Posts by: scogee

By on 20/09/2018

The saints are men and women who are normal like us and who have allowed God to work in their lives. None of us are meant to be exactly like them. We are meant to be like God in his image and likeness. We are meant to be ourselves and meant to allow God to work in and through our own individuality, our own humanity.

Thomas Merton once wrote “for me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.”

I read about a Jesuit priest who as a boy prayed to St Jude the patron saint of hopeless causes and I laughed when he explained why he prayed to St Jude.

” I used to envision God as the great problem solver, the one who would fix everything If I just prayed, shared enough, used the correct prayers and prayed in precisely the right way. But when God couldn’t fix things, (which seemed more frequent than I would have liked) I would turn to St Jude. I figured that if it was beyond the capacity of God to do something, then surely it must be a lost cause and it was time to call on St Jude.”

Saints are like older brothers and sisters to whom one could look for advice and counsel.

The Catholic Theologian Lawrence Cunningham wrote in his book, The Meaning of Saints, that the saints also serve as our prophetic witnesses spurring us to live more fully as Christian disciples.

Yes, all we need is Jesus, but God has given us these companions of Jesus to accompany us along the way, giving us their wisdom, experience and encouragement.

GOD renews the church in every age by raising up men and women outstanding in holiness, living witnesses of His unchanging love. They inspire us by their heroic lives and help us by their constant prayers to be the living sign of God’s saving power.

This is a prayer of the Church showing us that saints can inspire and encourage us to live for Christ.

Often in reading the lives of the saints we recognise parts of ourselves in them or parts of our journey. They struggled often just like us, their dilemmas were just like ours and they show us that with God’s grace and courage we too can prevail!

They have struggled with the same human weaknesses as me. Surely Thomas Merton, who struggled with pride, understands how I feel struggling the same. His prayers and encouragement help me in my journey with God.

For courage, I pray to St Joan of Arc, for she needed courage so many times in her life as a young eighteen year old, trying to listen to God’s direction to lead the French army to victory, when she was not a soldier and did not even know how to ride a horse. Why would other soldiers follow her into battle anyway? She was only a girl and not of royal blood or authority.

I get encouraged and a renewed outlook on life when I read how some of the saints lived before God came into their lives and after. The transformation gives me hope for myself, or others on the journey with God. Many of them would not have been picked by us to follow them in character and deed before. But with Jesus transforming power have become a leader, servant and follower of Christ role model.

I encourage you to read and meditate on the saints, pick some to study their writings and lifestyle. They will teach us things about humanity and God that they learnt on the journey of life and we might learn also.

May these jottings from my journal inspire you to believe in and fall in love with Christ- the hope of the world, as stated in Jeremiah 17:7, ‘Blessed is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord and whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord!’

Love always

Rosemary


By on 12/09/2018

My catch cry, “how awesome is my God?”

God is my king. How awesome is my God?

God is mystery. Three in one. How awesome is our God?

God is mighty and powerful. Creator of the heaven’s and earth, all in it and all this done by his word.

How awe-inspiring is our God?

God is a miracle worker and healer. To acknowledge this of his character fills me with awe. How awesome (awe and some) is our God?

Comforter, my deliverer, the only one who delivers me from danger and harm, who comforts me when things go wrong (often due to sinful choices by me or others). How awesome is our God?

He lifts me up and represents me when I am judged. He takes all our sins upon his shoulders and hung them on a cross once and for all. How great and awesome is our God?

He died for me, so I was set free to live eternally with Him. This fills me with awe for who He is and what he has done for me and everyone. Especially because we all are weak and have guilt and shameful sins and he took it upon himself to take all the guilt and the blame so we might live.

Wow! What awe that demonstrates.

My knees do bow and my tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is an awesome Lord.

My heart sings, my heart worships, my heart adores this God, our God.

He alone puts wow in my mouth. He alone bends my knees in worship and praise. He alone is filled with awe. He can’t help himself it’s who He is.

May these jottings from my journal inspire you to believe in and fall in love with Christ- the hope of the world, as stated in Jeremiah 17:7, ‘Blessed is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord and whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord!’

Love always

Rosemary


By on 05/09/2018

God is so amazing, so mind boggling, so other. On my best day, God is bigger than my best thoughts. On my better day, the God I think about and know is only part of the shadow of who he truly is. His ways are way above mine, His thoughts way higher, His abilities way more miraculous than I imagine, his love way deeper. None can compare to him.

As high as the heavens are above the earth so my thoughts are above yours, declares The Lord.

The heaven’s distance to the earth is 150 million kilometres away, so God’s thoughts are that far above ours. Our thoughts on our best day are but a drop in the ocean to our God’s thoughts. He knows what every one’s thoughts are on the planet all at the same time. When we think how good and great and holy God is, it does not come close to the truth. We just have no words in the human vocabulary to describe our God, to even think correctly about him.

Think of the best of the best that has ever walked the earth with the exception of Jesus (who is God) they and their thoughts don’t come close.

God is very unreasonable, because I cannot reason Him with my brain. He is beyond our reason. He is beyond all things for He created all things. No one created Him. He existed always.

Don’t put God in a box, we try to put him into our image of him but are we not made in his image and likeness!

God has the perfect plan, the best plan. There is none better, we just don’t know it or see it like He does. He wants for us to be in His plan so will find ways to show us, guide us, inform us of what that is. Especially when we are trying to follow Him, how pleased He is, so trust in Him that he will guide you. He threw Saul off his horse because he was doing the wrong thing, going down the wrong path so he could throw you off your ‘horse’ if he needed to.

Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk once wrote in ‘Thoughts in Solitude, ’My lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Wow! Wow! What a description of the trust we can have in our almighty God.

May these jottings from my journal inspire you to believe in and fall in love with Christ- the hope of the world, as stated in Jeremiah 17:7, ‘Blessed is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord and whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord!’

Love always

Rosemary


By on 28/08/2018

Why does God sometimes only come in the nick of time? When all seems lost, it looks like it is impossible, there is no chance that we can do it and then God turns up.

Maybe because then he can show us more of his glory. We cannot then say we did it. We were very capable ourselves, thank you very much. He is a jealous God and He knows He deserves all the glory. He just allows some of his glory to shine on us.

He also does not want us to be mediocre. He made us to be incredible, in his image and likeness. He invites us to defy impossible odds at times. Sometimes a test to see who we trust? Sometimes in challenging circumstances God is guiding our steps through the difficulty.

Like Gideon’s army in the book of Judges, they were outnumbered but that’s what God wanted because then who could boast? If the army was huge and won, then they did it in their own strength. But the army ended up being 300 men with trumpets and jars, fighting against an army 450 times bigger. That’s right an army of 135,000!

God wants to get full credit for what is rightly his. Maybe our impossible situations are times when we can experience a whole new dimension of God’s glory and we can learn to trust in Him.

In the beginning of time as written in Genesis 1:2, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

God is the same yesterday, today and in the future.

Just like the ‘unknown’ did not frighten God because He was in control. The earth had not been created yet and it was dark and deep and definitely ‘unknown’ by us anyway. But God’s spirit was waiting ready, hovering ready to do the work when the word was spoken. So, any situation dark and deep that we are in, if we trust in Him, waiting for the Holy Spirit and his word will create a new beautiful and wonderful place for us and our situation.

God is there before us, with us and behind us (he has our back) all at the same time.

If you look at the Hebrew word for ‘over’ the waters, over means in the presence of, before and behind, from before time, in front of and so the Holy Spirit was hovering before and behind in the eternity that the Father, Son and Spirit live in. They are not hindered by time for it was before time, that the Holy Spirit was over the waters. Time has been a property made for man.

David, in his Psalms, had discovered God was for us in every timeframe. Psalm 139 describes God searching and knowing us, knowing everything about us.

O lord you have searched me and you know me.”

You know when I sit and when I rise you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely O Lord.”

Verse 5 says,”you hem me in, before and behind.”

O wow! ’Over’ in Hebrew means before and behind. God hovers over us! He hems himself in over me, contains himself over me, he is the contain-er and I am the contain -ee. He envelopes me.

He is completely in control for our lives. He is before us and has our back all at the same time. He has no time or dimensional limitations.

You are “over ” me all of the time.

How wonderful to know that God is caring for us all of the time.

Verse 6,” You have laid your hand upon me.”

Verse 7, “where can I go from your spirit? You are there!”

Verse 9-10, “If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, EVEN there your hand will lead me.”

You hold me, protect me, guide me, love me. Oh, how blessed am I? Your powerful right hand which is a depiction of God’s support and strength. His power holds us safe, firm, on the right path and direction for our lives.

How great is our God! A battle cry of mine for about 5 years now.

If He is for us who can be against us! We have the victory, for we are in his army and he is victorious.

So, when you feel defeated, feel things are hopeless or not working out, trust in Him, speak words of truth aloud, our God is for us and with us.

His spirit is over us and His right hand holds us fast to Him. It is definitely with love that God hugs me to Him. We are his beloved! Remember that!

May these jottings from my journal inspire you to believe in and fall in love with Christ- the hope of the world, as stated in Jeremiah 17:7, ‘Blessed is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord and whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord!’

Love always

Rosemary


By on 25/07/2018

Dear friends

I can finally tell you news that we have kept quiet for so long as we have gone through our inception and planning stages. We are not announcing what follows to everyone just yet, but as you are members of the Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M. I would like you to know and I need your help in prayer.

I pray this finds you well. To those joining us for the first time, welcome.

The Engine Room T.E.A.M. is an international group of people who have committed to do the ‘work of prayer’ for The Catholic Guy Ministry in all of its various forms. For a number of years my father was the Chief Engineer on large ships that sailed the Mediterranean and Europe. He would often talk of his time below deck as being so important because if the engines did not run, the ship went nowhere.

Your prayer and intercession to God for His blessing upon this ministry is crucial. You are the Engine Room. We cannot do this without you.

The reason I refer to it as the ‘work of prayer’ is because it is a deliberate activity that takes time in your daily prayer and devotions and when you go to Church and to Mass to remember to intercede before God and ask His blessing upon what is happening, and the people involved in the ministry.

The Scripture is clear that we are engaged in a spiritual battle and while Jesus is victorious through the Cross and makes heaven accessible to all, a battle rages for the lives and eternal lives of people. With so much change in the world it is our children and people under 45 years of age who are struggling to connect with Church and being in relationship with God. This is where your prayers and efforts are so essentially needed.

T.E.A.M. stands for Together Everyone At Mission. We all have different roles to play and you are on the TEAM as someone whose prayer is critical.

 

PRAYER NEEDS

In 2006 on a visit to the Vatican, I felt the urge to spend a day in prayer there. At the end of a long day I felt God prompt me to make a Catholic television program. My Archbishop and the Bishop responsible for media in Australia thought this was a good idea. With few resources the program began and to my surprise did very well. For over eleven years the program has not missed a week of being on television.

A couple of years ago, I was approached by a lawyer in the USA who represents many of the largest names in the Christian television world and asked if I would take our program to the USA. I had not considered this, just as I had not thought of being on television in the first place in Australia years before. It had been a God idea. After some discernment we felt it was worth testing. The results were stunning with reports that the response was as large if not larger than many Christian television programs in the USA.

I believe my calling from God is to reach people who feel disconnected from God. Showing the program in the USA meant that it would also be shown around the world and more people would be reached. I thought this was all I should do. This was fraught with challenges to ramp up to a much larger scale but with a great team behind me we were able to do it.

Just when you think you are settled!!!!

Just when you think you are doing all that you are meant to do, God says, “I have more for you.” The only reason a person is able to go to the next step in their spiritual life is because they took the step before.

Late last year, based on the success of the program, I was approached by our Media Attorney (lawyer) and asked if I would be interested in taking the approach of the program aimed at Catholics who are disengaged in Church or detached from Church and starting a Catholic Television and Media Network that would consist of television, radio, social media and through the new Over The Top digital media platforms that are fast becoming the future of all media. It would include a 24 hour, seven days a week Catholic Channel. The idea intrigued me greatly as this is something that I have spoken about in the past, but I had not said this to our Attorney.

You may have heard me speak on the concept of spiritual discernment, where God leads by the doors He opens and the doors He closes. While this may seem basic, it is the spiritual sensitivity to the voice of God where discerning the doors that are open and closed is the challenge.

We were barely settled with the program expanding when Rosemary and I began to hear and feel the persistent gentle voice of God saying, “walk this way.” All of you who have been serious about following the Lord know that voice that can ask both small and large things of us in life.

What has been good about The Catholic Guy program is that it has reached many people but not young people on the whole and, we did not expect it would. By having a channel, we can have younger people than me reach out to our young people through very specific programming. They will be more effective and relevant. Having said this, we also know that young people are no longer watching television in a linear manner, which means according to the timetable but instead on demand and online on their devices at the times it suits them.

We, therefore, are going to launch CATHOLIC TODAY Inspirational Lifestyle Television and Media Network. It will include a linear channel initially in English but in time other languages. This will be broadcast on the internet and through social media platforms plus the new ‘Over the Top’ platforms like Netflix, Google Play, Apple, Amazon Prime, etc thus reaching our young people. We will also have the Channel carried on cable and satellite services. We have also negotiated a radio station that will have the same name.

I have no interest in a general Christian television program or media Network as this is already done by others but only one that seeks to reach disconnected people or those seeking more and thus keep them involved in Church.

Attending Church on Sunday has been the place people have come to faith but if our young people are no longer attending Church where will they get that faith?

I have been around long enough to have had numerous parents say to me, “our children will be ok faith-wise. We are practicing Catholics, who are committed to our faith at home as well as going to Church each week. Some say we have sent our children to the right schools and we are careful with who their friends are and what they watch on television. They will be ok faith-wise.” As I say, I have been around long enough to have heard parents say this to me very emphatically only to see their children now in their late teens, twenties and thirties having nothing to do with Church at all and in some cases beginning to have children of their own and their children having no connection to Church from birth.

If they will not come to us, we must take Church to them. The media reaches people in their homes and onto their devices such as telephones like nothing else.

My discernment in this has been simple: “Lord if you make a way I will do it.”

The two elements we require to do this are experience and know how in the media world and the finance.

Both Catholic and Christian Television executives, producers of well know international television series and dozens of movies, lawyers, business strategists and Church media and evangelization people who have heard about this have offered their experience, wisdom and time.

This whole project is very difficult and challenging but I know with God’s help His perfect will, will come about.

To view the Attached Document that tells our story PLEASE CLICK on the light blue button below. It will take you to a full colour PDF that you can read or print. People ask who are we as a ministry and who am I and why am I doing this. This document seeks to answer these questions.

To be honest the odds are stacked hugely against us being successful. To be able to do this we have had to commit our whole team to this endeavour and all of our resources. You might say, “we have bet the farm.” It seems faith constantly asks exactly that of us, faith. That to walk more deeply and be obedient means at times to step out onto ‘air’ and trust we will not fall.

We could stay as a ministry doing what we are and we would reach many but if we step out onto ‘air’ and do this we will reach millions and millions all over the world but not by me alone but through many who will be given the chance to proclaim Christ but who right now do not have a platform. In particular younger women and men who can reach young people who have ceased being in Church will be given an opportunity like never before.

I could say so much more but there is more to read in the attachment.

You can share this with as many people as you wish. Please ask people of faith to pray.

If ever I have needed your prayer I need it now. (I feel I said that last time as well!!) I suppose this comes from trying crazy things over and over.

After you have read the document you can come back here and make a comment below or by email to BruceDownes@TheCatholicGuy.com

Rosemary and I, along with our staff, are grateful you are in the Engine Room being on the T.E.A.M.

God bless

Bruce


By on 22/06/2018

Dear friends

One month has passed since I last wrote to you and what a month it has been. God has been present to us in amazing ways.

The pictures in this Update are from the Heart Women’s Conference.

 

BEING ON THE ENGINE ROOM PRAYER TEAM

You will recall that the Engine Room Prayer Team was started for the Sunnybank Mission Event a few months ago. It was a remarkable event and we continue to hear the stories of the effect of the event in people’s lives. I believe this was because of the prayers of each of you.

At the end of this I decided that I would continue the Engine Room Prayer Team as I am so aware of the need for prayer support as we proclaim the Gospel around the world. However, I do not want to send these Updates to those who do not feel led to continue praying for the ministry by being a part of the Engine Room Prayer Team.

Therefore, I am asking everyone to indicate whether they want to continue being on the Engine Room Prayer Team.

Just email the sentence below to TheEngineRoom@TheCatholicGuy.com

I want to continue to be a part of the Engine Room Prayer Team

If I do not receive this sentence I will no longer send you the Engine Room Updates.

 

FROM THE AIR

I am writing at 40,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean on my way from Sydney to Dallas. I made the reverse trip just 6 days ago. I had been in the US for the previous 10 weeks but went to visit my son and his wife for their son’s baptism for three days. I then spent two days with our staff in Sydney and was with Rosemary for her birthday.

You will recall from the last Engine Room Update I mentioned how tough it had been as a result of delays that occurred earlier this year. But God has a divine plan that exceeds our understanding. We continue to be blessed amazingly with God providing for us and opening doors I could never have imagined which I will share with you when I am able.

THE HEART CONFERENCES

Your prayers for the Heart Women’s Conferences have been heard by God. There have been two conferences so far with a third starting today and another in a month’s time.

Rosemary my wife who leads the Heart Conference and Ministry, sent this message to me as I have been away after the second conference.

Dear Bruce

Last week I shared with the Catholic Guy Impact Community that we all play our part, but God’s grace runs deep! He surprised me and showed me just how this works.

The second Heart Conference was held a couple of weeks ago. It is the fourth time we have held it at the same venue.

Before the event had even started God showed me a wonderful display of His grace and how he uses and honors the little part we play in His plans. 

Yvonne is one of the floor managers at the venue that we hired. She introduced herself to me on the bump in day (set up day). She said if there was anything we needed that we should go to her and she would help. Yvonne had a lovely manner and the staff at the venue are always so gracious and serve with a happy disposition. 

As we were unpacking our equipment later in the day, Yvonne came and stood beside me and said, “didn’t you hold the Heart Conference in October last year and not June like this year? I said, “yes, but our team had been exhausted coming off a youth conference we also conduct only two weeks before the Heart Conference in late September. So, I decided to move the Heart Conference to June, an earlier time in the year.”

Yvonne said that she had been rostered on last year to do our event and at that stage in life was going through a very rough period in her own life. While working at the conference and being in the room where the talks, prayer and music were she heard some of the talks and said that what she had heard had helped her greatly in her life!!!!!!

So, this year when she saw we had booked again to put on Heart she put her name down to be on the roster for this event, so she would not miss it!!!!!

Bruce, I was blown away – that without even knowing it God was reaching this woman who was in need at the time. God honored us by using us to touch this lady who was employed at the venue to help us. Once again, the gospel works – the word of God saves, teaches, goes forth, changes lives and does not return void.

Oh, to be used by God – and we were – to be worthy of being His servant and we are not but He graciously, mercifully does use us, and desires us to be His hands and feet, to speak with love and truth. May His name be praised. 

Love Rosemary

 

The stories I have heard from the Heart Conferences have been very powerful. Here are some of the comments from women who attended.

Remember, you in the Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M. are responsible for these responses. That is right YOU!   Prayer is the key.

♦ My heart was over flowing with love, emotion and holiness. I learnt more about my faith and the Bible in one weekend than anytime during my lifetime. Thank you for helping me soften my heart. Leonnie

♦ I found the conference to be engaging in a spiritual and emotional level. It came at a time in my life when the comfort was truly appreciated and necessary. Margaret

♦ Attending the Heart Conference for the second time has given me an opportunity to be outspoken and confidently bold about my faith. The speaker’s story of God’s grace in their lives has drawn me to a more personal encounter with God. It is a God moment for me – every aspect of the conference. Thank you.

This was my fourth Heart Conference and confirmed for me why I keep coming back. I love the fact that women are able to express their feelings and not feel intimidated in any way. Heather 

♦ Heart 2018 was an incredible experience. I feel blessed to have attended. I can’t wait for Heart 2019. I have already booked my ticket. Gemma.

♦ Very inspirational and encouraging. Gave me tools to use to grow my relationship with God and those around me. Other women’s stories help me to understand myself better. Lyn 

What a great time away for a few days to spend with a room full of women of varying ages, all on different journeys, and yet journeying towards the same goal. The many speakers, with varied engaging topics, had us captivated but challenged from start to finish. My sister and I are so glad that we were able to spend this time away together. We met some beautiful women. Margaret 

♦ I so enjoyed this conference, my third. Best way to be pampered, inspired and take time out. It’s only once a year, the presenters, the food, the venue all fabulous. Can’t wait to catch up with the friendly faces again. Kaye

The next Heart Conference starts today and runs for three days.

We are going to hold the Heart Conference in the USA. As it will be the first we are going to do it for the women who are a part of the Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M. in the US who are able to attend. More details will follow. If you are interested in helping, please let Rosemary and I know. More details will follow. Write to Heart@TheCatholicGuy.com

For those outside the United States we will send you the sessions to watch wherever you are.

 

PROCLAMATION

Pope Francis wrote a document called The Joy of the Gospel and he started by saying;

The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness.

Joy is a notion that we often confuse with happiness and laughter, and while they can be aspects of it, joy is a far deeper and richer concept. It captures the idea of complete contentment that comes from encountering or knowing someone or something intimately and personally.

The gospel which means the good news, refers to the love of God for every human being and for humanity as a whole. It is ‘good’ because it tells us that while we were yet sinners, cut off from God due to our human frailty, God reached out to us through Jesus overcoming any impediment to us experiencing the fullness of life with God both here and in the life to come.

It is this ‘good news’, the Gospel, that causes us to experience ‘joy’ as a personal reality that fills our hearts and lives.

I say all this to simply say, Jesus can be encountered personally in a manner that we are certain of giving life a completely new meaning.

This new life was introduced to me by a Catholic priest when I was a young teenager. I have never forgotten that I accepted Christ into my life and said, “God I give myself to you. Swamp me with your Holy Spirit so that my life is no longer controlled by me but by you.” In other words, “God, you drive.”

I could take you to the very place I was when this moment that changed the trajectory of my life occurred. I know joy!

It is this confrontation with joy that compels me to share Christ and to invite others to do the same.

You are part of this ministry of proclamation, telling and leading people to Christ. You are crucial to this work. Whether you are from New York in the USA, Cape Town in South Africa, London in England or Sydney in Australia or any of the other places small and large around the world, all of us who work in this ministry, including myself, are relying upon you.

The word T.E.A.M. in the Engine Room Prayer Team stands for Together Everyone At Mission. To me the most important word in this is the word ‘At.’  So often people in the Church talk about getting together and doing mission, that is proclaiming Christ but sadly it does not happen. So often we do not actually find many people ‘At’ it. Together you and I are.

Airline travel is made up of many different tasks. There are the obvious ones such as the pilots and the flight attendants, and then there are engineers, check in people, baggage handlers, flight trainers, cleaners, computer people let alone air traffic controllers, runway service people, the fire people, security etc, etc, etc. Without any of these people a person could not travel by air. All of them make air travel possible.

As a member of the Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M. know that you are crucial to this work of proclamation. Sometimes, like now, I cannot share all of the details of what is happening behind the scenes, but I can assure you that we are working on some world wide affecting initiatives that will take the Gospel everywhere.

The size of what we are working on is so large, it is possibly why it is so difficult at times to carry out. I am sure it is the reason why Satan and evil works against this work in powerful and often niggling ways to disrupt and discourage us.

Please pray for us at this time, as meetings are being held in various places to help us proclaim the Gospel to our loved ones, our friends and the world at large. Jesus said we would do greater things than He did and yet so often we forget this.

For this to happen we need some people to help us who have the ability to do so in a number of different ways. They will need to do it not for the acknowledgement they will get or for what it will give them back but because it is Christ like in laying down their life for others. They will need to do it because it is the right thing to do.

So please pray.

You and I are called to live bold and daring lives in our homes and out in the world. So let’s agree to be the Christians we read of in the New Testament who have encountered and been captured by the love and presence of God in our lives, so that we would live the life of Jesus Christ on earth of power, impact, freedom and purpose.

Together let’s ask and beg God that more people will hear the message of Jesus and respond.

Thank you for joining me and on this daring journey of faith.

Sometimes Rosemary says to me, “do you think we are crazy for trying this?”  “Absolutely” is my only response as it would so much easier to just stay at home. I am inviting you to be a little bit ‘crazy’ in believing we can share Christ with the WHOLE world!!!

Don’t forget to let me know if you want to continue to be a part of the Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M.

God bless

Bruce


By on 24/05/2018

Hello

I pray this finds you well.

It seems like I have been here before and just recently.

It was only a few weeks ago that I arrived from the USA into Brisbane, Australia for a Mission event at Sunnybank. Straight after that I returned to the USA.

Just a few hours ago I landed in Brisbane again from the USA, but this time for the Heart Women’s Conference that starts tonight. In four days’ time I will return to the USA.

Hello everyone in the Engine Room doing the work of prayer for our ministry. I am so grateful for the over 450 of you from countries around the world for committing to pray for the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus.

The Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M.Together Everyone At Mission is the power underneath our entire ministry of proclamation. Thank you for agreeing to pray for our needs and to thank God for his blessing upon your and my work together in the ministry. This is a personal letter from me to you.

 

PRAYER REQUESTS

 

HEART WOMEN’S CONFERENCE

Tonight, the Heart Women’s Conference begins and will be held over three days. In the past there has just been one conference in Sydney, Australia but after receiving emails and calls from women in other cities saying they were unable attend because of distance, employment, family and children or due to age I felt that God was saying to take the event to women. So I shared this with Rosemary.

My wife Rosemary oversees these events. She has had a heart for women for many years. I think it comes from her background as a Pharmacist where she saw the need for care of women of all ages as ministry and not just pharmacy. So often she would come home from work and I wondered whether she had done more Church work than I had.

She would tell stories of crying and praying with women as they told her of the death of their husbands and family members, of the illness of their children and those they love. She would help with elderly people leaving family homes for the last time and inspire young women with their dreams.

While this was happening, God took her on a journey of walking more deeply with him. For years she has sat at our kitchen table praying, reading countless books and studying the Scriptures and the teaching of the Church.

Through all of this she has put up with me and the many times I have been away building a ministry that reaches out, raised our five children, and now has eight grandchildren with one on the way.

Am I boasting about Rosemary? Absolutely. She is a saint in my opinion because I get the closeup view of her life. She is the real deal when it comes to her faith and how she lives it out.

Rosemary has stopped pharmacy work and the Heart Ministry to women has become her full-time work.

Rosemary and I talked at length about taking the Heart Conference to different places and in the end we both felt this was God’s direction. In time, we are hopeful to take Heart as it is referred to now, to cities around the world. It is a remarkable event as it is not just a knowledge event but as the Popes have said in recent years an ‘encounter’ event with Christ Himself.

In the next 72 hours women will experience the power of God in ways they never thought possible. It is a beautiful event and I feel very privileged to play a part.

The theme of Heart this year is from Romans 12:2;

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Can I ask you to pray from Thursday evening until Saturday evening for all of the women who will be in attendance? For the speakers who have flown in from different cities and that God would work in the life of every women who attends. Please also pray in advance for the Sydney, Melbourne and Perth events over the next couple of months and then that God would lead us to other places.

 

HAVE YOU EVER FELT FRUSTRATED?

As all of you know I spend a little more than half my time a year now in the USA. When I was at the Vatican on August 26, 2006 and the thought of making a Catholic television program arose on that day, little did I know what God had in store for me into the future.

Television today in its many forms of delivery via traditional television, cable, satellite and now the future of television the internet, penetrates to every corner of the world. On July 19, 1977 as a teenage boy when I felt the call to proclaim Christ around the world, I had no idea and could not have imagined how this would occur. The internet and modern communications did not exist.

Three years ago, when I was approached about being on television from the USA which goes all over the world, I also never would have thought just how hard it would be to do. Maybe that is why when God calls people, all He promises is the grace to be able to respond when it is needed. All He wants from us when we begin is our ‘yes.’ It is why the Scripture says, “we walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Earlier this year during the Lent Videos, I shared a prayer that I have come to pray often;

“Lord here am I, do in me, as you will.”

I have found this is a very dangerous prayer, which is no doubt is why numerous people at various times have said they could not pray it. They were frightened of what God might ask of them. I vry much understand how they feel.

For maturing Christians dying to self is at the center of our lives. This is where Jesus wants us to experience His presence, power and the Kingdom of Heaven on earth as we become more dependent upon Him.

Unfortunately for confidentiality reasons, I cannot share the details of the following just yet, but I have been offered the opportunity to proclaim Christ around the world in a manner that will fulfill that calling I experienced as a teenager in a much, much larger way than even when I started in the USA three years ago. In time an announcement will be made by the companies and ministries involved. I am not permitted to say just yet, but I can ask you to pray.

The past three years have been a struggle and a joy at the same time. Learning new ways at an international level has stretched Rosemary, the team and me in ways that I did not know we could be stretched.

Challenges and obstacles have needed to be overcome time and time again. So often I have cried out to God, “Father God help. Why so hard? Surely you want your Son proclaimed? We are trying.” I have sat in hotels exhausted from trying so hard and feeling very alone.

Just when the thought of pulling back has occurred to me I have had people, out of the blue, send a story of how the ministry touched them or someone they love. People have called to say don’t stop when they have had no idea of what I was and am going through.

Rosemary’s spiritual gift is that of faith and time and time again she has said to me, “keep going. Do not give up no matter what you and I have to do.”

Back in January when all of these opportunities began to take us to another level of proclaiming Christ I thought, “here we go.” It was then that the retina in my eye detached with imminent blindness expected within days going to occur if I did not have emergency surgery. This meant I could not travel to organize the opportunities being given to us. You know this story. At first, I was told I would be good to travel within four weeks. I was so frustrated at the time because we were on the verge of breakthrough.

This did not occur however, I was stranded for nearly three months. In this time our funds exhausted yet the doors continued to open to us. If we had that three months we would have been more than ok.

I have to be honest and say I have screamed out to God and said, “Not fair. Not fair. So close and yet so far.”

I am currently writing a book titled, ‘You Have To Fight For Your Promised Land.’ It is based on the story of the Chosen People in the Bible entering into the Promised Land where they had to fight for what God had promised them. Their Promised Land was occupied just like ours is whether it be for a great marriage, career, family, etc. We always have to work hard to achieve what God plants in our heart for our future.

We have fallen short by just three months of being able to take up the opportunity to proclaim Christ on a massive scale. At the same time to achieve what we have, we had to leave behind the safety of the security we had in the past.

A friend and his wife who have helped tremendously, asked me last week why not just stop and go back to Australia and the ministry I am doing there and forget about this idea of proclaiming Jesus around the world through television. We were eating dinner at the time and I thought to myself as I sat there, ‘that makes so much sense.’ I even repeated through our conversation, “I could just go back to where I was and keeping doing that.”

I have to admit there is a certain appeal to what they said, the pressure, the fight would be over. No more catching planes every 2.83 days of my life. No more hotels and hotel food. No more loneliness and missing my family. No more thoughts of, ‘am I mad.’

I knew however, in what we Catholics call our conscience, what they suggested which makes so much sense was something I could not say yes to. That I have to keep going no matter what.

As we have come to the end of our funds, Rosemary and I are going to sell our home and use the money to keep our staff together and get us through the next three months by which time we will have set up for the next step. When we have done crazy things in the past we normally don’t talk about them publicly, but Rosemary wanted me to ask you in the Engine Room to pray knowing that you will keep this to yourself.

The possibility of touching the lives of people with Christ around the world is a risk we do not think we can walk away from.

Should what we are working for be successful, we will have the ability to train priests and lay people with a method of proclaiming Christ that transforms the world. I am often asked by Bishops in the US and Australia if I will speak to priests. It will raise money to support ministries and charities in the Church. It will promote vocations as it has in the past. I just spoke to another young man who is considering priesthood as a result of coming in to contact with the ministry. We will launch youth and young adult programs particularly to reach young people finding it difficult to connect with Church. We will continue to promote ecumenism and the encouragement of Christian Pastors and Churches who also proclaim Jesus.

If things do not work out like we think they will and we lose everything then God will look after us. He is our everything. The ministry will end everywhere but God will still be on His throne deserving our praise, worship and adoration. His plans and ways are greater than ours.

Rosemary believes we should at this time, ‘bet the farm’ which is another way of saying use everything we have for Christ.

So, will you please pray for God’s will and provision as we try to proclaim Him.

In sharing this with you I would remind you of the two rules to be in the Engine Room.

RULE 1.       This is a personal letter from me to you and not for you to share with others, put on websites or blogs or distribute to your prayer groups or communities. I am writing to you. If you want to share it with others send me their name and I will write and explain the Engine Room to them. TheEngineRoom@TheCatholicGuy.com The Engine Room is the only group of people that I personally oversee.

RULE 2.       Being in the Engine Room will only work if I can share our real needs. I am not asking you to do anything or donate anything because of what is shared. If you feel God lead you in some way no problem, but that is not what the Engine Room is all about. All I am asking you to do is pray.

Having shared this, please do not forget to pray for the Heart Conference over the next few days.

Please also pray that people will come to help us, not because they will get anything from it, but just because of what Christ does in people lives to set them free for eternal life.

Feel free to pray, comment or ask questions below. The Engine Room Prayer Community is the only group that I am able to answer questions from. I will answer below as well. The reason for this is that prayer is the most important activity we can undertake and so the Engine Room is a priority for me.

You can also write directly to me at BruceDownes@TheCatholicGuy.com

This is miracle territory my friends. God will bless all of us and build our faith.

Thank you for your prayers.

Bruce & Rosemary.


By on 10/05/2018

My Engine Room T.E.A.M.

 

I pray this finds you well.

I am writing to ask if you would like to continue on with me in the Engine Room by praying to God for the needs and work of the ministry as we proclaim Christ around the world.

I call it the Engine Room because it is the place where we come to God in prayer who is the source of all power. Prayer is the fire underneath our ministry.

The effect of your prayer and intercession on the Sunnybank event in Brisbane, Australia a couple of weeks ago was amazing. So many things happened in people’s lives behind the scenes it was truly remarkable.

That is the first time we have sent the recordings of the sessions out to anyone. They are normally for sale only but as you were praying I wanted to bless you with them. From to time I will send you recordings but not with every email.

Remember to be on the Engine Room T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone At Mission) there are just TWO RULES you need to know.

  1. Pray in your way for the needs we send you. ‘Your prayer is great prayer. God hears you.’
  2. I will write very personally so please do not share it with others. It’s personal between me and you.

If you know someone else who would like to be on the Engine Room T.E.A.M. get them to write to me first on TheEngineRoom@TheCatholicGuy.com

If you do not want to continue on in the Engine Room Prayer TEAM because you thought it was just for Sunnybank, no problem at all. Thank you. Just send me an email and I will make sure you do not receive any more emails.

 

So here are the prayer requests:

I am writing at a particular time when we are facing challenges that only God can overcome.

PRAYER REQUESTS

 As I have shared in the past, in my final year of school I believe God put on my heart to proclaim Christ ‘to the ends of the earth’. To be truthful, I did not really understand how this would happen or what the details of it were or whether it was just the encouraging thoughts of a teenager in prayer.

It is this vision that decades later still captures me to my very core.

When television on a small channel came into my world I was stunned. Not what I had thought I would be doing but potentially it could go around the world even though at the time it did not. Because God knows our future he prepares us now for what is to come. From Easter Sunday April 12, 1998 I started speaking once or twice a week and then on March 4, 2006 the small television program began and every week I spoke learning how to share faith. I have kept every talk I have given since April 12, 1998.

People do not know their future, but God does, and He prepares us not just with the skill of our hands and mind but mostly by doing the difficult work of transforming our heart, integrity and spirit. This is what God needed to do in me. Conversion is the spiritual work of our lives as we are conformed into the likeness of Christ.

During this time a Catholic Archbishop consistently prompted me to go and speak in Catholic parishes and conduct events of renewal or Mission/Events as they came to be known. In the end reluctantly, I agreed but thought it had no potential. How wrong I was. Tens of thousands of people came over the next few years and they still do. A good number of you in the Engine Room have attended one of these events. The recent event in Sunnybank in Brisbane was one of these.

Then a little over two years ago the door opened to the truly international world of television that operates out of the USA going into every continent in the world. US television executives had seen our little program and approached me. While I was intrigued I didn’t really know if it was possible. It was here that Rosemary encouraged me to go to the USA and see what God might say and do. So, I came to the USA knowing just one person and thinking I was probably just being crazy.

I soon met three other men, one in Tulsa and I had no idea even where that was. Another in a high-rise building in Chicago and a third man who worked on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. None of them would want me to use their names.

They changed my life because they believed that Jesus was worth proclaiming. Many of you from around North America, across Australia and the Pacific, throughout Asia, in countries around Africa, all over Europe owe much, without exaggeration to these three men who believed in you by making this ministry possible these past two years. They have changed so many people’s lives by being on the T.E.A.M. – Together Everyone At Mission. Everyone knows me and is thankful to me, but true sainthood is what happens without any thought of applause. These three men are the workers in the field who will hear the words of Jesus, ‘well done good and faithful servant. Your faith has saved you.’

I owe them so much.

At first, I was unsure if it was even possible as I nor my team had any understanding of how ‘big time’ television works from a production, financial or management perspective. The past two years have been an education at fast-forward speed.

Since we began on the international television program from the US however God has healed, restored, renewed, encouraged and drawn people to encounter Him as their Lord and savior. People have joined Churches, sought forgiveness of those who they have offended and where they are now alone have become brave enough to face the future. Marriages that were shaky have been restored. Young people have encountered Jesus. Priests/Pastors have been strengthened. People have sold homes, changed careers and courses of study because they have encountered Jesus through this little television program. It is an amazing journey.

These three men mentioned above have done this along with my amazing staff and the volunteers who make it all possible

All of this has happened because our loving Father loves people. He loves you.

 

THE CHALLENGE

By you being on the T.E.A.M. through the Engine Room Prayer Team you add the power of prayer to the effort of so many people contributing their skills, talents and resources because prayer is the ‘jet fuel’ that releases God’s grace, mercy and sovereignty over the ministry. You are critical to our Mission of proclamation.

In January we were all very excited with where the ministry was going and then the injury to my eye occurred that could have meant certain blindness if I had not dealt with it immediately. I was told I would be ok in four weeks’ time, but it turned out to be nearly three months.

The injury kept me from traveling which, as my last Engine Room email said, has put the entire ministry in jeopardy from a financial perspective because everything came to a screaming halt when the injury occurred at the end of January.

I arrived in the USA two Saturdays ago.

I write to ask if you the Engine Room will pray.

I have spent the last few days in Dallas, Texas and am writing tonight from Tulsa, Oklahoma USA.

While we face this huge challenge, at the same time the greatest opportunity of my entire ministry career has just been offered to me in the past two weeks that will affect the lives of millions of people around the world. At the moment I am not at liberty to speak about it but without any exaggeration at all when I do tell you, your only response will be to say God is amazing.

If the incident with my eye had not come about, preventing me from travel, this opportunity to proclaim Christ may well have passed by all of us.

So, I am writing to ask you to pray;

  • For the CRITICAL meetings that will take place in the next seven days.
  • For the ability to proclaim Christ powerfully in a life changing manner.
  • For those who are far from God today for any of a number of reasons.
  • For those who are shaky in their faith that God can strengthen them.
  • For the families of all of us on the T.E.A.M.
  • For the provision that we need right now to get through in light of the delay mentioned above.

 

SO HOW DO WE MOVE FORWARD FROM HERE IN FAITH.

For those of you who were either at Sunnybank in Brisbane or watched the third session titled, “Walking Daily with God’ the answer is there. If you did not see it just click on the picture below after you have read the email.

In Genesis 15:1-6 God makes a promise to Abraham and that is that he will be the Father of a great nation even though he is 100 years old and his wife Sarah who is 90 years of age is past child bearing age. God in effect makes an impossible promise. What is more is that God promises through this boy that Abraham’s descendants will number more than the stars.

Abraham’s response is that he believed the Lord could do it and it was credited to him as righteousness. In other words, he was in right standing with God for he trusted in God’s promise of having descendants numbering more than the stars. He believed the impossible because God had said it.

God honors His promise and Abraham and His wife have a child named Isaac in their old age.

In Genesis 22 we read the story of the tests. God directs Abraham to offer up his son as a child sacrifice. To do it he has to prepare his supplies, walk for three days, go to the place that God directs Him, build an altar of sacrifice and then bind his son and kill him.

On the surface this is a horrible story that is unimaginable, but all of these steps were purifying the man before God. It is the same in our lives when we walk toward what we believe God is asking of us and we take all the steps and organise all that has to be done because God has said it in our heart.

The underlying story however is where we find ourselves today as a ministry. God was saying, Abraham do you really believe me? Do you believe that I will be faithful to my promise that your descendants will number more than the stars if I remove this boy from you? Do you believe my word to you?

The reality is if we want to walk more deeply with God, the only way to that depth of encounter is through faith in God and his unlimited nature in all things.

In other words, we must say, “God if you are in charge I will believe in you no matter what my circumstances. If you take away Isaac from me I will believe in you or if you leave Isaac with me, I will believe in you.” I am unchanged in my belief in you by the circumstances that I face.

Equally we must say, ‘if you close down our television and traveling ministry I will believe in you and if you let the television and traveling ministry keep going and expand in ways that I simply cannot imagine, I will believe in you.

For me personally, it means my confidence and trust must be in the word, the conviction that has been in my heart since I was a boy, that you have called me to proclaim the Gospel around the world and if you stop this, you will open another door.

What we are saying when we do this is, “God I trust in you no matter what.”

It is in the midst of being in the presence of God no matter what, where the surrender of our lives to God happens and we are transformed in ways we cannot imagine. It is in this submission where our power comes from as we encounter God.

I write to ask that you would pray that God’s will would be done in what we are facing. I don’t know fully just yet, why my eye problem occurred when we were doing so well but God does. I think I am beginning to see why. God has a plan. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a book about these three month when God worked miraculously so that the message of Jesus could go around the world.

So please pray and I will join you.

As I finish please remember what the rules of the Engine Room Prayer T.E.A.M. are that I am trusting you will keep;

  1. Pray in your way for the needs we send you. ‘Your prayer is great prayer. God hears you’ whether you pray many times a day or remember this intention just once in a day.
  2. This is personal between you and me so please do not share it with others.

I am looking forward to telling you how God works.

BIBLE

I am very excited that we will be publishing a Bible that will give people the ability to follow the messages on television and online by page number as well as book, chapter and verse.

In the front of the Bible I have put the Application, Reflection Method (ARM) that I have written and use to study the Scriptures and write the Messages or talks that I give as well as use in prayer.

I have two other books that will be released soon but there is nothing that I will ever write that will surpass the Bible. It has truly changed my life as I have heard God speak loudly through it.

I feel greatly privileged to make the Scriptures available to people who have never read them before. Their lives will be changed as we read the Word of God together.

Please pray and comment below.

Father in Jesus name through the power of the Holy Spirit hear our prayer.

Amen.

 

With love

Bruce