man to man to God
week of July 3, 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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pray that your partnership in the faith might become effective by
an understanding of all that is good among us in Christ.”
Philemon 1:6 (CEB)
is easier to produce ten volumes of philosophical writings than to
put one principle into practice."
DILEMMA: 80% OF FLOCK IS INACTIVE
recent survey shows that 80/20 principle is a fact of church life
in most congregations -- only 20% are heavily involved, while 80%
are minimally involved and attend infrequently at best. For
example, a National Congregation Survey shows the Southern Baptist
Convention had a membership of 16,160,088 people in 2008, but a
yearly attendance rate of 38%. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America had a membership of 4,542,868 in 2009, but the yearly
attendance rated rested at 28%.
Scott Thumma says, "So many pastors that I've talked to
recognize the problem, don't know what to do about it and then
instead of trying to tackle it, they kind of put it aside."
Thumma and fellow researcher Warren Bird recorded their findings
in the book "The Other 80 Percent.".... Read this in
LAUNCH HISTORIC EVANGELISM DOCUMENT WITH ECUMENICALS, CATHOLICS
was the word of the day June 28 as the World Evangelical Alliance,
World Council of Churches and Vatican launched a landmark document
on the ethics of mission.
Witness in a Multi-Religious World” is the first joint
document of its kind in church history and seeks to identify not
only the biblical call to evangelism but also the ethical mandates
of Christian witness.
offers recommendations for Christian conduct in the mission field
and is a joined up response to criticisms leveled at Christians by
some religious communities against what they perceive to be
launch in Geneva, Switzerland, follows five years of discussions
between the WCC, WEA, and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council
on Inter-religious Dialogue.
Secretary General Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe says it’s a
“historic document” and a “historic moment”
for the three bodies, who together represent more than 90% of the
world’s total Christian population.... Read this in full at
see “Top Evangelical, Catholic, and Mainline Bodies Issue
SCHOLARS SAY 2,000-YEAR-OLD BURIAL BOX LINKED TO BIBLE’S
HIGH PRIEST IS GENUINE
scholars have confirmed the authenticity of a 2,000-year-old
burial box that appears to bear the name of a relative of the high
priest Caiaphas mentioned in the New Testament, the Israel
Antiquities Authority said June 29.
find offers support for the existence of the biblical Caiaphas,
who appears in the New Testament as a temple priest and an
adversary of Jesus who played a key role in his crucifixion....
Read this in full at
OUT OF FAILURE
this video, Greg Surratt, lead pastor of multisite pioneer
Seacoast Church, with locations across South Carolina, North
Carolina, and Georgia, talks about seeing the success that God can
bring out of what we might otherwise see as failure.... Read this
in full at
THE STORY AND STRUCTURE OF THE BIBLE
Patrick Morley, PhD
a member of our Board of Directors, said, "When I first
became a Christian I would feel so confident at work because I
knew what I was doing -- like a doctor with a scalpel.
when I would walk into church I would feel like putty. I didn't
know where things were, or how the Bible was put together. I
didn't know the major events and periods of the Bible, so I felt
queasy and didn't really like going to church on Sunday."
way to increase your Bible confidence is to have a good overview
of the story and structure of God's Word. There's no "one
right way" to organize the Bible. Well, there probably is --
the way it's already organized! If we take the Bible at face
value, it already says exactly what God wanted to say exactly the
way He wanted to say it.
the Scriptures leave the average human mind nagging for a way to
"organize" and "structure" the book for
Bible is structured mostly as stories, and written mostly in
chronological order. However, besides the obvious division into
two Testaments, something else is going on. Not unlike personal
transitions from, say, single to married, or from childless to
children, there are monumental transitions, or shifts, that take
place in the Bible.
a result, God's message of love has been communicated differently
in different seasons (or periods, ages, epochs). Most Bible
scholars are comfortable with some kind of "scheme,"
"structure," or "list" that organizes the
major periods, so I've put together one for you -- 11 ages in
three stages.... Read this in full at
more than 22 million users on mobile platforms, and millions more
on its website, it has unusual success in creating a massive
participatory system like Wikipedia or YouTube.... Read this in
full at (pdf)
COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE ARRIVES FROM PRINTER
print format of the new complete Common English Bible
four years in the making, has arrived early at its central
distribution center in Nashville, TN.
the New Testament was released last August, and the digital
version of the entire Bible just debuted on 20 platforms, this is
the first time the complete Common English Bible is available in
print. Originally expected this fall, the paperback edition is
shipping to stores now. Six other editions, including one with the
Apocrypha, will be available in August.... Read this in full at
doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it *does* mean you
haven’t yet succeeded.
doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished nothing; it *does*
mean you’ve had the opportunity to learn something.
doesn’t mean you’ve have been a fool; it *does* mean
you have a lot of faith.
doesn’t mean you’ve been disgraced; it *does* mean you
were willing to try.
doesn’t mean you don’t have it; it *does* mean you
have to do something in a different way.
doesn’t mean you’re inferior; it *does* mean you’re
doesn’t mean you’ve wasted your life; it *does* mean
you have a reason to start afresh.
doesn’t mean you should give up; it *does* mean you must try
doesn’t mean you’ll never make it; it *does* mean
it’ll take a little longer.
doesn’t mean God has abandoned you; it *does* mean God has a
QUALIFICATIONS GOD LOOKS FOR
guy Moses stammers and can't talk well. Has no leadership
experience or communication skills. And he is wanted for murder
charges in the very place he'll have to go deliver God's message!
I don't know about you, but these seem like three pretty good
reasons Moses is not a good candidate to be the new secretary of
state for the nation of Israel. It's something like the United
States president choosing a migrant worker who picks berries to
[secure] a peaceful release for millions of Americans enslaved by
a foreign dictator. Not something we're likely to see, right? God
sees it differently.
sees Moses' weaknesses as providing the best conduit for God's
strength. There is no way for Moses to take any of the credit or
for those around him to think his dynamic personality and speaking
skills could get the job done. No, the only possible way is
through God's divine power and miraculous provision.
with our lives, the best thing we can do, even when we don't feel
equipped or adequate, is to say yes to God. [After all,] our
perspective is limited. We seldom see things the way God sees them
[read Isaiah 55:8-11].
only qualification [God] looks for in order to accomplish great
things through his people is a willing and obedient heart. No
matter how many or what kind of obstacles loom in your way, if
your heart is humble, open, and willing, God promises you exactly
what he promised Moses: ‘I will be with you’ [Exodus
3:12]. A powerful promise, especially when you are facing the
showdown of a lifetime.”
Randy Frazee in The Heart of
the Story: God's Masterful Design to Restore His People
CHRISTIANS FLOCK TO WILD GOOSE FESTIVAL
Ontario, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta and dozens of towns and cities
between people pulled into the dusty pasture in rural central
North Carolina to see if four days chasing the wild goose in
community with others could crack barriers and deepen their
Wild Goose is a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit. It is also
the adopted name of a young organization and of the first event it
sponsored June 23-26 that drew some 1,500 to Shakori Hills near
Pittsboro, NC. The Wild Goose Festival is fashioned after the
Green Belt festivals in England that have drawn crowds for 37
from being a Woodstock with Christian music, the Wild Goose
Festival drew an eclectic crowd of various faiths, primarily
Christian, who ranged in age from toddlers to totterers. While
they were diverse, their common accouterments were sandals, water
bottles, hats, and personal collapsible chairs.
wanted to create a gathering to promote justice, spirituality and
art, with the hope to nurture a community of people who want to
live out a more just and creative life,” said Mike Morrell,
publicity director for Wild Goose.... Read this in full at
SCHOOLS NOT IMMUNE TO BULLIES
school is no picnic for a lot of students, but for Alec McGuire,
it was intolerable. He transferred from one Catholic school to
another in eighth grade to get away from another student whom he
said harassed and ridiculed him. Whether making fun of his
parents' divorce or throwing a basketball at him, the student and
his friends made Alec's daily life miserable.
could not take it," said McGuire, now 18, who recently
graduated from West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids, Mich.
said he continued to withstand the teasing as an underclassman.
But helped by administrators, he did well in school, serving as
band president and on the Mayor's Youth Council.... Read this in
UP THE UNIVERSE
have used all sorts of tricks over the years to try to convey the
mind-boggling scale of the universe to us ordinary folks. If you
could drive your car from here to the nearest star at 60 m.p.h.,
they've told us, it would take 11 million years. If the Sun were a
beach ball sitting on a football field's goal line, the Earth
would be a pea on the 50-yard line. And so on.
got a little more sophisticated with the extraordinary 1968 film
Powers of Ten, which zooms out from a bucolic scene in a Chicago
park to encompass ever-wider panoramas until it captures an
artist's rendering of the entire visible universe, then zooms back
down into the hand of a sun-bather lying on the grass, probing the
ever-tinier world of the microscopic, atomic and subatomic. (See
"The Universe, to Scale: New Images of Outer Space.")
now comes the latest attempt to put the cosmos in perspective, and
it may be the most effective yet — even though it takes the
retro form of a physical book. Most coffee-table astronomy books
are simply collections of gorgeous images, and Sizing Up the
Universe (National Geographic; 248 pages, $35.00) is certainly
that. But it's more too: it also conveys the relative sizes and
distances of cosmic objects in so many different and ingenious
ways that becomes a little dizzying — in the best possible
sense.... Read this in full at
your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is
Philippians 4:5 (CEB)
appoints our graces to be nurses to other men’s weaknesses.”
Henry Ward Beecher
TEBOW ON JESUS, FOOTBALL AND DATING
Tebow is the real deal. In case you have been living on another
planet, he is the 23-year-old superstar Heisman trophy winning
football player for the Denver Broncos. He‘s also a deeply
committed Christian and not afraid to say so, which he does in his
new book, “Through My Eyes.”
has been written about a lot and is now on a wild book tour, doing
TV, radio, and print interviews all over the country. During a
recent phone interview, he talked about “God’s plan”
for his life, his upbringing, hardships, winning and losing,
football and, not least of all, women and sex.... Read this in
GRAHAM’S RAPID RESPONSE TEAM CHAPLAINS ARE ’THERE IN
TIME OF NEED’
Munday is Director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of
volunteer chaplains which, since 9/11, has responded to more than
110 disasters around the world. He has seen more than his fair
share of distress and despair.
a background in sales and marketing in the airline and
communications industries, Munday was on staff with Promise
Keepers as a regional director for them until 2000. Then for two
years Munday had his own ministry helping churches to disciple
men. He started working with the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association in 2002.
an interview earlier this year, Munday said he received a
telephone call after September 11, 2001, telling him the BGEA was
going to start a new department to evaluate areas around the world
to help with evangelism and discipleship.
we evaluated 52 different areas around the world in the next few
months,” he said. “The Rapid Response Team was one of
those new ministries,” Munday said.... Read this in full at
ARTIST KEN MEDEMA ARTICULATES HIS ART FORM
Medema -- singer, composer, pianist, artist and for four decades a
softly prodding social conscience of the church -- worked his art
through the two days of the 2011 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
General Assembly June 21-25 in Tampa, Fla.
unique and fascinating gift is to listen to a sermon or a session,
to a speech or a spiel, and immediately after to unreel a song
that reflects what he’s heard; created as he sings it.
a break between sessions he spoke briefly of his background and
answered questions in an exclusive ABP interview.
a young person Medema, 67, ran away from the Dutch Calvinist faith
of his family in Michigan. While studying music at Michigan State
University, Medema met the daughter of a man who directed the
Baptist Student Union and was pastor of a tiny Baptist church in
family members were “very progressive thinkers” who
dared to ask questions and were unthreatened by the doubts of
others. When Medema presented his own questions about faith they
told him they have the same questions.... Read this in full at
Creation Museum in northern Kentucky is a big place with lots of
exhibits depicting the creation of the earth in six days, just as
it occurred in the Book of Genesis. Ken Ham, a former high school
science teacher from Australia, is the CEO of the Christian
ministry that created the museum.... Read and watch this in full
LIBERTY PRAYER BULLETIN
Elizabeth Kendal, international religious liberty analyst and
advocate. Read her report in full at
ANDERSON, PAWLENTY'S PASTOR, TO RETIRE FROM PULPIT
minister Leith Anderson announced on June 29 that he will retire
from the pulpit of Wooddale Church, where GOP presidential
candidate Tim Pawlenty attends.
nearly 35 years, Anderson – who also heads the National
Association of Evangelicals – feels it is the right time to
step aside and pass the baton to a younger generation.
decision to retire at this time is the culmination of lots of
prayers, thinking, and planning," the 66-year-old said in his
note to the church. "Wooddale Church is thriving. God is
blessing. These are good days. I prefer to conclude my pastorate
when all is well and turn leadership over to a new generation."
he will no longer play the active role of senior pastor at the
Eden Prairie, Minn., church which draws some 5,000 people,
Anderson will continue to serve as president of the NAE and in
President Obama's faith advisory council.... Read and watch this
in full at
GIANT 'CHRIST OF THE PACIFIC' STATUE IS ERECTED IN PERU
outgoing president of Peru, Alan Garcia, is bringing a gargantuan
statue of Jesus to a hill overlooking the capital, Lima.
"Christ of the Pacific" monument, inaugurated on the
Morro Solar hill in southern Lima, is a 120-foot structure
featuring a white statue of Jesus that is 72 feet tall. The
statue, made of resin, has its arms outstretched, resembling the
world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de
to reports, Garcia described the project as a personal dream and a
"gift" to Peru before he leaves office in late July. "I
want it to be a figure that blesses Peru and protects Lima,"
the president said.... Read this in full at
UNCOVER STUNNING 1,400 YEAR OLD FRESCO OF ST PAUL IN ROMAN
officials June 29 described the discovery of a 1,400 year old
fresco of St Paul in an ancient Roman catacomb as ‘sensational.’
The painting was found during restoration work at the Catacombs of
San Gennaro (Saint Januarius) in the port city of Naples.
photograph released by the Vatican shows the apostle, famous for
his conversion to Christianity from Judaism, with a long neck, a
slightly pink complexion, thinning hair, a beard and big eyes that
give his face a ‘spiritual air.’ .... Read this in
first Reformation was about doctrine; the second one needs to be
about behavior," best-selling author Rick Warren told a
congress of the Baptist World Alliance not long ago. "We need
a reformation not of creeds but deeds." Throughout the
speech, as reported on the group's website, Pastor Warren
announced that a new movement is underway in the church, shifting
the emphasis from doctrinal issues to service in the world. "It's
time to stop debating the Bible and start doing it...This is the
new reformation I'm praying for."
begin with this account not to suggest that we either jump on the
bandwagon or burn it, but as a way to frame the challenging topic
before us. As has been frequently pointed out, Paul often moves
from doctrine to exhortation in his epistles. In fact, he is
pretty obvious about it. In 1 Corinthians, he moves back and forth
between diagnosis (division, strife, sexual immorality, lawsuits,
mistreatment of the poor) and cure (God's faithfulness,
justification, sanctification, and the unity of the saints in
union with Christ, especially as engendered by the Lord's Supper).
Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Romans exhibit an even
clearer pattern. In each case, the first half or more of the
letter expounds the riches of our inheritance in Christ by grace
alone through faith alone, and then specific exhortations are
given to realize the impact of these truths in the concrete
relationships of believers between each other, in their homes, in
their relationships with non-Christians in their vocations as
neighbors, workers, and citizens, and so forth.... Read this in
A CREEDLESS RELIGION MAKE IT ANOTHER 50 YEARS?
recent Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore
ended with an apology. Laurel Mendes explained that religious
doctrine had been duly scrubbed from the hymns in the
congregation’s Sunday program. But Mendes, a neo-pagan lay
member who led the service, feared that a reference to God in
“Once to Every Soul and Nation” might still upset the
humanists in the pews.
didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable by reciting
something that might be considered a profession of faith,”
said Mendes, 52, after the service. “We did say ‘God,’
which you don’t often hear in our most politically correct
hymns.” .... Read and watch this in full at
iconic image of the Paris that tourists come to see is Notre Dame
Cathedral, a centuries-old symbol of Roman Catholicism in France.
But inside this Catholic church in Paris, the sparse congregation
reflects a wider truth: Christianity is on the wane across Western
Europe, and nowhere is its decline more visible than in France....
Read and watch this in full at
A HINDU TEMPLE
Senior Photojournalist Anthony Umrani takes his video camera
inside Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, a Hindu worship space near
TURN BABY GIRLS INTO BOYS
are being 'converted' into boys in Indore, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
- by the hundreds every year - at ages where they cannot give
their consent for this life-changing operation.
shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son,
is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and
hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old. The process being
used to 'produce' a male child from a female is known as
genitoplasty. The children are pumped with hormonal treatment as
part of the sex change procedure that may be irreversible.
low cost of surgery and the relatively easy and unobtrusive way of
getting it done in this city attracts parents from Delhi and
Mumbai to get their child surgically 'corrected'.... Read this in
many of us have a Christian vocabulary rather than a Christian
Charles F. Banning
out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are
vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to
defend the needy and the poor.”
Proverbs 31:8-9 (CEB)
WEEK'S HYMN: GRACIOUS SPIRIT, HOLY GHOST
Christopher Wordsworth, 1862
Friedrich Filitz, 1847
Spirit, Holy Ghost,
by Thee we covet most
Thy gifts of Pentecost
that mountains could remove,
of earth or heaven above,
I as a martyr bleed,
my goods the poor to feed,
is vain—if Love I need;
give us Love.
is kind, and suffers long
is meek, and thinks no wrong,
than death itself more strong;
give us Love.
will fade away,
in the light of day,
will ever with us stay;
give us Love.
will vanish into sight;
be emptied in delight;
in heaven will shine more bright;
give us Love.
and Hope and Love we see
hand in hand agree;
the greatest of the three,
the best, is Love.
Thy gold and silver wing
on us, who to Thee sing,
we pray that you bless our president with wisdom and right
judgment. May he always seek the common good and be willing to
listen to the voices of all, especially those whose voices are
often silenced. Amen.”
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
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YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
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Dogs ad shot 1000 frames per second
Warp: Water Balloon to the Face
Warp: Dog Drinking
in slow motion
Periodic Table of Famous Atheists
in the Land of Israel before 1925
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does not take away tomorrow's troubles. It takes away today's
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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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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