Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 23, 2010
Issue 305

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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Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
     Hebrews 12:2

Life is a voyage in which we choose neither vessel nor weather, but much can be done in the management of the sails and the guidance of the helm.”
     Author Unknown

by Dennis Bratcher
In many churches, the season leading up to Pentecost Sunday is one of the most neglected of the church calendar. Pentecost Sunday was May 23, 2010.

Pentecost was originally an Old Testament festival, since the time of Josephus calculated as beginning on the fiftieth day after the beginning of Passover. In the Christian calendar, it falls on the seventh Sunday after Easter. It was called the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), and in the Old Testament was originally an agricultural festival celebrating and giving thanks for the "first fruits" of the early spring harvest (Lev 23, Exod 23, 34).

By the early New Testament period, it had gradually lost its association with agriculture and became associated with the celebration of God’s creation of His people and their religious history. By the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, the festival focused exclusively on God’s gracious gift of Torah (the "Law") on Mount Sinai. It continues to be celebrated in this manner in modern Judaism.

While there are other references to Pentecost in the New Testament (e.g. 1 Cor 16:8), it is most significant in Acts 2 and the familiar scene of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those in the "upper room." The New Testament writers associate the events of Acts 2 with Pentecost, and relate it to the prophecies of Joel 2 and promises of Jesus (Acts 1:8). In both, the emphasis is on a empowerment through the Holy Spirit to enable the people of God to witness to Jesus the Christ.... Read this in full at

America is not bleeding churches as fast as previously thought. According to Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research, more churches are now planted in the US than close each year. "[C]hurch planting is on the mind of North American Christians at unprecedented levels," Stetzer wrote with researcher Warren Bird. Stetzer called church planting the "it" thing right now after decades of church decline. In "Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers," Stetzer and Warren encouraged Christians to move past the "don't we already have enough churches?" mentality to a "passionate pursuit of the lost." Other Christian leaders agreed. "The only way to increase the number of Christians in a city is to plant thousands of new churches," said Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.... Read this in full at

Following the huge turnout in churches across America last year for national "Back To Church Sunday," expectations are even higher for the 2010 event, set for Sept. 12.

National "Back To Church Sunday" ( is a movement that seeks to reach the "un-churched" and "de-churched" –- people who once attended church, but don't any more -– and invite them to return for a special Sunday. During the first event last year, hundreds of churches across the country participated, with members inviting more than 700,000 of their friends and family. According to a survey of participants by Outreach, Inc., a Southern California church marketing company, churches that took part saw a 19% average increase in their weekend attendance.... Read this in full at

Packed tightly into the ornate, old sanctuary and spilling into overflow areas to watch on TV, members of First Baptist Church of Dallas heard the number Sunday that will guide them into the 21st century: $115,062,000. Senior pastor Robert Jeffress announced the pledge results during May 16th's service at First Baptist of Dallas. That's the amount the congregation committed to contribute over three years to rebuild and reshape the historic downtown church, a record for a Protestant church in America, senior pastor Robert Jeffress said, and a huge show of faith by the 3,200 members who attend on an average Sunday.

The church's building committee will go through the project again over the next two weeks, present plans to the board of deacons and, finally, go before the congregation for approval at an all-church business meeting June 6. Groundbreaking would be July 11, Jeffress said, with construction completed in time for Easter services in 2013.

The project, originally projected to cost $130 million, has been tweaked to reduce costs. With builders eager for business, church leaders say, $115 million should be enough. The church already has $35 million in hand.

A new 3,000-seat sanctuary stands as the centerpiece of the project, along with a religious education building and parking garage, a sweeping glass-fronted concourse and a sky bridge over St. Paul Street. The revised campus will include an acre of green space and a soaring fountain, topped by a towering cross, that can be used for warm-weather baptisms.... Read this in full at

Our imitation of God in this life ... must be an imitation of God incarnate: our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life in itself, is apparently not only like, but is, the Divine life operating under human conditions.”
     C.S. Lewis, from his book The Four Loves

by Patrick Morley
My literary agent, Robert Wolgemuth, and I were in New York City on business. When I go there, I try to take in the Monet Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As we left for the airport, I asked Robert if he wanted to catch the Monets.

He was game, but we only had a few extra minutes. So we briskly walked through the Monet Collection then hopped back into our waiting cab.

You can't really "get" Monet that way. Even if you see all you want, it still isn't enough to really appreciate the depth that's there.

It's the same with the Bible. You can't really "get" the Bible by hurriedly flipping through it. Even if a ten or twenty minute "quiet time" gives you all you want, it still isn't enough.
The concept of a quiet time is an ill-advised accommodation to men who live in an overly busy culture. It's good to do, but not if it's the only thing they do. It will dumb you down. Frankly, I find reading the Bible for ten minutes is like eating one potato chip.... Read this in full at

More Americans believe moral values in the United States are getting worse, according to a new Gallup Poll. The Gallup’s annual poll on moral values found 76% of Americans said moral values in the country are getting worse, up 5% from last year. This year’s rise marked the second highest one-year increase in nine years. In 2004, 77% of Americans said moral values were getting worse, marking a 10 percentage rise from the previous year.

Opinions about moral values in the country tend to stay relatively stable between years. The highest figure was in 2007 at 82%.

Respondents most often cited declining moral values/standards and disrespect of others (both at 15%) as ways they see moral values in the US getting worse. The open-ended question also found popular responses to be: parents not instilling values in children (8%); dishonesty among government, business leaders (8%); and rising crime and violence (8%).

Others said the moral value decline can be seen in people moving away from religion, church and God (7%), the breakdown of family and unwed mothers (7%), and sex, promiscuity, and pornography (5%).... Read this in full at

Father’s Day is June 20, 2010.

by Stephen Boalt
My friend Bill Pearce went to be with the Lord on February 22, 2010 at age 83 from complications of Parkinson's disease.

On Saturday, May 22, 2010 loved ones and friends gathered at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. The service was held in the auditorium of the Alumni Student Center, 821 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL, from 1 to 3 o'clock PM. This service was a joyous time of celebration as Bill was remembered through song, testimonials, and video presentations.

I first knew Bill as a staff announcer and musician on WMBI when I was a student at MBI in the spring of 1957 living on the 4th floor of Norton Hall. Later hosting his own music programs, along with the daily duet music shows with Dick Anthony were cutting edge and way ahead of their time. Then the record albums with Dick Anthony, the Melody Four Quartet, the 16 Singing Men and numerous solo trombone and vocal albums with full orchestral arrangements by Paul Mickelson, Kurt Kaiser, Larry Mayfield, Otis Skillings and others filled my home with glorious, Christ honoring music. I own every album these men ever did!.... Read this in full at

The Bill Pearce ministry website:

Bill Pearce obituary:

A wonderful video tribute to Bill Pearce by Dick Anthony:

A terrific interview of Bill Pearce by Douglas Yeo, the bass trombonist from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, who will be the featured guest at Bill’s Memorial Service 5/22/10:

How many people are in heaven? Have you ever wondered? Only God knows how many people are in heaven now and how many will be in heaven for all eternity.

His assurance for you in this Scripture passage is that Jesus, God the Son, not only is preparing a place for you in heaven, but also will come back and take you to that place with him.

The important thing is to know that God loves you and he has provided a way for you to be in heaven. His greatest desire is for you to have a relationship with him forever. If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are going to be there, and you need to tell others how they can be sure they will be there too.”
     André K. Dugger, from the book Dear God

A San Diego high school math teacher was forced to remove two posters from his classroom walls because they included the phrases "In God We Trust," "One Nation Under God" and "God Bless America."

A federal judge said the Poway Unified School District was wrong to order the removal of the posters, and now the school district is appealing the judge's decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.... Read this in full at

Think of it as a cross between Facebook and MySpace with a Christian twist. It's (acronym for "Be Linked as Believers") is a non-apologetic, targeted community structured to bring Christians and organizational ministries from every denomination and every part of the world together online.

As Facebook and MySpace continue to vie for the number one and number two positions as the top social networking sites on the web, is a newcomer to the social network crowd which has quietly combined the best features of both Facebook and MySpace as well as incorporating Twitter applications.

But has an even greater mission in mind than becoming a social networking empire. "Honestly, started out as a social networking site to compete with Facebook and MySpace," says co-founder Chris Burkhart in a media release. "But I really began to become convicted by God to make it into a worldwide community for Christians. I didn't want to just add more 'noise' to the internet," Burkhart said.

"I wanted the network to bring something positive into people's lives. I grew up in the church as a preacher's kid and I had the strong desire to create a worldwide community for believers to interact with each other, encourage each other and just 'have church' online." .... Read this in full at

A study by Tufts University has called attention to the presence of Protestant pastors who do not believe what they preach, something the authors describe as a nearly "invisible phenomenon" of "unbelieving clergy."

Ambiguity regarding who is a believer in Jesus and who is a nonbeliever, the report said, is a result of the pluralism that has been fostered by many religious leaders for at least a century.

"God is many different things to different people, and since we can't know if one of these conceptions is the right one, we should honor them all," the authors wrote in summarizing the pluralistic view.

Rather than relying on statistical evidence to point to a conclusion, the study employs anecdotal stories of five ministers whose identities have been obscured. Even the authors admit they couldn't draw any reliable generalizations from such a small sample of clergy, but what they found, they said, does deserve a closer look.... Read this in full at

See the report at

"The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’"
     Psalms 14:1

Progress towards maturity is not to be measured by victory over the sins we are aware of, but by hatred of the sins which we had overlooked and which we now see all too clearly.”
     Arthur C. Custance

At the next sight of clean water, consider:
-- An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country's slum uses in a whole day (United Nations Development Programme).

-- 1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe water, roughly one in eight of the world's population. In Africa, two out of five people lack clean water (World Health Organization/United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund).

-- The average North American uses 158.5 gallons of water a day. The average person in the developing world uses 2.6 – 5.2 gallons a day for drinking, washing and cooking (U.N. Human Development Report) .... Read this in full at

Sometimes meaning gets lost in translation. Literally. For instance, an old Cebuano Bible translation for the Philippines' second-largest language group (16 million speakers) incorrectly refers to marital sex using a word that refers to illicit sex, pakighilawas, bringing a negative connotation to Bible passages that doesn't exist in the original languages.

Because the meaning of older Cebuano and Tagalog (22 million speakers) translations often caused confusion, church leaders asked Biblica to work on new Bible translations based on the same principles of accuracy and modern language used by the New International Version® (NIV®) of the Bible. It took 18 years to complete these two translations, which are bringing God's Word in contemporary language to the two largest people groups of the Philippines.

On May 3, 2010, Biblica celebrated the launch of the Cebuano and Tagalog Bibles in Manila. Special guest and award-winning author Philip Yancey joined Biblica International CEO Keith Danby, and Biblica Asia Pacific Group Vice President Somporn Sirikolkarn for the celebration.... Read this in full at

Adventures In Missions (AIM), an interdenominational missions organization, is sending someone on an adventure of a lifetime -- a trip around the world. The trip, valued at over $14,000, is a part of The World Race.

The World Race is a Christian mission trip that travels to 11 countries in 11 months. Participants live out of a backpack, survive on a limited budget and find themselves in situations where faith is the only reality to choose from.

In partnering with existing missionaries and ministries, World Racers develop relationships with locals in developing countries, and through acts of service see communities and nations transformed all over the world.

The winner will be departing in October 2010 and will travel to 11 different countries, which include Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Thailand, China, India, South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique.

To be eligible, individuals are asked to submit either a written or video blog sharing their story and why they should go on the World Race. Written blogs must be 500 words or less, and video blogs must be 120 seconds or less.

Top contestants' stories will be shared on the World Race Facebook page (, and the finalists will be selected through peer voting via Facebook. A panel of AIM staff will select the winner from among the finalists based on strength of message, content, and creativity. For more information on the application process, as well as terms and conditions, visit

Sometimes we figure out right away where God wants us to be so he can open up a way for us we cannot open for ourselves. Other times, we get the general idea of what God is after in our lives, but we don't know the time or place we need to be so that we can watch him divide our Red Seas. The encouraging thing about Bible stories is that most of them make it clear that God is always at work behind the scenes (even in the book of Esther, in which God is never mentioned at all). Which means that if, like Paul, we are trying to do God's will and take on a big challenge we believe he's set before us, and we get mixed up about precisely what it is we're supposed to be doing, we shouldn't worry. Eventually he'll get us to where we need to be.

When things are right in God's eyes, often long after we thought they were right in ours, he sends the dream, or the east wind to push the waters back, or Jesus to raise the dead. The challenge has been met and overcome, but in God's way and in God's power. We think we can do it for ourselves. Then we find we can't. Then we find God's way.”
     Murray Andrew Pura, from the book Streams

A federal appeals court ruled May 7 that a California atheist lacked legal standing to strip the phrase "so help me God" from the presidential oath of office.

Michael Newdow, an activist who previously sued unsuccessfully to have "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" taken off United States coins and currency, asked a district court to bar President Obama from inviting two private ministers -- The Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren and civil-rights activist Joseph Lowery -- to lead invocation and benediction prayers at his inauguration in 2009.

Newdow also sought to prevent Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts from asking Obama to repeat "so help me God" at the end of his oath. The words are not part of the oath or affirmation required by the Constitution, but a tradition of adding them dates, by some accounts, to George Washington. Many historians are skeptical of that claim, but the phrase has been used in unbroken succession since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inauguration in 1933.... Read this in full at

Church-state specialist Martin Marty said supporting strong separation of church and state doesn’t mean you also have to oppose religion in a series of lectures sponsored by a Baptist religious-liberty organization April 27-28.

Marty’s talks were presented as this year’s Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State, a series sponsored by the Washington-based Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. They were hosted this year by Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

Marty, a respected interpreter of religion and culture and author of 50 books, has written and taught extensively on religious freedom.

There are strong impulses in society to say that you serve religion by protecting and privileging it,” said Marty. But, he added, there is a difference in protection and privilege. “There are all kinds of ways to protect religion without privileging it,” he said.

Marty told how 18th-century French philosopher Charles Montesquieu -- who wrote that religion is more harmed than helped by favoritism -- influenced the writers of the United States Constitution on matters of separation of church and state.... Read this in full at

In his new book, "God Is Not One," Stephen Prothero takes issue with those who argue that religions are all just different paths up the same mountain. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly managing editor Kim Lawton spoke with Prothero about how religions are different and why people, including adherents within each religious tradition, need to acknowledge the importance of those differences. See the video interview at

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.

He’s already shared the Gospel with more than 215 million people in 185 countries, according to the evangelistic association bearing his name, but it seems the Rev. Billy Graham - who's slowed down in recent years - may have one more message to deliver.

While appearing in Charlotte, North Carolina, last month for the reopening of the Billy Graham Library, the Baptist preacher indicated that he’d like to give another sermon, said Graham’s spokesman A. Larry Ross.

Despite diminished energy and strength, at 91 years of age, Billy Graham continues to have the heart of an evangelist and has expressed a desire to preach a Gospel message one more time,” Ross said. “While it is yet to be seen whether that vision will become a reality, it is encouraging that he remains healthy, alert and committed to his life-long calling.” .... Read this in full at

Also: “Billy Graham wants to preach, but family unsure about format”

HUMOR IN THE COMPUTER AGE <prepare rim shot>
What is a computer's first sign of old age?
Loss of memory

What does a baby computer call his father?

What is an astronaut's favorite key on a computer keyboard?
The space bar

What happened when the computer fell on the floor?
It slipped a disk

Why was there a bug in the computer?
It was looking for a byte to eat

What is a computer virus?
A terminal illness

May 30

June 11 – July 11

Brazilian Baptists plan to share a Christian witness at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa. For 20 days, 200 Brazilian volunteers working with the 2010 African Connection Project will conduct outreach activities among soccer enthusiasts at the tournament, which runs from June 11 to July 11.

The Brazilian Baptist Convention's World Mission Board is organizing the project as part of its volunteer program to send Brazilians overseas on short-term missions trips.

Brazilian Baptist pastor Marcos Grava, coordinator of the initiative, noted, "The 2010 African Connection Project is one of the biggest volunteer projects in the history of the missionary church in Brazil."

The goal is to bless the people of South Africa with the Gospel message, Grava said. "We ask prayers for local security, volunteers' security, and many fruits among the South Africans and tourists," he said.... Read this in full at

Having already caused a fuss this spring with the depiction of the prophet Muhammad on "South Park," Comedy Central said it has a cartoon series about Jesus Christ in the works.

"JC" is one of 23 potential series the network said it has in development. It depicts Christ as a "regular guy" who moves to New York to "escape his father's enormous shadow."

His father is presented as an apathetic man who would rather play video games than listen to his son talk about his new life, according to Comedy Central's thumbnail sketch of the idea. Reveille, the production company behind "The Office," "Ugly Betty" and "The Biggest Loser," is making "JC."

It wouldn't be the first time Jesus Christ has been on a Comedy Central cartoon; he's a recurring character on the long-running "South Park."

Comedy Central was the target last month of an Internet threat for a "South Park" episode that supposedly showed Islam's prophet in a bear costume.... Read this in full at

Evangelicals are calling on the Obama administration to enact long-promised prison reforms, saying the incarcerated deserve protection from violence and rape. In 2003, former president George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which aimed to lower the estimated 13% of inmates sexually assaulted each year. The bill called for the Department of Justice to research prison rape and requires prisons to establish prevention programs.

Now, the National Association of Evangelicals is urging the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission to follow up on the standards proposed. NAE President Leith Anderson and Director of Government Affairs Galen Carey wrote on May 10 to Attorney General Eric Holder that "those behind bars deserve the same protections against violence as those on the outside." .... Read this in full at

It has become one of the most controversial questions in cancer medicine: can using a cell phone cause brain tumors? The federal government and the mobile industry have maintained there is no conclusive data to support a link between cell-phone radiation and cancer, but a growing band of scientists are skeptical, suggesting that the evidence that does exist is enough to raise a warning for consumers -- before mass harm is done.

What scientists and regulators need is truly conclusive scientific evidence. Enter Interphone, a $24 million long-term study that matched rates of brain cancer with cell-phone use among more than 12,000 participants (including 7,400 who developed tumors) in 13 countries. The long-awaited report -- whose findings were finally released May 17 after years of delay -- is by the far the most comprehensive look at the issue to date, and was designed to provide the final word on the debate. Unfortunately, however, the results turned out to be anything but clear.... Read this in full at,8599,1989740,00.html

Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.”
     Author Unknown

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
     Isaiah 53:5-6

Words & Music: Thoro Harris, 1920

To me the Holy Ghost is giv’n,
An earnest of the joys of Heav’n;
Since He has taken full control,
I’ve Pentecost in my soul.

I’ve Pentecost in my soul,
I’ve Pentecost in my soul;
The Spirit has come, has come to abide;
I’ve Pentecost in my soul.

The Spirit dwells my heart within
And breaks the pow’r of pardoned sin;
Tho’ o’er my head dark clouds may roll,
I’ve Pentecost in my soul.

O holy rest! O peace sublime!
He reigns within me all the time;
He purifies and makes me whole—
I’ve Pentecost in my soul.

Then seek this Gift without delay,
Receive the Holy Ghost today;
Yield all to His benign control,
Let Pentecost fill your soul!
O yes!

>from NetHymnal at

Have I rejoiced with and for my neighbor in virtue or pleasure? grieved with [her] in pain, for him in sin? ... Have I revealed any evil of anyone, unless it was necessary to some particular good I had in view? Have I then done it with all the tenderness of phrase and manner consistent with that end? ... Has goodwill been, and appeared to be, the spring of all my actions toward others?”
     John Wesley, quoted in A Guide to Prayer for All God's People


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.

Download a free copy of the Logos Bible Software iPhone app

Time lapse photography of the Iceland volcano

Free Online Courses from Top Universities

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.)

What disease did cured ham actually have?
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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