Connecting man to man to God
For week of August 1, 2010
Issue 315

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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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:4-7

Pleasure-seeking, as we learn from experience, is a barren business; happiness is never found till we have the grace to stop looking for it and to give our attention to persons and matters external to ourselves.”
J. I. Packer

Doug Oldham, a prolific gospel singer and ministry partner of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, died July 21 at the age of 79.

Oldham, who was a soloist at Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church and helped the evangelist raise money to start Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., died at a Virginia hospital while awaiting back surgery.

"My father and Doug Oldham were an evangelistic team who brought the gospel to nearly every home in America every Sunday morning on the `Old Time Gospel Hour,"' said Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. in a statement.

"The names Jerry Falwell and Doug Oldham were synonymous as Billy Graham and George Beverly Shea. ... His passing represents the end of an era at Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University."

Oldham recorded more than 60 albums and sang on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Praise the Lord (PTL) ministry's television show. He was the first to perform "He Touched Me," a song written by colleague Bill Gaither.... Read this in full at

In a modern spin on Christianity's most sacred rite, worshippers are being invited to break bread and drink wine or juice in front of their computers as they follow the service online.

Churches usually require a priest to take the Eucharist, but the Rev. Tim Ross (, a Methodist minister, will send out a prayer in a series of tweets -– messages of up to 140 characters –- to users of Twitter.... Read this in full at

Also see

Change won't just take all the strength you have; it will take more. You need God's power. Do what you can, and trust God to do what you can't.

In my second round of counseling, I finally admitted I was a workaholic. No longer reluctantly, I acknowledged that my problem could endanger my health and the well-being of my family. My wise Christian counselor helped me see that I'm addicted to adrenaline.

Instead of finding my worth in what I produce, I'm finding my worth in who I am in Christ. Although I certainly haven't arrived, everyone around me will tell you that God has changed me. I am different because of his power. My day off is sacred. My time away is consistent. My devotional life is rich. And my family knows me. Instead of working fifteen nights straight, I'm at home six nights most weeks. Instead of traveling nonstop, preaching, I gladly limit my ministry trips to a dozen a year. Like my pastor friend said, ‘I won't sacrifice my family on the altar of ministry.’ I care for my family and for my body. And God has done more through the church when I've done less.”
Craig Groeschel, in his book The Christian Atheist

Although the United States is known worldwide to be a religious nation, few Americans say that faith is a top priority in their life.

Nearly 90% of Americans, according to the CIA World Factbook, identify themselves with a religion. But only 12% of American adults say faith is a top priority in their life, according to a new study by the Barna Group. About three-quarters of the US population is Christian.

The gap is vast between self-described affiliation with Christianity and ascribing highest priority to that faith,” commented David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, in a statement. “When it comes to why so much of American religion seems merely skin-deep, this gap between what people call themselves and what they prioritize is perhaps most telling.”

The 12% who say faith is the highest priority in their life is up from nine percent in 2008, but down from 16% in 2006.... Read this in full at

Things aren't as bad in American Christianity as many say it is, according to one sociologist. Christianity isn't on the brink of extinction, divorce rates of Christians aren't equal to that of non-Christians and churches are not losing young people -– at least not to the extent that some fear.

That isn't to say there aren't any problems in the church. But Bradley R. E. Wright wants all the facts to be laid out before any judgment calls are made.

In his newly released book Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites ... and Other Lies You've Been Told, Wright reveals that many of the commonly cited statistics regarding the state of US Christianity or the behaviors of Christians are incomplete and inaccurate.

A lot of the data -– especially the kind that get media coverage -– are negatively slanted and paint a bleak picture of Christians and the church. Wright is concerned that the onslaught of inaccurate bad news could distract from what really is bad news and could demotivate Christians from being active Christ followers and from inviting others to join.... Read this in full at

The resemblance between the words cosmos and cosmetic epilogue is no accident. Some of the ancients called the universe ‘God's ornament,’ recognizing it not only as a masterpiece of precision and design, but also of immense beauty. Believers who are confident in their beliefs can see the cosmos as the ancients did as an eloquent expression of a Creator God who delights not only in order and functional design, but also in sheer beauty.

The awe you feel in the presence of such a massive display of power and beauty becomes even greater when you realize that you were created by the same hand that formed the galaxies. God has shown how precious we are to him by giving us this beautiful cosmos where we can revel in the beauty of his creation. He has also paid us the enormous compliment of creating us in his image and placing us in the world to be his agents, as representatives of his character, truth, and love. This is a worldview that gives our lives immense purpose and meaning.”
Jim Nelson Black, in his book The Death of Evolution

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging.”
J. S. Bach (1685-1750), Glory and Honor: the musical and artistic legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach, Gregory Wilbur & David Vaughan, Cumberland House Publishing, 2005, p. 1

Tony Dungy no longer needs the game-day apparel and gear of an NFL head coach, but that doesn't keep him from donning distinctively different attire when the occasion calls for it.

"They asked me to play John the Baptist," Dungy said of his church's Easter pageant, in which he baptized his 18-year-old son Eric, who was playing Jesus. "It was just really moving," Dungy said. "I was just so proud of him." Smiling at the memory of the moment, Dungy credited his son with having "a heart" to practice and rehearse.

Perhaps Dungy's role as John the Baptist may be apropos to the prophetic voice the former Super Bowl-winning coach has been sounding for men to love and respect their wives and for fathers to be a down-to-earth "Superman" to their children. And in a broader sense, Dungy's prophetic voice has pointed people toward living for Christ, indeed letting Christ live through them, as the ultimate success in life.

At the All Pro Dad website (, Tony Dungy helps deliver what is promised in its logo: "advice, events, family."

It's a source of information on "Father & Kids" events in NFL cities; NFL coaches and players who underscore the importance of being good fathers; organizing an All Pro Dads Day in a community; and downloadable family resources and "Billboards" that link to such topics as marriage, parenting and children.

And there's "Dungy's Diary," a frequently updated blog interspersing short written pieces with videos and candid photos of the former NFL coach's day-to-day activities as well as poignant reminders of life lessons. The blog is interactive with social media such as Facebook and Twitter.... Read this in full at

When the former NFL player stepped onto the stage, he knew the several hundred youth seated before him may have expected someone bigger.

"I know some of you are shocked," Daryl Jones said to students at the Go Tell student camp on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. "You heard about a football player-preacher coming to speak, and you see this short dude standing up here. But I serve a big God, and that big God decided not to make me big, but I can run really fast."

Jones, a wide receiver on the national champion Miami Hurricanes in 2001 who also played in the NFL for several years, spoke to students from Matthew 5:14-16 on the importance of shining as lights in a dark world.

Using examples from his football days, Jones recounted how God uniquely placed him on teams in order to shine the light of the Gospel in those locker rooms. In addition to one-on-one relationships with players, Jones led chapel services and Bible studies during his time as a player.... Read this in full at

What happens when a man goes decades without forgiveness? GET LOW (, is in an unusual and Oscar-worthy movie in which Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, and Lucas Black give one answer. By Aug. 27, GET LOW will be a national release. Based on a true event, GET LOW is the story of Felix Bush (Duvall), a man facing death, secrets, and people he's hurt.

While general audiences will see a mystery, Christian audiences will also see the great themes of sin and tragedy, secrets and self-imprisonment, grace and forgiveness.

The real Felix "Bush" Breazelale was a hermit in the 1930s that staged his own funeral party. Georgia pastor Scott Seeke heard the old family story from his wife's grandfather. Seeke wrote the story and passed it to his longtime friend, screenwriter Chris Provenzano, of the acclaimed Mad Men series.

"No one knows what motivated the real Felix other than his simple statement that he wanted to know what people would say," Seeke said. "There were rumors he'd killed a man. We started there to ask why an old man would want to stage his own funeral." Provenzano and BLOOD DIAMOND screenwriter C. Gaby Mitchell polished GET LOW.

In GET LOW, Duvall plays Bush as a hard and selfish man seeking some kind of forgiveness but on his terms. In the same breath, he yearns for grace and rejects it.... Read this in full at

When editorial director Dean Ridings imagines the reader of Thriving Family magazine produced by Colorado-based Focus on the Family, he pictures a soccer mom, toting it along to her child’s game.

Leadership Journal is geared for pastors, and Men of Integrity, also published by Christianity Today International, is aimed at men who might tuck the small devotional periodical in their suit pocket.

Specialization is the name of the game -- and sometimes the key to survival for Christian magazines, experts say. But while niche-targeting may give a magazine a better chance of making it, it’s not a cure-all for an industry that’s weathering seismic shifts.

Like their secular counterparts, Christian publications are wrestling with plummeting advertising, declining circulation rates and a migration of readers from print to online.
The shifts mean a magazine on Bible study, for example, is going to have a better chance of survival than a more general one about the Bible, said journalism professor Samir Husni, a publishing consultant known as “Mr. Magazine.” .... Read this in full at

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; [God] has become my salvation.”
Isaiah 12:2

That [Jesus] should be crucified was a horror to [his best friends]; they would have made him a king, and ruined his father's work. He preferred the cruelty of his enemies to the kindness of his friends. The former with evil intent wrought his father's will; the latter with good intent would have frustrated it.”
George MacDonald (1824-1905), "The Displeasure of Jesus", in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 190

by John Ortberg
Who speaks for evangelicals? One of the advantages of being Catholic is that, whether you agree or not, at least you know who speaks for you. When a controversial subject needs to be discussed, there are vehicles and forums to help it get a hearing with the right people around the table.

Who coordinates the discussion for evangelicals? When we have difficult issues to ponder, who makes sure they get talked about by the right voices, with conviction and civility?

I think it was Mark Noll who wrote that at one time you could pretty much define a person's relationship to evangelicalism by how they would respond to the name Billy Graham. There was a pretty clear sense—not just of what evangelicalism stood for—but that its core leaders and organizations were tied together by a thick strand of overlapping relationships. The leaders often had gone to school together, done ministry together, or served on boards with one another. The evangelical community had large deposits of what Robert Putnam would call social capital—relational interconnectedness. This didn't mean that every issue got consensus—or even politeness. We have always had a fair number of cranky characters. But there was generally a sense that the main players around the table at least knew and understood each other.

It's not clear that the players know each other so well today. It's not clear they're all at the table. It's not clear we have a table.... Read this in full at

If, in the San Francisco Bay area, you spot a Coast Guard helicopter, the pilot helping keep the skies safe might be Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary student Ryan Hawn.

Coast Guard pilot Hawn flies a helicopter over the Golden Gate Bridge several times a week, while five miles away his fellow students at Golden Gate Seminary attend classes. Although Hawn has never attended classes at the Northern California campus, he is enrolled in an online master of theological studies courses through the seminary's eCampus program.... Read this in full at

by R. Albert Mohler Jr.
Chelsea Clinton, raised Methodist, and Marc Mezvinsky, Jewish, are now married. Statistics show that 37% of Americans have a spouse of a different faith. Statistics also show that couples in interfaith marriages are "three times more likely to be divorced or separated than those who were in same-religion marriages."

Is interfaith marriage good for American society? Is it good for religion? What is lost -- and gained -- when religious people intermarry?

Statistics indicate that a growing number of Americans are marrying someone from outside their own religious commitments. Is this a trend we should encourage? Not if you are committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.... Read this in full at

Western Europe has become a region of “empty nominalism” and “confused spirituality,” said the chairman of the Keswick Convention.

Dr. Jonathan Lamb told this year’s Keswick Convention that while millions of people in Western Europe define themselves as Christian, they regard themselves as Christian only by nationality, culture, as a result of family ties to the faith, or tradition.

He said the spiritual landscape closer to home could be characterized by a “dry orthodoxy,” which he explained as Christians who are committed to the evangelical faith but whose life “has been drained of its spiritual vibrancy.”

Others outside the church fold appear to be caught up in a kind of “confused spirituality.” .... Read this in full at

Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy.”
Catherine Fenwick

Is contraception a sin? The very suggestion made Bryan Hodge and his classmates at Chicago's Moody Bible Institute laugh.

As his friends scoffed and began rebutting the oddball idea, Hodge found himself on the other side, poking holes in their arguments. He finished a bachelor's degree in biblical theology at Moody and earned a master's degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Now, more than a decade later, he is trying to drive a hole the size of the ark through what has become conventional wisdom among many Christians: that contraception is perfectly moral.

His book, "The Christian Case Against Contraception," was published in November. Hodge, a former Presbyterian pastor who is now a layman in the conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church, realizes his mission is quixotic.

In the 50 years since the birth-control pill hit the market, contraception in all its forms has become as ubiquitous as the minivan, and dramatically changed social mores as it opened the possibilities for women.... Read this in full at

by Harry Hagopian
My family has lived in Jerusalem ever since 1915 when my grandparents fled Ottoman Turkey to Palestine during the Armenian genocide. Indeed, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the fulcra of the Nativity and Resurrection of our Christian faith, were once bustling with local Christians.

In Jerusalem, two of the four quarters of the Old City (the Christian and Armenian ones) are a living testimony to their centuries-old presence. Yet, today, although my brother and his family have steadfastly chosen to remain in Jerusalem, scores of Christians have left in search of more dignified, politically stable, and economically viable alternatives.

So what do Christians witness in this land of frequent pilgrimages but also of infrequent visions?

Some 60 short years ago, Christians constituted roughly 25% of the overall Palestinian population in the Holy Land, and around 80% of Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, and Beit Jala. Today, those numbers have dwindled drastically -- in Bethlehem, for instance, they are just over 15% of the overall population -- largely because of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. No matter how people choose to interpret facts or massage realities, the political situation has been - and remains to be -- the primary cause for the alarming reduction in the number of indigenous Christians in this biblical land.... Read this in full at

Concerns about pollution and water quality have prompted an environmental advocacy group to call for the banning of baptisms in the lower Jordan River, where the Bible says Jesus was baptized.

"For reasons of public health as well as religious integrity, baptism should be banned from taking place in the river," said Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director of EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East.

Israeli authorities said on Tuesday (July 27) that tests done on the water of the lower Jordan River show the popular site for baptismal ceremonies at Qasr el Yahud on the West Bank meets health ministry standards.

Bromberg, however, said the ceremonies should not take place until pollutants are removed from the water.... Read this in full at

The motto “In God We Trust” on US currency does not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Carlos Kidd, a self-avowed atheist from Woodville, Texas, had sued President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, contending that the phrase on U.S. money violated church-state separation principles. In his lawsuit, he asked that the court order the federal government to “destroy or recycle all circulating currency, and replace it with new currency without religious inscription.”

In October 2009, Paul L. Friedman, US district judge for the District of Columbia, dismissed Kidd’s lawsuit for failing to state a claim. “Courts have consistently held that the phrase ‘In God we trust’ does not violate the Establishment Clause,” he wrote.

Kidd appealed the decision to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. On July 21, a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit affirmed the lower court in Kidd v. Obama in a per curiam (“for the court”) opinion.

The panel cited Justice Stephen Breyer’s concurring opinion in Van Orden v. Perry (2005) and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s concurring opinion in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2003), in which both justices specifically said that the inscription “In God We Trust” did not violate the establishment clause.

The appeals court also cited the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals’ 1970 decision Aronow v. United States, in which that court wrote: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and slogan on coinage and currency 'In God We Trust' has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion."

Tuesday, July 27th a two-million-dollar, 70-ton, 77'7" red-brown contemporary sculpture named The Empty Cross(tm) was erected by The Coming King Foundation (TCKF) overlooking Interstate 10, half-way between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, on the transcontinental highway that connects California and Florida. The purpose, according to TCKF Vice President Jim McKnight, is to "draw people to God and to bless all those who visit the 23 acre Sculpture Prayer Garden in Kerrville, which will be free to the public."

The week-long cross erection process began on Monday morning, July 26th. Eagle Bronze of Lander, WY supervised the raising of the massive cross sculpture with the help of local welders, steel erectors, and crane companies. This historic event caps a 9-year epic struggle to raise the cross which included several financial "miracles", threats and attacks by atheists and others opposed to the cross, numerous letters to the media and city government, and a lawsuit filed by neighboring landowners which was settled.... Read this in full at

First, a federal appeals court struck down the FCC's broadcast indecency policy that regulated TV obscenities. Then, the former FCC chairman who enforced the policy said he has had a change of heart and now believes curse words on TV deserve "full First Amendment protection."

With television perhaps on the verge of becoming even more coarse and vulgar, what's a parent to do?

A number of companies in recent years have sold products to help families customize movies and TV programs to their liking, but they're getting more attention now in light of the court's ruling. A device called TVGuardian mutes foul language on television and DVD movies, while another device, the ClearPlay DVD player, not only mutes language on DVD movies but also skips objectionable scenes. Both companies recently announced new models.

"Those of us who have been around a little bit longer tend to remember when most movies were PG at the theater. On TV, you didn't hear any foul language," Britt Bennett, president of TVGuardian, told Baptist Press. "Now the whole landscape has changed." .... Read this in full at

Former Khmer Rouge operative Kaing Guev Eav's sentence is not severe enough, in the minds of many Cambodians; forgiveness is far from their thoughts.

Silas is not one of them.

Kaing Guev Eav, known as "Duch," was sentenced to 35 years in prison July 26 by a UN-backed war crimes tribunal -- the first of five surviving senior leaders of the notorious Khmer Rouge to be brought to trial. The communist regime's nearly four-year reign of terror in the 1970s resulted in the death of 1.7 million men, women and children in what has become known as Cambodia's Killing Fields.

Duch, who now professes to be a Christian, will appeal his sentence. At his trial he pleaded guilty but asked forgiveness for his role in the genocide. He claimed he was only following orders.

Duch was convicted of crimes against humanity, murder and torture for his role as head of the S-21 prison in Phnom Penh. At least 14,000 people died there under his command. Reduction in sentence for time served means Duch, 67, will spend the next 19 years in prison.

Silas was 8 years old in 1975 when communist leader Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge overturned the government of Cambodia. Silas was separated from his family and sent to a re-education camp where the Khmer Rouge trained him as a child soldier.... Read this in full at

Teenagers who don't like loud music, never drink or take drugs, and wouldn't so much as kiss someone before they were married may sound like every parent's dream. But even the most stressed-out moms and dads may have second thoughts after meeting Leah Miller, her brother Andrew, and their friends Becky, Jerry, and Leon.

Take rock music. When this especially polite group of American youngsters are treated to a song from their new British pal Simon Watson and his band, they're not exactly tapping their toes. Leah sticks her fingers in her ears. Becky has her hands crossed protectively over her throat. The boys just look uncomfortable. It's all the Devil's work apparently.

Welcome to the world of the Amish, a God-fearing Christian sect known for their simple living. Back home in their Amish community in the US Midwest, these five youngsters don't play instruments or sing - unless it's to glorify God.

The Amish don't drive cars or use electricity either. They don't watch TV or listen to the radio. Self-sufficient, they make their own clothes and grow their own food.

For now, Leah, Andrew, Becky, Jerry, and Leon are on Rumspringa. The word means "running around" and it's a critical time in the lives of every Amish.

On their 16th birthday, Rumspringa gives teenagers a chance to visit the outside world to try out activities that are normally forbidden. Only then can they decide whether to remain Amish for life.

This group have come to the UK to meet British teenagers, and share their experiences of growing up.... Read this in full at

Christ chargeth me to believe His daylight at midnight.”
Samuel Rutherford

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”
Proverbs 12:25

Words: Emmanuel Rolfe, 1894
Music: Thomas Bainbridge (?-1932)

Jesus came down my ransom to be;
O it was wonderful love!
For out of the Father’s heart He came,
To die me for me on a cross of shame,
And from sin’s bondage to reclaim;
O it was wonderful love!

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful love,
Coming to me from Heaven above,
Filling me, thrilling me through and through;
O it was wonderful love!

Clear to faith’s vision the cross reveals
Beautiful actions of love;
And all that by grace e’en I may be
When saved, to serve Him eternally.
He came, He died, for you and me;
O it was wonderful love!

His death’s a claim, His love has a plea;
O it is wonderful love!
Ungrateful was I to slight Thy call,
But, Lord, now I come, before Thee fall,
I give myself, I give up all,
All for Thy wonderful love.

>from NetHymnal at

That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times; that we are as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action, as by prayer in the season of prayer.”
Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, p. 16


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.

Christian iPhone applications

Jesus 2020 evangelistic website

Bill Hybels’ new book

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.)

Ever have one of those days when you need a GPS just to find your pants?
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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