December 2015

Happy New Year — from Israel! We had a great day and celebrated at our favorite restaurant — one of the finest in the Holy Land.

FRIENDS FROM DENVER AND THOSE WHO APPRECIATE ARCHBISHOP AQUILA – SEND GREETINGS AND COMMENTS I CAN SHARE WITH THE WHOLE BUS. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Boat ride on Galilee, Primacy of Peter, Lebanese and Syrian borders where we prayed the Divine Mercy of the persecuted Christians across the border. 

 Mass at Beatitudes, vocation stories on the bus, comedy club after dinner and much more. Enjoy!

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY: BOAT RIDE, BEATITUDES, GOLAN HEIGHTS, CAESAREA PHILIPPI AND MUCH MORE

ARCHBISHOP AQUILA’S HOMILY AT BEATITUDES

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How Long Will You Live? A Longevity Calculator

by Steve Ray on December 31, 2015

Watch your age in the upper right corner! Kinda’ fun to watch your age go up and down as you answer the questions.

It’s interesting, so give it a try….  How long will you live? This is a calculator that estimates your life expectancy. It was developed by Northwestern Mutual Life.

There are only 13 questions, yet they can predict how long you’re likely to live.

Of course only God knows the day and the hour of our deaths, but this might wake us up to choices we make and how they effect our lives. God had given us a marvelous body and to him “who much is given, much will be required.”

Maybe it will help some of us change our lifestyle. I know for myself the doctor told me four years ago I was not in good shape. I had lots of reasons why I could not take the time to change my lifestyle. But I did.

Our whole family changed our lifestyle by reducing our food intake, eating only healthy foods and exercising daily – even when it hurts :-)

You can do the same!  

http://media.nmfn.com/tnetwork/lifespan

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Today we visited the mountain of Transfiguration for Mass, then Cana of Galilee to renew wedding vows, lunch in Nazareth and then a tour of the city of Nazareth and the full experience at the Church of the Annunciation.

Archbishop Aquila’s homilies are excellent and we have the full video of his homily at the site of the Transfiguration.

We have a great group and we limit our Holy Land pilgrimages just to one bus for a more intimate and personal experience. Everyone is doing great and we have ten youngsters on this trip – very well-behaved and a joy for everyone.

Hope you enjoy these videos as you share our pilgrimage with us.

HIGHTLIGHTS OF TODAY: TRANSFIGURATION, CANA, NAZARETH

ARBISHOP’S MOST EXCELLENT HOMILY


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My Updated Article on Infant Baptism

December 30, 2015

Even among Evangelical Protestants there is much debate about Infant Baptism. My old Baptist tradition rejected it as a Catholic tradition of men. Dr. Francis Schaeffer, my favorite Evangelical Presbyterian theologian wrote a booklet entitled Infant Baptism in favor of the practice – my wife Janet was raised Presbyterian and baptized as an infant. It […]

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Starting out in Israel! Is it safe? Heck yes!

December 29, 2015

Steve and Janet Ray here with a full bus of excited pilgrims, albeit tired from a flight across the seas. But excited and ready to go… Jerry Usher is with us. Archbishop Samuel Aquila from Denver Colorado is with us along with four priests, two transitional deacons, two seminarians and three religious sisters in beautiful […]

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Read the Bible or Catechism in One Year

December 28, 2015

  I am finishing up read the Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year. Great experience!  Next year it is the Catholic Bible in one year.  Here is a good website to get you started, with lots of options and advice.  http://brandonvogt.com/how-to-easily-read-the-whole-bible/

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Womb 2 Tomb; Bethlehem 2 Jerusalem; Biking on Christmas thru the Holy Land

December 26, 2015

I am back in Israel now! Greetings from the Land! I posted this blog a year ago — but I am posting it again so you can see Bethlehem from a unique perspective, from my bike. I think you will enjoy this fun and educational adventure riding through Bethlehem and Jerusalem today. We are in […]

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Questions about Christmas I Answered Wednesday on Catholic Answers Live

December 24, 2015

Fun, fun, fun! I love doing the Catholic Answers Live call-in show. Wednesday the topic was Bethlehem and the Nativity. We started out with my description of what it was like for Mary and Joseph to arrive in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.  You can listen on-line HERE; for other listening options like podcast, click HERE. […]

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Mother Teresa to be Canonized! Confirmed Today! Join us for the event in ROME!

December 18, 2015

Today Pope Francis confirmed the second miracle and cleared Mother Teresa for canonization. We have plans all ready to go! For more information, contact Suzanne at sparran@ctscentral.com or by calling 800-727-1999, ext. 121.

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Four Generations and another Musical Composition by Grandson Josh

December 18, 2015

One day my son Jesse (with the hat like mine!) said to his son Josh – in jest, “I am disappointed in you Josh. You only compose music for one instrument — the piano. Too bad you can’t compose for more instruments.” Well… …when Jesse returned from work that night Josh said, “Dad, I had […]

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Christmas Piano – a Performance by my 12-year old Grandson Josh – Wow!

December 17, 2015

We are not quite sure what to think of this boy. One day at our house he started playing the piano at eight years old. The next thing we know it’s difficult to find a teacher for him because he is so talented. I know it didn’t come from Janet or I, or other ancestors […]

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“Year of Mercy” Logo Explained

December 15, 2015

I have to admit I was first repelled by the “modern-looking” logo for the Year of Mercy. But now that I read this and took the time to understand, I am quite intrigued. This comes from the Gaylord Michigan diocesan website. Their bishop Raica is a friend and a stalwart man of God and a […]

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Steve Ray on Guadalupe, Immaculate Conception and Nativity & Bethlehem

December 11, 2015
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Nevada Catholic churches targeted in bizarre string of protests

December 11, 2015

Las Vegas, Nev., Dec 10, 2015 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Las Vegas Catholics are disturbed after self-described Muslim-turned-Christian protestors disrupted Masses at several churches in the metropolitan area within the past few weeks. In at least three incidents, the group “Koosha Las Vegas” have walked in to churches in the middle of Mass, shouting […]

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Mary Saw Mercy… so real and visible and close it may have splashed on her face.

December 9, 2015

Mary knew mercy. Mary saw mercy. The mercy was so real and visible and close it may have splashed on her face. Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy shows the blood and water springing from the side of Christ, the fountain of mercy. Mary stood at the foot of the Cross where the blood and water emerged […]

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Is the Pope Justifying Condoms?

December 9, 2015

  Not sure what to think of the Pope’s words on the plane home from Africa. What do you think? If his point was that we should solve hunger, exploitation, pure water issues, and other tragedies in Africa then good, I am in total agreement. But, it doesn’t seem wise to me to speak in such […]

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