Conversions

Follow Dustin through the phases of his life including Islam until he finally discovered the Catholic Church.

Maybe you’re like me (aside from being born with Cerebral Palsy and defying doctors’ pronouncements, by the grace of God, that I would be confined to a wheelchair and relegated to a vegetative state). Maybe you grew up in North America and lived a sheltered, comfortable life, and God was—although you would never say it, or consciously think it—there to do your bidding. You want a new pair of shoes? Ask God. Scared of an impending summer storm that could possibly turn into a tornado? Pray to God. Promise Him that, if this storm passes, and you and your family remain unscathed, you will try harder to be a “good person,” get to know Him more intimately, and go to church more often.

Well, those shoes you wanted? You got them. That storm you were afraid of, that could have destroyed your house and taken your family? It passed. Out of thankfulness, you kiss the gold cross around your neck. You go to church on holy days. And you even listen to your grandmother tell you about how Jesus has changed her life, and she couldn’t do life without Him, without His word. It sounds so foreign. If you were around other family members—much less friends—while she would bear witness to Jesus, you just . . . smiled . . . nervously, and tried not to be embarrassed. When I was a child, I reasoned as a child.

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe, when you entered college or university, a couple things happened: One, you were old enough to drink and go to bars with your buddies. Awesome. Two, the things you were taught about, well, everything, growing up—the things you took for granted about religion, history, life itself—began to be challenged. It was at this stage that I began to notice something: I was raised a “Christian.” North America was a “Christian” civilization.

How was it, that I, a Christian in a Christian county (Canada), could go to bars, even strip clubs, with a cross around my neck, with the aim of getting smashed, talking crudely about women, all while having no qualms about bragging that I had been saved. I was heaven-bound because Jesus died for me. I believed that. And that . . . was enough. (Or was it?) …

To listen to his story click here. To read the rest of his story, click here.

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Robin writes:

I wanted to begin this blog with my conversion story. For some of you, you may stop reading here but I encourage you to continue. This is my second pilgrimage with Steve Ray and his wife Janet. I choose to travel with him because I would not be a Catholic today if it were not for him.

I was raised a Catholic but I never understood my faith; I thought it was boring. My best friend was a Lutheran so I started going to Protestant churches as a youth. I had stopped going to Mass when my father got tired of trying to wake up a young girl who feigned sleep every Sunday morning.

I went to a weekend retreat with my friend and got “saved” around 12 years of age, and during my young adult years went to various churches, including Assembly of God. After I got married I took the kids to Sunday school, at times changing churches to find one I liked.

I drifted away from church throughout my life but returned to stay about 13 years ago. My drifting days were over and I knew I would always be a Christian. But I still could never find a church that I really felt was perfect for me, always trying to find the right sermon or right pastor to follow.

Several years ago I started a new job in an outpatient facility. I was pleased to find out that I shared in common an interest in religion with a co-worker. I asked him where he went to church, and he told me he was a Catholic. I was disappointed, and told him I was once a Catholic but left that church. He asked me why, and I mumbled something about Catholics worshipping Mary and praying to saints. “None of that is in the Bible,” I told him.

Well, was I in for a surprise!! He loved being a Catholic and for the next two years I worked there he invested much of his free time teaching me the truth; I had absolutely no knowledge of the beauty of the Catholic faith. In short, I learned that Christ appointed Peter the vicar of His church (the first Pope) when he named him Petros (Peter) and said “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.

I learned that the Catholic church teaches both tradition and scripture because the bible wasn’t compiled for a few hundred years after Jesus was resurrected; in fact at least 60 years after Jesus left nothing was written down, which is why the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter”.

I learned that the Body and Blood is called the Eucharist and is not a symbol, but is transformed during the mass into the actual body and blood of Christ. Jesus states in John 6:52 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; ? he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. ?For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. ? He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him”.

When Jesus taught this to the disciples, many walked away disgusted. If he had meant it to be symbolic, He would have corrected himself and gone after them. Instead, He turned to the remaining 12 disciples and said: “will you leave also?” Which is when Peter said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. I wondered why no one in Protestant circles noticed this obvious passage?

When I questioned under what authority priests can hear confession and forgive sins, my friend had the answer for that too. He pointed out to me the words of Jesus to his apostles on Easter Sunday in John 20:22-23 “Peace be with you!” Then he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”. Confession is one of seven sacraments through which we receive God’s grace in the Catholic church.

He taught me many other things, more than I can write in this preface. That Catholics do not worship Mary, they simply revere her as the Mother of our Lord and we can pray for her intercession. Likewise, we do not pray to saints in lieu of Christ, but we can and should ask a favorite saint to pray for us, which is no different than asking your friend to pray for you but much powerful because the saints are in heaven and “the prayers of a righteous man availeth much”.

Revelation even testifies to the fact that the saints are in heaven praying for us and that their prayers go up as incense before God? Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints…”

I was leaving for the summer to spend it in Utah and my friend gave me Steve Ray’s book “Crossing the Tiber” which is his conversion story written to his parents. He and his wife Janet were evangelical Protestants and his Dad was a Baptist deacon. He had spent much of his adult life trying to convert Catholics to Protestantism, convinced they were going to burn in hell for their heresy. I took the book but I never intended to read it; I still wasn’t sold on this Catholic thing, although I was starting to have doubts in my heart.

I read that summer during my free time and after the intro I started crying and cried through much of the book. He wrote the book to explain to his father why he had decided to join the Catholic Church, knowing how it would literally kill him. But after hours, days, months and years of studying the early church fathers he could not deny that the church Jesus founded was the Catholic church and that it is the only surviving religion dating back to Christ, virtually unchanged as taught by the apostles to their disciples, who are the early church fathers.

I could not believe that you could actually read their writings today (Jerome, Ignatius of Antioch and many more) and that all the writings confirm what the church teaches today about baptism, the Eucharist, Saints, the order of the Mass, the sacraments and more. I was astounded and also angry that the Protestant church had twisted the words of scripture to deny the truth. Even Martin Luther himself revered Mary and said at his death that it was not his desire to start a new religion or start a schism.

So that is my story. I went to RCIA and was accepted into the church at Pentecost. I no longer have to search for a church, the mass is celebrated in every Catholic Church around the entire world with the same prayers and readings every day of the week. You can go to Mass daily if you wish; the doors are always welcoming you. In fact, the entire bible is cycled throughout a 3 year period so if you do the daily readings you will read the bible several times in your lifetime. Whoever said Catholics never read the bible?

Recently I was blessed to travel to the Holy Land with a Steve Ray pilgrimage where the origins of the Catholic Church cannot be denied and look forward to sharing this St Paul pilgrimage with you, where I will have the opportunity to see more holy sites and grow in my faith as I journey with fellow pilgrims following in the footprints of St Paul. Thank you to my family for allowing me to go on this journey and blessed be God forever.

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 Many people know Jimmy Akin. I call him my friend and have great admiration for this friend. He is also a Square Dancer. But do you know his story?

Get a cup of coffee, turn off the TV and settle in for a great story. Not just gut-wrenching and edifying, but also an Introductory Course in Apologetics. Enjoy the conversion story of the man I now call “The Godfather of Apologetics.”

A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY
James Akin


I broke off a piece of the popsicle in my hand and placed it carefully in the mouth of my dying wife. Renee lay on her back, restless in the hospital bed, suffering from an advanced case of colon cancer which we had discovered a little more than a month before.

jimmy-390x390The doctor said she still had a chance of responding to the chemotherapy and might conceivably live for a few months, possibly even six or more, but that a year would be miraculous. In light of the urgent state of Renee’s condition, we talked about accelerating my entrance into the Catholic Church. It didn’t look like there was much time.

My Early History

I was born in 1965 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. My mom and dad took me to a local Church of Christ until I was five or six, but then quit going. After that I was raised outside any church. This did not mean I was uninterested in religion-I was. When I was thirteen or fourteen, I started reading the Bible, but only those parts I thought dealt with the “end times.”

As a result of what I read in the Bible, I got scared, seeing terrifying visions of God’s wrath and judgment without having them balanced by the message of his wondrous grace and mercy. This helped drive me into the next phase of my religious development: the New Age movement.

555d5cf0ecdd9dd21e0127734456dc7f--speaking-in-tongues-catholic-answersThe reason I moved in that direction was that New Age philosophy holds that there is no hell. New Agers believe we reincarnate through many lives until we become perfect. This made the New Age attractive to me, not only because it presented reincarnation as a bold adventure where you get to go to exotic places and be exotic people, but because believing in reincarnation allowed me to escape having to believe in hell.

I was a New Ager for about five years. But in my first year of college I broke with the New Age movement and began to drift into a no man’s land between religions. During this time I did believe in God, but I didn’t believe anyone knew anything about him or what he wanted. The only stable thing in my personal religion at this time was an intense dislike of Christians, whom I had learned to detest in high school. The mere sight of a person with Christian mannerisms aggravated me. It was not until some time later that I found a preacher who acted enough like a non-Christian for me to be able to listen to him.

Click here for the rest of the story…

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Steve Ray interviewed “Why These Catholic Converts Remain”

September 14, 2018

Leaving the Church in ‘protest’ against perceived problems isn’t a Catholic option, former Protestants explain. Interview with Judy Roberts CULTURE OF LIFE |  JAN. 7, 2018 “For Lannette Turicchi, changing churches because of a scandal or the way the pastor interpreted the Bible was part of being a Protestant. But now that she has professed faith in […]

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My First of Eight Appearances on The Journey Home

September 7, 2018

Seems like a long time ago, but also seems like yesterday. It is one of the few times you will ever see me in a suit and tie :-)  It was a great joy to share with Marcus Grodi and his audience why I switched from Baptist to Catholic. This episode was televised on November […]

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“An Interview with Catholic Apologist Steve Ray”

August 29, 2018

An Interview with Catholic Evangelist Steve Ray Posted by Justin McClain on Thursday Aug 23rd, 2018 at 3:31 PM “My family and I have discovered that the Catholic Church is the best-kept secret in all of human history.” I recently had the opportunity to speak with Catholic evangelist Steve Ray. Since I am a high school […]

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Steve Shares a 9-minute Story of his Early Life and Conversion

August 19, 2018

While at Steubenville two weeks ago, the Coming Home Network and The Journey Home asked me to share stories of my conversion not heard before. Hope you enjoy it.

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Islamic Convert to the Catholic Faith on Journey Home

June 30, 2018

Derya Little grew up in a culturally Muslim household in Turkey, but when her parents divorced, it caused her to question everything, including the tenets of Islam. Studying it critically for herself, she was put off by its treatment of women, its chaotic history, and the master/slave relationship between Allah and his followers. She rejected […]

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Love these kind of e-mails: Back to the Catholic Church

June 26, 2018

Revisiting a nice note received from England: Thank you, Steve. My sister-in-law was Catholic and she turned away to be a new-born Christian [Fundamentalist Protestant]. A lot of these people got round her and constantly told her she was going to hell unless she gets born again and she then tried to convert me and […]

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This Convert Enticed Me to Convert – Dr. Thomas Howard

April 4, 2018

Dr  Thomas Howard’s book Evangelical is Not Enough really started our conversion process. Janet read it and wouldn’d Stop talking about it. I was listening to his story on cassette tape the day I said fortuitously “I am a Catholic” with tears in my eyes. With more tears in eyes I met Dr. Howard and […]

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Patrick Coffin Interviews Lizzie Reezay about her Conversion

March 27, 2018

Watch the new video of Patrick Coffin interviewing YouTube star Lizzie about her conversion to the Catholic Church HERE. To see my book Upon this Rock which helped Lizzie click HERE.

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Billy Graham’s Early Influence on My Life & an Excellent Recent Talk by Rev. Billy Graham

February 21, 2018

I have a soft spot in my heart for this man because he has had a PROFOUND impact on our family. It was his message over the airwaves in 1953 that first brought my mom to Christ and my mom and dad then brought us boys to a living and vibrant knowledge of Jesus Christ.  […]

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Lizzie the Famous Protestant Blogger Converts – Mentions my Book

February 20, 2018

I had not known about Lizzy before today. I had a good number of people tell me that she is a famous Protestant blogger who had just announced her conversion to the Catholic Church. I found out that she had mentioned my book Upon this Rock (and held it up as she talked on the […]

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“Dear Mr. Bible Guy, Thanks for Confronting my Son…”

January 17, 2018

Posted in National Catholic Register: Dear Mr. Bible Guy Who Tried to Convert My Son and His Friends: These kids don’t just know the Bible, the Catechism, and Church history. They know how to think. Excellent article written by Jennifer Fitz Dear Christian Bible Guy, I want to thank you for coming up to my son and […]

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Tiffany’s Story: From Mixed Background to Catholic – link fixed

January 9, 2018

Mother was raised Methodist and my father was raised Catholic but neither were religious when they were married. They were married by the Justice of the Peace and by God’s grace my sister and I were baptized in a American-Danish Lutheran Church in Minneapolis Minnesota as infants. My guess is the decision was more about […]

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Quoted in excellent National Catholic Register about why we Catholics stay in the Church

January 7, 2018

Why These Catholic Converts Remain Posted by Judy Roberts on Sunday Jan 7th, 2018 at 9:18 AM “Leaving the Church in ‘protest’ against perceived problems isn’t a Catholic option, former Protestants explain.” For the whole insightful and encouraging article, click HERE.

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