August 2013

After Obama’s announcement on Saturday night it appears that all is quiet on the Eastern front.

 According to the news Obama is deferring to Congress which will not reconvene until September 9, which is when our pilgrims on this trip will return to the United States. 

 My guess is by September 9 it will be old news (you know Americans and their memory) and a warning will be given to Syria and it will be left at that. But even if they do send bombs over to Syria the last thing Syria wants is start a war with Israel, which is the most powerful nation in the whole Middle East.

 Anyway, this is good news for our pilgrims who now have less apprehension as they arrive in Tel Aviv and embark on this marvelous pilgrimage.

It is also good news for red-faced Obama who will now have less trouble facing Sweden, Russia and the G-20 next week even though he will appear foolish in any case.

 Once again Janet and I are glad to be in the Holy Land full of pilgrims and tourists enjoying the most holy place on planet Earth. 

 Signing off to go to sleep, while listening to German pilgrims singing joyful songs on the shore of Galilee,

 Steve & Janet Ray

*********************
20130831-223253.jpgWASHINGTON (AP) – Delaying what had appeared to be an imminent strike, President Barack Obama abruptly announced Saturday he will seek congressional approval before launching any military action meant to punish Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack that killed hundreds.

With Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea ready to strike, Obama said he had decided the United States should take military action, but also determined “our country will be better off” if Congress renders its own opinion.

At the same time, he challenged lawmakers to consider “what message will we send to a dictator” if he is allowed to killed hundreds of children with chemical weapons without suffering any retaliation.

Lawmakers will return to session on Sept. 9.

Also read the excellent JERUSALEM POST article. 

{ 0 comments }

Janet and I are currently in Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. There’s not much talk here about the problems in Syria because everybody’s out doing what they do on the Sabbath. It is an issue for us of course, because we have 91 pilgrims arriving on Sunday.

However, we are very confident that everything is going to go smoothly and there is no danger. The article below is in today’s Jerusalem Post and explains one of the reasons why I am confident in continuing on with our pilgrimage and not being concerned about a very unlikely attack from Syria even if the US sends missiles into Syria.

In the meantime everything here in Israel is normal. Nothing is changed: people are out swimming, jogging in the streets, and enjoying the day off like they do every other Sabbath. Today I ride my bike and swim, read and write. Later we’ll go to Mass.

There is much more news about this in the United States than there is here. In Israel they don’t sensationalize the news like they do in United States, repeating it over and over again to fill time.

So we are enjoying the day waiting for our group to arrive; the buses are ready and we’re anxious to show them all the beautiful land of our Lord and our Lady.

***************************

As the US reportedly prepares to launch an attack on Syria, PM Binyamin Netanyahu urges Israelis to go about their everyday lives as per usual; security cabinet approves limited call-up of IDF reservists.

Even as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called on Israelis to carry on with their daily routines in light of a possible US strike on Syria, the security cabinet approved a limited call-up of reservists in vital military capacities….

In addition, the sources said that the government approved the deployment of advanced anti-missile batteries in the north….

The information presented at the meeting indicated a “low probability” that Syrian President Bashar Assad would respond to US military action by striking Israel. Nevertheless, the sources said, Israel was preparing for any eventuality, which explained the limited reserve call-ups.

Following the security cabinet meeting, the second urgent security consultation in as many days, Netanyahu issued a statement Wednesday saying Israelis need not alter their daily routine.

“The IDF is ready to defend against any threat and prepared to respond severely agaisnt any attempt to harm Israeli citizens,” he said.

One of the reasons for the “low probability” assessments of a Syrian response against Israel is the assessments in Jerusalem that Syrian President Bashar Assad is cognizant of messages Israel has sent indicating that an attack on Israel would ignite a counter-attack that would bring his regime down…

{ 0 comments }

Is It Safe in Israel? Follow Us!

by Steve Ray on August 29, 2013

UPDATE FRIDAY EVENING
Everything is normal. Everyone is carrying on their normal life. The whole lane land of Israel is full of pilgrims and tourists enjoying themselves.

Here is a video I just made so you can see it for yourself. For those arriving Sunday, we are ready for you!

UPDATE FRIDAY MORNING
We have reached our hotel in Tiberias. We are now looking out over the Sea of Galilee. The hotel is full of pilgrims and the parking lot is loaded with tourist buses; everyone is going out to Holy sites to celebrate their faith today.

Interviewing people who live here demonstrates that no one is concerned; everybody is going about their daily life. Watch for my video coming out in a few hours.

20130830-074149.jpg
EARLIER POST
Janet and I are boarding our plane for Israel. Our 90 pilgrims will join us Sunday including Bishop Vasa, Fr. Raymond Willy and Patrick Coffin of Catholic Answers Live. When I arrive on
Friday I will be riding my bike around Galilee to explore Our Lord’s land and to give you a set of eyes into the real situation in the Holy Land :-)

Watch for my YouTube which I’ll post Friday to show how peaceful and safe and beautiful it is in Israel. We know
the situation and are certain of our safety – after over 100 times in Israel with great and knowledgable friends. Follow us closer at
www.Twitter.com/JerusalemJones

{ 3 comments }

Before Mass: 1 or 3 Hour Fast?

August 29, 2013

Interview note from my friend Dr. Edward Peters (his opinions are not necessarily mine; I post this for information and discussion only) This afternoon at 5:15 Eastern, Drew Mariani (Relevant Radio) and I [Ed Peters] will be talking about my suggestion that the fast required for holy Communion be re-extended to three hours (up from [...]

Read the full article →

Monday’s Shows Archived: 1) Raising a Catholic Family, 2) Living with Muslims

August 27, 2013

Monday was a busy day with two radio shows. You can listen to them here: Sean Herriott’s Show on Relevant Radio: Raising a Catholic Family in Today’s Secular Culture Al Kresta Live’s show on Ave Maria Radio and EWTN. It is the last half hour of the one hour show: Living with Muslims

Read the full article →

Today on Al Kresta Live Steve Discusses “Living with Muslims”

August 26, 2013

I’ve been to Israel over 100 times. My best friends are Palestinian Christians who make up only 1.5% of the population. They are stuck between two huge cultures: Jewish and Muslim. Like a small pebble they get hit and squeezed between the two huge boulders.  Today we will discuss what it is like to be [...]

Read the full article →

What is Wrong with this Picture? What is Missing? Is this the “New Normal”?

August 26, 2013

This magazine arrives in our mailbox four times a year; not because we subscribe but because we live in this community. We never sent our kids to public schools, choosing rather to educate them at home. When I grabbed the mail and walked back to the house I had not even reached the front door [...]

Read the full article →

BIG NEWS: Green Light to Begin our next DVD: Abraham!

August 23, 2013

Last week we had a long conference call with Ignatius Press and they approved our next DVD entitled Abraham, Father of Faith &Works. We are planning our flights to film in Iraq where Abraham’s life began. Then to Turkeyand Israel for the rest of his story. This was possible because of many donations. Please pray for us. Our life is already [...]

Read the full article →

What Happened to Detroit?

August 20, 2013

A friend from the UK wrote and asked me what happened to that once magnificent city of Detroit. I gave his a short response which may sound harsh to politically correct ears but I never claimed to be politically correct choosing rather to be honest and speak my mind. Here was my answer: This was [...]

Read the full article →

Want to Learn to Share the Faith? Street Evangelism for Catholics!

August 19, 2013

“Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.” Blessed [...]

Read the full article →

On Catholic Answers Live Today

August 19, 2013

I was the guest for Open Forum for Non-Catholics on Catholic Answers Live hosted by Jimmy Akin. Here is the link to listen on-line and other listening options. Below are the questions I answered on the show. New Christian who joined Luther church asked: The commands God gives Moses in the Old Testament seem very [...]

Read the full article →

Why A Black Pro-life Democratic Congressman Switched to Republican – An Excellent History Lesson

August 18, 2013

I enjoyed Elroy Guillary’s educational history lesson on politics and why he had to switch his party affiliation. 

Read the full article →

The Mystery Priest at the Accident Discovered…

August 13, 2013

…The mystery priest who recently showed up at a crash site, anointed a victim and then vanished has been identified — and he came forward by posting his identity in the comments section of a Catholic news site. The story began on Aug. 4, after Aaron Smith, 26, struck Katie Lentz, 19, in a head-on car crash. [...]

Read the full article →

MP3 Monday: Peter MP3 only $1.99 this week

August 11, 2013

Why don’t Protestants recognize the Pope’s authority? Maybe because they don’t wear their Jewish glasses when they read the Bible. Steve teaches how to defend against Protestant misunderstandings of St. Peter and the Papacy with easy to understand stories and examples. This MP3 only 1.99 this week and all other MP3′s 30% off. www.SteveRaysStore.com

Read the full article →

Great Catholic Summer Camp for Boys

August 10, 2013

Fr. Scott Courtney, my good friend and frequent chaplain for our pilgrimages, has a great summer camp for young men at Camp Kateri Tekakwitha in Nebraska. They wrestle in the mud, have jousting battles, obstacle courses, ball games, and then they memorize Scripture, pray together, go to confession and have reverent holy daily Mass. This [...]

Read the full article →

My Site Was Down A While…

August 9, 2013

…as we were moving all our web pages to a new services provider. It will have more memory, be more robust, more secure and faster. Sorry for the inconvenience over the last few days. I expect a few bumps before everything is worked out. If you find something on my sites that are not working, [...]

Read the full article →