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Yes, Catholics CAN Evangelize

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Catholics generally don’t think of Jesus as an evangelist per say, but rather a storyteller. Well, the Son of God understood parables are powerful vehicles for truth.   Since parables impact people when they can relate to the details of the story, Jesus told stories about the ordinary people of His day.  Nancy Ward also understands when people simply tell their personal journey of faith in their own words,  they can help others who are seeking an authentic meeting with God. Ordinary people can reach, or evangelize, many who are outside the traditional  Church. Nancy is a Catholic writer with a unique mission from God to encourage fellow Catholics to start evangelizing. With her new DVD, Sharing YOUR faith story,  she removes Catholic’s fear of the word evangelism and equips them to step out with confidence and simply share the joy of the Gospel. continue reading

Sharing YOUR Faith Story - DVD Review

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Faith: a very personal word stemming from a very personal relationship with God, resulting in an inability to clearly articulate just what it means to you. Sound familiar? Are you like so many people who steer clear from talking about religion, let alone your own personal faith, for fear of rejection, confrontation, or appearing ignorant? Fear no longer! Your faith sharing story is your story. No one else can write it and no one else can articulate it better than you. Easier said than done? I understand. That’s why I am excited to share with you a new DVD by my friend, Nancy Ward, titled, Sharing YOUR Faith Story DVD.

In this three part DVD, Nancy tells of her... Read more...

Singing through the Pain

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by Nancy Ward

Last Mother’s Day we went to the 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Jude’s in Allen, TX,  with my son Andrew and his family. We arrived early while the choir was practicing and sat in the third row behind their two reserved rows. Andrew prepared his French horn and joined the music practice.

When the practice was over, just before Mass started, I observed this young man come from the row of choir microphones and around the pews with an armful of pillows. He headed toward the pew in front of us where an elderly woman and a couple of young people were sitting. He motioned that he wanted to sit in that pew and they moved toward the aisle to allow him to move past them. He hesitated, said something to them and after a short conversation, they moved to another pew. He arranged his pillows in the pew and lay down on his back. 
I turned to my daughter-in-law inquisitively and she told me about the man’s back problems and recent back surgery. His name was Patrick Underwood. H…

Blog Tour Set! I'm Blessed and Humbled!

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I am blessed and humbled to have such great, and talented friends, who have agreed to review my new book, Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity - Finding Patience, available on Tuesday, August 25th. That’s just two weeks from today! Let me introduce you to my friends.
Tony Agnesi from Finding God’s GraceAllison Gingras from Reconciled to You and A Seeking Heart (on Real Life Radio)Nancy Ward from Joy AliveCathy Gilmore from Catherine C. GilmoreElizabeth Reardon from Theology is a Verb and An Engaging Faith (on Real Life Radio)Jeff Marlett from Spiritual DiabetesSarah Damm from Sarah C. DammConnie Rossini from Contemplative HomeschoolEmily Davis from Our Home Under Mary’s MantleJeannie Ewing from Love Alone Creates Oh, did you see that box titled, “YOU!” in the picture? Well, you will have many opportunities to join in on the fun! Read more...

Down Right Good by Karen Kelly Boyce Reviewed by Nancy Ward

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The award-winning “Down Right Good” tells the poignant adventures of ten-year-old Angie who was born with Down syndrome, a limited vocabulary and the ability to see angels. She bikes around her town, delivering the weekly community tabloid, seeing the pain in the people who live at each stop. Their stories of abuse and bitterness, unforgiveness and self-hatred, loneliness and grief, bullying and sacrifice, are woven into the events of one Saturday. Whatever hurt she finds, she names it, and she speaks simple truths with almost heavenly insight. Not everyone can accept her frank evaluation. Author Karen Kelly Boycebased the protagonist on a childhood acquaintance. Her character, Moma, who is raising Angie and her older brother, embodies all those grandmothers faithfully caring for a second generation. The theme of the book centers on the third joyful mystery, the birth of Christ, as Karen presents the joy of the good news of salvation. She weaves the truth of the Catholic Church into ma…

Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious By Pat Gohn - Reviewed by Nancy Ward

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Pat Gohn, cancer survivor, celebrates womanhood by exploring a woman’s dignity, gifts and mission with exciting, personal stories. Discovering the gift of her womanhood brought her into a deeper relationship with God, her husband, family, and, to her surprise, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Her formation in life and the faith revolved around music. Garage band guitar music. When she gave her heart to Jesus Christ at a retreat, she realized God was inviting her to use her guitar playing and writing gifts for his purposes. In three words: Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious, she helps us discover who we are and what gifts we have that reflect our innate and eternal beauty. Blessed is a sublime dignity we did not earn. “God configures us to be like Christ, the beloved Son. We are beloved daughters not only like Jesus in identity, but also in action. We are called to behave like him, too. Like spiritual DNA, grace enables us to forgive, to reconcile, to heal, and ultimately love like Jesus. We. Were…

The Universal Monk, The Way of the New Monastics by John Michael Talbot (reviewed by Nancy Ward)

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The call to “the universal new monasticism . . . is an almost irresistible urging of the Spirit to a life beyond the status of quo of any religion. But it fulfills every religion,” writes John Michael Talbot. Jesus restores the authentic personality we have lost touch with. He restores us to “the deepest ‘us’ that makes us who we really are, ” a relationship of selfless and self-emptying love. Unlike the traditional call from the world, the new monastics are not called to leave families, jobs and their homes for a completely new environment within the monastery walls. In midst of the secular world they renew it by embracing this hidden monasticism. In the world but not of the world, they live in a personal relationship with Jesus, trying to live as Jesus with those here on earth.  The new monasticism leads people of every state of life intorelationship with God in a specific, unique way by the power of the presence of God living within us in the Spirit. “As St. Paul said it is no longe…

Tobit’s Dog, A Novel by Michael Nicholas Richard (Reviewed by Nancy Ward)

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Tobit’s Dog is a love story amid the battle between heaven and hell for the souls of the good guys as well as the racists, murderers, rapists, thieves and connivers not portrayed in the biblical version of the Book of Tobit. In this imaginary take on the Book of Tobit, exciting enough a tale, Richard skillfully uses the characters, symbols, and scriptural principles. All the vital elements are there: Tobit’s sudden blindness and miraculous healing. Prejudice and bravery — this time, involving a lynching and Tobiah’s arrest for his compassion toward the boy hanging from a tree. Richard sets this, his first professionally published novel, in North Carolina during the depression. The Jim Crow era provides the tension between the black characters (Tobiah and family) and the white businessmen and law enforcement determined to keep the Negros in their place. And they are Catholics. Is this how the enemies of the Jews treated the chosen people during their exile?

More about Tobit's Dog on …

The Four Questions of What – Why – How I Write #MyWritingProcess by Nancy Ward

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Here’s my response to Sarah Reinhard's challenge to four questions she threw out to her readers who are writers: 1. What are you working on? With a couple of trips coming up, I’m blogging ahead using my huge Blog Ideas folder. I need to reorganize it because I found a wonderful quote on holiness yesterday and couldn’t decide which of the three holiness files to put it in. Need I say more? In the long term, I’m working on the last two chapters of a book about generosity while I wait for a publisher to accept my proposal on this gem. I’m also waiting to hear from another publisher about a proposal for two books I’ve worked on for the last few years. Whether this publisher accepts the proposal or not, I plan to revise it yet again after Catholic Writers Guild Live Conference, using some new perceptions.  What-How-Why continued on JoyAlive.net

A Body in Prayer by Neil Combs reviewed by Nancy Ward

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When I met Neil Combs at the 2013 Catholic Writers Guild Live conference, I sensed a connection that was beyond Catholics and writers. He introduced himself to me when we were volunteering at the Catholic Writers Guild booth in the CMN trade show. He was excited about his book, “A Body in Prayer: Praying from Head to Toe,” a subject that fascinates me.

Then I discovered his conversion story from a Lutheran family was similar to mine from an Episcopalian family.  We both converted after our marriage to a Catholic. We both struggle with what to give up in our busy lives to establish a good prayer time. So I relate to his journey to write the book and to convert to the Catholic Church.

The simple organization of the chapters makes it easy to concentrate on the gems of wisdom.  Here are a few of my favorites:


“Open Mouth” –  “A great way to evangelize is to create the opportunity for a conversation about the faith.”

“The Eyes Have It” – “I think that the reason that tears are such e…

Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance by Neal Lozano

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Reviewed by Nancy Ward I discovered Neal Lozano's book, “Unbound,” when our covenant community planned an Unbound Conference with him. About 50 of us learned how to cooperate with the Lord to gain freedom from the influence of evil spirits and then guide those coming to the conference in this prayer method. We learned the five keys that unlock the doors we have opened to intimidating spirits and how to close them.The five keys are not complicated when we understand that not our power but the power of the name of Jesus accomplishes it all: Repentance and faith. Forgiveness. Renunciation of evil spirits. Taking authority over those spirits. The Father’s blessing. That’s the strategy that answers to our prayer “deliver us from evil, freeing us from the lies Satan tells to keep us from God’s plan for our life. As we learned these keys, we tried them out on one another. Instead of believing the lie that I could never do this right, my confidence grew that the Lord could use me in this m…

Joy Complete by Nancy Ward

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Jesus tells us in John 15: 9-11 “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.” Wow! Who could ask to be loved more than that? The Father loves Jesus more than we can ever imagine or put into words. Jesus tells us that he loves us that much. That love is unfathomable. It’s a gift that we can never earn. Then he tells us his desire for us. “Remain in my love.” Is there anything we wouldn’t do to keep that love flowing into our heart? Our response can only be, “Yes, Lord, we want to live in your love always. Tell us how.” If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.”
This is the Lord’s clear direction on how to keep our love relationship with him alive and vibrant. Do what he wants. Trust him. Do what we know will bring us everlasting happiness. Believe his word. Live in him. Not only do we have the commandments, the guidebook, but also we have the Guidance Counselor, the Holy Spirit. We have the example of ho…

The Praying Mantis by Nancy H C Ward

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I was barely out of college. My journalism degree helped me land a part-time office job with the publisher of a Texas restaurant guide. The hours were flexibleand so I could continue my prayer time schedule of 8 a.m. mass, then prayer until 9. The publication folded in less than a year. Then came the God-incidence. I worked as a volunteer one weekend in the pressroom of a large Catholic conference. The manager of the pressroom was the editor of the diocesan newspaper. He was looking for a copyeditor. The job would bring some opportunities to write stories, interview people and get published with a byline! After a short interview in his office the next week, he hired me. Then he smiled and asked, “Can you type?” He became my mentor.

Fathers, Daughters and St. Thérèse by Nancy HC Ward

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An interview with Connie Rossini, author of Trusting God with St. Thérèse.
Connie gives practical advice for overcoming fears and frustrations that hamper our relationship with God. I asked her about her father-daughter relationship as compared to that of Louis Martin and his daughter St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Nancy: Thérèse was blessed with parents who were “more worthy of heaven than of earth.” Thérèse had a special relationship with her father, who called her, “my Queen.” She formed her image of God from her father who never denied her love, affection and care. How did your father-daughter relationship compare to this?
Connie: In some ways, my relationship with my father when I was growing up was miles apart from the relationship between Thérèse and Louis. I am very quiet and reserved. As a child, I was also timid. My dad, in contrast, was outgoing and frank. He was also the primary disciplinarian. My mom often said, "Wait till your dad gets home!" I grew nervous around him. I…

Gleanings from The Grace of Yes by Nancy HC Ward

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Before the plane took off Monday morning from DFW Airport, my nose was buried in an advanced copy of The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living. As we landed in Tampa, my new knowledge of Lisa Hendey, myself and true generosity was incredible. And one-third of the book to go!

By Tuesday afternoon my mind was full of spiritual truths. My heart and soul were so reinforced with encouragement that my copious notes now fill this review and overflow into several blog ideas.
Having known and grown to love Lisa long-distance for four years through CatholicMom.com and Catholic Writers Guild (CWG), I finally met her at the CWGLive conference in Chicago and took a photo with her. Her keynote speech on “Perseverance,” with many concepts from The Grace of Yes, and a one-on-one meeting when she advised me on a publishing question, created an instant connection in our spirits. The eight virtues of the Grace of Yes continues on JOYAlive.net

Protected Vulnerability by Nancy HC Ward

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Our neighbor, Maria Magdalena, whom we know and love as Magda, died alone in the middle of the night. Her lungs collapsed from a respiratory infection after a bout with the flu. We prepared food for many of her family when they came in from Mexico.

After her husband, Adrian, drowned in the lake behind our homes almost 5 years ago she was too sad to worship at the Romanian Baptist Church where they had married 19 years ago. She was active in a nearby Bible church with others in the neighborhood.

At the visitation we were a little surprised that a Hispanic deacon we know was there to say the Rosary. But of course, those from Mexico needed to say those prayers. It is part of their culture, part of who they are, and who Magda was as a child. The deacon alternated between Spanish and English decades. We were the only ones in our area of the chapel saying the decades.

The row of teachers from the school where Magda taught first grade, all remained seated in front of us. I just …

The “Yes” God wants from us by Nancy HC Ward

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What God wants is for us to say “yes” to him and “no” to everything else. Of the millions of good things available to us, he wants us to have the best. That’s because he loves us so much. He loved us, even while we were yet sinners.
Every one of us doubts that we are loved. After all, each one of us knows who “we” are. It surprises us when someone loves us completely and thoroughly. But the Lord is after us to believe it. He wants us to know that he loves us inside and out.
We can begin by saying “yes” to believing that we are worthy of God’s love. We can say “yes” to believing deep within our being, that God, our Creator and Savior, loves us. We belong to him. He loves and cherishes us. He wants to protect us with his gift of faith and trust in him. Before we can serve him and love him fully we must first say “yes”’ to letting him love us. 
How does he convince us that he loves us? That’s up to us. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince us, but not against our free will. When we can bel…

Telling your Faith Story by Nancy HC Ward

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Several years ago, as I was on my way into St. Patrick’s Church, a man approached me. His eyes looked straight into mine, searching for something. Perhaps directions to some place in the neighborhood? Then he inquired, “Let me ask you something. Why do you go to church?” Spontaneously, I answered, ”Because I love Jesus.” My answer surprised me. It sounded like a slogan from Vacation Bible School. Sometimes the Holy Spirit catches me with my barriers down and blurts out the truth. The man smiled, and then leaned toward me intently. ”But why do you go to this church? He pointed to the church building in front of us. I shrugged, "This is where I live, and Jesus is here. If I lived in a different neighborhood, I’d go to a church there.” He nodded and slowly walked away. That encounter came to mind as I thought about the many opportunities the Lord puts right in front of me to tell about my faith in God. My natural shyness prevents many of these occasions from making any impact on thos…

Trust: God sees everything by Nancy HC Ward

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“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely,” (Proverbs 3:5).

God sees everything. He sees the clerk short-changing the old man, the boy stealing the heroin, the man cheating on his wife, the girl lying to her teacher. He also sees the teenager turning in the $100 bill he finds in the parking lot, the wife praying for her non-Christian husband, the daughter loving unconditionally her siblings who taunt her. He sees everything. He is a just and loving God and that’s why we can trust in him.

His 360-degree vision takes in the full panorama of time and space. He sees behind closed doors and around corners. He sees things that happen at work, things that happen in our government, things that happen in our schools. He not only sees all in the present, he sees all that is beyond us and he sees all that is behind us. He sees it in the full context we will never see. And because he sees everything, everywhere with loving eyes, we can trust him.


Tru…

Unbridled Grace by Dr. MIchael Norman, reviewed by Nancy HC Ward

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Fresh out of medical school, Dr. Michael Norman answered a 2-line ad for a part-time job three days a week in a medical clinic to supplement his fledging private chiropractic practice in Carrollton. He managed all the medical clients and paperwork and his two bosses handled the office management and business accounts. After less than two years this young husband and father received a subpoena to testify in a civil lawsuit brought by an insurance company against the two owners who were Taiwanese and Russian. Michael soon discovered their connection with the Russian Mafia. Shockingly, the network of multinational and multimillion dollar illegal businesses of check cashing, money laundering, staged auto accidents and insurance fraud involved hundreds of lawyers, businessmen and criminals. Michael’s signature was not only on all the medical documents but appeared on corporate documents as part owner. He obediently testified against his employers at the deposition with the insurance company…