Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 16, 2010
Issue 304

The Men’s Ministry newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
Our mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.

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"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
     Galatians 2:20

We cannot truly face life until we face the fact that it will be taken away from us.”
     Billy Graham

Liberty University will investigate reports that its seminary president has misled the public in his testimony about converting from militant Islam to Christianity, officials of the school in Lynchburg, Va., announced May 10.

Liberty Provost Ron Godwin is reportedly forming a committee to conduct a formal inquiry into questions surrounding Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, that have circulated on blogs and more recently in media outlets including Christianity Today and Associated Baptist Press.

"Liberty does not initiate personnel evaluations based upon accusations from Internet blogs," said Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., breaking weeks of silence amid criticism from both Christian and Muslim bloggers. "However, in light of the fact that several newspapers have raised questions, we felt it necessary to initiate a formal inquiry."

The author of books including Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs, which he co-wrote in 2002 with his brother, Caner has been quoted in Baptist and secular media as an expert on Islam.

But discrepancies in biographical information he has provided in sermons -- many recorded -- preached over the years have caused some to question his credibility. Some are questioning even his basic testimony of converting to Christianity from a devout Sunni Muslim background -- which has been held out by many Southern Baptist and other evangelical leaders in recent years as an illustration of Christ's power to save anyone.... Read this in full at


Regardless of how the courts ultimately rule, organizers vow that there will be a National Day of Prayer (NDP) event next year.

NDP Task Force Executive Director John Bornschein told that  his team is already beginning to plan for next year’s event -- the 60th anniversary -- whether the courts agree to its existence or not.

In an interview Thursday at the Cannon House Office Building, asked Bornschein if the National Day of Prayer is in danger.

Not at all,” he said. “This has been a national heritage. Since 1775, Americans have been called to prayer. And right now the momentum is such that Americans will continue to pray.” .... Read this in full at

As Solicitor General Elena Kagan prepares for confirmation hearings to make her the newest member of the US Supreme Court, her nomination changes the religious makeup of the nation’s highest court.

But does it matter that the bench would include six Catholics and, with her confirmation, three Jews and no Protestants?

Observers say it’s a historic turning point for a court once comprised of Protestant elites to have no Protestants following the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens. But the shift may say more about how the country -- rather than the court -- has changed.

I think that this means that this is an extraordinarily tolerant country religiously and I think we should stop for a moment and appreciate that,” said Boston University professor Stephen Prothero. “It wasn’t long ago that Protestants were burning down Catholic monasteries, and it wasn’t long ago that the Holocaust happened.”

As times changed, presidents used the nomination process to determine who should fill a “Catholic seat” or a “Jewish seat” or even a “woman’s seat” on the court. Now, even those limitations are archaic, Prothero said.... Read this in full at

I went on a run in a mountainous area in Arizona recently and took pictures with my phone camera at different intervals. At a thousand feet up the mountain I had a reasonably good view. The terrain was beautiful, and I could see a few of the homes surrounding the area where I had begun my run. As I went another five hundred feet, then another thousand, then another five hundred, my perspective changed. At each turn of the mountain, I could see more and more of the land I had traversed. I had a much more spacious, higher altitude view as well. I could now see the entire development of homes from where I had started, as well as an expansive valley beyond the housing development on one side and a whole new range of mountains that had just come into view on the other side.

I was covering two thousand feet of altitude change, and with those shifts in altitude and the multiple turns and switchbacks, I could see more and more landscape. The higher I got, the more I could see of the shadow side and previously hidden aspects of the mountain range. At the summit, I saw where I had come from, but I could also see entirely different mountains and new housing developments I hadn't even known existed. A higher altitude doesn't make a place superior, but it does provide the setting for a broader view. There is more available landscape to view, a greater amount of complexity to behold -- more variety, more beauty, more options.

As we proceed through stages of faith, this is precisely what happens to us. Stages of faith are like high-altitude vantage points.”
     Ron Martoia, The Bible as Improv

American Christianity is beginning to look a whole lot different. Picture hundreds of jeans-clad 20- and 30-somethings filling the floor of a vintage opera hall in Chicago, armed with laptops, smart phones, and iPads. Picture a stage backed by a large screen, dark but for a large white image in the center -- not a cross, but an upper-case "Q." Picture a guy with the shaggy blond bangs of an indie-rock guitarist taking the stage to launch the proceedings with the matter-of-fact acknowledgment that we have entered a new "post-Christian context." Imagine three days of quick-hit presentations on everything from emotionally intelligent robots to nuclear weapons abolition, from fatherlessness to coffee-growing for the common good -- and nary a word about abortion or "reclaiming America for Christ."

If the arrival of the "post-Christian age" is upsetting to this emerging generation of (mostly) evangelicals, they did an awfully good job of hiding it at the recent "Q" gathering -- the signature annual event for these next-generation Jesus followers. In fact, judging from the spirit and energy reverberating through the hall, I get the sense that they find the whole thing liberating.

"Christians can bemoan the end of Christian America," shrugs Q creator and convener Gabe Lyons, "or we can be optimistic about it. What's good is that it forces us to get back to the basics of serving people and loving our neighbors. Through history, Christianity has affected more people from that position than from a position of dominance.".... Read this in full at

HA! "Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer
Watch this 2-minute video satirizing ‘relevant’ worship services

A new church was born May 9, but, like an increasing number of congregations, it has no preaching pastor. In what has become one of the most popular church growth methods across the country, a large white screen unfurled in front of the stage with the preacher's image projected on it, preempting the live sermon and the pastor's physical presence.

Welcome to the satellite church, a 21st century phenomenon that owes its success to advances in technology. These days, instead of starting new congregations, churches are reproducing the successful ones, franchise-style.... Read this in full at

Perhaps our artist could make a triptych, three panels hinged together with three different paintings on them -- one of the Jordan before Jesus enters the water, looking like a normal river; one of the Jordan with Jesus being baptized in it, the river dark to signify his death and burial; the final a painting of the Jordan as Jesus emerges from the water, the dove on his shoulder, the sky opened up with the Father's voice -- this time the river is gold to symbolize Christ's victory over death and therefore the believer's victory also. For on the eve of the Feast of Theophany the priest prays, ‘Thou hast descended into the waters and hast given light to all things, that they may glorify Thee, O Savior, the Enlightenment of our souls.’

The Jordan is a God symbol and a Christ symbol, as potent in its own way as the cross or the manger or the empty tomb. The Jordan is also a symbol of new life from baptism, of healing, and also of crossing over to a new land and a new commitment to God. In baptism, the idea is one of passing from death to life through the death and resurrection of Jesus. A healing or cleansing is like coming back to life, and the life you have come back to live in God is much different from the one you left. A crossing over is moving from what was to what will be, from the past to the future, with that future securely in the hands of God.

So the Jordan is really a river of renewal and a river of life -- and God life at that.”
     Murray Andrew Pura, Streams

May 23

June 5



May 30

June 11 – July 11

Nigeria's acting president has officially been sworn in as the new head of state. Goodluck Jonathan replaces elected president Umaru Yar'Adua, who died May 5, 2010. With Jonathan, the president's powerbase shifts to the mostly-Christian south, whereas Yar'Adua's mandate came from the mostly-Muslim north. Open Doors USA says this power shift could exacerbate tensions in the region. Hundreds of people have died in religious violence between ethnic Muslims and Christians in the country, including an incident in March when three Christian villages were attacked and up to 500 people were killed. Christians have carried out similar attacks on Muslim-majority towns and villages.... Read this in full at

See who studied religion before becoming famous, including some celebs who aspired to be priests: Martin Scorsese, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Al Gore, .... Read this in full at

Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
     2 Corinthians 5:14-15

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.”
     Winston Churchill

Bill Henson is used to skepticism in his mission to bring together gays and evangelical Christians. He spent years in a gay relationship, until he came to believe that hom*sexuality is a sin and married the only woman he says he's ever been attracted to. The minister founded Fish On The Other Side (FOTOS) because he believes the church drives away gays with a narrow focus on sexual orientation, compared to its own sins.

Henson says the evangelical church should welcome gays without making it conditional on a change in their sexual behavior or orientation. He's given training sessions for clergy, radio broadcasts, and talks at colleges, and last year he had a speaking slot at the prominent national youth missions conference, Urbana.... Read this in full at

by David Neff
Some analysts say the mainline charismatic renewal fizzled. It is more accurate to describe it the way Jesus pictured the kingdom of God: like yeast that spreads through bread dough. You can hardly identify it as a movement anymore, but it has changed the way most churches worship. Repetitive choruses and raised hands are now common. Except in pockets of hardcore resistance, the fact that a fellow Christian may praise God in a private prayer language hardly elevates an eyebrow.

Pentecostalism and the charismatic renewal have jointly given believers what historian Chris Armstrong calls Pentecostalism's chief contribution to Christianity: an awareness of "a deep well of living water from which everything else flow[s] ... the personal, relational presence of the living God."

That tide of living water is precisely what New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson is worried might be receding. In a recent Commonweal essay, Johnson lamented the clash between the external, public dimension of religion -- doctrine, sacraments, church structures (the "exoteric") -- and the private search for a personal relationship with God (the "esoteric"). Johnson worries that the exoteric is whipping the esoteric. But what of the tremendous spread of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity around the globe? Johnson's failure to mention it is puzzling.... Read this in full at

After Ted Haggard confessed to a gay sex and drug scandal, he lost his Colorado Spring pulpit, his job as head of the National Association of Evangelicals and underwent a lengthy period of counseling and discipline. For the most part, he hasn't been seen much since.

Other fallen charismatic/Pentecostal superstars, however, have rapidly reemerged into the spotlight with a new wife, a new church, new TV ministry or a new message from God that seems to dismiss the gravity of their sins.

Lee Grady has seen it all, and he's had enough. Grady, a longtime editor of the widely read Charisma magazine, says the miraculous and transforming power of the Holy Spirit he and other charismatic/Pentecostal have experienced is under assault by the "epidemic of moral failure among our leaders."

"We can have the gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation without this circus sideshow going on," Grady said in an interview. "I'm waving my hands in the air because this is a huge problem, and we are going to experience even more serious problems in our churches if we don't know how to apply godly discipline to our wayward leaders." .... Read this in full at

Nearly one in five Americans (17%) surveyed said their mothers had the most impact on their giving tendencies, second only to faith communities (22%), according to a poll commissioned by Thrivent Financial-Kiplinger Survey of Family Finances.

When it comes to shaping our giving attitudes, who better to provide guidance than faith communities and moms?” said Thrivent Financial Director Patrick Egan in a statement. “Our survey suggests that both groups have opportunities to offer personal, powerful examples of selfless giving that shape our lives.”

One in 10 people cited their spouse as most influential, and mothers were more than three times as likely as fathers (22% versus 6%) to shape attitudes. Other factors included friends and extended family, at 3% each. One in four Americans said they were unsure about their giving influences.

Age was one clear factor in determining who influences personal giving: 34 percent of adults ages 18-24, and 21% of those ages 25-34, picked mom. Almost a third of seniors, however, went with religion.

The poll of 1,000 U.S. adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Hands and Feet
Talking about the Lord is how the Ambassador earned his handle. It was his wife's uncle who first encouraged him to take up the Ham radio. Uncle Gene had been a Ham radio enthusiast since before World War II. But the Ambassador didn't take it up until five years ago when he had a little extra time to spare.

He began chatting with another gentleman, a blind fellow from Panama City. They spent a lot of time talking about the Lord and it was from that friendship that the Ambassadors for Christ group formed. They planned out an hour-long show and had seven folks check-in during that first hour. Now they are up to 1300 hams. Most days they hear from about 25 to 30 of those during the show. Each one comes on and reads a scripture or gives a testimony.

There's been a handful of them over the years that have rung him up to offer their thanks. They've recounted their despair, how they thought there was no way out but to take their own lives. But then they heard a word of encouragement or maybe conviction from the Ambassador or one of his cohorts and picked up a Bible, instead of a gun. ‘They might still be having a hard time with their problems but now they are able to face them,’ the Ambassador says.

To hear the Ambassador tell it, Christianity isn't about searching for a way to get your palms greased. It's about looking for the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ. Even if that hand is short a couple of fingers.”
     Karen Spears Zacharias, Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?

One of this city’s oldest candle makers is planning to slash its work force in part because of decreased demand from a shrinking number of Catholic churches to buy its products.

Emkay Candle told its 46 employees that as many as 38 of them will be laid off in 90 days. That would leave just eight people to make candles at the company, which has been making them at the same location since its founding in 1925.

Rolly DeVore, Emkay’s general manager, said the actual number of layoffs may wind up at less than 38, but not much less. “I think maybe 15 will remain after the whole thing is done, but I don’t know,” he said. “It all depends on what the order input is going to be in the next two months.

Any way you look at it, it’s a significant reduction in employment.” DeVore said the company is dropping all of its unprofitable product lines and consolidating its manufacturing space from five floors to one. He blamed a major consolidation trend in the Roman Catholic Church for a drop in business. As churches have closed, the company has lost customers for its candles. “Once they take three churches and make them into one, you lose two customers,” he said.... Read this in full at

At the age of six months babies can barely sit up -- let along take their first tottering steps, crawl or talk. But, according to psychologists, they have already developed a sense of moral code -- and can tell the difference between good and evil.

An astonishing series of experiments is challenging the views of many psychologists and social scientists that human beings are born as 'blank slates' -- and that our morality is shaped by our parents and experiences. Instead, they suggest that the difference between good and bad may be hardwired into the brain at birth.

In one experiment involving puppets, babies aged six months old showed a strong preference to 'good' helpful characters -- and rejected unhelpful, 'naughty' ones. In another, they even acted as judge and jury. When asked to take away treats from a 'naughty' puppet, some babies went further -- and dished out their own punishment with a smack on its head.... Read this in full at

Rocco Palmo's life has been infused with four major blessings -- his large Italian family, journalism, baseball and the Roman Catholic church.

All four coalesced recently when the 27-year-old blogger, who lives in and works from his parents' home in Philadelphia, received an honorary doctorate from the Aquinas Institute of Theology -- and saw his beloved Phillies take on the Cardinals.

"Rocco has shown that someone with his background -- a Christian commitment, but also his abilities and background in journalism -- can use the blogosphere in a very powerful way in terms of communicating the message of the church," said the Rev. Richard Peddicord, president of the Aquinas Institute.

Aquinas has never awarded an honorary degree to a journalist, and the only other journalist who has given Aquinas' commencement address was Peter Steinfels of The New York Times in 1993.

In awarding Palmo an honorary doctorate, the 84-year-old seminary is making a statement about the changing relationship between journalism and the Catholic church. The award for Palmo's work on his Whispers in the Loggia blog is also an expression of how American Catholic leaders hope to encourage a younger generation to engage their faith through news.

"Palmo has done something no mainstream journalist has ever done -- scooped announcements by the Vatican of new U.S. bishops or archbishops," said Debra Mason, executive director of the Religion Newswriters Association. "That's a formidable task and one that requires serious reporting skills." .... Read this in full at

The Sea of Galilee has for centuries provided a healthy living for hundreds of fishermen - the disciple Peter among them, according to the Bible. But now an unprecedented fishing ban is being enforced on the Galilee because, says the Israeli government, chronic over-fishing has severely depleted stocks.

The Sea of Galilee is a mythical and historical place. It was here, says the Bible, that Jesus walked on water and in the hills overlooking where he fed the 5,000 with two fish and five loaves.

According to the Gospels, when Jesus told Peter to cast his nets into deep water, "they caught fish in such large numbers their nets began to break".

From Biblical times to the great travel writers of the 19th Century people wrote about the abundant fish stocks of Lake Galilee.

The Galilee, in reality a large freshwater lake, has supported fishermen and their communities along its shores for hundreds of years. As recently as 10 years ago there were more than 100 small boats and eight trawlers working the lake.... Read this in full at

Police officers have been given the right to take days off to dance naked on the solstices, celebrate fertility rituals, and burn Yule logs if they profess pagan beliefs.

The Pagan Police Association claimed May 10 that it had been recognized by the British Home Office as a “diversity staff support association” -- a status also enjoyed by groups representing female, black, gay, Muslim, and disabled officers.

Endorsement would mean that chief constables could not refuse a pagan officer’s request to take feast days as part of his or her annual leave. The eight pagan festivals include Imbolc (the feast of lactating sheep), Lammas (the harvest festival) and the Summer Solstice (when mead drinking and naked dancing are the order of the day).

Problematically, the pagan festivals also include Samhain (known to non-pagans as Hallowe’en), a day when police leave is often cancelled because of the high incidence of vandalism, violence and antisocial behaviour.... Read this in full at

Beset by questions about Jerusalem's future in talks with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached for the Bible on May 12 to stake out the Jewish state's contested claim on the city.

Netanyahu told a parliamentary session commemorating Israel's capture of East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war that "Jerusalem" and its alternative Hebrew name "Zion" appear 850 times in the Old Testament, Judaism's core canon. "As to how many times Jerusalem is mentioned in the holy scriptures of other faiths, I recommend you check," he said.

Citing such ancestry, Israel calls all of Jerusalem its "eternal and indivisible" capital -- a designation not recognized abroad, where many powers support Arab claims to East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.... Read this in full at

- The later you stay up, the earlier your child will wake up the next morning.

- The gooier the food, the more likely it is to end up on the carpet.

- The longer it takes you to make a meal, the less your child will like it.

- A sure way to get something done is to tell a child not to do it.

- For a child to become clean, something else must become dirty.

- Toys multiply to fill any space available.

- Yours is always the only child who doesn't behave.

- If the shoe fits ... it's expensive.

- Backing the car out of the driveway causes your child to have to go to the bathroom.

To see God in everything makes life the greatest adventure there is.”

In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace."
     Ephesians 1:7

Words: John and Charles Wesley, 1746
Music: James Nares, 1742

Father, God, we glorify
Thy love to Adam’s seed;
Love that gave Thy Son to die,
And raised Him from the dead:
Him, for our offenses slain,
That we all might pardon find,
Thou hast brought to life again,
The Savior of mankind.

By Thy own right hand of power
Thou hast exalted Him,
Sent the mighty Conqueror
Thy people to redeem:
King of Saints, and Prince of Peace,
Him Thou hast for sinners giv’n,
Sinners from their sins to bless,
And lift them up to Heav’n.

Father, God, to us impart
The gift unspeakable;
Now in every waiting heart
Thy glorious Son reveal:
Quickened with our living Lord,
Let us in Thy Spirit rise,
Rise to all Thy life restored,
And bless Thee in the skies.

>from NetHymnal at

"No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack."
     E.M. Bounds


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.

TED Talks: Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Beautiful HDR Photography

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.)

Do you brighten a room just by entering or just by leaving?
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.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
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