man to man to God
week of November 28, 2010
weekly newsletter of Path
Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
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O LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to
is always with us, why should we not always be with God?”
DASH BETWEEN: HOWARD JONES ASSISTED BILLY GRAHAM IN HIS CRUSADE
O. Jones, the first black associate evangelist of the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association (BGEA), died at age 89 Nov. 14. During
his life he traveled the world with Graham and handled much of the
groundwork for the legendary evangelist’s African crusade in
was the principal speaker for BGEA’s “Hour of Freedom”
radio broadcast for 35 years and became the first African American
to be inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of
Fame in 1995.
began his ministerial career with a heart for the African mission
field and his likeminded wife, Wanda, at his side.... Read this in
OR IF, YOU GIVE THANKS SPEAKS VOLUMES
it’s a mere “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub,”
or a more solemn supplication, millions of Americans bowed their
heads this past Thanksgiving in gratitude for the bounty of food
a murmured “Thanks be to God,” before carving the
Thanksgiving turkey speaks volumes about the person praying,
especially if it’s a daily habit, according to scholars.
fact, not only is saying grace one of the best indicators of how
religious a person is, but it also has strong connections to
partisan politics, according to scholars Robert Putnam and David
Campbell.... Read this in full at
is a discipline that involves a conscious choice. I can choose to
be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped
in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present
themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.
I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my
heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about
goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for
someone to accuse or something to call ugly.“
JESUS A COMMUNIST OR A CAPITALIST?
CNN's Gabe La Monica
the inner Washington offices of the American Enterprise Institute,
I pitted the question to Shane Claiborne and Peter Greer, both
Christian advocates for the poor. They had just participated in an
in-depth discourse moderated by Eric Teetsel at AEI about the
existential nature of charity.
is a lanky, tall fellow with long dreadlocks, earrings, and a
founding member of the Simple Way community in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, responded: “Jesus wasn’t anything that
ended in “ist” - he was an existential lover -- but I
think that he was challenging all these systems, and he was
pulling the best of the people in those systems out.” ....
Read this in full and see the video at
DECLINE OF MARRIAGE AND RISE OF NEW FAMILIES
transformative trends of the past 50 years that have led to a
sharp decline in marriage and a rise of new family forms have been
shaped by attitudes and behaviors that differ by class, age and
race, according to a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey,
done in association with TIME, complemented by an analysis of
demographic and economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
new “marriage gap” in the United States is
increasingly aligned with a growing income gap. Marriage, while
declining among all groups, remains the norm for adults with a
college education and good income but is now markedly less
prevalent among those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic
ladder. The survey finds that those in this less-advantaged group
are as likely as others to want to marry, but they place a higher
premium on economic security as a condition for marriage. This is
a bar that many may not meet.
survey also finds striking differences by generation. In 1960,
two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings were married. In 2008,
just 26% were. How many of today’s youth will eventually
marry is an open question. For now, the survey finds that the
young are much more inclined than their elders to view
cohabitation without marriage and other new family forms —
such as same sex marriage and interracial marriage — in a
as marriage shrinks, family— in all its emerging varieties —
remains resilient. The survey finds that Americans have an
expansive definition of what constitutes a family. And the vast
majority of adults consider their own family to be the most
important, most satisfying element of their lives.
4-in-10 survey respondents (39%) say marriage is obsolete; in 1978
when Time magazine posed this question to registered voters, just
28% agreed. Those most likely to agree include those who are a
part of the phenomenon (62% of cohabiting parents) as well as
those most likely to be troubled by it (42% of self-described
conservatives). Despite these growing uncertainties, Americans are
more upbeat about the future of marriage and family (67% say they
are optimistic) than about the future of the country’s
educational system (50% optimistic), its economic system (46%
optimistic) or its morals and ethics (41% optimistic).... Read
this in full at
also “Why recent headlines on marriage don't do the new Pew
ALL ODDS, A KINGDOM
did Jesus mean by the kingdom of God? The word kingdom meant one
thing to Jesus and quite another to the crowd. Jesus was rejected,
in large part, because he did not measure up to a national image
of what a Messiah was supposed to look like. A question has long
puzzled me. In view of their expectations, why did Jesus keep
arousing his followers’ hopes with the word kingdom? He
insisted on associating himself with a term that everyone seemed
to misunderstand. Jesus never offered a clear definition of the
kingdom; instead he imparted his vision of it indirectly through a
series of stories.
choice of images is telling: everyday sketches of farming,
fishing, women baking bread, merchants buying pearls. The kingdom
of heaven is like a farmer going out to sow his seed. As every
farmer knows, not all the seed you plant ends up yielding crops.
Some falls among rocks, some gets eaten by birds and field mice,
some gets crowded out by weeds. All this seems natural to a
farmer, but heretical to a traditional kingdom-builder. Are not
kings judged by their power, their ability to impose their will on
a populace, their strength in repelling enemies? Jesus was
indicating that the kingdom of God comes with a resistible power.
It is humble and unobtrusive and coexistent with evil -- a message
that surely did not please patriotic Jews intent on revolt.
the mustard seed, a seed so tiny it can fall to the ground and lie
unnoticed by human beings and birds alike. Given time, though, the
seed may sprout into a bush that overtakes every other plant in
the garden, a bush so large and verdant that birds come and nest
in its branches. God’s kingdom works like that. It begins so
small that people scorn it and give it no chance for success.
Against all odds, God’s kingdom will grow and spread
throughout the world, bringing shade to the sick, the poor, the
imprisoned, the unloved... These are the stories Jesus told.”
Philip Yancey, in the book Jesus
to grace, time is the most precious gift of God. Yet how much of
both we waste. We say that time does many things. It teaches us
many lessons, weans us from many follies, strengthens us in good
resolves, and heals many wounds. And yet it does none of these
things. Time does nothing. But time is the condition of all these
things which God does in time. Time is full of eternity. As we use
it so shall we be. Every day has its opportunities, every hour its
offer of grace.”
Henry E. Manning
BAD NEWS FOR RETAILERS MEAN GOOD NEWS FOR CHARITIES THIS HOLIDAY
early projections of a robust holiday season for U.S. retailers,
according to a new US- Canada study commissioned by World Vision,
an international relief and development organization, more
Americans, almost 7 out of 10 (69 percent), say they'll spend less
on holiday presents this year as a result of the current economic
climate. Last year, just over half (only 57 percent) said they
would. Earlier this month, a consumer study for the National
Retail Federation predicted that holiday spending this year in the
United States would be up 2.3 percent. That study also said the
economy would have less of an effect on holiday spending this year
than in 2009.
to the World Vision survey, conducted by telephone by Harris
Interactive in November 2010, the tough economy will affect
holiday shoppers in the United States harder than it will hit
Canadians. Americans are more likely than their Canadian
counterparts to say that, as a result of the economic climate,
they will spend less money on holiday gifts (69% vs. 61%) and are
now more likely to give charitable gifts as holiday presents (51%
vs. 42%).... Read this in full at
SIMPLE WAY TO GAUGE WHAT’S IMPORTANT
rule that governs my life is this: Anything that dims my vision of
Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my
prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me,
and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it. This simple rule
may help you find a safe road for your feet along life’s
J. Wilbur Chapman
BOWDEN ON FOOTBALL AND FAITH
Reynold's Wolf sat down with former Florida State University
football coach Bobby Bowden for a conversation on faith.... See
the video at
STUDENTS' SPIRITUAL GROWTH MEANS BETTER GRADES?
college, students attend religious services less often, but they
become more spiritual -- and that growth is linked to a number of
positive academic and personal outcomes. That's one of the key
findings of Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance
Students' Inner Lives, a new book based on a longitudinal study of
basis of the book is surveys given to students as entering
freshmen and as juniors. The freshman survey was included in a
special expanded version of the annual Cooperative Institutional
Research Program Freshman Survey, conducted by the University of
California at Los Angeles's Higher Education Research Institute,
which more than 112,000 students took in 2004. A subsample of
about 15,000 juniors completed a follow-up survey in the spring of
study was designed to measure, separately, students' religious and
spiritual qualities. Students' responses from freshman and junior
years were compared to show change over the course of college.
Researchers released some results from the study in 2007, showing
that students became more interested in spirituality and more
caring over time.... Read this in full at
also “Spirituality finds a home at college”
important is that God is so much part and parcel of life that
spontaneous mental chat becomes second nature.”
NIV BIBLE DROPS GENDER-ACCURATE LANGUAGE OF '05 VERSION
world's best-selling Bible is getting an upgrade. At stake are
millions of dollars in publishing revenue and the trust of
millions of churchgoers.
its debut in 1978, the New International Version — known as
the NIV — has been the Bible of choice for evangelicals,
selling more copies than any other version. But a 2005
gender-inclusive edition bombed after being condemned as too
hope their latest edition, which debuted online this month, will
avoid a similar fate. They've retained some of the language of the
2005 edition. But they also made changes — like going back
to using words like "mankind" and "man"
instead of "human beings" and "people" —
in order to appease critics. It's available for preview at
BibleGateway.com, with print versions expected in March.... Read
this in full at
see “New NIV Bible Still Draws Criticisms Over
I was crossing the Irish Channel one dark, starless night, I stood
on the deck by the captain and asked him, ‘How do you know
Holyhead Harbor on so dark a night as this?’ He said, ‘You
see those three lights? Those three must line up behind each other
as one, and when we see them so united we know the exact position
of the harbor’s mouth.’ When we want to know God’s
will there are three things which always concur: the inward
impulse, the Word of God, and the trend of circumstances! God in
the heart, impelling you forward; God in His book corroborating
whatever He says in the heart; and God in circumstances, which are
always indicative of His will. Never start until these three
F. B. Meyer
ARE YOU LIVING?
are many people living in the midst of unattractive circumstances,
amid hardships, toil, and disease, whose daily life breathes out
most gently music that blesses others about them.”
WATCH CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Watch (http://www.religionwatch.com) is celebrating its 25th
anniversary of reporting on trends in contemporary religion from
around the world in 2010. The newsletter was first published with
a trial issue in September, 1985 and started publishing every
month the following December.
newsletter was founded by Richard Cimino, Ph.D., its current
editor, as a way for journalists to keep abreast of research and
trends on the religious scene. RW summarized articles from a wide
range of sources, including journals, newspapers, and magazines.
Within a few years, the newsletter attracted a diverse readership
of journalists, scholars, clergy, religious leaders, and
interested lay people.... Read this in full at
the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing
in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
is wanting you to give Him the despised, the humdrum things in
your life -- like feet -- and let Him make them beautiful.”
Robert Pierce (1914-1978), founder and president, World
Vision, in a private communication from World Vision
DAY-BY-DAY ONLINE ADVENT CALENDAR
what has become an annual virtual tradition, Trinity Wall Street
has created an embeddable online multimedia Advent calendar. From
November 28 through December 25, 2010, this year's calendar, Love
Revealed, will use music, video, photography, and Scripture to
tell the stories of young people across America who are growing
into wisdom, advocating for change, and creating a better world.
In particular focus this year are the innovative Church programs
that are enriching the lives of youth and young adults —
especially those who want to make meaning by helping others.
Viewers will meet inspiring people who have said yes to lives of
service, community, and teaching. Each featured story also
includes a "flip" option for daily Scripture and
music.... Read this in full at
us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good
deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of
doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see
the Day approaching’ (Hebrews 10:24-25).
I read this passage, I picture the infamous scene in the movie ‘A
Christmas Story.’ Ralphie's friends Flick and Schwartz argue
over whether a person's tongue will stick to a frozen flagpole.
Schwartz ultimately issues Flick a "triple dog dare,"
and Flick's tongue gets stuck to the pole, much to their terror.
Much like a triple dog dare, the word spur means to ‘to
provoke’ or ‘to stimulate.’ When left in
isolation, we seldom take the risks that a group might encourage
us to take. The writer to the Hebrews exhorted first-century
Christians to not give up meeting together in community because it
offered the best opportunity to stimulate one another...
offer a small group experience we call LinC (Living in Community).
The goal of LinC is to help people discover what missional
community is all about ... to spur people to engage in something
they would never do on their own. The LinC group heard about a new
church plant that was starting up in our neighborhood. During a
brainstorming session, someone came up with the idea of attending
the church plant's next service in order to support them and pray
with them. She invited others to join her, and another person
immediately objected that he was hesitant to pray out loud,
particularly in front of strangers. But that evening, the group
met with the leadership team of the new church plant -- and who do
you think was the first person to pray aloud? ... Influence is all
about relationship. When people belong to a group of friends who
motivate and encourage each other, they are stretched to do things
they would never have done on their own.”
in his book Faith in Real Life
LEAVERS: YOUNG DOUBTERS EXIT THE CHURCH
than in previous generations, 20- and 30- somethings are
abandoning the faith. Why?
recent study from the American Religious Identification Survey
(ARIS) says the percentage of Americans claiming "no
religion" almost doubled in about two decades, climbing from
8.1% in 1990 to 15% in 2008. The trend wasn't confined to one
region. Those marking "no religion," called the "Nones,"
made up the only group to have grown in every state, from the
secular Northeast to the conservative Bible Belt. The Nones were
most numerous among the young: a whopping 22% of 18- to
29-year-olds claimed no religion, up from 11% in 1990. The study
also found that 73% of Nones came from religious homes; 66% were
described by the study as "de-converts."
survey results have been grimmer. At the May 2009 Pew Forum on
Religion and Public Life, top political scientists Robert Putnam
and David Campbell presented research from their book American
Grace, released last month. They reported that "young
Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of five
to six times the historic rate (30% to 40% have no religion today,
versus 5% to 10% a generation ago)." .... Read this in full
MEGACHURCHES GETTING BIGGER DESPITE BAD ECONOMY
across the country are holding their own during uncertain economic
times, a new survey shows. Most megachurches continue to see
attendance and giving rise, and the bigger the church is, the more
likely it is to experience increases, Leadership Network reported
in its 2010 Large Church Economic Outlook Report.
results indicate that the economic downturn is having little
impact on America's larger churches. One hundred percent of
churches with 8,000 or more attendees experienced growth in
attendance and giving from 2009 to 2010. And all surveyed churches
with attendance of 10,000 to 14,999 plan to reach this year's
81% of megachurches -- congregations with attendance of 2,000 or
more -- saw more attendees and only 9% reported lower attendance.
Sixty-seven percent of megachurches increased their budget, with
the average increase being three percent, and the same proportion
said they expect to meet their 2010 budget.... Read this in full
ALL IN ALL
be in my head,
in my understanding;
be in my eyes,
in my looking;
be in my mouth,
in my speaking;
be in my heart,
in my thinking;
be at my end,
at my departing.
Sarum Primer, 1558
NELSON LAUNCHES NEW KJV WEBSITE
Nelson, the world's leading publisher of KJV Bibles, has launched
a new website dedicated to celebrating the upcoming 400th
anniversary of the King James Bible, the most influential book
ever published in the English language. www.KJV400Celebration.com
went live Nov. 26, 2010, kicking off "400 Days of
Celebration" commemorating the historical, religious, and
cultural impact of the KJV.... Read this in full at
will say ... to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’”
the pen of Charles Spurgeon: Although this message was said to the
nations of the south to hold back no longer the dispersed
descendants of Israel, the following may be a valuable summons to
personally apply to ourselves as well: ‘Do not hold ...
reader, are you still unconverted, but have a desire to trust in
the Lord Jesus? Then, ‘Do not hold ... back.’ Love
invites you, God's promises guarantee your success, and Christ's
precious blood prepares your way...
friend, are you already saved? ... There is a blessed promise made
to those who confess Christ, so by no means miss it ... If you
have been blessed with talents, don't hold back from using them.
Neither hoard your wealth, waste your time, let your abilities
rust, nor let your influence be unused ... Don't hold back from
close communion with God, from boldly appropriating His covenant
blessings, from advancing in His divine life, and from searching
into the precious mysteries of the love of Christ ... Beloved
friend, do not be guilty of holding others back by your coldness,
harshness, or doubts. For His sake, go forward with Jesus and
encourage others to do the same...”
Charles Spurgeon &
Jim Reimann, in the book Morning by Morning: The Devotions of
REPORT ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY APPLAUDED BY PANEL
(BP)--Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the opportunity of
the federal government's latest International Religious Freedom
Report to speak out for a broad view of religious liberty,
pleasing a bipartisan panel that had questioned the Obama
administration's commitment to the issue.
State Department issued its annual report on global religious
liberty Nov. 17, specifying the many abuses -- along with some
improvements -- among 198 countries.
department, however, failed to designate "countries of
particular concern" (CPCs), a category reserved for the most
severe violators of religious freedom. The 1998 law requiring the
annual report also calls for a yearly designation of CPCs. None,
however, have been named in nearly two years. The Bush
administration designated CPCs in January 2008, only four days
before President Obama was inaugurated.... Read this in full at
RELIGIOUS PEOPLE MAKE EASY TARGETS FOR SCAMS?
Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff bilked billions of dollars out of
thousands of fellow Jews, including charities like the Elie Wiesel
Foundation and Steven Spielberg Wunderkinder Foundation.
major frauds exposed by federal investigators in recent years have
targeted Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, black churches and other
denominations, from $190 million lost in a three-year scam
promoted by a Christian radio host in Minnesota to an estimated
$1.4 billion conned from thousands of Utah Mormons.
three Pakistani immigrants -- two believed to have fled the U.S.
-- are accused of swindling $30 million from hundreds of
Chicago-area Muslims with an investment plan they promised
complied with Islamic law.
it simply too easy for con artists to prey on people of faith?
.... Read this in full at
pain is to be born, a little courage helps more than much
knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the
least tincture of the love of God more than all.”
great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and
there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears."
2 Samuel 7:22
WEEK'S HYMN: ABIDE, THE ADVENT OF OUR GOD
Charles Coffin, 1736
Samuel Wesley, 1837
advent of our God
prayers must now employ,
we must meet Him on His road
hymns of holy joy.
deigns to be;
a servant’s form puts on
set His people free.
of Zion, rise
meet thy lowly King,
let thy faithless heart despise
peace He comes to bring.
Judge, on clouds of light,
soon will come again,
all His scattered saints unite
Him in Heaven to reign.
the dawning day
sin’s dark deeds be gone;
old man all be put away,
new man all put on.
glory to the Son
comes to set us free,
Father, Spirit, ever One,
are always in the presence of God, yet it seems to me that those
who pray are in his presence in a very different sense.”
Teresa of Avila
FOR 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
God and man
Be in God’s will
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 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
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us what sites you find enjoyable and why.
events of any year
create a spinning wire motor out of a battery
artwork cut from a single sheet of paper
links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply
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(BTW: whenever the URLs in
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unemployed jester is nobody's fool.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
is a periodic newsletter of announcements, news, recommendations,
articles, and other information helpful to men in our spiritual
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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.
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