Family and Kids

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.) 

My Great grandmother is bottom right

They were literate people back in those days. Detroit was in it’s glory days (oh, how it has fallen). The culture still believed in God; they still had a sense of honor, morality and natural law – all honoring Nature’s God.

During some cleaning and organizing we dug through dusty old books gathered from family archives and attics. I am the family archivist now working on genealogies and digitizing old photos.

We came across a tattered and brittle piece of paper, yellowed with age. It was buried in the binding of an old book. On it was the handwritten script of those who learned great penmanship – before we lost it after the keyboard was invented. On that page and in the lines of poetry I can step back in time and meet my ancestors and get a whiff of the world as it was – better times in many ways.

Here are a few lines from a poem she loved entitled Prelude to the Vision of Sir Launfal by James Russell Lowell. I read it aloud to my wife Janet and we were for a moment whisked away. Notice especially stanzas 9 and 10. What is free when everything else has a cost?

Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,
We bargain for the graves we lie in;
At the devil’s booth are all things sold,
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
Bubbles we buy with a whole soul’s tasking
‘Tis heaven alone that is given away
‘Tis only God may be had for the asking;
No price is set on the lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer.

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My Grandpa is a Biblical Detective

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.”

So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since.

Was there really a man named Jesus?
Or do the Catholics just try to tease us?
I went to the places,
Studied books for all traces,
And discovered he’s real which should please us.

A Limerick just sent to me from Darrell, a new convert, in response to the limerick I just posted:

There once was a man in much doubt,
What his Protestant faith was about.
Then a great guy named Steve
Helped the man to believe
In the Church that his Savior laid out.

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My son Jesse wrote this morning about our 12 year old grandson Joshua Thomas Ray. Here is what he said, 

“Yesterday I teased Joshua about his compositions only having one instrument in them. Today I came home from work and he asked me to listen to this (video below) also linking his sheet music. It only took him 4 hours to create this. What am I supposed to do with this boy?

 

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Steve Ray’s Conversion Story up on “Why I’m Catholic”

April 10, 2015

 This is a great website with conversion stories from every religious tradition imaginable to Catholic. The Why I’m Catholic website should be passed around to family and friends. It is very well done, beautifully laid out and full of great stories. Our story was posted this week. You can read it HERE.  

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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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Tears Reading Happy-Sad-Emotional Story to the Grandkids; and Saving a Bird

April 5, 2015

Families are great and so are great stories. One of our favorite authors is W. Wilson Rawls who only wrote two books but they are both treasures — especially for reading aloud to kids.  The first of Rawls’ books we read a year or so ago was entitled Where the Red Fern Grows. What a great [...]

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My Grandson Josh’s (12 years old) Latest Piano Composition – finished between lunch and dinner :-o

March 27, 2015

He has a gift and it must be from God because it didn’t come from us :-)

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Emily is an RN and we are Proud of her

March 23, 2015

Our daughter Emily worked hard for this card. It says RN which stands for Registered Nurse. She graduated this year, passed the licensing exam with flying colors and just received this card today. Her mother and I could not be prouder and the people she cares for are the luckiest in the world to have [...]

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Abraham Footprints DVD Premier Showings

March 20, 2015

Abraham, Father of Faith & Works is now for sale!  We have had a great time this week showing it to very different audiences — and to rousing applause and rave reviews.  First, we showed it to the wonderful Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist at their convent in Ann Arbor Michigan. I was [...]

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Abortion: High Schooler Asks; My Daughter-in-Law Answers – Brilliantly and Compassionately

March 10, 2015

A few days ago a high school girl wrote to ask me questions about abortion. She was writing a paper and wanted to “interview” me on the topic. I was busy jumping planes and giving talks so my daughter-in-law Anna graciously — and brilliantly — answered the young lady for me. I think you will [...]

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

February 19, 2015

My dad died almost two years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will no be married” in heaven. I wrote the following to comfort my Mom. Mom, I know it is important to you since Dad’s death as you look forward to eternity and [...]

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Tears Singing Good Ole Baptist Hymns

February 10, 2015

The old Baptist hymns still stir me and bring tears to my eyes. They take me back to my childhood when the family would dress up, us kids in our little suits with cheesy ties and short-legged pants. Dad would always give us candy during the service and put his arm around us while tickling [...]

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What Grandkids Do at Night

February 6, 2015

Caught them!  Our grandkids prowling around at night. My son Jesse had his camera ready! This is 2 1/2 year-old Joey and his 1 year old brother Johnny. The expression on little Johnny’s face as he looks – up watching his brother from inside the fridge is just too cute!  

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My 60th Birthday and Touring Upper Galilee

December 29, 2014

When you turn 60 you have to do some soul searching. At best, with good health I have 20 good years ahead of me. What will I do with them? How will I best use my last good 20 years? Here is my list of priorities: 1) to serve my Lord Jesus to the best [...]

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Families are Cool! An Evening with Grandkids and our Piano Prodigy

December 17, 2014

Last night we took dinner over to my son Jesse’s house. Anna is our daughter-in-law who is a most remarkable mother. No TV in this home but lots of books and fun. I couldn’t help but make a short video of our evening together along with some excerpts of my grandson Joshua’s piano playing. The [...]

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Steve Ray’s Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends: Getting Ready for Christmas :-)

December 15, 2014

Joint us on a pilgrimage. Visit FootprintsOfGod.com. Today I was on Relevant Radio with John Harper discussing my Six Rules for dealing with family and friends who disagree with us, oppose us, want to argue and are against the Catholic Church and our morals. For my Catholic Answers show two months ago on this, click here. [...]

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