Connecting man to man to God
For week of June 3, 2012
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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“But the LORD’s faithful love is from forever ago to forever from now for those who honor him. And God’s righteousness reaches to the grandchildren of those who keep his covenant and remember to keep his commands.”
– Psalm 103:17-18 (CEB)
“You are the only one who can keep you from becoming the person God wants you to be.”
– Neil Anderson
BATTLEFIELD CHAPLAIN’S WAR UNFOLDED ON MANY FRONTS
Darren Turner insisted on going to war, even though the Army usually reserves desk jobs at home for new chaplains like him.
Turner was young and green, enthusiastic about taking God to the battlefield. The Army captain had learned that people in pain are often wide-open to inviting God into their lives.
Jesus always ran to crises. Turner was going to do the same.
He’d enrolled in seminary in 2004 at Regent University in Virginia, founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. And early in his spiritual journey, he was inspired by Christian writer John Eldredge, who suggests that American men have abandoned the stuff of heroic dreams, aided by a Christianity that tells them to be “nice guys.”
God, says Eldredge, designed men to be daring, even dangerous.
Chaplain Turner’s war would unfold on many fronts. He would be a soldier on the battlefield. A counselor behind closed doors. He was a friend, even a father, to his men.
And when his 15-month tour was over, Turner returned home to face all the problems he had counseled his soldiers about: anger, depression, stress and – most important for him – preserving relationships with loved ones…. Read this in full at
by Benjamin J. Dueholm
As a child in Wisconsin, I looked forward to Memorial Day for the family reunions. At full sail, with 20-odd aunts and uncles and all their kids, this became a considerable event, complete with dirt-bike riding, beer-fueled volleyball and lots of laughter.
Eventually I came to understand that Memorial Day is related to military service. My grandfather was a tail-gunner during World War II; he was shot down over the Aleutian Islands and again over German-occupied Europe. He was taken prisoner the second time and escaped the camp, crossing Allied lines a month before V-E Day.
These stories, which I knew only in their outlines, thrilled my boyish sense of adventure and swelled my sense of family pride (though my grandfather once got in trouble for giving my brother his service revolver, unloaded, to play with in lieu of a toy gun). Only later did I come to understand the more difficult meaning of Memorial Day…. Read this in full at
VOWS AND VOW BREAKING (AND A SON’S LETTER TO AN UNFAITHFUL FATHER)
by Clare De Graaf
“As a divorced person, I feel like I’m a second class citizen in my church and around my Christian friends. Why is the church so tough on divorce? It’s not the unpardonable sin, is it?”
“You’re right”, I tell them. “Divorce isn’t the unpardonable sin and Christians don’t always handle those who’ve been divorced well and I’m sorry about that. However, there are some very human, and also some very biblical reasons why divorce gets both God’s and the church’s attention, more than many other sins. And, it has to do with vow breaking.” …. Read this in full at
MOTORCYCLISTS REACH REMOTE VILLAGES FOR CHRIST
Motorcycle Sunday School Mission (MSSM) is looking for Canadian groups to sponsor Sunday schools in hard-to-reach African regions.
Josiah Frey of MSSM says they use locally-trained circuit riders to “go into remote villages and disciple people in places where there no churches, no pastor, no real spiritual foundation.”
These include remote bush areas of Malawi, Zambia and Cameroon that are beyond the reach of traditional outreach methods, due to a lack of roads and bridges, or due to extreme weather conditions during certain times of the year…. Read this in full at
JOSH MCDOWELL LAUNCHES WEBSITE TO FIGHT PORN, ‘CHURCH’S NO. 1 THREAT’
Apologist and author Josh McDowell has launched http://Just1ClickAway.org, a new website to raise awareness about online pornography which he says is a problem big enough to cause the downfall of the church.
“The downfall of the church will not come from a lack of apologetic teaching; it will come from disintegration of the families in the church,” says a video posted on the website.
“The greatest threat to the cause of Christ is pervasive sexuality and pornography,” McDowell, known as an articulate speaker, said in a statement. “Today we have, by and large, lost control of the controls because an intrusive immorality is just one click away from our children. With just one keystroke on a smartphone, iPad, or laptop, a child can open up some of the worst pornography and sexually graphic content you can imagine. There’s never been such access in history. ” …. Read this in full at
CHRISTIANS: BE ON THE INTERNET, NOT OF IT
by Albert Mohler
The Mets might not be selling out Citi Field, but the Orthodox Jews did. Recently, more than 40,000 Orthodox Jewish men and boys filled the stadium for a gathering intended to consider the dangers of the Internet – dangers to their souls.
That gathering is just one indicator of the concerns many people have about the Internet. Like the Orthodox Jews at Citi Field, most evangelical Christians see real and present dangers on the Internet, ranging from pornography to a loss of authentic communication and human relatedness. Thanks to the Internet, a toxic dump of pornography is just a click away, destroying lives and souls. Even for those who resist and escape pornography, the Internet has tempted many people to substitute online relationships and conversations for the old fashioned kind – face-to-face.
The Internet offers endless chatter and distraction. It sometimes seems that the entire population is suffering from a shared case of attention deficit syndrome. On the Web, irresponsible voices are just as accessible as trustworthy voices. Often, it seems that the voices of reason and truth are drowned out by the swarm of the reckless, the vulgar, and the ridiculous.
At the same time, the Internet has been one of the greatest gifts to the church, offering unprecedented opportunities to communicate, share content, establish contact, and deliver our message.
THE $10 EVANGELISM PROJECT
by Mark Coppenger
When planting a church on Chicago’s North Shore, we hosted a variety of short-term mission teams who joined us in a range of outreach efforts, all with a Gospel witness — from door-to-door surveys to concerts in the park to bottled water handouts along pedestrian and bike paths.
One approach we used repeatedly involved cash handouts to the volunteers. We’d give them $5 or $10 and send them into the community to buy things and to strike up spiritual conversations in the process. They wouldn’t be interrupting business but, rather, piggybacking on it.
The results were gratifying. It gave our workers focus and accountability, knowing we’d all report back in short order. It planted Gospel seeds and surfaced prospects. And despite what you might think, it didn’t cost that much when compared to other projects, where we rented generators and sound systems, printed special T-shirts, and such.
I’ll let two of the students speak for themselves…. Read this in full at
I’M DONE WITH LIVING LIKE A CHRISTIAN
by Kurt Williams
I’m done serving the poor. I’m done going the extra mile. I’m done being a husband who strives to love his wife as Christ loves the church. I’m done visiting the sick. I’m done opening up my life to Christian community. I’m done loving my neighbor. I’m done living with integrity. I’m done loving my enemies. I’m done giving finances to global causes. I’m done opposing violence. I’m done speaking out against hatred. I’m done standing up for the marginalized.
I’m D-O-N-E done…because now I realize that doing all these things won’t change the world … unless God first changes me…. Read this in full at
ANCIENT INSCRIPTION FOUND ON SITE OF BIBLICAL CITY
An archaeological survey led by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has discovered a bilingual inscription at the ancient site of Tel Gezer, Israel.
Gezer, a biblical city, was situated on the border between the Israelite and Philistine territories guarding the route to Jerusalem. The city was given as a dowry to Pharaoh’s daughter, who married King Solomon. Gezer is well known in the later Maccabean period for its boundary stones with inscriptions in both Hebrew and Greek.
In addition to finding the new inscription during the week of May 21, Southwestern’s survey team has rediscovered an inscription that had been lost to the archaeological community for more than a century…. Read this in full at
VERSE TO PONDER
“But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace.”
– Acts 20:24 (CEB)
“Make a list of 25 things you want to experience before you die. Carry it in your wallet and refer to it often.”
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
YOU’RE INVITED TO A HEAVENLY PARTY
“Before we realize it, we shall find ourselves in the embrace of our Savior at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Heaven will have arrived. The Lord’s overcoming of the world will be a lifting of the curtain of our five senses.
“Now, enjoy an unseen divine reality. Rev up your heart and picture yourself taking a seat at the Wedding Supper. As you pull up a chair to the banquet table, take a look at what’s on the menu from Isaiah 25:6: ‘On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines.’
“I get a charge just thinking about it! I wonder who will sit next to me, or across from me. I glance down the table and there’s my friend, Verna Estes, mother of seven, swapping baby stories with Susanna Wesley, mother of seventeen. There’s Moses toasting Martin Luther. St. Augustine giving a bear hug to that jungle missionary.
“Then I’ll look up, and walking toward me will be Dad. And Mother. Before you know it, we’ll break up into uncontrollable laughter. We will laugh and cry with a kind of tears that never flowed on earth. We will wipe our eyes and try to stop, then break up again, crying and laughing and pointing at everybody. “We’re here! They are here! I knew it was true, but not this true!”
“Christ will open our eyes to the great fountain of love in His heart for us, beyond all that we ever saw before. It will hit us that we, the church, are His bride. Not just individually, but together. United. One with each other, and one with Him. Suddenly, our joy is multiplied a millionfold.
“Most poignantly, when we’re finally able to stop laughing and crying, the Lord Jesus will really wipe away all our tears. And then, we join hands around the banquet table, and ‘in that day [we] will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation”’ (Isaiah 25:9).
“And the party is just beginning!”
– Joni Eareckson Tada in NIV Voices of Faith Devotional Bible
CREATION MUSEUM CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY WITH HOLOGRAPHIC ‘LUCY’ EXHIBIT
To celebrate its fifth year of operation, the Creation Museum in Kentucky has set up a holographic exhibit of the famous “Lucy” discovery.
Answers in Genesis opened the museum on Memorial Day weekend in 2007, and to celebrate its anniversary this year it added a special holographic exhibit of the famous fossil as a permanent fixture.
Mark Looy, co-founder and chief communications officer for Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, told The Christian Post that “Lucy” was chosen as a focus due to proponents of evolution continually using it as evidence for their belief…. Read this in full at
FOXWORTHY HOSTS ‘BIBLICAL’ NEW GAME SHOW
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy will host “American Bible Challenge,” a new show premiering this summer on GSN. CNN’s Carol Costello reports…
KANSAS GOVERNOR SIGNS SHARIA BAN INTO LAW
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a measure banning the use of Islamic law in the state. The new law doesn’t specifically mention sharia law, but prohibits Kansas courts and government agencies from basing decisions on foreign legal codes.
Supporters of the measure, who cited cases around the country where judges or state agencies took Islamic law into account in their rulings — say the new law reassures Kansas residents that courts will rely solely on state and US laws.
Muslim groups oppose the measure, arguing that it promotes discrimination and saying that it could nullify wills or legal contracts between Muslims. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says a court challenge is likely…. Read this in full at
WASHINGTON REPORTS AT LEAST 70 ASSISTED SUICIDES
Washington state may already have surpassed Oregon as the leader in legal physician-assisted suicides. According to data released earlier this month by the state’s Department of Health, at least 70 Washington residents died in 2011 as a result of taking lethal drug doses prescribed by doctors.
The total may have been higher, however; it is uncertain if five other people who died after receiving prescriptions of lethal medication did so after taking the drug. Another 19 people who received the prescription died without taking the medication.
Oregon set its record of 71 assisted suicides in 2011, and has recorded 596 since it became the first state to legalize assisted suicide in 1997. Washington, which legalized the practice in 2009, has reported at least 157 such deaths. As in Oregon, the three leading concerns expressed by Washington residents who received lethal prescriptions in 2011 were reduced ability “to engage in activities making life enjoyable” (89%), loss of autonomy (87%) and “loss of dignity” (79%)…. Read this in full at
IRAQ CHRISTIAN HERITAGE SITES LIE NEGLECTED
“[Hira] has historical importance, because it is rich in antiquities, including especially the remains of churches, abbeys and palaces,” said Shakir Abdulzahra Jabari, who led excavations there in 2007, 2009 and 2010. “But now, the antiquities have been neglected for a year, and they do not receive any attention, despite the fact that many Western countries are interested in Hira’s history as the main gateway of Christianity into Iraq.” …. Read this in full at
SEEK AND YE SHALL BE SURPRISED
“I almost said no to a miracle.
“A couple who had just started attending National Community Church requested a meeting, and I almost denied the request because they said they wanted to talk about church government. I love talking about the mission and vision of the church. Church government? Not as much! Plus, I was fighting a book deadline, so I didn’t have much margin in my schedule. So I almost said no, and if I had, I would have missed out on a miracle.
“After answering nearly ninety minutes worth of questions, they ended by asking me about our vision. I had so much pent-up passion after talking about policies and protocols that I just let it rip. I shared our vision of … turning our coffeehouse on Capitol Hill into a chain of coffeehouses, with all the net profits reinvested in missions. I talked about launching our first international campus … and our vision of launching multi-site campuses in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the greater Washington area. Then the meeting came to a rather abrupt and awkward ending. They said they wanted to invest in National Community Church, but they didn’t say how or how much. They left, and I was left scratching my head.
“I wasn’t sure anything would come of that meeting, but a few weeks later I received one of the most unforgettable phone calls of my life. ‘Pastor Mark, we wanted to follow up on our meeting and let you know that we want to give a gift to National Community Church.’ My mind immediately started racing.
“‘We want to give a gift, and there are no strings attached. But before I tell you how much we’re going to give, I want you to know why we’re giving it. We’re giving this gift because you have vision beyond your resources.’
“Those four words, vision beyond your resources, have become a mantra for the ministry of National Community Church. We refuse to let our budget determine our vision. That left-brained approach is a wrong-brained approach because it’s based on our limited resources rather than on God’s unlimited provision. Faith is allowing your God-given vision to determine your budget. That certainly does not mean you practice poor financial stewardship, spend beyond your means, and accumulate a huge debt load. It does mean that you take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means.
“Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big. And it may feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but you’re actually setting God up for a miracle. How God performs the miracle is His job.
“‘We want to give the church $3 million dollars.’ I was speechless. It was one of those holy moments when time stands still. I heard it, but I could hardly believe it. I was blindsided by the blessing. God’s provision came out of nowhere.
“It’s not our man-made plans that move the Almighty; the Almighty is moved by big dreams and bold prayers. In the awkward silence of my speechlessness, I heard the still small voice of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit hit the rewind button and reminded me of a prayer circle that I had drawn four years before.”
– Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
THE BIBLE: GOD’S STORY, NOT GOD’S TEXTBOOK
by Subby Szterszky
When I was 12, I made a deal with God.
Being 12 and not yet a Christian, I didn’t realize how misguided, even foolish, such a proposition was. Nevertheless . . .
My mother was gravely ill at the time, fighting for her life following complications from two major surgeries nine days apart. I pleaded with God to spare my mom’s life the best way I knew how, and when He did, I decided to return the favour by reading the Bible cover to cover.
It started out great. Each bedtime, the book of Genesis would open up its treasury of wondrous stories: the creation, the fall, the flood, the adventures of Abraham and his descendants, culminating in the rags-to-riches tale of Joseph in Egypt…. Read this in full at
CHRISTIAN VILLAGES ATTEMPT TO REVIVE LANGUAGE JESUS SPOKE
A number of centuries after it disappeared from the Middle East region, efforts are being made to revive the ancient Aramaic language that many believe Jesus spoke.
The Palestinian village of Beit Jala, which is close to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, is one of two villages where elders are trying to teach the language to young children hoping they will take it up.
The other village is the Arab-Israeli community of Jish, where Christ once lived and preached – there children in elementary school are being taught Aramaic. The village is of the Maronite Christian community, which is one of the few that still chant prayers in Aramaic, though not many understand the meaning of the words.
“We want to speak the language that Jesus spoke,” says Carla Hadd, a 10-year-old Jish girl studying the language…. Read this in full at
ON THE GROUND FLOOR WITH TEAM ISRAEL
Israel is sending a team to the World Baseball Classic (http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/) for the first time. A bunch of major leaguers could qualify to represent the Jewish state…. Read this in full at
EXPERT: AMERICAN MISUNDERSTANDINGS ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AFFECT EFFORTS ABROAD
A former director of the State Department’s Office of Religious Freedom believes misunderstandings regarding religious liberty in America have made it hard to advance religious liberty abroad.
“The United States is required by law to advance religious freedom in its foreign policy. It has been required to do that since 1998,” said Dr. Thomas F. Farr, referring to the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. “By and large we have done very poorly and there are many reasons for that. One of them is we are so confused about the meaning and reach of religious liberty.”
Farr, who was among many speakers at the 2012 National Religious Freedom Conference on Thursday, feels that over the past half-century a series of court decisions have distorted the concept of religious liberty that the United States was founded on…. Read this in full at
“Surrender the thing you fear into the hands of God. Turn it right over to God and ask Him to solve it with you. Fear is keeping things in your own hands; faith is turning them over into the hands of God.”
– E. Stanley Jones
VERSE TO PONDER
“Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.”
– James 1:19 (CEB)
THIS WEEK’S HYMN: GRACIOUS SPIRIT, HOLY GHOST
Words: Christopher Wordsworth, 1862
Music: Friedrich Filitz, 1847
Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost,
Taught by Thee we covet most
Of Thy gifts of Pentecost
Holy, heavenly Love.
Faith, that mountains could remove,
Tongues of earth or heaven above,
Knowledge—all things—empty prove,
Without heavenly Love.
Though I as a martyr bleed,
Give my goods the poor to feed,
All is vain—if Love I need;
Therefore, give us Love.
Love is kind, and suffers long
Love is meek, and thinks no wrong,
Love than death itself more strong;
Therefore, give us Love.
Prophecy will fade away,
Melting in the light of day,
Love will ever with us stay;
Therefore, give us Love.
Faith will vanish into sight;
Hope be emptied in delight;
Love in heaven will shine more bright;
Therefore, give us Love.
Faith and Hope and Love we see
Joining hand in hand agree;
But the greatest of the three,
And the best, is Love.
From the overshadowing
Of Thy gold and silver wing
Shed on us, who to Thee sing,
Holy, heavenly Love.
>from NetHymnal at
“What a man is on his knees before God, that he is- and nothing more.”
– Robert McCheyne
PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
DAILY BLESSING PACT
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!
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will
Raises or bonuses
Sales & commissions
Estates & inheritances
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).
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
I’ll add your name to the list for the time you’ll be away.]
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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, frank 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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