Connecting man to man to God
For week of May 15, 2011
Issue 356

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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"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love."
1 John 4:18

God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love.”
Henry Drummond

Religion comes naturally, even instinctively, to human beings, a massive new study of cultures all around the world suggests.

"We tend to see purpose in the world," Oxford University professor Roger Trigg said May 12. "We see agency. We think that something is there even if you can't see it. ... All this tends to build up to a religious way of thinking."

Trigg is co-director of the three-year Oxford-based project, which incorporated more than 40 different studies by dozens of researchers looking at countries from China to Poland and the United States to Micronesia.

Studies around the world came up with similar findings, including widespread belief in some kind of afterlife and an instinctive tendency to suggest that natural phenomena happen for a purpose.... Read this in full at

by David Sanford
If I talk a lot about God, the Bible, and Church, but I fail to ask about other people's needs, I'm simply making a lot of empty religious noise.

If I graduate from theological seminary and know all the answers to questions you'll never even think of asking, and if I have all the degrees to prove it.and if I say I believe in God with all my heart, soul, and strength, claiming to have incredible answers to my prayers, but I fail to take the time to find out what makes others laugh and why they cry, I'm nothing.

If I sell an extra car and some of my books to raise money for poor starving kids somewhere, and if I give my life for God's service and burn out after pouring everything I have into the work, but do it all without ever once caring about the people, the real hurting people-the moms and dads and sons and daughters and orphans and widows and the lonely and forgotten-if I pour my life into the Kingdom but forget to love those here on earth, my energy is wasted, and so is my life.
Here is what love is like.genuine love. God's kind of love. It's patient. It can wait.

It helps others, even if they never find out who assisted them. Love doesn't look for greener pastures. Love doesn't boast. It doesn't try to build itself up to be something it isn't.

Love doesn't act in a loose, immoral way. It doesn't seek to take, but it willingly gives. Love doesn't lose its temper. It doesn't keep changing its mind. Love doesn't think about how difficult the other person is, and certainly doesn't think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth.

Love comes and sits with you when you're feeling down and finds out what is wrong. It empathizes with you and believes in you. Love knows you'll come through just as God planned, and love carries on to the end. It doesn't give up, quit, diminish, or go home.

Love perseveres, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn't seem as special anymore. Love succeeds 100 percent of the time.

That, my friend, is what genuine love is!

by Patrick Morley, PhD
Love is the glue that holds us together, and the oil that keeps us from rubbing each other the wrong way.

Learn to "neighbor love" -- the New Commandment (see Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus did not say, "By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you perfect your theology." Right theology is important, and bad theology is deadly. Yet lost and lonely people are not attracted by excellent theology (though ours should be excellent).

What Jesus did say was, "By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another" ( John 13:35). People are attracted to us by the way we love one another.

In the second century church, Christians were accused of treason (not pledging allegiance to the Emperor), cannibalism (drinking Christ's blood and eating his body), and sexual immorality (the kiss of peace). Yet against this backdrop the early church expanded rapidly. God was at work in the way Christians loved each other and the unlovely. Julian the Apostate, a pagan, said, "Those impious Christians. They support not only their own poor, but ours too." It had quite an effect. It still does.

Learn to see people the way Jesus sees people. "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). He is patient, wanting all to come to repentance. His patience means salvation (2 Peter 3:9, 15).

Biblically, reconciliation precedes worship (Matthew 5:23-24). Teach your men how to resolve conflict and heal broken relationships. A cut on your body cannot heal unless the two separated pieces are brought into contact with each other. Likewise, two people can't heal until they are brought together.

Many task-oriented men want to be more relationship-oriented, but it goes against their nature. Tell them, "Choose to make the relationship into your task. Say to yourself until you grasp and believe this: 'The relationship is the task.' Turn spending time with your wife into a task-calendarize it if that makes you feel better."

by D.J. Young, founder of
Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, 2011, helps many of us focus on our dad’s contributions to our life. According to the US Census Bureau, 67.8 million US men are fathers. Of that number, 25.8 million are traditional fathers living with their wife and their own children under the age of 18. Another 2.0 million are single fathers.

Regardless of the status of each father, there are children to be loved and cared for. I wonder, though, how many grown children could have this story as their own.

This Monday Hank, age 27, sits across the table from me at a local coffee shop, his long hair dangling out from under a blue stocking cap pulled down to his eye brows and ears. Hank is wearing a bulky outfit and his scruffy beard, several days old, is frosted over a sad smile.... Read this in full at

In the wake of the death of the TNIV, a premier evangelical seminary has adopted a brand new Bible translation, called the Common English Bible, to take its place.

Fuller Theological Seminary approved the Common English Bible for official school use in April following news that Zondervan's updated New International Version will replace any prior renditions of the translation, including the 2005 Today's New International Version.

One of the major draws for the CEB was its gender-inclusive language, according to members of the Bible translation committee at Fuller.

"We wanted something that was an academically excellent translation from Greek and Hebrew, and one that reflected our strong position regarding women in leadership," Dr. Joel B. Green, professor of New Testament Interpretation and one of the committee members for Bible translations at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., told The Christian Post.... Read this in full at

I was reading about a strange baptism practice. When the church would baptize one of the [Knights Templar], they would be baptized with their sword, but they wouldn’t take their swords under water with them. Instead they would hold their swords up out of the water while the rest of them would be immersed. It was the knights’ way of saying to Jesus, ‘You can have control of me but you can’t have this. Jesus, I’m all yours, but who I am and what I do on the battlefield, how I use this sword, that’s not part of the deal.’ And if that was still the practice today, we might not hold up a sword, but my guess is that many would hold up a wallet. Some would hold up a remote control. Others would hold up a laptop.

Many fans say to Jesus, ‘I will follow. Anything and everything I have, I give to you.’ But Jesus points to what you’re hiding behind your back and says, ‘What about that?’ For Nicodemus it was a religious reputation. For the Rich Young Ruler it was his stuff.

For Pam Jesus was asking, ‘What about food?’ For years she turned to food rather than Jesus as her source of comfort and satisfaction. Jesus asked [Steve], ‘What about your entertainment choices?’ Jesus says to Stephanie, ‘What about your kids?’ [Her] life revolved around her kids. Her kids were where she found her greatest joy. Her kids were the source of her greatest fears and anxiety.

The one thing we are most reluctant to give up is the one thing that has the most potential to become a substitute for him. When we finally surrender that one thing, we discover the satisfaction that comes from following Jesus that was always missing when we were holding something back.”
Kyle Idleman in Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus

The economy has changed many aspects of American life. A new research study by the Barna Group explores how the charitable landscape has changed over the last two-and-a-half years. The study examines how many Americans have been affected by the economic downturn, how this has influenced their donations, and their outlook on economic recovery.

The vast majority of Americans (77%) reported being personally touched by the nation’s financial difficulties. About one-quarter (28%) indicated they have been affected in a “major way.” These indicators are unchanged from 15 months ago (75%, 27%, respectively).

However, when compared to the time period when the economy first nose-dived – roughly 30 months ago - the research confirms that the economic pressure on American households has been building. In November 2008 68% said they had personally been affected and only 22% felt affected in a major way.... Read this in full at

Americans have described the recent headline news of the death of Osama Bin Laden as victory, justice, and closure. As news of the death of the mastermind of the deadliest attack on American soil spread, after a nearly decade long hunt, stories, memories, emotion and united patriotism have emerged — including that of 9/11 First Responder John Picarello.

"As a Firefighter personally affected by the attacks of 9/11/01, I do feel a sense of closure, as if a decade long chapter of my life has come to an end. I can now turn the page and look to the future. As a Pastor there is a sense of Divine justice, although God is long suffering in His dealings with all people; vengeance and recompense belong to Him, and those who shed innocent blood He calls to account for it." said John Picarello, whose personal story as a 9/11 First Responder is depicted in The Cross and The Towers ( Read this in full at

* Let us examine our own hearts and lifestyles: Am I living modestly, frugally and practicing conservation?

* Let us offer repentance for America’s bad example to the world of extravagance, waste and pollution, while so many in the world suffer lack and need the basic provisions of food, clean water, sanitation, medical care, and help to cope with climate crisis; ask that the Lord intervene and help the US break from its addiction to foreign and un-sustainable sources of energy, especially fossil fuels.

* Let us pray that God will grant “wisdom from above” and instruct and guide the church to teach and lead by example in stewardship, biblical ecology, and creation care; pray for eco-friendly church facilities.

* Let us pray that the Lord will turn Americans away from lifestyles of luxurious consumption, waste and decadence and back toward biblical principles and lifestyles of moderation, frugality and conservation.

* Let us pray that God will grant wisdom, knowledge, understanding and courage to local, state and federal officials to call America back to its founding principles of conservation and ethical enterprise.... Read this in full at

Before a soldier faces combat, he or she must attend basic training. Training is both physical and psychological as these courageous men and women prepare to fight and defend. They don't train as a precaution, "in case you happen to encounter an enemy" but with full knowledge that a very real enemy is out there and that war is life-threatening, especially if you go in unprepared.

The Christian life is often compared to war, with believers as soldiers fighting the enemy of our souls. Every new convert steps from the altar of salvation into the world of temptation, doubt, and false teaching with no training in how to combat the enemy's attacks and avoid his landmines. Jeff and James Jay have served in both military and Christian service and believe that discipleship is crucial to a believer's survival. Their new book "Bible Basic Training" offers believers "foundational instruction that can lead to a lifetime of spiritual fitness, ongoing weapons training and continuing education on enemy tactics." It includes valuable basics of the faith and what it means to be a follower of Christ; how to develop a firm foundation of prayer, Bible reading, service within the church, and developing personal relationships with other believers; how to be armed and ready for combat duty, and much more.

These brothers and authors have fought both literal and spiritual warfare in their years of military service and ministry. Jeff Jay is an Assemblies of God pastor with over twenty years of ministerial experience and he has served as an active duty Army Chaplain for the past several years with two tours to "Operation Iraqi Freedom." James Jay has a myriad of church ministry experience, including teaching and music ministry. He spent four years in the United States Army as an Infantryman during "Operation Desert Storm." Both believe that there is more to the Christian life than mere survival. "God's weapons of warfare -- his power, grace and love -- are available daily for those who desire to dutifully serve their 'Commander-in-Chief.'"

With a chain of command so tightly-run it would make a military officer proud, the Southern Baptist teams have been the backbone of disaster relief from the South's tornadoes.... Read this in full at

by Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries
QUITO, ECUADOR (ANS) - "The "dah-di-dit" code tapping that opens the DX Partyline (DXPL) radio program for shortwave hobbyists will fall silent this month, moving the popular program to history's pages."

So wrote Ralph Kurtenbach in a story for HCJB Global ( who went on to say that the program will end with broadcasts the weekend of May 28-29, exactly 50 years after it first aired on Radio Station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, on May 28, 1961.... Read this in full at

"O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work. In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy."
Habakkuk 3:2

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person."
Mother Teresa

Six-in-ten (62%) Americans agree it is wrong to celebrate the death of another human being, no matter how bad that person was, a new national survey finds.

The new PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service just days after the news of Osama bin Laden's death, also finds that 60% of Americans believe the Bible's admonition not to "rejoice when your enemies fall" applies to how Americans should react to bin Laden's death.

"The broad agreement that it is wrong to celebrate Osama bin Laden's death is striking, especially because nearly two-thirds of Americans also believe that bin Laden will be eternally punished in hell for his sins," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. "Interestingly, nearly half of the religiously unaffiliated say bin Laden will be punished in hell for his sins."

The new survey also finds that Americans are divided on the morality and efficacy of torture. Nearly half (49%) of Americans agree that the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information is never justified, compared to 43% who disagree.... Read this in full at

In November 2012, Missouri voters will vote on a proposed state constitutional amendment that, if passed, will expand the language of the religious freedom protections in the current Art. I, Sec. 5 of the Missouri Constitution. HJR 2, approved by the House in March was approved by the state Senate May 10. In addition to making the language of the free exercise provisions gender neutral, the new Art. I, Sec. 5 will add a laundry list of protections:.... Read this in full at

Did Christ really have awesome abs? Western art has frequently stumbled over the contradiction between the ascetic figure of Jesus of Nazareth and the iconography of Christ inspired by the heroic, Hellenistic ideal: Christ as beautiful, tall, and broad-shouldered, God's wide receiver; blue-eyed, fair-haired, a straight aquiline nose, Christ as European prince.

Rembrandt van Rijn, in a career rich with artistic innovation, begged to differ. A new exhibition at Paris's Louvre museum — and coming to Philadelphia and Detroit later this year — shows in dozens of oils, charcoal sketches and oak-panel studies how the 17th-century Dutch painter virtually reinvented the depiction of Jesus and arrived at a more realistic portrait.

As "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" shows, before Rembrandt painters tended to reiterate the conventional imagery of Christ. Catalog authors Larry Silver, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Shelley Perlove, of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, call this "the predictable majesty" of the subject.... Read this in full at

by James Q. Wilson
This book has two messages. First, religion reduces crime. Second, look what happens to scholars who say this is true. The first argument rests on the work of Byron R. Johnson, a professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, who compiled a survey of every study between 1944 and 2010 that measured the possible effect of religion on crime. He found 273 such studies. As he reports in "More God, Less Crime," even though their authors used different methods and assessed different groups of people, 90% of these studies found that more religiosity resulted in less crime. Only 2% found that religion produced more crime. (The remaining 8% found no relationship either way.)

Does this prove that religion reduces crime? Not precisely, for these are all quasi-experimental studies. If they were truly experimental and thus carried greater intellectual weight, the researchers would direct people, none of whom had any religion, either to acquire and practice one or to remain godless and thereby stay in the control group. We would then compare the groups' crime rates. Doing this would be immoral, illegal and impractical, and so we are left with studies that compare religious and nonreligious people and try to control statistically for other factors that might explain away the religion-and-crime link.... Read this in full at

A Jesuit will be sworn in as the 60th chaplain of the House of Representatives on May 25, when he will become the first member of his order and second consecutive Catholic priest to serve the House.

As chaplain, the Rev. Patrick Conroy will be in charge of opening House sessions with prayer, coordinating guest chaplains, counseling members of the House community, and arranging memorial services, weddings, and funerals.

"One does not aspire to become the chaplain to a chamber of Congress," Conroy, 60, says. "I am also humbled by the confidence my Jesuit superiors are demonstrating in making me available to answer this call to serve the People's House," he added.

Conroy was selected by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who consulted with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Both are Catholics.... Read this in full at

by Peter Wooding
Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service
As part of a 50 day campaign leading up to the Global Day of Prayer on June 12, 2011, GDOP London is calling for 50,000 followers on Twitter to tweet the Lord’s prayer.

On Easter weekend GDOP London began tweeting segments of the Lord’s prayer in a bid to encourage more Christians to pray for the the United Kingdom.

We want to get people of all ages and backgrounds praying the Lord ’s Prayer wherever they are at 12 o’clock every day or anytime of the day,” said GDOP London convener Jonathan Oloyede.

He added: “We want to be praying ‘Lord let your kingdom come and thy will be done over this whole nation.’ So join the campaign as we countdown 50 days from Easter weekend to Pentecost weekend. Email, text, phone your friends the link #GDOPLondon via our twitter viral initiative and let’s every one of us reach the goal if we can of 50,000 people on the twitter campaign praying the Lord’s prayer.” .... Read this in full at

National Back To Church Sunday (, a cross-denominational movement to reverse declining church attendance and encourage everyone to revisit congregational life, will be celebrated Sept. 18 across the country.

Lending his voice to this year's event is Texas Rangers all-star Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League Championship Series MVP who credits his comeback from drug addiction and suspension from the game to his faith and church.

"God's word tells us to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, and not give up meeting together," Hamilton said. "We are to walk through life with other believers. My family and I have found that church is a wonderful way to do this, so I encourage you to join thousands of Americans as they go back to church on National Back To Church Sunday." .... Read this in full at

An Anglican bishop in the Church of England has criticized the West’s reticence on violence against Christians and other minority communities in the Middle East, South Asia and other parts of the world.

Writing in the latest edition of Standpoint magazine, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said the United Nations had taken the necessary steps to protect people in Libya from attacks by their own government, but questioned why the United Nations or the West was “unable to tackle the widespread and growing persecution of Christians?”

He voiced particular concern over Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the Christian communities face regular attacks and harassment at the hands of Muslims.... Read this in full at

Carl Moeller, CEO of Open Doors USA, spoke to The Christian Post during the recent Evangelical Press Association conference in Lisle, Ill., about his new book, The Privilege of Persecution. Moeller talked about the biggest misconception Americans have about the persecuted, and how persecuted Christians can overcome the question of why a loving God would allow suffering, among other topics.

Q: What is the biggest misconception Americans have about the persecuted church?
Moeller: I think the biggest misconception is that there is an us and them. The persecuted Christians where I have interacted with them immediately assume that we should be praying for them and with them. They are praying for us, we should be praying for them, that we are one body.

Our assumption here in America is that we are here and they are there. It is an "us and them" mentality. The persecuted don’t have that. They are grateful when we come from the United States and Europe to minister and be with them. But their assumption is of course, we are brothers and sisters.... Read this in full at

Colleges and universities have long offered majors in religion or theology. But with more and more people now saying they have no religion, one college has decided to be the first to offer a major in secularism.

Starting this fall, Pitzer College, a small liberal arts institution in Southern California, will inaugurate a department of secular studies. Professors from other departments, including history, philosophy, religion, science and sociology, will teach courses like “God, Darwin and Design in America,” “Anxiety in the Age of Reason” and “Bible as Literature.” .... Read this in full at

All worry is atheism, because it is a want of trust in God.”
Fulton Sheen

"'He himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.'"
1 Peter 2:24

Words: Henry Ware, Jr., 1817
Music: William C. Filby, 1861

Lift your glad voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man cannot die;
Vain were the terrors that gathered around Him,
And short the dominion of death and the grave;
He burst from the fetters of darkness that bound Him,
Resplendent in glory to live and to save!
Loud was the chorus of angels on high,
The Savior hath risen, and man shall not die.

Glory to God, in full anthems of joy;
The being He gave us death cannot destroy:
Sad were the life we must part with tomorrow,
If tears were our birthright, and death were our end;
But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow,
And bade us, immortal, to Heaven ascend:
Lift then your voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die.

>from NetHymnal at

The way to worry about nothing is to pray about everything.”
Unknown Author


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.]

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How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
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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