So many things are vying for your attention nowadays that it’s difficult to discern where to give your time, energy and money. One book promises to unlock your true potential. A popular podcast claims to contain the secret for your success. An upcoming conference assures your renewal. From radio programming to articles on the internet, there’s no shortage of information on how to improve your life: financially, personally or spiritually.
However, not all of the information you see and hear in competing media platforms applies to you. And in some instances, the advice of one “expert” author, speaker or media personality directly contradicts the advice of another “expert” in the field.
Who Do You Trust?
So, how do you sort through all of this information? How do you decide whose advice to take and whose to leave? How do you figure out where to invest your time and attention, especially when it comes to your spiritual growth?
Christ gave us the best litmus test. He gave us the surest way to detect Truth from fiction, good advice from bad: by their fruits. Jesus tells us that we can judge the wise advisers, authors, podcasters and conference speakers from the foolish ones by the fruits they bear.
By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:16-20
By Their Fruits
If you want to discern whose advice to take, look critically at the giver and ask yourself what fruit has their work borne. Has their expert advice led others to grow closer to Christ in His Church or has it led their audience away from Him? Do their books, articles and comments inspire holiness or selfishness? Does the formula they prescribe follow Jesus’s example or does it contradict His actions and His Word?
Having attended Ignited By Truth Catholic Conferences since their inception, I’ve seen its fruits time and again over the years. This year was no different.
From its humble beginnings at Cardinal Gibbons High School, the IBT conference has grown to reach an audience of nearly 3,000. The 2019 one day event sold 2,800 tickets, which included almost 800 youth tickets. And more importantly, the fruits of IBT continue to ripen long after the conference day wraps up each year.
From Ears to Hearts
That truth was proven to me again recently. While patronizing my family’s restaurant, a woman told me that 2019 was her first IBT conference experience. She shared her positive impressions about the day: about the speakers, the topics, the vendors and the venue. Overall, she was satisfied with the experience.
But one thing that she said really hit home for me. After listening to speaker Susan Brinkman‘s presentation on the dangers of New Age practices, the woman was convicted to make some concrete changes in her life. Until hearing that presentation, she’d never considered that her yoga meditations or visits to a spiritual medium could be endangering her soul. Once she heard Brinkman’s warnings, her heart was moved to reconsider these activities and to learn more about her faith.
And this attendee’s story isn’t an extraordinary one. For 17 years now, audience members have been extolling the enduring fruits borne in their lives. From the couple who changed their stance on life to a local conference vendor who puts the principles of the Catholic faith into action as a healthcare provider, the impact on the Catholic community is undeniable.
Having the privilege of seeing behind the curtain as an IBT team member, I know first-hand that the mission isn’t about financial profits. The mission of this conference is to gain souls for Christ. Clearly, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that mission is succeeding.
Purchase MP3s of the 2019 IBT Talks
Fr. Larry Richards: “Be a Saint”
Dr. Peter Kreeft: “Questioning the Eucharist: Who, What, Why, When, and Where?”
Susan Brinkmann: “Learn to Discern: Is it Christian or New Age?”
Dr. Tim Gray: “Authentic Reform in the Church”
Adam Blai: “The Allure and Truth About Wicca and Witchcraft”
Nick De La Torre: “Fear is the Enemy of Love”
Ignited By Truth Store SHOP HERE. Share the gift of this conference with others!
Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of 8 living children, with 6 more heavenly ones. She works as a freelance writer and speaker. Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in NC where they own/operate a restaurant, teach NFP and raise 2 dogs, 2 cats, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog, Blessings in Brelinskyville.