Bible Study

Thank You San Antonio!!

Last weekend I was blessed to spend a day with the people of San Antonio walking them through the Gospel of Matthew in a day!   The weekend began with a wonderful gathering of some of the finest people in Texas as we met to talk about the power of praise and thanksgiving.   Going over the ways to cultivate thankfulness on Friday night with a group of about 300, I recognized that before me was the very reason I give thanks daily -God has placed in my path people with a desire to conform their lives to Christ, and their passion both inspires and nourishes me.

I would like to especially thank all those who brought their gifts together to put on a fabulous and joy-filled event.   First, a very big thank you to Martha Fernandez-Sardina.   Martha is the Director of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, and I imagine you would be hard pressed to find a person more passionate about sharing the Gospel!   Martha you are a gift to His kingdom and I thank God for our friendship.   I would also like to thank the core team and many volunteers. Betsy, Bruny, Rosa, Angela and Kenny, your smiling faces were a pleasant welcome to all who entered and your hospitality superb. Thank you Maureen, Christine, Sandy and Marian for your help with our team and your kindness. And a big thank you to Bernard, the man who kept the show running without a hitch. You are a good man and a wonderful servant of Christ. Thank you Winnie for all your behind the scenes work. I would also like to thank all the teens who helped with snacks and meals. It was an inspiration to see you delight in your service. For any volunteers I missed, thank you for your hard work. It was an amazing two days and for that I thank you San Antonio!

Blessings!

Jeff

Thank You Good Samaritan, Ambridge PA!

Good Samaritan Revelation in a DayThis past weekend I had the pleasure of presenting the Revelation In A Day seminar at Good Samaritan Catholic Church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania and I want to thank all of those who worked so hard to make my time there truly memorable. The priests and parishioners of Good Samaritan are a beautiful example of the meaning of 1 Corinthians 12:12, "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ."

The people of Good Samaritan each brought their gifts and talents together through months of planning, weeks of preparation and hours of hard work to make a sunny Saturday afternoon explode with a passion for Scripture for anyone who had an yearning to learn more about the Book of Revelation, and for that I want to thank each and everyone of you.

First, a very big Thank You to Susan DiPietro for her vision, passion and energy!   Thank you Susan for all your hard work. You are such a gift to His kingdom.   Thank you Henrietta and Mikos for bringing me to your wonderful parish. Thank you to Rita and her crew who worked tirelessly to prepare an elegant dinner on Friday and feed 400 with an amazing lunch on Saturday. Thank you to Keith and Joy for their time chauffeuring and showing us the city and thank you to Abby who saw to it that I had all I needed for my talk.   Thank you Jymm and Harry for the gifts, the nails and the icon. I wish I had the names of all those wonderful volunteers in blue, for they kept the day flowing perfectly. To all of you in blue, Thank You! And, anyone else I am missing... Thank You!

Thank you Fr. Joe for your leadership, your parish a beautiful example of community, and Fr. John thank you for celebrating Mass and giving all of us the courage to truly look to see that which is in the inside of our brothers an sisters in Christ.

Thank you to all of you who had a part in making the day so great. You are all an inspiration to me.

Blessings!

Jeff

Confessing to Another

Confession in Ephesus

This week in our study of Psalms in the Twin Cities we spoke of confession, and at each study I read a wonderful answer regarding why we, as Catholics, confess our sins to a priest.   The answer was written   by my good friend and colleague, Sean Innerst, Academic Dean and Professor at The Augustine Institute, Denver, Colorado. Below is both the question posed and Sean Innerst's answer.  

Question:   In what way does the fact that we have to confess our sins to another human being increase our accountability to God?

Response:   It would be easy to think that we were being honest with ourselves about both the gravity of our sins and our intention to change if we never had to actually manifest our sins to another. God is everywhere, of course, and sees and knows all. But very few of us have the kind of felt sense of His presence that moves us to the kind of remorse for our sin that we will feel when we come before the divine throne for judgment. The reality of His presence doesn't strike us with the kind of immediacy that the physical presence of a priest confessor does. Having to disclose our sins, even when done privately in the confessional, helps us to "hear" our sins in a way that we don't when we are alone and confessing to God. It is good to confess to God in the privacy of our hearts, too, but adding the sacrament of Confession makes it clear to us (He's got it all straight from the start and doesn't really need to hear it!) just how serious our sins are. That we have to tell someone else makes us not less accountable to God but precisely more so.

Great Adventure Training Day in MN!

Bible Stdy group

On Saturday, May 9, 2009 Sarah Christmyer, Kelly Wahlquist and I will present a fun and interactive seminar to explain the ins and outs of The Great Adventure Bible Study System.   In the process, we will teach you ways to run a fruitful Bible study and share tips that will help take your small group experience to new heights.

Please join us at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bloomington, Minnesota on Saturday, May 9, from 9 am to 4 pm (with Mass at 8 am for those who can attend.)   Just $35 covers not only a complete day of personalized training, but useful take-home materials and lunch as well. If you have any questions, please contact Kelly at: kwahlquist@ascensionpress.com or 612-812-6241.

For more details and registration, please see the Training Day brochure.   Also, you can visit www.regonline.com/TGATraining.   We encourage you to invite your core team, your small group facilitators, and anyone you think has a passion for Scripture and/or the gift to lead others to Christ through His Word. Many times it is one person seeing the gift in another person and inviting them to an event such as this that truly ignites a passion to make disciples for Christ.

I hope to see you there!

Blessings!

Jeff