Connecting man to man to God
For week of September 19, 2010
Issue 322

The weekly 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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"These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
Revelation 3:14 and 20

If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life, that we give to the question of what to do with two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.”
Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1879-1958)

by Robert Dilday
Perfect love, wrote the Apostle John, casts out fear. For Christians, that simple maxim would seem to be an easy formula for stress-free living. But 2,000 years after those words were written, many disciples of Christ still find their lives dominated by fear -- and worse, many Christian leaders believe, their response to it often is indistinguishable from that of the society in which they live.

What shocks me ... is that many Christians have bought into fear as a thoughtful reaction to terrorism, to immigration, to heath care and to many other important issues,” Drew Smith, an ordained Baptist minister who is director of international programs at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., recently blogged.

Bill Shiell, pastor of First Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., observed many Christians “are informed primarily by forwarded e-mails and relentlessly repetitive information, rather than the good news of Christ.”

The phrase ‘do not be afraid’ is used 365 times in the Bible for a reason,” said Shiell. “The faithful are often the most susceptible to fear.” .... Read this in full at

As we will see, [God's] discipline is his mercy... [W]e understand that the manna revolt and the discipline do not occur at the beginning of the Israelites' journey. They have been rescued from a pursuing army at the Red Sea and rescued from their thirst and hunger with God's provision in the desert...

They are now nearing the gateway to the land promised to their forefathers. They are no longer at the beginning of their journey, yet they are still behaving like beginners. They seem no closer to actually trusting their God than at the beginning of the wilderness experience. Their repeated refrain remains, "We don't trust you."

This is a critical point. The Israelites do not seem to have changed over the course of two years in the wilderness... the dissonant tune repeats itself over and over: ‘Hardship intended to build trust results instead in contemptuous complaint.’ The harsh discipline of the quail plague is not severity for its own sake -- it is intended to dislodge the Israelites from the rut of their lethal, faith-destroying groove. As is true in our lives, here with the Israelites, God is at work to rescue.”
Jeff Manion, in his book The Land Between

by Matt Litton
The social relevance of Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird and the subsequent film is profound. It has remained a beacon of hope for the marginalized, pointing the way toward our continued pursuit for equality.

The novel has been described simply as the story of one man’s stand for racial justice, but we cannot ignore the other valuable messages–including Christian ones-for today’s culture of distrust.

From Wall Street to Washington to Main Street, it seems our decisions are governed by what is financially, politically, and socially expedient. Oour faith is more of an afterthought than a guiding force. The many lessons of Lee’s novel can lead us back to a restorative way of making choices by following these four principles:.... Read this in full at

A survey conducted by the Forward has found that Jewish and Christian religious institutions appear to raise about the same amount per member, despite the fact that church giving is voluntary and synagogues charge membership dues.... Read this in full at

by Erika Eichelberger
Williamsburg is brimming with signs of spirituality: bands of Hasidic mamas pushing strollers over the bridge, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans rocking flashy crucifixes, yoga-mat toting ladies on their way to Sunday meditation class. But for the young and hip, Christianity seems passé.

Look closely though and you’ll find a couple enclaves of culturally conscious Christianity right in the hood. Late on Sunday afternoons—about the time when hipsters try to shake off the sins of the night before—both Pete’s Candy Store and Trash Bar play host to services for those put off by the institutional aspects of the Church. For a twenty-something who grew out of Christianity in junior high, church hasn’t been a part of my world for a long time. But on a couple of Sundays this summer, I experienced a bit of a revelation.

On a hot Sunday afternoon in front of Trash Bar, the North Brooklyn Vineyard, a branch of the international organization of evangelical Vineyard churches, is handing out fliers and free hot dogs. A few people stray in. It’s August, so things are quieter. After grabbing PBRs, folks head to the back room and arrange themselves on old van bench seats around the stage. Amber Wigfield starts things off with a string of Christian ballads. The congregation sings along, some with eyes closed and hands uplifted. Then Pastor Mike, wearing cargo pants and an easy smile, jumps up onstage to talk about Abraham in his thick endearing Bronx accent.... Read this in full at

by Chad Gibbs
When I began writing my book on God and football, the aptly titled "God and Football," the first words I put down were these:“I was immersed in the waters of Southeastern Conference football twelve months before I was submerged into those of believers’ baptism.” I go on to say this is not a unique testimony, at least not down south where our God and our pastime scrimmage daily for our hearts and minds.

I suppose the two have been going at it since Auburn and Georgia first began tackling each other in 1892, but if I’m honest, I didn’t take notice until 2008. You see I’m an Auburn fan, and Auburn fans don’t like to talk about 2008. It was our Book of Job. Okay, that may be a stretch. Satan didn’t cover any of us with boils. But we did lose a lot of football games, and for many that’s reason enough to shave your head and sit in ashes.

I certainly did my fair share of pouting, even hid a few of my more vocal Crimson Tide friends on Facebook, but later in the off-season I did something I’d never done before: I took a serious look at how my fanaticism was hindering my faith.

First I asked whether or not I should even care about football. I know many people who say God doesn’t care about sports, He has more important things going on. My view of God is a little bigger than that. I think God can hear prayers about Sudan and Mark Ingram’s knee at the same time. But I think it’s obvious some things are more important than others, and on the list of things that should grieve our spirit, missed field goals are pretty far down the list.... Read this in full at

A new monthly poll on issues pulled from the headlines has started with a partnership between Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service. The PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll will survey Americans on a different religion topic each month, taking a snapshot of opinions on issues of the day.

"Some of the biggest stories in recent weeks -- the so-called Ground Zero mosque, threats to burn Qurans, whether or not President Obama is a Muslim -- remind us that religion plays a huge role in national and international affairs. This poll will help us probe the feelings behind the stories that animate life in America and around the world," says Kevin Eckstrom, Editor of Religion News Service.... Read this in full at

"We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Ephesians 2:10

If I say, "Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget," as though God, who twice a day washes all the sands on all the shores of all the world, could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), If [1938], London: SPCK, 1961, p. 40

by Bill Mounce
I had a fascinating experience this summer. I spent my first three weeks on the NIV translation committee, the CBT. We were locked away in Whistler, Canada, discussing, agreeing, and sometimes disagreeing on the nuances of the meaning of words and the meaning of biblical passages. It doesn't get any better than that! Well, perhaps a week in Switzerland would be better.

It was a really good time. Some of the committee members I had only known from a distance. Some I had known through my dad since his Bethel days. One I lived with in graduate school (Craig Blomberg). And others were brand new friends.

What was most educational was to see how dynamic translation works, first hand. From my years on the ESV I had gained an appreciation for formal equivalent translation, but to actually be part of a dynamic translation (okay, "functional equivalence") was a great teacher. I watched godly men and women struggle, sometimes agonize, over just the right wording so the NIV would faithfully convey the same meaning as intended by the biblical author. Whoever says dynamic translators have a lower view of Scripture needs to sit behind the veil and watch this group work.

So this brings me to the topic today: what constitutes an "accurate" translation? .... Read this in full at

In October HarperOne is releasing The C.S. Lewis Bible, the first Bible that pairs Lewis's own spiritual writings with corresponding Bible passages. It offers one of the most revered Christian thinkers as a companion to a reader's reflection, meditation, and study of Scripture.

"By pairing Lewis's writing with scripture, this Bible offers readers the opportunity to gain fresh insight into Lewis's writings, his own spiritual journey, and to the Scriptures themselves," says publisher Mark Tauber.

The Bible includes key features such as:
* Over 600 selections from C. S. Lewis for contemplation and devotional reading
* Introductory essays on C. S. Lewis's view of scripture
* Indexes to guide you to each reading from C. S. Lewis
* Attractive two-color interior (brown/black)
* Double-column format, in a readable, classic design
* Presentation page for gift-giving.... Read this in full at

Android users, the wait is over. The free app is now available in the Android Market for Android OS 1.6 and higher. You can read, listen to and share the Bible with friends and family through the ( Android app, developed by Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), a non-profit organization that distributes audio Bibles.

According to a news release from FCBH, the for Android app's major features include the ability to listen and read the Bible at the same time, dramatized audio with 180 characters, music and sound effects as well as 55 different languages with more to come. In addition, there's easy verse sharing on Facebook and six Bible listening programs for those who prefer a more organized approach to Bible reading.

"The Android app joins a suite of other apps now available from, allowing millions more around the world to experience the Bible in a whole new way," said Troy Carl, Faith Comes By Hearing's national director.... Read this in full at

Does biblical interpretation grow more difficult with the passing of time? A blogger compares hermeneutics to art criticism.... Read this in full at

Baylor University inaugurated Kenneth Starr as its 14th president Sept. 17. As Starr officially takes the helm of the world's largest Baptist institution of higher learning, the school faces a host of opportunities and challenges.

Before he arrived on the school's Waco, Texas, campus June 1, Starr was dean of the law school at Pepperdine University in California. Previously, he had been an attorney, federal circuit court judge, United States solicitor general, and independent counsel for investigations during the Clinton administration.

A native Texan, he was raised in the Churches of Christ and was a longtime adult member of McLean Bible Church, a non-denominational evangelical congregation in Washington's Virginia suburbs. When he moved to Waco, he joined Columbus Avenue Baptist Church.

Leading to his inauguration, Starr visited with Texas Baptist Standard Editor Marv Knox about Baylor, his administration, and the future of the world's largest Baptist institution of higher learning.... Read this in full at

The annual Outreach 100 list of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America is out but absent from the list is a number of megachurches that were documented in previous years. The report is not a comprehensive list. Data is based on a self-reported survey and not an independent investigation. This year, however, several churches that once participated chose to opt out of the survey.

"From a research perspective, this nonparticipation is sad. But theologically speaking, the reasons many churches choose to not broadcast their numbers are quite noble," said Kent Shaffer on, which exists to help churches become more effective and efficient. "Many nonparticipating churches just don’t want to negatively affect other churches. And, of course others just forget to report their numbers to the researchers."

In recent years, the Outreach 100 list has drawn criticism for, among other things, feeding the ego of large church pastors and not recognizing some of the smaller healthy churches that are growing. Churches with a weekend attendance of 1,000 or more make up only about 2% of America's 300,000 Protestant churches. And megachurches (with 2,000 or more attendees) comprise less than half a percent..... Read this in full at

Religion News Service reports that a megachurch in Lawrenceville, Ga., was named the fastest-growing Protestant church in America in Outreach magazine's annual ranking. Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston remains the nation's largest church. In the past year, 12Stone Church in suburban Atlanta increased its attendance by 30% and gained 2,226 attendees, boosting total attendance to 9,636. The magazine's list of the fastest-growing churches was determined using both percentage growth and numerical gain. 12Stone changed its name from Crossroads Church in 2007 and is known for its unusual community outreach, especially at Christmastime. Last year, 12Stone donated gifts to single mothers for their children, along with $50 to give to another single mom. In 2007, the church gave a car to a college student and a minivan to a family with a special needs child..... Read this in full at

Church attendance increased at more than 3,800 churches during the second national "Back to Church Sunday," held Sept. 12. Participating churches reported an average increase of 26% in weekly attendance. In addition, the overwhelming majority of the visitors said they were favorably impressed with the churches they visited.

According to a post-event survey conducted by Outreach Inc., a Southern California-based church marketing company endorsing the initiative, church members invited more than 1.4 million friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members to special services geared toward those who once attended church, but for a variety of reasons, no longer attended.

"We broke all our previous attendance records for first-time visitors," said Will Kahkonen, lead pastor of Victory Christian Church in Livermore, Maine. "There were multiple commitments and renewals, and several others who requested more information about the church.... Read this in full at

by Don Keko
Paul of Tarsus is the most important figure in early Christianity. His conversion to Christianity opened doors for the religion. Paul's connections, political skills, and Roman citizenship provided opportunities other Christian leaders lacked. Paul's work made Christianity accessible for the masses and extended its reach beyond the Holy Land.

Paul was a Roman citizen and Jewish. His citizenship provided privileges and immunities closed to many early Christians. Additionally, he was educated and wealthy which brought political connections that the Apostles lacked. Paul was particularly popular amongst Jewish leaders. Originally, Paul persecuted Christians as blasphemers. He believed the Christians perverted Judaism by claiming Christ's divinity.

Sometime after Christ's crucifixion, he converted. According to tradition, Jesus visited Paul on the road to Damascus. In the vision, Christ asked Paul "why do you persecute me?" The vision temporarily blinded Paul and led to his conversion. Some modern scholars speculate that Paul of Tarsus suffered a seizure which led to hallucinations. He eventually regained his sight and converted.... Read this in full at

by Bill Ellis
Millions of people in the United States are living in what we may call the “old age” of life. More than ever are in that category. Aging is relative. To the youngest child, any age is old age.

As the result of illness, accidents, disease, and other debilitating factors, age cannot be defined for everybody with a few words. Oliver Wendell Holmes, great Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said” “To be 70 years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be 40 years old.”

Think about older people who are a part of your life –- parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, neighbor, friend. They all have some of these special needs I mention or some variation of them.

1. Once young, strong and active, they walk slower than they once did. It is hard to walk faster no matter how much others complain and urge them to hurry.... Read this in full at

The Israeli government’s decision to end daylight saving time more than a month early in order to ease the upcoming Yom Kippur fast has set off an angry debate on religion-state issues.

Changing back to standard time on the Sunday before Yom Kippur has been enshrined in Israeli law for several years, but the earlier-than-normal September start to the High Holy days -- when Israelis are still enjoying summer-like weather -- highlighted the switch.

The Israeli changed kicked in Sept. 12; the US won’t switch until Sunday, Nov. 7.

Although Israel always ends daylight savings time earlier than most European countries, this year’s gap of nearly seven weeks set off an on-line protest petition that attracted 230,000 signatures.... Read this in full at

Author and Pastor Max Lucado has 100 million products in print since his first book was published 25 years ago. Lucado's writings have been published in a wide variety of formats including trade books, gift books, children's books, study Bibles, devotionals, commentaries, animated children's videos, calendars, greeting cards, teaching curriculum and licensed gift products.

Of the 100 million products in print, 80 million are books. Lucado's first book, On the Anvil, was released in 1985. His latest book, Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference, released in September Thomas Nelson. Currently his books have been translated into more than 40 languages.

Lucado's books have appeared on every major best-seller list including Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association and the Christian Booksellers Association. Lucado has been featured on many national media programs through the years, including "Fox & Friends," "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America" in the last year alone.... Read this in full at

IHOP has filed a lawsuit against a church group called the International House of Prayer claiming that the group is illegally using the pancake house's famous acronym. The legal flap started in September when the International House of Pancakes filed the lawsuit in a federal court in California. The Kansas City, Missouri-based church group "selected and adopted the International House of Prayer name, knowing it would be abbreviated IHOP. IHOP-KC intended to misappropriate the fame and notoriety of the household name IHOP to help promote and make recognizable their religious organization," the lawsuit says. Lawyers from the pancake restaurant say the odds are stacked against the church group and provided the court with pages and pages of documentation of websites, newsletters and signs on buildings where the prayer group allegedly used the IHOP acronym.... Read this in full at

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the Internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.

For the Rev. Juan Carlos Sansadral, there is only one word to describe the survival of 33 Chilean miners in a collapsed mine: “miracle.”

Whether or not their salvation will ever officially be classified as an act of God remains to be seen, but the Catholic priest who oversees a parish in the area and has counseled many of the miners’ families stands firm. “It was truly a miracle,” he said.

At a recent Mass on the Sunday that miners' families commemorated 30 days passing since the August 5 mine collapse, Sansadral told his parishioners, “May God continue to give us the strength that he has so far.” Behind the Father is a statue of San Lorenzo, the patron aaint of miners, easily recognizable for his miner’s helmet and for whom the ongoing rescue effort is named.

Faith has provided support to the miners' families in this predominantly Catholic country. “Camp Hope,” where many of them are living during the rescue effort, is dotted with makeshift shrines with pictures of Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI, and a collection of saints.... Read this in full at

The University of Notre Dame now offers a Ph.D. in theology and peace studies. The new program, a partnership between Notre Dame's Department of Theology and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will educate and train scholars in both theology and interdisciplinary peace research. Applications are now being accepted for students seeking to begin in fall 2011.... Read this in full at

O you souls who wish to go on with so much safety and consolation, if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering, and how much it helps in acquiring other good things, you would never seek consolation in anything; but you would rather look upon it as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord.”
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross, v. III, Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1935, p. 154

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."
Psalm 46:1

Words: Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr., 1875
Music: George T. Caldbeck & Charles J. Vincent, 1876

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus call us to Heaven’s perfect peace.

Peace, perfect peace, ’mid suffering’s sharpest throes?
The sympathy of Jesus breathes repose.

>from NetHymnal at

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you yourself shall be the miracle.”
Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Twenty Sermons, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1887, p. 330


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 us to add you to our prayer chain 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.

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Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

40 Stunningly Creative Resume Designs

Japanese Precision

10 Tips for Designing Presentations

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.)

Experience is that thing you have just after you need it.
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.
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