Connecting man to man to God
For week of July 31, 2011
Issue 367

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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“I’ve chosen the way of faithfulness; I’m set on your rules.” Psalm 119:30 (CEB) 

“Let the day have a blessed baptism by giving your first waking thoughts into the bosom of God. The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.”
Henry Ward Beecher

Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) reports: John Stott died July 27 at 3:15 London time (about 10:15 am EDT), according to John Stott Ministries President Benjamin Homan. Homan said that Stott’s death came after complications related to old age and that he had been in discomfort for the last several weeks. Family and close friends gathered with Stott today as they listened to Handel's Messiah. Homan said John Stott Ministries has been preparing for his death for the past 15 years. “He set an impeccable example for leaders of ministries of handing things over to other leaders,” Homan said. “He imparted to many a love for the global church and imparted a passion for biblical fidelity and a love for the Savior.” Billy Graham's spokesperson released the following statement from the evangelist: "The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen, and I have lost one of my close personal friends and advisors. I look forward to seeing him again when I go to Heaven."

Read Christianity Today’s coverage:

See “The John Stott the World Knew Little About”

“John Stott, evangelical leader, dead at 90”

The New York Times

BBC News

CBA coverage

See the John Stott Memorial website and view the video (

Visit Langham Partnership International founded by John Stott:

John Stott Ministries

InterVarsity Press

Read excerpts from Basic Christianity by John Stott

A Christian's freedom from anxiety is not due to some guaranteed freedom from trouble, but to the folly of worry and especially to the confidence that God is our Father, that even permitted suffering is within the orbit of His care.

Apathy is the acceptance of the unacceptable.

We should not ask, "What is wrong with the world?" for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather, we should ask, "What has happened to the salt and light?"

Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.

Baptism with water is the sign and seal of baptism with the Spirit, as much as it is of the forgiveness of sins. Water-baptism is the initiatory Christian rite, because Spirit-baptism is the initiatory Christian experience.

To encounter Christ is to touch reality and experience transcendence. He gives us a sense of self-worth or personal significance, because He assures us of God's love for us. He sets us free from guilt because He died for us and from paralyzing fear because He reigns. He gives meaning to marriage and home, work and leisure, personhood and citizenship.

Every Christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it.

The truth is that there are such things as Christian tears, and too few of us ever weep them.

Good conduct arises out of good doctrine.

His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us leaves us no other choice.


Thomas Nelson will publish renowned evangelist Billy Graham’s first major book in more than five years, this fall.

To be released Oct. 18, “Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well” is “hands down one of the most important works that Graham has ever written, and one of his most vulnerable,” said Matt Baugher, vice president and publisher at Thomas Nelson. “At his age, with all that has come before, he is in a unique position to guide all of us on what it means to finish well in this life.”

Graham, who turns 93 in November, shares his personal experience of growing older, but also teaches some lessons on how to view time on earth. “The best way to meet the challenges of old age is to prepare for them now, before they arrive,” Graham said.... Read this in full at

The global evangelical para-church Campus Crusade for Christ is changing it's name to ‘Cru’ ( The main idea -- according to a look at the change at Christianity Today -- is to evade the problematic word "crusade" and the passe term "campus" (which the massive group known for the Jesus Film, books, tracts and more has long outgrown) and face up to the fact that many of its branches already use different names.... Read this in full at

See also “Campus Crusade Changes Name to Cru”

It is silence, when your words would hurt.
It is patience, when your neighbor’s curt.
It is deafness, when a scandal flows.
It is thoughtfulness, for other’s woes.
It is promptness, when a duty calls.
It is courage, when misfortune falls.
Author Unknown

by Timothy Gombis
Evangelicals feel a special connection with the apostle Paul. We shape our theology according to his thought, imitate his mission to evangelize, and pursue discipleship after his devotional practices. But our vision of him is loaded with misconceptions. Have we become more Pauline than Paul himself?

Last April in Christianity Today, Scot McKnight profiled "The Jesus We'll Never Know," describing the tendency of New Testament scholars to create a historical Jesus in their own image. We do the same with the great apostle. Like gazing into a mirror, we easily see our own reflections when we look at Paul.

Intense debates in Pauline studies over the past three decades have yielded fresh insights into Paul's thought and corrected some mistaken assumptions. If we want to be truly Pauline, we will have to take stock of these findings. Let us examine two longstanding misconceptions that have not held up under recent scrutiny, and then note one further way in which we tend to impose our evangelical values upon this apostle of Jesus Christ.... Read this in full at

Pastor Mark Becton's skin cancer surgery five years ago continues to touch lives -- not medically, but spiritually.

Becton, pastor of Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., underwent surgery in August 2006 to remove the skin cancer and -- while unconscious from general anesthesia -- quoted Scripture and spoke words of encouragement heard by three medical professionals in the operating room.

Anesthesiologist Gail Heppner heard Becton and thought he wasn't completely sedated, so she upped his dosage. But Becton continued. When Heppner turned down the volume of monitors and the music playing in background, Becton's words became clearer to her.... Read this in full at

“In moments of truth, our souls show up fast, and they bring whatever they've got stuffed away in their pockets. I suppose that we'd all love to see the best in us rise up in moments of stress and confusion. Most of us want to be problem solvers, responding with words of wisdom to others while living joyful, courageous lives. [And we can pray for that. We can learn] to cry out to God for his Spirit to move through us, [to bring] his hope to the world around us. Is there anything else we can do?

“Jesus answers this question. "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" [Luke 6:45]. The emphasis in Jesus' statement is the phrase stored up. The Greek word is thesauros, meaning ‘treasure chest.’ This word has morphed into our English thesaurus, which refers to a treasure chest of words.

“Jesus is saying that God has designed us to receive before we can give. Who can give away a treasure he doesn't first own? It's so simple. And yet this uncomplicated truth has been one of the most liberating realizations of my entire life. I can create something beautiful only if beauty has been stored up in my heart. I can become a voice of hope if I live with hope at my core. And love? ‘We love because he first loved us’ [1 John 4:19]. The apostle Paul writes that we can be a comfort to others when we ourselves have received comfort from God [2 Corinthians 1:3-4]. We will be set free to fill another person's heart with joy only when we have been lifted by the joy of the Spirit. You and I can bring peace into a chaotic environment only if we ourselves are walking in peace [see Romans 15:13].

Do you long to become an instrument more useful for God's purposes? Me too. The question God wants us to answer is, ‘What treasures are we storing up in our hearts?’”
Paul Richardson in A Certain Risk: Living Your Faith at the Edge

Barna Group's State of the Church Series is an intensive look at the research firm’s 20—year tracking of faith trends. George Barna addresses trends related to 14 faith—related variables tracked by the Barna Group from 1991 to 2011. It includes a description of the national pattern for the total population regarding those 14 beliefs and behaviors. Barna also addresses how things have changed within smaller population segments — divided by generation, ethnicity, region, religious segments, and gender.... Read this in full at

Also see “Barna Describes Religious Changes Among Busters, Boomers, and Elders Since 1991”

by Michelle VanLoon
My father taught me how to ride a bike, the value of a great punchline, and what a woman was supposed to look and act like. My dad was a great guy with a bad habit.

When we consider relationships negatively impacted by a pornography addiction, most of us first consider the addict’s spouse or girl/boyfriend. It is not just the adult partner who is affected by a porn habit. Even if the addict believes he or she has the habit under wraps, porn’s toxicity leaks into other relationships in an addict’s life.... Read this in full at

Also see the websites Pornography Harms
The War on Illegal Pornography

Willow Creek Community Church, a trend-setting megachurch in suburban Chicago, has quietly ended its partnership with Exodus International, an "ex-gay" organization.

Willow Creek decided to sever ties with the Florida-based ministry in 2009, Christianity Today reported, but the decision only became public in June.

Church officials described the move as a shift in approach rather than a change in belief. Susan DeLay, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek, said the church continues to welcome those who are attracted to people of the same sex.

"Willow Creek has a whole host of ministries for people dealing with these issues, and we would never intend for them to feel sidelined," she told Christianity Today.... Read this in full at

See also: “Willow Creek Splits with Exodus International”

A group of pastors and former youth ministry leaders suggest that today’s youth ministries should be disbanded, calling the common practice of separating congregations by age for worship and Bible study "unbiblical."

The church leaders state their case in the documentary film, “Divided: Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church?” (

The film is produced by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches in association with LeClerc Brothers Motion Pictures. The producers are making it available for free online until Sept. 15.

“Divided” follows “twenty-something” Christian filmmaker Philip LeClerc on a quest to find answers to why his generation is increasingly turning away from attending church. Recent surveys have shown that as many as 85% of young people will leave the church and many never return.... Read this in full at

The Christian Grandparenting Network ( is issuing a call to grandparents across the US and Canada to unite with other grandparents in churches and communities on September 11, 2011 to pray for the children of our world, our families and our country's leaders.

"These are desperate and uncertain times for all, but especially for our grandchildren," says Cavin Harper, Executive Director of CGN. "With Grandparent's Day falling on Sunday, September 11th this year, the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we felt prompted to turn this day of tragedy into a compelling opportunity for grandparents to stand in the gap on behalf of the next generations. It is our grandchildren who must navigate a world that is increasingly hostile toward Christianity and God's truth. It is time for our generation--today's grandparents--to step to the plate and determine that we will do all we can to not let a whole generation perish on our watch!" .... Read this in full at

The cross-shaped steel beam found amid the wreckage of 9/11 has become a religious relic and will be housed in a memorial museum. "I saw Calvary in the midst of all the wreckage, the disaster," said Frank Silecchia, the construction worker who stumbled upon the beam. "It was a sign that God didn't desert us." .... Read and watch video in full at

A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit to stop the display of the World Trade Center cross at a memorial of the 9/11 terror attacks. The "government enshrinement of the cross was an impermissible mingling of church and state," the American Atheists say in a press statement. The group says it filed the lawsuit in state court in New York and posted a copy of the lawsuit on its website.... Read this in full at

“But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.”
1 John 1:7 (CEB)

“Most commit the same mistake with God that they do with their friends: they do all the talking.”
Fulton J. Sheen

by Michael Ireland
Last summer, Joni Eareckson Tada was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent successful surgery in order to treat it.

In an interview with Joni at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, TN, I caught up with Joni and her husband Ken to talk about how she coped with the diagnoses, and about two new books she has written.

I asked her how she was doing; Joni told me: "Yes, I'm doing remarkably well, and I'm sure that's to the credit of God's people for praying."

"I went through surgery for stage three breast cancer last summer and went through a rigorous time of chemo therapy, but that's several months behind me now and the pet scans are all clear—no evidence of any metastasized cancer in my body. So the doctors' reports are extremely optimistic for the future, so I'm looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule—a travel schedule, a work schedule, and trusting that God's hand of healing will continue to rest upon me," she said.... Read this in full at

“George Buttrick, former chaplain at Harvard, recalls that students would come into his office, plop down on a chair and declare, ‘I don't believe in God.’ Buttrick would give this disarming reply: ‘Sit down and tell me what kind of God you don't believe in. I probably don't believe in that God either.’ And then he would talk about Jesus, the corrective to all our assumptions about God.

“Books of theology tend to define God by what he is not: God is immortal, invisible, infinite. But what is God like, positively? For the Christian, Jesus answers such all-important questions. The apostle Paul boldly called Jesus ‘the image of the invisible God.’ Jesus was God's exact replica: ‘For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.’

“God is, in a word, Christlike. Jesus presents a God with skin on whom we can take or leave, love or ignore. In this visible, scaled-down model we can discern God's features more clearly.

“I must admit that Jesus has revised in flesh many of my harsh and unpalatable notions about God. Why am I a Christian? I sometimes ask myself, and to be perfectly honest the reasons reduce to two: (1) the lack of good alternatives, and (2) Jesus. Brilliant, untamed, tender, creative, slippery, irreducible, paradoxically humble - Jesus stands up to scrutiny. He is who I want my God to be.”
Philip Yancey in The Jesus I Never Knew

A group of 20 white folk sat at the feet of African-American storyteller Melvin Bray as he explored "How Now Shall Wild Goosers Live?" It was the last day of the Wild Goose Festival, which brought together nearly 1,700 mainline Christians, emerging-church types and social justice activists for four days of art, music, worship, workshops and conversation at Shakori Hills in North Carolina's Piedmont region.

Bray recited the story of how David attracted the outcasts of Israel to the wilderness, where he was hiding from Saul. Those outcasts, Bray said, were something like the group of "evangelical refugees," gays and lesbians and activists who were attending the festival. "All these men and women who've been exiled . . . these men and women who've been told they don't have any place," said Bray — "I imagine there were a few LGBTQ in the mix, because they didn't have a voice in Israel, they weren't part of the community. They find refuge with him, they find safety with him, they build this egalitarian community with him, with ideals about how we should live with one another." .... Read this in full at

With the start of the month-long Islamic fast called Ramadan beginning August 1, Open Doors USA has launched a 30-day campaign ( urging Christians in the West to pray for persecuted believers in Muslim-dominated countries.

During August most Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, seeking to shed their sins through acts of restraint. They believe this is a time of purification accomplished through good deeds and self control.

To help Christians pray for the persecuted, Open Doors USA is offering the Ramadan Prayer Calendar. The calendar has multiple prayer points designed to help Christians pray for persecuted Christians around the world during the 30 days.... Read this in full at

World Relief announces its 1st annual Race for Congo ( from August 1st to August 7th. World Relief President and CEO Stephan Bauman is leading 7 cyclists in relay around the clock, 24 hours a day, covering 2,776 miles in seven days to raise money to end the brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A celebratory concluding event will be held on August 7th on the lawn in front of Mason Hall at Johns Hopkins University from 5-7pm.

As the deadliest conflict since World War II, the ongoing 11-year civil war has devastated the DRC, claiming the lives of more than five million people and displacing millions more. The DRC ranks last on the Global Hunger Index and has been deemed the "rape capital of the world" by the United Nations.... Read this in full at

“Jesus [told] the crowds, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never go hungry’ (John 6:35). And again he spoke of bread: ‘Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him’ (Matthew 7:9-11).

“Yet despite our faith, sometimes we are hungry. And sometimes we are tempted to believe that God has handed us a stone when we asked for bread.

“Jesus [is] the one who nourishes our souls. If you have tried but failed to satisfy your cravings, bring them to Jesus once again. Spend some time quietly in his presence. Tell him what you are feeling and ask him to show you the truth of his Word and of his promise. It may be that your hunger will lead you to a deeper experience of his sufficiency.

“Lord, you have created us with spiritual hungers, cravings that are not easily satisfied. Help me to resist the temptation to stuff myself with cheap substitutes... help me to pursue you as the source of my life... give me courage to trust your Word so that it will nourish my soul.”
Ann Spangler in When You Need a Miracle: Stories to Give You Faith and Bring You Hope

More than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos have been created in the last three years in British laboratories, The Daily Mail reported July 25. Pro-life advocates decried the news.

The newspaper reported 155 embryos that have genetic material from both human beings and animals have been created under a 2008 law passed by Parliament. The information was not revealed until a government minister provided it in response to a parliamentary question from David Alton, a crossbench member of the House of Lords in the British Parliament. Crossbench members are not identified with political parties.... Read this in full at

by Monica Hesse
A dispatch from atheist summer camp.

Perhaps one should begin with what the campers at Camp Quest Chesapeake believe in. They believe in critical and creative thinking. They believe in mutual respect and living ethically. They believe in arts and crafts. But here in a wooded national park south of Manassas, VA, under shade trees and American flags and the mosquito haze of a swimming hole, they do not believe in God.

Camp Quest Chesapeake is a summer camp for atheists. Or the children of atheists. Plus: agnostics, secular humanists, freethinkers and other self-identified members of the non-religious community.... Read this in full at

A judge said July 27 she intends to strike a ban on male circumcision from the city's November ballot. Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi said in a tentative ruling that the proposed law prohibiting circumcision of male children violates a California law that makes regulating medical procedures a function of the state, not cities. "It serves no legitimate purpose to allow a measure whose invalidity can be determined as a matter of law to remain on the ballot," Giorgi wrote.

Giorgi ordered San Francisco's elections director to remove the controversial measure from the ballot that would have made the city the first in the nation to hold a public vote on whether to outlaw the circumcision of minors.... Read this in full at

Every summer, the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a reception at the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem for foreign archeological teams excavating in Israel. This year's reception in early July was attended by over 200 archeologists from over 50 different Israeli and foreign projects, who are investigating sites ranging in age from the Paleolithic through Islamic periods. It was another indication that, despite its many internal and external critics, the new biblical archeology is going strong.

But what's "new" about the new biblical archeology? Part of the answer lies in the field's scientific and technological sophistication.... Read this in full at

~ Instead of a Sky Cap, the pilot carries your luggage to the plane.

~ You can't board the plane unless you have the exact change.

~ Before you take off, the stewardess tells you to fasten your Velcro.

~ The Captain asks all the passengers to chip in a little for gas.

~ The Captain yells at the ground crew to get the cows off the runway.

~ No movie. Don't need one. Your life keeps flashing before your eyes.

~ All the planes have both a bathroom and a chapel.

The Episcopal Church is urging congregations to embrace social media websites like Facebook and Twitter in a push to highlight the Internet as a tool for church growth.

The church released a 12-page white paper, or instruction guide, July 20 listing "best practices" for how congregations can make use of social media. The release comes after church leaders grew concerned that some congregations were still mystified by the Internet.

"Episcopal congregations already know they need to be online and active in creating local excitement about their mission and ministries.... Read this in full at

“We are as near to heaven as we are far from self, and far from the love of a sinful world.”
Samuel Rutherford

“Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 (CEB)

Words: William Booth, April 14, 1894
Music: Frederick Booth-Tucker

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

’Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
O see us on Thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day;
To crown the offering now we pray,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

>from NetHymnal at

“He prays well who is so absorbed with God that he does not know he is praying.”
Francois de Sales


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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Common English Bible

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All 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 middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.)

I'm not in denial, I'm just very selective about the reality I accept.
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.
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