I first heard Steve Ray speak at the Michigan Catholic Home Educators conference a few years ago. He graciously stepped forward when our previously scheduled speaker, Fr. Groeschel, was hospitalized after being hit by a car.
I went to his talk on Church history thinking that I had already heard it all and I didn't expect to really learn anything new. Boy, was I wrong! (God has a way of humbling me over and over again.) Steve had a whole new way of looking at the history of the Church. He brought it alive for his audience through the geography of the Holy Land. Yes, geography. He had been to the very places where the Prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles had walked and Ray enthusiastically shared his experiences with us. Enthusiasm: that's what makes a great speaker. If you're enthusiastic about your subject matter, so will your audience. And that day, everyone in the audience was enthused about Bible history!
More recently, this last weekend to be exact, Steve came to the Lansing area with his friends Mark Shea, Roy Schoemann, Gary Michuta, and Rod Bennett for an apologetics conference. I missed it because I was 400 miles away at a homeschooling conference in Pittsburgh. All my friends tell me that I really missed out. (800 people showed up; twice as many as were expected!) Fortunately for me Chuck, the sound guy, is a dear family friend and he dropped off CD's of all the talks for me this morning.
If you would like to hear Steve's talk, Chuck uploaded it to: http://www.glorybe.cc/CA/SteveRay.mp3. It's large (68.3 meg) but well worth the band-width!
On a similar note, we absolutely love Steve's video series The Footprints of God! We're collecting them one by one and can't wait until more are released! Rob uses them in his CCD class (confirmation students) and we've used them in our homeschool. I encourage to not only check this series out yourself, but get your public and church libraries to buy the series. This is something that should be shared with the masses!
To learn more about Steve Ray's ministries visit his website, discussion group, or blog.
Or see his books:
Crossing the Tiber (I have an autographed copy!)
Upon This Rock
St. John's Gospel (No, of course, he didn't write the gospel. He wrote a commentary.)
The Papacy Learning Guide
And to check out tapes of his talks: Defenders of the Catholic Church
But more than anything, I recommend the videos/DVD's The Footprints of God.