Fun Stuff

Bible Riddle: What Am I?

by Steve Ray on November 22, 2015

Since we will be here today, I thought this riddle appropriate!

But, before you click the link, see if you can figure out this riddle :-)
Write to me if you need help; click here to see the answer.

Three times I have been divided
doing what God had decided.
Twice a garment was the tool
that led me to obey God’s rule.
I was the threshold of new things
and the limit of many kings.
Once God’s son I did embrace.
Once the ark stood in my place.
Never have I walked the ground,
nor in the heavens was I found.

What am I?


The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal.

They were also anxious about the promise. The only thing they knew about God descending in fire was the experience of their ancestors at Mount Sinai. When that happened they all ran and hid and said to Moses, Never let God speak to us again; you go talk with Him and come back and tell us what the said.

Pentecost was approaching. Pentecost means “the 50th day.” Fiftieth day from what? From the Passover. Almost fifty days ago the Passover lambs had been slain, and so had THE Passover Lamb. Then there was the forty mystery days when Jesus was gone but not gone—with them but not with them, at least not like before. And he kept just appearing and then disappearing.

He taught them a lot in those forty days, He had breathed on them, gave them power to forgive and retain sins, fed them loaves and fish, appointed Peter as his shepherd, commanded them to go out from Jerusalem to the world. He explained to them much about the Kingdom of God and their tasks as His emissaries.

The last meeting was the most unusual of all. He answered a few questions, gave a few instructions and without even a formal Good-bye He started going up—and continued going up until all they saw was the bottom of his sandals as he disappeared into a cloud. Daniel 7:13-14 says he went back to the glory of heaven.

They looked at each other with obvious concern on their faces—they were fearful. They locked themselves in the Upper Room to pray as He had commanded. They were praying for what they feared—fire upon a mountain, Mount Zion. They prayed for nine days, the first Novena, before the promise of the Holy Spirit fell.

We are specifically told that there were about 120 people in the room. Actually the word is “names” not people. How strange. Can you imagine me saying, “About 120 names came on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land”? This made me curious so I looked up 120 in early Jewish literature and law. Sure enough, my research paid off.

In Israel is a group of Jews desiring to leave the big city and start their own new community they needed a minimum of 120 names on a list. What was happening here in the Upper Room? A new community was being started. The word “church” in the New Testament is ecclesia which means “a group of people called out.” Even today the Knessett (lawmaking body in Israel) is made up of 120 representatives.

Mary is listed among the believers in that Upper Room. It was important that she is listed among the names with others. She is the mother of Jesus. She gave birth to him in Bethlehem as was, in a sense, giving birth to him again on Pentecost. What is our affectionate term for Pentecost? Can you sing “Happy Birthday, to you…”? Yes, it is the Birthday of the Church. What is being born? The Mystical Body of Christ. Who is there for the birth? The mother of course. Mothers have to be present when their child is born. Mary is the mother of Jesus the God-Man and Mary is the Mother of the Church, the Body of Christ. She was necessarily present at both births.

Mary was also there because the others were afraid of the descent of God in fire on this new mountain. I am convinced they trembled in fear not only of the Jews and Romans outside, but of the prophesied “baptism of fire” within—as they wondered and feared that might be. The gentle breeze was about to become a rushing wind.

But Mary was there to calm their anxieties. I bet she said something like, “Don’t be afraid my friends, the Holy Spirit has already overshadowed me and He was pure love. Just wait until you are bathed in His love!” The gentle breeze became a rushing wind but it was warm and

After nine days of praying the Holy Spirit fell in fire on the tenth day—which was the 50th day from the death of the Passover Lamb Jesus on the cross. The Jewish festival of Pentecost also celebrated the first fruits of the harvest.

Remember, Jesus said he was like a grain of wheat that would be buried in the ground. The grain must be buried and die to bear its fruit. Jesus died, was buried in the ground and rose from the dead as the first fruit. Now on the “Feast of First Fruits” the first of the harvest is brought to God. We learn that 3,000 people were added to the Church that day—all in keeping with the tremendous symbolism and deeper meaning to all these events.

And with these deep mysteries and truths we are just scratching the surface. Come to the Holy Land with us, get out your Bibles and study books (or Verbum Catholic Bible Study software) and dig deeper. “There is gold in them there hills” for those with eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts and minds to learn. Enter promo code STEVERAY for a 15% discount.

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Butt-prints in the Sand

by Steve Ray on November 20, 2015

One night I had a wondrous dream
one set of footprints there was seen.
The footprints of my precious Lord,
but mine were not upon the shore.

And then some stranger prints appeared
and I asked the Lord: “What have we here?”
The prints are large and round and neat
but Lord they are too big for feet.

My child he said in somber tone
for miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk by FAITH
but you refused and made me wait.

I got tired, I got fed up!
And there I dropped you on your butt!

Because in life there comes a time
When one must fight, and one must climb
When one must rise and one must stand…
or leave their butt prints in the sand! 

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Pictures from Nazareth over 100 Years Ago (see the Virgin Mary :-)

November 16, 2015

Today we are in Nazareth looking for Mary! We are visiting her home cave where the Angel Gabriel brought the announcement from heaven. We will also visit her cave where she lived 30 years with Joseph and Jesus. These pictures are over a hundred years old from Nazareth. Not much changed between then and the [...]

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“Life is about the Journey, not the Destination!” Huh?!

November 15, 2015

“Life is all about the Journey, not the Destination!” (paraphrase of a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.) I saw this sign at the airport recently. Imagine! In an airport of all places! What stupidity! Grab a passenger arriving at the airport to catch a flight and shout, “Hey, take any flight you want sir, it [...]

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How Well Do You Know Jesus and His Land? Multiple Choice Questions.

November 13, 2015

Since we are in Israel we thought this would be a fun quiz. How much do you know about Jesus and his Land? Answers are below in the Comments but DON’T CHEAT until you give it a hero’s try! 1. We have no record of Jesus visiting which place? a. The Phoenician Coast b. Tiberias [...]

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You Know You Are a Heretic when…

September 24, 2015

You decide you know more, you have a new previously unknown truth…

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A New Creed for the Modern World

September 21, 2015

Everyone knows the ancient Christian creeds are outdated and passé. It is time we have a new creed that fits everyone in our brave new modern world.  We believe that God is in all of us; He has been created in our image We believe that each one must find the truth that is right [...]

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The Sign of the Cross: It’s History, Meaning and Biblical Basis

September 1, 2015

SIGN OF THE CROSS By Steve Ray The Sign of the Cross is a ritual gesture by which we confess two important mysteries: the Trinity and the centrality of the Cross. It is the most common and visible means by which we confess our faith. The Sign of the Cross is made by touching the [...]

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He Circumcised Himself! Ouch!

August 21, 2015

I received this e-mail from a priest friend of mine. Not sure what to think about it :-) “I have to share a short  inspirational story.  My brother has been involved in a prison ministry for many years in our home parish area.  They recently watched the Footprints of God program on Abraham.  “One of [...]

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Funnest Homily on the Beatitudes – EVER!

August 20, 2015

Hang on to your hats and get ready to make hand gestures. This no average homily. Fr. Scott Courtney has been our pilgrimage chaplain many times and everyone loves his homilies. Enjoy this homily on the Beatitudes delivered at the Mount of Beatitudes on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

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There are Two Seas in Palestine – Which One are You Like?

August 17, 2015

I am doing a show on Relevant Radio about the “Rivers of the Bible” at 9 AM Eastern at I will soon post the link to listen to the archived show. We mentioned on the show when Steve at a grasshopper at the Jordan Rive like the John the Baptist did You can see [...]

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Me Preparing for the Coming Persecution :-)

August 17, 2015

Our documentary on King David-Solomon and our DVD on Apostolic Fathers who were martyred for the truth of Christianity required that I rent a lion for some of the scenes. I was so close I could smell the lion’s breath. What a terrifying thing to fall into the jaws of such a powerful beast. I [...]

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The Literacy and Spirituality of a Day Gone By; A Tattered Yellowed Page; A Poem I Found from my Great-Grandmother

July 1, 2015

I never knew my Great Grandmother Frances Picard. She was originally an O’Grady. They had a deep spirituality and she converted to the Catholic Church later in her life. (By the way, this was all new to me since I never knew – in my childhood – that I had several lines of Catholic ancestors.)  [...]

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts

June 11, 2015

A non-Christian friend found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?” Here is my explanation. If you readers have anything to add, please post it in the Comments below. Thanks. Thanks. [...]

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Crap, Castration & Two Creations – Colorful New Testament Wording

May 30, 2015

We miss a lot when reading the English Bible. We’re at a great disadvantage. The early Christians read the writings of the apostles in the original language – they understood the words and expressions must better than we do. The original language of the Bible is full of rich imagery, stark reality, and colorful terminology. [...]

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