Discipleship in the new millennium brings many opportunities and challenges. We have really awesome technology we can harness to share our experience of Jesus and the truth we have been given.
A question I hear a lot in my various roles is “Should I be using YouTube, or another video sharing platform?” As a longtime Catholic Christian who has worked in evangelization and as a professional communications consultant, I get questions about video use, particularly YouTube, all the time from those who want to up their discipleship efforts. In fact, I feel so strongly about using digital media (including video) to evangelize, I wrote a book on the topic called “Breaking New Ground: Discipleship Using New Media, Evangelization in the Third Millennium” In that work, I encourage followers of Jesus to use all that is at our technological fingertips to share our personal encounters with Christ, and advance what we have been given as it relates to Jesus and our Christian faith. Yet, I do not go into great detail about the how’s or why’s to use specific platforms. I’ll do that here with regard to YouTube. I get this question so often, especially the “How“, I created a 3-part video class on things to consider when starting a YouTube channel.
In those days John the Baptist appeared preaching in the desert of Judea (and) saying, “Repent, for the kingdom if heaven is at hand!” –Matthew 3:1-2
John the Baptist first appeared in a unique place; the desert wilderness. There were few people in the desert, but he began preaching there anyway. There is a great symbolism in this. It shows that the preaching in the Temple and synagogues was ineffective. God had to send someone outside of the religious establishment to prepare the way for his Son.
The austere place of the wilderness stood as a sign of John’s radical service to God. He lived without any comforts. Throughout the scriptures, the wilderness is a place that God accomplishes his greatest work in people and prepares them to make a great impact.
In the desert, John the Baptist had a very specific message to help point people toward the light: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Repent means a change of thinking that leads to a change of heart that results in a change of action or direction. John challenges people to change their direction and turn back to God because he is near.
God has placed you in a specific location to bring his message to a certain group of people. Your life can be the light that helps someone change direction back toward God. Pray for God to give you the names of people he wants you to be a light for and move in his direction.
(Excerpt from Messages of Light for Advent and Christmas – Three-minute Devotions By: Father Michael White and Tom Corcoran)
Faith That Makes You Think – Faith In Action co-hosts, Brigid Ayer and Jim Ganley talk with Dr. Gerard Verschuuren, human geneticist, with a Ph.D. the Philosophy of Science, talks about his recent book “Faith that Makes You Think” and how the topic how the Catholic Faith gives us the tools to get at authentic truth through faith and reason. The book demonstrates that Faith and Science are complementary. Dr. Verschuuren’s book is available where books are sold and on Amazon, click here
Rachel’s Vineyard Healing Retreat – Faith In Action co-hosts, Brigid Ayer and Gordon Smith talk with Bernadette Roy of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ Project Rachel – Post Abortion Healing Ministry. They discuss the upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, designed to help post abortive women heal from the emotional and spiritual wounds caused by the abortion. The retreat talks place in Indianapolis July 29-31 and details can be found at Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat- Indianapolis Weekend or by emailing email@example.com, or calls can be directed to either Bernadette Roy 317-452-0054 or Maria Hernandez (for Spanish Speakers) 317-946-3813. All calls are confidential.
“On one occasion he was listening to Paul preaching, and Paul looked directly at him and saw that he had the faith to be saved.” —Acts 14:9
Would you have the courage and the assurance to yell at a person in a wheelchair: “Stand up! On your feet!”? (Acts 14:10) By that bold command, St. Paul healed a crippled man who had never walked a step in his life (Acts 14:8).
Paul didn’t always have such boldness. For example, for several days, he put up with the disruptive behavior of a girl with a clairvoyant spirit (Acts 16:16). “Finally Paul became annoyed, turned around, and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you, come out of her!’ Then and there the spirit left her” (Acts 16:18). Sometimes it took Paul days to give the command that would heal and deliver.
Jesus says, “Those who are well have no need for a physician, but those who are sick.” The whole context of what was taking place leading up to this one-liner by Jesus is below and worth reading to get the full context of the scene. Jesus talked to, hung out, and ate with the worst sinners of his day — tax collectors, prostitutes, and others who were deemed unclean by the Jewish standards. This was a no – no. Think of today’s worst sinners. Are they shunned? Do you feel shunned by others who deem your sins too great? Well Jesus died for all of us, but mostly he has a heart for the worst sinners. No one is beyond God’s love, forgiveness and mercy if the person only reaches out to Jesus for love, understanding, forgiveness and healing. The key here is healing. Jesus is our divine physician. Read below from Matthew’s Gospel (9:1-13) the passages that highlights this reality.
Father Mark Goring really puts this so well. Check out this video. (Below the video are the Scripture versus worth reading.)