man to man to God
week of July 18, 2010
Men’s Ministry newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.
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pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have
power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long
and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love
that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure
of all the fullness of God.”
is a profound irony that the Son of God visited this planet and
one of the chief complaints against him was that he was not
SAM' KILLER'S EVANGELICAL MAKEOVER
a yearlong string of shootings before his arrest in the summer of
1977, David Berkowitz, known as the Son of Sam, killed six people
and wounded seven others in New York City. Upon his confession to
the shootings, the portrait of the serial killer that emerged was
of a deeply disturbed loner, a man with a .44-caliber handgun who
said he took orders from a demonic black Labrador retriever owned
by a neighbor.
in the years Mr. Berkowitz has been serving a 25-year-to-life
sentence, he has been anything but alone. He has, it turns out,
attracted an array of individuals from outside prison who, though
they deplore his murderous past, have become friends,
acquaintances and in some instances a kind of ad hoc set of
circle of admirers, to a great degree, is made up of evangelical
Christians, including a Town and Village Courts judge in upstate
New York and a financial adviser in Manhattan, who have been moved
by Mr. Berkowitz’s story of becoming a born-again Christian
23 years ago, and many of them have sought to publicize his
account of redemption.... Read this in full at
MOVE CHURCH OUT OF BARN
a month after launching his new church in a barn next to his home,
Ted Haggard plans to move services to a bigger venue to
accommodate growing attendance. St. James Church in Colorado
Springs has grown from some 160 to about 245 people, according to
former megachurch pastor told the local newspaper that he will be
moving services to a room at Pikes Peak Center on July 25. "One
more week in the red barn, then to the Pikes Peak Center,"
years ago, Haggard resigned as pastor of New Life Church, a
prominent megachurch he founded in his basement at age 28, over a
sex and drugs scandal involving a former male prostitute. He also
stepped down as president of the National Association of
Evangelicals.... Read this in full at
DOBSON EXPLAINS HIS IDEAS FOR RAISING DAUGHTERS, AND LIFE AFTER
"sexting," cyber bullying, and bikinis with padded tops
for 7-year-olds, James Dobson thinks mainstream culture doesn't
offer girls a pretty picture. Dobson's Bringing Up Girls (Tyndale)
is the sequel to Bringing Up Boys, which has sold more than two
million copies to date.
founder of Focus on the Family says that one of his favorite
letters came from a 14-year-old girl. "I hate you dr.
dobson," she wrote. "I had to watch the dumbest movie
today about sex. You made the movie. HA! Like you'd know anything
about it." Parents are producing strong-willed children,
Dobson says, and he wants parents to assume responsibility. Dobson
spoke with Christianity Today about his vision for shaping the
next generation of women and his departure from Focus on the
How have cultural expectations for girls changed since you raised
your daughter? Was there advice for raising girls 30 years ago
that would be bad advice today?
No, I haven't changed my views because they are rooted in moral
principles and in Scripture, so they are eternal. I don't mean to
imply I have a corner on God's truth, but I do draw the ideas and
principles from that foundation. It's amazing that if you go back
40 years, when I wrote Dare to Discipline, and read those
principles today, they are still on target. Dare to Discipline was
published in 1970 in the midst of the Vietnam War and a culture of
rebellion. The book was written in that context, but the
principles of child rearing have not changed.... Read this in full
UNEARTH OLDEST WRITTEN DOCUMENT EVER FOUND IN JERUSALEM
have discovered an ancient clay chip that bears the oldest text
ever found in Jerusalem, Israeli researchers say. The tiny clay
fragment, dating back some 3,400 years, is covered with cuneiform
clay fragment was discovered during an excavation of a tower built
around the period of King Solomon, near the southern wall of the
Old City of Jerusalem, The Hebrew University announced in a press
fragment was written by a highly skilled scribe that probably
prepared tablets for the royal house of the time, said Wayne
Horowitz, a scholar of Assyriology at Hebrew University Institute
of Archeology, who helped decipher the script.
MOTORCYCLE OUTREACH CALLS FOR VOLUNTEERS
Sturgis, S.D., is a charming, Western-style tourist town on the
northern end of the Black Hills. People bound for sites such as
Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial might even miss it,
with so much else to see and do.
the town of about 7,000 people is expected to expand exponentially
-- maybe to as many as 700,000 -- this Aug. 9-15 for the 70th
annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Baptists plan to be ready -- and "we need your help,"
said Jim Hamilton, executive director of the Dakota Baptist
Convention, which for the fifth year plans to have an evangelistic
outreach at the rally. "We're expanding this year to three
sites," Hamilton said, "and that's going to take a lot
of folks willing to talk with people about the positive difference
Jesus Christ has made in their lives."
evangelism strategy at Sturgis will include an opportunity to win
a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle for anyone willing to listen to a
three-minute testimony.... Read this in full at
TEENAGERS’ FAITH PRACTICES ARE CHANGING
faith of teenagers is a picture of contrasts. Teenagers are
consistently among the most religiously active Americans, with
nearly 6 out of every 10 teens engaged in some type of group
spiritual activity in a typical week. Yet, the spirituality of
teenagers is also remarkably diverse and fluid.
new research study from the Barna Group explores the changing
religious environment of teenagers, comparing their participation
in personal and group forms of faith over the past dozen years.
While most teenagers remain spiritually active in some way, it
appears that six specific types of teen faith engagement are
several ways, teenagers are much less inclined toward spirituality
than were teens a dozen years ago. The study assessed 9 different
forms of teenage involvement; 6 of those religious activities are
at their lowest levels since Barna Group began tracking such teen
behaviors. These included small group attendance, prayer, Sunday
school participation, donations to churches, reading sacred texts
other than the Bible, and evangelism by Christian teens
(explaining their belief in Jesus Christ with others who have
different faith views).... Read this in full at
more occasions than I care to admit, I find myself thinking, ‘I
know in my head that with the power of Christ living in me, I
should be able to face this particular situation, but in my heart,
the odds just feel too big.’ I look at my surrounding
circumstances and think, ‘There is no way this can turn out
then I remember that little story about Elisha and his servant.
What might shift in my heart if God were to unveil my eyes and
show me that despite my fear or uncertainty, I'm actually
surrounded by his powerful protection and presence?
time for us to shift our focus. Instead of staring at the
obstacles and obstructions that Satan loves for us to see, we must
fix our gaze on the path of provision that God already has paved.
He has given us full access to his wisdom, full assurance of his
faithfulness and full availability of his power through the pages
of Scripture. Some scriptural whispers are admonishing, some are
correcting, some are filled with delight and some bring challenges
our way. But the net effect remains the same: We are steered in a
God-ward direction when we act on the truth of his Word.”
Bill Hybels, in his book The Power of
PROFANITY AHEAD AFTER COURT RULING?
a decision that could increase the amount of profanity on
television, the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals July 13 struck
down the FCC's broadcast indecency policy, ruling that the
standards the commission uses to monitor offensive language are
case was brought by Fox, ABC and CBS and involved several
instances of "fleeting expletives" on live TV. During
the 2002 Billboard Music Awards, Cher said the "f-word"
and the next year on the same program Nicole Richie used the
"s-word" and "f-word." Both were broadcast on
FCC found Fox in violation of the policy but the three-judge panel
unanimously struck it down, saying the FCC's policy did not give
broadcasters fair warning of what is and is not allowed. The panel
criticized what it called unequal enforcement: While FCC found Fox
guilty it allowed a variation of the s-word to be broadcast on
CBS's "The Early Show." The FCC ruled the CBS broadcast
was exempt because it was a "bona fide news interview."
Second Circuit also questioned why the FCC declared the s-word on
ABC's "NYPD Blue" to be offensive while not finding
other curse words on the same broadcast to be offensive.... Read
this in full at
IS DOWNSIZING TO A SINGLE LETTER
organization previously known as the Y.M.C.A. is henceforth to be
called “the Y.” One of the nation’s most iconic
nonprofit organizations, founded 166 years ago in England as the
Young Men’s Christian Association, is undergoing a major
rebranding, adopting as its name the nickname everyone has used
a way of being warmer, more genuine, more welcoming, when you call
yourself what everyone else calls you,” said Kate Coleman,
the organization’s senior vice president and chief marketing
officer.... Read this in full at
GROUPS, INSPIRING PASTORS IMPACT CHURCH VITALITY
with a high number of small groups, effective lay leadership,
faithful pastors, and both traditional and contemporary services
tend to be the healthiest, a new study shows. The "drivers of
vitality" were identified through surveys conducted by an
independent firm for The United Methodist Church, which is seeking
to reverse its declining membership.
taken a data-driven approach to identify what works for thriving
congregations large and small, both rural and urban, all over the
U.S.," said Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, chair of the
denomination's Call to Action committee, in a statement. "While
there’s no silver bullet, we believe these findings can lead
to vitality for many more congregations." .... Read this in
ROBERT H. SCHULLER IS 'NOT RETIRING' SAYS HIS DAUGHTER
Schuller Coleman, 59, the daughter of The Rev. Robert H. Schuller,
founding pastor of the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in Garden
Grove, California is "not retiring".
a statement posted July 12, 2010 on the Crystal Cathedral website
she said, "Yesterday an article was written and printed by a
local Southern California newspaper. It was picked up by other
newspapers and disseminated all over the wires that my father,
'Robert H. Schuller was stepping down'; that he was retiring. The
article is completely false.
really happened was that the Reformed Church in America,
California Classis commissioned me this morning, officially as the
Senior Pastor/Lead Pastor for the Crystal Cathedral Congregation
-- a role that I have been filling unofficially for the last year.
my comments following the commissioning ceremony yesterday
morning, I made it very clear that nothing was changing as a
result of the commissioning service today. It was merely an
affirmation of the denomination. Further, I made it clear that it
was my call to stand beside my father, to pray for him so he can
continue to preach his unique and positive message from this
pulpit for the rest of his life.... Read this in full at
STRUGGLE IN AGING, DECAYING CHURCHES
membership declines and budgets shrink, the beautiful edifices of
American Christianity can feel like weights dragging down churches
that are forced to spend money on maintenance and repairs instead
of ministry, charity, and other Gospel-derived imperatives....
Read this in full at
one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are
~1 Thessalonians 5:11
can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from
the things we do.”
MCKNIGHT REVIEWS THE BOOK GOD IS NOT ONE
Prothero's newest book, God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions
That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter ., seeks to
educate his audience on the basics of the major world religions.
After his sketch of Islam, upon which I'm no expert, he turns to
Christianity. If this chp represents his work, I'd say he gets a
B. While he has a handle on some topics -- like the diversity of
Christianity in the world -- there are others that baffle me. I'll
get to those in what follows, but first I want to admit something
up front. I'm sketching this chp in light of what I think should
be in a sketch of Christianity. So I have to talk a bit about what
he didn't write, and not just about what he did write -- which is
good and readable.
if you had to describe Christianity as a religion, what would be
the top three topics you'd discuss? Would you include Mormonism as
part of Christianity? (Would Mormons?) Which persons in the
history of the Church would you say have to be mentioned?
sees Christianity as a religion of salvation (Islam as
submission). Simple terms often go a long way if they are the
right ones. I'd say his term "salvation" is a very good
one. It needs some defining and nuancing, which he doesn't do in a
book like this, but salvation is a good descriptor of Christianity
if you want to narrow it down to one term. Anyway, it's good to
describe how Christianity has presented what it has to offer to
the world.... Read this in full at
FOR NEW ATHEISTS
writer Mary Eberstadt's new novel, The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale
of Life, Death, and Atheism (Ignatius Press), begins by noting the
laurels and attention heaped on authors such as Sam Harris,
Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. With a couple decades
off to forget Soviet Communism's anti-religious oppression, the
last few years have been awfully good for unbelief.
is going great for the New Atheists, observes the book's
narrator—a witty, sharp-tongued 20-something named A.F.
Christian (A Former Christian)—except for one thing: "…
where is the testimony of anyone Your writings have actually
on C.S. Lewis's observation that people tend to drift into
unbelief rather than convert to it, Christian fancies herself the
only actual convert to atheism. She proceeds to offer epistolary
advice to the New Atheists on how to improve their message and
gain more converts—another obvious Lewis homage.... Read
this in full at
DEFINING LIFE OF JESUS
was too great for his disciples. And in view of what he plainly
said, is it any wonder that all who were rich and prosperous felt
a horror of strange things, a swimming of their world at his
teaching? Perhaps the priests and the rich men understood him
better than his followers. He was dragging out all the little
private reservations they had made from social service into the
light of a universal religious life. He was like some terrible
moral huntsman digging mankind out of the snug burrows in which
they had lived hitherto. In the white blaze of this kingdom of his
there was to be no property, no privilege, no pride and
precedence; no motive indeed and no reward but love. Is it any
wonder that men were dazzled and blinded and cried out against
him? Even his disciples cried out when he would not spare them the
light. Is it any wonder that the priests realized that between
this man and themselves there was no choice but that he or
priestcraft should perish? Is it any wonder that the Roman
soldiers, confronted and amazed by something soaring over their
comprehension and threatening all their discipline, should take
refuge in wild laughter, and crown him with thorns and robe him in
purple and make a mock Caesar of him? For to take him seriously
was to enter upon a strange and alarming life, to abandon habits,
to control instincts and impulses, to essay an incredible
happiness... Is it any wonder that to this day this Galilean is
too much for our small hearts?”
~H. G. Wells (1866-1946), The Outline of History, v. II ,
The Review of Reviews Co., 1922, p. 598-599
IN 10 CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLDS ELIMINATING, AVOIDING DEBT
American consumers continue to worry about jobs and paying the
bills, 7 in 10 Christian households reported in a recently
published survey that they actively pay off their credit cards in
full every month and nearly 8 of 10 Christian households said they
continue to give ten percent or more of their income to local
churches and ministries.
a sign that a growing number of people are learning to actively
eliminate and avoid debt,” remarked Brian Kluth with Maximum
Generosity, which conducted the second annual “View from the
Pew” survey in cooperation with Christianity Today
survey results are “hopeful signs” for Christian
households, say Maximum Generosity and Christianity Today
International, which earlier this year revealed the results of the
second annual “State of the Plate” survey.... Read
this in full at
BETTER THAN MAINLINERS AT RETAINING YOUTH, RESEARCHER SAYS
churches do a better job than mainline churches in keeping their
young people in the faith, probably because they invest more money
in youth ministry, says a Duke University professor who studies
characteristics of American congregations.
Chaves, a professor of sociology, religion and divinity and
director of the National Congregations Study, said in a blog post
July 8 that research from the ongoing survey about the basic
characteristics of America's congregations confirms that religious
groups prioritize youth ministry differently.
churches that have 50 or more teenagers, Chaves said white
evangelical congregations are substantially more likely than
mainline Protestant churches to employ a full-time youth minister.
percent of evangelical churches with 50-99 teens have a full-time
youth minister, compared to only one-third of mainline churches
with that many youth. In churches with more than 100 youth, the
gap increases to 87% for evangelicals to 55 percent of mainline
churches.... Read this in full at
MAGAZINE RELEASES ANNUAL ISSUE FOCUSING ON THE CHANGING FACE OF
SMALL CHURCH AMERICA
to cultural and sociological trends, small churches nationwide are
painting fresh pictures of community and life transformation.
Throughout the pages of its July/August 2010 issue, Outreach
magazine shines a spotlight on these congregations of 300 or less
to reveal how small-church America is changing in form and
magazine worked with Outreach columnist Chuck Warnock, a
small-church pastor and blogger, to report on seven types of
small, evangelical churches: traditional community stalwarts;
marketplace ministries; lifestyle-driven; ethnic; multiethnic; new
church starts that often start small; and house churches that
intentionally stay small.
example, Renaissance Foursquare Church in Portland, Ore., more
commonly known to locals as Renaissance Café, is a coffee
shop that happens to also be a church of about 30. Arabic Bible
Church in Richardson, Texas, with 50 attendees reaches and serves
Iraqi refugees, while Pine Lake Baptist Church in Stone Mountain,
Ga., at one time a homogenous white church, has shifted with its
neighborhood's racial makeup to become a multiethnic church of
160.... Read this in full at
OVER 'THE SHACK'
was an improbable Cinderella story. "The Shack," William
Paul Young's novel about a man rediscovering lost faith after the
murder of his 5-year-old daughter, started out as a manuscript no
one would touch. Finally, pastors Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings
discovered the book and created a start-up, Windblown Media, to
publish it. The novel sold a million copies for them in the first
year, eventually ending up at No. 1 on the New York Times' trade
paperback bestseller list.
Hachette Book Group got involved. In May 2008, the publishing
conglomerate -- one of the largest in the country -- cut a deal
with Windblown Media to market and distribute the book. In the two
years since, "The Shack" has become a
12-million-copy-selling phenomenon and the biggest Christian
publishing sensation in decades.
unlike Cinderella -- at least in the Disney version -- there's no
happy ending in sight for Young, or for the two men, Jacobsen and
Cummings, he once called friends and business partners.
nearly eight months, the trio have been mired in a series of
lawsuits, accusations flying over improper accounting practices,
millions of dollars in missing royalties, contract breaches, and
copyright disputes. Hachette, meanwhile, just wants to know to
whom it owes money -- and how much..... Read this in full at
CHAPLAINS ARE REMINDERS OF GOD
British Airways agent prayerfully sits listening to Christian
music. Before her, a wooden cross hangs on the wall. As she gets
up to leave, an employee of South African Airways walks in,
quietly bows his head as he stands there for a few minutes, then
exits. Soon, a police officer walks in, Bible in hand. He selects
a corner, sits and reads from the Book.
like this are repeated around the clock at the newly renovated
prayer chapel of Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport.
It was set up in time to meet the high demand of incoming and
outgoing World Cup visitors.
airport averages more than 76,000 passengers a day.... Read this
in full at
CONFERENCE 'AFFIRMS WHO WE ARE'
Glaze knows a good opportunity when he sees it. He's attended
LifeWay's men's conferences four of the past five years with his
church, Consolidated Baptist in Lexington, Ky. He makes the trip
because he sees the time as an investment.
need to invest in myself as a man," Glaze noted, "by
gathering with other men who love Jesus and are trying to live for
assembled with 630 likeminded men at LifeWay Christian Resources'
Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina for the two-day
sessions. Its focus -- "I'm the Man" -- called on men to
embrace their God-given roles of leading, protecting, mentoring
Wells, LifeWay's director of black church relations, organized the
sessions with a specific goal in view. "We wanted to create
an experience where the affirmation of men happens," Wells
said. "We wanted to see men changed through a concentrated
dose of God's presence in a compressed, focused time of teaching
worship, preaching and breakout groups fostered that
experience.... Read this in full at
discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our
goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He
tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command,
the love itself.”
O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the
majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is
yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over
~1 Chronicles 29:11
WEEK'S HYMN: FOR ALL THE SAINTS
William W. How, 1864
Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906
all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
the Apostles’ glorious company,
bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
the bright crown descending from the sky,
seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
blest communion, fellowship divine!
feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
as the saints who nobly fought of old,
win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
on the ear the distant triumph song,
hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
golden evening brightens in the west;
soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
is the calm of paradise the blessed.
lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
saints triumphant rise in bright array;
King of glory passes on His way.
earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Christ Himself needed to retire from time to time to the
mountain-top to pray, lesser men need not be ashamed to
acknowledge that necessity.”
~B. H. Streeter
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED
the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother
or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.
agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s
Raises or bonuses
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Bills decrease while blessings increase
all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou
shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut.
[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know
if you'd like the church guys to pray for your safety and
spiritual effectiveness. I'll add your name to the list for the
time you'll be away.]
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the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Frank Coleman, Editor
for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
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!
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.
Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, firstname.lastname@example.org
if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/
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