Family and Kids

Today I Have Been Married to Janet for 43 Years

by Steve Ray on December 4, 2019

It was the best thing I ever did — marrying that girl! I couldn’t have found a better friend, partner, lover, or mother for our children. I thank God for her every day. I have always written her parents on our anniversary to thank them for letting me marry their incredible daughter.

She reminds me of the passage in Proverbs 31:10-31. Here are a few excerpts:

A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. … Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 

Above is a picture of Janet and I at our wedding. Geez, time sure changes things — at least with me. Janet still looks pretty much the same — with an emphasis on pretty. Time sure flies! All our kids are now graduated, married and moved out and today we feel like we just got married again :-)

Family Group 2019

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The Kiss of Mercy

by Steve Ray on August 28, 2019

My daughter-in-law Anna is very insightful about spiritual things, and in raising our grandkids. Couldn’t ask for a better daughter (in-law, though we consider her our daughter by now :-) She put this up on her FaceBook page a while ago and I was compelled to share it again. Janet and I read this with tears in our eyes WHILE WE WERE IN THE CONFESSIONAL LINE this Saturday. Wow!

The Kiss of Mercy

“Kiss me!” – My young son looked up at me with this imploring demand. I look down upon my passionate, impulsive son observing his pain and anguish. His face is contorted and pleading. The pain he is experiencing is emotional, his center of well being is off.

The Father RUNS to his sinful prodigal son

He feels my displeasure at his most recent misbehavior and he desperately longs to restore the relationship. Without hesitation, I reach down, pull his small, tense body into mine and kiss his upturned lips. Instantly, as if a switch has been flipped, his body relaxes and all is restored.

Oh, how our Lord wishes we would behave as this young child! Multiple times a day, my son will behave in a less than virtuous manner. And yet, he does not despair, does not hide his pain and wrongdoing.

He comes running with all of his misery into my merciful arms. At the young age of 3, he has grasped what many of us have not. His sin is not a condemnation, it is an opportunity to receive mercy and healing. It is an opportunity to restore and strengthen the one relationship to him that is his whole world.

How can this be? Because our Lord said it was so. Hear his words, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” See and feel his actions. Focus your heart on his passion.

Call to mind the scourging. The whip is in your hand. Your pride, anger, envy, greed, sloth, gluttony, and lust rush upon His body with a fury. He already sees it and knows it, admit to it yourself and become aware of the reality of your sin and misery. 

But don’t let it end there! Once all the dark passion within you is spent, fall to your knees. Look divine love in the face. Fix your gaze on him and let his gaze penetrate yourself. And then say to him, “It was not in vain. Kiss me!”

Allow divine love to hold you, as the sweet pain of that kiss courses through your body. Hold fast in trust, as it probes and burns away the dark places and secret misery within you. Experience the gift of merciful love as he transforms you each moment that you come to him demanding and trusting in that mercy again and again and again.

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I have to admit I laughed — but also had a great sense of DAD-NESS when I heard this song. How did I discover it? My lovely then-21-year-old daughter Charlotte came in with a smile and said, “Dad, want to hear a song that reminds me of you?” I did and we listened to it together. I was proud ‘cuz I fight for my girls!  It’s my job — and my pleasure! I love them!

To enjoy this country song though — really — you have to listen to it with the volume turned up! I have posted a YouTube of the song with lyrics below for your listening pleasure.

All the boys who came into my little girls’ lives (Cindy, Charlotte, and Emily) all heard my “broken knee speech.” It went like this, “I love my girls and if you want to be friends with them you are now accountable to me. You will treat them with great respect. If you ever touch them wrongly or mistreat them, I will break both your knees. Don’t laugh, I am deadly serious!”

Top picture: Charlotte and I at a Father-Daughter Camp about 1995; Middle picture: Church Father-Daughter Dance in 2002; Third picture: Charlotte and I, 12 years ago when she told me about the song and before she went out to vote No-bama. Last Picture: Charlotte today with wonderful husband Wes Sorrill and their two kids Charlie and Linnea.

She was well worth every minute of my time, love and efforts. I love this girl!

Artist: Atkins Rodney
Song: Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy)
Album: If You’re Going Through Hell

The Declaration of Independence
Think I could tell you that first sentence
But then I’m lost

I can’t begin to count the theories
I’ve had pounded in my head
That I forgot

I don’t remember all that Spanish
Or the Gettysburg address
But there is one speech from high school
I’ll never forget

(Chorus)
Come on in boy sit on down
And tell me about yourself
So you like my daughter do you now?
Yeah we think she’s something else
She’s her daddy’s girl
Her momma’s world
She deserves respect
That’s what she’ll get
Ain’t it son?
Hey y’all run along and have some fun
I’ll see you when you get back
Bet I’ll be up all night
Still cleanin’ this gun

Well now that I’m a father
I’m scared to death one day my daughter
Is gonna find
That teenage boy I used to be
That seems to have just one thing on his mind

She’s growin’ up so fast
It won’t be long before
I’ll have to put the fear of God into
Some kid at the door

IMG_5819Now it’s all for show
Ain’t nobody gonna get hurt
It’s just a daddy thing
And hey, believe me, man it works

(Chorus)
Come on in boy sit on down
And tell me about yourself
So you like my daughter do you now?
Yeah we think she’s something else
She’s her daddy’s girl
Her momma’s world
She deserves respect
That’s what she’ll get
Now ain’t it son?
Y’all run along and have a little fun
I’ll see you when you get back
Probably be up all night
Still cleanin’ this gun

Son, now y’all buckle up and have her back by – let’s say about nine…thirty.
Drive safe.

(By the way, Charlotte is still a great girl, a fabulous wife and terrific mom with a wonderful husband who started out as a medic in Iraq and is now a doctor in South Carolina. And yes, even though he was younger and tougher than me, I DID get him the “broken knees” speech as soon as I met him the first time!)

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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

June 1, 2019

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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Grandson Josh Plays One of his New Piano Compositions

April 13, 2019

We are visiting my son Jesse Ray this weekend. We asked our grandson Joshua what he’s been playing on the piano lately. He asked, “ Do you want to hear one of my new compositions?” We said, “Of course!“ So, here is what he played for us. He also has his driving permit so he […]

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

April 12, 2019

Contributed by my son Jesse Ray a while ago but worthy of reposting… I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for […]

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After 7 Years of Marriage my Lovely Daughter Explains

March 17, 2019

We met on an airplane. I knew I was going to marry him by the time we landed. I had seen him in the airport. He walked by and I stared in awe thinking he was the cutest guy I’d ever seen. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had no idea he was on […]

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Gotta Love Grandkids – especially blowing a raspberry!

January 30, 2019
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2 Minute Audios: Steve’s 6 Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends

November 30, 2018

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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My Grandson Josh’s Continued Amazing Piano Playing

November 7, 2018
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Can You Guess Who These Two People Are?

September 29, 2018

Can you guess who this is? How about these two people?

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36 Reasons I Love My Travel Hat

September 26, 2018

Lots of people ask me about my Tilley Hat. 1) Where did you get it? (www.Tilley.com in Canada)? 2) Why did you start wearing it? Really, have you seen my hairstyle! The first day in Israel without one and my head looked like a red beet. 3) What style do you like? Wide brim with […]

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Seven Things Every Kid Needs to Hear

September 18, 2018

Thanks to my friend Patrick Madrid. Might I suggest you plan to tell your kids all of these things over the next week or two?

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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

August 20, 2018

I am reposting this because of the huge response two years ago. Thought it would be helpful again for many people who have lost their spouse. My dad died almost eight years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. […]

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Steve Shares a 9-minute Story of his Early Life and Conversion

August 19, 2018

While at Steubenville two weeks ago, the Coming Home Network and The Journey Home asked me to share stories of my conversion not heard before. Hope you enjoy it.

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A Tribute to My Father who Died Six Years Ago Today

August 12, 2018

My father died six years ago today. I am who I am today because he was the most excellent of fathers. He not only taught me to be a godly man, but helped me understand God as a loving and forgiving Father. I wrote this as a tribute to him then and thought it appropriate […]

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