man to man to God
week of June 26, 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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sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay
with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus.”
Phil 1:6 (CEB)
have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on
Omar N. Bradley, American general (1893-1981)
PEW FORUM SURVEY EXPLORES VIEWS OF EVANGELICAL PROTESTANT LEADERS
AROUND THE WORLD
a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion
& Public Life, most evangelical Protestant leaders who live in
the Global South (58%) say that evangelical Christians are gaining
influence on life in their countries. By contrast, most leaders
who live in the Global North (66%) say that, in the societies in
which they live, evangelicals are losing influence. U.S.
evangelical leaders are especially downbeat about the prospects
for evangelical Christianity in their society; 82% say
evangelicals are losing influence in the United States today,
while only 17% think evangelicals are gaining influence.
general, evangelical leaders who live in the Global South
(sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East/North Africa, Latin America
and most of Asia) are optimistic about the prospects for
evangelicalism in their countries, while those who live in the
Global North (Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New
Zealand) tend to be more pessimistic. Seven-in-ten evangelical
leaders who live in the Global South (71%) expect that five years
from now the state of evangelicalism in their countries will be
better than it is today. But a majority of evangelical leaders in
the Global North expect that the state of evangelicalism in their
countries will either stay about the same (21%) or worsen (33%)
over the next five years.... Read this in full at
REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION RAISED FROM ROB BELL'S 'LOVE WINS'
are questions, and then there are questions. In the book Love
Wins, there are lots of questions — 86 in the first chapter
driven by faith and questions driven by self-justification can
sound very similar. Sometimes they can be identical in their
wording, but they are not identical in their motives. A question
can be grounded in trust in God's goodness — or it can be a
demand for a sign. God is pleased with the former, but not so
pleased with the latter.
Jesus put it, "Only an evil, adulterous generation would
demand a miraculous sign" (Matthew 16:4). The demand for
signs is a demand for proof. It's a clue that the heart is not
right. It's putting God on trial. We don the judge's robes and
climb into the judicial bench, looking down at the accused.
problem with requests for signs is that they mask unbelief —
and ultimately they become an attempt to justify a lack of faith.
Such is the case with the theologian described in Luke 10, whose
questions prompt Jesus to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Asked how one gains eternal life, Jesus answers clearly, but the
theologian only asks another question because, as Luke notes, "the
man wanted to justify his actions" (verse 29).
driven by a demand for signs never cease — and they never
satisfy. The unfortunate conclusion in the Gospel of John is,
"Despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the
people still did not believe in him" (John 12:37).
point is that questions are not just questions. There is no such
thing as a neutral inquiry when it comes to questions about
God.... Read this in full at
does this desire and this inability of ours proclaim to us but
that there was once in man a genuine happiness, of which nothing
now survives but the mark and the empty outline; and this he
vainly tries to fill from everything that lies around him, seeking
from things that are not there the help that he does not get from
those that are present? Yet they are quite incapable of filling
the gap, because this infinite gulf can only be filled by an
infinite and immutable object -- that is, God, Himself. He alone
is man's veritable good, and since man has deserted Him it is a
strange thing that there is nothing in nature that has not been
capable of taking His place for man: stars, sky, earth, elements,
plants, cabbages, leeks, animals, insects, calves, serpents,
fever, plague, war, famine, vices, adultery, incest. And since he
has lost the true good, everything can equally appear to him as
such -- even his own destruction, though that is so contrary at
once to God, to reason, and to nature.”
(1623-1662), Pensees (Thoughts) , P.F. Collier & Son,
1910, #425, p. 138-139
Read Mercer Schuchardt
band is rockin', arms are swayin', and your pastor is about to
come on screen in high definition with such stunning visual
clarity that even people in the nosebleed seats can see your
this a rock concert? A beer commercial? Or just a typical Sunday
days, it could be any of the above.
you're a questioning congregant, a concerned pastor, or a
perplexed professor studying the effects of media on religious
practice (like me), the use of technology in the worship setting
is worth considering.
are not neutral. Like ideas, they have consequences, especially in
the church. And some of these consequences should give us pause.
In Technopoly media theorist Neil Postman writes, "A preacher
who confines himself to considering how a medium can increase his
audience will miss the significant question: In what sense do new
media alter what is meant by religion, by church, even by God?"
.... Read this in full at
let anyone tell you that you have been somehow cut out of your
Father's will, or for some reason have been disinherited. Don't
let some moral failure in your life wag an accusatory finger at
you, telling you that you do not qualify.
Jesus] instituted the covenant meal and introduced his disciples
to the ‘new covenant in My blood’ (Luke 22:20), Jesus
declared the transition in their relationship from servant-master
to one of covenant friendship. As friends, they were now in a
position to possess as their very own whatever he had received
from the Father.
wonder of the new covenant is that God cut a covenant with
himself! He became man in his son, Jesus Christ. Then, as man, he
fully satisfied his own demands for righteousness, shed his own
blood as a sacrifice for man's failure to live up to those
righteous demands, and by that same blood he cut a covenant with
himself on man's behalf.
through the new birth, we are united with Christ in that
sacrificial death and are raised with him to enter into the
enjoyment of communion with God and participation in the Son's
inheritance of all that belonged to the Father. By that same death
and birth we have died to the law and been born into a new
relationship with Christ... The law has no jurisdiction or
influence on a dead man. Instead, by his union with Christ, he now
lives in the freedom of no longer being under law but under grace
(see Rom. 6:14).
Christ we are in covenant with God.
Christ we become his children and therefore his heirs.”
from The Birthright: Out of the Servants' Quarters, Into the
Father's House, by John Sheasby with Ken Gire
OF CHAPLAINS CARVER LOOKS BEYOND 'RETIREMENT'
Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver retires from the Army in July,
the US Army's Chief of Chaplains will take with him experiences
with the armed forces' men and women that have helped form and
first Southern Baptist in more than 50 years to assume the role of
Army Chief of Chaplains in 2007, the two-star general will retire
after more than 38 years of service.
don't use the word retirement," he notes. "This is a
transition. God has ordered up something special beyond the Army.
I don't know what it is, but it's something exciting."
his final weeks of duty, Carver has "little white space on my
calendar." He returned from an April base circulation in
Afghanistan to an array of stateside visits and appearances --
among them the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix.
busyness has done little to quell the emotion or distract him from
the swell of memories..... Read this in full at
Lynch is a mortician-poet who has written a surprisingly witty
book called The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade.
He tells how often people instruct him about what kind of funerals
they want, and his response is always the same: ‘The dead
don't care.’ One of them is a wealthy, worldly Irish priest
who rides in a big car and has his eye on the cardinal’s
job. ‘No bronze coffin for me,’ he tells Lynch at the
cemetery one day. ‘No orchids or roses or limousines. The
plain pine box is the one I want, a quiet Low Mass and the
pauper’s grave. No pomp and circumstance.’
priest pictures his corpse as a model of piety and simplicity. He
is actually moved at the thought of having chosen such a humble
and austere send-off. Lynch points out that he doesn’t have
to wait till he dies; he could actually give simplicity a go
today. Quit the country club and do his hacking at the public
links; trade in his brougham for a used Chevy; give away his
Florsheims and cashmeres and prime ribs.
offers to help him with this, to distribute his savings and credit
cards among the worthy poor of the parish, and then, when the sad
duty called, bury him for free in the manner to which he would by
then have become accustomed. This suggestion is not met with
enthusiasm. ‘What I was trying to tell the fellow was, of
course, that being a dead saint is no more worthwhile than being a
dead angelfish. Living is the run, and always has been. This is
the central fact of my business - there is nothing, once you are
dead, that can be done to you or with you that will do you any
good or harm. The dead don't care.’
yourself, ‘If I were to die, would I have any regrets about
my stuff?’ The time to start giving is today.”
Ortberg in When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box
NETWORK NEWS CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY BY ISSUING A CHALLENGE
Network News (MNN), a service of Cornerstone University, has
issued a challenge to change the world. To celebrate their 20
years of international radio ministry, MNN is sponsoring Challenge
for Change, a month-long initiative to get people involved in
short term missions this summer.
people begin planning their vacations and activities Challenge for
Change is a call to action to include sharing their faith as part
of those plans," says Greg Yoder, Executive Director.
is partnering with radio affiliates in the month of July, 2011, to
focus attention on local and international mission agencies and
service opportunities. "We have found that many people are
interested in missions, but they either don't have the information
needed to motivate them to get involved or the information they do
have is overwhelming and they feel as if their efforts won't have
a significant impact," continues Yoder. "Challenge for
Change is about demystifying mission work and showing thousands of
people the power of one." .... Read this in full at
THERAPY, AND US
is the case of Anthony Weiner really all about? Well, New York
Times columnist Ross Douthat has an insightful and profound take
on the whole sorry affair.
writes, “In the sad case of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s
virtual adultery, the Internet era’s defining vice has been
thrown into sharp relief. It isn’t lust or smut or
infidelity, though online life encourages all three. It’s a
desperate, adolescent narcissism.”
is absolutely right. Weiner wasn’t out for sexual thrills.
Opportunities for that kind of misbehavior stalk the halls of
Weiner, according to Douthat, was on a “pathetic quest for
quasi-public validation.” Weiner’s Tweets and emails
don’t reveal a man who wanted a relationship with women
other than his wife. He simply wanted to show off. “Whether
the congressman was tweeting photos of his upper body or bragging”
about some other body part, Douthat observes, Weiner’s focus
was “squarely on himself.” .... Read this in full at
Bible,’ we are told sometimes, ‘gives us such a
beautiful picture of what we should be.’ Nonsense! It gives
us no picture at all. It reveals to us a fact; it tells us what we
really are; it says, This is the form in which God created you, to
which He has restored you; this is the work which the Eternal Son,
the God of Truth and Love, is continually carrying on within you.”
Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), The Prayer-Book and the
Lord's Prayer, London: Macmillan, 1880, p. 221
ALL THE FUSS OVER KING JAMES BIBLE?
is the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible.
This year books have been published about the translation, about
the KJV's influence, and even about the bi-numeral King James
himself -- he was King James VI of Scotland and King James I of
England and Ireland. There are conferences and exhibits. Lionsgate
released an excellent movie with John Rhys-Davies presenting "The
amazing tale of the birth of the King James Bible." And the
National Mall in Washington, D.C., hosted a two-day King James
all the fuss about a 400-year-old Bible translation? Over the last
60 years an incredible number of new Bible translations have been
published. And with each one, the publisher has tried to convince
us that the KJV is difficult to understand, told us it is
inaccurate in parts, and has explained why we need that
publisher's new translation. And we have tended to believe the
there has never been a book as important as the King James Bible
to our language, to our culture, and to our faith.... Read this in
INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO END EXTREME POVERTY BY 2035
leading Christian anti-poverty organizations have announced the
launch of "58:" (http://www.live58.org/) — an
unprecedented alliance of global Christians, churches and
faith-based poverty-fighting organizations working together to end
extreme, global poverty by 2035. To achieve this ambitious goal,
58: aspires to become the largest, most unified effort ever by the
global Church to help the 1.4 billion people living on less than
$1.25 a day — a revolutionary, worldwide response to the
call of Isaiah 58.
ten international organizations collectively represent more than
$800 million in annual operations and provide a conduit to support
thousands of local organizations and churches doing work in more
than 50 developing countries.... Read this in full at
will make the blind walk a road they don’t know, and I will
guide them in paths they don’t know.”
do his work God does not send a book of metaphysics or a sacred
book of Gnostic revelations or a complete epistemological system
or a perfected wisdom. He sends a man.”
(1912-1994), The Subversion of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing, 1986, p. 24
Martin E. Marty
against the hyper-institutionalism of religious organizations in
the 1950s led first to revolt (“the sixties”) and the
birth of a lifestyle summarized in the mantra, “I’m
not religious, but I’m spiritual.” Today some
returnees are nervy enough to lash back with an opposite mantra:
“I’m not spiritual, but I’m religious.”
Neither pole is a bargain. “Spiritual” often comes
across as pridefully individualistic. Other believers and seekers
don’t live up to their standards. But “religious?”
Brought up on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth—who wrote a
section on “Religion als Unglaube,” (“Religion
as Unbelief”) —newer generations have not tried to
acquire bragging rights about “organized religion.”
Between and beyond them is another cohort who simply don’t
care for either. Most of them tend to be young post-believers, who
have the reputation of shrugging a shrug in the apathetic mode....
Read this in full at
IMPE LEAVES TBN OVER 'CHRISLAM' REMARKS
Van Impe, a popular End Times broadcaster, has ended his
decades-long run on Trinity Broadcasting Network after a dispute
over naming ministers that he accuses of mixing Christian and
early June, Van Impe named California megachurch founders Rick
Warren and Robert H. Schuller as proponents of "Chrislam,"
which he defined as "a uniting of Christianity with Islam."
TBN pulled the episode before a repeat broadcast could air.
Jack Van Impe Ministries said its board of directors decided
unanimously June 17 to no longer work with TBN.
would not be able to minister effectively if we had to look over
our shoulder wondering if a program was going to be censored
because of mentioning a name," said Ken Vancil, executive
director of the ministry, in a statement.... Read this in full at
do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort,
people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to
Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward
compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and
call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith.
We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it
relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves
into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward
godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
D. A. Carson (b. 1946), For the Love of God: A Daily Companion
for Discovering the Riches of God's Word, v. II , reprint,
Good News Publishers, 2006, Jan. 23
YOUR CHURCH DOING?"
asked me recently: "How's the church going?" How do you
answer that? Is it going well if you make the budget? Or fill a
building? Or beat last year's average attendance? Is it determined
by comparing your congregation to how other churches are doing? Of
course the tricky part is figuring out how God thinks we're doing.
What does he want of us?
can think of three possible gauges that might guide our
response.... Read this in full at
MAGAZINE CELEBRATES SMALL CHURCH AMERICA
an irony of American culture: The vast majority of churches
nationwide are small, but society measures success most often by
ever-increasing numerical growth.
in the pages of its July/August 2011 issue, Outreach magazine
celebrates Small Church America with profiles of five smaller
churches that are redefining success -- and changing lives -- by
focusing on the number that matters most: 1. Influencing one life
at a time with God's love, these churches and others like them are
overcoming social divides and making a difference in their
think this was one of Outreach magazine's best issues ever -- and
a very important one," says Dan Kimball, teaching pastor at
Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., and an Outreach
columnist.... Read this in full at
DADS VS. SEXUALIZED DAUGHTERS
first and most basic of parental duties is to protect one's
children in a physical and especially a spiritual sense (Eph.
6:4). This involves training little girls to be modest and chaste,
and to exude Christocentric virtue, not to be forward and
promiscuous. If these ideals sound Victorian, antiquated to modern
ears, they are actually much more historical (see 1 Tim.
2:9-10).... Read this in full at
WILL BE DONE
will be done means more than thy will be borne. No matter what
sorrow invades our life, we are still to do God's will. We shall
see afterwards that the sorrow rightly accepted fitted us to do
some new duty, or to do our old duty more effectively. ‘Speak,
Lord, for thy servant heareth,’ is the right cry in the hour
of bewildering grief.”
Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901),
Thoughts for Every-day Living, New York: C. Scribner's sons, 1901,
SAYS TALE OF PISTOL-PACKING PREACHER HOLDS LASTING LESSONS
the pastor of one of the nation’s largest churches shot and
killed an unarmed man who entered his study threatening him, the
whole nation took notice.
Frank Norris, the controversial pastor of First Baptist Church in
Fort Worth, Texas, who earlier had been indicted but acquitted on
arson and perjury charges after his church burned, stood trial for
first-degree capital murder—and beat the rap.
courtroom drama drew page-one attention in newspapers across the
country in the mid-1920s. But today, more people know Norris for
his part in denominational schisms than for his role as defendant
in a high-profile murder trial.
40 years ago, David Stokes first heard about how Norris shot and
killed D.E. Chipps, a wealthy Fort Worth lumberman and close
friend of Mayor Henry Clay Meacham -- whom Norris defamed both in
the pulpit and in print. Stokes found the story captivating, and
he began to collect material related to the event. “It had
all the elements of a powerful drama,” he said.... Read this
in full at
ROLLERS: CHURCHGOING, FRIENDSHIPS MAY DETER PROBLEM GAMBLING
Hollywood evangelist carrying a 12-foot wooden cross led some 200
Southern Baptists down the heart of the nation’s gambling
capital in 1989, handing out gospel tracts during the
denomination’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.
decision to meet in Sin City evoked controversy, with some
Southern Baptists deciding to stay home rather than bring their
families to a city built on the vices they oppose. Church leaders
presented it as an opportunity to emphasize evangelism in a
the march down the center of The Strip in 109-degree heat. “We’re
on the way to Ceasar’s Palace. We’ve got another
place. That is God’s palace. Let’s take people there,”
encouraged the evangelist, Arthur Blessitt.
than two decades later, the multibillion dollar gambling industry
continues to grow as states expand lotteries and make way for
casinos in the hopes of raising revenue that do not require tax
efforts to oppose the personal and social ills of gambling by a
broad range of religious groups, from Southern Baptists to United
Methodists, have not been in vain, according to a developing body
of research.... Read this in full at
is the logical starting point for prayer: There is nothing for
which we cannot pray, and there is nothing God cannot do. This
opens up "everything" as subjects for prayer.
is the "language" God has made available for us to
communicate with Him. It is the "voice" He hears. Prayer
allows us to engage God in meaningful conversation.
is God's designated means of pouring our hearts out to Him, of
personal relationship, of communion, of praising and worshiping
Him, of getting our needs met or interceding for others, of
ushering the kingdom of God into human affairs.
is our means to seek and receive forgiveness, pledge allegiance to
Jesus, express gratitude for his "goodness and unfailing
love that will pursue me all the days of my life" (Psalm 23:6
NLT). Prayer is the means of healing, of mercy, of grace, of
wisdom and guidance, and of filling by the Holy Spirit.
God doesn't answer audibly, the Bible says He does answer when we
pray according to His will: "This is the confidence we have
in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will,
he hears us. And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask --
we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15).
Suggest men ask themselves, "Who would know better if a
prayer should be answered the way you want -- you or God?"
Teach your men to trust that God has their best interests in mind.
regularly with your wife (if married) or an accountability
partner. Try praying with your wife every day. Take "The
Marriage Prayer Challenge" at
is hard work, but it is the only work that releases the power of
the kingdom of God into our human actions.
HAVE SUCCESSFULLY CURED PROSTATE CANCER IN MICE
human vaccine has successfully been used to cure prostate cancer
in mice, according to a report published in the journal Nature
Medicine. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the UK assembled
DNA libraries which included some healthy prostate DNA, put them
in virus shells and injected them into the mice.... Read this in
we are to love our enemies, we must make our common life a visible
exercise and demonstration of that love. If content and
thankfulness, if the patient bearing of evil be duties to God,
they are the duties of every day, and in every circumstance of our
William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a
Devout and Holy Life , London: Methuen, 1899, p. 10
everyone as equal and don’t think that you’re better
than anyone else. Instead associate with people with no status.”
Rom. 12:16a (CEB)
WEEK'S HYMN: I’M GLAD I’M ONE OF THEM
& Music: Isaiah G. Martin, 1906
are people almost everywhere
hearts are all aflame
the fire that fell at Pentecost,
made them all acclaim;
is burning now within my heart—
glory to His Name!—
I’m glad that I can say I’m one of them.
of them (one of them), one of them (one of them),
am glad that I can say I’m one of them;
of them (one of them), one of them (one of them),
am glad that I can say I’m one of them.
the people may not learnèd be,
boast of worldly fame,
have all received their Pentecost,
faith in Jesus’ Name;
are telling now, both far and wide,
power is yet the same,
I’m glad that I can say I’m one of them.
were gathered in the upper room,
praying in His Name,
were baptized in the Holy Ghost,
power for service came;
what He did for them that day
do for you the same,
I’m glad that I can say I’m one of them.
my brother seek this blessing
will cleanse your heart from sin,
will start the joy bells ringing
will keep the soul aflame;
is burning now within my heart—
glory to His Name!—
I’m glad that I can say I’m one of them.
in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door
wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day;
but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret,
and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God."
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.
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us what sites you find enjoyable and why.
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(BTW: whenever the URLs in
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is good as long as I don't have to do anything differently.
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, 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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