Connecting man to man to God
For week of October 28, 2012
Issue 431

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 2,153 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:

Be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and submit to each other out of respect for Christ.”
- Ephesians 5:18-21 (CEB)

"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

At the recent opening of the Passages Bible exhibition in Charlotte, NC, Steve Green was described as "a man of no compromise who sticks to God's Word and does everything at a level of excellence." Green is the president of Hobby Lobby and owner of the world's largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.

Passages showcases more than 400 items of great historical and biblical significance from the Green Collection. The full collection contains more than 40,000 items. The exhibit opened in Charlotte in September and continues daily through the end of February.

The 30,000-square-foot Passages exhibition provides a captivating experience that tells the dramatic story of the most debated, most banned, most read, best-selling book of all time.

The exhibit's website ( describes Passages as an "innovative, interactive, family-friendly exhibit that showcases both the Old and New Testaments -- arguably the world's most significant pieces of literature -- through a non-sectarian, scholarly approach that makes the history, scholarship and impact of the Bible on virtually every facet of society accessible to everyone." .... Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
When I meet with “driven” men, or those in a tough spot in their marriage or whose spiritual life feels flat and lifeless to them, I’ll often ask them if they have a “nut” they just won’t or can’t let go of.

I’m told there are tribes who have a unique method of capturing monkeys. It seems they drill a 1 ½” hole in a coconut, drain the milk and dry the meat. A large nut is then dropped through the hole and a short rope or chain is attached, one end to the coconut and the other to a tree.

Soon a monkey will come along, pick up the coconut, shake it, and, hearing the nut rattling around inside, will reach through the hole for the nut. However, now the monkey’s fist holding the nut is larger than the hole and he can’t remove it.

All he’d have to do to be free is let go of the nut. But, soon the trapper comes along holding a club. The frightened monkey starts running around the palm tree and with each turn shortens the rope until there’s no slack left and he’s clubbed to death.... Read this in full at

by Jeffrey Weiss
The old saying that "a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on" may not be nearly gloomy enough. Turns out that there's a ton of research that says even if the truth ever catches up, the lie will stick around.

Just about every religion places a high value on its version of the truth. Truth is even described by some faiths as a sort of eternal disinfectant, able to scrub the effects of misinformation.

Secular pursuits also depend on a belief in the cleansing power of truth. I've been a reporter for more than 30 years. My profession takes it on faith that if we can dig out the truth, we can undo the effect of lies. This election season, more than any other, reporters of various kinds have devoted uncounted hours to fact-checking and issuing corrections. Always with the assumption that we can negate the impact of a falsehood if only we make the error clear.

But a paper published in the most recent edition of Psychological Science in the Public Interest may be the most depressing bit of academic work I've ever read. The cheery title is "Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing." It's the work product of five scholars, all but one working in Australia. It's not a report on original research. Rather it's an encyclopedic survey of existing research concerning the persistence of misinformation.

The bottom line claim: once a mind is besmirched by the stain of misinformation, it's seldom truly clean ever again.... Read this in full at

by Dan Delzell
Could it really be that simple? Are the words "Save Me Jesus" enough to connect you to God and save your soul for eternity? Yes and no. "Yes"....if you mean it....and keep living everyday with that of humility before God and a living relationship with the Lord.

"No"....if it was just a one-time prayer from your past that is not being carried over to this day. A Christian is someone who depends upon Jesus everyday for His forgiveness....and seeks to live everyday for Christ. A believer is never content to be living in disobedience. There is a restlessness that comes to anyone who is born again and yet is giving into temptation and sin. The "gears" of the soul don't work in the life of a Christian who is deliberately disobeying the One he asked to save him earlier in life.... Read this in full at

Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church and founder of PowerPoint Ministries, , says, "I might not always understand the process of prayer or the behind the scenes work of prayer, but God wants me to depend upon him and ask him for the things needed in life." See his video remarks at

by Barry Howard
Often I am asked, “What can I do to grow as a Christian?” There are several things that may help you grow in your faith but one of the most important things is to read the Bible everyday.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? But developing a daily discipline of reading the Bible can be challenging because it requires changing our daily habits. However, you are never too young or too old to start.

Over the past couple of years, I have worked on a study team of pastors and scholars who have been investigating the impact of “The Bible and Your Life.” Responses to our survey indicate that reading the Bible privately once a week or more is the “game-changer” in putting faith into practice. Those who read the Bible privately on a regular basis are much more likely to look to the Bible for guidance in making life decisions than those who read the Bible seldom or never.

In analyzing the responses to our survey which indicate a strong correspondence between Bible reading and faith application, Dr. Penny Marler, professor of sociology at Samford University, surmises that, “In a world that presents us with many options and distractions, what we choose to spend our time doing says a great deal about what is important to us and the more we engage in a particular behavior, the more important it becomes.” .... Read this in full at

Global Voices of Nonviolence (GVON) is an initiative that draws special attention to the 12-day period between the United Nations International Day of Peace (9/21) and the United Nations International Day of Nonviolence (10/2).

For the past two years, EGM used launch tours, film screenings, and special events to focus the world’s attention on nonviolence, peace, humanity, equality, love, and hope. This year, Global Voices of Nonviolence included scores of people, events, organizations, programs, and resources dedicated to nonviolence as a path to peace and a greater humanity.... Read this in full at

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) recently launched a major ad campaign encouraging Americans to "vote for biblical values" this November.

The ad campaign is the latest in a series of public statements this year that have prompted questions on whether they truly reflect Billy Graham's concerns or whether they were initiated by his son Franklin Graham, who has been more outspoken than his father on political matters in recent years.

Do Billy Graham's recent ads and statements really mark a siginificant departure for the evangelist? Christianity Today asked three experts: William Martin (author of the Graham biography A Prophet With Honor), Michael Hamilton (a historian of the evangelical movement and Graham's influence), and Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross.... Read this in full at

Confronting criticism that he has commandeered the voice of aging evangelist Billy Graham and turned him into "a mouthpiece for the religious right," Franklin Graham says his father's entrance into a tightening presidential race was his own choice.

"Nobody kidnaps my Daddy. He may not see or hear as well, but his mind remains sharp as a razor," Graham said. "He's been active in politics since the 1940s. People need to remember that." .... Read this in full at

Representatives from 9 state legislatures have announced the formation of state-level religious freedom caucuses in a new nationwide effort to combat religious discrimination.

"There is a renewed interest in religious freedom in the country, and this growing attention is bringing together people of all religious faiths and political ideologies," Tim Schultz of the American Religious Freedom Program (ARFP) said during a teleconference Oct. 9. "Freedom of religion is a right that all lawmakers, and this includes state legislators, have a role in protecting and defending.

"This is not an issue just for the courts," Schultz noted.

With the assistance of a bipartisan group of more than 120 lawmakers -- 16 were present for the teleconference -- ARFP plans to inaugurate religious freedom caucuses in all 50 states by the end of 2013. The current states with caucuses are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.... Read this in full at

by Paul Tripp
Though the power of sin has been broken, the presence of sin remains. So it's vital that we remember the deceitfulness of sin. We tend to want to believe that we hold an accurate and reliable view of ourselves. But on this side of glorification that's not always true, precisely because sin lives in a costume. While counseling pastors, I've often been struck with the reality that the man sitting in front of me lacked accurate knowledge of himself. And you can't grieve what you don't see, you can't confess what you haven't grieved, and you can't repent of what you haven't confessed.

Evil doesn't always look evil, and sin often looks so good – this is part of what makes it so bad. In order for sin to do its evil work, it must present itself as something that is anything but evil. Life in a fallen world is like attending the ultimate masquerade party. An impatient moment of yelling wears the costume of zeal for truth. Lust masquerades as a love for beauty. Gossip lives in the costume of concern and prayer. Craving for power and control wears the mask of biblical leadership. Fear of man gets dressed up as being a peacemaker or having a servant heart. Pride in always being right masquerades as a love for biblical wisdom.... Read this in full at

Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
- Galatians 6:2 (CEB)

If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world.”
- Vance Havner

by Andy Crouch
Downtown Seattle's Daniels Recital Hall, with its soaring Beaux Arts dome, intricate woodwork and stained glass, is about to become a church again. The developer who saved it from the wrecking ball has signed a long-term lease with Mars Hill Downtown Seattle, a resolutely evangelical congregation that has been worshiping in a former nightclub since its founding in 2008. With 1,500 members, the congregation outgrew its old, less-than-ideal quarters, where for a time the congregants used exotic dancers' cages as coat racks.

Christians in Seattle aren't alone in wanting to reclaim the heart of their city as a place for worship. Though the American evangelical movement is often stereotyped as rural and provincial, it has actually had its greatest success in the suburbs and exurbs, where entrepreneurial pastors found cheap land and plentiful parking to build the "megachurches" of the past generation—think Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., seating capacity over 7,000.... Read this in full at

by Andrée Seu Peterson
The Lord specializes in surprise endings. I will mention just a few:
Abraham graciously gives Lot the first pick of the real estate when they split, and Lot chooses the fertile parcel for himself. In the end, Abraham is the one who prospers, and the grabby nephew finds himself stuck in the red-light district of Sodom and ignominiously yanked out with nothing but the shirt on his back (Genesis 13, 14, 19).

Abraham’s Via Dolorosa to the mount where he must slay his son Isaac for the Lord takes a strange turn when at the last minute the Lord stays his hand—and gives Abraham the biggest promise that any man has ever received in history (Genesis 22)....

Are you experiencing seemingly insurmountable problems in your life today? .... Read this in full at

My father-in-law [told me] the following story:
One day, the leaders of a church were in the process of deciding whom to invite to minister at one of their meetings. One of them, an older man, insisted on inviting a young person who had demonstrated God's anointing on his life and through whom God was performing signs, wonders and miracles. He was so insistent that another member of the group became angry and said: ‘Why does it have to be that young person? You make it seem like he's got a monopoly on the Holy Spirit.’ To which the older man replied: "Certainly not, but the Holy Spirit's definitely got a monopoly on him."

After sharing the story with me, my father-in-law concluded by saying: ‘You can never have control of the Holy Spirit, but you can seek to be that young person whom the Holy Spirit is in control of.’

Many people would like to be used by the Lord to transform the lives of others, but few are willing to be transformed by Him. The anointing that transforms will only rest upon people who desire to be transformed.

The more transparent you are to God with your spirit, the more He will reveal His to you. The more you open your heart to God, the more He will open His to you, for the Scripture says: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you [James 4:8].

This is the kind of prayer that helps you behold God in all His majesty. ‘Lord, I am a person with a hard heart and You know it. I cannot hide it from You.’ When you come before His presence and say: ‘Lord, You know my life, You know what I do, You know every word I speak; here I am, change me,’ then that is when you open your life to a transformation that will gradually lead you to an intimate knowledge of His Spirit. He seeks intimacy with those who demonstrate a longing to find Him.”
- Cash Luna in In Honor of the Holy Spirit: He Is Someone, Not Something

Too many of us have a Christian vocabulary rather than a Christian experience.”
- Charles F. Banning

by Grant Horner, Author, Professor at The Master's College
Most people would not describe fear as a pleasant emotion. The experience of terror, of being threatened, doomed, or on the brink of feeling some terrible agony, is quite naturally a negative feeling. The purpose of fear is to serve as a warning. People do not send chocolates or flowers as a warning. A tiger does not purr before he attacks you, nor does your heart beat more slowly right before he eats you. So why is there a massive industry dedicated to the production of fear for pleasure? Scary movies, skydiving and bungee-jumping, haunted houses on Halloween, and horror novels combine to make a multibillion dollar economic powerhouse. Why?

Fear for pleasure may have murky roots historically, but we do know that with the rise of the Gothic novel in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Western culture became fascinated with the sensation of terror. This coincides with both the Terror of the French Revolution and the rise of newsprint and what we now call "mass media." In other words, everyone knew about the great French Terror and its central object of fascination: le guillotine. And let's face it—news of suffering is as fascinating as it is repellent. Gothicism in literature and art in some ways was closely related to the Romanticism movement of the same period. Both were fascinated by powerful emotion, the wildness of nature, the strangeness of the supernatural, and the power of the sublime, which could transport you out of your own present consciousness. These Gothic novels—lurid tales about nuns being raped by cardinals in convents, young girls being carried off to moldering castles followed by enforced marriages to moldering old men after their fortunes, and of course tales of vampires as well as mortals who live a good life by day and another life by night—were forbidden reading in polite society.... Read this in full at

by Alan Rudnick
It should make any established American denomination panic: the dramatic increase in number of Americans leaving organized religion. In 2007, the percentage of the religious unaffiliated was around 15% and now that number is around 20% according to a new Pew study. In the last 20 years, the religiously unaffiliated or “nones” have doubled.

Before churches and denominations panic, this study does not prove people are leaving behind their belief in God – just the church.

There are a few things we need to remember. This poll, as with any poll, asked questions that may have not accurately described the respondents. The Washington Post reports,

Pew offered people a list of more than a dozen possible affiliations, including “Protestant,” “Catholic,” “something else” and “nothing in particular.”

Those “possible affiliations” are terms that may no longer apply. I’m routinely amazed how Christians incorrectly refer to other Christian denominations as “religions”. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and other Christian traditions are not separate faith systems, but sects of Protestant Christianity. Such semantics usually do not bother the average Christian, but it highlights how religious people often misunderstand or misuse terms and affiliations. This follows the pattern of Christians and disenfranchised Christians who dislike being labeled with added denominational titles. Such titles are innocuous and most Americans cannot tell you the difference between a Reformed church and an Episcopal church.

Does all this mean Americans aren’t religious people anymore?.... Read this in full at

According to a new survey released by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, The fast-rising number of people in America who say they have no affiliation with any particular religion is now the highest it’s ever been in any previous Pew polling.

When pollsters ask whether people are Baptist or Catholic or Jewish or some other religious tradition, more and more people say, in effect, “None of the Above.” So they have come to be called the Nones.

The television program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly wanted to know who these Nones are, why they are unaffiliated, and what that says about the future of American religious life. Watch this interview with Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Also read the report at

by Chris Brundage
I have a new name for God, at least new to me. The old three-letter word "God" is worn out. Words only last so long before they need to be retired for a season. The word "God" has too much freight on it and too many associations.

I have begun to use a Hebrew word for deity: el. It’s pronounced like the English word ale. (This is an idea I borrowed from Madeleine L’Engle.) El is a simple word, found in the Bible, but it doesn’t have any history for me, and I never use it in my work as a pastor. I walk on the trail in the mornings and talk to el, who hides in the trees. Actually, el is hidden deeply in all things.... Read this in full at

Watch this video report at

Some churches struggling with shrinking attendance are shortening their traditional Sunday services, promising to get a generation with limited attention spans out the door in as little as 30 minutes.

These abbreviated ceremonies are an innovation that leaders hope will lure back the enormous numbers of young people who avoid Sundays at church. With distractions such as the Internet and a weak connection to the faith of their childhoods, many are steering clear, to the dismay of religious leaders who desperately want them back.... Read this in full at

Olive trees in the Jerusalem garden revered by Christians as the place where Jesus Christ prayed before he was crucified have been dated to at least 900 years old, a study now shows.

The results of tests on trees in the Garden of Gethsemane have not settled the question of whether the gnarled trees are the very same which sheltered Jesus, where the Bible says he prayed and was later betrayed by Judas, because olive trees can grow back from roots after being cut down, researchers said.

"We cannot rule out the possibility that there was an intervention to rejuvenate them when they stopped being productive or dried out," Chief Researcher Professor Antonio Cimato said at a presentation of the results in Rome.... Read this in full at

by Jo Kadlececk
Saturday nights in the Nueva Suyapa neighborhood of Tegucigalpa can be tough. Dogs scavenge through unlit streets, gangs vie for power among the poor, and young people look for a way to pass the time. Last year a UN report ranked Honduras as having the world’s highest per capita homicide rate.

But one Saturday night in June, I joined 20 other internationals for dinner with two local families living side by side in Nueva Suyapa.... Read this in full at

by Brian Nixon
On a recent trip through New Mexico’s northern mountain range, The Sangre De Cristo (Blood of Christ), I’ve come to realize we are an assorted lot of wayfaring folks, capable of amazing convictions and assorted works.

Concerning convictions, theologian James McClendon states, “Convictions, as well as traits, are integral to character, and to the existence of community.”

So when one meets a person, we meet the community in which that person presides, for good or ill. Community defines, or at least, influences, the people that inhabit it, helping develop the character and individual traits of the person; which, in turn, influence the larger community.

Convictions. Character. Community. There appears to be a circular development of give and take between the three realities.

If this is the case, on my trip I interacted with several communities, and a multitude of characters in four cities: Las Vegas, Red River, Taos, and Santa Fe—all in New Mexico.... Read this in full at

Paul Kurtz, a leading US philosopher who devoted his life to fighting prejudice against people who reject belief in God and promoting a non-religious stance in life, has died at the age of 86.

The secular humanist Center for Inquiry (CFI), which he founded in 1991, said the one-time SUNY Buffalo university professor – who as a young soldier helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in 1945 – died in Amherst, New York.

He was one of the most influential figures in the humanist and skeptical movements from the late 1960s through the first decade of the 21st century,” said an obituary issued by CFI - which he had left over a succession dispute in 2010.... Read this in full at

Have fun; love Jesus; and, tell others about Him.”
- Tim Tebow

Hope in the LORD! Be strong! Let your heart take courage! Hope in the LORD!”
- Psalm 27:14 (CEB)

Words: Francis of Assisi, circa 1225; translated to English by William H. Draper, 1919
Music: Peter von Brachel, 1623

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

>from NetHymnal at

Listen to Friday night's Path Of Life fellowship gathering online broadcast on Blogtalk radio here:


Lord: give me the gift of faith to be renewed and shared with others each day. Teach me to live this moment only, looking neither to the past with regret, nor the future with apprehension. Let love be my aim and my life a prayer.”
- Roseann Alexander-Isham


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!

Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why. 

Google’s Street View cameras now take users into Grand Canyon

Charming video of rescued baby elephant

Smile! You're on Canine Camera!
See many more photos at

Ron Wheeler cartoons

Colorizing the archives of history

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 looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap.
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