Evangelization

I have a soft spot in my heart for this man because he has had a PROFOUND impact on our family. It was his message over the airwaves in 1953 that first brought my mom to Christ and my mom and dad then brought us boys to a living and vibrant knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Then when I was 17 years old Billy Graham had a huge impact on me — so much so that after hearing him on the radio in about 1969 I slipped out the back door of our country home and with my long hair and bell bottom jeans walked down the dirt road with tears in my eyes.

I remember looking up to heaven and saying, “Jesus, I am only 17 years old but tonight I am going to give my whole life to you!”

It was a — if not THE, defining moment in my life. I have great respect and admiration for this good Baptist preacher and will some day in heaven look him straight in the eyes and thank him for reaching a rebellious 17 year old kid for Christ.

Below is a video of Billy Graham, now old and weak, giving a talk to the scientists in Silicon Valley. He may be fragile with age but his words are powerful, precise and ever so pertinent to our society today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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They Fell for the Lie – I’ll Pray for Them

by Steve Ray on November 6, 2017

50D546DF-6193-4B20-BCD7-222F05F17C28We are in the airport in Lisbon Portugal heading to Israel to pick up our next group. Janet and I were standing in line and a man started up a conversation with us.

He and his wife were in their late 60s and I could tell they were good Americans. They’d be ideal neighbors, keeping their lawn mowed and their property maintained. But they fell for the lie and it has infected their whole life which became apparent in our short conversation.

F2B947FF-9508-4DC1-BBAA-1BBBC8B2A5DDI always wear my San Damiano crucifix from Assisi Italy.  It is great for evangelism because it often starts conversations (like it did today). It’s the one that spoke to St. Francis. The gentleman commented on my crucifix and said he never seen one like it before and it was beautiful. I said, “Thank you! I wear it proudly as a Catholic and I want people to know what I believe.“

His face saddened as he replied, “I envy your faith.” His wife immediately chimed in with a disparaging tone, “Well I’m happy it works for you.”

I said, “We discovered the Catholic Faith when we were 39 years old and it’s the best kept secret in the world.” She made sure I knew she didn’t believe any of it.

Because we are Christian and Catholic we believe in families. We told them that we have four children who are married and we are now free to travel and take groups to Catholic lands.

1CA7BC79-AE98-4F2A-8CF5-BBAA3762B3D7We explained we had 15 grandchildren (two still in the womb). She was shocked, he looked sadly envious. He made it quite clear he wished he had the same but that they never would. They obviously had a different emphasis in their life and it wasn’t for families.  Their children learn something very different than ours did.

He seemed to have a tender heart and be sad about  his life but she was outspoken and belligerent.  She proudly stated, “We don’t have any grandchildren and we never will. We have grand-dogs!”

C6DA6FF0-13E3-474A-870C-99D6EAB12E04He asked if we got to see our grandchildren often and we said yes, that we are a very close family. He looked sad again as she stated, “Since we don’t have grandkids and never will, we love our grand-dogs. We even had them all dressed up for Halloween in doggie costumes.”

He told they do have two children who they rarely see but neither are married and will never have kids. The man said he cries every day missing his family.

Then she brought up the pope. She said they have friends that go to a big Catholic Church in Atlanta Georgia who don’t like the Pope’s encyclical on the environment. They asked If I thought about the Pope’s encyclical was helping Catholics respect the environment.

I told them that Catholics have always respected the environment. It has always been an essential part of our teaching that God created the heavens and the earth and created man in his image and made man stewart and caretaker of the environment.

I explained that we are given the earth to use but not abuse. Like a caretaker who works for a rich family has responsibility to tend the gardens so we do the same for God’s earth. I said this is always been part of our teaching.

94076C28-C46F-4BF4-8AE8-7F9E621931CBI also told her I don’t buy all the environmental mumbo-jumbo that’s being presented by the liberals today. I said it’s just a scheme for the government to get more control over our lives – it was all hyped up. She said, “I sure feel sorry for you.” I said, “Ma’am I don’t buy any of it. I’ve read too much and know there’s a lot of fake news and fake science out there today.”  She parroted a few of Al Gore’s favorite lines.

He seemed very interested in my opinion and was ready to ask me questions when we had to go our separate ways. I shook hands with a man and thanked him for the nice conversation and said I hope they have a nice flight.

I feel sorry for people who fall for the lie that there is no God or that he is irrelevant. I feel sorry for people who think there are many truths and “my truth works for me And I’m happy you’re (unacceptable) truth works for you. In reality there’s only one truth 2+2 always equals 2.

I’ll be praying for these folks that they come to the same conclusion about God and the Catholic Church and  also discover the best kept secret in the world. I will pray especially for him because I think he had an open heart and was pretty much bullied by his wife.

I will continue to proudly wear this cross.

(Some of our grandkids dressed for Halloween! No dogs among them :-)

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My Open Letter to Filipinos

by Steve Ray on October 13, 2017

[If you know someone from the Philippines ?? please share this letter with them.]

We stepped into the church and it was old and a bit dark. Mass had just begun and we sat toward the front. We didn’t know what to expect here in Istanbul Turkey. I guess we expected it to be a somber Mass but quiet and somber it was not—I thought I heard angels joyously singing behind me. The voices were rich, melodic and beautiful.

What I discovered as I spun around to look did not surprise me because I had seen and heard the same thing in other churches around the world. It was not a choir of angels with feathered wings and halos but a group of delightful Filipino Catholics with smiles of delight and joy on their faces as they worshiped God and sang his praises.

I had seen this many times before in Rome, in Israel, in the United States and other countries. Filipinos have special traits and they are beautifully expressed as I gazed at the happy throng giving thanks to God. What are the special traits which characterize these happy people? I will share a few that I have noticed—personal observations—as I have traveled around the world, including visits to the Philippines.

First, there is a sense of community, of family. These Filipino Christians did not sit apart from each other in different isles. They sat together, closely. They didn’t just sing quietly, mumbling, or simply mouthing the words. No, they raised their voices in harmony together as though they enjoyed the sense of unity and communion among them. They are family even if they are not related.

Second, they have an inner peace and joy which is rare in the world today. When most of the world’s citizens are worried and fretful, I have found Filipinos to have joy and peace—a deep sense of God’s love that overshadows them. They have problems too, and many in the Philippines have less material goods than others in the world, yet there is still a sense of happy trust in God and love of neighbor.

Third, there is a love for God and for his Son Jesus that is almost synonymous with the word Filipino. There is also something that Filipinos are famous for around the world—their love for the Blessed Mother. Among the many Filipinos I have met the affectionate title for Mary I always hear from their lips is “Mama Mary”. For these gentle folks Mary is not just a theological idea, a historical person, or a statue in a church—Mary is the mother of their Lord and their mother as well, their “mama”.

The Philippines is a Catholic nation—the only such nation in Asia—and this wonderful country exports missionaries around the world. They are not hired to be missionaries, not official workers of the church.

No, they are workers and educators, doctors, nurses and housekeepers that go to other lands and travel to the far reaches of the earth and everywhere they go they take the joyous gospel of Jesus with them. They make a somber Mass joyful when they burst into song. They convict the pagan of sin as they always keep the love of Jesus and the Eucharist central in their lives.

My hope and prayer, while I am here in the Philippines sharing my conversion story from Baptist Protestant to Roman Catholic, is that the Filipino people will continue to keep these precious qualities. I pray that they will continue loving their families, loving the Catholic Church, reading the Bible, loving Jesus, his Mother and the Eucharist.

As many other religions and sects try to persuade them to leave the Church, may God give the wisdom to defend the Catholic faith.

As the world tempts them to sin and seek only money and fame and power, may God grant them the serenity to always remember that obedience to Christ and love for God is far more important than all the riches the world can offer.

May the wonderful Filipino people continue to be a light of the Gospel to the whole world!

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Seven Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends

July 12, 2017

This is always an interesting topic that floods the phone lines. I was on Son Rise Morning Show today on this topic so I reposted by popular request discussing how we as Catholics can relate to and influence our family and friends. Ready to go! Family life can cause tension and strife among families. How […]

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“Hey, I Like Your Cross!”

April 24, 2017

That’s why I always where my San Damiano Cross. It is colorful and catches people’s eye. Even yesterday while traveling two people commented. My response is always, “Thanks, I wear it proudly as a Catholic!” Invariably an interesting discussion ensues. An atheist once asked why he should become Catholic. What fun! Yesterday two people at […]

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2 Minute Audios: Steve’s 6 Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends

April 7, 2017

People always ask, “What do I say to my husband…?”  or “How do I get my kids back in the Church?  or  “I am getting no where trying to tell my friend about my Faith.” Well Steve came up with Six Rules to help you deal with non-Catholics – especially family and friends. They are […]

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Conversation at an Airport; Don’t Be Intimated! Say What You’re Thinking!

October 25, 2016

We stepped into the Delta lounge to await our flight to Greece where we will meet our group of 95 excited pilgrims for our St. Paul cruise. A guy sat down next to me and said, “How you doing?” I said, “Great, we just voted for Trump and we are on our way to lead […]

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Stop being intimidated, say what you’re thinking! Are example at the airport…

October 25, 2016

We stepped into the Delta lounge to await our flight to Greece where we will meet our group of 95 excited pilgrims for a St. Paul cruise. A guy sat down next to me and said, “How you doing?” I said, “Great, we just voted for Trump and we are on our way to lead […]

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Jack Chick Died, Remember his Cartoon Tracts? Very Anti-Catholic Evangelist; 9 Things You Should Know

October 25, 2016

I remember handing out those cartoon Chick Tracts when I was a Protestant. As uninformed as I was, I liked the simplicity and brashness of the little booklets. Now I know how crude and deceptive they were. Jack Chick just died and Jimmy Akin wrote a bit about it.   First Jimmy writes about Nine […]

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Proud of My Quiet Wife Doing Evangelism

September 30, 2016

Janet is usually quiet and reserved but today she surprised me. We went to Jimmy John’s to get sub sandwiches for our grandkids a while ago. On the sidewalk was sitting a young black man asking for money. I walked into the store but she turned around and went back to talk with him. She […]

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My CD Audio “Swimming Upstream: Living a Catholic Life in a Pagan World” now available at Lighthouse!

April 3, 2016

This is the talk I have been most asked to give in the last few years. It is a hard-hitting, politically incorrect talk about the state of our culture and what we as Christians are called to do. I use some pretty scary and interesting stories and example. We step back into the early Church […]

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“Catholics Come Home” Book now available

February 22, 2016

Catholics Come Home’s Tom Peterson has a special offer: Catholics Come Home Book Now $1.99!  Today, for a limited time, you can purchase the Kindle eBook edition of my popular evangelization book, Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life, for just $1.99! That’s more than 80% off the normal price!  What if you […]

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Want to Evangelize the Good ‘ole Fashioned Way with Lots of Friends? Want to Learn How? Check this out!

July 11, 2015

St. Paul Street Evangelism is exploding with groups across the country and even the world. Likeminded Catholics tired of silence finally are hitting the streets together, having fun, sharing the Good News of Jesus and changing lives. Tired of just “wanting to evangelize”? Not sure what it is or how to do it? How about […]

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New Convert Holds His Ground with a Street Preacher

April 15, 2015

I was so delighted to receive this e-mail that I had to share it with everyone! Hi Steve, Just had to share this…I was visiting San Antonio this weekend and as I walked around the riverwalk section of town, a gentleman approached me with a gospel tract. When he asked, “Are you sure you are […]

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Fun Article in Faith Magazine: For Stephen Ray Evangelizing is an Adventure!

April 6, 2015

Faith Magazine came out to do an interview last year and the article showed up this month (April 2016). Hope you enjoy it. Today we are ON OUR WAY to Fatima, Avila and Lourdes! Stay tuned for updates, daily videos and more.

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St. Paul Street Evangelism – Catholics Preaching on the Street like St. Paul

January 4, 2015

If you are not familiar with St. Paul Street Evangelism they are worth getting to know – and worth joining. It was started a while ago by my friend Steve Dawson who said, “Why don’t we Catholics hit the streets and public squares like the early Christians and like the Apostles?”  So… …he started St. […]

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