Connecting man to man to God
For week of March 25, 2012
Issue 401

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. 

Today's issue is going out to 2,135 weekly subscribers. Thank you in advance for forwarding this issue to friends, family and associates! To have a friend start their own Free subscription to CONNECTIONS, please have them visit:
or subscribe via rss feed here:

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and his powerful strength. Put on God’s armor so that you can make a stand against the tricks of the devil.”
Ephesians 6:10-11 (CEB)

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Corrie Ten Boom

by Jana Riess
Eugene Peterson rarely does interviews. I have heard that he once turned down the opportunity to hang out with Bono because he was busy with a writing deadline. So it's a huge honor that he agreed to talk with me about the new edition of his Bible translation The Message, which has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Q: Congratulations on this new edition of The Message. How long did the project take you to do?

A: I did the New Testament first. It took about a year and a half to do the New Testament and the Psalms. I was writer in residence at Pittsburgh Seminary, and that was all I was doing. Then I went on to be a professor at Regent College and I had classroom work to do, and it took me ten more years to do the Old Testament. It’s a really long book.... Read this in full at

The new Common English Bible ( is #7 in unit sales and #10 in dollar sales on the CBA Bible Translation Best Seller list for the month of April ( This marks the fourth month the Common English Bible (Twitter @CommonEngBible – has been on the Unit Sales list (moving up from #10) and the first month it’s appeared on the Dollar Sales list since its release last fall.

The broad acceptance of the Common English Bible by scholars, consumers, and book sellers is gratifying,” says Paul Franklyn, PhD, associate publisher. “It confirms our decision to create an academically rigorous yet naturally understandable translation for 21st century English readers; a translation from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that’s built on common ground from the bottom up.”

The Common English Bible’s popularity has soared since it was first released last September. In addition to being a repeat best seller,

* it was named one of the top 10 religion stories of 2011 by leading journalists of the Religion Newswriters Association

* people are printing its verses in calligraphy when they LIKE the Facebook page

* a Lenten PowerPoint® presentation of nature scenes in vivid color photography combined with scripture verses from the Common English Bible has been viewed, downloaded, and embedded more than 10,000 times ( and

* 200 bloggers are participating in the “Common English Bible Change Your Heart and Life” blog tour ( through Pentecost Sunday in May (Twitter hashtag #CEBtour –!/search/realtime/%23CEBTour).

* the Common English Bible’s video “Who Does God Love” ( has registered more than 1,000 views and blog embeds

* the Common English Bible text, including the Apocrypha, is available to search for free online at Bible Gateway (,, and the translation’s website

* more than 6,000 people subscribe to the email Common English Bible “Verse of the Day” delivered daily to personal email inboxes from Bible Gateway (

* and churches are using the translation to read through the Bible in a year (e.g. .... Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
Is there a simple way to teach a biblical worldview to my high school age and younger kids – a biblical worldview for dummies? “Yes”, is the short answer I gave to the father asking me the question. But, let me reduce it to writing for you so you can read it to your children – better yet, study it and tell it to your children....

...A good working definition of a biblical worldview is this – truth from God’s perspective. Years ago, some very gifted theologians and teachers identified the primary themes – truths of the Bible and put them into 5 words or phrases that have helped the Christian community organize their thinking about the truths of scripture. They are:
The Fall
The Kingdom.... Read this in full at

The Bible Society cannot hand out Bibles that have the Olympic logo on the cover at the 2012 Summer Games in London, even though they were able to do so in Communist China just a few years ago.

The Telegraph reported Thursday that the organization, which passed out Bibles with the Olympic logo on the front cover during the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, can no longer do so due to Olympic rules concerning the use of the logo. A source from the Games told The Telegraph that the Bibles at the Beijing Olympics "appeared out of nowhere" and "were not approved by the Chinese government."

Rachel Rounds, a spokesperson for the Bible Society, says her organization has printed special sports Bibles that feature pictures of athletes, not an Olympic logo, on the front cover.... Read this in full at

July 27 – August 12, London, England

When God locks a door, it needs to be locked. When he blocks a path, it needs to be blocked. When he stuck Paul and Silas in prison, God had a plan for the prison jailer. As Paul and Silas sang, God shook the prison. ‘At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose’ (Acts 16:26).

There God goes again, blasting open the most secure doors in town. When the jailer realized what had happened, he assumed all the prisoners had escaped. He drew his sword to take his life. When Paul told him otherwise, the jailer brought the two missionaries out and asked, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ (Acts 16:30). Paul told him to believe. He did, and he and all his family were baptized. The jailer washed their wounds, and Jesus washed his sins. God shut the door of the jail cell so that he could open the heart of the jailer.

God uses closed doors to advance his cause.
* He closed the womb of a young Sarah so he could display his power to the elderly one.
* He shut the palace door on Moses the prince so he could open shackles through Moses the liberator.
* He marched Daniel out of Jerusalem so he could use Daniel in Babylon.
* And Jesus. Yes, even Jesus knew the challenge of a blocked door. When he requested a path that bypassed the cross, God said no. He said no to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane so he could say yes to us at the gates of heaven.

Your blocked door doesn't mean God doesn't love you. Quite the opposite. It's proof that he does.”
Max Lucado in God's Story, Your Story: When His Becomes Yours

by Nicole Cottrell
1. Pray for her day each morning. My husband does this almost every day and it makes me feel so loved.

2. Get to know her friends. Friendships are so important to women and we feel loved knowing that our husbands like, enjoy, and appreciate the female friends in our life.

3. Brag about public. My husband brags on me, almost to an embarrassing degree, but at the same time I love it.

4. Constantly prioritize your marriage. My husband communicates to me regularly that our marriage is his number one ministry. He then shows me by his actions.

5. Always be willing to be the first to apologize and seek forgiveness. This is one way in which a man can lead in humility, but simultaneously show love.... Read this in full at

Don't worry about tomorrow. God is already there.”
Author Unknown

A 2007 LifeWay Research study found that 70% of young adults who attended church in high school subsequently stopped attending church for at least a year during their college years.

Perhaps just as alarming, only 20% of those who left the church had planned on doing so while in high school. For most, the decision was not considered far in advance.

LifeWay's data is not unique. Surveys by Barna and Gallup have found similar dropout rates, leaving youth and teens experts wondering: What can be done?

A new longitudinal study of 500 youth group graduates may provide some answers. Conducted by the Fuller Youth Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary, the study followed the graduates through their years in college or vocational school. The results are compiled in a book, "Sticky Faith: Everyday ideas to build lasting faith in your kids" (Zondervan).... Read this in full at

by Gordon MacDonald
Can I be frank? I'm distressed by the low quality of public prayer that is being heard in too many worship services today. Too often, prayer is used as a transition from one event to another. But what if the pastoral prayer was (as some like to say) a main event?

When Solomon dedicated the temple, a large part of his public leadership was a quite pastoral prayer. He knelt and said, "Lord, there is none like you ... you've kept your promises ... please give attention to my prayer ... may you hear the prayer your servant prays toward his place ... deliver us when we've been defeated ... teach us the way to live ... help us to walk in your ways ... when we sin, please forgive."

This is not a lightweight prayer. It takes in everybody in the crowd. As he opens the gates of the temple, the king (little k) is interceding to the King (big K) on behalf of all who will come to worship.... Read this in full at

The book Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith traces how religious language has been invoked to support US foreign policy decisions throughout the country's history and up to the present day.... Read this report in full at

Religious freedom is one of the most precious freedoms we enjoy in America. But nearly 70% of the world's 6.8 billion people live in countries with restrictions on religious expression. Even some of our freedoms are being eroded in the United States.

Are our federal legislators making religious freedom a priority?

Now there is a way to keep tabs on their voting records on religious freedom legislation. Open Doors USA has published a midterm Congressional Scorecard for International Religious Freedom of the 112th session of Congress to evaluate each senator's and representative's record on religious freedom issues (

Legislators are graded on their votes and co-sponsorship of a selection of the most important religious freedom bills and resolutions that seek to protect Christians and other persecuted faith groups worldwide.... Read this in full at

[Matthew] lost a comfortable job, but he found a destiny. He lost a good income, but he found honor. He lost a comfortable security, but he found an adventure of the like of which he had never dreamed. It may be that if we accept the challenge of Christ, we shall find ourselves poorer in material things. It may be that the worldly ambitions will have to go. But beyond doubt we will find a peace and a joy and a thrill in life that we never knew before. In Jesus Christ a man finds a wealth beyond anything that he may have to abandon for the sake of Christ.”
William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of Matthew, v. 1, Westminster John Knox Press, 2001 (revised), p. 383

As the first nation in the history of the world based on a concept of religious freedom, the United States became a place of unprecedented religious diversity and experimentation. Now, a new documentary series examines the history of Christianity in America, from the first European Christian settlers to the myriad expressions of the faith in the 21st century. Produced with the support of a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., People of Faith: Christianity in America ( presents 400 years of history in 3 hours. It’s a brisk and informative survey of the Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Evangelical Christian people and events that shaped the nation.

The series shows how American Christianity, woven into the nation’s fabric from its founding, morphed over the centuries. “America became a religious place from the very beginning...because the people who settled this country had a genius for framing questions in religious terms,” says Scott Appleby of the University of Notre Dame, one of many experts interviewed for the series.

People of Faith calls upon a range of top religion scholars, including Martin Marty and Jean Bethke Elshtain, University of Chicago; Mark Noll, University of Notre Dame; Thomas Kidd, Baylor University; Darren Dochuck, Purdue University; John Witvliet, Calvin College, and many more. They bring to life the rich pageant of American Christianity, including:
* the nation’s founders and their commitment to religious freedom;
* religion as a force for social reform, demonstrated in the abolitionist and civil rights movements and efforts to help poor people, workers, immigrants, and others;
* “home grown saints” such as Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther King, Jr., Elizabeth Ann Seton, Frederick Douglas, Jane Addams, and Billy Graham;
* developments such as the “Great Awakening,” the age of Revivals, and movements such as Pentecostalism and the Jesus People;
* the growth of the “religious marketplace” and the rise of the megachurch;
* the arrival of predominantly Catholic immigrants during the 19th century and the struggle against anti-Catholicism; 
* how American society allowed previously marginalized groups like Methodists and Baptists to grow by leaps and bounds, and provided fertile ground for the development of new religious movements, such as the Shakers and Mormons.... Read this in full at

An author, the creator of 'VeggieTales,' and a professor weigh in.... Read this in full at

Over 4,000 children lose their lives daily due to drinking unsafe water, exposure to poor sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases (referred to as WASH conditions) and, according to World Vision, eight million children are expected to die this year due to diseases caused by such issues. That is why the organization used World Water Day (March 22) as an occasion to draw special attention to the plight of those struggling to survive without clean water.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene are the "foundation for development," according to Randy Strash, a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Strategist and expert at World Vision. World Vision's Clean Water Fund is the main source of revenue for the organization in its work to bring relief to those in need of clean water.... Read this in full at

by David Briggs
They are called “clergy killers” — congregations where a small group of members are so disruptive that no pastor is able to maintain spiritual leadership for long.

And yet ministers often endure the stresses of these dysfunctional relationships for months, or even years, before eventually being forced out or giving up.

Adding to the strain is the process, which is often shrouded in secrecy. No one – from denominational officials to church members to the clerics themselves – want to acknowledge the failure of a relationship designed to be a sign to the world of mutual love and support.

But new research is providing insights into just how widespread – and damaging – these forced terminations can be to clergy.... Read this in full at

Happy are those who trust in the LORD, who rely on the LORD. They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won’t fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green. They won’t be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (CEB)

A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse...and dreams of home.”
Carl Burns

by Jim Daly
The United State Marine Corps has launched its latest recruitment campaign and it touts a single theme: Chaos. “We’re going to have a chaotic future in front of us,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, “which also portends a potentially busy time for the Marine Corps.”

The campaign was launched after research indicated Millenials, their target, strongly resonate with the idea that the military exists to serve those in need.

Most people hear the sounds of chaos and run in the opposite direction,” intones the ad’s narrator. “But there are a few who listen intently for these sounds, not in the hopes of hearing them, but to help rid the world of them.”

The advertisement ends with the tagline: “Which way would you run?” The Marine Corps is asking a provocative question, a question that our Christian faith actually requires us to answer on a daily basis.

Are we willing to lay down our lives for the sake of others? Are we willing to sacrifice our comfort and security in exchange for following God’s will? Do we shy away from the “chaos” of the world and flee to the seeming security of status or possessions? .... Read this in full at

From the perspective of the nation’s professional prison chaplains, America’s state penitentiaries are a bustle of religious activity. According to “Religion in Prisons: A 50-State Survey of Prison Chaplains” (, a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, more than seven-in-ten state prison chaplains (73%) say that efforts by inmates to proselytize or convert other inmates are either very common (31%) or somewhat common (43%). About three-quarters of the chaplains say that a lot (26%) or some (51%) religious switching occurs among inmates in the prisons where they work. Many chaplains report growth from religious switching in the numbers of Muslims and Protestant Christians, in particular.... Read this in full at

by Frederick Schmidt
variety of fairly recent developments have elevated the conversation about workplace values to a place of prominence in America's business schools: 1) concerns about coercion in the workplace that might force a uniformity of belief in deeper, spiritual, and religious beliefs; 2) the shift in conversations about First Amendment provisions from a conversation about freedom for religion in the public domain to a conversation free from religion; 3) growing cultural incivility, which has made dialogue difficult, if not impossible; and 4) a plurality of religious and spiritual perspectives. In that increasingly complex environment the conversation about workplace values has an inoffensive, vanilla character that skirts the more hotly contested issues in the modern workplace.

Of course, the emphasis on values clarification lies more deeply than this. The Enlightenment, for example, celebrated the innate and self-evident nature of certain values, many of which are enshrined in the Bill of Rights.... Read this in full at

by Walt and Barb Larimore
Even without scientific evidence, the vast majority of us realize that men and women are very different. One online poll asked simply if people agreed with the statement "Men and women are so different." Seventy percent clicked the "Yes, worlds apart!" answer. Eighteen percent chose "Not really. It's all hype." And 12 percent selected "I'm never sure."

My friends will talk about how their husbands are sometimes thoughtless or inconsiderate, don't listen like they should, think too much about sex and sports, aren't as compassionate as they could be, want to have sex rather than make love, and don't put the toilet seat down as they should.

From the other side, I often hear my male friends complain about the way their wives drive, that they can't read maps right-side-up, talk and cry too much, can't explain their intuitive feelings, don't initiate sex often enough, and leave the toilet seat down when it clearly should be left up.... Read this in full at

by Joel J. Miller
Our experience of God often changes, doesn’t it? Sometimes he seems angry, other times loving; sometimes comforting, other times convicting; sometimes close, other times aloof. It varies, which is tricky because Scripture tells us that God doesn’t change. So maybe — if you’ll forgive me for speaking for the entire human race — the problem is us.

Scripture frequently associates God with fire. He appears in the flames of a burning-yet-unburned bush. He leads by a blazing pillar. Flame streams from his throne. The presence of his Spirit flickers as tongues of fire on Pentecost. “[O]ur God,” as Paul says in Hebrews, “is a consuming fire.”

I think that this reference to fire provides a key to explain why our experience of God can change so much.

Paul is reminding us about how differently Moses and the Israelites reacted to God at Mount Sinai. It was a frightening scene. The mountain “was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire,” as it says in Exodus. God’s presence “was like a [consuming] fire on the top of the mountain.” The people were terrified. “[T]his great fire will consume us,” they said, as Deuteronomy records.

But while the people below quaked in their sandals, Moses ascended the mountain, communed with God, and then descended aglow with the glory of God.... Read this in full at

by Steven James
1 - Don't plan ahead
2 - Go it alone
3 - Aim low
4 - Point out the mistakes of others
5 - Mentally relive old failures
6 - Wait until the last minute
7 - Take things personally.... Read this in full at

In the days of the Apostles, it was dangerous to follow Jesus... Today that danger remains. Now, in an unprecedented effort to reach the world with the message of the gospel amid dangers facing today’s persecuted church, The Voice of the Martyrs is offering its feature-length animated movie, JESUS: He Lived Among Us, free for every church in America.

This story of Jesus unfolds through the eyes of His last surviving disciple, John the Beloved. Banished to the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John recounts the incredible and often dangerous story of what happened when Jesus lived among us. Watch the trailer at

New York often gets a bad and clichéd rap for being a godless city. Isn’t Brooklyn, after all, the borough of churches? In all likelihood, there are more seriously religious people of more differing faiths in New York than in any city in America. Tim Tebow will have plenty of company, and he will be joining a robust and eclectic lineup of religious New York athletes.... Read this in full at

After organized worship, athletic competition is perhaps the oldest communal impulse known to mankind, and today sports and religion mirror each other as never before, experts say. But that correlation has negative as well as positive aspects. This edition of ReligionLink provides a guide to these issues.... Read this in full at

The first installment of Suzanne Collins' riveting, blockbuster trilogy, "The Hunger Games," has hit theaters nationwide, but what many parents don't know is that this is ultimately a story about child sacrifice. In Collins' twisted dystopian world, kids kill kids in gladiator-style "games" imposed by the Capitol to prevent rebellion among starving districts. Impotent or voyeuristic adults acquiesce and watch. Americans were horrified recently when a 17-year-old boy shot and killed students at an Ohio high school, yet middle schools across the country will take students on field trips to see this movie in which kids slaughter kids to survive.

Why this cultural disconnect? We are playing with fire. What children watch and read matters greatly. It seeps into their hearts, minds, and souls. Research unequivocally documents the connection between media violence and aggression in children. Yet tweens and young teens today are exposed to graphic violence through video games, television, movies, and books. Collins' novels, slated for 12-year-olds on up, are nonetheless being devoured by elementary school children.... Read this in full at

Jimmy Carter, peanut farmer turned president turned globe-trotting humanitarian, now has another line to add to his business card: Bible commentator. Last week Carter published a Lessons from Life Study Bible, with the subtitle Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.

With many Democrats embracing the language of faith in recent years in an attempt to win back so-called values voters from the Republican column, Carter's intense faith life is a good reminder that hardly all Democrats are new to the pew.

Since he returned to Plains, Georgia, from Washington after losing his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980, Carter has taught Sunday school at the local Maranatha Baptist Church, “about 685 times so far,” he says.... Read this in full at

My wife tells me that our children are referred to as "Digital Natives" since they will not remember a time in their lives prior to the internet, iPhones, touch screens, or wifi.

Confirming evidence: Yesterday my 4-year-old daughter went to throw something away in the trash can and found it to be too full. She approached me and said, "Daddy, you need to delete the trash."

As the Crystal Cathedral tries to find its footing without any members of founder Robert H. Schuller's family at the helm, the only son and one-time successor says "sibling rivalry" played a key role in the California megachurch's decline.

"They didn't want to be accountable to me, their brother," said Robert A. Schuller, the church's former senior pastor, of his sisters and brothers-in-law, some of who were board members and ministry staffers. "So they took steps into their own hands to make sure that they had job security."

In an interview March 19, Robert A. Schuller, 57, said his siblings took advantage of his father's signs of dementia and halted the younger Schuller's 2006 succession to his father's ministry within two years. He left the gleaming megachurch in 2008.... Read this in full at

Because of God's grace, there is nothing we can do that will make Him love us more than He already does. And there is nothing we can do or have done that will cause Him to love us any less.”
Philip Yancey

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.”
Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB)

Words: Charles Wesley, 1749
Music: Lowell Mason, 1839

O that I could repent!
O that I could believe!
Thou by Thy voice the marble rent,
Thou by Thy voice the marble rent,
The rock in sunder cleave!

Thou, by Thy two-edged sword,
My soul and spirit part,
Strike with the hammer of Thy Word,
Strike with the hammer of Thy Word,
And break my stubborn heart!

Savior, and Prince of Peace,
The double grace bestow;
Unloose the bands of wickedness,
Unloose the bands of wickedness,
And let the captive go:

Grant me my sins to feel,
And then the load remove:
Wound, and pour in, my wounds to heal,
Wound, and pour in, my wounds to heal,
The balm of pardoning love.

For Thy own mercy’s sake
The cursèd thing remove;
And into Thy protection take
And into Thy protection take
The prisoner of Thy love:

In every trying hour
Stand by my feeble soul;
And screen me from my nature’s power,
And screen me from my nature’s power,
Till Thou hast made me whole.

This is Thy will, I know,
That I should holy be,
Should let my sin this moment go,
Should let my sin this moment go,
This moment turn to Thee:

O might I now embrace
Thy all-sufficient power;
And never more to sin give place,
And never more to sin give place,
And never grieve Thee more!

>from NetHymnal at

We impoverish God in our minds when we say there must be answers to our prayers on the material plane; the biggest answers to our prayers are in the realm of the unseen.”
Oswald Chambers


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.

The Complete Gift Solution

Books, Music & More!

Get your domain name here!

Up to 50 Free Penny Auction Bids
I'm giving away up to 50 free bids to use in my penny auction site. I will be giving away TONS of free bids for you to start bidding in
our exciting Penny Auctions. Register a Free account today to lock in your spot.

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why. 

Interesting video showing children around the world dreaming of the future

Cartoon Video on Medical Privacy

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.) 

Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
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.
Visit our website at:  

Subscribe to CONNECTIONS here

Get Archives of all past issues here:

Check out my blog