Category Archives: Marriage

Last Brain Exercise for 2014

Catholic men should be spending 30 minutes in focused thought to start their day. Non Catholics should do the same. Here are my suggestions for 12/31/2014.

Meditate on Sacred Scripture:
◾Proverbs 31
◾Psalm 31

Situational Response. Eliminate any persons from the scenario who do not apply to your family.

Proverbs 31 is about a virtuous woman. Take some time today to meditate on your spouse and your marriage. Thank God. Pray for your spouse. Count your blessings.

Not married? Pray for your vocation. If you are called to marriage, pray for your future spouse. If you are called to celibacy, pray for the relationships you have. If you are called to religious life or the priesthood, pray for the Church.

Share any good ideas from your drill time in the comment boxes.

 

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Focus Drill Idea for 12/24/14

Catholic guys should spend 30 minutes in focused thought to start their day. Non Catholics should too. Here are some suggestions.

Meditate on Sacred Scripture:
◾Proverbs 24
◾Psalm 24

Situational Response. Eliminate any persons from the scenario who do not apply to your family.
◾You are at an office party
◾Your spouse and children are at the movies
◾A co-worker says he/she has a room at the host hotel and invites you up for drinks

◾What is your response?
◾Now what do you do?

Hey.  I didn’t say every scenario would be about survival situations.  You need a game plan and general course of action for situations like this too because men and women are put in near occasions of sexual sin often.  When a temptation arises, we are always better off having a game plan.

By the way, the best rule of thumb in situations like this is to politely excuse yourself.  “No.  I really should be heading back.  It’s my night to read to the kids.”  It’s not perfect, but I think it works better than running out of the room screaming.  However, if that works for you, be my guest.

Share any good ideas from your drill time in the comment boxes.

Lessons from the Wrestling Mat – Finish Strong

shute vs swainAs I have mentioned before, I am a wrestling coach.  This weekend, our boys had their first tournament of the local season.  More than half of my wrestlers were brand new to the sport and had never experienced a live match outside of practice.  The rest were seasoned vets with at least 2 years under their belts.  I expected the new boys to be timid, green, and possibly disheartened should they lose quickly.  I expected the veterans to show up ready to go and back into the zone.  What I saw was an absolute surprise. Read the rest of this entry

Tactical Catholic Podcast Episode 006: Catholic Marriage and Vocation

Tonight on the Tactical Catholic Podcast, we will talk about the wonders of Catholic Marriage and Vocation.  Whether you are called to the Sacrament of Matrimony, are currently married, or are discerning a call to live as a single person in this world tonight’s show is for you.  Tonight on the podcast, join us and share your stories, comments and questions.

  • How did you meet your spouse?
  • How did you know you were called to the Vocation of Matrimony?
  • What are some things you do as a couple that help strengthen your marriage?
  • What are some ways single persons can discern marriage vs. a call to the single life or a call to Religious life?
  • Where can you go to find a good spouse?
  • What if one spouse is strong in the faith and the other is not?
  • Welcoming children
  • Embracing the single life

I have a whole list of things we can talk about, but what will make the show special is for YOU to interact.  Send your comments and questions to the show by posting a comment below this article.  Tell us what’s on your mind or ask us a question.

Don’t forget to tune in tonight LIVE at 9pm central.  http://www.fiatministrynetwork.tv.

 

 

 

Gotta Love Catholic Women

Typically Tactical Catholic tends to aim our writing and podcasts at Catholic guys. However, we understand that in many homes it is the wife who is the spiritual weightlifter.

Ladies, I am going to make myself explicitly clear, and I want you to read this carefully.

Read the rest of this entry

Catholic Guys Need Encouragement

Catholic ladies, I’d like to make an appeal to you.  We, the Catholic men of the world, need encouragement.  Fewer and fewer of us understand the great weight that is placed upon our shoulders to be the men that God has called us to be.  Those of us who do understand the gravity of our vocation are often overwhelmed.  We feel as though it is us against the entire world and that the odds are steeply stacked against us.  These men need to be reminded that we are not alone and that we have our women to support and love us, whether you are our spouse, our friend, our sibling, our parent, or our child.  We so appreciate prayer and a word of encouragement.  Don’t stop praying.

Those who do not understand what it means to be a man called by God are living in ignorant bliss, like little boys with their toys.  Well, these men also need your prayers and support.  Without a nudge here and there and a challenge to better ourselves, we might otherwise hang on to childish ways and self-centered living, even within the sacrament of matrimony.  Men respond to a challenge, so challenge us.  Show us that you love us regardless, but give us a challenge to step up our game.  Bring us to a couples conference, challenge us to a scripture reading showdown (I can show you how to do this one), see who can out love the other.  Get us moving in the right direction.  And pray pray pray pray for our ongoing conversion.

Whether we are called to the sacrament of matrimony, holy orders, religious life, or the call to live as a single person in the world, women and men are designed to compliment one another.  We work best when we work together.  So consider this a challenge from us.  Love us fiercely, and refuse to let us slack off.  Do not let us sit idly while others grow in their faith and love.  Never cease to pray for us, and always ask the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope….

The Key to Effective Evangelism

I have been an evangelist since 1990. In the last 24 years sharing the Gospel as a Protestant and, since 2002, as a Catholic, I have learned a lot about how to effectively share Christ with others. Today I give you the number one most effective witnessing tool you can have in your Gospel arsenal.

It’s honesty.

Yes, honesty. Honesty trumps knowledge (you can always find information), quick wit (usually gets one into trouble as it leans to sarcasm), physical appearance (in fact, it enhances it), and even doctrinal purity (which can always be corrected).

Why honesty?

Ever bought a used car? The salesman was dressed neatly, he was super knowledgeable with regards to the vehicles, he probably was clean cut, and he likely had answers to all your questions with little or no hesitation.

You bought the car.

Did you notice anything later about the car you wished you had known? A feature missing, a blemish, a mechanical imperfection, a smell?

Full disclosure would have been nice, eh?

When you witness, before you share a word about Jesus you are sharing yourself. What you present must be honest. You must be honest, genuine, real. Speech, knowledge, and appearance can mask dishonesty, but cannot overcome its absence. In the end, you are a liar and the Gospel equivalent of a used car salesman or politician.  The world has a really good BS detector and if you’re not the real deal you will be found out.  Believe me, I know.

In 2002 I had a great ministry career and a growing family.  My ministry was my top priority, often at the expense of being a good dad and a good husband.  My priorities were way off, to say the very least.  You can fool some people but you can’t fool the people who know you the best, and you definitely cannot fool God.  The most important battlefront for sharing Christ was the battlefront of my own home and I was losing.  To this day, I am working to make reparations for the damage I did through my attitude, distance, and selfishness.  Few knew of this because public ministry is, well, public.  But my wife knew and my small (at the time) children knew that daddy was supposed to do more than he was doing.  God had to hit me with the “spiritual 2×4” to knock sense into my brain and make me see I was not fulfilling my vocation and that He was prepared to take steps to move me in the proper direction.  Full disclosure is what was necessary, and that meant resigning.

If you expect people to flock to Jesus and place their faith in Him, they need first to see that Jesus has made a difference in your life, is making a difference in your life, and will continue to make a difference in your life. Try to present one thing and live another and you will build a case for the other team.  How much more refreshing would it be to stand as a fell0w beggar who has found a place to eat to say to the other beggars, “Please come with me to the place where I found nourishment.”  Bring them to Jesus because his mercy and generosity in your life has changed you.

Pride and fear make it hard to be real.  In fact, the scriptures tell us that “The fear of man brings a snare” (Proverbs 29:25), but we have to kick pride and fear in the gonads. We must present reality for it is in the lived witness of the Christian that people place their trust. I will give you another example.

Years ago, some friends and I wanted to understand Mormonism and foster a dialogue with Mormons. So we ordered a Book of Mormon and accepted the invitation for a visit. Before our first session, my friend counseled us against argument and focusing on obscure teachings. Our goal was dialogue and earning the right to be heard. Therefore, we were going to listen and not introduce conversation without first being invited. We also agreed to total honesty regardless of our comfort.

The Elders arrived and were warmly welcomed by us. We sat in our den and let them do their thing. When asked why the invite, we told them the truth. We answered their questions, but mostly we listened. At several times in the discussion, topics of morality and family life came up. In particular, the divorce rate among Baptists (I was Baptist at the time) was mentioned as we discussed marriage in the Mormon faith.  We did not argue and agreed how saddening it was to know the rate was truly that high.  We were honest even regarding our own personal moral struggles. By the end of the first session we were beginning to have dialogue. 9 sessions later, we had gained new friends, an understanding of Mormonism, and the knowledge that those guys had seen our faith in a real way. All defenses were down. We could speak freely about matters of faith and morals. We had respect for one another as children of God, while still acknowledging (and discussing) the many theological issues that divided us.

So?

So be honest. Guys, we have a huge opportunity to engage our fellow man in dialogue. Big topics for guys: Faith in Christ, true masculinity, lust, pornography, drunkeness, marriage, parenting, selfishness, finances, anger, true love, and those are just a few. Do you struggle with any of those? I do. Struggling is not something to hide. We can be honest.

Dude, if you are an addict, you know there is no magic zap that takes the desire away. It is grace, hard work, accountability, and time that brings recovery. We can share our struggles. Somebody you know needs to hear how God is helping you improve your life. They need to see it is possible for them. SHOW them Jesus in your life through the grit. Victories and pitfalls are part of the same story. Man up and be real.

Preparedness Question: Who Knows Your Plan?

From time to time I ask you guys about preparedness situations so I can get you thinking about things before they happen. In a disaster or traumatic event, seconds matter. If your brain is trying to work out a solution in the event of an emergency, bad situations can get worse. So, if you don’t already, think of at least some common scenarios and what you would do. Having an idea now will help you respond better if and when a crisis occurs.

But that’s not today’s post.

Let me assume that you are a thoughtful guy. You have already formulated general plans for what to do in the event of . . .

  • fire
  • earthquake
  • power outage
  • flood
  • intruder in home
  • school invasion
  • riot
  • attack at office
  • etc.

Good for you. At least you are trying to think ahead. Now, the big question. Who, besides you, knows your plan?

I’ll wait. Think for a second or two.

Nobody? Well, buddy, you gotta change that. To the extent that your plan involves others (example family evacuation of home in event of fire) those persons need to know the plan as well.

Take the time to tell them their role. Explain what they need to do, what you will do, what your wife will do, and who will back the other up should they be unable to perform their duties.

Start today. Talk a little each day.

Video Fixed. Let’s Start a Video Podcast

Now that we have video solved, we are moving forward with the podcast.

I tested my mobile audio kit this morning, and I will be adding this raw first episode of The Tactical Catholic very soon. I do wanna check the levels and stuff, so it may be tomorrow before it goes up.

So, if all goes according to plan, I will have the audio only for you and (later) the video as well. So you can pick.

The video is gonna be fun because we will be recording LIVE. You will be able to call in, chat, tweet, whatever. Anything goes. It’s THUNDERDOME!!

Your interaction is key, and it starts now. Talk to me. Give me feedback. Stroke my ego or tear me a new one. Suggest. Comment. Fight. Argue. It really doesn’t matter.

Get going on the participation. I am gonna look at some audio files in Audacity.

Catholic Babies: We Make ‘Em

Congratulations!

Fantastic!

Wow! Way to go!

Yay! So excited!

Are you going to do something after this one?

Don’t you know how this happens?

How could you do this to your wife?

You know you have choices.

You need to do the responsible thing.

All common responses to your newly announced pregnancy. By the way, we are expecting. The responses above are a sampling of the actual responses we received. All came from professing Christians. They represent the gamut of opinion in our world today.

It is difficult to explain, even to other Christians, why we do not practice contraception. They cannot grasp the concept, being themselves so steeped in the contraceptive and self-centered mentality of this age.

Children are not a harvestable commodity, nor are they a disease to be innoculated against, nor are they a choice. Children are a gift from God. They are a blessing every married couple should be open to receive.

So we aren’t going to live in a fancy house or take huge european trips. Who cares? We take family trips. We have family outings. We eat our meals together. We go to Mass together. We pray together.

It is our mindset to be other focused. That is what those last commenters and the world that teaches them do not get. We live for our kids. They are not accessories. We invest everything we are in them. They, in turn, learn the value of sacrifice, selflessness, faith, trust, community, and real love.

I love my wife. I lay my life down for her. She does the same for me, for better or for worse. Our kids love us and one another, through all the typical sibling scuffles. Living for the good of another is love. God loves us in the same manner, sparing nothing to draw us ever nearer.

Dudes, I am not saying have a million kids. I am saying change your mindset today. Love those kids. Love your wife. Live totally for their good. When you and your wife come together, be open to receive new life. It requires sacrifice. Above all it requires total self-giving love.

Have the courage to love.

By the way, my typical response to “Do you know how this happens?” is, “Sure do. We’re good at it too. Want me to explain it to you?”