Connecting man to man to God
For week of September 5, 2010
Issue 320

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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For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.”
Philippians 3:8-9

I should as soon attempt to raise flowers if there were no atmosphere, or produce fruits if there were neither light nor heat, as to regenerate men if I did not believe there was a Holy Ghost.”
Henry Ward Beecher

by Mark Galli
As British historian of evangelicalism David Bebbington, in his now classic Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, has noted, conversionism -- or what I call decisionism -- is part and parcel of our Christian subculture. The Christian life does not just evolve. It also requires specific decisions and public commitments to deepen our faith and obedience.

We also believe that Christ is raised from the dead, alive and active in his Holy Spirit. He is not only Lord of the world, but of our lives, a God who would guide us with his loving, even daily commands.

So we've had to learn how to negotiate moments [when we hear what could be whispers from God] -- knowing that not every thought that pops into our head is from the Spirit, and knowing full well that some of them are! We've all looked back in gratitude for such moments....

This is not something we talk about much, especially in the chattering classes -- writers, speakers, professors, public intellectuals, and so forth. And as mature adults -- some of us quite mature in years, anyway -- we certainly don't like to admit that peer pressure can sway us as much as it does adolescents. But as Paul Froese and Christopher Bader note in their new book America's Four Gods: What We Say about God - and What That Says about Us, a strong belief in God's involvement in the world is a distinctive of evangelical theology and practice. We believe that Christ is alive in the Spirit, and that we are in a personal relationship with a God who is actively guiding and shaping our lives. So I suspect that most of us have to wrestle with, and often repent about, such matters....

I've concluded that God often does not lose sleep over whether we guess his will correctly. If this were his highest priority, I think he'd be a lot clearer about making his will plain! A higher priority for him seems to be this: humble and contrite hearts that are willing to risk, to step into the unknown just because it might be God's will. He honors the heart as much as the execution.... Read this in full at

If you're the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning: Your child is following a "mutant" form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.

Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of "Almost Christian," a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity.

She says this “imposter” faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches. "If this is the God they're seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust," Dean says. "Churches don't give them enough to be passionate about." .... Read this in full at

There is a power that destroys. There is also a power that creates. The power that creates gives life and joy and peace. It is freedom and not bondage, life and not death, transformation and not coercion. The power that creates restores relationship and gives the gift of wholeness to all. The power that creates is spiritual power, the power that proceeds from God.”
Richard Foster, in his book Money, Sex and Power

by Jonathan Leeman
Wisdom so often in life prescribes moderation. It’s wise to eat with moderation, to speak with moderation, to feel with moderation, some would even say to believe with moderation. But there’s absolutely nothing moderate about the doctrine of hell. It’s extreme in every way. It’s an extreme idea for the mind. It’s an extreme confrontation for the heart. And it blows against all the rules of social etiquette.

Embracing the reality of hell means setting aside moderation. It means admitting that our sin is dark and heinous to the point of eternal damnation; that the white light of God’s character and glory justly destroys those who have fallen short of his glory; and that that our non-Christians friends have nothing greater to fear. That’s tough to do when you have moderate views of your sin, your friend’s sin, and of God’s glory.

Embracing the reality of hell also means going against the fallen cultural structures and belief systems of this world, all of which conspire together with our own hearts to repeat the serpent’s promise of a moderate outcome, “You will surely not die.” .... Read this in full at

by Terry Dorsett
In August my oldest son Taylor and I hiked up Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak at 4,400 feet. It was something that Taylor has wanted to do for quite a while but we had just not gotten to it yet. He had graduated from high school and was set to leave for college the following week, and we realized we needed to make the hike before the opportunity passed. So we filled our backpacks with two days' worth of food, hitched our sleeping bags to the packs and started up the mountain.

I am 43 years old, 25 pounds overweight and my right leg is wired, screwed and pinned together with a rod running up the interior of my leg bone due to a serious automobile accident I was in more than a decade ago. Though I love to walk each morning, there is a big difference between taking a walk on familiar roads around my home and climbing the tallest mountain in our rugged state. Needless to say, it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life....

I learned a number of things during that hike. The first thing I learned is that when we have a goal in mind, we must stay focused on it and keep moving toward it. We may experience pain along the way, but we must keep going. We may have some tight spots to squeeze through, but we must keep going. We may have some unexpected delays along the way, but we must keep going. If we hope to achieve our goals in life, we must learn to just keep going until we have climbed all the mountains in our path.... Read this in full at

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has taken an unusual step to bring all of its congregants together. The megachurch has discontinued its current traditional and contemporary Sunday worship services in favor of only one, more integrated and blended service. Church leaders say the move is designed to break down separations based on age, likes and comfort. "The best way a church can demonstrate unifying power of the Gospel before our very segregated world is to maintain a community that transcends cultural barriers," Senior Pastor Tullian Tchividjian said in a sermon in August. "Generational appeal in worship is an unintentional admission that the Gospel is powerless to join together what man has separated," he said.... Read this in full at

God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.

In "The Grand Design," co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," Hawking writes.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." .... Read this in full at;_ylt=AjE4zNwVDsHZX.TJmkBraI4P_b4F;_ylu=X3oDMTMxdTFtb2FmBGFzc2V0Ay9zL25tL3VzX2JyaXRhaW5faGF3a2luZwRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzkEcG9zAzkEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNnb2RkaWRub3RjcmU-

See also “Stephen Hawking Breaks Atheist Rules”

Both the Old and New Testaments affirm that God is immortal, invisible, immutable, and self-existent. He is not a created being and is not therefore subject to the laws of nature. He created those laws, and all of nature and the cosmos adhere to them. God the Creator is outside time and space and cannot be proved or disproved by science, but he has given us a record of himself in the testimony of the prophets and apostles and, most important, through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son.

The good news is that there is a God and he is not silent. There is a Creator who made the world, a Creator who made it possible for us to communicate with him, and, through simple faith, to find answers to life's most challenging questions. As more and more of us come to recognize this truth, the schools and colleges, and perhaps even the philosophy of science will have to change. And who knows where that could lead?”
Jim Nelson Black, in his book The Death of Evolution

What’s an atheist (Christopher Hitchens) to think when thousands of believers (including prominent rabbis and priests) are praying for his survival and salvation -- while others believe his cancer was divinely inspired, and hope that he burns in hell? .... Read this in full at

For some, there is an inherent conflict between science and religious belief. Indeed, some scientists, including famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, argue that an understanding of the natural world logically leads to atheism. But for Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and an evangelical Christian, scientific knowledge complements rather than contradicts belief in God. In his 2006 bestselling book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Collins argues that advances in science present "an opportunity for worship," rather than a catalyst for doubt. The Pew Forum interviewed Dr. Collins about his views on science and religion.... Read this interview in full at

by Rob Moll
I became a Christian again during my last year of college. After years of wrestling with God and doubting his existence, I had an intense, spiritual epiphany that seemed to change my life instantly. The following day, though it sounds hokey to say so, the grass looked greener, the sky bluer. Ordering coffee that day from a complete stranger, I nearly burst into tears. This is another child of God! I thought to myself. What a shame I'm handing her cash instead of praising God with her.

That moment was unlike any I've ever since experienced. Suddenly, and without words, I knew that God had said to me, I AM. Nothing more, just I AM. With those words, God told me that he cared enough about me to reveal just this little bit about himself. I AM. It answered none of my questions and gave no explanation for God's five-year absence in my life. But those words were enough. I could say with Peter, "You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

There were a number of people through whom God worked before that revelation. Yet the biggest influence on my spiritual journey was the novels and philosophy of Albert Camus, a French existentialist of the 1940s and '50s -- and an atheist. C. S. Lewis warned, "A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." Camus should have been safe territory for me, but as I like to say now, I was saved by an atheist.... Read this in full at

More than eight in ten adults in the world say religion is an important part of their daily lives, according to Gallup surveys conducted last year in 114 countries. And, as past surveys have found, there remains a strong correlation between a country's socioeconomic status and the religiosity of its residents.

In the world's poorest countries -– those with average per-capita incomes of $2,000 or less -– the median proportion who say religion is important in their daily lives is 95%. In contrast, the median for the richest countries -– those with average per-capita incomes over $25,000 -– is 47%.... Read this in full at

"I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 16:8

Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that you may understand.”
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel according to St. John, vol. i, Marcus Dods, ed., as vol. x of The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Edinbugh: T & T Clark, 1873, p. 405

After 35 years of service at Gordon College, President R. Judson Carlberg has announced his retirement effective June 30, 2011. Under Carlberg's 19-year tenure as president, the College has experienced substantial growth and recognition for its academic excellence, global programs, and campus facilities.... Read this in full at

In 1970, Marian McQuade began a campaign to set aside a special day just for grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the first presidential proclamation, designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The first official observance was Sept. 9, 1979 -- and has been celebrated every year since. In honor of our nation’s grandparents, the Census Bureau presents an array of data about the role they play in our lives.

6.4 million
The number of grandparents whose grandchildren younger than 18 lived with them in 2008.

2.6 million
The number of grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren who lived with them in 2008. These grandparents represented about 41% of all grandparents whose grandchildren lived with them. Of these caregivers, 1.6 million were grandmothers, and 983,000 were grandfathers.

Percentage of grandparents who were caring for their grandchildren and whose income was below the poverty level. This represents 493,000 grandparents.
.... Read this in full at

by Prof. John Stackhouse
A new friend writes: “George Stroumboulopoulos had Bill Maher on his program talking about his film ‘Religulous’. Bill asked a question, not unlike the questions you were asking Friday ie) ‘what really happened’, when Jesus ascended bodily into heaven. Bill was of course happily irreverent, wondering if Jesus was concerned about the disciples seeing up his robe as he arose, further wondering what happened once Jesus reached the zone where there is no oxygen, and then queried whether Jesus just carried on up past the moon and planets to...where?”

What about Jesus’ ascension? Well, Jesus does not in fact go up all that far. If one reads the actual account with a modicum of attention (Acts of the Apostles chapter one), one finds that “a cloud received him out of their sight.” Jesus does not, in fact, rise up through the atmosphere. Once he gets to the height of “the sky” or “the heavens” (same thing in Hebrew and in Greek), the dramatic point is made: this crucified “failure” is being vindicated by God and on his way to the majesty he deserves. The point made, Jesus disappears into a cloud and transfers (we know not how) to his current situation at the right hand of God.... Read this in full at

Sometimes God will give us what we demand and let us take the consequences. This is not because he hates us or has given up on us. As harsh as those consequences may be, they are still under the control of a God who loves us and a God who sees. He sees the big picture. He sees what's coming. He knows the events and challenges for which we need to be prepared. In Hebrews, we read, ‘No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it’ (12:11).

God's discipline trains us. It produces righteousness and peace. And God knows we desperately need these things. Just as a caring coach disciplines a player, God, in his care, may send a corrective discipline into the lives of his children. His discipline is intended to prepare us for the challenges and conflicts that lie in our future.”
Jeff Manion, in his book The Land Between

A wife from Atlanta pours out her heart regarding her husband's fetish for cross-dressing. A lonely trucker admits he seeks solace by searching the Internet for pornography; then his wife finds him doing the same thing at home.

What you might not expect is that both of these callers are sharing their problems on a Christian radio show. "New Life Live" airs 5 days a week on nearly 200 radio stations, with an audience of two million listeners.

The hour-long program, hosted by Steve Arterburn, (best selling author with 8,000,000 books in print) takes a different approach to dealing with a Christian's inner demons. "What we deal with every day is reality," says the 57-year old family counselor. "Christians are not immune from addictions -- whether it be sex, food, or drugs. We try to help them deal with those issues using faith and Biblical principles as an anchor."

Now Arterburn is taking his radio program to television. "We are reaching a whole new audience with Gods truth, unexpected humor and our unique tag team counseling.

"New Life Live" ( will appear on the Family Network. The Dallas-based network reaches over 20 million homes and has slotted the one hour program into its daily TV lineup at 2 pm EDT.

Joining Arterburn for the fall launch is New York Times best-selling author, Max Lucado, whose books have sold more than 65 million copies, his most recent release being Out Live Your Life.... Read this in full at

A new study conducted by a Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researcher, together with a researcher from De-Paul University, reveals that women in the United States generally derive more happiness from religious participation than from shopping on Sundays.

Additionally, the repeal of "blue laws," which allow stores to open on Sundays, has a negative effect on the level of religious participation of white women and therefore has a negative impact on their happiness. The authors did not observe any significant decline in reported happiness of other groups whose religious participation was not significantly affected by repeal.

The research also reveals that when Sunday blue laws are repealed, women who choose secular activities, such as shopping, are not happier. The repeal of blue laws decreases the relative probability of being at least “pretty happy” relative to “not happy” by about 17%.... Read this in full at

With the mid-term election in November, Americans have a chance to return power to the Republican Party after two years of Democratic Party rule. However, a new survey by The Barna Group (Ventura, CA) suggests that if the election were held today, only a slim majority of voters would return the Democrats to a majority position in both the House and Senate.

In addition, voters are evenly divided as to whether they would return Barack Obama to the White House.

The various segments of the Christian population maintain divergent support levels for both Congress and the president. The religious segments of the voter population most firmly supportive of the Democrats and of President Obama are the Skeptics (i.e., atheists and agnostics) and people from non-Christian faiths.... Read this in full at

Among those surprised by all of conservative TV host Glenn Beck's recent religious talk -- including at August 28th's Washington rally, where Beck said that "America today begins to turn back to God," -- is the Rev. Richard Land, a Southern Baptist leader.

"I've been stunned," said Land, who directs public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention and who attended the Saturday rally at Beck's invitation. "This guy's on secular radio and television," Land said, "but his shows sound like you're listening to the Trinity Broadcasting Network, only it's more orthodox and there's no appeal for money ... and today he sounded like Billy Graham."

Beck's speeches around his "Restoring Honor" rally have brimmed with religious language: "God dropped a giant sandbag on his head" to push him to organize the rally, he said August 27. Beck held a religion-focused event at the Kennedy Center that was billed as Glenn Beck's Divine Destiny. His speech the next day also evoked the feel of a religious revival. "Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice," he said.

Beck has also begun organizing top conservative religious leaders - mostly evangelicals - into a fledgling group called the Black Robed Regiment. The organization, whose charter members convened in Washington this weekend, takes its name from American clergy sympathetic to the Revolution during the 1700s.

Beck's emerging role as a national leader for Christian conservatives is surprising not only because he has until recently stressed a libertarian ideology that is sometimes at odds with so-called family values conservatism, but also because Beck is a Mormon. Many of the evangelicals who Beck is speaking to and organizing, including Land, don't believe he is a Christian.... Read this in full at

See also “An Open Letter to Glenn Beck” by Jim Wallis

Since the days when the Puritan "city on a hill" beckoned on the horizon of the New World, religious faith and belief have forged America's ideals, molded its identity and shaped its sense of mission at home and abroad.

For the first time on television, “God in America” explores the tumultuous 400-year history of the intersection of religion and public life in America, from the first European settlements to the 2008 presidential election. A co-production of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, this 6-hour series examines how religious dissidents helped shape the American concept of religious liberty and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the nation's courts and political arena; how religious freedom and waves of new immigrants and religious revivals fueled competition in the religious marketplace; how movements for social reform -- from abolition to civil rights -- galvanized men and women to put their faith into political action; and how religious faith influenced conflicts from the American Revolution to the Cold War.

Interweaving documentary footage, historical dramatization, and interviews with religious historians, the 6-part series will air over three consecutive nights, 9-11 pm ET, beginning October 11, 2010.... Read this in full at

The impulse of love that leads us to the doorway of a friend is the voice of God within and we need not be afraid to follow it.”
Agnes Sanford

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."
1 John 5:12

Words: Sebastian W. Meyer, 1908
Music: James W. Elliott, 1874

We build our school on Thee, O Lord,
To Thee we bring our common need;
The loving heart, the helpful word,
The tender thought, the kindly deed.

We work together in Thy sight,
We live together in Thy love;
Guide Thou our faltering steps aright,
And lift our thought to Heaven above.

Hold Thou each hand to keep it just,
Touch Thou our lips and make them pure,
If Thou art with us, Lord, we must
Be faithful friends and comrades sure.

We change, but Thou art still the same,
The same good Master, Teacher, Friend;
We change; but Lord, we bear Thy Name,
To journey with it to the end.

>from NetHymnal at

Christian prayer is always a response to a presence already felt. The awareness of a desire to pray again is already prayer. As the desert fathers so often said, ‘If you want to pray, you are already praying.’"
Edward J. Farrell, from Gathering the Fragments


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 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.

September is National Preparedness Month

Matthew Henry’s Method of Prayer

The Speech Accent Archive

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.)

Love is lovely when it's easy, but much truer when it's hard.
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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