For week of July 17, 2011
The weekly newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
Our mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.
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“The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil
2 Thessalonians 3:3
“Some people are so poor they only have money!”
GALLUP POLL: 3 IN 10 BELIEVE BIBLE LITERALLY
A new Gallup poll
(http://www.gallup.com/poll/148427/Say-Bible-Literally.aspx) reveals that
three out of 10 Americans believe the Bible to be the actual word of God, to
be interpreted literally, word for word. These results are relatively
consistent with recent results, but down from the peak levels in 1980 and
1984 when 40 percent of Americans said they took the Bible literally….
Read this in full at
ARE YOU SALTY?
“The assumption of many Christians is that readily identifiable enemies,
such as feminists, New Agers, homosexuals, advocates of diversity,
postmodernists, or liberals, can be blamed for the destruction of America’s
moral landscape. Among the many problems with this assumption, two stand out
most prominently. First, this approach is thoroughly unbiblical. Jesus never
taught his disciples that the primary problem in first-century Jewish life
was the rulership of Judea by the Romans. Rather, Jesus taught that the true
enemy was the failure of God’s people to act like the people of God should
“It was because the salt of the earth (God’s people) had lost its saltiness
that it became good for nothing except to be thrown out [see Matthew 5:13].
The unfaithfulness of God’s people – not the activity of those outside the
community of faith (that is, the Romans) – was always the focus of Jesus’
harshest criticisms. In contemporary culture, it would not be hard to
imagine Jesus asking evangelical and Roman Catholic churches some pretty
uncomfortable questions about the number of divorces within our own
“The second and most troubling aspect of [declaring
enemies is the]
self-righteous view that “sin” is located outside of us rather than a
reality coursing through every human heart. The result is that someone who
is on the wrong side of a particular “family values” issue is regarded as an
enemy to be scorned rather than as a person to be won. Repentance is
required of them, but not of us.
“Abraham Lincoln was closer to the truth when he wrote, ‘In the presence of
a war, it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from
the purpose of either party.’ When asked by a reporter whether God was on
the side of the North [in the Civil War], Lincoln is said to have humbly
responded, ‘My concern is not whether God is on our side, but whether we are
on God’s side!'”
Rich Nathan in Who Is My Enemy?
IN ISRAEL, DIGGERS UNEARTH THE BIBLE’S BAD GUYS
At the remains of an ancient metropolis in southern Israel, archaeologists
are piecing together the history of a people remembered chiefly as the bad
guys of the Hebrew Bible.
The city of Gath, where the annual digging season began this week, is
helping scholars paint a more nuanced portrait of the Philistines, who
appear in the biblical story as the perennial enemies of the Israelites.
Close to three millennia ago, Gath was on the frontier between the
Philistines, who occupied the Mediterranean coastal plain, and the
Israelites, who controlled the inland hills. The city’s most famous
resident, according to the book of Samuel, was Goliath – the giant warrior
improbably felled by the young shepherd David and his sling…. Read this in
WITH ITS PEOPLE TURNING TO CHRIST IN WAVES, INDIA HOSTS MORE BELIEVERS NOW THAN AT ANY TIME IN ITS 4,000-YEAR HISTORY
by Tim Stafford
Shivamma stands in front of her house, braiding her little girl’s hair. Her
feet are bare, her sari is simple, and she is rail thin, but she speaks to
visitors with boldness. She is the face of the new Christianity in India.
Shivamma’s home is nestled inside a concrete storm sewer discarded by the
factory where she and her husband work. The neighborhood, hidden in an
overgrown back lot, consists of huge pipes lined up like mobile homes. Her
family of four lives within 84 square feet.
For a Dalit and a woman, Shivamma is doing well. In traditional Hindu
thinking, Dalits are not quite human, lacking the right to enter the temple,
read, or eat with members of other castes. A person who touches a Dalit must
immediately purify himself. (One church planter notes the awful exception:
“When it comes to social life, they are untouchable. For rape, they are
touchable.”)…. Read this in full at
THE ROPES THAT HOLD US DOWN
“[My friend] Orville finished the checklist [for liftoff]. The tower gave us
the go-ahead. He glanced out the side window [of the
plane] and blanched:
‘Oh my gosh! Look at that! We haven’t untied the ropes! I can’t believe we
were getting ready to take off without untying the ropes! That’s a good
one.’ I wanted to get out of the plane.
“If I am not yet living according to what I believe matters most, it is no
accident. There are forces or habits that have a deep hold on me that I will
have to get rid of. The writer of Hebrews puts it like this: ‘Therefore,
since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off
everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run
with perseverance the race marked out for us’ [Hebrews
12:1]. We must
discard whatever will hold us down. We must discard the wrong priorities
that keep us from what matters most.
“Maybe it’s fear or doubt or a misguided sense of inadequacy. God called
Moses to lead his people, but Moses wanted to ground himself. ‘Who am I,
that I should go to Pharaoh?’ Moses asked. ‘What if the people don’t listen
to me?’ he complained. ‘I am slow of speech and tongue,’ he argued. He did
not think his gifts were adequate for the challenge.
“Perhaps he pictured other leaders in his mind who were more articulate and
charismatic. His image of himself as a stumbling, stuttering leader kept him
tethered. Being rich toward God meant Moses would have to detach himself
from his need for safety and security.
“Maybe it’s a voice that wants to keep you down. Maybe it’s a past mistake
or failure. Maybe it’s habit, comfort, or laziness. Freedom starts with
naming the rope.”
John Ortberg in When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box
FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT
“Ultimately, to offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God is to say, ‘Here
I am, Lord. My life belongs to you. Who would you like me to be?’ There are
costs involved, but those who have done this unanimously agree that the
prize far outweighs the price.
“Paul said all was rubbish compared to knowing Christ intimately. He
surrendered to Christ, who asked him to spend three decades taking the
gospel to non-Jews throughout the Roman Empire. It was hard work, and Paul
had no way of knowing the longterm impact of his labor. As an old man
sitting in a Roman jail waiting to be executed, he looked back at his life.
Here’s how he described it: ‘For I am already being poured out like a drink
offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good
fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in
store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous
Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all
who have longed for his appearing.’ – 2 Timothy 4:6-8
“[Drink offering. In
Jewish rites, wine was poured on the altar or on the
animal being sacrificed.
Portions of the animal were often reserved for
eating, but the wine was
always completely consumed.
“Crown of righteousness.
A crown of victory and public honor, not royalty.
It was customary for a
victorious athlete to receive a crown of laurel
leaves as his trophy. A
modern analogy might be an Olympic gold medal. For
higher honors, the crown
was made of gold leaves. For believers, our reward
is eternal. Rather than a
physical trophy, our reward is being honored by
the King of heaven for
all of eternity because of our service to him in this
life.]” from the book Surrendering Your Life for God’s Pleasure
VERSE TO PONDER
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on
wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not
“Christianity is a battle — not a dream.”
Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), speech, April, 1869, Wendell Phillips: the agitator, William Carlos Martyn, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1890, p. 368
A LIBERATING WOMAN: A REFLECTION ON THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANS FOR BIBLICAL EQUALITY
With the sudden death of Catherine Clark Kroeger on February 14,
evangelicalism lost one of its most admired biblical scholars. At age 85,
Kroeger was still lecturing and researching at Gordon-Conwell Theological
Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Her love for the Scriptures,
quick mind, and linguistic abilities made her an entertaining communicator
and reliable exegete; she memorized entire biblical narratives and could
recall them on demand. That she left manuscripts unfinished compounds our
Yet Kroeger’s most defining legacy is her wise leadership in the early
evangelical women’s movement of the 1970s. Without her stand on the
centrality of Scripture in responding to contemporary questions of gender
and justice, along with her compassion for the abused, much of
evangelicalism would be theologically afield. As founder and president of
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) and of Peace and Safety in the
Christian Home (PASCH) – as well as in 13 books and hundreds of scholarly
articles and lectures – Kroeger demonstrated, while holding to scriptural
authority and evangelism, that the gospel addressed many concerns of
contemporary feminism…. Read this in full at
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES EUROPE’S MOST RESTRICTIVE RELIGION LAW
by Michael Ireland
In a move reminiscent of its Soviet Communist past, Hungary has passed a
restrictive religion law showing that its dictatorial mindset has not yet
Although Communism officially ended in Hungary over 20 years ago, the
Hungarian Parliament July 12, procured for the country the title of ‘Worst
Religion Law in Europe’ when it adopted its new “Law on the Right to Freedom
of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions and Religious
“I am both saddened and disappointed by the adoption of such a draconian
law,” said Joseph K. Grieboski, Founder and Chairman of The Institute on
Religion and Public Policy…. Read this in full at
“Faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to.”
VERSE TO PONDER
“The LORD will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life; the LORD
will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
THIS WEEK’S HYMN: GO, LABOR ON: SPEND, AND BE SPENT
Words: Horatius Bonar, 1843
Music: William Boyd, 1864
Go, labor on: spend, and be spent,
Thy joy to do the Father’s will:
It is the way the Master went;
Should not the servant tread it still?
Go, labor on! ’tis not for naught
Thine earthly loss is heavenly gain;
Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not;
The Master praises: what are men?
Go, labor on! enough, while here,
If He shall praise thee, if He deign
The willing heart to mark and cheer:
No toil for Him shall be in vain.
Go, labor on! Your hands are weak,
Your knees are faint, your soul cast down;
Yet falter not; the prize you seek
Is near-a kingdom and a crown.
Go, labor on while it is day:
The world’s dark night is hastening on;
Speed, speed thy work, cast sloth away;
It is not thus that souls are won.
Men die in darkness at thy side,
Without a hope to cheer the tomb;
Take up the torch and wave it wide,
The torch that lights time’s thickest gloom.
Toil on, faint not, keep watch and pray,
Be wise the erring soul to win;
Go forth into the world’s highway,
Compel the wanderer to come in.
Toil on, and in thy toil rejoice!
For toil comes rest, for exile home;
Soon shalt thou hear the Bridegroom’s voice,
The midnight peal, “Behold, I come!”
>from NetHymnal at
“Teach me, God, to pray / in works as much as in words / to make my actions
thoughtful messages / to make my actions more beautiful than words.”
James W. Jones
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).
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I’m on a new diet. No, I haven’t changed my eating habits. I just switched
my shower body wash for Dawn dish soap. Its label reads, “Dissolves fat that
is otherwise difficult to remove.”
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
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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.
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