Christ as long as he can be kept shut up in
churches. He is quite safe inside. But there is always
trouble if you try and let him out.”
G. A. Studdert Kennedy
when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him
through the death of his Son, how much more, having been
reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"
WEEK'S HYMN: THE CONQUEROR
S. C. Kirk, 1906
Grant C. Tullar
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
triumphant day is come!
of glorious victory,
the boasting tomb!
the shame and agony
the cruel cross He bore;
the Man of Galilee,
rose the Conqueror!
death, where is thy sting?
grave, thy victory?
risen Lord, the Savior-King,
conquered death for me.
in vain the wards of death
the stony tenement;
a whisper, yea, a breath,
its bars are rent!
is now the taunting reed,
the crown of thorns He wore?
have made a King, indeed,
crowned a Conqueror!
the glorious victory!
slain awakes again,
the wiles of men!
now the risen King
and Heaven tribute sing—
hail Him Conqueror!
FORUM: 6 IN 10 AMERICAN ADULTS PRAY DAILY
Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life reports that
more than half of Americans incorporate prayer into their daily
life. The US Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 by the
Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, shows
that prayer is a common religious practice in America, with nearly
six in 10 adults in the US saying they pray at least once a day.
However, frequency of prayer differs significantly by religious
tradition, age, gender and income. Seventy-eight percent of
Evangelical Protestants pray daily, compared to 71% of Muslims and
58% of self-identified Catholics. Participants over age 65 were
more 20% more likely to pray daily than young adults age 18 to 29,
48% of whom pray daily.
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
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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.
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