Subject: KINGDOM UPDATE: "Grimner's Grand Halloween Wager" by Greg Schlueter | RADIO: "Courage in the Workplace" Bishop Daniel Thomas | PREACH IT with John Michael Talbot

View this email online if it doesn't display correctly

On a chilling All Hallowed's Eve, a curious encounter transpired between two otherworldly beings – Grimner, an emissary of the netherworld's darkest depths, and Gabriel, a celestial messenger from the realms above. Their ethereal discussion revolved around the enigmatic holiday of Halloween, a unique battleground for the souls of humankind. One side sought to seduce, while the other endeavored to unveil the profound mysteries that lay beneath the surface.

Gabriel: (with a sly grin) Ah, Grimner, you're as persistent as a nagging ghost in a haunted house. Your tricks may be clever, and your treats, sweet for a moment, but let's not forget the grand plan here - the cosmic tug of war between divine intimacy and diabolical distraction.

Grimner: (chuckling wickedly) You always bring that heavenly perspective, don't you? Of course, we know all true goods are all well and good, but you have to hand it to us! How we’ve been able to twist consumption of good into rejecting the Almighty Good!

Gabriel: (shaking his head) Deception, deception. Your forte. But remember, it's the choices they make that truly define them. They might wander in the darkness, but eventually, they'll yearn for the light.

Grimner: (bemused) Case in point! How many of His despicable little maggots on this very night are preparing to pour into getting their little treats, or attending their parties… without the slightest mind of this occasion that you and I very well see is about eternal souls… (slight chuckle) while tomorrow the pews will remain nearly empty! While most will remain oblivious! (with a sinister grin) And look at those masks! Tell me that doesn’t say it all?! Even if only in small and capricious ways, if for only a moment, we get so many of them to identify with— well, one of us! Donning the cloaks of grotesque things. Unholy things. And the rest? Often revealing the objects of their regard, or reverence, or “worship” higher than God. Ah, it’s the plot of the ages! The… plot… of… the… ages! He made them for Himself. We rebelled. He offers everything. We offer nothing. They reject Him. They embrace us. Let’s keep this great friendship thing going! And fresh! With a new wager!

Gabriel: (joyous bearing, but disconcerted at the truth) Speak, malignant tumor.

Grimner: (laughing) I resemble that remark! Anyway, here’s what I have in mind. It’s one thing for those walking down our road hand-in-hand with our nefarious friends “Fashionable,” “Cultural, “Normal,” or, my favorite, “Inclination” (etc.) completely unaware of who’s leading them, or where it’s leading! It’s quite another, and so much more delightful, to see those boldly holding out their heavenly compasses as an excuse to remain wandering in the wilderness!

Gabriel: Whatever are you talking about?

Grimner: (turns to serious) It’s Halloween. Eve of a “holy day” filled with our Enemy’s presence we’ve all but turned back into a pagan feast. What you call holy days of obligation, we work to make unholy days of divine rejection! But we don’t want to rest on our laurels! Here’s what I propose. We’re not talking about those already walking with us. This concerns your “A” team. Those who profess our Enemy. Those who commit to religious activities. Those who would raise their hand if asked if they want to be holy, if they want their children to go to heaven!

So… in the weeks following Halloween and into Chris… (gagging) ‘er, that Day, let’s have a showdown! For our mutual amusement, let’s invite all the realms to spectate! The camera will be fixed on their religious activities outside their homes, their Sunday worship, their men's groups and women’s groups and bible studies; their special programs and series and podcasts! And this is where it gets good! We’ll turn the cameras to what’s happening in their homes!

Gabriel: (curious) And what do you expect we’ll see?

Grimner: You have to hand it to us! Religious self-satisfaction is the key, a subterfuge, keeping them from earnestly looking at the big question: Are they actually about becoming saints, and making saints, where it matters most: in their homes! Let me tell you, my dear Gabriel, we’re capturing children of your “faithful” one religious activity, one “latest program” at a time! Let them spend hours, days if they’d like, in their “holy activities” so long as they don’t spend a fraction of that in committed daily prayer, or believe enough in the power they profess to make it happen in their own homes! The more religious their activity, the better! As I’ve said, holding out the compass while wandering in the wilderness! How this fertilizes their children’s souls with weeds of incredulity and indignation! They come to be inoculated against the real power they profess! How successful we have been in them equating “faith” with empty, meaningless, powerless calisthenics.

Gabriel: (arching an eyebrow) Ah, you're delving into the heart of the matter now, Grimner. You're suggesting that with all the mitigating distractions, a season following Halloween and leading up to Christ's Mass (Grimner shrieks) could play out before the heavenly realms, offering families the opportunity to receive God's grace, to set aside busyness for blessedness… and suggesting they’ll choose busyness?

Grimner: (nodding enthusiastically) Precisely, Gabriel! We both know it’s not fair— He made them to starve for what only He can provide. This is where we show the power of distractions. What God offers in these gatherings can be rejected, and come Christmas, they'll find themselves feeling no different, in fact, all the more hungry! And I’ll wage further! They’ll continue cycling through their religious activities without any real impact on their homes. As they remain no different now from last year, I’m wagering they’ll be no different next year! And this whole “holy” business will be further reduced to absurdity! It's a game of wills, my friend! A test of priorities, and a showcase of the influence of our netherworld.

(grinning, leaning in) So, about that wager, old friend. How about we see who blinks first? Who gives in to their desire for more “candy” or their longing for something greater? The battle of distractions versus devotion.

Gabriel: (with a thoughtful look) You're making it a cosmic game show, aren't you? Distractions versus devotion. It's tempting, but remember, I'm on a divine mission here. The show isn't my priority.

Grimner: (chuckling) Fair enough. We'll let the humans play their part, and we shall observe. Let the All Hallowed's Eve extravaganza commence!

As the celestial adversaries ended their conversation, the defining challenge was declared, one that would test the hearts and souls of humanity in the weeks to come – the 7 Week Challenge. This challenge beckons families to gather in the sanctity of their homes every week, to engage in conversations and prayers, prioritizing this sacred communion above other activities. It was a call to recognize the importance of relationships and shared moments of devotion, a challenge that would lead them to the door of Christ's Mass, to receive blessings beyond measure.

The celestial audience is watching with anticipation, eager to see whether families will embrace this commitment to encounter the divine alive in their relationships. The celestial stage is set. A seven-week journey filled with the potential for healing, growth, transformation, and strength that will have a permanent impact on souls. What side are you on? You decide.

 CATHOLIC REVIVAL STATUS: $17,350 of $125,000  

For over ten years we've been helping thousands of families make their homes places of ever-deepening encounter with Jesus Christ. We're motivated because, beyond great programs, homes are "the cornerstone of civilization." (Pope St. John Paul II). We need your help. 

LIVE IT THIS WEEK: "Humble Greatness" 
October 30- November 5, 2023

A simple guide to help your family grow in holiness. (full version)

What would be your design of an entirely new Halloween custom? (submit your fun question)

View our new, fun, 60 second story and message at

GOSPEL | Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

What struck you in this reading? Challenged you? Inspired you? What questions did it raise?

Going around, affirm how you have been blessed and/or inspired by each person this past week. Encourage him/her.


Everyone go around and share...
1) Something you’re grateful for?
2) A recent victory?
3) A current challenge?
4) An affirmation of someone?
5) Something meaningful happening?

We are families united in more fully seeking, proclaiming, living and building the Kingdom.

Family Live IT (LIT) Gatherings are strengthening marriages and families throughout the country. The road awaits. Join us. 
TUESDAYS 8P and SATURDAYS 2P or on demand now!

On Sunday's Gospel

Today, Jesus instructs us to observe and be obedient to the scribes and the Pharisees because they sit on the chair of Moses. He emphasizes not to dismiss their authority but also not to emulate their actions since they often fail to practice what they preach. He highlights how they tend to wear extravagant clothing, seek special seats of honor, and are motivated by ambition, power, and career advancement.

In the Catholic Church, however, the most influential bishops I've encountered are different. They were true servants of God during their service in parishes and outstanding pastors. It's important not to hastily accuse the Pope, bishops, priests, or deacons of resembling the negative traits of the scribes and Pharisees. While some may exhibit such behaviors, many are genuinely devoted pastors who deserve respect.

We should distinguish between honoring them for their service and not imitating their actions when they stray from the principles of the Gospel. The question for all of us is whether we practice what we preach. Being a Christian goes beyond merely declaring it; it requires living like one. Jesus, in a comedic skit featuring Jimmy Kimmel as himself, illustrated the absurdity of statements made by supposed Christian political candidates, highlighting the disparity between their words and Jesus's teachings.

Let us consider if our words and actions align with what Jesus would do when we put on His figurative shoes. Often, they do not, making us resemble the scribes and Pharisees. Therefore, let's repent and strive to ensure our actions mirror our beliefs. By doing so, we will be more credible in our Christian journey. This is my prayer for all of you, as I love you dearly, and I firmly believe that with God, all things are possible.

We want to send you 100 awesome parent prayer blessing cards for your parish or organization. GO: PRAYER CARD
who want more than a fleeting moment, but a way of life. 

Amazing resources, events, media and connection in one place.


"The future of humanity passes by way of the family."
~ Pope St. John Paul II


IMAGE TRINITY, 7433 FOX LANE, HOLLAND, OHIO 43528, United States
You may unsubscribe or change your contact details at any time.