Connecting man to man to God
For week of August 12, 2012
Issue 420

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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The LORD is our judge; the LORD is our leader; the LORD is our king — he will deliver us.”
- Isaiah 33:22 (CEB)

A pastor once asked a group of men on a retreat, ‘Men, is your wife a better Christian because she is married to you, or has your marriage been a hindrance to her spiritual growth?’”
- Bob Barnes

Long-time Moody Radio pastor C. Donald Cole (retired) met listeners on the air a couple times each week to answer their questions about the Bible and the Christian life. He died at the age of 89 Saturday, August 4 from complications due to Parkinson’s disease.

A public visitation will be held at Wheaton Bible Church (27W500 North Ave., West Chicago, IL) on Friday, Aug. 31. Visitation will be from 11:30 am–1:30 pm and a public memorial service will be held from 2–3:30 pm. The burial will be private.

* See Moody Radio’s tribute page:
* Read a tribute by Moody Radio host Chris Fabry:
* Listen to a tribute by Chris Fabry:

Most members of the clergy are taught to put the physical and spiritual needs of others first, but that self-denial may be harmful to their own health, according to a new Duke University study.

Studies of United Methodist pastors in North Carolina found high rates of chronic disease and depression, and researchers worry it can be difficult to convince clergy to seek help.... Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
Last week I blogged on lawsuits. This week, I’d like to get right to the issue of how I and others have resolved financial issues outside of the courts, using the principles of Matthew 18:15-17, which reads:

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

What follows is an actual letter I’ve sent to someone in my church who owed me money. Obviously, I’ve changed some details to protect the identity of this individual, but you’ll get the point.... Read this in full at

The American Bible Society (ABS) is developing a new Internet URL extension called ".bible" that it hopes will help make God's Word available to more people in a way that fits their digital lives.

ABS has submitted an application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the company charged with regulating what goes to the right of the dot in a web address — to create the extension.

It is a detailed and expensive undertaking that requires, apart from legal and developmental costs, an application fee of $185,000 USD. The ABS believes the investment is worth it, though. It will also facilitate efforts by faith-based groups, including the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) and the other 145 members of the United Bible Society, to make God's Word available to countless people in new, digital ways.... Read this in full at

A Canadian man is suing his local government to stop the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer before council meetings, saying the practice causes him “anguish, discrimination, exclusion, rejection and loss of enjoyment of life.” Peter Ferguson is seeking $5,000 in damages along with a court order for the local county council to stop opening its meetings with the Christian prayer.... Read this in full at

by Timothy Keller
When I was diagnosed with cancer, the question “Why me?” was a natural one. Later, when I survived but others with the same kind of cancer died, I also had to ask, “Why me?”

Suffering and death seem random, senseless.

The recent Aurora, Colorado, shootings — in which some people were spared and others lost — is the latest, vivid example of this, but there are plenty of others every day: from casualties in the Syria uprising to victims of accidents on American roads. Tsunamis, tornadoes, household accidents - the list is long.

As a minister, I’ve spent countless hours with suffering people crying: “Why did God let this happen?” In general I hear four answers to this question. Each is wrong, or at least inadequate.... Read this in full at

by Byron Yawn
There are specific moments with every man when he looks around at his life and observes who he's become, or begins to wonder at what could have been. It's a box of pictures formerly hidden by clutter pulled from a closet. An hour passes. Tears are shed. It's okay. You're not crazy. I won't tell. It's normal to reflect upon the significance of one's life. Especially those that span decades. Things accumulate — family, kids, careers, etc. Time flies. Babies grow up. It's healthy to think deeply about who you are and what you've accomplished. We should do it more often. A survey at the midway point of a legacy can reveal much about a man. Good and bad.... Read this in full at

by Ron Edmondson
Someone emailed me recently and asked me for my “top 20 leadership tips”. They were doing a presentation on leadership and were asked to share 20 aspects of great leadership. The added catch. They needed something short they could expand upon, so they suggested I share them in “Twitter length.”

I’m always up for a challenge though, so I wrote down the question and pondered it for a couple weeks. I added a few at a time. Then I sat down to compile the list. Here are my top 20 leadership tips in Twitter length: .... Read this in full at

by Jeff Brumley
There are times, Shaun King says, when worship music should be energetic, light or joyful. That’s when instruments like pianos, drums, and guitars do the trick.

But then there are times when the sound needs to be “bigger and in your face,” said the senior pastor of College Park Baptist Church in Orlando. And that’s when you need an organ.

Experts who play, study and make organs say King’s attitude is becoming increasingly common in churches across the denominational spectrum. The organ – whether in electric, digital, or pipe form -- is enjoying a comeback after suffering declines in the 1990s and early 2000s, despite price tags that range from the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.... Read this in full at

by Ryan Dueck
There are a handful of topics and themes that I can fairly reliably count on to cause questions or concerns in the life of the church. Near the top of the list would be questions about the Bible. What about all of the problem texts of violence and misogyny? What about the history of canonization—which books got in, which were left out, and why? Which parts are “historical” and which are “symbolic” or “metaphorical?” What about all of those long, boring, irrelevant lists of sacrificial rituals and antiquated, bewildering legal codes? Why, in short, do we have such a messy, complicated, difficult book to deal with instead of a book that conforms to our expectations of what an “inspired” text ought to look like? .... Read this in full at

by Joseph Stowell
US News & World Report ran a cover story titled “The Trouble with Premarital Sex.” The subtitle was, “Americans don’t think it’s too much of a problem. Maybe they should.” The gist of the article was that sexual freedom does not deliver true intimacy.

God’s Word has much to say on this topic. Even though our culture today accepts immorality as “the norm,” the Bible says it has been a problem for centuries. In fact, Paul had to write to the members of the church at Corinth about their conduct in this area.... Read this in full at

The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. Spirituality is not about being fixed; it is about God's being present in the mess of our unfixedness.”
- Michael Yaconelli

by Joe Bliffen
Your initial reaction to hearing about a terrible sin someone has committed indicates immediately whether you are developing the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). What was Jesus’ attitude toward sinners as he walked among us?

In Zacchaeus, Jesus saw a man who had really messed up his life and needed a friend. On the cross, Jesus saw two criminals and the Roman soldiers, people who mocked him and blasphemed God. Yet Jesus looked beyond their faults and saw their need; he died for them, and he died for you and me, suffering our death penalty.... Read this in full at

The TV spot was innocuous enough: NASCAR driver Blake Koch, 26 and a rising star, looks into the camera and urges viewers to register to vote, to "rise up and make our voices heard." But ESPN rejected the ad, citing "political and religious overtones," particularly on Koch's personal website, where he's open about his Christian faith. (ESPN later retracted its "religious" objection, but still declined the ad for violating its guidelines on "advocacy messaging.")

Without the national exposure, Koch's sponsor, Rise Up and Register, withdrew its support, worth over $1 million, leaving Koch scrambling for sponsors. Koch, who races in the Nationwide Series (sort of a training ground for NASCAR's popular Sprint Cup Series), says he has "complete peace" about his circumstances, which leave him seeking sponsors week after week — at a minimum of $35,000, just to get the car in racing condition. "But God always provides, and something will happen." .... Read this in full at

by Jimmy Gawne
Every weekend millions of Americans gather together in homes, sports bars, community centers and even houses of worship. They set aside differences of politics, religion, gender and sexuality. Joined by a high speed bond, each proclaims his or her fealty to one of 43 drivers wearing a number and the logos of a dozen or more companies.

I am decidedly one of those individuals, but each time I tune in, I have to ask myself, “As a progressive Christian and dedicated environmentalist, should I really be watching?” .... Read this in full at

Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross, who identifies on Twitter as a "Christian, wife, daughter, sister and friend," won gold in the women's 400-meter competition.

"I have dreamt of this moment for a very long time but nothing compares to this feeling!" Richards-Ross tweeted after her victory. "Never give up on your dreams!!!! God is good."

Will Claye took a bronze medal in the long jump. Before each attempt, Claye can be seen talking to God as he prepares for his jump.

"I'm saying a little prayer, just asking God to cover me and keep me healthy and allow me to have the biggest jump of my life." .... Read this in full at

Also see, “American athletes tweet God, Bible at Olympics”

by Dan Delzell
As Olympians are striving to earn medals and get on the platform, I think of all the Christians in the world today who are focused on winning a different kind of medal. St. Paul described this holy pursuit with these words: "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)

So then how do the "Olympics of Ministry" define success? How do we know which participants are getting medals from the Lord in their respective event? Well, I’ll tell you this much: there are far more than just three medals per event; and, the only One on the platform when your event is over is Jesus Christ.... Read this in full at

The first thing to know about your word is that it is true and that all your righteous rules last forever.”
- Psalm 119:160 (CEB)

Honesty is like a flu shot. It may give you a short, sharp pain, but it keeps you healthier in the long run.”
- Willard Harley Jr.

by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
The recent death of author and controversialist Gore Vidal brought an end to one of America’s most gifted and flamboyantly offensive literary voices. Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was born in 1925 on the campus of the United States Military Academy at West Point. For decades, Vidal was one of America’s most outrageous men of letters. His life was marked by a long series of confrontations and he died as one of the nation’s most famous and infamous literary figures.

As Charles McGrath of The New York Times reported, Vidal claimed to have had over 1,000 sexual encounters with both men and women before the age of 25. Though he described his own preference for “same-sex sex,” Vidal denied the existence of both heterosexuals and homosexuals. Literary critic Michael Dirda of The Washington Post explained, “Again and again he insisted that everyone is really bisexual: ‘There is no such thing as a homosexual or heterosexual person. There are only homosexual or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices.’” .... Read this in full at

by Nikki Weatherford
There is a fine line between relating and becoming. It's a line that my generation not only toes, but likes to cross. We call it meeting people where they are. We hear and say it a lot, and it's an important concept. Jesus practiced it. He dined with prostitutes. He discipled tax collectors. He healed sinners knowing that many would continue in their sin.

It's a concept that's still very important to us in ministry today. Understanding people and relating to them is key to forming relationships that will lead to Christ.

If you want to minister to teenagers today, you've got to be able to relate to them. Meeting them where they are today means meeting them on Facebook, Twitter, and through texting. They're electronically driven, and to reach them, we need to go there.

If you want to minister to an unbeliever who's been hurt by church people in the past, you don't pester them to come with you to church; you go into their element. Share Christ with them first; the desire to come to church is secondary. It doesn't stop there; there are a lot of different applications of this.

But here's the thing. We don't meet people where they are by adapting ourselves to them.... Read this in full at

Sikhism is the world's 5th largest religion and was founded in the 1500s in India's Punjab state.

More than 500 years ago, Muslim descendants of Genghis Khan, known as the Moghuls, ruled India. Forced conversions and violence were common. Sikhism began as a reaction to Islam and Hinduism.

The first of 10 gurus and the founder of Sikhism, Nanak Dev, lived at the same time as Martin Luther and John Calvin. During the time of the Anabaptists and the Reformation, Guru Nanak was trying to bring reformation to India.... Read this in full at

Did you know a third to a half of everyone in your workplace are introverts?

According to Susan Cain’s bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking (Crown, 2012), many people actually pretend to be extroverted because it’s an enormously appealing personality style. “But,” says Cain, “we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.”

Cain thinks we tend to overestimate how outgoing leaders need to be. In fact, she says, the typical leader actually speaks to individuals and small teams much more often than large groups.

If you fall into this category, be encouraged – the advantages of introversion are numerous, though popular culture says otherwise.

Erwin Lutzer has led the historic Moody Church in downtown Chicago for more than 30 years, authored more than 30 books, and is featured regularly on 3 national radio programs. Leadership Journal visited Dr. Lutzer in his church study to get his perspective on spiritual warfare. He shared his thoughts on deliverance, temptation, the role of the community, and why he believes Satan needs God's permission "even to wiggle."

Q: How would you describe to an unchurched person what spiritual warfare is?
A: I would explain it by saying we have to understand that the material world is not the only reality. There's a spirit world, and all the spirits are not good ones. Many people even outside the church accept that nowadays; just witness the many shows on television that deal with paranormal activity. If you help people understand that there are spirits, and some are evil and we must stand against them, I think most people could connect with that.... Read this in full at

by Mark Tooley
With about 75-80 percent of Americans saying they're Christian, America is about as demographically Christian as India is Hindu or Israel is Jewish. We're almost as Christian as Egypt is Muslim. Some evangelicals insist Christians are only born again believers, of whom 30-40 percent of Americans profess to be. But such converts have always been a minority and actually are more numerous now than for much of our history.

The late public intellectual and Catholic priest Richard John Neuhaus famously insisted: "America is, as it always has been, an incorrigibly, confusedly, and conflictedly Christian society." He readily admitted: "It is undoubtedly true that many Christians are mediocre in their faith and its practice. Ordinarily, most people are ordinary. And there is surely a strong streak of gnosticism in popular spiritualities." But Neuhaus was struck by the persistent disposition of so many cultural elites to ignore the large majorities of Americans who consistently profess to be religious and Christian.... Read this in full at

Voters in Missouri overwhelmingly approved a “right to pray” amendment to the state’s constitution Aug. 7, despite concerns about the measure’s necessity and legality.

Amendment 2, which supporters said would protect the freedom of religious expression in public schools and other public spaces, received nearly 80% of the vote.

The language on the ballot stressed the rights of citizens to express their religious beliefs and the rights of children to pray and acknowledge God in schools. It also stated that students could be exempted from classroom activities that violate their religious beliefs.... Read this in full at

Fans can expect new VeggieTales ( adventures, as animation giant DreamWorks has purchased the parent company of Big Idea Entertainment, the faith-based cartoon's owner.

DreamWorks Animation will pay Boomerang Media Holdings $155 million to buy Classic Media and the Nashville-based Big Idea, which launched VeggieTales in 1993. Classic Media in 2003 rescued Big Idea from bankruptcy, buying the company and retaining the name.

VeggieTales has thrilled parents and preschoolers with a top-rated television series on NBC Saturday morning, Telemundo and ION TV, and faith-based releases such as "Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie" and "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie."

Big Idea expressed optimism at the transition.... Read this in full at

Child Evangelism Fellowship (, the largest Christian ministry to children in the world, has announced that it has shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with a staggering 12.1 million children around the world in 2011. This is an 11% increase over the 10.9 million children reached in 2010 and marks the 12th consecutive year of growth for the ministry's outreach.... Read this in full at

Christian Men's Network ( will celebrate 35 years of building strong men at 'Meet Me at the Jetty,' a celebratory gathering honoring over three decades of work, the 30th birthday of the bestselling book for men, "Maximized Manhood," and the 10-year commemoration of the passing of Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, known as the father of the Christian men's movement and the founder of the Christian Men's Network.... Read this in full at

According to a new survey by Public Religion Research Institute, white evangelical Protestants are significantly more likely than other major religious groups to use technology for religious purposes.

* One-quarter of white evangelical Protestants say they’ve downloaded a podcast of a sermon or listened to a sermon online, compared to fewer than 1-in-10 white mainline Protestants and Catholics (6% each).

* White evangelical Protestants are also more likely than white mainline Protestants or Catholics to report that their church uses technology or social media.... Read this in full at

Let each man think himself an act of God,
His mind a thought, his life a breath of God;
And let each try, by great thoughts and good deeds,
To show the most of Heaven he hath in him.
- Philip James Bailey

BibleWalk (, Ohio’s only life-size wax museum and a leading inspirational and non-denominational museum, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.

BibleWalk, aka The Living Bible Museum, first opened its doors on August 15, 1987. The original museum consisted of 19 scenes highlighting both the Old and New Testaments. At that time, the mannequins were referred to as museum quality fiberglass. And 25 years later....

BibleWalk has expanded into 4 unique tours: The Life of Christ (60 min); The Miracles of the Old Testament (60 min); The Museum of Christian Martyrs (30 min); and The Heart of the Reformation (30 min). The most recent tour, The Heart of the Reformation, opened in 2003.

BibleWalk has upgraded into a life-size wax museum featuring over 70 dioramas and over 300 wax figures. “It has become the largest religious wax museum in the world,” says Director Julia Mott-Hardin.... Read this in full at

The Amish are one of the fastest-growing religious groups in North America, according to a new census by researchers at Ohio State University.

The study, released July 27 at the annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, suggests a new community sprouting every three and a half weeks.

Nearly 250,000 Amish live in the U.S. and Canada, and the population is expected to exceed 1 million around 2050.... Read this in full at

While many congregations across the country organize events like Vacation Bible School and bingo nights, one church in Ohio has decided to start a professional wrestling organization.

First United Methodist Church of Martins Ferry has launched Rugged Cross Championship Wrestling (RCCW), with its first event, titled "First Genesis," being held Sunday evening at a church facility.

According to the RCCW Facebook group, the new wrestling organization is affiliated with Black Diamond Wrestling, All Things New Ministry, and Call The Eternal. The goal is to provide family-friendly professional wrestling entertainment.... Read this in full at

Religious freedom around the globe is "sliding backwards," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said upon the release of her department's annual report on the issue.

Speaking July 30, Clinton said of the current state of international religious liberty, "More than a billion people live under governments that systematically suppress religious freedom. New technologies have given repressive governments additional tools for cracking down on religious expression. Members of faith communities that have long been under pressure report that the pressure is rising. Even some countries that are making progress on expanding political freedom are frozen in place when it comes to religious freedom."

Clinton offered her remarks on the same day the State Department released its latest religious freedom report, which covered 199 countries and territories for the calendar year 2011.... Read this in full at

God must have been laughing up his sleeve," muses Jobst Schöne. The retired bishop of the Independent Lutheran Church in Germany is applying a German paraphrase of Psalm 2:4 to the baptism of seven former Muslims from Iran. Early Easter morning, the seven were baptized in the Berlin parish where Schöne serves as associate pastor. The baptisms were an emblem of something bigger — a nationwide surge of such conversions in several denominations and a spate of reports of Muslims seeing Jesus in their dreams. But Martin Luther's Bible translation, now nearly 500 years old, also played an important role in their story.... Read this in full at

There is nothing but God's grace. We walk upon it; we breathe it; we live and die by it; it makes the nails and axles of the universe.”
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Access to your words gives light, giving simple folk understanding.”
- Psalm 119:130 

Words: Henry F. Lyte, 1847
Music: William H. Monk, 1861

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

>from NetHymnal at

The man who really prays never attempts to justify himself. In true prayer, he knows that he cannot do so.”
- Karl Barth (1886-1968), Church Dogmatics, v. II, part 2 [1957], Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, p. 752


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!

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Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why. 

As1 new Christian website to reclaim culture

The American Bible Challenge game show (premieres Aug. 23)

Google Street View visits the Kennedy Space Center!/nasa

Explanation of NASA’s Mars explorer Curiosity

Photos of city life

Evocative photos

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.) 

Every time I see a math word problem it looks like this: If I have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 apples, how many pancakes will fit on the roof? Answer: Purple...because aliens don’t wear hats.
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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