Connecting man to man to God
For week of August 7, 2011
Issue 368

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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Be patient as you wait for the coming of the Lord. Consider the farmer who waits patiently for the coming of rain in the fall and spring, looking forward to the precious fruit of the earth. You also must wait patiently, strengthening your resolve, because the coming of the Lord is near.”
James 5:7-8 (CEB)

When you come to Christ, you do not come to give, you come to receive. You do not come to try your best, you come to trust. You do not come just to be helped, but to be rescued. You do not come to be made better (although that does happen), you come to be made alive!”
Erwin Lutzer

Most Americans believe churches play a positive role in communities, and even atheists and agnostics don't view churches harshly.

A Barna Group study released July 13 revealed a generally upbeat attitude among the public regarding how churches influence their areas. The study reveals that 78% of Americans believe the presence of a church has a "very" (53%) or "somewhat" positive (25%) effect on their communities.

"Those with the most favorable views of churches are elders (ages 66-plus), married adults, residents of the South, women, Protestants, churchgoers, African-Americans, and political conservatives," the study said.... Read this in full at

A new analysis of national tracking surveys conducted over a 20-year period by the Barna Group profiles specific differences between the genders in relation to 14 religious beliefs and behaviors of significance. The report is the third in a series of six that constitute the annual State of the Church report released by the Barna Group. This year’s report became public simultaneous to the release of the latest trends book by author and researcher George Barna, titled Futurecast.

No population group among the 60 segments examined has gone through more spiritual changes in the past two decades than women. Of the 14 religious factors studied, women have experienced statistically significant changes related to 10 of them. Of those transitions, eight represent negative movement – that is, either less engagement in common religious behaviors or a shift in belief away from biblical teachings.... Read this in full at

Live Bold Magazine (, launched at the beginning of 2011, has grown in 7 short months from a start-up magazine to a full featured electronic publication complete with social media integration and mobile phone apps - no paper, no printing. Publisher, Greg Arnold, explains, "We started with a handful of friends and family viewing the site which grew to a regular following of people across the United States and several foreign countries. And we're doing it by telling the story of faith as it's lived out in the lives of people. And we're doing it without a single drop of ink." Live Bold Magazine's page views are climbing daily.... Read this in full at

The new Bible translation known for being "built on common ground" is receiving a popular reception among consumers and is exceeding the publisher's first print-run expectations by 50 percent.

The complete Common English Bible ( / debuted online and on 20 digital platforms in June, and in paperback format in mid-July. It's already gone back to press once. With this, its third printing, the Common English Bible now totals 500,000 copies in print, including the New Testament-only editions released a year ago. Originally expected this fall, the entire Bible paperback edition already in stores is selling quickly. Six other editions, including one with the Apocrypha, are releasing in August.

"Bookstore customers are asking for the Common English Bible in part due to the media coverage the translation is getting," says Paul Franklyn, associate publisher. "News media such as TIME magazine, USA TODAY, The Tennessean, Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Toronto Star, Florida Today, Orlando Sentinel, The Christian Post, and others, along with reviews by bloggers, our own website, Twitter stream, and Facebook page, and our video are all driving people into stores." .... Read this in full at

Bible League International® (BLI) ( and the World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) (, like-minded ministries with complementary missions, have announced plans to merge, forming a partnership that will enhance the work of both organizations.

The boards of both ministries approved the merger unanimously, with the agreement to become final in September.

Bible League and WBTC have a common mission of sharing the Word of God around the world so it can be understood and lives can be changed. Each ministry brings unique strengths to the relationship; Bible League in Bible distribution and WBTC in Bible translation. The impact of combining these strengths and building together will be global in its reach.

"One of the directions we see God moving in the 21st Century is ministries are looking at ways to collaborate with other organizations to grow their common mission," BLI CEO Robert T. Frank said. "This merger will strengthen operations for both of our ministries, increasing the tools available to reach the three global audiences we share: the poorest of the poor, the persecuted church and those walking in darkness." .... Read this in full at

by Scot McKnight
When I was researching why it was that evangelical Christians moved over to Roman Catholicism I encountered what I still think is a good logical argument: that those who believe in supporting all arguments from Scripture can’t support that view on the basis of the Bible. It’s a good case for desconstruction. The evangelical, or radical Protestant, view of the Bible, in other words, is not without its problems.

Christian Smith challenges those who anchor their faith in the Bible, and the Bible alone, to run the gauntlet by pushing them to examine the course they run and the pushbacks they get. His new book, and today’s post is a foretaste of the series coming soon, is called Bible Made Impossible, The: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture. I believe this book is the biggest challenge evangelicalism has to face, and I mean honestly face. In essence, he argues that what we believe about the Bible (biblicism) is undermined by how we actually read the Bible and how we practice the Bible. (The art work on the dust cover is brilliant.) .... Read this in full at

Part 2

Part 3

by Sharon Leighton Joyner
A lot of people have been asking that very question. Some were angry, some sad, some are okay with it. I’m okay with it. But when they first began the process, I wasn’t.

There is a lot that has been written about this change. There have been surveys, with staff, ministry partners, and other control groups. Then, once a name had been chosen, a lot of negative and positive press about Campus Crusade for Christ taking Christ out of their name began to crop up in the media.

More than 600 names were thrown into the hat over the years, and from what I understand, “Cru” was added at the last minute. The advisors told the group in charge they needed at least five names to get an accurate decision. “Cru” was put in with the advice that they doubted it would even fly even though this term has been used by Campus Ministries for years. But God has a sense of humor, and “Cru” was overwhelmingly the all-out favorite. Who’da thunk?.... Read this in full at

Jon Bisset, who is one part cowboy and one part Christian missionary, is the owner of River Valley Ranch in Carroll County, Maryland. It is a family business. Bisset's grandfather started the ranch after immigrating to the United States from Scotland in the 1920s, he said.

"He always had a fondness for the American cowboy, and he was a minister down in Baltimore city," Bisset said. "He saw a lot of kids getting in trouble during the summer time and thought this might be an opportunity to reach out to the kids of Baltimore city in a unique way."

So his grandfather started RVR, the first dude ranch on the East Coast, reaching out with the gospel to kids who ordinarily wouldn't step foot in a church, Bisset said.... Read this in full at

In a revealing quote from Robert Reich, former Clinton Labor Secretary who wrote an article in American Prospect magazine, he said clearly the cultural conflict the United States will face in the years ahead: "The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority.... Read this in full at

The Air Force has suspended a training course for nuclear missile launch officers that used Bible passages and religious imagery to teach them about the ethics of war.

The course had apparently been taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for more than 20 years, but officials pulled the plug after an article from the liberal website appeared online.

The group obtained a PowerPoint presentation used in the course that referenced religious figures including Abraham, John the Baptist, and Saint Augustine. The presentation also said there are “many examples of believers engaged in wars in the Old Testament” and “no pacifistic sentiment in mainstream Jewish history.” .... Read this in full at

In more than 60 countries around the world, more than 100 million Christians face persecution simply because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Seventy percent of the world's 6.8 billion people live in countries with high restrictions on religion, according to a study by the Pew Research Forum on Religion & Public Life. The persecution and lack of freedom often leave believers feeling like they suffer alone.

Open Doors USA is focusing on supporting persecuted Christians during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). The campaign, called One With Them (, will culminate with IDOP on Sunday, Nov. 13.

One With Them is a call to action to unite with persecuted believers, not just on IDOP but during the months leading up to that special day. Through prayer and advocacy, Christians in the United States are urged to join millions who share our faith but not our freedom.

One way Christians in the United States can show their support for the persecuted is through One With Them wristbands. Wearing the black, rubber wristband that looks like barbed wire is a great conversation starter. The wristbands provide an opportunity to explain to others about the plight of persecuted believers.... Read this in full at

by Joel Miller
In C.S. Lewis’s Narnia novel, Prince Caspian, the four Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, are lost. Walking through the woods, they cannot make their way safely and are uncertain about the right course.

Lucy catches a glimpse of the great lion Aslan and knows that they should walk toward where she spotted him. The others disbelieve, however, and think they have a better idea. They don’t and after going their own way nearly get killed. Aslan appears again and directs Lucy to follow him even if the others will not.... Read this in full at

Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.”
Matthew 19:14 (CEB)

Praise Him for dreaming up such a fantastically innovative, glorious, gracious plan whereby you and I can face anything this world can throw at us, not due to our ability but to His ability through us.”
Bill Gillham

     THE CEO
A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

"Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?"

"Certainly," said the young executive.

He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."

By Nicholas D. Kristof
In these polarized times, few words conjure as much distaste in liberal circles as “evangelical Christian.” That’s partly because evangelicals came to be associated over the last 25 years with blowhard scolds. When the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson discussed on television whether the 9/11 attacks were God’s punishment on feminists, gays, and secularists, God should have sued them for defamation.

Earlier, Mr. Falwell opined that AIDS was “God’s judgment on promiscuity.” That kind of religious smugness allowed the AIDS virus to spread and constituted a greater immorality than anything that occurred in gay bathhouses.

Partly because of such self-righteousness, the entire evangelical movement often has been pilloried among progressives as reactionary, myopic, anti-intellectual and, if anything, immoral.

Yet that casual dismissal is profoundly unfair of the movement as a whole. It reflects a kind of reverse intolerance, sometimes a reverse bigotry, directed at tens of millions of people who have actually become increasingly engaged in issues of global poverty and justice.

This compassionate strain of evangelicalism was powerfully shaped by the Rev. John Stott, a gentle British scholar who had far more impact on Christianity than media stars like Mr. Robertson or Mr. Falwell. Mr. Stott, who died a few days ago at the age of 90, was named one of the globe’s 100 most influential people by TIME, and in stature he was sometimes described as the equivalent of the pope among the world’s evangelicals.... Read this in full at


by Chuck Colson
John Stott, who taught Christians that their minds mattered and led them out of their safe, comfortable and guilty cultural isolation, has died. Will we return to where he found us?

Soon after he became a columnist for the New York Times, David Brooks wrote that people were “misinformed” about Evangelicals. Part of the reason, Brooks reasoned, lay in whom the media chose to speak for us: choices that made as much sense as having “Britney Spears and Larry Flynt discuss D. H. Lawrence.” So he introduced his readers to an evangelical whom many had never heard of but was, in Brooks’ words, “actually important,” John Stott.

Stott died at the age of ninety, once again with a very favorable eulogy in the New York Times. We will miss him in more ways than one.... Read this in full at

by Mark Galli
With the passing of John Stott, we are reminded of evangelicalism at its best — and, by contrast, its worst. It's the worst that has caused us so much angst of late, giving reason for many to become deeply alienated from the movement. But it's the best, which Stott represented, that should give us pause about our understandable cynicism.

For many, the disaffection started with the rise of our movement's two crazy uncles, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. This brought no small amount of joy to the political conservatives among us, and no small amount of consternation and embarrassment among moderate and liberal evangelicals. Add to that the televangelist scandals (Baker and Swagger, in particular), the flooding of the Christian marketplace with Christian kitsch (made possible by our phenomenally growing buying power in the eighties and nineties), and the crass self-promotion of evangelical mega-pastors and mega-authors—well, it made the ordinary and thoughtful evangelical wonder if something is wrong at the core of the movement.... Read this in full at

Women who want to know what men are thinking can look forward to some help from Rebecca St. James. The newly married Grammy Award-winning artist will explore what men have to say about relationships in her upcoming book, "What Is He Thinking?? What Guys Want Us To Know About Dating, Love and Marriage" (FaithWords/Hachette Book Group).

"Drawing on interviews with single men as well as married men, along with her own dating experiences, St. James helps define just what men are looking for and what they wish women knew," according to a press release from St. James's publicist.

What Is He Thinking??, which book publicity calls "the ultimate field guide to Christian men," reveals, among other things, the top 10 turnoffs for guys, do's and don'ts for interacting with guys, and their candid responses to questions on topics such as modesty, beauty and honoring God in relationships.... Read this in full at

by Thom S. Rainer
For nearly the past three decades, I have been studying the life cycle of churches. I continue to be amazed at how a certain pattern plays out repeatedly in most churches. And I continue to be challenged to discern how churches can avoid the last two stages of the life cycle: irrelevance and death.

In this brief article I won’t take the time to review all the stages of the life cycle of churches. I am working on a complete book on that topic. Instead, I will focus on one particular stage, a part of the cycle that may be the most dangerous for the health of churches. I call this stage “hubris.”

Simply defined, hubris means pride or arrogance. It has its origins in Greek tragedy where an excess of ambition or pride ultimately causing the transgressor's ruin.

In churches hubris is an insidious enemy. It comes at a time when members are typically feeling great about the health of the church. Indeed, it often comes when the church is on its best growth trajectory, and when the congregation is receiving accolades for its ministries and programs.

The feelings of well-being and the abundance of accolades can cause church members and leaders to get comfortable and proud. If and when that happens, the church is already on a downward trek. Decline may not manifest itself right away, but it is inevitable unless serious steps are taken toward a corporate attitude change.... Read this in full at

by Marcia Pally
When I visited Robert, the public relations director of a mega-church in the southern United States, I found no cross in his office. Instead, there were two large screensavers of Captain Kirk, the intrepid hero of Star Trek, and on the walls, in place of Jesus, he had several framed covers of vintage SciFi magazines and a large poster of Barack Obama.

Across the country, the "Introduction to our Community" DVD at a midwestern mega-church includes a story about one of the church's first members, a post-op trans-sexual.

Crossing the country again, Randall Balmer, an editor at Christianity Today, writes, "The evangelical faith that nurtured me as a child and sustains me as an adult has been hijacked by right-wing zealots..."

These are a few of the many American evangelicals who have, since 2005, broadened their priorities from those of the Religious Right towards an anti-militarist, anti-consumerist politics focusing on poverty relief, environmental protection, immigration reform, and racial/religious reconciliation.... Read this in full at

by Marybeth Hicks
The sad reality is, it doesn’t matter where our kids go to college. Almost half of them are likely to lose their Christian faith along the way, according to recent studies.

Despite the fact that up to 80% of high school seniors indicate their plan to remain faithful and to practice some form of worship during college, the Fuller Youth Institute has found that almost a third of college students say their institute of higher learning is not helpful in keeping or growing their faith.

Twenty-nine percent also say finding a church where they feel welcome while attending college is at least moderately difficult.... Read this in full at

     IT'S SO HOT THAT...
...the birds have to use pot holders to pull worms out of the ground. are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs.

...the cows are giving evaporated milk. learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.

...the temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly. discover that it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car. discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window. notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance. water now comes out of both taps.'s noon, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the streets. break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 am before work.

A new exhibit coming to the Philadelphia Museum of Art takes a fresh look at religious paintings, drawings, and prints by one of history's most revered artists.

"Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" ( debuted August 3 in Philadelphia, after its three-month premiere run at the Louvre Museum in Paris. It's the only East Coast stop for the exhibit, which continues through Oct. 30 and contains works from public and private collections in the US and Europe.

The exhibition of more than 50 works by the Dutch master and his pupils notably includes a group of oil paintings of Jesus Christ that have not been seen together since they left Rembrandt's Amsterdam studio in 1656.... Read this in full at

Jack McKeon’s baseball days begin in a pew. At 8 on Tuesday morning, the Florida Marlins’ manager attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, less than 12 hours after his team beat the Mets on a 10th-inning grand slam. Such games are testament to his faith in the saint he prays to every game during the national anthem.

In each major league city, McKeon has a favorite, or at least a convenient, Roman Catholic church. If he does not know their names, he can describe them or tell you how to get there. In Cincinnati, it’s SS. Peter and Paul. In Chicago, Mass is at Holy Name Cathedral. In Philadelphia, he goes to what he calls “the oldest church in the U.S.” When the Marlins stayed at a hotel on the East Side of Manhattan, he followed these directions: “Walk out the door, take a left, walk 30 yards, and take a right, where the homeless hang out.” .... Read this in full at

New Zealand's second biggest city could have a temporary Anglican cathedral as soon as February -- but the 700-seat structure will be made of recyclable cardboard. It would replace ChristChurch Cathedral, which was destroyed in the Feb. 22 earthquake that killed 181 people.

The $4 million portable A-frame building is to be created primarily out of cardboard tubes, with shipping containers as the foundation. Architecture students will assist in its three-month construction. A $50,000 feasibility study is currently being undertaken, which could include an extension of planned capacity to 1000 at additional cost.

A site has yet to be found, but the dean of ChristChurch Cathedral, Peter Beck, said it would be in the inner city, "offering a sign of hope and confidence and a thing of beauty in the midst of all the desolation." .... Read this in full at

by S. Michael Craven
There is a growing body of research demonstrating that there is a significant disconnect between professing faith in Jesus Christ and actually following Jesus.

A 2005 study by the National Study of Youth & Religion titled, Portraits of Protestant Teens revealed a great deal about the contemporary approach to youth ministry and its shortcomings.

The study reveals that 59% of Protestant teens (13-17) report regular church attendance, meaning they attend church at least 1-3 times per month while 41% of all teens reported regular church attendance. The study participants identified affiliation with nine Protestant denominations with Southern Baptist being the largest group represented in which 65% of teens reported regular attendance.

In all, 90% of Protestant teens say they believe in God compared to 85% of all teens. Clearly this generation is not irreligious, quite the contrary. However, further research begins to reveal this disconnect that I mentioned earlier. According to the study, only 55% of Protestant teens believe in life after death.... Read this in full at

Thirty percent of women are addicted to it. Sixty-seven percent of men say they look at it at least once a month. “It” refers to pornography. These statistics reveal how pornography is an epidemic within the church community, and these numbers mirror secular statistics. The percentages are provided by Transparent Ministries and Morality in Media, respectively.

Morality in Media (MIM), a national organization opposing pornography and indecency, is fighting to combat this growing trend. It is sponsoring the National Awareness Campaign, titled “Be Aware: Porn Harms.” The focus is on how pornography harms women. With an increase in pornography consumption, there is an alleged link to the increase in violence against women.... Read this in full at

Charity begins today. Today somebody is suffering, today somebody is in the street, today somebody is hungry. Our work is for today, yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.”
Mother Teresa

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them. Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives?’”
Matthew 16:24-26 CEB

Words & Music: R. Kelso Carter, 1891

Breathe upon us, Lord, from Heaven,
Fill us with the Holy Ghost;
Promise of the Father given,
Send us now a Pentecost.

Breathe upon us, breathe upon us,
With Thy love our hearts inspire.
Breathe upon us, breathe upon us,
Lord, baptize us now with fire.

While the Spirit hovers o’er us,
Open all our hearts, we pray;
To Thine image, Lord, restore us,
Witness in our souls today.

Lift us, Lord, O lift us higher,
From the carnal mind set free;
Fill us with refining fire,
Give us perfect liberty.

>from NetHymnal at

Do not work so hard for Christ that you have no strength to pray, for prayer requires strength.”
J. Hudson Taylor


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.]

Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I'll put it in this newsletter.

Book your next vacation with us!

Books, Music & More!

Get your domain name here!

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
It's as easy as 1-2-3!

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

2011 marks the 165th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution

Go Smithsonian mobile website

Secrets of the Smithsonian

Exhibitions at the Smithsonian

150 anniversary of the Civil War

Leafsnap mobile app (helps you identify tree species by taking a picture of a leaf)

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 into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain.
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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