Category Archives: Parenting

Entitlement Should Not Be a Thing

entitled pigs

Today is Free Comic Book Day.  So, I took two of my kiddos to the comic book store.  By the way, if you’re reading this on May 2, there is still time to get to your shop and take advantage of this really cool offer (at least one free comic book and usually great deals on other stuff).  Back to my story.  So, I was at the comic shop and I was super excited to know that there was a Captain Canuck as well as a Doctor Who comic in the freebie list.  I was walking around and looking at the books, both free and non, and then I heard something irritating.

Ugh!  Your free wi-fi signal is too slow.  This is really bad.

I thought to myself, “This is a public commercial property.  They are under no obligation to provide you ANY wi-fi, and you are complaining about the speed?  Don’t you have a smartphone in your hand…the kind that requires a data plan?”

This woman and her husband walked past the cool cosplayers in their hand made outfits (really good job, folks!) to the rack containing the selection of free comics.  The owner explained the rules to a group of us who had walked in.  Everyone gets a free comic just for breathing and being inside the store.  If you purchase $4 of merchandise, you get one of each of the free titles.  That means 50 comic books for $4.  Can you guess where this story is going?

Ugh!  That is ridiculous.  You mean they are not all free?  I have never had to pay for any of the comics on free comic book day.  The other stores don’t make you pay to get more than one [Yes, they do].  We have done this for years and they never made us pay.  Are you serious?

Hulk……anger……rising………Must……not……smash……larynx.

The more I listened to the lame rant of this lying “customer” the more I suspected that she was likely going to each of the area comic stores to get additional copies of the comics for resale later.  That made me a little angry, but I also thought to myself, “Wifi Lady just has to pluck down $4 (buy the new Iron Fist) and she gets 50 COMIC BOOKS FOR FREE!  So if she goes to the 3 local stores that I know of, for a mere $12, she can walk out with 153 COMIC BOOKS.  Greed much, lady?”

After that rant, the lady and her companions took their one free book each and departed.  Guess $4 was too much to pay for 51 comics.  I just consulted my calculator.  That comes down to 7.8 cents per comic!   Guess what we did.  We bought some comics.  In fact, my son bought 3 books anyway and got one for his sister.  So we left with 53 books that my kids (after I filter the stack) can share.  I also learned that Q from STNG will be coming to the Memphis Con in November.

There is a disease in this country (possibly others, but I only really know about ‘murica) called entitlement.  Here, that means that men, women, and children are being taught that they are owed something for which they themselves did not work, toil, or prepare.  They merely want it and expect someone else to provide it.  Entitlement is closely related to greed, sloth, gluttony, and consumerism.  All are disordered and sinful.  They fail to take into account the feelings or work of another in order that they may mindlessly consume, in this case, comic books.  The disease of entitlement runs rampant in America.  In fact, in some areas of our country, entitlement is used as a means to build a dependent class of society, a voting block that has been indoctrinated to believe that apart from the government’s hand they can do nothing.  Entitlement unchecked grows like a cancer.  It fuels illogical resentment and creates enemies out of everyone.

What can we do to stop this?

It starts at home, and by “home” I mean wherever you happen to be.  You can be at Wal-Mart, your house, your office, or the ballpark.  Start with yourself and your own attitude towards goods and services.  Know and appreciate the things you have and the means by which they arrived at your disposal.  Refuse to abuse goods and services.  Say THANK YOU.  Don’t be a butt to persons.  In fact, be a good tipper and a courteous customer.  Teach your kids the value of goods, services and the virtues of a hard day’s work.  Be a good example of hard work to your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, and especially your family.  We can do this.

Don’t be like the wifi lady.  Be better than that.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to write a note of thanks to the owners of my local comic shop.

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Tactical Catholic Podcast Episode 025: Sheep?

If Tommy jumped off a cliff would you follow?

What are we supposed to do? Should we follow, question, refuse, or what? What role does trust and faith play? What of authority issues?

We are going to talk sheep, shepherds, brains, zombies, parenting, bad bosses and more tonight at 9pm. Join us.

http://www.fiatministrynetwork.tv/live

 

Tactical Catholic Podcast Episode 016

Live tonight at 9pm central we will discuss the Superbowl, nachos, youth sports, the hidden danger of ribbon, a d the virtue of wrestling (always).

Also, you will learn why I must despise Disney now. It’s true.

Join us tonight at http://www.fiatministrynetwork.tv.

Download us on iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein, YouTube. We are everywhere! Leave us some feedback would ya?

Thoughts from a Catholic

Go read this right now. https://thoughtsfromacatholic.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/winning-back-the-youth-of-the-catholic-church/

Now!

Best Christmas Gift Ever

What was the best Christmas gift you ever received as a kid? Do you remember? Of course you do. What was it?

Please use the comment boxes to tell us.

For me it was an Atari 2600. I still remember opening the box on Christmas morning. Mom and Dad had gotten me the 2600 and a few games to boot. I FLIPPED OUT! I knew my folks were not crazy about video games, but they got me the system. Just thinking about that day brings back so many fun memories of swapping games with friends, tournaments, arguing over whose turn it was, and just hanging out.

I miss my Atari. I bought myself an Atari Flashback last Christmas. It’s okay, but the controllers aren’t the same. The games arent as responsive because of the infrared signal. Still, the nostalgia of playing is there.

After watching Mr Wizard take his Atari apart so he could show us how it looked inside I was forever hooked on computers. I took mine apart too, console and controllers. Put it back together too. Did I mention that I missed my 2600?

What about you?

Why Wrestling is Good for Your Kid

Not only is Wrestling the coolest sport on the planet, it is SUPER beneficial to young people. Heck, it benefits adults too, even old coaches like me. Read the rest of this entry

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

Wednesday Night LIVE Catholic Podcast

I am finalizing the show notes for Episode 003 of The Tactical Catholic Podcast – The One Where We Go to Disney World.

“Hey, hey, easy kids. Everybody in the car. Boat leaves in two minutes… or perhaps you don’t want to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only four short hours away?”

I love family vacations more than Clark W Grizwold, but I’ve never broken into a theme park. Wednesday at 9pm central we will talk theme parks, disney world discounts, roadside attractions, the smell from the back seat, and a whole lot more.

We are on a quest, a quest to have great dialogue. Make plans to join us at http://www.fiatministrynetwork.tv. Chat, call in, or just watch.

If you’ve missed an episode, hop over to iTunes and subscribe to Tactical Catholic.

Miscarriage and Dealing with Loss

We learned yesterday that we have lost our baby. Obviously, we are hurting and sad as we go through the pains of separation and loss.

This time, more than any other in our family history, the responses of our friends have been supportive and not cliche.

For the uninitiated, let me explain. Oftentimes, death and loss are treated with cliche responses from well-meaning people. However, they seem to do more harm than good.

  • God needed another flower in his garden.
  • I know how you feel.
  • Your child is an angel now.
  • God will give you another one some day.
  • I lost a dog once.
  • This was God’s way of saying you don’t need another child.
  • I told you that you should have used contraception.
  • It was for the best.

We have heard them all. Believe me. Just not this time. This time we have what I believe is the proper response, namely, prayers and wishes of love.

  • We are so sorry for your loss.
  • We love you.
  • We are praying for you.
  • We are here for you.

No useless advice. No dumb hurtful sayings. Just love and concern. That is the initial response of Job’s friends. They sat with him and shared his grief. We can learn from them. Learn also from them that dumb advice is dumb. When they eventually do speak it is from commonly held superstition.

Listen, people who are grieving do not want advice. You do not know how they feel. What the grieving need is love. Love to a grieving person has the appearance of ears, prayers, and service. The best thing we can do is help and listen while we pray for their healing and peace.

I am grateful for the support and prayers of our friends as we go through this time of intense suffering. We know our friends are here. We know they care. I pray that if/when they need me I can behave in the same way.

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.