Connecting man to man to God
For week of September 11, 2011
Issue 373

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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“Your faithful love is priceless, God! Humanity finds refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the bounty of your house; you let them drink from your river of pure joy. Within you is the spring of life. In your light, we see light.”
Psalm 36:7-9 CEB

“It is good for us to think no grace or blessing truly ours, till we are aware that God has blessed someone else with it through us.”
Phillips Brooks


North Carolina diet doctor has come up with a formula to create the most highly engaged audience on Facebook in the world, far surpassing marketing efforts by celebrities and sports teams. He draws on the words of Jesus and posts them four or five times a day.

The doctor, Aaron Tabor, 41, grew up watching his father preach at churches in Alabama and North Carolina, and his Facebook creation is called the Jesus Daily. He started it in April 2009, he said, as a hobby shortly after he began using Facebook to market his diet book and online diet business that includes selling soy shakes, protein bars and supplements.

For the last three months, more people have “Liked,” commented and shared content on the Jesus Daily than on any other Facebook page, including Justin Bieber’s page, according to a weekly analysis by, an industry blog. “I wanted to provide people with encouragement,” said Dr. Tabor, who keeps his diet business on a separate Facebook page. “And I thought I would give it a news spin by calling it daily.” .... Read this in full at

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has introduced a new Internet evangelism initiative ( to reach people online with the gospel. The program was launched in its beta form in late April, and thousands have already viewed an online gospel presentation and indicated making a commitment to Jesus Christ.

"Every day, people are searching online for answers," said Preston Parrish, executive vice president of ministry for the BGEA. "In their time of need, we are presenting the only hope we have in this world -- the hope found through a relationship with Jesus Christ."

In the coming months, trained volunteer "E-counselors" will be available to chat online with spiritual seekers in an effort to lead even more people into a relationship with Christ. In addition, "Discipleship Coaches" will offer follow-up training to those who have made a commitment and encourage them in finding a church in their area.... Read this in full at

Stand Firm with Jason Ellerbrook & Scott Mills is a video production that will provide opportunities for men to hear from influenial, high profile male leaders who are making an impact for the gospel. The Web show will also highlight a comprehensive set of resources, events, and tools that will help pastors and churches develop a men’s ministry movement.

Watch an interview with Super Bowl winning Coach and NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Tony Dungy. Coach Dungy talks about his books, family, and passion for ministry. He also shares his pick for the 2012 Super Bowl champion team!

Filmed at award-winning Jack's BBQ on Broadway in downtown Nashville, Jason and Scott speak with special guest, Jack's BBQ owner, Jack Cawthorn. See the video at

by Clare De Graaf
Would the people who know you best consider you a Christian or a follower of Jesus?

I still remember the stunned look on Dave’s face when I asked him that question over breakfast ten years ago. To give him a chance to recover a bit, I took the time to clarify my question. “What I mean Dave is this: based on how you live, the things you talk about, your passions, what you spend your discretionary time and money on, would your wife, your children, co-workers and fishing buddies, would they consider you a Christian or follower of Jesus? And by the way, you don’t have to answer that question to me today. I’m not your spiritual authority. But, Jesus already knows the answer. The question is, do you?” .... Read this in full at

Steve and Cynthia Kragthorpe aren’t sulking about their diseases. Devout Christians, they’re instead using them as part of their testimonials.

“It’s a great opportunity to show people that no matter what happens to us as a family, we’re going to continue to praise God and believe that absolutely he is in control of everything that’s going on,” Steve says.... Read this in full at

Millions of Christians are engaging in the word of God on-the-go by using something they carry with them all the time – their mobile phones. Modern technology and Christian doctrine continue to collide when it comes to the Bible as there are plenty of “apps for that.”

With today's technology, there are no more excuses for Christians not to read their Bible because God's Word is now just a click away.

In today's world your cell phone is so much more than just a phone; it's your Internet, your television, your video game. And now... it's even your Bible. Many faithful readers are changing the perception that technology has no place in their walk with God.... Read this in full at

Watch this video report at

by Phil Callaway
Just the other day it dawned on me that I have finally reached middle age. The first sign was that my children and my clothes are the same age. The thing about reaching middle age is that if you have any brains left at all, you start to realize you’re running out of time. Time to do things you vowed you’d do back when you were twenty-four. And so, one sunny Saturday, you find yourself behind a 16,000-hp ski boat being steered by a former high school friend named Attila, hanging onto a towrope, trying to avoid fishing boats and beads of water that smack you in the eyes like buckshot.

“What the world am I doing?” you’re screaming, and Attila thinks you want him to speed up.

Every few weeks I get together with five other middle-aged guys for something we call the Circle of Six. It’s an eating group, really, though we founded it with grander plans. The group has been growing (pun intended) for a dozen years now, thanks to some incredible cheesecake of our own making, and as we hit the middle years, I noticed that some of us are engaging in activities we wouldn’t have dreamed of back when we had our minds.... Read this in full at

by Mark Oppenheimer
I was pleased to meet Sam Owen, a tennis enthusiast and Episcopal seminarian; for if there are two topics I enjoy, one is religion and the other is tennis. But I was not prepared for the way Sam, a student at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, brought those topics together. I have long known people who make a religion of tennis, but Sam was the first I had met who brought religion to tennis.

“I worry about whether I am being Christian out on the court,” Sam told me, as we whispered between points. He is 51, played competitively as a teenager, then quit the game for 22 years before taking it up again. He worked in business and ran a nonprofit organization in Colorado that provided computers to low-income communities before answering the call to the priesthood. “How can you be Christlike when you want to beat the hell out of your opponent?” .... Read this in full at

by Michael Krahn
A few years ago I wouldn't have known where to buy cocaine. Now, access is just a phone call away. No, I haven't made the call and I don't expect I ever will, but it's there, it's available and it never was before.

Even in our smallest towns, there is a thriving drug and violence problem and it's one that, frankly, we've often done a good job of ignoring. Some time ago I decided to give up on the ignoring, and this has led me into some dark places where I've met some very interesting people. These are people who don't get a lot of positive attention. They're the ones you would try to avoid passing on the street and certainly avoid running into in a dark alley.

My conversations with them usually include wild stories (which are often true) told in straight-from-the-street language. There is a new story every time we meet and they never have fairy tale endings. There are no quick answers to the problems my friends face. And even the ones who have decided to follow Jesus still struggle with their addictions and with their inability to avoid a daily existence involving the worst kinds of personal and relational drama.... Read this in full at Matters

by Scot McKnight
Christianity sometimes presents itself as a country club. It presents itself this way even when it doesn't want to, and sometimes it doesn't even know it. I grew up loving to play golf but I played on the public course. I had friends who played at the local country club. When I visited the country club I felt like a visitor even though the members were wonderfully hospitable. Members felt like members and visitors felt like visitors, and knowing that you could "visit" only by invitation made the difference clear.

Many experience the church this way. Members know they belong, and visitors know they don't. Well, after all, we might reason, the Christian faith is a religion of salvation, and Stephen Prothero's recent book, "God is Not One," depicted Christianity as a faith concerned with the "way of salvation." And if you are saved, you are a member; if you are not saved, you are not. You might visit, but until you get saved you will know you are not in the club.... Read this in full at

by Michael Ireland
As the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is upon us, New York Times best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado offers his insights on how to live with an eye toward purpose and the big picture in his latest book.

Often dubbed “America’s Best Preacher,”* Lucado’s new book, God’s Story, Your Story: When His Becomes Yours (Zondervan, Sept. 20, 2011). “reveals the truth behind some of life’s simplest but greatest mysteries,” according to a media release.

Combining the strength of the Lucado brand (more than 100 million products sold, multiple New York Times best-sellers) with a best-selling and often controversial topic — life’s purpose and eventual destination — Lucado’s title is his only new book release for 2011.... Read this in full at

by Rick Marschall
It is my observation that when Christians feel they have let God down, it is usually not because of some grievous sin, but more often a feeling that their faith was lacking… their trust has fallen short… that we have not put into practice what we know to be the truth. And we are aware that this grieves the heart of God.

(By the way, this has been my observation, not from eagle-eye examinations of other Christians, but of my own actions and inactions.)

Those feelings about the heart of God probably are correct. We have sinful natures, but God already gifted us with provisions for sin: grace, forgiveness, justification, salvation. We can know today that our sins can be transformed from scarlet stains to pure-white. But when we get to points in our lives, which we all surely have or will, when we just don’t have enough faith in one area… or we cannot summon enough trust in God’s promises… or we know those Bible verses, and God’s will for our lives, and Jesus’s 24/7 availability… but we don’t attain the answer or victory or peace – this doesn’t mean we are bad Christians. It just means we are… Christians.... Read this in full at

“I've known Christians who have committed their lives to following Jesus at about the same time; but the influence this commitment had on their lives soon became markedly different. One lived a life of self-absorption. Christianity made sense, but it became almost a convenience - no need to take it too seriously or to reorder one's life around it. The other person took a different approach. She made Bible study a regular part of her life. She kept her prayer life fresh and varied. New character traits came to the forefront, and before she knew it, people were asking her for advice and counseling.

“Both planted a spiritual garden, but only one tended.

“Some of us live with the mistaken impression that our faith needs only to be planted, not tended. Becoming a mature Christian, some think, is like becoming six feet tall - either it happens or it doesn't. They couldn't be more wrong. The difference is tending.”
Gary Thomas in Simply Sacred: Daily Readings

Pastor Adrian Ninaber has proven he possesses more than just an incredible strength of faith. Before a day of trying to lift up the souls of his parishioners, the senior pastor at Leamington’s Calvary Baptist Church is doing the same with weights. Lots of them.

“Pastors like to set goals in life,” said Ninaber of why he got serious about competing in weight lifting seven years ago. “As a pastor, I preach and listen and counsel. How often do you get to see the results? It can be years. With weightlifting, I can diet, workout and see the results and rewards much quicker. There’s a carrot that’s achievable if I’m strict and disciplined.”

Recently, the 55-year-old has been grabbing the carrots by the bunch.... Read this in full at

A survey released in August by the Public Religion Research Institute indicates people between the ages of 18 and 29 have more liberal views on same-sex issues than their parents and grandparents — regardless of political affiliations or Christian faith. The telephone survey of 3,000 Millennials, conducted between July 14 and 30, indicates 49% of those considering themselves Republicans favor same-sex marriage, compared to 19% of Republican seniors and 31% of all Republicans. Additionally, 44% of white evangelical Millennials favor same-sex marriage, compared to only 12% of evangelical seniors and 19% of evangelicals overall.... Read this in full at

And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts — a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people.
Colossians 3:14-15 CEB

“Every Christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it.”
John R. W. Stott

by Skye Jethani
In my new book, With: Reimagining The Way You Relate To God, I explore five "postures" of religious life, and how four of them fail to generate a faith, hope, or love. In this brief excerpt from the first chapter, I share about my experience working with Christian college students. They illustrate how many churches are actually inoculating young people by offering a form of Christianity that lacks any real power. Perhaps you will recognize yourself in one of these postures. In the end what we all long for, and what Christ offers to us, is the unrivaled beauty and fulfillment of a life with him.

My discomfort with the popular categories advocated by the church reached a tipping point a few years ago when I began mentoring a number of college students. Most of these very intelligent men and women had grown up in Christian homes. They had significant church involvement in their backgrounds, and some even lived with missionary parents overseas. They knew the Bible better than most, and they could engage in meaningful theological and cultural discussions. I truly enjoyed my time with them.

But when I started exploring their personal communion with Christ, their practices of prayer, their understanding of sin, and how they related to God I was dismayed. To some my questions were incomprehensible. "What do you mean, how am I experiencing God?" one would say. Others admitted never being taught how to pray apart from the perfunctory grace before meals and bedtime. Most could not identify any time of meaningful transcendence or moments of peace or joy in God's presence.

They often gauged the quality of their faith on one measure alone -- how well they controlled their sexual desires.... Read this in full at

by David Brooks
There’s a specter haunting American politics: national decline. Is America on the way down, and, if so, what can be done about it?

The Republicans, and Rick Perry in particular, have a reasonably strong story to tell about decline. America became great, they explain, because its citizens possessed certain vigorous virtues: self-reliance, personal responsibility, industriousness and a passion for freedom.

But, over the years, government has grown and undermined these virtues. Wall Street financiers no longer have to behave prudently because they know government will bail them out. Middle-class families no longer have to practice thrift because they know they can use government to force future generations to pay for their retirements. Dads no longer have to marry the women they impregnate because government will step in and provide support.... Read this in full at

In the past 12-18 months, the religious publishing category has seen its sales jump faster than those of almost every other category of books. The book publishing industry overall has remained relatively healthy during the recession, with a nearly 6 percent annual growth rate from 2008 to 2010, according to the Association of American Publishers.... Read this in full at

by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
The evangelical movement in America emerged in the twentieth century as conservative Protestants sought to perpetuate an intentional continuity with biblical Christianity. While the roots of the movement can be traced through centuries prior to its emergence in twentieth century America, its organizational shape appeared mainly in the years after World War II. And, as anyone who considers the movement with a careful eye understands, evangelical definition has been a central preoccupation of the movement from the moment of its inception.

The word “evangelical” long predates the coalescence of the evangelical coalition of the last century. The word has been applied to Methodism in the eighteenth century, to nonconformists and low church Protestants in Great Britain in the nineteenth century, and to a host of groups, churches, and movements ever since. As early as the nineteenth century, frustration and confusion arose over the use and misuse of the term. The seventh Earl of Shaftesbury expressed the late-nineteenth century frustration when he declared, “I know what constituted an evangelical in former times . . . I have no clear notion what constitutes one now.” .... Read this in full at

It will not be long — next spring — before another phase of the Yale Divinity School Library’s digitization project is completed, making available to researchers around the world thousands of documents in the Library’s core collection of materials chronicling missions history and world Christianity.

The digitization project, funded through a 2009 grant from the UK-based Arcadia Foundation, focuses on early annual reports of missions agencies in the Day Missions Library and marks the first time the Library has digitized portions of its own collections. Once digitized, the documents have searchable text capabilities.

Many of these documents, totaling some 1,500 volumes, are more than 100 years old and in particularly fragile condition. Most date from 1850-1950, a time when the foreign missions enterprise was in its heyday and when tens of thousand of missionaries sailed from North America, Britain, and Europe to Africa, China, and many other distant locales. Taken together, they weave an intricate tapestry of the day-to-day activities of missionaries, not only in relation to their own activities in evangelization, education, and medical work, but also about political unrest, plagues, local customs, and other cultural phenomena.... Read this in full at

As summer comes to an end and autumn approaches, Christians around the world are preparing for the 2011 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).

The IDOP, which was first organized in 1996 by the World Evangelical Fellowship, has evolved into one of the largest worldwide prayer events in existence today. For the past 15 years, thousands of churches and organizations, as well as individuals and families, have participated in the tradition of setting aside one Sunday each November to spend time in intercessory prayer for the millions of Christians around the world who are persecuted, oppressed, and even martyred for their faith each year -- and who, whenever asked, unfailingly place intercessory prayer at the top of their list of needs.... Read this in full at

“We all come up against our own version of the Red Sea- Seas of Divorce, Debt, Death, Depression, Guilt, Fear, Loneliness or Hopelessness. And hey, if you're anything like me, you might look around for a boat when God wants to display His glory by parting the Sea instead.”
Rebecca Lusignolo

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Luke 6:35-36 NIV

Words: Rudyard Kipling, 1906
Music: Thomas Williams, 1789

Father in Heaven, who lovest all,
O help Thy children when they call,
That they may build from age to age
An undefiled heritage.

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth,
That, in our time, Thy grace may give
The truth whereby the nations live.

Teach us to rule ourselves alway,
Controlled and cleanly night and day,
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.

Teach us to look in all our ends,
On Thee for Judge, and not our friends,
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favor of the crowd.

Teach us the strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought, to hurt the weak,
That, under Thee, we may possess
Man’s strength to comfort man’s distress.

Teach us delight in simple things,
And mirth that has no bitter springs,
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And love to all men ’neath the sun.

>from NetHymnal at

“Father, strip away from me whatever is blocking people's view of You in my life.”
Tim Walter


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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Panoramic photo of Utah

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The Power of Saying No

How to use an elevator without stopping

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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.) 

Do pie companies have a lot of turnovers? 
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box! 

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. 
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
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