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What If This Is Your Last Advent?


 

Catholic speaker, author and radio host Gary Zimak announces the Following The Truth Advent Radio Retreat

Whether we like it or not, one of these Advents seasons will be our last. Could it be this year?

The Church teaches that Advent “makes present the ancient expectancy of the Messiah” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 523), but for many of us Advent gets lost in the shuffle as we prepare for Christmas. When was the last time you made use of the four weeks of Advent to prepare to welcome Christ more deeply into your life? If you’re like most people, you’re probably way too busy baking, shopping and running around to focus on spiritual matters during the Advent season. But what if this year is your last Advent on earth? Are you prepared to tell the Lord that you had more important things to do than spending some time trying to get to know Him better?

Beginning on December 1 at 8 PM Eastern on The Gary Zimak Show on BlogTalkRadio, I will be leading an Advent Radio Retreat. Every Monday-Friday for 30 minutes, we’ll look at Scripture and discuss ways to better prepare to welcome the Savior more deeply into our lives. In addition to Biblical readings, I’ll be using some rare material from out of print books all designed to bring you and Christ closer together. Simply put, there is no other Catholic radio show that will present a retreat like this. Best of all, there is no cost, you don’t have to purchase any books and you won’t even have to leave your home!

Want to learn more? Tune in tonight (Monday, November 10) at 8 PM Eastern as I discuss more about our Advent Radio Retreat. If you miss the live broadcast, you can listen to the archived podcast (after the show airs) by clicking here.

How important is it for you to grow closer to Christ this Advent? Are you willing to invest 30 minutes a night? I look forward to you being a part of this retreat. Please share the invitation with your friends and email me with any questions.

God Bless,
Gary

Are you looking for a speaker for Lent of 2015? I still have a limited number of dates available and I would be honored to speak at your parish or conference. Please contact me ASAP to inquire about availability. In addition to my new Give Up Worrying For Lent talk, a list of my most popular topics can be found here.

Are You Worried That The World Is Falling Apart? Here Are 5 Bible Verses You Should Know…


 

Catholic Speaker and author Gary Zimak discusses 5 Bible verses for those who are worried about the world

Let’s be honest…there are some frightening things going on in the world. Every day we are bombarded with news about Ebola, Isis, financial uncertainty, data breaches and many other threats. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, advanced technology now makes it possible for weather forecasters to alert us to the possibility of tornadoes and hurricanes. In the same way, the popularity of the Internet makes it difficult to escape from “bad news”. It often seems like there is no place to hide. As soon as we wake up in the morning, we are deluged with troublesome news. When we couple that with our family, job and personal concerns it’s easy to see why worrying has become an epidemic.

As someone who has always tended to be anxious and the author of A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible and From Fear To Faith, I get it…I really do. It’s understandable that so many people worry. Fortunately, I’ve discovered that with the Lord’s help and a little effort on our part, we can experience peace even as the world around us seems to be falling apart. The good news is that God is still in charge and that nothing that happens surprises Him. If you’re worried about the state of the world, here are 5 Bible verses that you need to know. While the messages contained in these verses may seem simple, remember that they aren’t being expressed by “just another person”. These are God’s words and they are addressed to you. Take them seriously!

1. “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) – Jesus never said that we wouldn’t have problems, but He did tell us that He is bigger than any catastrophe or threat that could occur in the world. He also assures us that we can experience peace if we stay close to Him. That’s a very nice promise.

2. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though it’s waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Psalm 46:1-3) – This is a great prayer for those times when you feel overwhelmed. It might not feel like it, but the Lord is always in control.

3. “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” (Matthew 8:25) – Even though Jesus was in the boat with the disciples during the storm at sea, they panicked because he was asleep. With these words, they woke the Lord up and He calmed the seas. Instead of worrying, try using these words the next time you feel like the world is falling apart. Jesus loves it when we turn to Him when we’re afraid!

4. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) - What makes this passage so amazing is that it was written by St. Paul while he was in prison. Have no anxiety? Pray with thanksgiving? You’ll receive peace? Pretty convincing advice coming from someone who is sitting in a jail cell! Although Paul wrote these words, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is God’s message to you. It’s one that should be read often.

5. “I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) – The final verse of Matthew’s gospel assures us that Jesus will never leave us. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget to turn to Him when we are anxious and troubled. Even though the world seems crazy, Jesus is right next to you. That makes me feel good. How about you?

So what do you think? After reading these Bible passages, do you feel a little better? I’m guessing that you do. While there are many similar messages contained in the pages of Sacred Scripture, these passages give us a good starting point. Pull out your Bible, highlight them and make it a point to read them the next time you begin to panic about what’s going on in the world. The more you get used to hearing God speak to you through the Bible, the less you’re going to be overcome with fear about Isis, Ebola and financial uncertainty. Instead you’ll be hearing another message, one which we should never forget…

“Do not be afraid!” (Matthew 28:10)

Here’s Proof That When We Ask, God Answers!


 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak discusses how God answers our requests

Earlier today on my weekly “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” segment on EWTN Radio’s Son Rise Morning Show, I discussed a powerful Bible verse. What I love about this verse is that it’s very simple, but contains an incredibly important message:

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Don’t make the mistake of dismissing the Lord’s words as fluff or just something addressed to a particular person in a specific situation thousands of years ago. These words are addressed to you! God is assuring you that if you ask Him a question, you will receive an answer. Every day I’m faced with a series of decisions that I have to make. Some are trivial, but some are important – especially in God’s eyes. How do I know what He wants me to do? These words are proof that if I ask for help, He will respond. But what about those times when He seems to be silent? You know as well as I do that there are times when the Lord doesn’t seem to respond to our cries for help. Is He really ignoring us or are we not listening?

The prophet Jeremiah did not have it easy. In fact, when the Lord spoke the above words to Jeremiah, he was sitting in prison! King Zedekiah didn’t like one of the prophet’s previous messages (given to him directly by the Lord) and decided to throw him in jail. While that appears to be a nasty outcome for Jeremiah, it actually made it easier for him to hear God speak. When you’re in jail, you have a lot more time to hear the Lord’s voice and you’re anxious to do so! What’s the lesson for us? If you want to hear God speak to you, make sure you spend time listening. As Fr. Larry Richard’s so “eloquently” puts it, “Shut up and listen!” We’re never going to hear the Lord speak unless we give Him a chance.

While there’s much more that I can say about this topic (and I will soon…see below), here’s the message we can take away from the Lord’s words to Jeremiah (and to us):

1. If you want to know what God wants you to do in a given situation, ask Him. He will answer!

2. Give Him a chance to respond by spending time in silent prayer (in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, if possible).

3. If you don’t hear anything, be patient. He may not want you to do anything right now.

4. Keep asking Him for direction. The Lord likes us to stay in contact with Him and often helps us to remain engaged.

5. If God wants you to do something, He will eventually let you know what it is. Don’t get frustrated. As much as it drives us crazy, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)

I’ll have much more advice about this topic in my new book Faith, Hope and Clarity: How To Know God’s Will (coming in May, 2015). Click HERE for more information or to pre-order.

Following The Truth Comes To Real Life Radio!


 

Following The Truth with Gary Zimak on Real Life Radio

I am thrilled to announce that my Following The Truth radio program will be a regular part of the new 24 hour Catholic radio network, Real Life Radio. Every weeknight at 9 PM Eastern, you and I will get to spend 60 minutes together discussing Jesus, praying, reading the daily Mass readings, exploring ways to stop worrying and other good stuff. The show will be live so we’ll even be able to take some phone calls. I’ll be joining such notable Catholic personalities as Sean Herriott, Patrick Coffin, Mark Shea, Fr. James Kubicki and many others as we take to the airwaves to spread the “Good News”. A complete list of the Real Life Radio hosts can be found here.

Want to learn more about the Real Life Radio network? You can view (and read) General Manager Leo Brown’s “Astonishing Announcement” here. I’ll keep you posted with further updates. And, in case you’re wondering, I’ll still be doing my daily 30 minute BlogTalkRadio show. This new program will be completely original and will give me the opportunity to reach many more listeners. Please keep us in your prayers and spread the word about Real Life Radio!

5 Lessons We Can Learn From Jesus’ Calming Of The Storm


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak disusses Jesus calming of the storm at sea

When I speak at parishes and conferences around the country, one of my favorite Bible passages to discuss is “Jesus Calms The Storm At Sea” (Matthew 7:23-27). Basically, the disciples follow Jesus into a boat, a great storm arises, and the Lord calms the sea. Simple, right? Unfortunately, this story is so simple that we often miss some key points. If you’re struggling to stop worrying about Ebola, Isis, the stock market, personal health issues, job loss or many other problems, here are 5 important lessons you can learn from this powerful story:

1. The Disciples Followed Jesus - When Jesus got into the boat, the disciples followed Him. We should do the same thing every day. Following Jesus faithfully will not only help you to stop worrying, but it will get you to heaven!

2. Even Followers Of Jesus Have Problems – Just because we’re followers of Jesus doesn’t mean that we won’t have storms in our lives. On the other hand, following Jesus will give you peace, even in the midst of those storms. (Matthew 11:28)

3. Don’t Panic If Jesus Is Silent - Even though Jesus was asleep in the boat, He was very much in control of the situation. If it seems like He has deserted you, don’t worry…He is right beside you!

4. Cry Out For Help – While it is true that the disciples panicked when the storm arose, they had enough faith to do something very productive – they asked Jesus to help them. Worry is always useless, but prayer is always effective. Although we may not get exactly what we want, we will get what we need.

5. Learn To Look Back - After Jesus calmed the storm, “the men marveled” (Mt. 8:27). Looking back at the many times Jesus has helped you is sure to increase your faith and help you to deal with future problems.

Just as He did 2,000 years ago, Jesus can calm the storms in your life and help you to experience peace. Imitating the disciples at sea is a great idea. Give it a try and see what happens!

Finding Peace In A Crazy World!


 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak disusses how to stop worrying while living in a crazy world

Are you growing increasingly uneasy about all of the craziness in the world? Do you find yourself worrying about Ebola, Isis, date breaches and the state of the economy? Relax! Jesus Christ is bigger than any of these problems and He doesn’t want you to worry. Beginning tonight at 8 PM Eastern on the Following The Truth radio show, I’ll begin a 3 part series designed to help you to stop worrying about the world’s craziness. The only script I’ll use is my Bible.

Please join me for 30 minutes each night as we hear what God has to say and look for practical ways to stop worrying. Please share the news with your friends. The only thing you have to lose is your anxiety!

To Jesus Through Mary…One More Time!


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak discusses his renewal of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

To Jesus Through Mary!

Three years ago on October 7, 2011 I formally placed my life in the hands of my Blessed Mother, Mary. On that day, along with several hundred listeners of my nightly radio show, my wife and I consecrated our lives to Jesus though Mary using the method popularized by St. Louis de Montfort. Earlier today at Mass, Eileen and I once again renewed our Total Consecration to Jesus though Mary. As has been the case for the past three years, we were joined (spiritually) by my listeners. To date, I have been fortunate to lead approximately 2,500 individuals through the Total Consecration process.

I would like to thank all of you who participated in the Total Consecration process with me. It has been a privilege to guide you through the 33 day preparation period. I’m grateful for your prayers, support and financial contributions. I can’t wait to hear about the great things Our Lady accomplishes in your lives. I’m also thankful to Tony Mullen and Ray Mooney from MyConsecration.org. Once again, they have generously provided the consecration materials free of charge. Most importantly, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for sharing His mother with me. I am beyond grateful for that gift!

For those of you who have not made your Total Consecration, I strongly encourage you to do so. Entrusting your life to Mary will bring you closer to Jesus than you ever thought possible. Please contact me if you’d like more information about this devotion. It’s the best move you’ll ever make!

Moving From Fear To Faith On EWTN!


 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak visits with Jim and Joy Pinto on At Home With Jim and Joy on EWTN

I recently had the chance to visit my friends Jim and Joy Pinto on their new EWTN TV series, At Home With Jim And Joy. We discussed my battle with anxiety and how the Lord has helped me to stop worrying and experience peace in my life. In addition, we took calls from the viewers and shared our own personal stories about the role our faith plays in combating worry and stress. I hope you enjoy the program and please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. Thank you and God Bless!

Doing God’s Will Doesn’t Have To Feel Good!


 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak discusses the fact that it doesn't always feel good to do God's will

“Father, if you are willing, remove this chalice from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

In the course of my travels, I have met many people who genuinely desire to follow God’s will. Many of those same individuals, however, are concerned that they aren’t doing a good job with the task. Do you know why they are concerned? It’s primarily because they don’t “feel” like doing what God wants. Let’s be honest, my friends…enduring suffering, reaching out to those in need, stepping out of our comfort zone and forgiving people who have hurt is generally doesn’t “feel” good. What we need to remember, however, is that a desire to do God’s will has nothing to do with feelings. Rather, it is a conscious decision.

When Jesus asked His Father to let the suffering pass Him by, He was expressing natural human feelings. The Lord could have suppressed these feelings, but He chose not to. By doing so, He reminds us that it’s perfectly acceptable to dislike suffering and to ask God to remove it from our lives. In spite of that aversion to suffering, however, Jesus chose to consciously submit to His Father’s will. Instantly, a feeling of fear was transformed into an act of obedience and love.

Back in the days when our twins were babies, my wife and I didn’t exactly plead with one another for the chance to feed them when they woke up in the night. Even though we loved Mary and Elizabeth, neither one of us “felt” like waking up to comfort them. While it didn’t “feel” good, we did it because we loved them and it was God’s will that we tend to the needs of our children. Despite what we may hear or believe, love isn’t necessarily a feeling. While there are often emotional feelings associated with love, it is primarily a decision. We can choose to love someone, even if we don’t “feel” like it. Submitting to God’s will when we don’t “feel” like it is a great way of expressing our love for Him.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t always enjoy doing God’s will. Sometimes it’s not fun for me either and it certainly wasn’t always fun for Jesus. Doing God’s will isn’t about feelings…

It’s about LOVE!

At Home With Jim, Joy…And Gary!


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak discusses how to overcome anxiety on EWTN TV's At Home With Jim And Joy

On Thursday, September 25, I’ll be joining my friends Jim and Joy Pinto on their new TV program, At Home With Jim and Joy. We’ll be discussing how a personal relationship with Jesus can help us to overcome worry and stress. The program will air live on EWTN TV at 2 PM Eastern on September 25 and will be rebroadcast on September 26 at 5 PM Eastern and September 28 at 2 AM Eastern. I hope you’ll be able to tune in!

If you miss the show, don’t worry! You can also purchase a DVD of the episode from EWTN Religious Catalog HERE.