Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 23, 2013
Issue 465

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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Parents, don’t provoke your children to anger, but raise them with discipline and instruction about the Lord.”
- Ephesians 6:4 (CEB)

Confusion and impotence are the inevitable results when the wisdom and resources of the world are substituted for the presence and power of the Spirit.”
- Samuel Chadwick

by Alexandra Kuykendall
As a girl, Father's Day underscored the other 364 days of the year, bringing a blaring reminder there was no father around to celebrate. The absence of that single, critical male relationship didn't just make me feel lonely and left out, it impacted my understanding of the world and my place in it.

After reflecting on how my father's absence has impacted me as a girl and now woman, wife and mother in my memoir, The Artist's Daughter, others have shared with me similar stories of abandonment and struggle. Our collective stories confirm what statistics scream: that the bond from father to child is essential. Whether our dads were good, bad, or not there at all, this relationship shapes our understanding of our very identities.

Yet, we live in a country where too many of us have broken relationships with Dad. In America, 1 in 3 kids live apart from their biological fathers. A recent Washington Post article addressed the dad dilemma with the eye-catching title: The new F-Word – Father. In it, Kathleen Parker addresses a question being asked as we discuss the latest stats on America's female breadwinners: In the evolving 21st-century economy, "what are men good for?" .... Read this in full at

by Michael Brown
As a new dad more than 35 years ago, I read a book about effective fathering, and one illustration from one chapter — based on a real-life story — has stayed with me ever since. It provides a sobering lesson for fathers.

In the book Correct, Not Politically Correct, Frank Turek writes, “Children from fatherless homes are:
1. Seven times more likely to live in poverty;
2. Six times more likely to commit suicide;
3. More than twice as likely to commit crime;
4. More than twice as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock;
5. Worse off academically and socially;
6. Worse off physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood.”

I’m aware, of course, that some of these statistics are related to socio-economic factors as well, but the reality is that broken, fatherless homes are part of the socio-economic dynamic, and so fatherless homes are part of a larger, vicious cycle.... Read this in full at

by Marcus Brotherton
I am 8 years old, and I clamber up onto my dad’s shoulders to dive into the water.

We are swimming in Okanagan Lake, and I stand perfectly still, feet planted on either side of his neck. My hands are stretched down to hold his, his are stretched up to hold mine.

There is nothing overtly heroic about the moment. I splash down headfirst, and this dive is simply one of the thousands of everyday acts that can transpire during a warm summer between a father and son.

So why do I still remember it today? .... Read this in full at

by Karen Farris
When my superman fathered our children, he changed diapers and took his midnight turns during teething. During toddlerhood he created games and held those small hands within his large ones. He was the one who took the training wheels off and jogged alongside, ready to steady as needed.

My superman has always worked two jobs — home and career. And he’s been devoted to both because he knew he couldn’t be the father he wanted to be without being a man of integrity and dedication at work.... Read this in full at

by Eric Marrapodi
As the new Superman movie takes flight, filmmakers are hoping the Man of Steel lands not only in theaters, but also in pulpits.

Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie.

The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages.

How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask.... Read this in full at

A recent Associated Press-WE tv poll found more than 8 in 10 men said they have always wanted to be fathers or think they'd like to be one someday.

Debates about the different ways women approach motherhood dominate news coverage about parenthood these days, with fathers' experiences often left unexamined.

A look at what the poll found on how men view fatherhood, and the changes it has brought for those who have become dads: .... Read this in full at

by Bruce Wydick
What can an ordinary person like me do to help the poor?" When people find out at parties and social gatherings that I am a development economist, often they ask me this question. For a long time my response was the same: "Perhaps sponsor a child?"

Research bears this out. In all six countries, we find that sponsorship results in better educational outcomes for children. Overall, sponsorship makes children 27 to 40 percent more likely to complete secondary school, and 50 to 80 percent more likely to complete a university education. Child sponsorship also appears to be the great equalizer in education: In areas where outcomes are worse, such as sub-Saharan Africa, impacts are bigger. In countries where existing outcomes aren't as bad, like in India and the Philippines, impacts are significant but smaller. In countries where existing outcomes are higher among boys, the impact on girls is larger; in countries where the existing educational outcomes are higher for girls, the impact on boys is larger. We even find some evidence for spillover effects on the unsponsored younger siblings of sponsored children.... Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
Q “My husband and I were in a movie recently and I had the impression to leave because of the profane language. He whispered, “Let’s stay. I think it will get better” and it did. But, it still bothered my conscience to stay, but it didn’t bother his. What should we have done?” Julie

A This is a great time for a pre-decision. What will you do as a couple next time? My wife and I have made this movie or TV, pre-decision; if either of us finds the content of a movie or program offensive, we defer to their conscience – no questions asked and no complaining.

Our decision comes out of I Cor. 8. There Paul says that if one person has no problem with eating meat sacrificial to idols, but another Christian does, then don’t violate their conscience by eating such meat in front of them. In other words, never tempt someone to violate their conscience, even if you feel the freedom to make a different choice.

So, if you’ve found yourself in this movie dilemma before with a spouse or good friend, it’s time for a 10 second rule pre-decision. Decide now how you’ll handle it differently.

The death of a loved one can sneak up on you and surprise you unaware. Other times, you may know it’s coming and have time to prepare for it. Either way, the result is the same . . . the outcome is final. That person you love is now missing from your life. Jesus assured us in John 11:25–26 of eternal life in heaven for all those who belong to Him. Those comforting words give us hope for the future . . . but in the short term, grief can feel overwhelming.

It’s possible you may even be reeling from the aftereffects of someone who chose to take his or her own life. If so, you may be dealing with anger toward the one you miss so much — as well as struggling with many lingering, unanswered questions.

The following resources can help you make it through these dark seasons. You can be assured that Jesus Christ will never leave you. He sees every tear and hears every desperate cry, and His love and comfort are everlasting.... Read this in full at

Americans love to talk about leadership. Yet research by Barna indicates American Christians' perceptions of themselves as leaders and the leadership traits they value in others don’t often line up — a disconnect that invites further exploration. Where is this disconnect happening? And, perhaps more importantly, why?

Joseph Cavanaugh, president of Ephesians 4 Leadership and author of a new Barna Book, The Language of Blessing, traces it back to a lack of self-awareness. The Barna team talked with him about this cultural problem, how it contributes to a warped sense of calling, and why the first step to leading others well is to gain a realistic understanding of ourselves.... Read this in full at

by Gregory Woodard
I have long been interested in fitness. I have enjoyed the process of getting into and maintaining good physical condition since the years I spent in the Marine Corps. I will admit that there have been seasons of life where my commitment to fitness has flagged. The busyness of life made it difficult to commit to a good fitness plan.

In my current season, as an active duty Navy Chaplain serving infantry Marines, I have a professional interest in keeping fit. Along with this role in the young man’s world of the Marine Corps, I am growing older. In July, I will be 47 – yet I am as fit as at any other time of my life other than my six years of active Marine Corps service. I don’t write any of that to say look at me. Rather I wrote the above to say to you that it is possible to find your way to fitness no matter where you are in life.... Read this in full at

Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts retail chain, was honored June 15 at the Faith and Freedom coalition's "Road to Majority 2013" conference with a "Courage in Business Leadership" award. The Christian Post interviewed him about the company's current lawsuit over the birth control mandate and the "Green Collection," the world's largest private collection of biblical antiquities and artifacts.

The Green Collection has a traveling exhibit, called "Passages," which is now in Colorado Springs, Colo. It will eventually be housed in a permanent museum in Washington, DC. There is also a separate exhibit in Vatican City. Additionally, the initiative includes the "Green Scholars Initiative," to advance scholarly research on the Bible.... Read this in full at

by Rick McKinley
When we talk about finances in the church, there's a tendency to keep the discussion very practical. We ask questions such as, "How do we encourage people to give? What kinds of fundraisers work?" All too often, we make finances a "how-to" conversation. Yet there are deep heart issues involved. One of them is our unhealthy desire for security.

People will give up salvation for slavery if it comes with the illusion of security. Think of the Israelites. When they were freed from Egypt, it didn't take long for them to ask, "Why can't we go back to slavery?" It's incredible, when you think about it. After experiencing God's salvation, they pined for slavery.

I've watched this principle play out with finances. We say we trust that God will provide for us, but the moment things get tight, we're tempted to abandon that trust in God and seek security through our own efforts. In other words, we're not all that different from the Israelites.

When Jesus commands us to pray, "Give us our daily bread," he's critiquing this tendency to find security in other things.... Read this in full at

~The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

~The trees are whistling for the dogs.

~The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

~Hot water now comes out of both taps.

~You can make sun tea instantly.

~You learn that a seatbelt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.

~The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.

~You discover that in July it only takes two fingers to steer your car.

~You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.

~You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

~You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.

~Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"

~You realize asphalt has a liquid state.

~The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.

~Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.

~The cows are giving evaporated milk.

For the first time, the US federal government has issued written guidelines ( for houses of worship that are confronted with a homicidal gunman.

Vice President Joe Biden released the new rules June 18, six months after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 dead, including 20 children.

Beyond seeking shelter and waiting for police to arrive, as many Newtown victims did, the new rules also advise adults in congregations to fight back — as a last resort — in a bid to stop the shooter. The new federal doctrine is “run, hide, or fight.”.... Read this in full at

Also see “Church Security Expert Reacts to New Government Guidelines for Houses of Worship”

Sing to God! Sing praises to his name! Exalt the one who rides the clouds! The LORD is his name. Celebrate before him! Father of orphans and defender of widows is God in his holy habitation.”
- Psalm 68:4-5 (CEB)

There's no such thing as a successful marriage. There are marriages that give up, and marriages that keep on trying; that's the only difference.”
- Garrison Keillor

There is no Bible for the deaf. But the Japan Deaf Evangel Mission is trying to create the world’s only full-text sign language Bible using video-recorded Scriptures. The visual media project, however, could take decades to complete.... Read this in full at

New York’s revamped accessibility symbol began at a Christian college.... Read this in full at

School prayer was banned by the US Supreme Court 50 years ago, but there is probably more presence of religion in public school environments – through club ministries, classes, after-school and interfaith programs, and faith-based services – than ever.... Read this in full at

by Paul Tripp
I’m persuaded that many Christians don’t have a Gospel perspective on who they are. This lack of Gospel identity shows up in two ways. First, many Christians underestimate the presence and power of indwelling sin.

* We don’t see how easily entrapped we are in this world full of snares (see Galatians 6:1).
* We don’t grasp the comprehensive nature of the war that’s always raging within our heart (see Romans 7:15-25).
* We’re not aware of how prone we are to run after God replacements (see Romans 1:25).
* We fail to see that our greatest problems exists inside of us, not outside of us (see 2 Corinthians 5:15).

My work with teenagers has convinced me that one of the main reasons teenagers aren’t excited by the Gospel is because they don’t think they need it. Many parents have successfully raised self-righteous little Pharisees. When they look at themselves, they don’t see a sinner in desperate need, so they’re not grateful for a Savior. Sadly, the same is true of many of us.... Read this in full at

The Woman's Mission Union made a bold proclamation at the recent Southern Baptist Convention in Houston, Texas, by announcing the partnership between the WMU, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Pastor Jay Dennis of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla., to eradicate the poison of pornography that is destroying marriages, hurting children, and fracturing the mission of the church.

Wanda Lee, executive director of national WMU, told pastors and church leaders at the convention that "the church must be vigilant in the fight against pornography, demonstrating the power of God to redeem those who have been trapped in its grip."

"Through this campaign," she said, "we are calling out a million men to live free of pornography. And challenging one million women to come alongside them and commit to pray for their spouses, their sons, and their friends, as we work together to combat this evil that is destroying our families and invading our churches." .... Read this in full at

by Steve Turner
The secular world rarely considers the effect of popular culture on our thoughts. The only time it shows concern for the thought life is when someone becomes a racist through being exposed to racist literature, or a killer mimics a scene from a violent film. The Bible presents the different idea that what we think is judged alongside what we do. It's possible to keep the law and yet have an immoral mind. Our thoughts are as much a part of our moral character as our actions.

Often people will defend unsavory entertainment because they say it hasn't led them to do anything bad, but this doesn't take into account the content of their minds. We can remain meek and mild yet have a brain swirling with the most poisonous images. When Jimmy Carter was running for US president in 1976, he gave an interview to Playboy in which he was asked whether he had committed adultery. In his answer he said that he had committed adultery many times in his heart.

The secular media scoffed at this because it hardly seemed like a moral infringement, but Carter was of course picking up on a Bible truth that it's possible to commit sins in the privacy of our heads; sins known only to God.... Read this in full at

Can you become more honest, courageous, or kind by reading a book? Christian Miller, director of The Character Project ( at Wake Forest University, recommends six new books and three essays that reveal surprising truths about character and how to improve it.

Research from psychology suggests that just about everyone has mediocre character,” says Miller, who is also an associate professor of philosophy and author of two books on morality and character. “We’re in the middle ground between virtue and vice. So, how do we bridge the gap between a courageous, just, and honest character and the less than stellar character we actually have?”

These books and essays don’t contain a magical secret formula to make you a better person overnight, but they do offer practical insights about character and ideas for applying them.... Read this in full at

by Beth Kissileff
Fred Rogers, the man behind the long-running “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” children’s show, died 10 years ago, but his influence is still felt deeply here, the city he called home.

Recently, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary devoted its summer leadership conference to insights from his life and work.

The conference drew an eclectic mix of participants, including psychologists and social workers, educators, clergy and laity.... Read this in full at

by Felicia Mollohan
It is so important for all of us to be studying and memorizing Scripture. In Psalm 119:11, it says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”

During my Wednesday night class with Kindergarten-5th graders, we always spend time working on Bible verses for them to memorize. I came up with a list of Bible verses for them to work on that went along with the alphabet. Each week they would work on one verse in order to be able to recite it during class the next week. The reciting could be done one-on-one, in private or in front of the class, or recited altogether as a whole class.

The point is for them to get the Word of God in their hearts, so that it will help them later. We discuss each verse at the start of the week so that they know what the verse means. I feel that they need to understand it as much as they need to memorize it. If they don’t know what it means, what good will it do them later? Download the printable ABC Bible Verse List for you to use with your children at home by going to

by Menachem Wecker
Depictions of the crucifixion are not commanding high prices at auction like they used to. There are several intriguing reasons as to why that might be so — including a growing reluctance to display religious art in the home.... Read this in full at

by Jen Pollock Michel
Think of how evangelicals may describe the Bible: unchanging, inerrant, authoritative, truth.

Well, "in the world we are entering, the concept of the Bible will be completely different," said David Parker, theology professor at the University of Birmingham. Speaking recently at the Hay Festival in England, Parker predicted that technology will prompt personalized digital versions of the Scripture, "like an individual copy" of the Bible.

If Parker is right, we evangelicals might have some major questions. How would this editorial control affect our faith? Could it lead to an eventual erosion of sound doctrine? Would the capacity for changing our sacred texts ultimately diminish their authority?

Biblical has become the evangelical "brand." We read the Bible; we quote the Bible; we live by its truths and teachings. For us, much would be lost if biblical authority eroded and eventually disappeared.

However, according to T.M. Luhrmann's recent book, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God, there may be a difference between how evangelicals perceive their commitment to the Bible and to what extent it actually influences how they articulate and live their faith.... Read this in full at

Upward Sports (, the world's largest Christian sports league for youth athletics, plans to develop a world-class 60-acre sports complex in Spartanburg, SC.

The complex will feature a 120,000 square-foot multi-sports facility called the Star Center, equipped with six (6) full sized basketball courts and 12 regulation indoor volleyball courts. Included within the facility will be batting cages, golf swing analysis, running track, a gym with free weights and cardio machines, studios designed for dance, cheerleading, aerobics and yoga, meeting rooms and a team shop. Professional instruction and training will be offered to athletes. In addition, Upward Sports has partnered with Spartanburg Regional Health Services to offer strength training, rehab offerings and orthopedic services. They will have an office on-site at the Star Center.... Read this in full at

There is a movement in the European Union that wants total religious neutrality and can’t accept our Christian traditions,” says Stanislav Zvolensky, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Bratislava, Slovakia, bemoaning what he sees as rising a tide of militant secularism at a time when Europe is struggling to forge a common identity.

In a continent divided by many languages, vast differences of culture, and economic gaps, the archbishop said that centuries of Christianity provide a rare element shared by all of the soon-to-be 28 members of the fractious union. Croatia, a mostly Catholic nation like Slovakia, joins next month.

Yet at a time when Europe needs solidarity and a unified sense of purpose to grapple with its seemingly endless economic crisis, religion has instead become yet another source of discord. It divides mostly secular Western Europe from profoundly religious nations in the east like Poland and those in between both in geography and in faith like Slovakia.... Read this in full at

by Corrie Mitchell
Fifteen years after Congress created an independent watchdog panel to oversee global religious freedom, the panel has little power and little influence, activists told lawmakers on June 13.

The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) chartered the bipartisan and independent US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which is charged with advising the State Department and Capitol Hill on protecting religious freedoms abroad.

But Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, said an “anemic, largely rhetorical methodology” by the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations has resulted in “a loss of conviction among policy makers that religious freedom is the first freedom.” .... Read this in full at

For more than 100 years, Britain’s Girl Guides took an oath to “love God and serve the King/Queen.”

But on June 19 the movement announced it would scrap its oath to God in an attempt to broaden its appeal and attract children from secular, nonbelieving families.

The controversial shake-up is seen by some as the biggest in the Girl Guides’ history.... Read this in full at

Ramadan is a time when most Muslims around the world observe 30 days of refraining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. Many Muslims view this as a time to practice humility and submissiveness to Allah.

But Ramadan also affords Christians a powerful time to not only pray for believers in Muslim-dominated countries, but also for the entire Islamic world. As a result, Open Doors USA is launching a prayer campaign ( during Ramadan, which runs from July 9 to Aug. 7.... Read this in full at

You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.”
- Henry Drummond

Our citizenship is in heaven. We look forward to a savior that comes from there — the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Philippians 3:20 (CEB)

Words: Thomas Cotterill, 1819
Music: L. Herman Ilse, 1910

Let songs of praises fill the sky:
Christ, our ascended Lord,
Sends down His Spirit from on high
According to His Word.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

The Spirit by His heav’nly breath
Creates new life within;
He quickens sinners from the death
Of trespasses and sin.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

The things of Christ the Spirit takes
And shows them unto men;
The fallen soul His temple makes,
God’s image stamps again.
All hail the day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

Come, Holy Spirit, from above
With Thy celestial fire;
Come and with flames of zeal and love
Our hearts and tongues inspire.
Be this our day of Pentecost,
The coming of the Holy Ghost!

>from NetHymnal at

To worship rightly is to love each other; each smile a hymn; each kindly deed a prayer.”
- John Greenleaf Whittier


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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(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.) 

There is more to life than increasing its speed.
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. 
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