We Still Need More Proof

This morning during my Scripture prayer time I was reading the Book of Exodus. The Israelites, “put the Lord to the test by saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not’” (Ex 17:7)?

IS THE LORD AMONG US OR NOT???

I need to put this in perspective…the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are questioning God’s concern for them after the following things have happened:

- Right before they ask this question they were given quail and miraculous Manna in the desert (Ex 16).

- Before that, they witnessed bitter undrinkable water being turned into sweet water (Ex 15:22-27).

- Before that, they miraculously crossed the Red Sea on dry ground as they Egyptian army was destroyed (Ex 14).

- Before that, they saw God’s presence in the form of a Pillar of Cloud and a Pillar of Fire (Ex 13:17-22).

- And of course let’s not forget that before that, they lived through the Ten Plagues coming upon Egypt which led to the Israelites freedom from slavery (Ex 7-12).

And despite all of that, the Israelites asked “Is the Lord among us or not”??? THEY STILL WANTED PROOF.

But…are we all that different from the Israelites?

Read more ...

How Can I Evangelize as a 9-Year-Old?

This was a real question that I recently received!!!

I will first answer this question with a question…Has anyone heard a more heartwarming question than that? How happy would St. Pope John Paul II be to hear that question? What a great example of 'the new evangelization.' Let me first give some stories of young people evangelizing and then some practical examples.

Most traditions put the age of St. Tarcisius around 12 years old. At St. Tarcisius' young age he has given the Church an amazing testimony and example of faith in the true Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. He died while protecting the Blessed Sacrament while on route to taking it to prisoners.

For the last hundred years, Catholics around the world have been inspired by the story of St. Maria Goretti who died at the age of 11 to keep her purity. Her example even inspired the man that killed her to convert and accept Christ's forgiveness. That is some evangelization!

Read more ...

Not Impressed

The story of the infamous 10 Plagues is told in Exodus 7 – 12. As I was reading this last week, what caught my attention was Pharaoh’s reaction to the 1st Plague and the miracle that preceded it.

The first time Moses and Aaron visit Pharaoh, they demand to let the Israelites go free to worship the true God. (I cannot help but laugh at the thought of Pharaoh’s facial response as these two old men, Moses 80 and Aaron 83, laid down their demands.)

To prove that they were serious and that they spoke for the Lord God they worked a miracle. Aaron threw down his staff and it turned into a snake (Ex 7:10). But Pharaoh called over his magicians and they all threw down their staffs which also turned to snakes (never mind that Aaron’s staff-snake ate their staff-snakes) (Ex 7:11,12).

NOT IMPRESSED (cf. Ex 7:13)!

Read more ...

The Most Powerful Ministry Experience of My Life

Five and a half years ago, June 13th, 2014, Tony Brandt and I got into his truck and I said, “That was the most powerful experience of youth ministry in my life.”

With exhaustion Tony said, “I agree.”

What was that experience???

Read more ...

Coming Out of the Tomb of Lazarus

Today on our annual Casting Nets Pilgrimage to the Holy Land we visited Bethany.

Bethany could be considered a suburb of Jerusalem. The Gospels share with us that Jesus stayed here often with some friends. So we visited the house of Mary & Martha, as well as the Tomb of Lazarus.

Can you imagine the witness that Lazarus was for Jesus being the promised Messiah, the Son of God?

He was a walking, talking, BREATHING testimony to who Jesus was.

In fact, Lazarus was such a powerful sign for Jesus that the Gospel of John shares this, "So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus" (Jn 12:10,11).

That means that Lazarus was one effective missionary disciple...

Read more ...