90 Day Challenge – Day 90

Just Getting Started? Read what you’ve missed and check out Bible reading resources

Next Steps

Bible Time Period: The Church

The Church carries on your work in the world: Make me a faithful ambassador of your love.

Reflection

Congratulations!  You have reached the final day of this 90-day reading challenge.  These final chapters of Acts see Paul passing on the courage he received from Christ to others during a storm.  They tell how he is taken to Rome, where he remains for two years under house arrest but freely preaching the kingdom of God.

According to Tradition, both Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome during Nero’s persecution of the Christians c. 64 AD.  It is said that St. Paul was beheaded and that St. Peter was crucified (with his head downward, at his own request).  Their deaths did not bring an end to the church, but in some way spurred it on.  Truly, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” (Tertullian).

Key Verse to Remember from the Period of the Church

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth” (Ac 1:8).

Today’s Reading

Acts 25-28

Today’s Question

While this completes the final narrative book of our Bible Timeline, it by no means closes the period of The Church.  The story that began with a rupture in God’s family has found its solution in God’s Son.  How is that story continuing in your life?

Join the discussion below!

Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. She serves as Strategic Consultant of The Great Adventure and is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of “Genesis Part I: God and His Creation” and “Genesis Part II: God and His Family,” published by Emmaus Road. Sarah has a BA in English literature from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and is working toward a Masters of Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992. Sarah also writes at comeintotheword.com/.

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  • Kevin

    I also want to thank Sarah and thank everyone for all the great posts. I learned from all of you. I am in the Northwest USA (Spokane WA area) If any of you travel up this way, be sure to check out any events at the Immaculate Heart Retreat Center.
    http://ihrc.net/
    This is a WONDERFUL place to go.

  • Elaine Boone

    Yes Sarah, I add my thanks for a meaningful journey in faith. As a Catholic, I choose to travel with other pilgrims “in the land of the living.” Through this study I have joined new friends who are helping me continue on the path, with the Holy Spirit’s grace, to “finish the race.” Thanks to all of you who shared with me from the richness of your faith. You inspire me! I pray our paths cross again, my friends. May God bless you and keep you close!

  • Tracy

    Thank you everyone for the wonderful posts through the last 90 days. I am going to miss this, as I look forward nightly to the readings and the posts. Take care and God Bless!

  • Marianne

    Hello all, Please join me in praying the Divine Mercy novena which we can pray from Good Friday through to Divine Mercy Saturday:
    http://www.praymorenovenas.com/divine-mercy-novena/

    My prayer for each one of you is that you will feel His mercy and healing forgiveness within your hearts and that He will equip you with the strength you need to fulfill His plans for your lives. Let us pray for the Lord’s mercy on each on of us and for on the whole world. Let us pray for the strength and courage to be His witnesses and to stand up for the Truth.

    This Easter season, I am asking that you remember my friend Patti in your prayers, who during this Lent has walked with Christ, carrying the cross and led toward her own crucifixion for speaking God’s truth. May God vindicate Patti for remaining faithful. May God protect each one of us so that we will remain faithful to His Word.

    • Fisher

      Will do!! Will you pray for me, Marianne, as a dedicated and powerful prayer warrior? I have been offered a teaching position at a university, but there are a few roadblocks I must surmount. I would appreciate prayers for strength, wisdom and the right words to overcome these barriers.

      • Marianne

        Absolutely, my dear friend!
        There’s one thing I’ve learned… that God laughs at those unsurmountable barriers and provides unanticipated solutions. I offer prayers of thanksgiving that God WILL grant you the strength, wisdom and right words to disintegrate those barriers. Keep me posted…
        Blessings,
        Mar

        • Fisher

          Thank you so much!

  • Marianne

    I feel like it’s our last day of school and we’re saying our goodbyes, sharing our plans for the summer and “see you in September” echoes all around. I heartily agree with all the sentiments expressed here today. To answer the question, I could look to my response last year. The story continues on in much the same way (except this is the FOURTH year in a row I’ll be at the National Catholic Bible Conference!) The Narrative began with “A rupture in God’s family” and that rupture continues today. The world continues to seek idols to fill the gaping hole in its soul. The world desperately needs a merciful Savior to heal the wounds in its heart.

    This Lenten journey is different for me this year. After two years of relatively smooth sailing, the past several weeks have held many challenges for me. One thing remains constant… I know Jesus loves me and no matter what happens, I trust in Him. Who am I to complain? Paul was imprisoned… shipwrecked… and yet, “He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 28:30-31)

    Like Paul in these final chapters, we will have to stand up for Truth and face the accusers who persecute us. Paul’s witness speaks of his own personal story, the time he met Jesus. So I think that’s what we’re called
    to do… to go out there and “tell our story”… how we “met” Jesus and how He changed our lives.

    I haven’t forgotten the voice I heard one year ago, telling me I must “do something”. In the past year, I was given a web design project, and this project has encouraged me to develop my own site, where I will publish
    my own photos and writings, and launch the mission I was given. I rely on the Holy Spirit for knowledge, guidance and wisdom, because without His light I’d be, well, totally in the dark…

    “May the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)

    Thank you Sarah, for bringing us together for this study. We await the next Great Adventure! I’ll see you in Doylestown!

    With prayers for a serene Holy Week in the presence of our Lord,
    Blessings to all,
    Mar

    • Fisher

      Blesssing prayed upon your ministry! God is good!

    • Rosi

      May the Lord bless you and keep you!
      May the Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
      May the Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!
      This is my prayer for you and for all the wonderful souls who went through this study with us.
      If anyone is ever in the need of buying a Crucifix, check out our website: customcrucifix.com
      My husband makes them. All proceeds go to Catholic Education. It has been a fun and wonderful ministry. There is a variety to choose from and they are beautifully made. God has been so good to us to enable us to have this ministry.
      Another ministry I am involved in is running the Prayer Chain at our parish. It has made me truly aware of the power of prayer and has given me the opportunity to pray for other’s needs and give them hope, encouragement and sharing the love of God with them.
      I am so grateful for this ministry.
      I feel I would like to do more and have been praying for direction as to what Our Lord would want me to do.
      God bless you and forever keep you under His loving care.

      • Marianne

        They ARE beautiful! And YOU are beautiful!
        I will be in touch…

  • Janet

    For many years I was like the Jewish people. “Gross is the heart of this people; they will not hear with their ears; they have closed their eyes, so they may not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.” (Acts 28:27) I would not hear or see; my heart was closed to what God wanted for and from me. He tapped on my shoulder countless times, and still I turned away.

    Thank you, Lord, for finally getting my attention! Thank you for the trials in my life, for any and all pain and suffering I endure in this life. Especially during this Holy Week, I attach all to the foot of your cross, Lord Jesus, and pray that You will use all for the conversion of sinners like myself. Thank you for Your love, Your grace and Your unending mercy. Thank you for Sarah and Jeff and this inspiring challenge. Thank you for the wonderful, insightful people who journeyed with me these past 90 days and helped me and others to learn and grow. All honor, praise and glory be to You, Lord! Amen.

  • Margie

    In answer to the “daily question” of the solution in God’s Son, it will continue in my life because it has made a better person of me already. I will also attempt to read other “books” in the Bible that were not included. For example I am interested in reading the “Book of Ruth” and the “Book of Job” because I just got a hold of a 9-CD collection by Deepak Chopra on “God”. I want to understand more, and have acquired a hunger to learn more about the Bible.

    • Marianne

      The best way to feed that hunger, Margie is to delve into the bible and savor its message. The book of Job is a favorite of mine, because no matter what comes his way, he will not curse God. He continues to praise God. I think in a way that the key to a happy life is a thankful heart. I think not only does God bless us more when we refrain from grumbling, we actually grow to appreciate the good that comes from the trials we face.

      Whatever you study, may it always lead you on the path to our salvation… Jesus.

      • Margie

        Thank you Marianne, it’s nice to have confirmation from another believer of Jesus.

    • Fisher

      You cite two of my favorite books in the Bible. May your heart be open to whatever applications these wonderful Scriptures illuminate for you!

  • Margie

    This 90-day journey has been a wide-awakening to my soul and spirit. I found myself interacting more openly with patience and kindness, and leading away from “self” so much. I am so glad I stuck to it and never gave up on any of the readings or skipped on, mostly because I kept with the mantra, WWJD? Some readings in the Old Testament were difficult with the killings, hungers, jealousies and betrayals. I almost understood why my Catholic religion never pushed Bible Study on us back in my younger days. You have to have a sense of maturity to really understand and “Joining Discussions” helped me tremendously, since this is first time I read the Old Testament. I enjoyed reading everyone’s posts even when I was 2-3 days behind. The New Testament was easier to understand because many of the readings were familiar because of going to Mass. I want to thank Sarah for initiating this Bible Study, and especially all of you who participated. Though we never met and maybe never will, I feel so blessed to have been in your company for these past 90 days. Have a Blessed Happy Easter and a safe and enjoyable summer.

  • Marian Potts

    The Christian story is all of our stories of weakness and learning to rely on the Lord. Acts of the Apostles is certainly a role model of Christians learning to be lead by the Holy Spirit and living in community with other Christians.
    The study was at times tedious trying to get 4 chapters read and reflected upon each day and getting behind at times making it more tedious to catch up.

    • Margie

      Marian, it was my experience too, but now I’m glad I didn’t give up, as I’m sure you are too.

  • N+D

    We cannot thank you enough for these last 90 days. As a couple going through this journey together we are on fire to continue reading and pondering the Word of God. As life long Catholics we were amazed at what we did not know and how much we learned. God bless all of you at this most holy time of the year!

  • Although suffering a tragedy in my life when I lost my son last year, I have always known that God has been calling me for something. I started to read the Bible in 1985 and went on to be a leader in my church, but when I moved down south I eventually lost interest in the church. Returning to NYC to be with my father in his last years, I still did not return to the church. Lost Dad in 2012 then 1 year later lost AJ. I stopped believing. But I could not believe that after 50 years (I’m 52) how easily I gave up my life long belief in God. No God would do this to me. I did nothing that wrong and neither did AJ- in fact he was a great kid by todays standards. But several weeks later when friends made me go to church with them, a very small thought, in fact ‘like’ a voice in my head, called me home. Weeks before my son’s accident he made what I now see as a provocative statement: “Dad, you’re not raising kids anymore-be the Dad you once were”. I was a partier in my younger years and he heard from many how much, but I told him those days were over. But when I started studying this year, I in fact “became the Dad I was” when I stopped reading the Bible and going to church when he was just a kid. His actual wording was prophetic, like the bible itself. I was then blessed with literally dozens of “God-Incidences”. God came back into my life and sent many small signs to show me he was working in me. And so I am here, and also helping my Parish again in several roles to “build (or rebuild) His church”. I did a second study with this one side by side, Covenant Love, because it was very close to ours, so as a non reader (I hate to read) I did 2 simultaneous studies that kept me by my desk and computer for hours (5) each day. 3 Bibles, 4 commentaries, 2 dictionaries, and a short book on genesis helped me. I will build his church again. I owe it to myself, my son, my family, my community, to you and to God the Blessed Trinity. I will take my studies now and start forming my own talks, and be a soldier for the battle. My work will continue and prevail in His Holy Name, and the Q & A here helped keep me on track. I loved reading all your comments, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of making me find answers to particular questions, and I am glad to be fighting for God and be again on the winning side. God Bless You all, and know that God is truly there – I have seen him in my life and no one will ever be able to tell me different. Keep the Faith, show the Love, and continue to be Charitable to all you encounter! Blessings on You All.

    ~ Anthony

    • Margie

      Thank you for your Spirit Anthony, and may God be with you also.

    • Marianne

      Anthony, even when you stopped believing in God, He didn’t stop believing in you.

      Ever listen to the song “Start a fire” by Unspoken
      “Over and over again I hear Your voice in my head.. let Your light shine for all to see… Start a fire in my soul… Let it burn so brightly that everyone around can see that it’s You, that it’s You that we need, start a fire in me… You are the light, You are the flame, You are the light on the darkest day… We have the hope, we bear Your name, we carry the news that You have come to save…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzIvLULIFF0

      Listen to that “voice in your head” that called you back to
      the church… and now go and build His church…

      I don’t have children, and that’s a loss that will remain with me till I die. So I feel your pain. May God bless you and your family and may He heal the gaping hole left in your hearts, even if you never know Why. But know this… perhaps AJ is lighting the way for you…

      • Marianne, several people have said AJ’s job was to lead me back, and now I must lead others. Of course I will never know that until God blesses me in heaven and the whole story is revealed. But if that is the case, I have a big job to do. :*-)

        • Marianne

          “but if that is the case”… Well, “that is the plan”… to reach heaven.
          Best wishes on your endeavors,
          Mar

          • Now its my turn to tell you: WELL SAID! And Thank You. I will send you another sign story soon. They are all great.

          • Marianne

            Speaking of signs, I shared a story with a friend about an experience I had recently. When I went to the Franciscan Friars mission a couple weeks ago, there was a beautiful prayer and healing service. Everyone took turns kneeling in the front row, and Fr. Giuseppe went to each person, allowing us to touch the monstrance. It was so beautiful. At the end of the night, when the monstrance was back on the altar, I was focusing on the Eucharist. And when I closed my eyes, I saw the Face of Jesus in the center of the Eucharist till it eventually faded away. It was so beautiful; I had to do it again. Then I saw the beating Sacred Heart of Jesus. It’s like the images were imprinted on my eyeballs (kind of like Our Lady of Guadalupe!), alternating between His Face and His Heart… Well. I know that often when we close our eyes, we see the outline of the last thing we saw… that tells me that I saw Jesus. I will never forget it.

            When I mentioned this to my friend, she told me about this incredible video she had seen. Here’s the video. I translated the commentary and here’s what it says:

            “In Buenos Aires, Argentina has become fashionable to receive Communion in the hand and a person who received the Eucharist in the hand drops the consecrated Host to the ground and did not want to take because it said it was dirty, and refused to take the Eucharist soil. Another pious person put aside more carefully to the priest and told him what happened. The priest followed the procedure for such cases and placed the Host in a container with water to dissolve and then pour this water into a plant (as is the procedure), and placed inside the Tabernacle. After a while opened the tabernacle to discard this water where they should have dissolved the Host and what he saw was that the Host was not dissolved but had red spots of various sizes. When these red spots to a lab for analysis are carried, the healthcare worker confirms that contain human blood type AB, and that the tissue that was delivered to you (it was a piece of Host) corresponds to myocardial tissue of a human heart; but what surprised healthcare worker was beating the human tissue, human cells were still alive (despite every scientist knows that red blood cells begin to die within 5 minutes of death of man).
            This is the story of the Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbg_dhI4XCs&feature=youtu.be

          • Pope Francis was the Arch Bishop and he was called in to witness it. He ordered it sealed and pictures to be taken. Also the blood matches samples from the shroud of Turin and the Lanciano Eucharist. Very Amazing, but we knew. Its always great when science backs it up 😀
            Thank You for the story! Its wonderful sharing with you.

          • Marianne

            I heard some of the other details but I didn’t know about Pope Francis’ involvement! Fascinating! Do you know of a link that provides more of these details?

          • Marianne

            Thank you! This is great info!

  • pnkyB4brain

    The positive thoughts and prayers for my daughter has given me additional strength to continue this apprehensive journey that Kari, our family, and I are on. Thank you all for everything you taught me, gave to me and wished for me and my daughter. You are all so special in my hearts.

  • pnkyB4brain

    I look back at when I began this bible challenge and my, how I have matured, learned and respected other perspectives on each reading. This one is bitter sweet to end. Too bad we can’t continue somehow. However, I am so fascinated with the Old Testament and how so many prophesies are answered in the New Testament. At my age, I thought I really knew key portions of the bible! I have so much more to learn!
    Sarah and Jeff, thank you for a enlightening opportunity to gain more insight of God’s plan for us. May God keep you in the palm of His Hand.
    As far as the questions for today, I will continue to persevere to be a better Christian and to spread God’s Words by actions and attitude. That’s a tall order in this day and age, so I have my work cut our for me.

    • Margie

      I enjoyed reading your posts. You are so down-to-earth and honest. It was nice.

    • Marianne

      I’m certain we will meet again, Sue. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom with an openness and honesty that is refreshing and inspiring. May God hear your prayers, protect Kari and bless you as you complete your part in His mission. God bless you…

  • Susan

    I would have to echo what the others have already said, rereading parts of the Bible have made me thirsty for more study ….. do you all have suggestions of other teaching blogs or online studies of the Bible?

    One thing that has been awakened in me is the need to do more, pray more, help more and to follow the way of Jesus Christ more closely. I have been invigorated especially by Acts to do as Jesus told us to do – be disciples.

    These three months have taught me many things and so much has come from my fellow participants. Thank you all for your sharing and helping me see different perspectives. PnkyB4brain, you and your daughter will continue in my prayers – may God be with you always..

    Sarah, thank you for the formation of this journey – it has been valuable.

    To all, a most Blessed Easter and I hope to see you in other lessons in the future.

    • pnkyB4brain

      Susan, May you find solace in God’s graces. Thank you for your prayers. Prayers are stronger than all the earthly forces put together! God bless you! Sue, known as pnky

    • Fisher

      Perhaps you can speak with your pastor about offering the full Bible Time line study for adults…..Very well worth the effort. From there, the sky is the limit! There are so many fantastic studies published by Ascension Press , CSSI, Word on Fire, etc. God bless all the scholars (Sarah) who work so diligently to light the world through Scriptural exegesis!

      • Thank You as well Fisher for your posts and interesting perspectives. I enjoyed them all. God Bless 😉

      • Marianne

        In the past year, locally, we’ve studied Galatians, A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother, and have just completed The Prophets: Messengers of Mercy. I also attended live presentations including Walking Toward Eternity (Thomas Smith); a two-night Marian Mission (Dr. Edward Sri); and the Timeline in a Day (Jeff Cavins). And there’s also the National Catholic Bible Conference!!
        There are so many opportunities for us to continue our study!

    • Susan I read with interest your daily posts. Thank You for providing me your insight- it was wonderful. God Bless You

    • Margie

      Thank you Susan, for your honest opinions. A Blessed Happy Easter to you also.

  • m.g.

    As I mentioned last year, I have not reached an end, but rather a new beginning. I am blessed and thank God for this group and for Sarah and AP. I look forward to continuing to be a branch on the vine, going towards the vine in prayer and strengthening and then blossoming from the vine to spread the good word, beauty, and fruit to others.

    Be well all.

    • pnkyB4brain

      m.g., Thank you for your wonderful insight throughout this challenge. You have had such outstanding answers to the readings. May God bless.

      • mg

        And you as well. It has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to it again in! Be well and god bless you.

    • Thank You for your part these past 90 days. I read with interest your posts. God Bless You

  • mg

    As I mentioned last year, I have not reached an end, but rather a new beginning. I am blessed and thank God for this group and for Sarah and AP. I look forward to continuing to be a branch on the vine, going towards the vine in prayer and strengthening and then blossoming from the vine to spread the good word, beauty, and fruit to others.

    Be well all.

    • pnkyB4brain

      I hope you will be well also. Thank you for your sagacious well wishes. May God bless.

  • Liza

    A year on this has dropped into my inbox each day and I have occasionally re-read some of the discussion. This reading a year ago was an amazing foundation for faith and study. Since then, we have completed two ‘Quick Journeys Through the Bible’ in 8 weeks and one in a day and ‘Encounter’, for younger teens. We are nearly at the end of the 24 week ‘Bible Timeline’ course and ‘T3: the Teen Timeline’. Sarah, many thanks to all at Ascension Press who have supported us with excellent studies which have helped me grow in love of Christ and the scriptures. God bless you and everyone pursuing knowing and loving God in the scriptures.

    • pnkyB4brain

      Liza, You have reminded me to thank the ones that put all of this together. Thank you and may God bless you!

    • God Bless you you in your continued studies and thank you for your interesting posts as well.

  • Andy

    Thank you for a great program, Sarah. Thank you, fellow participants for your insights and thoughts.

  • Cheryl

    This has been a Great Adventure which leaves us thirsting for more. The discussions have been insightful and helped to confirm our understanding. We were delighted to have been given th link and look forward to the next study. Thank you Sarah and all the faithful adventurers who contributed posts.

  • Claudette Morrison

    I enjoy the bible study even though I did not make many contribution. I have learned a lot from everyone. I will definitely continue my faith journey. I am presently doing the bible timeline with my prayer group and is really learning a lot about the church, God and myself. Thanks to all for allowing me to share in this study. I am looking forward to another study and hoping to participate more

  • Avila

    Thank you Sarah. After many years of waiting I have not only had the opportunity to join a Bible Study, but have also been privileged to share the journey with fantastic fellow travelers. I have had a terrific time thanks to Sarah and The Ascension Press but also thanks to all of you for being so helpful in explaining things. Hopefully we will bump into each again in cyber space.

    Here is an Irish Blessing that I have prayed for all of you (yes, that includes Sarah and everyone in Ascension Press)

    May the road rise up to meet you.

    May the wind always be at your back.

    May the sun shine warm upon your face,

    and rains fall soft upon your fields.

    And until we meet again,

    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MgzKIsV01A0

    • Fran

      I have heard them before, just beautiful!

    • Marianne

      Always loved that prayer… We’ve had a lot of Irish priests at our parish. Gee, imagine that, an Irish priest… 🙂

  • Jeanne

    I want to say a hearty thank you to Sara and the rest of you who made this journey pleasant and spirit filled. I found all the posts rewarding and uplifting to read. I found that many of you are well versed in the bible and well able to put your thought on paper so to speak. Me, not so much.
    I would certainly look forward to joining another journey with you all in the future.
    God Bless each and every one of you.

    • Fisher

      You contributed more than you realize, Jeanne. I have enjoyed your posts very much. I hope we will run into each other in cyberspace again soon! Bless you.

      • Jeanne

        Me too. Thanks for your words of encouragement Fisher.

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    I began my journey through the Bible on April 3, of Last Year. That day, I recieved a death sentence from my Dr. He entered the examination room, while speaking this sentence “There is a 100% chance that one of the cancer’s with return within 18 months. I asked ” What if I come into this office in two years “cancer free” His answer “You will be lucky” And so It went with 3yrs, and 4yrs.? Then I said ” What about 5 years ‘cancer free’? He said “You will have beaten thousand to one odds and I will believe in God and miracles. Wednesday I will walk into, his office, CT-scans in January showed “no evidence of disease.
    I was numb from the news. I began thinking about “bucket lists” The only thing I could think of was I want to read the Bible. I made my “Bible Bucket List” After first praying to the Holy Spirit, I made a list of all the Books of the Bible and wrote them into my calendar. My calendar for January 1 2014 read Genesis. By reading four chapters a day I have read many books of the Bible. Many were on the bottom of the list, a few I had already read (the Holy Spirit wanted me to read them again:) Tomorrow the Holy Spirit has led me to start reading Job as it is the oldest of the Wisdom books. I hope to find more online groups, also I will continue taking Bible Study classes at my Parish.
    Thank you Sarah and all here. I will keep all of you in my prayers

    • What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing. God has a wonderful plan for you.

    • Marianne

      Praise God for your healing Barbara! May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire your reading the Scriptures; and may the Words of Wisdom fill you with joy and praise to God for the messages He put there, especially for you…

      • Barbara Ann Baugh

        Thank you Marianne

  • Carla Archuleta

    Sarah, I cannot thank you enough for the many gains I have made following this 90 day bible study. I gee up having faith and trust in God, participant in mass, made my sacraments and have always been a believer. For the first time in my life this the year 2013-2014 have brought me a beautiful gift in having hunger of reading daily scripture (The Word Among Us) and reading biblical daily scripture on my own until I came across this online study. I do believe it was God driven and I am so thankful. It is truly something I plan to continue forever. You are sooo inspirational. Thank you!

    In my life I want to continue my life for God, but at a much more intense level. Then as God allows I want to evangelize others to to live through the Holy Spirit of God. Along with reading the bible, continuing group studies I want to get to know the saints. I would like to state that I believe my life for God is truly in the birthing stages, but every single moment of the day I pray to keep away from sin and to learn from the Christian ancestors throughout biblical time that the journey God has from me eventually gets to full blossom.

    God bless the others who were a part of this journey your energy from God has radiated upon me. I am so thankful for your knowledge, wisdom, feedback,prayers

    • Fisher

      You are a beautiful blossom, Carla. Your humility is inspiring.

    • You have some wonderful goals there! I pray God will meet with you in a new way as you continue to seek him.

  • jacqueline

    There is not much I can add to all those beautiful comments already posted – except “A HUGE
    THANK YOU” to Sarah for this GRACE-FILLED experience. It was a delight to make this journey with so many of my spiritual brethren where I have learnt so much. Thank you all for this wonderful journey of faith. May God bless each one of you abundantly and may you all continue to walk in light of Christ, who knows maybe our paths might cross somewhere. Wishing you all a peaceful Easter. Take Care and God Bless.

    • Thank you, Jacqueline, you are most welcome. May the Lord bless and keep you.

  • Fran

    The story certainly does continue. With Pope Francis, we have been given so many story lines to work on. One that meant a great deal to me was “we need to evangelize those that are already baptised.” In working with my PREP class, I pray to Jesus to enlighten me, let His love shine forth so that His light might touch not only my children but also their parents (about 1/4 attend Mass). The readings with your thought provoking questions and others comments have given me new insights that have been so helpful in my growth in our faith. This has also helped me with my leading of the “Great Adventure” series. I get God bumps when parishioners come up to thank me for bringing the study to our parish – I then give thanks to God for leading me & giving me the courage to get it organized. As we are completing Matthew, they are already asking what is next! I tell them not to worry, Jesus has laid out a 10 year plan so far 🙂 Of course, I now need to add the new study on the Blessed Mother! Also, bringing Communion to the homeboud has brought so much joy to me & my husband. As we were told when we started, we will receive so much more than we are giving. And finally, a current chapter in this story, is seeking the Lord’s help for our daughter who is in a mentally abusive marriage. It has been difficult to watch the effects on her & the 2 children. It has been so helpful doing the 90 Day Challenge again as I seek to keep hope & remember that God has His own time frame and plans, just trust & be patient. Seeing the love of Jesus, I know He will provide all of them, even her husband, with His help, protection & peace. They just need to open their hearts & souls to the Lord for that to happen. That too has been a part of my prayer. Finally, as Mar said, we have the NCBC coming in June! If you haven’t had the time to attend in the past and you live close enough to get there, it will be a truly blessed time spent with people deep in our faith as you met here online. (So far we have 20 signed up from our parish.) As Mar mentioned in an earlier posting, perhaps we could have a large sign “90 Day Bible Study” & meet at one of the picnic tables! A heartfelt thank you & God’s blessings to Sarah and all those in this challenge!

    • Marianne

      You remembered! I’ll see you there, Fran.

      In the meantime, I pray for your family. Remember, no situation is hopeless. Jesus hears our prayers and will give your daughter the strength and courage she needs. My daily prayer during a difficult time was “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. (Joshua 1:9) And He was (and is)…

      Peace, Mar

      • Fran

        Thank you for your thoughts & prayers. What do you think of meeting in the AM inside (in case of weather conditions) rather than the picnic table? We could pick a table in the cafeteria at breakfast.

        • Marianne

          That sounds like a plan! I’m certain there will be a new “Challenge” for us on this web site in the near future, so we’ll keep in touch…

          • Fran

            I think we might hear about one in a couple of weeks 🙂

        • Marianne

          NCBC is just a few days away! I’ll bring the sign… see you soon, Fran!

          • Fran

            I’ll will be looking for you!

    • Fisher

      I will keep your daughter and her family in my prayers, as I daily prayer for the vocation of marriage. Bless you for being strong and courageous for your daughter.

      • Fran

        Prayers are the answer. Thank you for yours too! God bless.

    • You are so welcome! If you do gather, let me know. I would love to meet you.

      • Fran

        I just jotted a note to Mar on a possible meeting place & time. Hope to see you!

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      I will include your daughter in my prayers. After Easter I will begin a Novena in Honor of St. Joseph (an Ideal spouse and my go to guy)

      • Fran

        Thank you very much Barbara Ann. With all the prayers that are going up, I know she’ll soon be welcoming the Lord’s strength & guidance.

    • Marianne

      Fran, you will love the Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. When we bring our prayers to our Lady, she’s the one who tells her son that there is a need.

      May your daughter and granddaughters look toward our Eternal Mother who protects the children… Your loved ones remain in my prayers…

      Hope to see you at NCBC, if not sooner!

      Blessings,
      Mar

      • Fran flanagan

        I just showed session 1 of “Mary” on Thursday & they can’t wait for the next one! As for Joan, the girls & their father, I know the good Lord is listening. We have a beautiful grotto with Our Lady of Fatima. And it is very comforting to go there before Mass & pray for her intercession. Thank you for the continuing prayers. If we can’t get together before June, we will find a way to meet at the NCBC 🙂

        • Marianne

          Sounds like a plan! See you soon.

    • Rosi

      I wish I could join everyone that is able to attend the NCBC. I have the feeling that most of you live on the east coast or close to it. I am way on the other side of the US…on the west coast. My heart will be with all of you though!

      • Marianne

        This may be the last year it’s held in PA… so I for one will be there! Thanks Rosi, you have a good heart!

      • Fran flanagan

        The NCBC does travel across the country. So when it comes your way, be sure to go! What a beautiful experience.

        • Rosi

          Thank you Fran. I was not aware of that. I will have to watch for it!!!

  • Fisher

    True story: recently I was driving on the interstate to visit my sick friend in Alabama. The traffic was light (thank you, Jesus), but at one point I noticed I was coming up on a bottleneck of vehicles moving at 10 mph less that the speed limit. I could see no accidents or obstacles ahead to precipitate this bottleneck. As I neared the front of the bottleneck, maneuvering through both lanes, I discovered the problem: there was a state trooper in the right lane moseying along, and nobody wanted to pass him!
    I do not know why the state trooper was moving so slowly, perhaps he was having to communicate with the dispatcher and felt it safer to remain in the right lane and slow down; perhaps he was trying to see something on the shoulder that may have been reported by an alert driver; perhaps he was psychologically messing with the other drivers on the interstate.
    I decided that I would pass the trooper and when I came abreast of his vehicle, gave a cursory glance over, nodded and after passing, moved in front of him to the right lane. He nodded back, continuing at his chosen speed. My palms were sweating for no good reason! I was within the speed limit! Only one or two of the other cars took my cue and passed this authority figure, the rest
    But what I came to believe is that this situation perfectly illustrates the “guilty Catholic” syndrome! We are uniquely conditioned to feel we are doing something wrong when we step out in our own directions, even if called specifically to do so. Or, perhaps we might not agree with/understand completely a Church authority’s directive.

    • Fran

      My husband had that same experience a year ago. When he passed the officer, he recognized him! A few days later, he asked him what he was doing. Your last reason – to see how many had the courage to pass & do the corect speed limit! I enjoyed reading your final analysis of the situation!

      • Fisher

        Thank you, Fran. Funny, huh? God bless you, and I hope we can re-connect on another Scripture challenge in the near future!

    • Marianne

      I like how you connected the dots with your analogy to the police officer. We all too often lack the confidence to move forward even though we are permitted to do so. Question for you… did you pray before making the move?!?

      This reminds me of another “driving” story. Let’s see if I can make an adequate analogy (I just love telling this story… for the miracle it was…) I was driving down a two lane country road, doing close to 50 mph (it was a straight road). I came up over a hill and there were two deer, right in front of me! One was one the side of the road; one was ALMOST to the center of the road and when it saw me fast approaching, it froze in my lane. There was nowhere for me to go. I said a quick prayer, hit the brakes and turned the wheel to swerve. Somehow, I drove IN BETWEEN the two deer, and managed not to end up in the ditch or hit either one of them. This should have been impossible, because there was not enough room between them. But as we know, with God all things are possible. So, as in life, sometimes when have to make a quick decision for a seemingly impossible feat, we need to put it in the Lord’s hands… God parted the Red Sea, He can stretch the road to get you safely through…

      Thank you for your closing prayer, Fisher. I look to the Holy Spirit daily. I am presently discerning a heavenly “assignment”. It came to me in a “dialogue” I had with God after awakening from a strange dream. On the one hand, perhaps it was all my imagination because I am totally unequipped and unqualified to tackle this undertaking; one the other hand, I would never know unless I seriously consider it and try. Sigh…

      • Fisher

        Honestly, I do not remember praying at that moment. Seems funny to pray not to get pulled over, especially if it’s for my own good! But I do pray a lot in the car. I love your story – always thrilled to hear about profound/miraculous encounters on the highways of life. You are the best!

  • mg

    I want to start by echoing every sentiment here. THANK YOU for such a wonderful experience. I loved taking this journey with all of you and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it. With a full time demanding job, 2 small children, going to grad school, and life in general, I was worried I may not stick with this. But to the contrary this wasn’t something “added to the plate”. It was the plate. It was the foundation for everything I was about to put on that plate for the day. Without this plate, I do not know what I would have done.

    Everyday I try to lead by example as a reflection of our Lord. Sure, I misstep sometimes but I always come back and try harder. I will never cease being a messenger of Gods word for our faith because it is so very important and necessary.

    Sarah and all, thank you for such a wonderful experience. I have grown so much. Usually, at the end of something, you feel a sense of exhaustion and phew that is over. For this, this end is just the beginning! It is the start of something great! The past 90 days was just the preview of what is to come.

    PLEASE do another one of these challenges or someone one here please let me know where I can do another online type of challenge like this because this type of forum works so well for my schedule. If one isn’t planned, I would love to start one with anyone that is interested.

    Thank you for all becoming part of my family the past 90 days. You have taught me much and reinstilled my faith. I am excited that I have this plate now that I can add “life” to. And remember, in everyone you meet, see Christ’s face and feel His spirit.

    • Fisher

      Amen for the plate!! Go forth and be fed continually! God bless you.

    • I love that verse from Colossians. And I’m so glad this has been a blessing to you. Watch your email for a note about the next online study. Blessings!

      • Jane Costa

        While I did not join in any of the posts / discussions ( read them with much interest) I thoroughly enjoyed and stuck with this study. I have done multiple studies (Our Father’s Plan, etc, but my thirst for knowing Jesus is never satisfied. I hope that never changes! I promoted this in our Church bulletin & I hope there were followers. Thank you for this enriching study & for the enthusiastic input of fellow Catholics. Will be looking for others like this. JC

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    Thank you Sara Christmyer so much I was wishing I could send you flowers instead I have decided to send you a Sporitual Bouquet. For the remaining two Fridays in Lent I will be praying at Mass for Sarah Christmyer for the remaining two Fridays in Lent

    • Fisher

      You continue to be in my prayers, Barbara Ann, for peace, strength and healing.

    • What a beautiful gift, Barbara Ann. Thank you so very much! May the Lord richly bless you.

  • Bob Della Bosca

    Thank you very much Sarah Christmyer and Ascension Press for the 90 day bible challenge,also to those that made the comments/posts,so well considered and heartfelt,quite a memorable journey,may God bless you all.

  • Marianne

    I will continue to pray for guidance in doing God’s will. I’ll be “on team” at the upcoming Cursillo weekend and I’ve been busy preparing the talk I’ll be giving on the Study of Christianity.

    After a major life change, I have consecrated my life to Jesus. In my daily walk with Him, I begin every morning in prayer, praise and thanksgiving. I share His message at every opportunity. I strive to help others who are hurting by sharing my experience that our God is a living God who loves us; and through Him comes the strength we need to face any challenges.

    I plan to attend the National Catholic Bible Conference in June and I look forward to seeing Sarah, Jeff and all the others again (this is my third year at NCBC). I hope to see many of you as well!

    Our Faith is a Way of Life and I will continue to walk the walk with Jesus. Thank you, Sarah, for leading the way with this informative and thought-provoking challenge! So… what’s next? I’ll be checking my Inbox for more news from biblestudyforcatholics.com!

    In the concluding words of St. Paul in every epistle, “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers and sisters. Amen.” (Galatians 6:18) So long, my friends!

    Blessings to all, Mar

    • mg

      I agree! Whats next?

    • Fisher

      Wonderful sharing the faith with you, Marianne. I am sure your witness at Cursillo will be very moving – it will touch exactly the hearts the Holy Spirit directs you to. Peace always.

      • Marianne

        Thanks Fisher… back at ya! I always enjoy reading your posts.
        The Cursillo weekend is a very powerful, faith-filled event. We place our trust in the Holy Spirit, who inspires each participant in a special way.

        • Fisher

          I am familiar, and grateful for these retreats that teach us how powerful the Holy Spirit can be in the open hearts of the laity. Bless all your future evangelical endeavors!

    • Fran

      Hope to get to see you there!

    • Yes, check your inbox! We’ll let you know what’s coming up. And please introduce yourself at NCBC. I look forward to seeing you.

      • Marianne

        Hi Sarah, yes it will be good to connect again at NCBC. Our mutual friend from Bible Study at Immaculate Conception will also be there…

        Have a blessed and peaceful Easter!
        Mar

  • pnkyB4brain

    This challenge has been such a wonderful walk through the history of Our Lord’s chosen people and their ups and downs.
    In retrospect I look upon my family as being somewhat of a microcosm of this group of stiff necked people. We have had ups and downs and certainly drama in our lives. We have had times when we turned our backs on the Lord thinking that we were of superior intellect to solve our own battles with out the guidance of God. We learned and grew with the knowledge that we need God every waking moment of our lives.
    Also, during this Bible challenge I felt as if there was something missing for the Jews. It came to me one night that it was our Savior, Jesus Christ that the Jews rejected as the Messiah was what they were missing in their lives! I pray that they will see the light and believe in Our Lord, Jesus.
    Sarah, thank you for this wonderful series. Sometimes reading the Bible alone is quit thought provoking but to be able to express your thoughts with others is a nice way to begin a day. You have done an outstanding job with such a daunting task. Again, I thank you.

    • And thank you, for being such an avid, faithful contributor to the discussion. Blessings!

  • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

    I like what Liza said…I think I will start out conversations with people by just finding out about where they are and what they are thinking and let that be my guide.

    • Fisher

      It would be wonderful to compare notes on how we all move forward evangelizing after this, huh? I have a feeling you won’t have to do anything differently, Beverly, your joyful spirit shines through your posts. Peace always.

      • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

        Thank you for the encouraging words…as a result of the positive responses to my poetry, am looking into finding a way that it might be edited and possibly published…God willing…

        • Marianne

          I know of someone who self published a book. WHEN you’re ready, let me know and I’ll get the information for you. God bless, Mar

        • Fisher

          Wonderful! I look forward to it!

    • Beverly, you’re so welcome! May God be with you as you start those conversations.

  • Liza

    When Adam and Eve stepped away from trusting God this small step left a massive challenge. I have been gripped by the Old Testament stories of God reaching out to us and our attempts to find God. Jesus saves us from this interminable problem of alienation and Paul and the other disciples let this salvation spill out into the world.
    Paul does several things: He is brave and confident in talking about Christ, He forms relationships with people he talks to and meets them where they are (Kings, captors, Jews, and Gentiles). He is a rational human. When he speaks to people he always proclaims Jesus first. He is not reckless about his life and he uses the legal system to protect himself but he is willing to lose his life for Christ.
    I will continue to pray to find out where God is leading me. I will not start my conversations with people about my faith by talking about contraception, abortion, homosexuality etc, I will start by saying I have found true love on an unimaginable scale. This is my hope.
    Tonight I will finish leading the first Quick Journey through the Bible in our parish, I meet with our parish Priest on Wednesday to discuss the next course. I will continue to talk about the amazing journey of faith with parents preparing for Baptism as well as the practicalities of bringing children up to live in faith. (A lot of this is basic stuff!) I will be able to do all this with new confidence in my understanding of Christ and a new love of Christ.
    I thank you Sarah and my fellow voyagers and listening to St Paul we can have hope and confidence in storms ahead knowing Christ is with us. God Bless

    • Ann Basile

      Liza, what a beautiful response! I love your words ” I will start by saying I have found true love on an unimaginable scale. This is my hope.” Yes indeed, God Bless!

    • Fisher

      You are an amazing catechist; wish I were studying with your parish! God bless you.

    • You are so welcome! Blessings on you as you continue the adventure!