man to man to God
For week of October 24, 2010
weekly newsletter of Path
Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
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said,] “‘You are the light of the world. Let your
light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and
praise your Father in heaven.’”
act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of
life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something
to be enthusiastic about.”
LEADER SAYS FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR WORLD CHRISTIANITY
are great challenges before the global church but also great
opportunities, the chairman of The Lausanne Movement said Oct. 18.
Birdsall told thousands of evangelicals at the opening ceremony of
Cape Town 2010 that conversation on a global scale was required if
Christians were to find solutions to the problems facing the world
and the church today. He said there was an urgent need for the
church to “be authentic” and discern effective ways of
presenting the Gospel to the people of the world, particularly
those of different faiths.
said he hopes that the number of unreached people groups will be
zero by the time of the next Lausanne Congress.... Read this in
BECOMING THE NEW RELIGION, EVANGELICALS WARNED
heard the call Oct. 18 to be guardians of the truth in the face of
widespread indifference to religion and the “denial”
of Scripture within parts of the church. Carver Yu, president of
the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong, said that
“confusing ideologies” were creating emptiness and
alienation among people, while indifference to religion was
“tightening its grip.” He said the recent advertising
campaign by Richard Dawkins and other atheists on London buses was
a perfect example of the “enthusiastic zeal” with
which atheists were campaigning against Christianity and religion.
is about to become the new religion,” he said. “Christians
must preach the gospel of Jesus Christ fearlessly because he is
the way, the truth, and the life. Only he can lead us away from
the present state of godlessness.”
was addressing more than 4,000 evangelical leaders from around the
world at Cape Town 2010, the Third Lausanne Congress on world
evangelization taking place in the South African city.... Read
this in full at
OF THE WORD IS GOOD
frontlist publishing is a hare dashing to bestsellerdom, then
Bible publishing, in the words of one publishing executive, is the
tortoise, steadily plugging away toward a better bottom line.
publisher would like to have a big Bible or, even better, two.
Around 25 million units are sold annually, by conservative
estimates. More than 91% of American households own Bibles, and
those households own an average of three, according to Somersault
which consults on digital publishing. Widespread distribution
started with Gutenberg, and the Bible is today a Kindle
diversity and proliferation in Bible publishing that can challenge
retailers and confuse consumers benefits publishers, who can roll
out what seems like a limitless number of niche editions offering
something for everyone. This year, Catholics and kids are target
markets; a new translation is rolling out; a major study Bible
releases; and digital publishing is big.... Read this in full at
VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE DO WE REALLY NEED?
you stacked all the Bibles sitting in American homes, the tower
would rise 29 million feet, nearly 1,000 times the height of Mount
than 90% of American households own a Bible, and the average
family owns three, according to pollsters at the Barna Group. The
American Bible Society hands out 5 million copies of the Good Book
each year; 1.5 billion Gideon Bibles wait in hotel rooms
outsells the latest diet fads, murder mysteries and celebrity bios
year after year. Evangelical publishers alone sold an estimated 20
million Bibles in recession-battered 2009, raking in about $500
million in sales, according to Michael Covington, information and
education director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers
say it’s nearly impossible to calculate exactly how many
Bibles are sold each year. But one thing is clear: The Good Book
is great for business.... Read this in full at
MORE LINK CHRISTIAN FAITH TO BEING AMERICAN
the USA has grown more diverse, more Americans believe that being
a Christian is a key aspect of being "truly American,"
researchers say. Purdue University scholars found that between
1996 and 2004, Americans who saw Christian identity as a "very
important" attribute of being American increased from 38
percent to 49%.
said the findings, published in the fall issue of the journal
Sociology of Religion, couldn't be definitively tied to a
particular event but they suspect the 9/11 attacks and the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan could have played a role.
suspect that these events accentuated the connection between
Christianity and American identity by reinforcing boundaries
against non-Christians and people of foreign origin," said
Jeremy Brooks Straughn, co-author of the study.
we can't be certain of the underlying causes, our data clearly
show diverging attitudes between American Christians and their
non-Christian counterparts here in the United States."
found that non-Christians and those with no religious affiliation
overwhelmingly rejected a link between being Christian and being
"truly American." .... Read this in full at
SUNDAY IS OCT. 31
WHAT TO DO
is undoubtedly more misunderstood than any other holiday event. Is
it hocus-pocus superstition or truly Christian focused? It can
appear to be nothing more than a pagan event dreamed up by some
deviant opportunist and/or candy and costume manufacturer, but All
Hallows Eve was actually intended to be a righteous opportunity
purposed in history past to commemorate old saints.... Read this
in full at
OF A WELL-TIMED WORD
Dr. Stan Toler
you haven't already, you'll soon discover the fantastic power of
words. Words can be used as bombs or bouquets. Which would you
rather receive at your doorstep? A few words can be forged
together and lobbed into the life of another to cause more havoc
than a 2-year-old at a tea party. Conversely, words can be handed
out like candy to a discouraged teammate. A timely "Thank
you" or "I appreciate you" can do more good than a
paycheck bonus. Words have the power to motivate and heal.
those words must be sincere. How will you know when communication
is sincere? New Testament leader Paul said, "Let your
conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so you
may know how to answer everyone" (Col. 4:6). Here are some
diagnostic questions to test the sincerity of your communication.
Am I being honest without being petty?
Will these words bring hope, help or hurt?
Will the giver and receiver be better off after this is said?
Do these words reflect the attitude of Jesus Christ? .... Read
this in full at
little kingdom I possess,
thoughts and feelings dwell;
very hard the task I find
governing it well…
do not ask for any crown
that which all may win;
try to conquer any world
the one within.
KIDS ABOUT FAITH IN AN AGE OF DOUBT
long ago, Eden, one of my 5-year-old twin daughters, bounded into
my lap at bedtime and asked me if I would read her a book, “Bagels
From Benny.” I had never seen this book before, nor had my
wife. (I learned later it was a gift from her grandmother.) In the
story, written by Aubrey Davis, Benny adores his grandfather’s
bagels so much he wants to thank God for them. He takes a bag of
bagels to the synagogue, places them in the ark, and asks God to
taste his bounty.
had not read more than a few pages when Eden looked at me and
asked, “Daddy, if I speak to God, will he listen?” I
froze. I was so completely unprepared for the question. In my
panic, I had three quick thoughts. First, Who told you about God?
I certainly hadn’t initiated the conversation, and I thought
I knew everything she had learned in school.
I should be able to nail this question. I had spent a dozen years
tracing biblical stories around the world and had written four
books about God. Surely I had learned something. Third, and more
important, I didn’t want to say anything that I would have
to unsay later. In other words, I didn’t want to lie to her
just because she was a child.
all the brouhaha over religion in the United States the last few
years, Americans’ views on God have remained remarkably
stable.... Read this in full at
CATHEDRAL FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Cathedral Ministries, which owes about $7.5 million to unsecured
creditors, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Oct. 18, according to
the Orange County Register. Earlier this year, the megachurch
founded by television evangelist Robert H. Schuller slashed
several programs and laid off 50 employees to cut $4.9 million
from its $20 million annual operating budget. The Register reports
that Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said the bankruptcy
filing was a necessity because of lawsuits.... Read this in full
the early 1990s, I was in the process of recuperating from a time
of burnout and over-commitment. At my lowest point during that
season of extreme exhaustion - when I was emotionally fried -- a
business friend of mine from out of state made an offer for me to
join his company. It was an exciting and lucrative offer, and I
truly thought that God might be calling me to leave church work
and re-enter the marketplace.
was quite confident that I had heard God's voice, but there was
still the nagging "godly counsel test," which I'd
begrudgingly, I called together a few spiritual mentors and other
people whose opinions and perspectives I genuinely trust, and who
understood my current state of exhaustion. I described the offer I
was considering, then sat back and listened to their response.
begged me to rest up, heal up and get my wits about me before
taking even one more step. I will forever be grateful that I
heeded their wise advice. Within a couple of months I did get
healthier, and I began to see things more clearly. As I fell in
love with my ministry role once more, I realized how much I would
have missed if I had gotten that one decision wrong.
every prompting to the godly counsel test. It will save you from
boatloads of heartache and just might affirm God's best will for
Bill Hybels, in the book The Power of a
his latest Church and Culture newsletter, James Emery White
reminds us that we may be "preaching to the choir" and
missing a substantial audience that lacks basic references to
understand what we are saying. His thoughts were prompted by a
note from an attender at his church who wondered if she should
bring a covered dish to this Lord's Supper she heard about. Jim
announcement about the celebration of the Lord's Supper made
someone wonder if she needed to bring coleslaw. I don't know about
you, but I think Jesus is really, really fond of this person and
loves all that she doesn't know and is excited about her
journey. As a pastor, I am overwhelmed that God would trust
me with such people. In fact, our church is currently experiencing
more than 70 percent of our total growth from the unchurched,
and I thank God for that ridiculous percentage daily. It makes
everything just raw fun.
in truth, this is not a situation unique to a church that is
reaching the unchurched, because this woman is far from alone. You
may be aware of the recent study that found an alarming spiritual
illiteracy in our nation. What was revealed? That when it comes to
religion, people don't know much. Only 19% of all Protestants know
that salvation comes through faith alone, not works; 45% could not
name the four gospels; 55% know the Golden Rule is not one of the
Ten Commandments; and to add insult to injury, atheists scored
better on the test than people of faith.
made me reflect on how those who teach and lead in Christian
settings tend to assume people know a great deal more than they
actually do. Specifically, I find that the typical Christian
speaker assumes a level of knowledge that is only found in a very
small sub-culture within the Christian community -- namely the
group that can rattle off memorized verses and marriage/family
'Dobsonisms,' know about L'abri and the Eagle and Child Pub,
subscribe to Christianity Today and listen to the local Christian
if a younger clientele is at hand, the group that can cite Donald
Millerisms, comment on the latest Catalyst conference, play the
latest David Crowder Band song on their iPods and...well, you get
other words, less than 1% of the Christian population. (I made up
that percentage, but I doubt I'm far off).
Christian pastors and leaders speak to this group, they fail to
realize that it is a very small strata of 'informed' people who do
not represent the mainstream; and I don't mean the secular
mainstream. I mean the Christian mainstream.".... Read this
in full at
are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word."
love God is something greater than to know him.”
PREACHERS WHO 'WHOOP' -- MINSTRELS OR MINISTERS?
Rev. E. Dewey Smith Jr. bangs on the pulpit with his fist. He
shuts his eyes and moans. Then a high-pitched sound rises from his
throat like the wail of a boiling tea-kettle.
wish you'd take the brakes off and let me preach," he tells
his congregation during his Sunday morning sermon.
of parishioners stand to shout. One woman in a satiny blue dress
jumps up and down like she's on a pogo stick. A baby starts to
had already given his congregation the "meat" of his
message: scriptural references, archaeological asides, modern
application -- all the fancy stuff he learned in seminary. Now he
was about to give them the gravy.
was the time to "whoop.".... Read this in full and watch
the video at
GABE LYONS ON THE END OF CHRISTIAN AMERICA
evangelical leader Gabe Lyons believes that the death of Christian
America is a good thing because it makes way for a new generation
of believers, which he calls the Next Christians. The Christian
Post met up with Lyons, co-founder of the Catalyst conference and
co-author of UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks
about Christianity and Why it Matters, at the recent Catalyst
conference in Atlanta to discuss his new book, The Next
Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America. The
book takes an optimistic look at the next generation of American
Christians that seeks to engage the world and restore all parts of
society as God intended when He created the universe. The
following are excerpts from the interview:
Why do you think the end of Christian America would not result in
a spiritual vacuum like in Europe? What makes America different?
I think the end of Christian America, as I’m describing it,
is really an end of the last few decades of a sort of Christian
dominance in the power and position of culture, mostly the
political sector. When you look at the Religious Right, you see
over the last 30 years how much that has dominated how Christians
see the world. That has driven cultural perception.
reason why (America’s Christianity) is different [than
Europe’s] is because the church is alive in America. The
church is not like in Europe where the church is not a part of the
vibrant fabric of society. In America it is very much alive and
part of society.... Read this in full at
IS AMERICA'S FAITH?
British, I have discovered, assume that Americans are more
religious than they are. That presumption seems justified in the
light of Ed Miliband's declared atheism. As yet no one running for
high political office in the US has been willing so to identify
themselves. Indeed, it seems to be a requirement of political
office in America that you believe in God. Americans seem to think
those who rule us must believe in God because, if they do not,
they cannot be "moral" -- which means they will cheat on
their spouses, thus destroying the family, which will bring
civilization to an end.
I remain unconvinced that the difference between Britain and the
US, when it comes to religion, can be determined by the faith or
lack of it of those in public office. In fact, I am not convinced
that the US is more religious than Britain. Even if more people go
to church in America, I think the US is a much more secular
country than Britain. In Britain, when someone says they do not
believe in God, they stop going to church. In the US, many who may
have doubts about Christian orthodoxy may continue to go to
church. They do so because they assume that a vague god vaguely
prayed to is the god that is needed to support family and nation.
Read this in full at
DROPPED 11% AT NATION'S BIGGEST CHARITIES LAST YEAR
to the nation’s biggest charities dropped 11% last year, a
decline that was the worst in the two decades since The Chronicle
of Philanthropy started its Philanthropy 400 ranking of the
organizations that raise the most from private sources.
organizations say they don’t expect to have done much better
by the time 2010 ends. More than one in four of the groups
provided projections for 2010, and the median change they
predicted was an increase of just 1.4%.
400 institutions in the survey raised $68.6 billion in 2009. The
drop they suffered in contributions was nearly four times as great
as the next biggest annual decrease: 2.8% in 2001, when charities
also struggled to raise money from recession-battered donors....
Read this in full at
OR IN PRINT, FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER STILL PREACHES POLICY
those scattered weekends when Jimmy Carter isn't out enforcing
Middle East harmony or slaying Guinea worms or compensating for
presidential malaise with ex-presidential vim, the 86-year-old can
be found in Sunday school.
wants to teach so much about the Lord and about himself these
days, unraveling Scripture, repairing legacies, straining to
convince others that it is he -- not his detractors, the ones who
looked down on him -- who knows the path to a better world. The
faithful and the curious flock to listen, pilgrims to a deep South
shrine to all things Jimmy. They pass through peanut and cotton
fields on their way to this town of 600, rolling by a museum that
was once Billy Carter's old service station and down a two-lane
country road where they come to a stop just beyond another gas
station that boasts a giant peanut statue out front.
will walk his would-be apostles through holy texts, but he also
will coax them to absorb his worldview, an outlook that values
human rights and good works, just as it gazes disapprovingly at so
much of what is around him. On this particular Sunday at Maranatha
Baptist Church, a lesson about emulating Christ meanders into a
critique of anti-immigrant sentiment. "There are some people
who make their career out of condemning Mexicans and South
Americans," he observes in that soft, familiar Southern
voice.... Read this in full at
TOWN BUILDING WORLD'S LARGEST CHRIST STATUE
small Polish town has sought to place itself on the global tourist
map by building the world's largest statue of Jesus, eclipsing
Rio's famous Christ the Redeemer.
a Polish town of 21,000 near the German border, will soon be home
to a 33-metre effigy of Christ, which, along with a crown that
adds a further two metres and its 16-metre mound will put all
other statues dedicated to the son of God in its shade.
for completion in November, the monument should pip the world's
current record holder, Bolivia's Cristo de la Concodia statue, by
some nine metres, and look down on the world famous statue in Rio
de Janeiro, which stands just 30 metres tall minus its plinth....
Read this in full at
-- CHRISTIAN MEN'S NETWORK CHALLENGES GLOBAL LEADERS TO MAXIMIZE
FOR CRISIS AND INFLUENCE
a time filled with crisis and economic uncertainties, there is a
need for true leaders. "Crisis is the natural result of
change," said the late Dr. Edwin Louis Cole in his book
Winners Are Not Those Who Never Fail but Those Who NEVER QUIT!
"Crisis is normal to life," states Cole, and
furthermore, 'Crisis is not failure. It is only the process."
During his 50-plus years of ministry, Dr. Cole taught hundreds of
thousands of men the secrets of "Maximized Manhood."
Dozens of church leaders, as well as acclaimed film stars such as
Chuck Norris claimed Dr. Ed Cole as mentor and motivator. Eight
years after Dr. Cole's death, the work continues across the globe.
the upcoming Lions Roar 2010 Global Men's Summit of Christian
Men's Network in Dallas, Texas, November 1-3, leaders from over 20
nations will be meeting to discuss ways to train and help men to
maximize their abilities and influence. Political and national
issues will be addressed, Monday Nov. 1st, by Dr. Jim Garlow,
Chairman of ReAL (Renewing America Leadership). ReAL is a
non-profit organization established by Former Speaker of the
House, Newt Gingrich, to address America's leadership crisis....
Read this in full at
wants us to approach life, full of expectancy that God is going to
be at work in every situation as we release our faith in Him.”
not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what
WEEK'S HYMN: ABLE TO DELIVER
Fanny Crosby, 1899
Ira D. Sankey
troubled heart, be thou not afraid,
the Lord thy God, let thy hope be stayed;
will hear thy cry and will give thee aid,
thy cross may be.
is able still to deliver thee,
His own right hand thy defense shall be:
is able still to deliver thee,
be thou not afraid.
troubled heart, tho’ thy foes unite,
thy faith be strong and thy armor bright;
shalt overcome thro’ His pow’r and might,
more than conqu’ror be.
troubled heart, when thy way is drear,
will rescue thee and dispel thy fear;
thy greatest need He is always near,
Him all glory be.
must learn to pray out of our weaknesses so that God can become
PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
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.
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child needs your love the most when they deserve it the least.
Frank Coleman, Editor
for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
CONNECTIONS is a periodic newsletter of
announcements, news, recommendations, articles, and other
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