February 2014

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Following Footprints: Filmmakers Retrace Abrahim’s Journey in Iraq
FEBRUARY 27, 2014 IN FEATURES, MARCH 2014 | 8 VIEWS | LEAVE A RESPONSE
Native Detroiters Stephen and Janet Ray spent part of January in Iraq retracing Abraham’s journey in filming the seventh installment of a 10-part video series titled, Footprints of God – The Story of Salvation from Abraham to Augustus.

In filming the documentaries, the Rays hope their work will serve as a proof point of Christianity and the existence of Jesus.

“The purpose of the series to show the lands of the Bible and that they truly existed and to be a defense mechanism for apologetics (defenders of the faith),” said Stephen Ray. “It also explains the force of the Catholic Church.”

Iraq was crucial to the story of Abraham because it’s where his story begins in the land of the Chaldeans.

“Iraq is the cradle of civilization,” Ray said. “It’s where the Garden of Eden, Babylon, Nineveh all were and where the Bible begins. Every Christian should go there and see it.”

The Rays were in Iraq January 7-11. They landed in Basra, traveled to Nasiriyah and filmed in Ur, the homeland of Chaldeans. The Rays are following the same exact path and filming the very places Abraham visited.

“Abraham was a pagan idol worshiper,” Ray said. “In Joshua Chapter 24, Abraham was told his father and ancestors lived beyond the (Euphrates) river and served other gods. Then, God’s glory called Abraham to leave his heritage, graves of his ancestors in Mesopotamia and go to Haran (present-day Turkey) then to Canaan (modern-day Israel).”

“We will next travel to Haran where Isaac and Jacob met their wives and then Bethel, Hebron (where his tomb is), and Mount Moriah where Abraham offered up his son Isaac in a sacrifice to God.”

The Rays filmed in Iraq without any security. They were accompanied by a two-person film crew, a driver, guide and Ministry of Tourism official. Ray said they never felt unsafe and had a wonderful time.

“We liked it so much, I plan to go back and take 25 people on a pilgrimage there, likely in 2016,” he said. “It’s been a fun adventure. I’ve fought snakes, ridden camels and fell in the mud. It’s good family entertainment.”

Ray said they video will be completed by Christmas of this year. It will be the seventh of 10 and can be purchased through his website, www.catholicconvert.com.

“It’s going to be a busy year,” Ray said. “I also have 10 pilgrimages including Rome, the Holy Land and Ireland; 30 speeches at parish missions; and two books to finish. Plus my daughter is getting married this year.”

The entire series so far has cost more than $2 million to produce with each video costing between $200,000 and $250,000. It’s mostly funded by San Francisco co-based Ignatius Press, the largest Catholic publisher in the United States. Ray also has done some fundraising on his own to the tune of more than $100,000. People can donate through the website www.foghelp.com.

Ray said the cost is attributed to the high quality of the series.

“We are doing this professionally and it costs a lot of money to move a thousand pounds of video equipment across countries,” he said. “It’s an expensive project but we want it to be a top-notch production.”

The idea of producing the video series came to Ray in the middle of the night in fall 2000, six years after the Ray family converted to Catholicism from Baptist.

“I am not sure if it was a dream, a revelation or indigestion,” Ray said. “I woke up and shook Janet and told her we have to do a 10-part video series on salvation from a Catholic perspective. That night, it was as if the Holy Spirit filled my mind. I typed out the whole outline of the video series and I knew what I had to do, the titles of all the videos, and called Ignatius Press and they said, ‘let’s do it.’”

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The Sisters of St Paul have agreed to team up with Verbum Catholic Software to help people study the Gospel readings this Lent. They are hosting a Verbum Lenten Journey, and folks who sign up get a free book and the daily readings and commentary from Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections delivered straight to their inbox all through Lent.

 This will be a great a great way for people to actively participate in the Liturgical aspect of the Lenten season—(and it’s free.)  

Sign up to study the Gospel readings each day, then read and share reflections with others.

Visit HERE to join the Lenten Journey on your laptop, tablet or smart phone.

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Funny Short French Ad: “Is Paper Dead?

by Steve Ray on February 26, 2014

Have iPads replaced paper? :-)

Watch this!

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The Protestant and his Three Huts

February 26, 2014

I posted this a long time ago, but thought it would be fun to represent it. A Protestant was stranded all alone on an island. He begins sending smoke signals, hoping that somebody will find him. Ten years pass, and a boat is sailing by. The captain notices the smoke signals, and decides to pull [...]

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3-D Printer Helps Blind Parents Feel Unborn Baby Before She’s Born

February 25, 2014

by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 2/21/14 6:56 PM The marvels of modern technology are bringing the experience of pregnancy to people who may otherwise not able to enjoy the same kinds of ultrasound pictures the rest of us get to enjoy and appreciate. The use of 3-D printers is helping blind people who can’t [...]

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Giving Talks in the Great Northern Plain States and Seeing Magnificent Sites along the Way

February 23, 2014

Last night I gave two talks at a wonderful parish called St. Matthews Catholic Church in Gillette Wyoming. It was an amazingly enthusiastic and excited group of Catholics with a great priest. I gave my talk on the Eucharist and Mary. I had to drive there and back through the Black Forest National Park. The [...]

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Catholic Answers Live Tonight

February 21, 2014

I will be joining Patrick Coffin on Catholic Answers Live tonight to take questions from Non-Catholics Only. You can join us online at www.Catholic.com/Radio. If you’d like to join Patrick Coffin and I on a pilgrimage to Ireland, or join us for a St. Paul cruise to the Mediterranean, check out my website at www.footprintsofGod.com.

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Look What I Caught on our Porch this Morning

February 20, 2014

A naughty opossum eating out cat food (and our chicken eggs).

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Egyptian Tragedy

February 18, 2014

The news of an attack in Eygpt by a muslim suicide bomb on a group of South Korean pilgrim bus is terrible, and our prayers go out for victims and their families. We ceased all pilgrimages to Egypt back in 2011 because we decided it was no longer a safe place to visit. On the [...]

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Great Last Day: Camels, Dead Sea Swim, Temptation Restaurant…

February 17, 2014

This has been a fun and fast group. Monsignor Dylag is a hoot. He was best friends with JPII, friends since he was 27 years old. He has been a joy and a lot of laughs along the way. Other wonderful people and wonderful sites made today a delightful and fun day. Videos in Two [...]

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Via Dolorosa to the Top of Calvary for Mass, Visitation and Western Wall

February 16, 2014

Another great day and a free afternoon.

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Are You Born Again?

February 16, 2014

 It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way – with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The first creation came from the the earth which was covered with WATER and the SPIRIT hovered over the waters and from the water emerged [...]

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Institution of 4 Sacraments; Mass Where Jesus Sweat Blood and more

February 15, 2014

Another great day at the Mount of Olives and Mount Zion. Enjoy!

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Jeremiah Condemns Worship of Queen of Heaven

February 15, 2014

I recently received an e-mail.  How would you answer this question? Now if I could get past Jeremiah, chapter 44, I’d really be a happy camper, (LOL).  Stumbled on that passage this morning and wondered about the “Queen of Heaven” that the people of Judah were burning incense to.  God sure was mad! Who was this [...]

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Bethlehem all day! Meeting with the Bishop of Jerusalem and the Group Dancing

February 14, 2014

More commentary soon but a great day! This Msgr. Dylag we have with us is a hoot! He was a best  friend of Pope John Paul II and has us in stitches all day with his stories and humor. We danced met the Bishop of Jerusalem, had Mass in a cave, went shopping, visited an [...]

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While President Obama calls religious freedom a “key objective of US foreign policy,” experts question how high a priority combating persecution really is.

February 14, 2014

Janet and I spend a lot of time in countries where the Christians are the minority, mistreated and persecuted. We see it first hand. In fact, I am writing this from Bethlehem where the Christians are leaving in droves because if the mistreatment they suffer. We have not been to Syria or Egypt lately but [...]

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