Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why is This "Cute"?

I saw this on MSNBC today... just at the same time I was doing research about teen dating habits and pre-marital sex.

First, read the article, the continue reading below.

A study done of 2,400 teens found that the younger a girl begins to date, the more likely she is to have sex before graduating from high school.

Of girls who began dating at age twelve, 91% had sex before graduation; compared to 56% who dated at age thirteen, 53% at age fourteen, 40% at age fifteen and 20% at age 16.

So this precocious little boy is writing a book which will cause our daughters to be un-wed teen mothers. Great! Let's promote him all over the national media.

This is NOT overreacting. This is the frog in the pot of water again. The heat has just been turned up and we didn't even notice.

Congratulations, TODAY Show. You've just begun pimping the nation's 9 year-old girls.

Monday, December 1, 2008

God is Awesome!

Praise be to God! With some creative accounting (the legal kind) and some very generous friends, I will be able to begin podcasting in 2009.

The equipment has been ordered and should arrive in the next couple weeks. Once I get everything connected and learn how to use it all (I have a pretty good idea, but I'm sure there will be a learning curve) I'll get to work on the content.

The precise feel of the programs is yet-to-be-determined, but I assure you I will work hard at making in the best it can be for all of you.

I'll also be looking forward to interviewing men of God who will inspire us all. I'll start lining up guests very soon.

If you are able to assist financially in order to help new this reality reach more men, I would be humbled. You can contact me directly for more information at (503) 640-3456.

I am stepping out in faith with this aspect of the ministry. I know there is a growing need for the RCM message to reach men outside of my geographic restrictions, and this allows me to do just that.

Stay tuned and I will keep you updated as things progress.

May you all have a blessed Advent season!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The "C" Word

Although it's been going on for sometime, this past election has brought it to the forefront.

It's the use (or mis-use) of the "C" word.

Yes, it's the loose usage of the term "Catholic."

The other day on the radio I heard two disturbing facts. One is that something like 58% of "Catholics" voted for Obama. The other is that 60% of "Catholics" are consider themselves "pro-life."

Well, obviusly there is something wrong here. It's the use of the word "Catholic." I move that when it comes to polls and the like, we use the wording "people who consider themselves Catholic." Because we've all talked to people who, when we bring up our Faith, say "I'm Catholic too." And when we ask what parish they belong to, they say "Oh, I don't go anymore."

Then they are not Catholic.

The 40% who are Pro-Abortion are not Catholic. The 55% who voted for Obama are either not Catholic, or are VERY mis-guided and mis-informed. Those who are informed and blatantly choose to vote for a Pro-Death candidate so that they can have more money in their bank accounts are going against the Church they profess to follow. And it's not simply a turning away from the Church, but from Jesus Christ who founded it.

If you don't like what the Church teaches then go somewhere else. Or start your own church. There are plenty of people out there making their own religions and being very successful at it. Hey, Joel Osteen fills arenas around the country for his brand of Self-Help Religion. Check out his business model.

The point is, they don't speak for me. I'm a Catholic and I do NOT want to be lumped into the category of people who supposedly represent my Church. You've kidnapped my Faith, and I want it back!

Do you hear that Biden and Pelosi? I know, I know - 60% of people "who consider themselves Catholic" agree with you.

See what I mean?

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Marriage to Die For.

With the recent economic down-turn and market volatility, those of us with a cursory knowledge of history think back to stories recalling how people jumped out of their office windows during the stock market crash of 1929. Suicide due to job loss or economic hardship is still a reality almost 80 years later. But is it really such a big deal to lose one's job? I mean, is it life taking type serious? Do we feel just as distraught when a marriage dissolves?

Of course not, but why not?

The reason is that we as a society have come to see marriage as a"contract" and not a "covenant". A contract is an exchange of goods, where as a covenant is an exchange of persons. In marriage we give each other totally and completely to the other. No do-overs, or fingers crossed behind your back. There is no receipt or 30-day money back guaranty. Two people becoming one flesh. This one flesh union cannot be separated. The Bible tells us as much (Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9).

But our separation anxiety is so much more acute with the loss of a job. Possibly because we have been taught that we can easily get another spouse, "but a great job comes along once in a lifetime." Spouses are replaceable. Jobs are not.

So why do we give up so easily at marriage? Divorce statistics continueto hover around 50%. Almost two third of all divorces have pornography as a contributing factor. And 75% of divorced men say they had extramarital affairs during their marriage. With these numbers the answer is clear and daunting. The answer is the sin of selfishness. And the purveyors are men.

We love money and sex more than our wives. We may pay lip-service agains tthe idea of being "shallow" or "self-centered", but the reality speaks differently. When the lights are out or the wife is away, we turn on the computer, or go to the strip club, or go see out mistress. Men - we arethe problem. Additionally, we have allowed this erroneous "masculine" ideal to permeate the "feminine" world. Now women are beginning to treat men as we have been treating them for a long time - like possessions. Objects. How's that for equal rights?

The key is for good and Godly men to stand up to each other and those around them and say, "Enough!" To march and pray outside of adult book stores, strip clubs and abortion clinics. To hold each other accountable. To not simply "preach to the choir" of our fellow Christians, but to speak loudly and clearly with our mouths (and wallets) to anyone who'll listen.

The book of James 1:22 states, "prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." Take your faith to the streets and tell the world that you wife or husband mean more to you than money or sex. And, yes - even more than your job, for my spouse is not simple apaycheck, but "bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

RCM Conference Updates... and other stuff.

Here's the latest on the 2009 RCM Conference:

  • The location is confirmed as St. Joseph Parish in Vancouver, WA.

  • Although Tarek Saab has had to cancel his appearance, I have the pleasure of announcing that Apologist and author, John LaBriola, will be graciously taking his place. I am so excited to have John at the conference speaking about spiritual warfare!

My personal appearance schedule has been altered due to my new position with Northwest Family Services ( Here is an updated list:

  • December 19th, 2008. Catholic TV program "This Is The Day"
    Time: TBD
    Topic: Men's spirituality and the Real Catholic Men Conference.

  • February 5th, 2009. St. Anthony's "Theology on Tap"
    Prime Time Sports Bar and Grill, Forest Grove, Oregon
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    Talk: "Enough About Me: Living the Hard Teachings of Christ"

  • The Febuary 21st event and St. Matthew has been cencelled and will hopefully be re-scheduled.

  • I have also recently been interviewed by the National Catholic Register for an article about the increasing movement of Catholic men's conferences throughout the nation.

  • I will also be occasionally contributing to the Oregon Faith Report ( Check out the site for great information on Christian activities throughout the area. I'll be posting links to my articles on this blog and the RCM website.

I guess that's all for now. May God continue to bless you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some Encouragement Today

Even though a Pro-Death candidate will be our next President, we still have some assurances in life:

1. The Catholic Church will still have the fullness of Truth.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching and prophesying.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. Mary will still be our tender, all-loving Mother.
8. The saints will still intercede for us.
9. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
10. There will still be room at the Cross for every soul.
11. The True Presence of Jesus Christ will still be waiting for you in Tabernacles around the world.
12. Christ will still call us to forgive and love in a radical way.
13. Jesus will still love you, no matter what.
14. Jesus will still save the lost when they confess and turn to Him.
15. Peter will still be The Rock upon which the Church was built, and the powers of hell SHALL NOT prevail against it.

... and God approves this message!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Change in 2009 RCM Conference

Due to a conflict, Tarek Saab will be unable to participate in the 2009 Real Catholic Men Conference.

I am hard at work looking for a replacement and will let you all know when one has been confirmed.

Thank you all for your understanding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Upcoming Talks and Appearances-Take 2

October 21st, 2008. St. Matthew Men's Group, "At The Table"
St. Matthew Parish. Hillsboro, Oregon.
Time: 7:00 pm
Talk: "The Reality of Sin: What's a Man to Do?"
December 19th, 2008. Catholic TV program "This Is The Day"
Time: TBD
Topic: Men's spirituality and the Real Catholic Men Conference

February 5th, 2009. St. Anthony's "Theology on Tap"
Prime Time Sports Bar and Grill, Forest Grove, Oregon
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Talk: "Enough About Me: Living the Hard Teachings of Christ"

February 21st, 2009. St. Matthew's
St. Matthew Parish. Hillsboro, Oregon.
Time: TBD
Talk: "Catholic with a Capital 'C': Being Faithful in ALL Aspects of Life"

Friday, August 29, 2008

Where is it Coming From?

My defenses automatically go up when I hear or see the word "former" in front of anyone's title or description.

Let me explain.

How many times have you heard a "former Catholic" talk about the evils in the Church?  Or a former nun or priest tell their story about why they are no longer what they were?

I would say that 99% of the time these "formers" come from a place of anger towards the Catholic Church as opposed to a place of love for where they are going.  

Converts to Catholicism never or rarely speak about how they bolted from their Protestant or Evangelical church due to their archaic ways, a scandal or because they felt "trapped".  Converts to Catholicism speak about the beauty they found in the Catholic Church.  The fullness of truth.  Of finally being "home".

The same cannot be said for those who go the other direction.  Almost EVERY time, people leave the Church due to anger, disappointment, resentment or a sense of betrayal.

This should throw up numerous red flags when reading their reasons behind their leaving.

Here is an excerpt of a review for the movie "CONSTANTINE'S SWORD".

"Once, I focused on the good the church could do. Now my faith hangs directly on facing the worst the church has done." So says writer James Carroll, a former Roman Catholic priest who eloquently guides viewers through nearly 1,700 years of church doctrine in Oren Jacoby's film, adapted from Carroll's 2001 best-selling book of the same name. Not precisely journalistic, as a personal chronicle writ large it is a stirring, richly intellectual work.

Carroll explores two questions central to his decision to leave the priesthood: How did Christianity come to inspire violence and war? What was the Catholic Church's role in fomenting anti-Semitism? From the time of Rome's first Christian emperor, Constantine, through the Holocaust and to today's "war on terror," these questions are answered in often-horrifying detail.

How sad that we as humans continue to focus on the humanity of man (sins, faults, failings) rather than the divinity of Christ and His teachings.  How sad that so many are stuck in the past.

I can't tell you how many times - when speaking about the Catholic faith - someone bring up "selling of indulgences".

Get over it!  Move on!  It was a mistake.  Ever made one of those?  It was not a teaching of the Church, but an invention of man for selfish means.

God makes no mistakes.  We do.  God does not foster hate.  We do.  God does not create flaws in His Church.  We do.

Let's place the blame where is should be placed (us), and not on His Bride (the Church).  We should all be more forgiving.  We should all be more loving.

"The greatest of these is Love."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ignorance of God's Law is No Excuse

Sometimes it's hard to not let out a heavy sigh and roll your eyes when you hear what some self-proclaimed Catholics believe - and especially those who hold public office.

Here is a prime example from a report from Catholic Online regarding the recent Democratic National Convention:

Tuesday was also a day of clarification as the Catholic Bishops took serious issue with remarks made by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC. In addition to stating that she misrepresented the official position of the Catholic Church, several bishops have made strong statements concerning the false statements she made concerning both the history and doctrines of the Church. 

During the on-the-air discussion, anchor Tom Brokaw reminded the Speaker that Catholic Church doctrine stated that human life began at conception. To this the speaker replied the church had only come at that conclusion within the past fifty years. 

Calling herself as "an ardent, practicing Catholic," she remarked that, around 400 A.D., St. Augustine had said that the fetus receives a soul at three month. "We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose." 

How can the ignorance here not be blatantly obvious to EVERYONE? 

St. Augustine was and is not God.  He was stating his own theological conclusion to the best of his human intellect and capacity.  Do you honestly think they had ultrasound machines in the year 400 A.D.?  "Scientist" also thought the Earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe... but it's okay for them to change (clarify) their positions on an almost daily basis because, after all, this is science.

I've even heard the blow-hard Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS bash Christianity by stating that even Jesus was Jewish and not a Christian.

Of course he wasn't!  How can you follow a religion based on your own death and resurrection before it even happens?

Nancy Pelosi is NOT an "ardent, practicing Catholic."  She is an ardent, practicing Pelosi-ite.  Making up her own rules to suite her ego.  Join the club, Nancy.  The line forms behind John Kerry and Joe Biden.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's New with RCM?

Well, a lot to be honest.

I have a few appearances coming up this year and early next year.

I will be giving a talk a St. Matthew in Hillsboro, Oregon on September 25th for their new men's group.  The topic will be "The Nature of Sin.  What's a Man to Do?"

In October I will once again help local Catholic radio station KBVM with their Fall Share-a-thon.  Date and time to be determined.

On December 19th I will appear (via phone-in) on CatholicTV in Boston on their "This is the Day" program speaking about RCM, its ministry and the conference.

Then on February 21st, I will be speaking again at St. Matthew in Hillsboro, but this time at their "Faith Over Easy" program.  The talk will be called "Catholic With a Capital 'C': Living the Faith in ALL Aspects of Life"

So keep your eyes here for more details.

Friday, August 15, 2008

How Do We Right This Wrong?

Let's talk about sin.

Wait, wait - don't go away.  This is going to be interesting.  It's another reason for us to get up and be counted among the "Faithful in Action."

Let's start with a possible misconception.  We all know (or should) that Eve gets a bad rap when it comes to her involvement in The Fall of Man (Genesis 3).  She ate the fruit, right?  Well, where was Adam?

Genesis 3:6 tells us, "... she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband who was with her, and he ate."

Talk about responsibility.  Adam was supposed to protect his wife, but instead he let her be tempted and give in to the serpent.  

So the questions is: Were Adam and Eve equally responsible for the Fall?

No.  The Bible tells us that it was Adam, and his disregard for protecting the woman entrusted to him, who is ultimately responsible.

Let's take a look at Romans 5:12.  "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men."

"One man."  Not "man" as in "mankind" like in Genesis 3:26 when God said, "Let Us make man in Our image."

Maybe this will make it more clear.  Corinthians 15:22 states, "For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ all shall be brought to life."

Can't get much more straight forward than that.

These days we continue to turn a blind eye to - as well as helping to perpetuate - sin.  Who are the creators and consumers of pornography?  Who wages war?  Who do we elect as our officials?  Who leaves women as unwed mothers?

Let's take responsibility and turn the tide.  Decide to make a difference NOW.

Vote Pro-Life.  March for just causes.  Pray like there is no tomorrow.  Seek and receive forgiveness.  Choose to love and not to hate.  Spread the Gospel message.

Be a Real Catholic Man.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Networking for God

Would Jesus use the internet to spread the Gospel if He were alive today?

Interesting questions to ponder.  I don't want to make any assumptions for the Son of God, but He just might.

In today's age, we have to use any means necessary to evangelize.  Even if those means are utilized by others to spread hatred or sin.  The internet (like television, magazines or film) is not - in and of itself - evil.  Anything can be used to uplift or to seduce.

I might be a bit slow in keeping up with technology - I don't own an iPhone, nor do I have an LCD or Plasma TV.  But recently I built a page on Facebook to promote Real Catholic Men.  I figure any way I can spread the Word of God would be a good thing.

Now, I'm not "promoting" Facebook, but it seems to be a very easy way of networking and passing along information.

If the spirit moves you, I would like to invite you to register on Facebook and join the RCM Group page.  Show the millions of others using this networking site your love of God and of making yourself a better man in order to serve others.

You can get updated information here, at the Facebook site, or at the main RCM website.

Thank you all for your support.  Let's network for God!

Monday, July 28, 2008

What Can You Do?

One of the goals of Real Catholic Ministries, and of the associated RCM Conference, is to find a way to gather and mobilize Catholic men when a need for a show of solidarity and faith arises.

There are so many opportunities to say "yes" and "no".  We are asked to do so much these days.  Things of importance... and things not so important.

The real question we all need to ask ourselves - again and again - is "what are our priorities?"

Is a bike ride more important than a Rosary Rally in front of an abortion clinic?

Is a soccer game more important than staying for the ENTIRE Masss?

Is Happy Hour more important than Holy Hour?

I would like to submit to you today a cause where you can put your time and attention.

Please sign up for the e-mail list for this VERY worthy cause.  Bill Diss, who heads up this organization, is passionate about life.  

THIS is important!  Please make a point to put your faith into action.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wow! What a Day! (part 2)

On June 24th at 8:05 PM, baby Noah James Renshaw was born.  He weighed in at 8 lbs. 9 oz. and was 22 3/4 inches.

Praise God for this little life.  I am already visualizing him helping me with the 2030 RCM Conference.

Thank you for all your prayers.  There will be more RCM stuff happening in the late Summer/ early Fall.  Please drop by this site regularly.  I'll be updating it as often as possible and needed.

I will also be sending e-mails regularly to those who were in attendance.  If you were not able to make it, and would like to be on the e-mail list, please contact me at:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wow! What A Day!

Where to start?

I'm a guy who can't say "Thank You" enough when it is truly felt.  So thank you to each and every man in attendance.  Your words of encouragement and participation make me so excited for the future of this conference and our faith.

Thank you to Deacon Harold, Jesse Romero, Ken Henderson, Bishop Steiner, His Majesty's Musicians, and the Knights of Columbus.  It's much easier to pull something like this off when you have people like these involved.

A word of gratitude also to a number of men (and women) who helped promote the conference among their parishes, friends and family.  Daniel Cortez, Bob Hutchinson, Rolando Moreno, Paige Taylor, Mark Wagner, Jeremy Young, Daniel Bennett, Rob and Dina-Marie Hale, and George Reis.

I apologize for the low number of priests available to confession.  Truth be told, there were actually twice as much as I had expected!  I think most of you made it through.  Praise be to God!

I also apologize for running out of food towards the end.  This one was actually not my fault.  I'm in the midst of correcting it for next year.

Heavenly Father, bless these men as they continue their formation.  Guide us to other men to support us along our journey.  Let us focus on the cross.  Upon your life, death and resurrection.

Please give me a call if any of you need anything.  (503) 640-3456.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Home Stretch... Times Two.

Time is running out - in more than one aspect of my life.

As I scramble to tie up loose ends with the 1st Annual Conference, just 10 days away, I am also counting the days until my little boy, Noah, is born.  God willing, he'll hold out until at least the 22nd of the month.

This, as you can imagine, increases the stress I am feeling by a factor of ten.  I find it hard to pray, as I am overwhelmed with preparing, cleaning, washing, taking care of, worrying and other "ing" words.  Just when I need to most, I find it the hardest.

I think if it weren't for those praying FOR me, I'd probably collapse under the weight of it all.

Isn't this the time when I should be stockpiling sleep?  Uh uh.  Not me.  I'm in training camp for the real "Baby Season".  Thank God for His strength, because I have none left.

In the last month, we have had to replace our washer and dryer, lawnmower and dishwasher.  All broke down at the same time.  I have also been involved in a hit-and-run accident (as the victim).  Our old washing machine decided to flood our newly installed tile.

My wife reminds me to keep my eyes on Jesus and not watch the waves.  Good advice.  That's why I married her.

Now she's ready to give birth to our third child.  I guess I shouldn't complain so much.  She has the harder job.

May God bless the conference and our little one.  See you all on the 21st.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Too Good to Be "Real"?

It will come as a surprise to no one that the idea of Real Catholic Ministries (and the associated RCM Conference) has garnered some negative feedback.

Here are just a few of the things:
  • The word "Real" alienates those who think of themselves as "less than", and angers those who see the word as an accusation that men who do NOT attend are not "Real".
  • "A Call to Arms" is a violent, military reference that will turn off those who are against the war in Iraq.
  • Who needs men's spirituality?  It's just like Eucharistic Adoration or belief in the Magisterium - not really necessary. 
  • Why are you excluding women?
So, as we move forward with this conference, and those to follow, I want to make my intentions clear.

RCM is for men who want to better understand - and follow - their God-given roles within their Church, their family and their society.  These are not arbitrary rules or regulations fabricated by me.  I'm not that smart.  I'm simply following the Church and the God that I profess to believe in.

Here are two questions to ask yourselves:
  1. Do you REALLY believe in the Church and the God that you profess to believe in?  And if so, don't you want to follow that Church and God to the best of your ability?
  2. If not, whose rules are you following?  Yours?  Do you think you have a better idea than the Church Christ created about what is right and wrong?  (see Genesis - Original Sin)
We as men - and as human beings in general - need to quit thinking that we are God.  We're not.  Our rules and norms don't apply.  

So you think you don't need RCM?  Just call yourself St. (insert name here).  I know I need it.  As a mater of fact, those who think they don't need it, need it as much - if not more - than the rest.  But we ALL need it!

Be honest with yourselves.  Be honest with God.  Your eternal soul hangs in the balance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In Our Weakness...

This is one that has always been comforting, yet hard to fathom.

In our weakness, He is strongest.  What does this mean - and how can it be.

I guess the secular phrase that comes to mind is, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."  And who is "tougher" than our God?

The other day a friend of mine sent an e-mail that said, "When you feel the devil knocking at your door, just say - 'hey, Jesus, can you get that?'"

Our defenses weaken in times of stress, anger, bitterness, resentment, tiredness.  It's hard to fight the good fight when we have taken blow after blow.

I remember those "Rocky" movies.  Just when he was battered and bloodied, and almost on his knees, that's when he's start whuppin' up on the bad guy.  He somehow found the energy to get off just one more punch.  

We need to find that energy in Christ.  There are so many times - weekly, daily, hourly - when we are about to crumple to the ground... beaten by sin.  Let the Lord lift you up.  Ask Him for help.  It is His energy - His Holy Spirit - that will allow you to fight back.

He will lift you on His shoulders and carry you victorious to His dwelling place.  Rely on Him.  Rely on Him.  RELY on Him.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I've Fallen and I Can Get Up!

I am a lowly sinner.

We all say that to ourselves.  And we all know it is a reality.  But our response to that reality separates a simple man from a Real Man.

A simple man continues to sit on the couch, flipping channels and maybe attending Mass half-heartedly - saying to himself, "Well, I'm just a sinner.  Woe is me.  Guess there's nothing I can do about it."

A Real Man gets off his feeling-sorry-for-himself behind and says, "Yes, I'm a sinner.  But that's not ALL that I am!  I am a child of God, given the Grace of reconciliation and renewal through the power of the Holy Spirit.  I will battle my sinful ways to the death, and - God willing - to everlasting life."

As humans we fail.  We stumble.  We fall.  But do we lay there and moan, or do we get up and move on with The Father before us?

I am as guilty as anyone of wallowing in my sinfulness.  But my wallowing (with the help of God) gets shorter and further between.  I am indeed an new creation in Christ.  I will carry my cross.  When I fall, or am being beaten by the whips of sin, He always has a hand outstretched.

The real question is: Do we reach for it or reject it?

Real Men persevere.  Not on there own, but with help.   Real Men reach for the Hand of The Savior.  

Reach out.  Get up.  Be whole! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In the Eye of the Beholder

I had the absolute pleasure this past weekend of being able to attend Mass twice on Sunday.

It's been forever since I've been able to attend more that once in a week, let alone on the same day.  Kids and commitments keep me from making this a reality more often.

I also had the pleasure of hearing my wife sing at Mass - which has also been a long time coming. After communion, the choir sang "How Beautiful (is the Body of Christ)."  A song I've heard a number of times.  A song I thought was - to take a word from its title - beautiful.

The song focuses on the "hands that served", the "feet that walked", and even the "heart that bled" before moving on to His "tender eyes".  Now, all these things are wonderful and poignant. There is no doubt about that. but I was touched in a different way.

My research leads me to surmise that the song's writer, Twila Paris, is a Protestant or non-denominational Christian.  Which is fine, but that leads me to my point.

As I was kneeling after communion and looking up at the Pieta and the crucifix, I had a different take on how beautiful the body of Christ is.  While Ms. Paris barely touches on His "heart that bled", we glorify it... and the rest of Him.  Not in a grotesque or morbid way, but recognizing the beauty of His sacrifice.  His "most precious Body and Blood", we call it. 

That is why we have crucifixes (or, at least should) in our churches, where as other denominations have sunsets or flowers or large projection screens or rock bands.

Our salvation sings the glory of every stripe on Our Lords back.  Every puncture from the crown of thorns.  Every groan from His lungs.  His pierced hands, feet and side.

How beautiful - indeed - is the Body of Christ.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Donald Duck Endorses Goofy for President

This morning's headline: Bruce Springsteen Endorses Barack Obama.

So what?

I don't understand why anyone with a lick of sense would care at all what an entertainer thinks about the political candidates.  As a matter of fact, I am more inclined to vote AGAINST the candidate who gets the most "Hollywood" endorsements.

Guess what, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers is backing McCain!  Whoo hoo!

How silly does that sound?  Or is Springsteen more "valid" because he appears to be socially aware?  How about Madonna?  Or Hulk Hogan?  Or even Batman?

How sad it is that our morals, ethics, opinions and political alliances are swayed by simple entertainment.  The all powerful "MEDIA" that we hear so much about.

How funny it is that we Catholics are called "mindless sheep" when we follow the teachings of the Church.  I am proud to be a sheep.  My leader is the Good Shepherd.  I know His voice when He calls.

They follow someone who calls himself "The Boss".  But we follow the King of Kings.  The Risen Lord.

They go down Thunder Road.  We are on the highway to heaven.

Praise God for a mind and heart lead by faith and not by the culture of "Now".

Friday, April 11, 2008

In Cash We Trust?

I used to work for a very prominent Protestant/Evangelical television network.  

Every few months, there would be a parade of preachers, prophets, life-coaches, ministers, singers and mega-church pastors asking for your financial support.  All this set against the backdrop of one of their dozen studios across the country.  Studios built to look like castles and filled with gold-plated furniture, gaudy decor and multi-million dollar production equipment.

They would quote Old Testament Scripture about tithing, and blessings and, of course, sowing and reaping.  

The message was: Give, because you will be blessed.

There is a sense of expectancy... or worse, entitlement.

In my heart, I feel that the Catholic Church has a different take on giving.  Our message is: Give, and you will be blessed.

Our emphasis is on the giving, not the blessing.  We give because we should.  Because it is right. Because God wants us to share.

And in turn - because our hearts are in the right place - God blesses us.  After giving, our hands do not remain outstretched, waiting for our reward.  Our hands return to our hearts, folded in prayer to show our love for our Lord.

Maybe Catholics would give more - like our Protestant and Evangelical brothers and sisters - if we put our emphasis on what sort of return we can get back from our "faith investments." Catholic media struggles every day to stay on the air or even stay in business, while Christian media moguls fly from beach house to beach house in their own private jets.

One preacher on this network even went so far as to say, "How can you be a blessing to others, unless you have first been blessed?"  Meaning it is only with, and through, money that you can bless people.

Praise God for our faith, for Peter said, "I have not silver nor gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth - arise and walk!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just One Word

Peter and Judas.  The Rock and the Betrayer.  So different, right?  Not really.  Just one word separates the two.

Remember that Peter denied Jesus too.  Three times, to be exact.  Judas handed him over, but Peter did nothing to stand up for his Lord when confronted.  And yet one went and hung himself, and one was given the keys to the kingdom.

How can this be?

Just one word separates the two.  Repentance.

Judas was ravaged with guilt.  He turned in on himself.  Failed to ask for forgiveness.  Now we use his name to refer to traitors.

Peter felt guilt, too.  But Peter ran to Jesus upon hearing He was missing from the tomb.  Later, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him.  Three times, no less.  The same amount of times Peter denied Him.  To each question, Peter answered, "You know that I love you."

Repent.  Show you love God.  Follow His commands.

There is a fine line between Peter and Judas.  Jesus and His infinite Mercy is on one side.  On the other side is eternal damnation.


Fighting the Good Fight

We all need weapons in our arsenal to fight off temptation.

I know that my faith-life, will-power and emotional well-being have a direct correlation to how often I utilize the three greatest weapons we have.

1.  Reconciliation.  Frequent confession, penance and repentance open the soul to God's graces.

2.  Eucharist.  So filled with the mercy and grace of God that we can't help but be transformed if we open ourselves up to Him - literally.

3.  The Rosary.  Contemplating the sacred mysteries of our Lord.  REALLY contemplating them.  Through this, we can truly know and understand His love for us.

Use them often.  Don't wait until you need to pull yourself up from the muck and mire of sin and guilt.  Use them to keep you clean.  To keep you holy and pure.  They were given to you for exactly that reason.  Don't turn your back on them. 

They will lead you Home.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Let the Misinformation Begin!

Today, Presidential candidate Barack Obama received the endorsement of Pennsylvania Senator, Bob Casey.  Bob Casey is a Catholic.  Barack Obama is not.  

Can a Catholic support a non-Catholic candidate?  Of course they can.  Can a pro-life Catholic (which is, after all, what all REAL Catholics are) support a pro-abortion candidate?

The answer is undeniably, and emphatically, NO!  Never.  Our Church tells us as much.

The real "news" from this story by the Associated Press is how this endorsement will allegedly open up avenues of support for Obama from the much sought after Catholic Pennsylvanian vote.

I'm sorry, but no Catholic worth their weight would EVER vote for a pro-abortion candidate, must less endorse them to a larger group.  Senator Casey 's eternal soul hangs in the balance with this decision.  If his endorsement does sway voters, and Obama is elected president... and Obama institutes more pro-death legislation... then Casey is just as guilty.

If you are Catholic... not "catholic"... you have a duty to protect life.  In all forms and at all times.  Not when it's convenient, or when you are not mad at a certain political party or their representatives.

Have the guts to stick with the truth even when you don't feel like it.  That is what our faith calls us to do every day.  We may not feel like: praying, going to church, doing right, loving our neighbor, etc.  But we HAVE to.  That is our call.  Our duty.  Take up your cross.  Let Jesus help you bear the weight.  His yoke is easy.  His burden, light.

I don't care what a candidate's economic stimulus package is.  Or what he or she thinks about the state of Iraq.  If they have no value for human life, they are not worthy of your support.  Period.

Let your faith guide you this election, not your emotions.  Emotions sway in the wind.  Our faith is built on the rock of Christ.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

I'm a sports fan.  Not as much as I used to be, but one just the same.

I enjoy a good football game or basketball game as much as the next guy.  But what I find insulting is that somewhere, somehow - someone decided that sports equals sex.  

I can't watch a commercial break without being bombarded by sexual images and innuendo, all disguised as "humorous".  You know - the beer and cologne commercials.  Fast food purveyors. And, or course, let's not forget the out-and-out blatant sexuality of lingerie ads, because - c'mon guys - we all know that we need a new pair of panties and a matching bra.

Now the internet has gotten in the game, so to speak.  Every time I want to read a sports story, I'm attacked by bikini pictures or singles websites that promise me a perky - and apparently morally loose - young woman.

Men... what can we do?  Seriously.  What CAN we do?

The answer is simple, but multi-dimensional.  Write letters.  Stop buying products.  Quit watching sports.  Cease using certain websites.

Basically, stand up for what is right.  Always, and no matter what the cost.

Can we mobilize like this?  Be a unified front against sin?  That is the goal of Real Catholic Men. Strength in numbers and strength in God.  I'd love to hear ideas on how we can pull this off.

Join our army and take up arms to fight the Evil One! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More News for '09 Conference

As I write this I am swimming in preparation for the 1st Annual Real Catholic Men Conference.  
E-mails are being sent (and bouncing back).  Envelopes are being stuffed.  Phone calls are being made.  Information is being requested.

While I am preparing for the '08 conference, I am also laying the groundwork for '09.

In a previous post I announced my first confirmed guest, Fr. Donald Calloway.  His faith and fervor will blow you away.

I am also proud to announce two more speakers for '09.  

Tarek Saab, a former contestant on the hit NBC series The Apprentice, has become one of the most sought after Catholic speakers in the country.  His new book, Gut Check, tells of his journey of faith and success.  You can find out more about Tarek at:

Rich Lane is the Founder of Qorban Ministries and is the son of Hall of Fame football player, Dick "Night Train" Lane.  Since 2005, Rich and his wife, Donna, have been "Preaching, Teaching and Sharing the Word of God" throughout the world.  He has been seen and heard on EWTN, Relevant Radio and beyond.  For more information on Rich and his ministry, log on to

I am so pleased to have these men come to Portland.  They will inspire you with their desire to spread their message of men's spirituality.

God is good, all the time.  All the time, God is good.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Be Prepared - Holy Week is Coming

I gotta tell ya----

My first Easter as a "real" catholic was five years ago.  BC.  Before Children.  I was able to attend all of the Holy Week celebrations: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil.  I saw people coming into the Church for the first time.  I sat in a pew for hours.  Something I could barely stand doing for mere moments as a child.

I can promise you that if you have the chance to walk with Christ over these three days, you will be transformed.

Prepare yourself.  Pray.  Fast.  Give alms.  Deny yourself.  Die to self.  Be "raised" anew on Easter day.  How glorious.  How blessed we are.  Take advantage.  

Be transformed!  Be transformed!  Be transformed!

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Word of Ackowledgement

As we move throughout this life of ours, trying to better ourselves by the Grace of God, we need to be thankful and acknowledge the people that He has put in our path to lead us to holiness.

I wanted to take this time to say "thank you" to some of the men (and a woman) who have blessed me with their faith and their friendship.

First of all, my wife, Heather.  She was the first to turn this boat around and keep it from heading straight into the storm.  It was her guidance that lead me to meet all the other people you see listed below.

Steven Johnson.  His enthusiasm for the Church and her teachings (and being so young to boot) made me ashamed of my lack of knowledge.  It made me want to know more and be a better Catholic.

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers.  If you hear him speak about our Faith and are not moved... check your pulse.  One time was all it took for me.  He still gets me pumped up when I hear him speak.

Deacon Chuck Amsberry.  When we first met, he was just plain Chuck.  I was blessed by his gentleness and love of the Church.  His family welcomed us with open arms... and still does.  He and his wife, Carol, are the God-parents of my daughter, Elise.

Steve Abrams.  I consider him my spiritual father.  It was his charismatic prayer group that opened me up to really desiring to do the will of God.  He continues to listen to the Lord's voice in his life, and only wants to serve.  I admire that.  He is the God-father of my oldest daughter, Ava.

The men of Teams of Our Lady.  Mark, Jeremy, Aaron, Micah, Charles, Rob, Mike, etc.  How great it is to have others in your life who desire to be holy men of God as well.  We continue to "sharpen" each other from day-to-day.

Please take a moment to pray for those who have helped you grow closer to God.  I'm sure they've done the same for you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Practical Guide to Prayer

As "guys", we are supposed to be the problem solvers.  We're supposed to be able to juggle projects and coordinate our personal, professional and family lives.  And for the most part we do a pretty good job.

So why is it that we never seem to have time to pray?

I hear it all the time.  Work is too busy.  Too many personal commitments.  Blah blah blah.  It's all a bunch of hooey.  Let me be completely honest here - these are just excuses.  We will always find time for the things we "want" to do.  Favorite t.v shows.  Sporting activities.  Club meetings.  You know the drill.

So let me offer all of you men a few practical and realistic ways to make time for prayer in your life:

1.  Do you go to the bathroom?  Seriously.  Do you ever go "#2?"  How long does this usually take?  A few minutes?  Five at the most?  Some of us take longer.  What a great time to read scripture.  You're sort of a captive audience at this point.  Put a small copy of the New Testament on top of the tank.  I like the Magnificat magazine.  It has all the daily readings and reflections in one little booklet.

2.  Do you have a computer?  We all do.  Some of us have multiples.  One at home.  One at work.  A laptop.  A PDA.  Have your "hello" screen greet you with a prayer and read along.  Tape a short prayer to the screen.  I have the Memorarae at work, and a picture of the Divine Mercy at home.

3.  Do you have pockets?  If you wear pants on a regular basis, the answer is probably "yes."  Carry a Rosary in your pocket.  Ever time you reach into you pocket and feel the beads, say a quick prayer.  A Hail Mary.  An Our Father.  Glory be is a short one.  Or make up your own.

There is absolutely no reason why we can't add daily reading and prayer to our REGULAR schedule.  No more of this "squeezing it in when we have time" garbage.

When you face God on your judgement day, He will not ask how many soccer games you played in, or what happened on the season finale of "24."  I guarantee that.

Be practical.  Take time to pray.  I promise you will notice a difference in your life.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Moon Crazy

Last night was the full looney... oops, I mean lunar... eclipse.  Here's what scientists had to say about the effect of said eclipse.

Due to the fact that we are made of of mostly water, the moon (especially a full moon... and double especially a full lunar eclipse) has an effect on our behavior just as it does the tides of the ocean.

Nice.  So essentially we're no more in control of ourselves than a salt-water deposit.

It's so good to hear that science puts the same value on human beings, their life and their ability to reason as they do for a chemical compound.

No wonder a pre-born baby is only seen as a "mass of tissue."

No wonder our bodies are "sexual playgrounds."

No wonder the handicapped are "burdens."

No wonder women are bought and sold in prostitution.

No wonder Jesus was "just a good guy."

I'm sorry, but I am more than the sum of my parts.  I am not just skin, bone, muscle and organs.  I am a child of the Most High, created in the image and likeness of God.

I don't think our Heavenly Father's "mood" is affected by the moon, do you?

Oh, yeah - he made it.  And us.  We are fearful and wonderfully made.  Take that, science.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

I got this off the internet today.

YBOR CITY, Fla. - A southwest Florida church issued a challenge for its married members this past Sunday: Hanky-panky every day. Relevant Church head pastor Paul Wirth says the 50 percent divorce rate was the catalyst for The 30-Day Sex Challenge.

"And that's no different for people who attend church," Wirth said. "Sometimes life gets in the way. Our jobs get in the way."

Oh, and the flip side of the challenge? No rolling in the sheets for the unwed.

Church member Tim Jones and his fiancée agreed to take on the challenge, though he acknowledges it'll be a tough month. But he added: "I think it's worth trying to find out other things about each other."

Where do I begin with this one?  

Calling the Marital Embrace "Hanky-panky" and  somehow correlating the divorce rate to the amount of sex a couple is having is mind-boggling.  So periods of abstinence between husband and wife equals a miserable marriage?  Now I get it!  That's why the Protestants and Evangelicals (for the most part) are just fine with birth control.  That way there is no need for the mutual respect of each other's bodies.  We're just our spouses personal playground.

And, duh, "No rolling in the sheets for the unwed."  Are you kidding me?

Don't get me started on Mr. Jones in the last part.  He is clearly lost.

I've heard it said that the biggest reasons the secular world doesn't take the Christian world seriously is due to our own hypocrisy.  We parade around as the arbiters of morality, yet we have no concept of God's plan for us in the area of sexuality any more than MTV does.

Catholic men - are you ready to speak the truth no matter what the cost?  This is one area where we all need to be educated, so that we can educate others.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is It 2009 Yet?

With plans for the 2008 Real Catholic Men Conference in high gear, I am already planning for 2009.  

Why?  Well, because the best speakers in the world get booked very far in advance.  And if I want to make the RCM conference a "must-see" event, I need to get the best.

To that end, I have confirmed my first speaker for the 2009 conference.

Father Donald Calloway was introduced to me by my spiritual father, Steve Abrams.  I listened to Fr. Calloway's conversion story and his understanding of the message of the Gospel and was blown away.  Recently, I saw a DVD of an appearance he did in Spokane, Washington.  His insight to Mary's role in our salvation made my jaw drop.  I knew I had to get in contact with him.

One simple e-mail later, we were planning for a 2009 appearance.  You will not want to miss this.  Mark your calendars now for June 20th, 2009.

Below is a short biography I got off a website which gives you a brief example of what you can expect.

No Turning Back: Confessions of a Catholic Priest
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

What does it take to transform a die-hard agnostic into a fervent apostle of Christ? How does God's grace literally transform hearts - one step at a time? In this amazing new conversion testimony , you'll literally be on the edge of your seat as a former "Deadhead" and drug-addict candidly shares how he was unexpectedly led to the Roman Catholic Church and eventually into a Roman collar as an ordained priest. An incredible odyssey of faith, Fr. Donald Calloway's radical conversion can be compared to that of a modern St. Augustine as chronicled in his famous Confessions.

Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll

The son of self-proclaimed "hillbillies" from the back woods of West Virginia, Donald Calloway was raised without any religion or a father figure to model. Finally baptized as a Protestant at the age of ten, he never received any formal Christian instruction. And when his family moved to California, he slipped into the "MTV lifestyle" - sex, drugs and rock music. This pagan rebellion intensified to total mayhem when his family relocated to Japan and he ran away from home.

Satisfaction of the senses became young Donald's rule of life that escalated to a life of crime. Constantly on the move to avoid arrest, he and his friends soon got connected with the Japanese Mafia. During this time of endless wanton wandering filled with wine, women and song, Donald's mother became Catholic and fervently prayed for her fifteen-year-old prodigal son to return home. Like a modern-day St. Monica, she trusted that God would touch his soul with the grace of repentance.

Embrace the Grace

After many failures at drug rehab, Donald sought solace as a Grateful Dead groupie even as God was miraculously moving his entire family to convert to Catholicism! Resisting any attempts to be evangelized and turning once again to petty robbery in order to survive, in 1992 this rebel without a cause reached a breaking point in his life. Fortunately, he discovered a book on Marian apparitions and devoured its powerful message of repentance. The Blessed Virgin Mary had literally stolen his heart and introduced spiritual concepts like heaven, hell, repentance and sin. There was no turning back!

Full of unexpected twists and turns, No Turning Back will inspire you to recognize and embrace the countless graces God grants in your own life. Part of a new generation of priests, Fr. Calloway's amazing story powerfully manifests Our Lord's infinite mercy and faithfulness. Order No Turning Back: Confessions of a Catholic Priest today and share this inspiring and unforgettable journey with your lukewarm family members, fallen-away friends and any lost souls that need a powerful reminder of God's love and faithfulness.

Rev. Donald Calloway, M.I.C., is the assistant rector of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA. As a convert to the Catholic Faith, Father Calloway left a rebellious life of wine, women and song to embrace God's saving truth. After studying at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., he was ordained to the sacred priesthood in 2003.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why, Hollywood? Why?

I used to work in Hollywood.  Seriously.  Not just the area, but in "The Biz".  I worked with, and for, a lot of famous people.  I wanted to be wealthy and well-known.  I wanted to be admired for my talent.

I gave up that "dream" when it became apparent that my faith was more important than my social status.  Thank God for the grace of seeing things clearly.

I've seen literally thousands of movies.  Now I hardly even watch any.  They are increasingly evil - depicting sex, drugs, deviant behavior... and even anti-Catholicism... as hip.

I see that they are in the process of making another Dan Brown book.  He of the infamous DiVinci Code.  This one, entitled Angels and Demons, once again uncovers secrets and lies in and around the Vatican.

With any luck, this flic will fall on it's face like The Golden Compass.  But me thinks it will be a success.  Our little friend Opie (Ron Howard) is once again behind this little gem.  Innocence lost, I say.

I just wonder why the overly tolerant Hollywood-types (i.e. gay marriage, abortion, drug use, divorce and illegitimate children) don't grant the same freedom to our faith.  Oh... that's right.  The Catholic Church is in the business of "controlling" people.  We are "brainwashed".  Just mindless sheep.

Well, I'm glad to be a sheep.  I know my master's voice.  This knowledge gives me more freedom than they could ever get out of money or fame.  They are slaves of those things.  They're slaves to society.  To fashion.  To their station.  To the population.

I have a freedom in my God.  Because Jesus in the Truth.  And the truth shall set you free.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lent - The Journey Continues

"What are you going to give up for Lent?"

That was always the Big Question as I was growing up.  Usually is was soft drinks.  Or candy. Whoopdie Do, huh?  For some, sure.  But the real question is, "Does giving something up bring us closer to Jesus during this time?"  I can attest that the soda and candy thing didn't do it for me when I was younger.

Last year, I gave up sweets again.  I have developed quite a sweet tooth over the years, so this became a bigger deal for me.  But the real difference was that every time I saw a cookie or piece of candy (and believe me... I saw a lot) it reminded me of Christ, and the sacrifices he underwent for our redemption and salvation.

What a small price to pay for my soul... to give up Snickers bars or brownies to bring me closer to the heart of my God.

Additionally, I have taken on fasting.  True fasting.  Water only from sunrise to sunset.  Each pang of hunger again reminds me of Christ's suffering.  I pray more.  I reflect more.  I don't pass the time by planning my next meal.  I embrace each moment when I can think about God and His son.

I heartily urge fasting for all men.  At least once a month.  E5 Men ( shows how fasting - especially for one's spouse - can bring amazing, and life-altering, changes to your spiritual life and your family.

Sacrifice.  It's an easy word to talk about.  We use it to refer to many things.  Athletes sacrifice to be the best.  Parents sacrifice for their children.  The military sacrifice for our freedom.

But we all know that Christ's was the ultimate sacrifice.  So let's embrace ours a little more gladly, and turn the focus from ourselves to the one whose sacrifice made ours even possible.

A blessed Lenten season to you all.

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Such Thing as a Coincidence

Last month I wrote a little article about about a local radio station here in Portland.  You can read it below.  

The response to this article, and the e-mail campaign that followed was very supportive.  Sure, there are those few who are afraid of the truth.  This is no surprise.

Today as I was re-reading the article I decided to click on the link to the advertisers' page.  To my surprise, the link was broken.  Hmmm.  I then went to the station's website.  It had been re-vamped and the advertisers' page updated.  The advertiser in question had been removed.

For those who differ with my take on things, I want to make two points perfectly clear:

1) I did indeed hear Pete and Brenda's comments firsthand.  Both days.  It is not a coincidence that they had these two actors' voices on the day before, and the day of, the release of the film.  An accident?  Hardly.  This is promoting the film.  I heard them.  

2) The Programming Director did invite me to come and speak with him, but only after I had threatened the boycott, and after NOT admitting to any wrongdoing.  I think the removal of the advertiser shows that indeed he saw the error.  However, I know that the station will not institute a policy which states that advertisers must meet strict ethical and moral guidelines.  
This would be too difficult.

It's not easy being a Christian.  Never has been.  Never will be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Which Team Do You Want To Play For?

This past weekend, my beloved San Diego Chargers lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.  I've been a fan since I was a kid.

These days I root for a new team.  It's call Team Eternal Life.  Our arch-rival is Team Eternal Damnation.  We play on the Field of Society for the "Souls Cup" on a daily basis.

I remember a number of years ago there was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan who proudly wore his black and gold to an L.A. Raiders game in Los Angeles.  For his enthusiasm and team spirit he was nearly stabbed to death.  That's dedication, right?

We will literally lay down our lives for our favorite sports teams, but not for our Faith.  Why is this?  Could there be a more twisted and misdirected sense of loyalty?

One of my favorite verses in Scripture comes from Acts 5:40-41. 

"... and when they (the Sanhedrin) had called the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.  So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for the sake of the Name."

Praise God!  Why don't we feel this way about our Faith and our Lord?  Why don't we put on the jersey of Team Eternal Life as we go out into the world?  After all, the world we live in is a hostile environment to our team.  We should show our colors proudly.  Unapologetic about where we stand.

Where are your loyalties?  What team do you want to play for?  I know which one has the better locker rooms.  It's the one where our Lord, Jesus Christ, gives us pep talks every day.  His sweet voice calling to us.

The game is on.  You'd better be in shape.