man to man to God
week of January 16, 2011
weekly newsletter of Path
Of Life Ministries.
mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for
Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.
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from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
law is for the self-righteous, to humble their pride: the gospel
is for the lost, to remove their despair.”
Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), All of Grace, New York: R. Carter,
1886, p. 14
CHURCHGOERS DITCH THEIR DENOMINATIONS
share theological, organizational and legal ties. They send out
missionaries; build colleges, seminaries and hospitals; and fund
pension plans for pastors. The past 40 years have been tough on
them. Mainline Protestants such as Episcopalians, Presbyterians,
and Methodists peaked in membership at the end of the 1960s. Last
year, 21 of the top 25 denominations either lost members or
remained stagnant, according to the Yearbook of American &
Canadian Churches. Some decline is because of aging church members
and fewer babies, but some is due to losing members to
nondenominational churches.... Read this in full at
ON SPIRITUAL MOMENTS AT STARBUCKS
seven years now, as I have labored to plant, grow, and guide a
church, Starbucks has been my office, my meeting space, my
cafeteria, and my retreat. I’m there most work days, and I’m
even there most days off to get some reading or writing time in
away from the house. Yeah — if Starbucks disappeared, I’d
times Starbucks has been more than a coffee shop for me. Much
was in my regular Starbucks the other morning before sunrise,
trying to get a little quiet time before some guys I meet with
arrived to talk about Jesus, their lives, what they are hearing
from God, and what it looks like to respond. Normally I put
headphones on so I can focus. But this morning it was quiet and
the house music was better than just good. It was Christmas
carols, actually, and not the “Santa Baby” kind —
they were playing the great robust hymns we get to hear each year
at this time that invite us to hail the Incarnate Deity in whom
God and sinners find reconciliation. Sitting there reading the
Scriptures and praying, the words of those songs filtered in and
through me and lifted my soul to worship Jesus, the coming King.
I listened and worshipped, I found myself reflecting on all the
spiritually significant moments I’ve experienced in what I
sometimes call St. Arbucks.... Read this in full at
ORDINARY ABOUT FAITHFULNESS?
the stories of [three] average people in the Bible. These
unremarkable people put what little they had at the disposal of
the Savior, but the impact of their contributions exceeded those
of any member of who's who in [ministry] today.
was the teenage girl who was asked by God to offer up her womb. He
just needed it for nine months. It almost cost her a fiancé.
It surely cost her good reputation. But the world was in desperate
need of a Savior, so this teenage girl with no social pedigree
said yes and, in the process, became one of the most revered women
was a boy with a meager lunch who handed it over to a man who had
the recipe for the bread of life. His average offering was turned
into a feast that guaranteed that none of the five thousand people
around him went home hungry.
there was the ordinary businessman who offered his own burial tomb
-- a man-made cave in the side of a hill -- to a crucified
Redeemer. That hole in the rock became the staging area for His
transformation into the resurrection and the life. He can do the
same with you in spite of how ‘ordinary’ your life
seems to you.
people? There’s really no such thing. Each of us is created
in the image of the God of the universe. Each of us carries the
capacity to one day have all our ordinariness peeled away like a
threadbare thrift store shirt, revealing the glorious perfection
of what God intended us to be all along. In His eyes, there are no
Dr. Tim Kimmel in his book In Praise
of Plan B: Moving from "What Is" to "What Can Be,"
CHAPLAINS ARE FAITH MISMATCH FOR PERSONNEL THEY SERVE
the military, the chaplain serves as both a religious leader and a
listener - ideally one who can assist military personnel of all
faiths. A frequent refrain among chaplains is "chaplain to
all, pastor to some."
according to Department of Defense data, the nation's corps of
chaplains leans heavily toward evangelical Christianity, failing
to mirror the military it serves.
just 3% of the military's enlisted personnel and officers call
themselves Southern Baptist, Pentecostal or a member of a
denomination that's part of the National Association of
Evangelicals, 33% of chaplains in the military are members of one
of those groups, according to Pentagon statistics.
the disparity could soon widen. Data from the Air Force indicate
that 87% of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled at
evangelical divinity schools.... Read this in full at
MILLENIALS INTERESTED IN RELIGION, STUDY FINDS
those born between 1980 and 2000, are not anti-Christian or
anti-religion, but they are, in general, just not interested in
religion, says a new book based on a survey of members of this
apathetic attitude toward religious and spiritual matters is
common among members of this generation, according to The
Millennials by Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay
Christian Research, and his son Jess, a Millenial born in 1985.
Members of this generation are likely to care less about spiritual
matters than those from previous generations, the Rainers wrote.
two-thirds (65%) of this generation rarely or never attend
religious services, according to the survey conducted by LifeWay
on 1,200 Millenials. And spiritual matters was ranked sixth, below
friends and education, in a list based on an open-ended question
on what is important to respondents.... Read this in full at
BOOKS' FAITH-BASED PAPERBACKS BRING READERS INTO THE FOLD
Schrock recalls visiting Dulles International Airport with his
daughter many years ago and being shocked to see Playboy magazines
sold at one of its newsstands.
pointed at Playboy and said, 'Oh, Daddy, look there,'" said
Schrock, 74. "I said, 'I'm concerned where this is going.
What's it doing to the nation? What's it doing to young people?'"
Schrock got involved. In 1968, the journeyman carpenter and
part-time Anabaptist preacher persuaded a newsstand at National
Airport to add 10 Christian titles to its racks. By the 1970s, he
was selling 600 books every two weeks, he said.
the 1980s, he'd helped found Choice Books, a Harrisonburg,
Va.-based company that describes itself as a distributor of
"inspirational, wholesome and family-oriented reading
materials." Today, with eight offices stretching from the
Great Lakes to the Gulf states and Northern Virginia, the company
sells about 8,000 books a day, Schrock said -- more than 5 million
books a year through more than 10,000 kiosks at highway rest
stops, drugstores, department stores and airports.
a struggling book industry, faith-based books are a thriving,
billion-dollar business, distributors said.... Read this in full
UNCLOTHED IS UNFITTING: THOUGHTS ON SELLING WITH SEX
Edwards once said that godly people can, as it were, smell the
depravity of an act before they can explain why it evil. There is
a spiritual sense that something is amiss. It does not fit in a
world permeated with God.
5:3 says that some things "are not fitting" among
saints." "Fitting-ness" is not always easy to
justify with arguments. You discern it before you can defend it.
That's good, because we have to make hundreds of choices every day
with no time for extended reflection.
from time to time we need to pause and give rational, biblical
expression why something is not fitting. Some years ago I came to
that point when, week after week, a local newspaper put scantily
clad women on the second page of Section A in order to sell
underclothes. I wrote a letter to the paper with nine reasons why
they should stop using this kind of advertising.
my reflections will help you deal with the hundreds of abuses of
God's good gift of sexuality in our culture. Here is what I
wrote.... Read this in full at
DIRECT NEWS’ TOP 10 STORIES OF 2010
– Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law Leads to Murder, Death
Penalty for the Innocent
– Christians Increasingly Targeted in Iraq
– Afghan Christian Accused of ‘Apostasy’ Faces
Death Sentence.... Read this in full at
WARREN, DR. OZ TO PARTNER ON HEALTH PLAN
to lose 90 pounds in 2011, Pastor Rick Warren hosted three
renowned health experts at Saddleback Church to help launch a
52-week church-wide fitness plan.
Daniel Amen, a bestselling author and clinical professor of
psychiatry at UC Irvine, Dr. Mark Hyman, an expert in metabolism,
and Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz Show and cardiac surgeon,
will help Warren kick off the Daniel Plan (http://Danielplan.com)
– based on Daniel:1, in which the prophet Daniel opts for
healthy foods instead of rich indulgences.
plan is part of Saddleback's Decade of Destiny — the
church's sixth faith-raising plan to expand the ministry through
building construction and services. Warren is including a personal
growth plan over 10 years to equip parishioners to succeed in
seven key areas: spiritual, physical, financial, relational,
vocational, emotional, and mental... Read this in full at
world's opposition is strong and subtle. And behind these things
stands the devil, bent on 'taking men alive' and keeping them
prisoner. For the devil hates the gospel and uses all his strength
and cunning to obstruct its progress, now by perverting it in the
mouths of those who preach it, now by frightening them into
silence through persecution or ridicule, now by persuading them to
advance beyond it into some fancy novelty, now by making them so
busy with defending the gospel that they have no time to proclaim
John R. W. Stott (b. 1921), Guard the Gospel; the
Message of 2 Timothy, Downers Grove, Ill., Inter Varsity Press,
1973, p. 126
YANCEY: WHAT GOOD IS GOD?
Yancey has been a leading evangelical journalist for more than 30
years, writing books such as Where Is God When It Hurts?
SmallGroups.com had the chance to speak with Philip regarding his
most recent book, What Good Is God?
The book involves your personal interaction with some big events
both in the U.S. and around the world, right?
Yes. The book covers 10 separate locations, with 2 chapters
devoted to each location. For instance, I start off by describing
the time I was supposed to speak at a meeting in Mumbai, India, as
part of book tour. But that happened to be the night that
terrorists attacked ten different sites and killed 175 people. The
meeting was canceled, but a smaller group got together in a church
nearby—shocked, grieving, upset people. And I was put in
front of them and asked to address the question: How should we
respond? Help us make sense of what's going on.
in less dramatic ways that happened ten different times at ten
different locations. In the first chapter of each location I tell
the story behind the story, and the second chapter contains what I
actually said to the people who were gathered... Read this in full
KIDS FEELING PASSION FOR CONFERENCE
Passion conference is more than just a huge gathering of
college-age kids, organizers say. the recent Atlanta
conference was a call for the next generation to make Jesus a
focal point in their lives and to share that passion with others,
was never meant to be an island of self-indulgence, but a
missional community of Jesus-followers so in love with Him that
they can do nothing else but carry His name to the world,"
pastor Louie Giglio said in an e-mail.
event drew more than 22,000 students to the Georgia capital's
convention center and to Philips Arena. It was even more
successful than Giglio had hoped for.... Read this in full at
also: “Francis Chan Shares Details of Asia Trip at Passion”
BONHOEFFER, NAZI GERMANY, AND US
the first months of Nazi rule, many in the church were confused
about how to respond to the sweeping changes. What can we learn
from the way Dietrich Bonhoeffer courageously addressed them?....
Read this in full and watch the video at
NATIONS MORE LIKELY TO DENY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
nations keep their vows when it comes to religious freedom.
Churches are attacked on Christmas in India and Egypt. Religious
believers in North Korea are tortured in prison camps. Hindus and
Sikhs are harassed in Afghanistan.
routine constitutional promises to the contrary, religious
freedoms are denied around the globe and violent persecution is
pervasive," Brian Grim of the Pew Research Center and Roger
Finke of Pennsylvania State University report in a new book.
even amid this widespread disregard for religious freedom, one
group of countries stands out: Muslim-majority nations.... Read
this in full and watch the video at
EX-CHRISTIAN' UNCOVERS WHY PEOPLE LEAVE THE FAITH
and surveys show that many atheists, agnostics, and
spiritual-seekers who lack religious affiliation are former
Christians. But there was no research-based book that explained in
depth why people were leaving, until Generation Ex-Christian.
recently released book by Drew Dyck, editorial manager of the
ministry team at Christianity Today International, breaks down
“leavers” into six categories: postmodern leavers,
recoilers, modern leavers, neo-pagans, rebels, and drifters. These
categories were formed after Dyck interviewed nearly 100 people
while researching for the book.
not a sociologist or statistician, but I knew as a journalist I
could bring something to this issue by introducing people to some
of the faces and the stories behind the statistics,” said
Dyck to The Christian Post. “And just providing profiles of
these, what I call ‘leavers,’ these 20-somethings and
early-30s that have walked away from the faith. And then provide
some kind of tips on how to engage them in meaningful
conversations about God that will ultimately lead them back.”....
Read this in full at
YOU ART -- OR MATH?
the Christian life were an equation -- Problem + Solution =
Happiness -- we would have solved it long ago. But we haven't. All
the self-help programs that advertise a better life in six easy
steps, or thirty days to a new you, or ten habits that will change
you forever are trying to solve the problem that you think you
are. They are trying to grant you happiness through an equation...
witness to people using the same equation. ‘You have a
problem. If you accept the solution, you'll be happy...’
humans are not math problems. We don't get ‘solved’
when we get saved - if we did, there would be no unhappy
Christians. Problem + Solution = Happiness just doesn't work with
anything dynamic and alive, such as you and me...
didn't solve us -- he saved us. We are his art. He has thrown us
on the wheel and wrapped his hands around the wet clay of our
lives. He redeemed us so he could remake us...
are meant to be beautiful -- and we will be, in God's hands. Our
enemy would like us to keep believing in equations. Satan loves
math because when we calculate the value of our lives, we always
come up short. But God doesn't measure us that way. As with all
art connoisseurs, the worth of his art is in the price he is
willing to pay for it. He gave the very life of his Son to redeem
and remake us!”
Bob Kilpatrick and Joel Kilpatrick in
their book The Art of Being You: How to Live as God's Masterpiece
MAYFIELD: GIFTED RECORDING ARTIST/MUSICIAN DIES
Mayfield experienced a grand mal seizure on December 15, 2010, on
his way to accompany the choir rehearsal at Trinity United
Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, TN. He died on Monday, December
20, 2010, at the age of 66. A service celebration his life was
held on December 29, 2010, at the Brentwood Baptist Church and
attended by hundreds of friends, family and appreciative
his long music career he wrote music and arrangements for the
Benson Company, Word, Brentwood Music, Provident, Lillenas,
Gaither Music, Glory Sound, Shawnee Press, Hal Leonard, Hope
Publishing, LifeWay, Broadman Press, Lexicon, Re-Generation Music,
Star Song, Good Life, Lorenz, FourMost, Zondervan, and
Singspiration. His recordings were done in famous recording
studios in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and Nashville with many
of the great engineers.... Read this in full at
SHOULD CHRISTIANS GIVE MONEY TO PEOPLE ON THE STREET?
to Street People? Don't.” by Ron Sider
to Street People? Only as a Last Resort.” by Andy Bales
to Street People? Freely.” by Gary Hoag
not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to
God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
YWCA DROPS CHRISTIAN AFFILIATION FROM NAME
British branch of the YWCA has dropped “Christian”
from its official name because it “no longer stood for what
we are or what we do,” the women's charity has announced.
155 years, the Young Women’s Christian Association will now
be known as Platform 51, the charity says in an announcement
carried on its website.
organization said its new name “more accurately represents
what we are or what we do -- 51 percent of people are female, and
girls and women use us as a platform to have their say.”
was no immediate indication that the YWCA’s male
counterpart, the Young Men’s Christian Association, or YMCA,
was considering a similar name switch in the area. Last summer,
the US branch of the YMCA decided to rebrand itself as simply the
“Y,” although officially it still identifies itself as
the YMCA.... Read this in full at
GRIT'? TRUE GRACE.
little more than 30 years before the release of True Grit, the
15th film from brother-filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, the younger
sibling, Ethan, wrote his senior thesis for Princeton University
on the works of the Austrian philosopher Ludgwig Wittgenstein.
of Wittgenstein's major areas of philosophical concern was
religion and religious ideas, examining how people believe and
express those beliefs in the way they define themselves and orient
it most assuredly would be a leap of faith to claim that Ethan
Coen's 1979 college study of Wittgenstein directly shaped the
making of True Grit, which the Coen brothers jointly directed and
adapted for the screen from its original source, the 1968 novel by
Charles Portis, hints of the philosopher's take on religiosity
float through the stellar film like tumbleweeds.... Read this in
PROJECT DISBANDS AFTER LOW INTEREST IN CONGRESS
Civility Project, a two-year bipartisan attempt to get politicians
and others to respect one another, is closing down after just
three members of Congress agreed to the project's pledge. "You
three were alone in pledging to be civil," Christian
publicist Mark DeMoss wrote in a Jan. 3 letter announcing an end
to the two-year project. "I must admit to scratching my head
as to why only three members of Congress, and no governors, would
agree to what I believe is a rather low bar." The three who
had agreed were Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Rep. Sue Myrick,
R-N.C., and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. The announcement comes at a
time when politicians, clergy and commentators have stressed the
need for civility following Jan. 8 deadly shootings in Tucson,
Ariz., which left six people dead and 14 wounded, including Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head.... Read this in full
ON DEALING WITH GUILT
vital difference exists between healthy and unhealthy guilt.
Healthy guilt motivates us to amend relationships, make things
right, and move toward health. It is focused on others more than
on oneself. Unhealthy guilt often results in self-hatred. We
condemn ourselves. We refuse to believe we can ever be accepted.
debilitates. When I meet someone who wrestles with unhealthy guilt
and forgiveness, I counsel them to read Psalm 51, which records
David's prayer for forgiveness after committing the sins of
adultery, murder, lying, and covering up. I challenge each person
to read it and ask for forgiveness. Once finished, I tell them,
‘Don't ever ask God to forgive you for that sin again.’
For people who wrestle with shame, a pattern forms to bring up the
same sins over and over again. I share what the Bible says: ‘He
has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west’
(Ps. 103:12 NLT). God has removed our sins from us as far as it is
of sin, of course, is healthy and a necessary part of daily
biblical practice. However, constant confession of the same sin
inhabits unbelief and not true confession, and the person is often
left paralyzed on the road out to freedom.
unhealthy guilt weighs you down read Romans 8 every day for the
next two weeks. Really let the content sink into your life. I
believe you will experience God's forgiveness anew: ‘So now
there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And
because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has
freed you from the power of sin that leads to death’ (Rom.
Jud Wilhite in the book Throw It Down:
Leaving Behind Behaviors and Dependencies That Hold You Back
SERMONS YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT HOMELESS RADIO PHENOM TED WILLIAMS
might soon hear a sermon about Ted Williams, the “Homeless
Man with Golden Pipes.” That story is amazing. You can’t
help but cry while watching the video of a man on the streets get
his second shot as a radio personality.
Christians loved Williams’ story, especially when we saw him
deliver what was essentially a sermon in some of his interviews.
He talked repeatedly about how it was God who kept him going. Here
are the three sermons you should expect to hear about Ted
Williams.... Read this in full at
MUSTN'T NEGLECT THE DISABLED
Mark I. Pinsky
the Gospel of Luke, early Christians are urged to "invite the
poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind" (14:13) to their
gatherings. But how far can — or should — modern
religious congregations go to accommodate people with physical or
the Baby Boom generation about to age into infirmity, and wounded
war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in growing
numbers, the issue of worshippers with disabilities will very soon
overwhelm ethical and theological abstraction.
half the congregations in the USA have fewer than 100 members—
many in small towns and rural areas — which means the
financial cost of adjusting their structures, Sunday schools and
weekly services for one or two hearing-impaired or autistic or
wheelchair using members can be a challenge. Building a ramp out
of plywood is one thing; installing an elevator is quite
another.... Read this in full at
IS A NEUROTOXIN
Dr. Douglas Fields
latest scientific research backs up with detailed molecular and
cellular mechanisms what we always knew intuitively; that through
adolescence, the human brain is molded by the social environment
in which a child is reared. A disrespectful, stressful social
environment is a neurotoxin for the brain and psyche, and the
scars are permanent.
can debate how accurately television entertainment reflects
reality, but there is no doubt that it represents the ideals of
the time. Commercial art and entertainment always reflect and
reinforce a society's values, as the public buy it (literally)
because they value it. There is no doubt that American society has
changed dramatically with respect to manners and social discourse
in a generation. The "Leave It to Beaver" model of
American polite society in the 1950s and early 1960s is gone.
Those black-and-white sitcoms have been supplanted today by garish
reality television programs that showcase domestic and social
interactions driven by narcissism, factionalism, competition, and
selfishness.... Read this in full at
(SENIOR TEXTING CODES)
more and more seniors citizens are texting and tweeting, there
appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you
qualify for senior discounts, these are the codes for you:
At The Doctor's
Best Friend Farted
Bring The Wheelchair
Bring Your Own Teeth
Covered By Medicare
See You At The Senior Center
Driving While Incontinent
Friend With Beta Blockers
Forgot Where I Was
Found Your Insulin
Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
Got Heartburn Again
Is My Hearing-Aid On?
Laughing My Dentures Out
Living On Lipitor
Lawrence Welk's On
On My Massage Recliner
Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing...Can't Get Up
Talk To You Louder
Who Am I Talking To?
Where's The Prunes?
Walker Wheels Need Oil
Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In
best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it
or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick along
D. L. Moody
good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will
be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain
justice in the courts."
WEEK'S HYMN: ANOTHER YEAR IS DAWNING
Frances R. Havergal, 1874
Samuel S. Wesley, 1864
year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
year of progress, another year of praise,
year of proving Thy presence all the days.
year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
year of service, of witness for Thy love,
year of training for holier work above.
year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.
my definition, prayer is consciously hanging out with God. Being
with God in a deliberate way.”
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
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!
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YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
us what sites you find enjoyable and why.
for Living Crisis page
Christianity Today’s free iPhone app
Shadow People photos
Pocket Testament League
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
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told my family I never want to depend on a machine and fluids to
keep me alive...that's when they took away my computer and coffee
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
growth. Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!
CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to
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together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events
encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that
result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, email@example.com
if you'd like to participate in a men's discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/
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