Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 2, 2010
Issue 302

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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Now, 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 be healed.”
     Hebrews 12:11-12

Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see.”
     Martin Luther

A 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.

The 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.

"It's 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.

The structure had several compartments, some with wooden beams, which were believed to house animals, he said.

The 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.

Local 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

Claims 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.

Answers 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.

Yeung 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.

"Every 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

Also see video: “Finding Noah's Ark: Hong Kong Filmmaker Claims to Have Found Biblical Treasure”

And what am I, to know
your promises, your mercies, your grace, your love?
Suppose my heart is (as I can only too well believe)
hard, unfruitful, deep, deceitful--is that beyond the power
of the fingers that made the heavens?

O, majestic Lord, you care for me,
you have me in your mind and heart.
In that I rest.
Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926), Someone Who Beckons: readings and prayers for 60 days, InterVarsity Press, 1978, p. 29

I 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!

But 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

May 6

May 23

May 9

May 1

May 15

June 5

May 6-9



May 30

June 11 – July 11

Travel 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

What we learned from Jews, Muslims, and Arab Christians as we traced the footsteps of Christ in Galilee.
by Gerald McDermott

The 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.

Before 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."

When 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."

As 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

Two 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 study.

Thom 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.

In 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.

On 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 generations.

"Millennial 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."

Rainer 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

Also see “Survey: 72% of Millennials 'more spiritual than religious'”

by Thom Rainer
I 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.

But my concern is about a different kind of lost, really the most important kind.

I 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.

The 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.

Our best estimate is that only 15% of this generation is Christian. Among nearly 80 million Millennials, only 12 million have personal relationships with Christ.

That means 85% are lost. That means 68 million young people are lost.... Read this in full at

Author 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

How 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.

Sabbath 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.

Musicians 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

President 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.

Obama 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 tragedy.

Graham's son, Franklin, was present during the meeting.

"The 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."

The 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

Also “Obama meets with Billy Graham”

A 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.

The 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

Leading 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 Scotland.

This 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

Since 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.”
     Hebrews 12:1

Some of the roads most used lead nowhere.”
     Jewish proverb

The latest Supreme Court ruling could inspire a new hymn, an anthem for American civil religion: "The Old Rugged War Memorial.

That's 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.

It's 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

by Skye Jethani
For 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.

But 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 full at

Could 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 Shack.

As 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.

The 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

GODTUBE.COM RESURRECTED is re-emerging as an online video service focused on the Christian marketplace.’s 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 audience and to better serve its thriving user base, was launched in 2009, redirecting the users to the new platform. is the world’s largest social networking platform for the faith-based and family-friendly marketplace.

After the successful launch of, 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, has realized more than 400,000 unique visitors, indicating the viral community’s excitement.... Read this in full at

Jennifer 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.

Though 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

by Kent Humphreys
Former 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!”

The 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.

When 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.

I 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.

This 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

Are 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?

Those 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.

Funded 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.
"Gathering 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."

The 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

If 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.

As 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.

"The 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.

In 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.

Perett 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 at

Christian 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.

STOXX 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.

With 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.

The 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

by Omar Sacirbey
Religion News Service
(RNS) 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 volcano.

Moscow's 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 "neo-paganism."

Conservative 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, not Israel.

The 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

Nobody 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

"If, 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!"
     Romans 5:10

Words: S. C. Kirk, 1906
Music: Grant C. Tullar

O Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Thy triumphant day is come!
Day of glorious victory,
Over the boasting tomb!
All the shame and agony
Of the cruel cross He bore;
Died the Man of Galilee,
But rose the Conqueror!

O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, thy victory?
The risen Lord, the Savior-King,
Has conquered death for me.

All in vain the wards of death
Guard the stony tenement;
But a whisper, yea, a breath,
Lo! its bars are rent!
Where is now the taunting reed,
And the crown of thorns He wore?
Ye have made a King, indeed,
And crowned a Conqueror!

O the glorious victory!
Jesus slain awakes again,
Triumphs over Calvary,
And the wiles of men!
Jesus now the risen King
Is alive forevermore!
Earth and Heaven tribute sing—
And hail Him Conqueror!

>from NetHymnal at

Pew 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.


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.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

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.)

God answers kneemail.
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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