man to man to God
week of August 29, 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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this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love
of the Lord never ceases, [the Lord's] mercies never come to an
end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
hallmark of freedom is the sound of laughter.”
SAYS CHRISTIANS USE DOUBLE STANDARD FOR HOMOSEXUALITY, DIVORCE
Baptist seminary professor said Aug. 20 it is hypocritical for
Christians to preach against sins like homosexuality they see
outside of the church and not about sins like divorce that affect
is very, very easy for you to get 'amens' and applause by standing
up and denouncing sins that are not immediately present in your
own congregation," Russell Moore, dean of the School of
Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said during a
weekend conference on the church and home at the seminary in
Louisville, Ky. "Look at the difference between the way
conservative evangelical churches in America speak to the issue of
divorce and the issue of homosexuality," said Moore, who also
is teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville.
said both the issues of divorce and homosexuality are clearly
addressed in the Bible, but "in the one case we speak in very
muted and ambiguous terms."
reason we say we do that is because divorced people are hurting
and they need grace and mercy," he said. "Of course! Do
you not think homosexuals need grace and mercy?" .... Read
this in full
day in [Sunday school], I remember [my teacher] saying something
that surprised me, and I replied, "Golly!" Immediately
she turned my direction and screeched, ‘What did you say,
son?’ I whispered it again. ‘Mr. Bezet, don't you know
that golly is a form of using God's name in vain?’ With her
long, bony index finger pointed at me she continued berating me in
front of the whole class. ‘Hell is hot, Bezet, don't you
ever forget it.’ And trust me, I haven't.
too many people think God is like my dear old Sunday school
teacher -- a harsh, angry, judgmental, finger-pointing tyrant who
cannot wait to identify your failures. That's just not who God is.
Every story in the Bible points to one divine message: God is for
you. He wants you to experience the best. He loves you even when
you mess up, and he never gets mad at you. And yet so many
Christians continue to live under the weight of condemnation and
discouragement, but that doesn't come from God. Even if you've
done horrible things and your friends have turned their backs on
you and your family won't speak to you, you can count on one
thing: God will be right there in your corner encouraging you. The
whole world might give up on you, but God never will.”
Bezet, from his book What is God Really Like
SURVEY: 2 IN
3 SAY RELIGION LOSING INFLUENCE ON AMERICAN LIFE
of Americans (67%) currently say that religion is losing its
influence on American life, up from 59% who said the same in July
2006, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research
as in the past, most of those who say that religion has less
influence on American life see this development as a bad thing –
53% of the total public says it is a bad thing while just 10% see
it as a good thing.
it comes to the involvement of churches and other houses of
worship in political matters, Americans are more divided, with a
narrow majority (52%) saying houses of worship should keep out of
percent say houses of worship should express their views on
day-to-day social and political questions. But when it comes to
endorsing specific candidates for public office, 70% of American
surveyed said churches should not come out in favor of candidates
during political elections while just a quarter (24%) supports
such endorsements.... Read this in full
IS OVER IN THE WEST, SAYS NEW ICC PRINCIPAL
new principal of the International Christian College says the end
of Christendom is the biggest challenge facing the church in the
West. Richard Tiplady started in his new role as principal of ICC
in August after departing from European Christian Mission, where
he had been British Director for the last six years.
spoke of the need to re-think church in a post-Christendom and
increasingly plural context. “The biggest challenge we have
to face in the West in our mission is to accept that Christendom
we are no longer in a privileged position of power in society and
that we do ourselves no service -– we do the gospel no
service -– to clamor to bring it back.
think that means we need to think again about how we live as
Christians, the purpose of Church, discipleship, and the function
of church leadership,” he said.
spoke of his passion to see a new generation of Christians
released and growing in ministry and even more lives transformed
by the gospel.... Read this in full
BOYS RAISED TO BE 'TOO SOFT' WILL BE INEFFECTIVE MEN
scrapes and bruises are not just associated with boyhood but are
necessary in order to raise men equipped to exercise spiritual
leadership in their homes, a Southern Baptist seminary professor
said at a weekend conference on "connecting church and home."
are raising our young boys to be way too soft, way too careful, as
if the ultimate prize in our parenting of boys is to get them to
18 years old and say they never got hurt, nothing bad ever
happened," Randy Stinson, dean of the School of Church
Ministries at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said at the
conference held Aug. 20-21 on the seminary campus in Louisville,
Ky. "They never experienced pain. They never experienced
disappointment. They have just had a wonderfully smooth life,"
you've done, you have handicapped that boy for the rest of his
life," Stinson counseled. "He will be a weak, soft,
who also serves as president of the Council on Biblical Manhood
and Womanhood, said a "therapeutic" model that
eliminates competition and rough play among boys has created a
generation of 20-something males that are the "most
self-absorbed generation in American history."
said that has spawned an industry of things like male skin-care
and hair-color products that would have been unimaginable a
said one problem facing churches today is a "feminization"
of the gospel that began early in Christianity with a "bridal
mysticism" that applied poetry about the relationship between
man and woman in the Song of Solomon as a metaphor for the
church's relationship with Christ.... Read this in full
CONSULTANT ADVISES EARLY CHURCH LEADERS
James, President of the Jerusalem Council
Marketing Ltd. was recently contacted by a member of your council,
asking us to tell you about our services. He said to make it clear
that he was footing the bill for this initial evaluation, with the
hopes that our sound advice will encourage the council to hire us
to guide your marketing efforts for the next strategic stage in
your movement's life.
have heard reports of your movement for some time now -- who
hasn't? -- and our initial impressions are very positive! You seem
to have dynamic leadership, organizational flexibility, and a
natural touch with the people. Add some sophisticated marketing --
well, who knows how successful you can become! Naturally, this
brief memo will, by its nature, point out areas in need of
attention, but make no mistake: We have great optimism about what
we call your "effectiveness potential." .... Read this
travel produced a piece on the world's happiest countries citing
data from a Gallup poll that looked at responses from 155
countries between 2005 and 2009.
they asked subjects to reflect on their overall satisfaction with
their lives, and ranked their answers using a 'life evaluation'
score between 1 and 10. Then they asked questions about how each
subject had felt the previous day. Those answers allowed
researchers to score their 'daily experiences' -- things like
whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain, and
study reminds one of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and its call
to replace Gross National Product with a Gross National Happiness
Index as the leading economic indicator. But Bhutan does not
appear with top marks in the Gallup poll. (However it did,
according to the BusinessWorld article, rank 8th out of 178 in a
ranking of "Subjective Well-being" by Adrian G. White of
the University of Leicester. This was, moreover, "despite the
fact that it is the only country in the top 20 'happiest'
countries that has a very low GDP").
nations taking the top spots include: Denmark, Finland, Norway,
Sweden, and the Netherlands. This might not come as a surprise to
many who have been to these nations. What is surprising, however,
is that three of these five nations are among the top 10 least
religious nations in the world (also from Gallup).... Read this in
13 THINGS AN
IDENTITY THIEF WON'T TELL YOU
Watch your back. In line at the grocery store, I’ll hold my
phone like I’m looking at the screen and snap your card as
you’re using it. Next thing you know, I’m ordering
things online—on your dime.
That red flag tells the mail carrier -- and me -- that you have
outgoing mail. And that can mean credit card numbers and checks I
Check your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. I
can do a lot of damage in the 30 days between statements.... Read
this in full
CONSUMER-DRIVEN CHURCHES BETRAYING THE AMERICAN SOUL?
Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Arizona, exemplified the
successful church of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In
2002 the congregation had 12,000 members. Church operations filled
a sprawling 187-acre campus. Community Church of Joy was known as
a place where people could enjoy worship experiences that were fun
and upbeat, with high production values.
the pastor who had built this successful church had second
thoughts. Walt Kallestad began to wonder what it all amounted to.
If Community Church of Joy were to suddenly disappear, would
anyone in the larger Phoenix metropolitan area notice or care? Had
the church made any real difference?
confessed his disquiet to his congregation. He told them the
Church was little more than "a dispenser of religious goods
and services." People hadn't been asked to make sacrifices,
or involve themselves with their neighbor's needs or trials, nor
did they welcome challenges to grow and mature. A third of the
similar "come-to-Jesus" moment recently occurred at the
granddaddy of the modern megachurches, Willow Creek Community
Church.... Read this in full
LEADERS PRAISE TAIZE COMMUNITY ON 70TH ANNIVERSARY
Christian leaders are paying tribute to the ecumenical Taize
community in eastern France, which is marking the 70th anniversary
of its founding in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz, who died in
a message in advance of the Aug. 14 commemoration, Pope Benedict
XVI described Schutz as a "pioneer in the difficult paths
toward unity among the disciples of Christ."
years ago, he began a community that continues to see thousands of
young adults, searching for meaning in their lives, come to it
from around the world, welcoming them in prayer and allowing them
to experience a personal relationship with God," Benedict
died at age 90 after being attacked with a knife by a mentally
disturbed woman during evening prayers on Aug. 16, 2005 at the
ecumenical community's headquarters in Burgundy.
a Swiss Protestant, arrived in the village of Taize on Aug. 20,
1940 with the idea of founding an ecumenical monastic
him and the brothers who shared his vision ..., Taize has become a
true center, a focal point and a place of gathering; a place of
deepening in prayer, of listening and humility," said
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of Eastern
the 1960s onwards, thousands of young people made pilgrimages to
Taize to experience its ecumenical spirituality and unique worship
styles.... Read this in full
WHAT IS THE
PROBABILITY FOR SUCCESS?
day by conversation, books, radio, magazines, television,
newspapers and emails from intelligent people, I engage in serious
discussion about what is going on in America and the rest of the
world. The big questions seem to center on leadership, the
economy, ethics, disease, crime, disasters, morality, starvation,
war, education and religion.
seems to be a tendency to imagine that every way will work if
accepted. Any voice of dissent and opposition is met with cries of
intolerance. Would our problems all be solved if we tolerated
anything and everything? If no objections were ever raised?
there any place in our national and international discussions and
differences for plain and simple truth? What has happened to our
willingness to be governed by truth? .... Read this in full
commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not
murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet,’ and any
other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your
neighbor as yourself.’"
object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is
only temporary -- the evil it does is permanent.”
year, Ricky Skaggs issued "Solo (Songs My Dad Loved)," a
bluegrass album on which he played every instrument and sang all
the parts. A year before that, he released "Honoring the
Fathers of Bluegrass." Now comes "Mosaic" (Skaggs
Family), with a Christian theme. Earlier this summer on the Upper
West Side here I asked him if the new disc was part of a
continuum: musical fathers, blood father, heavenly father. He
replied, "All my music is for the glory of God."
Skaggs has long included songs of faith in his repertoire, as have
many, if not all, bluegrass artists. His recent recordings include
the classic bluegrass gospel songs "Remember the Cross,"
"Sinners, You Better Get Ready," "God Holds the
Future in His Hands" and "This World is Not My
mostly known as a secular artist who plays clubs, casinos and beer
joints, fairs. We're out there among the regular people," he
said from a coffee-shop booth. "But I'm a Christian and I
believe the truth of the Bible. I try to live it everyday of my
life. It's not something I put on like a suit of clothes."
His music, he reiterated, stems from his faith. "But it's not
a preachy thing. I like to do music that's inspired." ....
Read this in full
WHAT YOU NEED
TO KNOW ABOUT RAMADAN
lived in Malaysia during the summer of 1979. When Ramadan began
that year, everything changed. Muslims ate nothing from sunrise to
sundown; most would not even swallow the moisture in their mouths
(public places posted signs warning, "No Spitting").
When the sun set, feasting and festivities began and continued
late into the evening. Then the next sunrise would begin the
month reminded me in a strange way of Christmas in the States --
every part of the culture was affected and everyone participated.
I had no idea what Ramadan meant or why it mattered, but my
ignorance placed me clearly in the minority.
I represented the vast majority of Americans. Ask most people in
our culture why 1.5 billion Muslims are observing Ramadan right
now, and they'll have no idea. Tell most Christians that Ramadan
began this year on the sunset of August 10 and they'll shrug their
shoulders. Let's take a moment to learn what all believers need to
know about this crucial subject.
is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Laylat al-Qadr is the
night during the month when Muslims believe Muhammad received the
first revelation of what became the Quran.
during this month is required by the Quran: "Whoever
witnesses the month of Ramadan should fast through it"
(2:185). Muhammad taught that those who fast during Ramadan will
have their past sins forgiven. As a result, fasting during Ramadan
is seen as central and critical to the five pillars of Islam:
The witness (Shahadah): "There is no God but God, and
Muhammad is his prophet."
Praying five times a day facing Mecca (Salah).
Fasting during Ramadan (Siyam).
Alms-giving to the poor (Zakat).
The pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj), to be made at least once by every
able-bodied Muslim.... Read this in full
THE BEST PART
OF CHANGING THE WORLD
thankful that God rarely answers our constant requests of wanting
to know the future. Why? Because if we knew, we’d never move
forward. We’d be tempted to do what Jonah did: He ran the
can tell you right now that if I knew what the past year or the
past 10 years would have been like, I’d be in complete
paralysis. I have no idea what the next decade holds for me but I
no longer want or need to know. It’s in good hands. I’ll
just do my best. Live by grace. And trust.
a dreamer. Yes, I have my bouts with cynicism but in my heart of
hearts, I am a dreamer and an idealist. I believe I can change the
world. But over the years, I have learned an amazing lesson: The
best part of wanting to change the world…is that you get
changed in the process.... Read this in full
'BACK TO CHURCH SUNDAY' CAMPAIGN SURPASSES 1.2 MILLION INVITATIONS
more than one million people have been invited to attend church on
Sunday, Sept. 12, as part of the national "Back To Church
Sunday" campaign to reach unchurched people.
and church members involved in the campaign can send invitations
to friends and family by using resources found on the "Back
To Church" website (http://www.backtochurch.com).
By mid-August, the total number of print and electronic
invitations neared 1.2 million.
the number of invitations eclipse one million encourages me to
believe that God is actively using Christians to impact their
communities," said Philip Nation, director of ministry
development for LifeWay Research and national spokesperson for
"Back to Church Sunday," which conducts studies to
assist and equip church leaders with insights that lead to greater
church health and effectiveness.... Read this in full
SAYS RELIGIOUS HOSPITALS PROVIDE BETTER CARE
hospitals are "significantly more likely to provide higher
quality care," according to a study. Roman Catholic and other
church-run health care systems in the USA are more efficient and
provide higher quality care than their secular counterparts,
according to a new Thomson Reuters report.
study looked at 255 health care systems and found that Catholic
and other church-owned systems are "significantly more likely
to provide higher quality care and efficiency" than both
investor-owned and nonprofit health systems, Religion News Service
was no statistical difference between Catholic and other
church-run health systems, according to the study, which built on
information gleaned from Reuters' "Top 100 Hospitals"
report.... Read this in full
POPULATION BOOM: AGE-OLD AMISH EXPERIENCE 21ST CENTURY GROWTH
"Chubby" Chubb cranks up the engine of his big Dodge
pickup and sets off on his daily rounds, running errands for the
Amish, taking them shopping, delivering goods, and making friends
along the way. "People like them here," Chubby, 82, said
of the Amish. "If people have a bad word, they are to
figures there are about eight people in the area who do what he
does -- driving the Amish around for a fee, called "taxis"
in the local parlance. A day riding around the Lykens Valley with
Chubby provides rare glimpses of Amish life.
rural hamlet is a microcosm of an Amish population boom that has
soared nationally by 84%, from 1992 to 2008. The Young Center for
Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College reports
that the population has been doubling every 20 years because of
large family sizes and a retention rate of around 90%.... Read
this in full
FILE 'WRONGFUL BIRTH' SUIT
Australian couples have sued doctors because they failed to detect
Down syndrome in their unborn babies and thereby prevented them
from aborting those children.
couples, both residents of the state of Victoria, are seeking
damages for financial loss, the expenses of caring for their
children, and "psychiatric injury," according to The
Herald Sun, a Melbourne newspaper.
of the children is 5 years old, and the other is 2.
the claim of the parents of the 5-year-old girl, they said, "Had
the presence of Down syndrome been diagnosed at the time of the
first trimester ultrasound and/or at the time of the second
trimester ultrasound, a time frame which permitted the termination
of the pregnancy, then the (mother) would have terminated the
instances have been dubbed "wrongful birth" suit.
father of the 5-year-old says he loves his daughter and treats
"her like gold," but other parents of Down children say
the lawsuit is appalling.... Read this in full
MONKS SUE FOR
THE RIGHT TO BUILD, SELL CASKETS
St. Joseph Abbey decided to open a woodshop on All Saints Day 2007
to sell handcrafted caskets to the public, the hope was that the
sales would pay for the medical and educational needs of the
abbey's 36 Benedictine monks. The board regulating Louisiana's
embalmers and funeral directors, however, would have none of
a single casket was sold, the monks received a cease-and-desist
letter, citing a state statute that carried thousands of dollars
in fines and up to 180 days in prison for anyone selling funeral
boxes without first paying the fees and meeting the requirements
necessary to get a license.
Aug. 12, the 121-year-old abbey fired back with a lawsuit that
asks a federal judge to strike down that law. “We need the
income ... from the caskets to survive,” said Abbot Justin
Brown, the head of the abbey, during a news conference outside US
District Court in New Orleans.... Read this in full
CHINESE GOVERNMENT TURNS FROM PERSECUTION TO INVESTMENT IN
decades ago, China's Cultural Revolution saw some of the most
dramatic restrictions on the practice of religion ever seen in the
modern world. But today's communist rulers have radically altered
their views about religion and have granted substantial freedom to
Christians prepared to worship within state-sanctioned churches.
these boundaries, Christianity is growing in China as never before
-- and doing so supported by millions of dollars of government
BBC has been given unprecedented access to China's
state-sanctioned Protestant and Catholic churches, to examine why
the government seems so keen to invest in religion.... Read this
our Master summons us, not a hair on our head can perish, not a
moment of our life be snatched from us. When He sends for us, it
should seem by the message that the child is wanted at home.”
I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O Lord,
supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation
brought joy to my soul."
HYMN: AFFLICTIONS DO NOT COME ALONE
John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), number
Abridge, Isaac Smith, in Collection of Psalm Tunes in Three Parts,
do not come alone,
voice attends the rod;
both He to His saints is known,
Father and a God!
not My children slight the stroke
for chastisement send;
faint beneath My kind rebuke,
still I am their Friend.
wicked I perhaps may leave
and not reprove;
all the children I receive
scourge, because I love.
therefore you were left without
might, with cause, admit a doubt,
you, indeed, were Mine.
earthly parents then expect
children to submit?
wilt not you, when I correct,
humbled at My feet?
please themselves they oft chastise,
put their sons to pain;
you are precious in My eyes,
shall not smart in vain.
see your hearts, at present, filled
grief, and deep distress;
soon these bitter seeds shall yield
fruits of righteousness.
through the clouds, dear Lord, and shine!
us perceive Thee nigh!
to each mourning child of Thine
gracious words apply.
lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between
His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen,
and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy
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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I'm gonna make yesterday jealous.
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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