Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 30, 2013
Issue 466

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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Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”
- Isaiah 40:31 (CEB)

The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life coming flowing in.”
- C. S. Lewis

One of the evangelical movement's most influential church musicians, Donald P. Hustad, died on Saturday, June 22, according to family members. He was 94.

"[His] life and work inspired generations of people," said Rhonda S. Furr, a professor of music at Houston Baptist University who wrote her doctoral dissertation on Hustad's influence across six decades of ministry.

"Despite the celebrity that surrounded him, he remained a genuinely humble man committed to spreading the gospel of Christ through music and instruction," she said. "Although remembered by many for his musical talent, his visionary leadership inspired and equipped generations of church musicians and remains his enduring legacy." .... Read this in full at

Americans donated $316 billion to charitable causes in 2012, a 3.5% increase from 2011, a new report by the Giving USA Foundation found. But while charitable donations to education increased 7% to $41 billion, religious donations dropped slightly (by 0.2%) to $101.54 billion.

Americans continue to be the most generous people in the world, despite discretionary income percentages nearing all-time lows,” says Eileen Heisman, CEO of the National Philanthropic Trust. But donors are writing the checks to different recipients.... Read this in full at

by Andy Crouch
Even as our culture has swiftly moved toward accepting same-sex marriage, the term "homosexual" has already disappeared among those who have taken the time to listen and learn from gay and lesbian neighbors and friends. For good reasons, the preferred language among those neighbors has become "LGBT" — "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered" (or "Transsexual").

We should welcome this shift, because it actually helps clarify the multiple sexualities whose representatives have banded together to seek legal recognition and relief from stigma and shame. Indeed, the acronym LGBT is increasingly augmented by references to Queer (or Questioning) and Asexual persons — thus including those who find their sexuality ill-defined by the existing heterosexual or homosexual categories. It also often seeks to include Intersex individuals, the small but real number of persons whose bodies are born gender-ambiguous.

The proliferation of initials signals the formation of a powerful coalition. But it also reminds us of the important differences between the members of that coalition. Christians cannot simply accept or reject "same-sex marriage" and think we have settled our sexual ethics. The LGBTQIA coalition has other challenges for the church.... Read this in full at

by Msgr. Charles Pope
It is a simple fact that word “marriage” as we have traditionally known it is being redefined in our times. To many in the secular world the word no longer means what it once did and when the Church uses the word marriage we clearly do not mean what the increasing number of states mean.... Read this in full at

Nik Wallenda believes nothing is impossible. That's why he crossed 1,400 feet of the Grand Canyon on a tightrope over 1,500 feet above the ground—without a safety harness (

The daredevil attempt June 23 was not this acrobat's only feat. Wallenda is a seventh-generation "Flying Wallenda" circus performer, and he's also known for his record- and law-breaking walk on a tightrope across Niagara Falls in June 2012 — all while wearing a cross necklace outside of his shirt and proclaiming faith in Christ.

Even though his great-grandfather lost his life walking a line between Puerto Rico's Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza Hotel towers in 1978, Wallenda insists that he completes feats by remembering these three words: "Never give up."

Christianity Today recently talked with Wallenda about how Christianity keeps him focused, and what it means to walk by faith on a cable suspended thousands of feet above the Earth.... Read this in full at

Wallenda walks fine line high, high above river gorge

Photos: Nik Wallenda on the high wire


Bono was interviewed ({4D0CE13C-E217-49E2-B030-5C502AE89E90}) by Jim Daley on Focus on the Family. The interview’s range included such topics as Jesus, the Psalms, PEPFAR, and The ONE Campaign's success in fighting global poverty alongside faith communities.

For example: On Jesus as the Messiah:
Daly: So often those that struggle with accepting Jesus Christ as their savior … it's the idea that he's the Messiah. ... How did you respond to that?

Bono: Jesus isn't lettin' you off the hook. The Scriptures don't let you off the hook so easily. ... When people say, you know, "Good teacher", "Prophet", "Really nice guy" ... this is not how Jesus thought of Himself. So you're left with a challenge in that, which is either Jesus was who he said he was or a complete and utter nut case. ... You have to make a choice on that.

And I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God. And I understand that ... we need to be really, really respectful to people who find that ridiculous and ... preposterous.... Read this in full at

Read Jim Daley’s blog post about his interview at

Also see “Bono: David sang the blues and Jesus did some punk rock”

by Rick Marschall
There are rough mountains in life. We can be “mountains” ourselves: parts of things, often big, bad things, and we wait to be liberated. Myriad happenstances in life will chip away at us; maybe we will fall; sometimes we feel like we are shattered. But then we are taken under care of the Master’s Hand. Even then, we must be prepared for more hammers and chisels, knocking away the unnecessary parts of our life. When we look at unfinished pieces by Michelangelo and Rodin, we can still see the rough marks of chisels, scars-before-the-fact. The process is sometimes long, and never without “hard knocks.”

But those wooden wedges, day by day, slowly expanding until they literally split mountains apart, can remind us God’s persistence, as well as His gentle methods to transform us unto better, more beautiful things. In MY case, I know that is as daunting as moving a mountain. But God can do it.... Read this in full at

by Clare De Graaf
Clare, aren’t all sins equal?” That was the question posed by a guy I was meeting with who was trying to justify a serious sin he had committed. I replied, “Nate, I don’t think even you believe that.”

All Christians rank sin – that is, we all have a mental list, or hierarchy of sins. On our list some sins are moral felonies and others are misdemeanors. Is that true? Are some sins greater or more serious than others? Yes! (And, I’ll explain why later.)

A second question is even more intriguing, “How did you come up with your ‘list’?” Evangelicals generally have at the top of their list rejecting Christ, while Emergent Christians have, not living like Christ. Conservatives have near the top of their list, abortionists, gays, and liberal theology. For liberal Christians, indifference to the poor, hypocrisy, and intolerance top their lists. Rich Christians often think the poor’s big problem is laziness, while the poor believe the rich are greedy. I’ve actually caught myself looking down from my self-righteous perch at an adulterer or divorcee and glad I’m not one of them.

So, I have a theory: most of us unconsciously rank the sins we’re the least likely to commit at the top of our list, and our own sins in the middle or below. Let’s talk about why we do that.... Read this in full at

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and the American Bible Society have teamed up to fight Bible illiteracy among Hispanics by promoting September as Mes de la Biblia, the Month of the Bible.

The initiative was recently launched during the NHCLC Annual Board Convention. The three-year effort comes in response to a study conducted by Barna Hispanics that revealed 87% of Hispanics own a Bible, but only 8% read it regularly or allow it to inform their worldview.

In comparison, ABS' "State of the Bible in 2013" report shows 21% of all Americans are "engaged" with the Bible, which means they read it at least 4 times each week and believe it is the "actual Word of God" or inspired Word without error.... Read this in full at

by Joe Carter
The primary thing everyone should know about the Bible is that, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16). But here are an additional 9 things that you should know about the best-selling book of all time:

1. The English word Bible is derived from the Koine Greek “ta biblia” - "the books"). While Christian use of the term can be traced to around AD 223, the late biblical scholar F.F. Bruce noted that Chrysostom in his Homilies on Matthew (between AD 386 and 388) appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together.... Read this in full at

by Leonard Sweet
I can't imagine life without Twitter. I've been microblogging since 2009, and it is an almost hourly connection to the wider world. A case can be made that if not for Twitter, the social fabric of daily life for millions would suffer a mortal blow. Twitter is not just a handy way to tell the world you're headed to Kroger to pick up bread and milk. It is a catalyst for popular uprisings, political movements, the unseating of tyrants, mass demonstrations calling for civil liberties and democracy.

One study found that of all the social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, and so forth), tweeters are the most religious. For me, social media stretches far beyond a cultural icon of religiosity. The vehicle for Twitter is, in many ways, the ultimate medium for discipleship. Let me explain the four leading ways that Twitter has changed my life and made me a better follower of Jesus.... Read this in full at

Are churchgoers more cheerful than non-believers? A good deal of research points in that direction, and a new study provides corroborating evidence gleaned from a new medium: Twitter.

Scouring nearly two million tweets from followers of five Christian leaders and five well-known atheists, a research team led by University of Illinois psychologist Ryan Ritter found that “Christians express more happiness than atheists in everyday language.”

Our results reveal important psychological differences between believers and nonbelievers, and also suggest reasons why believers may be happier than nonbelievers in general,” the researchers write in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.... Read this in full at

by Ron Edmondson
All of us say things we wish we hadn’t said. We all offend people at times. Everyone knows what it is like to put foot in mouth. Doing so is common, but what do we do afterwards? Here are 5 steps when you’ve offended someone:.... Read this in full at

by David Gibson
Superman has always had a bit of a messiah complex, born as a modern-day Moses in the imagination of two Jewish guys during the Depression and over the years developing and amplifying his Christlike characteristics.

So it made sense that Warner Bros. Pictures spared no effort in using the Jesus connection to attract the increasingly important Christian audience to see the latest film in the Superman franchise, “Man of Steel.”

The studio hired a leading faith-based marketing agency, Grace Hill Media, to hold special screenings for pastors, and it developed an extensive website of Christian-themed resources — including specially-edited trailers for use in churches and “Man of Steel” sermon notes.

The Christ-like parallels, I didn’t make that stuff up,” director Zack Snyder told CNN. “That is the tried-and-true Superman metaphor.”

Or maybe not.

Despite the studio’s best efforts, some viewers are leaving the theater after watching “Man of Steel” and issuing what amounts to a theological spoiler alert: Don’t compare this Superman to Jesus Christ.

In fact, “he is the anti-Christ,” as the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and commentator for National Catholic Reporter, tweeted after he saw the movie. In “Man of Steel,” Reese wrote, “Superpowers, not love, conquers (sic) evil. Bash the bad guy, don’t turn cheek.” .... Read this in full at

by Craig Bubeck
God is love.

Whenever any kind of apologetic or doctrinal debate turns toward love, don't many of us (the theologically "in" crowd) roll our eyes? For us older guard, what leaps to mind is the L word (liberal), or from the more recent decade the P word (postmodern), or the latest (and already fading) scapegoat, the E word (emergent). When love is appealed to, we often nod our heads impatiently and respond, "Yes, but . . ."

We are suspicious because love can be an excuse for mushy thinking and diluted theology—a ploy to minimize sin along with God's wrath and justice.... Read this in full at

by Tullian Tchividjian
I love the way Philip Yancey describes the discrepancy between our instincts and God’s instincts in his book What’s So Amazing About Grace?

By instinct I feel I must do something in order to be accepted. Grace sounds a startling note of contradiction, of liberation, and every day I must pray anew for the ability to hear its message.

Eugene Peterson draws a contrast between Augustine and Pelagius, two fourth-century theological opponents. Pelagius was urbane, courteous, convincing, and liked by everyone. Augustine squandered away his youth in immorality, had a strange relationship with his mother, and made many enemies. Yet Augustine started from God’s grace and got it right, whereas Pelagius started from human effort and got it wrong. Augustine passionately pursued God; Pelagius methodically worked to please God. Peterson goes on to say that Christians tend to be Augustinian in theory but Pelagian in practice. They work obsessively to please other people and even God.... Read this in full at

Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.”
- Romans 12:10 (CEB)

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”
- Oswald Chambers

by Leslie Leyland Fields
It's Monday night at New Hope Community Church in Flora, Indiana, and 40 churchgoers donning T-shirts and sweats are gathering in teams for their weekly weigh-in. There's no camera to capture their reactions when their numbers are announced, and no one will be booted out of the church. But make no mistake, this is a weight-loss competition. And Michelle Reed is in it to win.

"I've lost 16 pounds in a few weeks. It's a lot easier when you hear what God says about it," says Reed. In January 2013, the church started using Losing to Live, a 12-week program that includes a fitness assessment, group aerobics, and counseling created by "antifat pastor" Steve Reynolds. After losing 120 pounds himself in 2007 — and then leading 250 members of Capital Baptist Church in northern Virginia to lose 12,000 pounds — Reynolds developed that curriculum followed by Get Off the Couch: 6 Motivators to Help You Lose Weight and Start Living. Like most weight-loss programs, Reynolds's promotes healthy eating and regular exercise. But then it adds one of the Ten Commandments: You shall have no other gods before me. "We've made food an idol," says Reynolds.... Read this in full at

While many churches have gone to one Sunday service a week, Calvary Temple (Assemblies of God) in San Diego has joined the ranks, but in reverse: the congregation has stopped its morning service in favor of meeting Sunday evenings. Sunday mornings are now focused on neighborhood ministry.

Every Sunday morning, Calvary Temple's street is taken over by a large open-air market, which draws thousands of people and over the years has expanded to flow directly in front of the church building, barring parking access. As members of the church wanted to pray the market away, Pastor Jack Sampier recognized an opportunity to show Christ's love to their neighbors.... Read this in full at

by Tom Sine
Many people in middle and later adulthood who care deeply about young people are unintentionally preparing them to live in a world that no longer exists. Despite our good intentions, we are unconsciously preparing them to graduate into and live in the world we grew up in instead of today’s world—a world that has dramatically changed since we launched our lives.

In this article I will explain how the economic context into which today’s young people are graduating is strikingly different from the one that many of us older folks encountered as we began our lives. I will invite you to join me in imagining creative new ways that parents, youth workers, and educators might better equip “generation next” for life and mission in a more challenging economic context than that of yesteryear.... Read this in full at

by Tony Kriz
I have been thinking about alcohol lately.

A couple of months ago, I was writing an article for a national magazine. Their readership is located primarily in the American South. It was a great project, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process and the editorial staff. I think we were all delighted by how the assignment was turning out. Delighted that is, right up until the end.

After a couple of months of work and revision on the article, a higher-up in the organization got involved with the project. He or she seemed to like the article. But the higher-up got a hold of my recent book, Neighbors and Wise Men. After one look, the article was cancelled.

The reason? The book's cover has a picture of a bar. This picture is appropriate since much of the book is about redemptive conversations I've had in a local Portland pub. The editorial staff assured their boss that the book makes no defense of alcohol consumption as a practice, but that didn't matter. My article was killed. They could not be associated with a book that features a picture of a drinking establishment.... Read this in full at

When Confederate soldiers bore down on Gettysburg, PA, in 1863, a quiet seminary building atop a ridge was transformed — first into a Union lookout, then a field hospital for 600 wounded soldiers.

Now the structure that stood at the center of the Civil War’s bloodiest and most pivotal battle is being transformed once again.

On July 1, marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Schmucker Hall, located on the campus of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, will reopen as a museum reflecting on the epic battle, the costly war, and the complex role of faith.... Read this in full at

by Kevin McDermott
It’s not the message you might expect to hear from Rick Santorum, the Christian-conservative former US presidential candidate: Faith-based films tend to be lousy, and Christians should quit trying to lock modern popular culture out of their lives.

Instead, Santorum says, Christian conservatives should acknowledge that modern popular culture is here to stay, and use that platform to produce Christian-themed films that will also have quality and popular appeal. It’s a strategy he says he intends to pursue in his new role as CEO of a ground-breaking faith-based film studio.

In an interview, Santorum also stood by his strong views against same-sex marriage, citing the necessity to adhere to religious teachings — but then disputed his own religion’s leaders on the issue of immigration.... Read this in full at

The Antiquities Authority on June 27 unearthed for the first time a small 2,000-year-old cistern near the Western Wall that connects an archeological find with the famine that occurred during the Roman siege of Jerusalem during that era.

The cistern – found near Robinson’s Arch in a drainage channel from the Shiloah Pool in the City of David – contained three intact cooking pots and a small ceramic oil lamp.... Read this in full at

The church is training ministers to create “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the centre” to attract spiritual believers.

Ministers are being trained to create new forms of Anglicanism suitable for people of alternative beliefs as part of a Church of England drive to retain congregation numbers.

Reverend Steve Hollinghurst, a researcher and adviser in new religious movements told the BBC: “I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be at home in their culture.”

He said it would be “almost to create a pagan church where Christianity was very much in the centre.”

The Church Mission Society, which is training ministers to “break new ground”, hopes to see a number of spiritual people align themselves with Christianity... Read this in full at

It’s Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a rapt congregation listens to a chaplain preach about the importance of building a community.

A few dozen people sit quietly for the hourlong service. Music is played, announcements are made and scholars wax poetic about the importance of compassion and community.

Outsiders could be forgiven for believing this service, with its homilies, its passing of the plate, its uplifting songs, belongs in a church.

If so, it’s a church without one big player: God.

Sunday’s congregation in Cambridge is a meeting of the Humanist Community at Harvard University and the brainchild of Greg Epstein, the school’s Humanist chaplain.... Read this in full at

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”
- Thomas Moore

You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love.”
- Galatians 5:13 (CEB)

Words: James Montgomery, 1819
Music: melody by Louis Bourgeois, 1551; adapted by William Crotch, 1836

Lord God, the Holy Ghost,
In this accepted hour,
As on the day of Pentecost,
Descend in all Thy power.

We meet with one accord
In our appointed place
And wait the promise of our Lord,
The Spirit of all grace.

Like mighty rushing wind
Upon the waves beneath,
Move with one impulse every mind;
One soul, one feeling breathe.

The young, the old inspire
With wisdom from above;
And give us hearts and tongues of fire,
To pray, and praise, and love.

Spirit of light, explore
And chase our gloom away,
With luster shining more and more
Unto the perfect day.

Spirit of truth, be Thou
In life and death, our Guide;
O Spirit of adoption, now
May we be sanctified!

>from NetHymnal at

Those who complain that they make no progress in the life of prayer because they "cannot meditate" should examine, not their capacity for meditation, but their capacity for suffering and love. For there is a hard and costly element, a deep seriousness, a crucial choice, in all genuine religion.”
- Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The School of Charity, New York: Longmans, Green, 1934, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1991, p. 54


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.

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Video: 3 Young Strangers Recently Met Online - And When They Sing It Sounds Like Heaven!

Video: Happy Puppy Entertains Himself Playing Fetch

Video: "Winton's Children" Surprise the Man Who Saved Them from Nazis

Video: These Kids Show True Brotherly Love

Timelapse: Watch the World Change

A Flood of Arks

Is Marriage Worth Defending?

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.) 

There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't get this joke.
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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