Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 6, 2010
Issue 307

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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"My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”
     Psalm 62:7

God doesn't build a fence around his children to protect us from the suffering common to all humanity. It is clear from the Bible and from the lives of Christians in every generation that God uses suffering in some form in the life of every believer.”
     Martha Reapsome

American churches have less than two weeks to change their wireless microphone equipment or face more than $100,000 in fines.

In January, the Federal Communications Commission mandated that anyone using wireless microphones on the 700 MHz band must stop by June 12 in order to make room for use by police, fire, and emergency services.

An unlicensed person or business -- which includes churches -- using microphones on frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz must stop or face action by the FCC. Violators could face up to $112,500 in fines or imprisonment for continued violation, according to the FCC. Violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Since December 2008, Shure Inc., a Niles, Ill.-based audio-visual company, has worked with churches to replace their audio equipment.

It’s like being told that you got to replace your dishwasher even though it’s working just fine,” said Chris Lyons, manager of educational and technical communication at Shure.... Read this in full at

When the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our greatest strength and the hollowness of our strongest virtues; in which we have nothing of our own to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us fight--then we find out whether or not we live by faith.”
     Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Seeds of Contemplation, London: Hollis & Carter, 1949, New Directions. 1949, p. 172

A Baptist ethicist says the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a moral issue, although few Americans have framed the issue in moral terms.

"Yes, the BP disaster is a moral issue, one that goes to the very heart of our economic and cultural crisis about energy and the environment," Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics, wrote in a June 1 commentary at the Washington Post's On Faith blog.

BP said the same day it was gearing up for a seventh try to cap oil leaking nearly 5,000 feet underwater 42 miles southeast of Venice, La. Officials estimated the flow -- which has been going on six weeks after an April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers -- at 800,000 gallons a day, nearly four times as much as the 5,000 barrels a day long maintained by BP and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Parham, executive editor of the BCE website, said the ecological disaster -- now being described as the worst oil spill in US history -- contains elements of three of the seven objectionable vices described since early Christian times as the Seven Deadly Sins.

"Traditional Christianity identifies greed, sloth, and pride as three deadly sins -- sins that manifest themselves in BP's disaster," Parham said.... Read this in full at

Also see “Visualizing the BP Oil Disaster”

"In God We Trust" is being added to a Southern California city seal. The Ontario City Council voted unanimously June 1 to put those words in a semicircle above the city logo in council chambers.... Read this in full at

by Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for the body of Christ to come to its senses and spell out the biblical bands which define it, the Spirit of God impels us to arise in the same confidence as our ancestors who unwaveringly proclaimed “the present truth” for their day and time and declare the causes which compel this Manifesto.

We hold these truths to be biblically-evident, that all people have fallen short of the glory of God, that they are endowed by their Creator with a Savior, who is Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, our risen, rising, and reigning Lord. He is the heat in our heart, the marrow of our mind, and the art of our life.

Alas, much of the contemporary church has short-changed Jesus. It has replaced Christ with methods, strategies, concepts, principles, doctrines, programs, fads, gimmicks, etc., and has lost Him who is the Center and Circumference of our faith. To demonstrate this, we submit the following to a candid world:

Jesus Christ is the subject, goal, and motivation of our faith and devotion.

Jesus Christ came to show us how to be a new kind of human, a Jesus kind of human. He came to do what Adam failed to do. He is the firstborn of a new humanity.... Read this in full at

Also see

by Greg S. Baker
The disciples made a very important request of Jesus in Luke 17:5, “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” I heartily second the request. As I go through life I find myself increasingly insufficient for the tasks set before me. We always need God, but the further along I go, the more I realize it, and the more insufficient to the task I realize I really am.

Faith is the necessary part of the Christian life that allows God access to our life. You may say, “God doesn’t need permission!” And I’ll agree with you, but God won’t impose on your will until you submit your will to Him. Until you humble your will, the only thing you find from God is resistance.

James 4:6 – “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Faith is an exercise of your free will. Faith is a choice! Faith is the acceptance of our need and reliance upon God for any given situation or circumstance. And it seems as I face more difficult and interesting situations, I need more faith. But how do you increase your faith? .... Read this in full at

I do not find that this position, that of unbroken peacefulness and inward song, is one which we can hope to hold unassailed. It is no soft arrangement of pillows, no easy-chair. It is a fort in an enemy's country, and the foe is wise in assault and especially in surprise. And yet there can be nothing to fear, for it is not a place that we must keep, but a stronghold in which we are kept, if only, in the moment we are conscious of attack, we look ‘away unto our faith's Princely Leader and Perfecter, Jesus, who endured.’"
     Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), Rose from Brier [1933], London: SPCK, 1950, p. 76

The disowned son of one of the founders of terrorist group Hamas has grown quite a fan base since he revealed who he was and made public his story of conversion from Islam to Christianity.

But the US Department of Homeland Security is apparently not among Mosab Hassan Yousef’s admirers as it’s currently seeking to deport the 32-year-old asylum seeker, who currently resides in San Diego.

[A]ccording to these ‘highly trained’ civil servants, I am a threat to America’s national security and must be deported,” reported Yousef. In a lengthy account of his situation, Yousef explained in his personal weblog how he has been barred from a grant of asylum since last year “because there were reasonable grounds for believing [I] was a danger to the security of the United States and because [I] engaged in terrorist activity.”

Yousef will stand before Immigration Judge Rico J. Bartolomei at the US Department of Homeland Security Immigration Court in San Diego on June 30.... Read this in full at

Americans love their Bibles. So much so that they keep them in pristine, unopened condition. Or, as George Gallup Jr. and Jim Castelli said in a widely quoted survey finding, "Americans revere the Bible but, by and large, they don't read it."

Anecdotes abound. Time magazine observed in a 2007 cover story that only half of US adults could name one of the four Gospels. Fewer than half could identify Genesis as the Bible's first book. Jay Leno and Stephen Colbert have made sport of Americans' inability to name the Ten Commandments -- even among members of Congress who have pushed to have them posted publicly.

Perhaps the first step toward improved Bible literacy is admitting we have a problem. A 2005 study by the Barna Group asked American Christians to rate their spiritual maturity based on activities such as worship, service, and evangelism. Christians offered the harshest evaluation of their Bible knowledge, with 25% calling themselves not too mature or not at all mature.

And we know it's not "those other churches." We are not surprised by a 2004 Gallup finding that a mere 37% of teenagers can find the quotation from the Sermon on the Mount when given four choices. And we are not surprised that only 44% of born-again teenagers could do the same.

It could be worse. The same Gallup study of 1,002 teenagers found them basically familiar with Adam and Eve, Moses, the Good Samaritan, the Golden Rule, and the meaning of Easter. And the Bible Literacy Project (BLP) now provides resources for more than 360 public schools in 43 states.

But pastors, professors, and others committed to teaching the Bible have identified a problem far larger than fluency with basic characters and stories. It's one thing to recognize the reference to the Promised Land in a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. It's another to recognize biblical references within the Bible itself. Even weekly churchgoers who know the names and places struggle to put it all together and understand the Bible as a single story of redemption.... Read this in full at

There are essentially 5 ways in which parents describe how having children influenced their involvement with a church.

* No influence. The largest share of parents (50%) reported that having children did not influence their connection to a church. This perspective was most common among parents in the Northeast and West as well as among college graduates. Among atheists and agnostics, nine out of 10 said that becoming a parent had no influence on their connection to a faith community. The same was true among nearly seven out of 10 adults associated with a faith other than Christianity. However, among parents who are Christian, a notably smaller share (47%) said that the presence of children was unrelated to their church life.

* Reconnected. About one-sixth of parents (17%) said that having a child helped them reconnect with church after a long period of not attending. Lower income homes were more likely than average to offer this assessment. Hispanic parents were also likely to describe their parenting path in this way.

* More active. Another one-fifth of parents (20%) said they were already active but become more involved. Political conservatives and Republicans were among the parents most likely to describe an increased level of church activity after becoming parents.

* Less active. Overall, 4% of parents said that having children actually decreased their involvement with a church. This was most common among parents who are single and never married as well as Asians.

* New commitment. Parenthood rarely sparks brand-new experiences of faith for people: only one out of every 20 parents (5%) said that having children helped them become active in a church for the first time. Midwest parents were among the most likely to express this view, as were Catholics and Hispanics.... Read this in full at

by Derik Hamby
When does a church “jump the shark?” That phrase refers to the time Fonzi, the star of the TV comedy “Happy Days,” jumped a shark (literally) and has served as an example of a TV show that tries something strange to boost sagging ratings.

I wonder if many churches are trying to “pack the house” by doing the same thing? I’m reminded of the story from the life of fundamentalist Baptist preacher J. Frank Norris about the time he baptized a rodeo cowboy and had the man’s horse stand in the back of the church to watch. Personally I believe he jumped the shark long before the cowboy baptism, but today it seems many churches -- in the desire to be innovative and creative -- are jumping their own sharks.

Ed Young Jr. recently hosted a “Car give away extravaganza.” Young gave away 13 cars on Mother’s Day. Some were for the needy and others were random drawings. I’m not against the idea of helping women in this way, but listening to the clip it sounded just like an episode of Oprah Winfrey. He announced it with the excitement of a talk show and the crowd (congregation) responded with cheers.... Read this in full at

The 1967 Harley-Davidson Ironhead motorcycle once slumped against a wall, in bad shape and with a mulberry tree growing right through its heart. Rescued and restored, however, the Harley brought several motorcyclists back to God’s house.

As soon as Donnie Hayworth eyed the vintage bike, he knew Brothers of the Son, a Sedalia, Mo.-based motorcycle ministry, had to attempt to restore it. As the months-long effort took shape, the men dubbed the Harley “Lazarus” and the process “the Lazarus Project.” “We brought it from something unusable and undesirable to something beautiful, usable and desirable,” Hayworth explained.
They recognized that God had accomplished the same thing in each of their lives. “Jesus Christ does the same for us,” Hayworth said. “We brought this motorcycle from the dead just as he raised Lazarus.” .... Read this in full at

Ted Haggard, the evangelical leader who fell from grace after a gay sex scandal in 2006, announced June 3 that he will start a new church in Colorado Springs. With his wife, Gayle, and three of his sons by his side, Haggard told reporters that the St. James Church that he incorporated three weeks ago will soon be an active church.

Initially, Haggard said he incorporated St. James for accounting purposes to organize payments he and his wife receive from talks at churches. He explained that they pay for their own traveling expenses and St. James would help organize reimbursements. But about two weeks ago Haggard decided to turn St. James into a real church.... Read this in full at

Religion News Service reports that the House on Thursday (May 27) rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed military chaplains to close public events with faith-specific prayers. The amendment, offered by Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to the Military Construction Authorization Act, was deemed not relevant to the bill, Bachmann's office said. The amendment would have specified that "a chaplain shall have the prerogative to close the prayer according to the dictates of the chaplain's own conscience.'' Bachmann's proposed amendment comes after proponents for church-state separation tussled with military chaplains over the appropriateness of praying "in Jesus' name.'' Secularists say it's insulting to nonbelievers; Christian clergy say they know no other way to pray. The dispute has most recently played out in Virginia, where Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell repealed a ban on Virginia State Police chaplains praying in Jesus' name.... Read this in full at

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in America have never been to high school, don’t use electricity, and would sooner love their competitors than sue them.

For generations, the Amish have tended farms tucked away in rural communities like Lancaster, Pa., motivated by a faith that urged them to be in the world, but not of it. But as housing subdivisions and strip malls suck up farmland, many Amish have traded their plows for profits—with remarkable success.

There are nearly 9,000 Amish-run small businesses in North America, according to Donald Kraybill, a professor at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster and a noted expert on the Amish and other Anabaptists. And whereas 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years, only 10 percent of Amish-run enterprises have gone belly up.

Despite church strictures against electricity, the Internet, motor vehicles and many forms of advertising, Amish businesses have landed contracts with companies like Kmart and Ralph Lauren, developed nationwide networks of retailers, and crafted kitchens for customers from coast to coast.

The phrase `Amish millionaire’ is no longer an oxymoron,” Kraybill says.... Read this in full at

"There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.”
     1 Timothy 2:5-6

We will be known as a culture that feared death and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity for the few and cared little for the penury of the many. We will be known as a culture that taught and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke little if at all about the quality of life for people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a commodity.”
     Mary Oliver, from her poem "Of the Empire"

For a generation growing up with digital media, the written word printed on paper has little appeal -- even if it's the word of God. It's for them that an Orlando, Fla., company came up with the multimedia digital Glo Bible.

"You have entire generations of people that don't engage paper very well," said Nelson Saba, founder of Immersion Digital. "If you look at Bible literacy among younger generations, it's dismal. This is designed to be a digital alternative to the paper Bible."

A Gallup poll in 2000 found that about a quarter of young people ages 18-29 read the Bible weekly -- about half the rate of those 65 or older. Part of that, Saba contends, is the younger generation's aversion to the printed word.

"There is nothing wrong with paper. I have lots of paper Bibles, but it's just not the media they engage," Saba said.

The Glo, released in October, recently won Bible of the Year award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. It's the first digital Bible to receive the distinction in the 32 years of the awards.

The company is now working on an application that will allow Glo to go mobile. By the end of the year, Glo software will be available on iPhones and iPads, Nelson said.... Read this in full at

The small bomb exploded inside the courtyard of the motherhouse just moments after Sister Maria Hanna received an anonymous phone call warning her to get her nuns out of the area.

The recent attack on the Immaculate Virgin convent was nothing new. By Hanna's count, it was the 20th time the convent in the nearby northern city of Mosul had come under attack since the start of the war.

"One time it was an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade)," said Hanna, ticking off the litany of attacks against the convent that has been her home for 52 years. "One time a car bomb exploded just outside the motherhouse. One time they set fire to a propane can and left it in front of our gate."

The attacks in Mosul reflect how daily life remains tenuous for many Christians in Iraq, where complex and long-lasting religious conflicts and sectarian violence among Muslim militants persist despite improving security.... Read this in full at

Cathleen Falsani is a columnist with the Chicago Sun Times. She’s inviting readers to explore the spiritual wisdom of the Brothers Coen with her in her book, "The Dude Abides," which also is the nameplate on one of Cathleen's blogs.

If you're familiar with her work already, you know that Cathleen proudly describes herself as evangelical and her publishing house, Zondervan, is synonymous with top-flight evangelical publishing. (They're Rob Bell's home base, for example.)

And, Cathleen is well aware the Coens come from a Jewish family. Her book's Foreword was written by Rabbi Allen Secher, who is probably as well known nationally as Cathleen for his many years of media work.

Her book is custom-made for small-group discussions in congregations, whatever your religious affiliation might be. The whole point of the book is to kick-start lively discussion about the point at which our spiritual journeys intersect popular culture.

Q: You’ve had a long-time interest in all forms of media, so writing about the Coen brothers’ work is a natural subject for you. But, as I understand it, you’ve never actually interviewed the Coens. They don’t like to talk about the underling themes in their films. They want their films to speak for themselves.

CATHLEEN: They want people to interact with their films as living, breathing art forms. They’re interested in each of us bringing our own baggage into the theater and responding to what we experience. I’m absolutely certain that I saw some things in their films that they never intended -- and maybe weren’t even aware of themselves -- but I’m also certain there are many important things they intentionally put there for us to find.... Read this in full at

Watch this video of Benyamin Cohen, an Orthodox rabbi's son who wrote a book about his year-long exploration of Christianity.

Leaders of the ecumenical and evangelical movements stood side by side at the opening of the historic Edinburgh 2010 conference June 3 and reaffirmed their commitment to witnessing to Christ as one.

Addressing some 300 leaders from across the Christian denominations and traditions, the international director of the World Evangelical Alliance, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, said it would be “foolish” to think that all the issues that have traditionally divided the different streams of the church would be resolved during the four-day conference. He appealed to delegates, however, to listen to one another with “love and respect” and to “build bridges rather than create chasms” during the conference.... Read this in full at

The release of Rick Warren’s new book, The Hope You Need, is delayed indefinitely, said publisher Zondervan.

In a statement, the company explained that Warren needed time to focus on other projects at the moment. “We understand many people will be disappointed at the delay, but we fully support Rick and respect his decision,” said Moe Girkins, president & CEO of Zondervan. “Of course, we remain eager to bring this book to market when the time comes.”

The book is based on an eight-part sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer that Warren delivered last year at Saddleback Church in Southern California. Initially, the book was scheduled to be released in November 2009 and then rescheduled for Fall 2010.

Ahead of the anticipated 2009 release, Zondervan launched a contest to design the book’s cover that was opened to the public. There were more than 3,500 entries. The winner was an Italian couple, Simona Dall’Argine and Simone Salardi, who submitted a simple and clean design.

Warren said he chose the winning cover because it was simple and helped convey the message inside the book that the Lord’s Prayer is profound, yet simple.

The megachurch pastor and bestselling author said The Hope You Need is a response to the economic crisis, a time when people need a message about hope.

Warren’s previous book, The Purpose Driven Life, is the best-selling hardcover book in history.

At least 1 million evangelical Christians rallied in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 3 for the annual "March for Jesus," an event that unites the faithful from hundreds of Protestant churches in the world's largest Roman Catholic country.

Now in its 18th year, the march is organized by the Reborn in Christ Church, whose leaders returned to Brazil last year after being imprisoned in the United States for not declaring $56,000 in cash they were carrying on a flight from Sao Paulo to Miami.... Read this in full at

by Wyatt Myers
A vasectomy is one of the most common ways for men to prevent the conception of a child; approximately 50 million men in the world have had one. In the United States, doctors perform about 500,000 vasectomies each year and almost 17% of men over the age of 35 have been vasectomized.

The procedure itself involves blocking or cutting the tubes (called vas deferens) that deliver sperm to the semen. Thus, a man can still have normal sexual intercourse without the risk of getting a woman pregnant.

A vasectomy is generally regarded as a very safe medical procedure for men. But a few decades ago, data from large studies seemed to suggest a connection between men who receive a vasectomy and prostate cancer risk. “There were several large data mining studies a number of years ago that combined data sets from several countries and looked for associations,” says Anthony Y. Smith, a spokesman for the American Urological Association Foundation and professor and chief of the division of urology for the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. “Vasectomy came up as an association with prostate cancer.”.... Read this in full at

With airlines adding fees to fees, we thought we'd warn you of the next surcharges they'll levy for something previously free:
1. In the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down. To start the flow of oxygen, simply insert your credit card.

2. $100 On-Time Departure Fee; $25 Delay Complaint Fee.

3. View seating (formerly window seats), $10; Access seating (formerly aisle seats), $10 $20 to use roll-away stairs to enter or exit the aircraft in lieu of no-charge rope-ladder alternative.

4. $9 fee for bumping your head on the overhead bin as you take your seat; $3 additional penalty for looking up at the bin after you bump into it.

What if God arranged things so that we would experience a mild jolt of pain with every sin, or a tickle of pleasure with every act of virtue? Would you obey because you loved God? I don't think so. I think you'd obey simply because you desired pleasure and not pain.”
     Joni Eareckson Tada

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
     James 1:12

Words: Thomas Cotterill, 1819
Music: L. Herman Ilse, 1910

Let songs of praises fill the sky:
Christ, our ascended Lord,
Sends down His Spirit from on high
According to His Word.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

The Spirit by His heav’nly breath
Creates new life within;
He quickens sinners from the death
Of trespasses and sin.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

The things of Christ the Spirit takes
And shows them unto men;
The fallen soul His temple makes,
God’s image stamps again.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

Come, Holy Spirit, from above
With Thy celestial fire;
Come and with flames of zeal and love
Our hearts and tongues inspire.
Be this our day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

>from NetHymnal at

Lord, the Scripture says: ‘There is a time for silence and a time for speech.’ Savior, teach me the silence of humility, the silence of wisdom, the silence of love, the silence of perfection, the silence that speaks without words, the silence of faith. Lord, teach me to silence my own heart that I may listen to the gentle movement of the Holy Spirit within me and sense the depths which are of God.”
     Frankfurt prayer (16th century


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.

Gorgeous Landscape

What We Learned About Africa: The World’s “Most Religious” Continent

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.)

Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
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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