Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
~ 1 Corinthians 1:17-18
I remember almost 15 years ago when I first started preaching on the streets of St. Louis, I felt like such a fool at first. It was very hard to just get motivated. I would go on
the corner of Cook & Grand in North St. Louis City and set up my little music stand, my bible, and my bullhorn. It was so hard to get motivated to just open my mouth. Imagine yourself on the street corner, in a rough neighborhood, with people driving by at a high rate of speed, looking at you as if you were a complete and utter idiot. Sometimes screaming profanities at you, flipping you off, etc.
So often, I drove by and saw street preachers and thought to myself, how foolish they look, until I became “That Fool”.
Are you willing to be a fool for Jesus? How wise is it to follow some ‘man’ who supposedly was born of a “Virgin”, he called “God” his ‘Father’; and he was said to have turned water into wine, healed the blind and cured the lame. How wise is it to follow some ‘man’ who was killed and then supposedly was ‘raised from the dead’ three days later. That sounds not only crazy but foolish. It just does not make literal sense, but that is what ‘faith’ is all about. Believing in something greater than yourself; believing in a higher power. I have defined faith as this; “Faith is not believing that God can, but KNOWING that God Will!”
I, like Paul, was sent, not to baptize, but to preach. Preach the Gospel to all people. I was not blessed with a Theological Education, and able to speak eloquently of the etymology of Christ, within a Eucharistic and Johannine context… but what I was blessed with was courage and a big mouth. The courage to go out and tell ‘my story’ of why I love Jesus; why I am a fool for Him; what He has and continues to do, IN – FOR and THROUGH me daily.
What is your story? How are you being a fool by preaching for Jesus?
Just like so many people thought I was an absolute fool on that street corner almost 15
years ago, I am so thankful that I did not succumb to my own carnal and fleshly wisdom. I am grateful to Jesus for letting me be His Fool for all these years because I have truly witnessed Him do so many great things not only for me but through me. Are YOU willing to be a FOOL for Jesus? Let Him use you today, no matter what it is, even if it seems like a foolish thing when He tells you to build a boat when it has not rained in 100’s of years…be a FOOL for Him. Speak of His Love on your job, to your family, to someone you come across today! BE A FOOL FOR JESUS!
May the road rise to meet you and Keep on Keepin’ on!
He came when all things were growing old, and made them new. As a made, created, perishing thing, the world was now declining to its fall. It could not but be that it should abound in troubles; He came both to console you in the midst of present troubles, and to promise you everlasting rest. Do not choose then to cleave to this aged world, and to be unwilling to grow young in Christ.
~ St. Augustine of Hippo
St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the great Doctors of the Church wrote these words many years ago and yet they remain true to this day. If you think about it, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus literally changed the course of time as we know it; BC and AD. Jesus made things new for us; a new time; a new beginning; a new life through baptism. Jesus came to comfort the afflicted but also to afflict the comfortable, and brothers and sisters we have been too comfortable for far too long. Just take a look at what is currently transpiring with the deposit of faith.
Let us be the Arms of Jesus reaching to console those who are hurt; Let us be the Voice of Jesus speaking new Life and Healing into the lives of those who are hurting and dead; Let us be a rampart of truth in this current world.
Get out of your comfort zone. Learn more about your faith and what the Holy Spirit desires for your lives. We cannot continue to do the same old thing, all of the time expecting a different result. Now is the time to change. Now is the time to continue to learn and ‘grow young’ in Christ. How do we ‘grow young’? When you become a new creation in Christ, you are now young; and infant and you need nursing, milk, sustenance for the New Journey. That is what Christ will do for each of us. The word of God is a lamp unto our feet and food for our soul. Let us daily eat of the word of God, the bread of life and be consumed in His Divine Will for our new lives.
“He came when all things were growing old, and made them new.” Will you allow the NEW YOU in Christ to ‘grow young’? Ask Him today… ask Him right now; Lord Jesus, create in me a NEW Heart; Create in me Oh Lord a New Love and a New Zeal for Soul’s; that I might live a-new for You, Lord Jesus. Make me an instrument of your Grace; Thank you, Lord Jesus, Amen.
May the road rise to meet you and Keep on Keepin’ on!
Richard Lane Ministries
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Matthew 10:1 “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”
I want to focus on two things. Jesus gave the disciples Authority. Authority means Absolute power, control over something. Control and power to heal every kind of disease. Jesus said, “If you ask me anything in My Name, I will do it.” ~ John 14:14
He has given us power, and absolute control over not only disease but especially dis-ease. Dis-ease is what is killing us more than a disease. Dis-ease comes with anxiety, stress, depression, anger, revolt and uncontrollable feelings. We have been given the authority to do the Works of Jesus and even greater ones than Him ~ John 14:12, but do you realize the POWER you have been given; do you understand that Authority you have been given over disease and dis-ease by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
You have been given Divine Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord. It is up to you to understand that authority, receive those gifts and go out and use them every day to heal every kind of dis-ease that causes sickness.
If faith is a bridge from where we are now to where God desires us to be, then the flowing turbulent waters below that bridge must be the flooding onslaught of the tsunami of sin that runs rampant throughout our world.
A drop of prejudice, a drip of pride, a sprinkle of hatred, a creek of apathy, a river of silence, the Delta of relativism, which then slowly but certainly reaches an Ocean of change. Change for the better or worse?
I ran across a blog at The Deacon’s Bench. What really struck me was the title of the homily or blog; “A terrible week to be Catholic…”. I took the time to read and digest it. You know me, I just couldn’ttake it. A terrible week to be Catholic? I am not criticizing Deacon Greg, nor his article, because I understand the gist of it. It just got me to thinking and these are my thoughts, again not in any way criticizing him or his great work.
Let’s take a look at just a few things in the history of the Church;
Terrible time to be a Catholic
He spoke about the faith of some of the old Saint’s that many of us know about, St. Vincent de Paul and Bernadette of Lourdes, and others who were caught in the reign of terror in the 18th Century, the Nazi Concentration camps, and these were all horrible occurrences, but was it a ‘Terrible time to be a Catholic’?
What about when the Catholic Church owned slaves when the Catholic Church denied a
man to the Priesthood simply because of the color of his skin and had to be ordained in Rome? Was this a terrible time to be a Catholic?
What about when only the “Sisters of Selma”; a handful of brave Catholic Nuns who marched with thousands of others across
the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in the 1960’s, no one else in the Catholic Church would speak out and BE a witness against racism, yet they bore witness for change. Was this a terrible time to be a Catholic?
Fr. Augustus Tolton, DID something about it; These Sisters, 5 white, and one black DID something about it. The Catholic Church after many years of silence, finally DID something about it. They all built a Dam and said, NO MORE!
Watch this… according to Wikipedia the purpose of a dam is “A dam can also be used to collect water or for storage of water which can be evenly distributed between locations. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees…” ~ Wikipedia
What are we the laity going to do about it? Most will sit back, in apathy, and wait for a response. We are the Body of Christ. We must act as a DAM for these horrible works.
What about this DAM
A Dam collects water. We must go out and be true Disciples of Christ. It is our job, our duty to go out and collect souls for Christ. Those who are the least lost and most abandoned. We must be ‘available’ for those who are hurt, to come and say, “I am here for you.”
Secondly, we must become storage. We go out and collect those who are in need and we bring them to the storage facility of love; a holding tank for mercy; a warehouse of forgiveness, which is the church. We must ensure that the physical church buildings are filled with true models of mercy for those who are seeking it.
Thirdly, love, mercy, and forgiveness must be evenly distributed amongst everyone. No matter who they are, what their personality is, or where they are from. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” John 3:16, God loved and He gave. Jesus stretched out His arms and was crucified for ALL people. You and I, the victims of these horrible crimes and yes, He even did it for those who perpetrated these horrendous and heinous crimes, against the most vulnerable of all. So as God loved and Gave, so must we who love God, must give, give all that we are to others.
We must build a DAM to change who we are. We must experience a daily conversion of heart, for we all fall short of God’s Mercy, but it is through His Grace that we have been given another chance. Once we, the laity, understand that it is our job to go and make a difference in this world; it is our job to go and be Disciples of Christ; it is our job to BE CHRIST in this World, then and only then can we unleash the Floodgate of Wisdom, Understanding, and Mercy. The Floodgate of Counsel, Piety and recognizing the TRUE AWESOMENESS OF GOD! Once the Floodgate of the Holy Spirit is released, then and only then can we truly make and be a difference in this world.
A Bad Week to be a Catholic… NOT
No, this was not a bad week to be a Catholic. It was a week of relief for those innocent victims whose voices have gone unheard for several decades; it was a week of vindication for those who have been called liars for decades; it was a week of Divine Understanding for those who have been misunderstood for decades because of something evil that was done to them. A bad week to be Catholic… I say NO! God turned a block into a Stepping Stone. He was the Voice for the Voiceless; the Truth for those who have lived decades in the darkness of lies.
Truth WILL set you Free
John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It took decades for some, but the TRUTH has finally set them free. This is a message of endurance, faith, trust in God and not in man. We must continue to hold our Priests and Bishops accountable but we must never forget about those 10’s of thousands of Priests and Bishops who have continually tried and done the right thing. Talk to your Priest and say “Thank you, Father, for being a Shepherd”; Thank you, Bishop, for your Ministry and Sacrifice.
Yes, we as a Church have had some good days, some bad days and we have had a lot of hills to climb, and this is yet another hill; but if the mountain was smooth, you couldn’t climb it! (think about that).
A drop of reconciliation, a drip of forgiveness, a sprinkle of love, a creek of empathy, a river of voices of love, singing into the Delta of the absolutism of the Power of God, which then slowly but certainly reaches an Ocean of change. Change for the better or worse? DAM IT, right now!
May the Road rise to meet you and always, Keep on Keepin’ on!
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Richard Lane is an internationally recognized and renown Catholic lay Evangelist and one of the leading experts in Catholic Evangelization across the United States. For more information please see CatholicEvangelist.net
I decided to go to the beach and chill one day. It was the type where you could drive on from a gate. The sign said “4×4 vehicles only. Deep sand”. Well, I did not pay attention to the sign because I have a nice sized truck and “my truck” won’t get stuck.
As soon as I paid the money to get on the beach I drove about 20 yards and gunned it to the right, and sure as shootin’, you know what happened. The lady comes over and said, “I guess you did not read the sign.” In embarrassment, I dropped my head in shame. She told me there was a kid who had a 4×4 that was pulling people out, for tips only. He should be back soon.
The guy I was with said, well, we can just chill and listen to jazz until he gets back. He came, along with his dad and the hooked a tow rope to the back of my truck and within five minutes… I was FREE! I noticed the guy had a cross on his neck, and I said, “I take it you are a believer?” He said, “most definitely. I cannot live without Jesus in my life.” I asked him if I could pray for him and his response was, “PLEASE!”
I began praying spontaneously for him, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed his wife was in the truck watching us and she smiled. I also noticed many people who had been watching, my truck stuck and being pulled out, now watching the three of us pray.
This was not a stunt, I simply wanted to pray for the guy in thanksgiving for him. Every morning I try to read scripture and then say a prayer. This particular morning I asked the Lord, “Please let me see your face today”. The Lord always answers prayer and I saw His Face in this man who was sent by God to pull me out of my predicament. I did not expect God to show up in the middle of my stupidity, but doesn’t He always do that?
This is what I call Evangelization 101. It’s simple. Do not be afraid to pray in public or in any situation. It was a witness, to our faith as well as our response to God Hearing our prayers. I saw His Face and thanked Him for showing up in the midst of my stupidity.
Do not be afraid to live your faith daily. Any situation is a chance to give God the Praise and Thanksgiving for His Works. The guy was extremely thankful not only that I prayed for him, but also prayers for his family. There was also the witness to others and I pray the Lord’s Work was seen by others as an encouragement to always pray.
Live your faith daily. Ask God to show up in your day and He will answer you, as sure as shootin’ He will show up! The Pull-Out and Pray!
May the road rise to meet you and Keep on Keepin’ on!