IMG_8578 Today my wife and I traveled through the Palestinian West Bank discovering the birthplace and the tomb of the Prophet Elisha.

We are scouting and preparing for our next Footprints of God DVD on Elijah-Elisha. Hope you enjoy the video of our adventures today.

Tomorrow morning we leave for Egypt to discover the final resting place of the bones of John the Baptist and Elisha. I  will post a video of that too so you can join and share our adventures.

I just love being the Catholic adventurer, the Indiana Jones of the Catholic Church and the Crocodile Hunter for the Faith :-)

{ 0 comments }

Bible Riddle: What Am I?

by Steve Ray on February 25, 2017

(Answer Key Below :-)

God made Adam out of the dust,
But thought it best to make me first.

So I was made before the man,
according to God’s Holy plan.

My whole body God made complete,
without arms, or hands, or feet.

My ways and acts did God control,
but in my body He placed no soul.

A living being I became,
and Adam gave to me a name.

Then from his presence I withdrew,
for this man Adam I never knew.

All my Maker’s laws I do obey,
and from these laws I never stray.

Thousands of me go in fear,
but seldom on the earth appear.

Later, for a purpose God did see,
He placed a living soul in me.

But that soul of mine God had to claim,
and from me took it back again.

And when this soul from me had fled,
I was the same as when first made;

without arms, legs, feet, or soul,
I travel on from pole to pole.

My labors are from day to night,
and to men I once furnished light.

Thousands of people both young and old,
did by my death bright lights behold.

No right or wrong can I conceive;
the Bible and it’s teachings I can’t believe.

The fear of death doesn’t trouble me;
pure happiness I will never see.

And up in Heaven I can never go,
nor in the grave or hell below.

So get your Bible and read with care;
you’ll find my name recorded there.

This puzzle was written by a lady in California in 1890 in response to a gentlemen in Philadelphia, who said that he would pay $1,000 to anyone who could write a puzzle that he could not solve. He failed to do so, and paid the lady $1,000 (a great sum at that time). The answer is one word, five letters long, and appears only four times in the King James version of the Bible. An eight-year-old boy figured out the puzzle. Can you? Happy hunting.

Answer Key: Check out Genesis 1:21; Job 7:12; Ezekiel 32:2; Matthew 12:40.

{ 5 comments }

Is God Like a GPS System?

by Steve Ray on February 24, 2017

There are a million reasons why God is NOT like a GPS system but I am in Australia and I made a wrong turn and my GPS started reprimanding me and saying “Recalculating!”

GPS.jpgFor those who don’t know, GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a nifty little device that links up with positional satellites above the earth. The satellites pinpoint exactly where you are and the micro computer inside the GPS calculates the shortest or fastest route to get to your destination.

The GPS sits on the dashboard of your car and verbally and visually directs you to your location. Mine is a Garmin and it covers the whole of the USA, Canada and Mexico. I will soon be buying one that covers the Middle East and Europe.

I thought of three ways, at least, that the GPS is like God–relatively and figuratively speaking. First, it knows everything: every address, street, city and business in the USA. It knows every gas station, hotel, church, post office, restaurant, airport, school, grocery store, intersection, hospital, freeway, etc. God knows everything.

Second, you can turn it on or shut it off. Now of course you can’t shut God off, but you can practically say NO to him and shut him out of your life. If I shut off my GPS I am the loser since it knows “everything” and knows exactly where I am at any time and how to get to where I want to go. God knows exactly where I am eternally and how to get me to my location. I can turn him on if I want to get his advice and enjoy his knowledge.

Third, every time I screw up he can get me back on track. For example, the other day I made a wrong turn and the GPS politely said, “Recalculating! Make a u-turn.” After I failed to make a u-turn, making a left turn instead, the GPS said, “Recalculating, turn right at Main Street.”

USA.bmpIn other words, even though I ignore or disobey the GPS it does not condemn me. It just says, “OK, I had this planned the very best way for you get to your final destination, but you didn’t listen, so I will start over. From where you are now I can STILL get you there — but I have to recalculate first.”

God does the same. He forgives. We screw up and go on the wrong path (sin, disobedience, pride, etc.) and once we repent and confess our sins and decide to listen to God again, he starts over in our life and says “Recalculating! Now that you’ve made a wrong turn and are willing to correct it — don’t worry, I can still get you to heaven from here.” And then he gives us the new directions from our wrong location.

Oh, one other thing, the GPS is ready for me to listen any time day or night. It can get me places in daylight or in pitch darkness, when I know where I’m going and when I don’t — and can’t God do all of that too?

{ 7 comments }

Did the Pope Change Doctrine with Amoris Laetitia?

February 24, 2017

I AM A LAWYER, NOT A MIND-READER February 23, 2017 By Canon Lawyer Ed Peters, Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ echoing of claims that Amoris laetitia changed no doctrines occasioned a question for me: Am I the only (or among the few) Amoris critics who agrees with Amoris defenders that Pope Francis made no doctrinal changes in […]

Read the full article →

Via Dolorosa to Mass at Calvary and Discovering Empty Tomb

February 23, 2017

Starting your day at 4:00 AM we went on the Via Dolorosa to Mass at Calvary and then entering the tomb. Enjoy! Farewells $ Comments

Read the full article →

St. Polycarp’s name does not mean “many fish”

February 23, 2017

Today is the Feast Day of the Great Bishop and Saint Polycarp on February 23. When we converted to the Catholic Church my son Jesse chose St. Polycarp as his patron saint because of his great heroism. We filmed the whole life of St. Polycarp on location. I feel like I know him. The name Polycarp […]

Read the full article →

Western Wall, Gethsemane, Mounts of Olives and Zion and more

February 22, 2017

Western Wall, Gethsemane (Fr. James’ wonderful homily), Mount of Olives, Church of Mary’s Dormition, Upper Room, St. Peter in GAllicantu, Bishop of Jerusalem and dinner on the roof of Jerusalem.

Read the full article →

Feast of Chair of St. Peter: “Chair of Moses, Chair of Peter” Steve’s Article, YouTube Video and Resources

February 22, 2017

St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”: “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will […]

Read the full article →

Jerusalem of Jesus’ Time, Camels, Dead Sea Swim, Jericho and more…

February 21, 2017

Day full of fun with swimming in the Dead Sea and riding camels. We also renewed our baptismal vows in the Jordan River and toured Qumran. Lunch in Jericho and Israel Museum. Mass at Notre Dame (homily here). Enjoy.

Read the full article →

Ironic Twist to a Devastating Story; Why Did God Allow Sin?

February 21, 2017

A while ago I wrote the Study Guide for Catholic Scripture Study — on Genesis. This section I wrote was so exciting and ironic I had to share it, especially since this is Christmas when God became Man. Here is a small section of what I wrote: But why didn’t God prevent Adam and Eve from […]

Read the full article →

Bethlehem All Day! Christmas! Mass in a Cave! Saints bones. Dancing!

February 20, 2017

All day in Bethlehem. Enjoy! Fr. James’ excellent Christmas homily in a Cave here.

Read the full article →

Was Jesus Nice?

February 20, 2017

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me. “That was not very Christ-like.” This response usually comes after being honest to the point of making someone upset.  The implication is that Jesus was a cuddly little nice guy who was always smiling, always accepting with kind words – in […]

Read the full article →

Sailing with Jesus, Capernaum (Hometown of Jesus), Eating St. Peter’s Fish, Visitation, Jerusalem

February 19, 2017

We started the day with Peter, James, Andrew and John on a boat going across the sea of Galilee he. It was a little windy and choppy but a genuine experience. The Mass at Capernaum was especially meaningful today. Knowing that Jesus had healed thousands of people there we had a special healing Mass with […]

Read the full article →

Incredible New Video “From Conception to Birth”

February 19, 2017

Make sure everyone sees this because it is a marvelous argument against abortion. This is new technology that won its inventors the Nobel Prize. It pulls back the curtain on the developing baby and the mystery inside the womb. Hang in there for the first three minutes while he is explaining the technology — the […]

Read the full article →

Mass at Beatitudes, Steve’s Talk on Peter, Druze Lunch, Fr. Jame’s Story and more

February 18, 2017

We started with Mass at Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The excellent homily is <a href=”http://www.yorutube.com/watch?v=mO1MQJJHw4A” target=”_blank”>here</a>. A nice hour drive north to the Lebonese border with Fr. James Conlon telling his vocation story. <img src=”http://www.footprintsofgodpilgrimages.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_7648-169×300.png” alt=”” width=”169″ height=”300″ class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-1591484″ /> We arrived at Caesarea Philippi where Steve gave his talk and […]

Read the full article →

A Talk with 2 Purposes: Teach Foundations of our Faith & Demonstrate Verbum Catholic Software

February 18, 2017

A while ago I gave a talk in Ann Arbor entitled “The Foundations of our Faith: Scripture, Tradition & Magisterium.” (Watch the video below.) As I love to do, I tied the Old and New Testaments together and showed the continuity that lays the foundation for who and what we are as Catholics today. But my […]

Read the full article →