Are You Ready to Share Your Wisdom With the World?

I want to tell you about something I made that can help you or a friend or family member change people’s lives.

Years ago I wanted to help people discover the Catholic Church. So I started blogging and sharing with them arguments for the Catholic Faith that I had read and learned during my time as a Catholic.

Slowly my audience grew, but often people asked me what book I would most recommend for a Protestant thinking about Catholicism. I gave them various recommendations–all great books–but none of them were the perfect book that I wished I had had to give to them.

I wanted to write that book, but I didn’t know the first thing about it! So I just started writing, and after several months I had a big heap of words that I thought might be made into a book. I pitched my idea to several Catholic publishers, and they all rejected me.

So I self-published!

writing2Self-publishing was new at the time, and I felt like a pioneer on an undiscovered landscape. I navigated the foreign terrain and self-published my book, If Protestantism is True. I made some blog posts about it and sent copies to friends to read and review.

Then a surprising thing happened: the book started getting more popular. Not Harry Potter popular, but selling perhaps ten copies per day, which for me was incredible. Amazon reviews started pouring in, most favorable, and people began writing me telling me the book had helped them to become Catholic.

What a great feeling!

That book went on to get completely redone and published by a Catholic publisher, and it has continued to help people, thanks be to God.

Over the years people asked me how I did it, and I told them that I wasn’t quite sure. Maybe I got lucky? Or had a special grace? Perhaps that is true, but in the time between then and now I studied how my book did well and how others have had similar success in changing people’s lives for Christ.

So I distilled that information and experience into an inexpensive video course that any Catholic can take!

Three of my friends were interested in learning how they could write a book in the areas they are passionate about–leading Catholic Bible studies, youth ministry, and apologetics to the Protestant churches of Christ denomination–so I created the course for them and recorded the videos so that any Catholic interested in helping others by writing a book could learn the key ingredients.

You can write a book and help others through it, but in this day and age it takes building your platform first, and in this course you learn how to do that, building an audience that is interested in your niche.

In the course you will learn how to:

  • Create a WordPress blog on an inexpensive hosting service
  • Build your greatest asset–your email list–using a free service
  • Learn best practices for choosing your niche and writing on your blog
  • Use social media strategically to grow your reach
  • Understand the simple ways to connect with Catholic publishers
  • Avoid the mistakes I made bumbling through ten years of blogging and rejections
  • See great examples of non-fiction book proposals to pitch to Catholic publishers
  • Negotiate the best royalty rate that you can
  • Understand your self-publishing options
  • Successfully self-publish your book (if you don’t find or want a publisher)

This is the ultimate guide to building your platform and becoming a Catholic author. So go check out the course intro video and the videos from the course I’ve made available for you to preview before you even sign up for it.

Perhaps you or a friend you know has wisdom or knowledge in a certain area of our Catholic Faith that others would benefit from? If so, please do share this with them!

So many Catholics have great riches to share in their wisdom and experience. Perhaps God is calling you or a friend to write a great Catholic book to bless people’s lives.

“Father Is Too Busy to Give You a Blessing”

A Protestant read my book and messaged me on facebook asking for help. He is becoming convinced of the Catholic Church’s claims but has visited the Catholic parish in his area and received a cold shoulder, even when he and his wife asked for help.

I have to say showing interest in the Catholic Church is nothing like evangelical Christianity. We still have not met with the Priest or Deacon. We went a few times but there was no interaction at all before or after Mass so we did not feel welcome and had no clue on what was going on. After going a few times and calling to have the priest or deacon come talk to us we stopped going after not hearing back.

He eventually called and said he was really busy and would get with us this week during the week and he has not as of yet and as it is Friday I don’t see it happening. Pretty disheartening for the Church of Christ.

We were very excited about it but now it just seems like no one cares and so are just going back to sticking with studying the Bible. Did you experience the same thing or similar when you became Catholic. I have read a lot online that this is a big problem in the Catholic Church but I had no idea it would be this bad. Any recommendations for us. Crazy that God has brought us to the Church and it is zero priority for anyone there to help us in any way. Who knows maybe this is more of a test for them than us in God’s eyes but boy is it discouraging.

Crazy and disheartening is right, but not uncommon.

First off, go buy Shaun McAfee’s book Filling Our Father’s House. Shaun speaks as a recent convert who experienced similar things.

I asked for more detail, and my friend described to me this (pathetic) situation:

We talked to the deacon at St. (Redacted) Catholic Church in (Anywhere, USA). The first time we went we didn’t have even one person talk to us beyond a hello or smile. You are right in it requiring that we make the effort. Before this church we also called St. (Miscellaneous) and again same thing no call back from Priest. We went there once and it was again cold and no interaction.

Compare that to one day a couple weeks ago when we went to (Evangelical Protestant mega church). We show up there and they had special parking for new people. You then are taken in and welcomed in and talked to by a number of people. We got the same reception while attending (Other popular Protestant church). People interested in who God has lead to them and eager to welcome them to Christ and help where they can.

Very sad Brother as both times at the Catholic Church the best word to describe it is cold. Very sad for us as we are alone down here and need a support structure that churches have offered us. We truly will choose Christ over this support and feeling of fellowship from a church family but it has been very surprising.

I grew up Mormon, came out of that false religion into evangelical Christianity and in both of those environments there was extreme support and welcoming. With the Catholic Churches we feel like we are imposing.

An example you might find interesting is we have felt like we are under a spiritual attack since looking into Catholicism. Nothing going right and very hard times to discourage us. As my wife was raised Catholic her family would get a priestly blessing at these times. We figured it would help in what we were dealing with.

bureaumanMy wife called desperate multiple times to St. Miscellaneous. The secretary said again that they were busy and she had sent an email so we would just have to wait. She did mention that we could come get a kit to do it ourselves with holy water like it wasn’t a big deal. Another surprise as I thought the big claim of Catholicism is authority. As we didn’t know what we were doing I told my wife we would wait for the Priest or Deacon.

When he finally called I told him we really felt we needed a blessing over us and our home and he again said they have a kit and anyone can do it. I had my wife go get the kit and the holy water and the paper said we needed bread, wine, etc in the prayer, not holy water . We did it anyway in a makeshift way with the holy water. That brings us to the deacon saying he would call us this week in our conversation and nothing.

I could call a mormon church tonight and they would be at our door immediately to share their false christ. I could call an evangelical church and get a similar though not as extreme response at least with the right Christ in most cases. That is kind of my question to you also. Do you think it is this way by Gods design? The other churches make worship about the people, what makes them comfortable and happy whereas the Catholic Church has it about God alone. If that is it then great but it has been a hard thing to know for us. If you think that might be it then it would be great to understand more on it.

You are literally the only Catholic who has spent time helping us understand and your book was awesome. I really hope it works out for us as we are lost.

Where to begin with this story? We all know priests and deacons are busy but the very thing they should be busy about is serving these people. Giving them blessings, blessing their house, exorcising demons, bringing people the sacraments, and sharing the good news of Christ.

Too many parishes are run by little functionaries “doing a job,” filing papers, and stamping documents. All that is necessary but is supposed to be so that people can meet Christ and His Church. Bureaucracy was made for man, not man for bureaucracy. The process is not the end goal.

I don’t know what is contained in the DIY Home Blessing Kit, but having a priest bless your home is standard and Church-approved. Sure, you can and should sprinkle holy water around your house and invoke the Trinity with the sign of the Cross. No doubt that that is good, but having a priest do a formal blessing is even better. A hierarchy of authority exists, in the temporal and spiritual world.

The fact that they were told to get a “kit” to bless their own home so they would quit bothering the priest and deacon–and then that this kit required bread and wine (what?)–is ludicrous. I guess images of It’s a Wonderful Life call to mind when they give bread and wine to the family moving into their new Bailey savings and loan home. That’s lovely but is something different than a home blessing by a priest.

Demons Don’t Wait for Committees

This is pathetic. Take a possible case of demonic possession, influence, or infestation. Yes records need to be made and kept for various reasons, but someone shouldn’t have to go through weeks of paperwork and back-and-forth to have a priest come out and help them.

My friend Dan Lord had demonic forces afflicting him (influence or oppression I think) even after becoming Catholic. He needed a priest to be able to discern what was happening and then to rid him of the demonic attacks. You don’t make a guy going through that wait for months while you fill out paperwork and take it up in committee. Get a priest out there who is trained in this area and help the guy. Even if it turns out it is not anything demonic, the priest can help the person with resources, listening, counseling, and so on.

Fortunately, not all parishes and dioceses are like this. The Church is being revitalized and renewed in countless places and ways. But the experience of my Protestant friend is not rare, unfortunately. Is it any wonder that many Protestants, even when becoming convinced of Catholicism, prefer the warmth and welcome of their Protestant community over the cold shoulder of the Catholic Church?

The fullness of truth is found in the Catholic Church but we are often sorely lacking in actually living that truth. This is a call not just to clergy but also to lay people. Start a group in your parish whose members will visit people like my friend: visitors, newcomers, and inquirers.

When you are at Mass be attentive to other people and who might be looking for a welcome. Go up and say hello.

Lord Jesus, help us to be people who welcome others in Christian love. Wake us up; break us out of our routine and comfort; set us on fire with zeal and love for you and our neighbors. Amen

Someone Has Won the Master Apologetics Collection

And her name is Isabel from Florida!

Isabel was generous to share a bit about what winning these great books means to her.

Q. Do you have friends or family you talk with about Catholicism? What made you want to enter the contest?

Isabel: I married a Baptist in the Catholic Church who began asking me questions about Catholicism about a year into the marriage. I won’t lie and say we have had civil conversations about doctrine; its been a battle.  But this tribulation has helped me to grow in my faith and I began learning why we do the things we do as Catholics.  In the process I am also trying to teach my family, since I want us all to be convinced Catholics!

Q. Which three books are you looking forward to reading the most?

Isabel:
1. The Fathers Know Best, by Jimmy Akin
2. The Protestant’s Dilemma, by Yours Truly
3. The Eternal City, by Taylor Marshall

apolo1The Fathers Know Best: because I have been reading and listening to several audio courses and have become aware of how important the Early Church Father’s are to our understanding of Christianity.

The Protestant’s Dilemma hoping to have more answers to the questions my husband has and to understand different Protestant beliefs and how to explain why those beliefs are based on misunderstandings of what Christ intended.

The Eternal City: Rome and the Origins of Catholic Christianity to have a better understanding of our origins and to defend Christ and the Church he established.

I am extremely grateful and excited to have the opportunity to own and read these books. God Bless You!

Thanks Isabel, and God bless you as well. I think that the books are going to a very deserving person who will be putting them to good use.

Of course, I wish I could give this collection away to all 1,400+ people who entered the contest. Thank you for entering and for sharing it with friends. You will be receiving regular updates from me with exclusive apologetics tips and content to help you become an apologist and defend your faith.

Recently a facebook friend and commenter sent me this incredible message about how my book has helped her:

I am so glad that I read your book, “The Protestant’s Dilemma”. I have been having a running discussion with some non-Catholics. Your book has been very invaluable in comments that they have made, sacraments, having a pope, to history/tradition. For each statement that was made, I was able to find in your book the “rebuttal”, I guess you could call it….And I stated that I had read the book, and I thought they should read it, too. And that they should follow you, Now, I am praying that some seeds have been planted.

Deo gratias. That is God working through us and is amazing.

Look for more contests in the future. I’ll probably hold one once per quarter. But I have to save up some money before the next one, as I personally buy all $254 of books and ship them out to the winner! Thanks again for entering and God bless.