Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Long Time Comin' - Updates Galore!

I know, I know. It's been a loooong time since my last update. Good reason, though. Real Catholic Ministries has been VERY busy.

Here's a sample of what's going on:
  • "Real Catholic Men: The Radio Program" debuts January 11, 2010 on 88.3 FM in Portland, Oregon - or you can listen on the web at It'll air at 4:15 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays as a lead-in to Peter Herbeck's "Fire of the Earth."
I've been writing and recording episodes over the past two months, and I think it's going well. The show is still looking for its "voice", but it's going in the right direction. It'll also be available for download on the RCM website after it airs on KBVM.
  • Men on a Mission: January 9, 2010. St. Matthew Church, Hillsboro, Oregon.

This group is re-forming under a new title and mission... as well as inviting all the other Parishes located on the West side of the Portland Metro area. We will be meeting once a month, and will begin with reading Fr. Larry Richards' wonderful new book, Be A Man.

  • Southern Oregon Men's Retreat: January 29-31, 2010.

I am once again pleased to be a part of this retreat, having been the keynote speaker in 2008. They are a great bunch of guys, and are going on their 28th year of getting together to grow in love of the Lord.

  • Real Catholic Men Retreat: April 9-11, 2010.

This will be the first "official" retreat put on by Real Catholic Ministries. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and I are working on making it a retreat experience unlike any other that men have had. If you are looking to "go deeper" in your search for God - this weekend is for you.

"This ain't your Daddy's men's retreat."

  • Journey 365: A Year-Long Guide to Spiritual Growth For Catholic Men, By Catholic Men.

This endeavor will launch in January 2010, and calls for men from around the country (and around the world) to submit their favorite Scripture passage and personally reflect on how that passage has affected them, causing them to be a better husband, father, student, employee - Man of God!

You are encouraged to participate by logging on to in January to learn how you can submit your passage and change the lives of men forever.

  • 3rd Annual Real Catholic Men Conference: June 19, 2010. Vancouver, WA

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Evangelists Richard Lane and Hector Molina, Jr. will send the devil running for cover with their Holy Spirit-filled talks about what being a true man of God looks like in the year 2010. This is going to be an incredibly powerful day that you WILL NOT want to miss. Tickets go on sale in April ... and there will be "early bird specials." Stay tuned.

So that's just a sample of the things that Real Catholic Men has been working on. I thank you in advance for your prayers as we continue to do the Lord's work.

And as a New Years' resolution, I will TRY and blog more often.

God bless you all!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who Knew? College Kids Seeking God.

It was my first time speaking specifically to college age students. I had done high school youth groups and adults - but this particular demographic had eluded me. So there I was, at the Portland State University Newman Center talking about how to embrace and live the hard teachings of Christ. The focus was on getting these young adults to become true followers - meaning living the Gospel passage: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, pick up his cross and follow me."

Not an easy topic, but oh so necessary.

When doing a talk like this, you can easily tell whether a group is interested in what you have to say. It's in their eyes. In most middle school and high school youth groups, there is an almost complete lack of connection. They're just not at that place of caring. Not everyone, mind you, but a majority.

God bless these PSU students. Not once did I feel I had lost them, or that they didn't care.

They listened intently. Asked questions. And even thanked me afterwards.

This is the lost generation? These are the young Americans from a liberal college, and located in one of the most liberal areas of the country who don't care about their faith?

Thanks be to God!

Let us continue to lift up our young adults in prayer. Especially those who are attending our colleges and universities - the "hot-beds" of morally relative indoctrination. Reach out a hand. Invite them to Mass. Bring them to a church event. Don't wait for them to come to you - it may never happen.

Take that first step. A step in faith. There are souls depending on you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Who Da Man? Deacon Harold is Da Man.

Matthew Warner's website ( is promoting "Support a Catholic Speaker Month." What a wonderful idea! So it is my goal to do just that.

See here for more details:

I have chosen to "support" my good friend - and AMAZING speaker - Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers. I have the pleasure of calling him my friend and well as my inspiration for doing what I do. It was his "yes" to my invitation to speak at a men's conference here in Portland, Oregon that allowed me to give God my "yes" to launching Real Catholic Ministries.

One of the things I appreciate most about Deacon Harold (and people in general) is his no-holds-barred approach to his faith. He speaks the truth of the Catholic Faith with love and conviction. If you don't receive a healthy dose of the Holy Spirit by the time you're done hearing one of his talks - you might want to check for a pulse.

His explanations of the Mass, the family, the Eucharist, etc. are direct, enlightening and understandable.

I think the mark of a great speaker is one that moves people to change their lives. I think of Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. John Corapi and Christopher West. Well, I can speak from personal experience when I say that Deacon Harold has done just that for me. And, thanks be to God, due to his ability to utilize the media, Deacon Harold has been able to touch thousands of people around the world through radio, his EWTN series, public appearances and even YouTube.

No less important than his message, Deacon Harold continues to be one of the few black, Catholic men (along with my other brother in Christ, Richard Lane) who has had the opportunity to be a "face" for an entire culture. While his talks cross all borders of color, class, gender or faith, he "speaks" to the world as a man whose brothers and sisters in Christ have for so long been (at least visibly) unrepresented in the Catholic Church.

Deacon Harold's website ( will give you a lot of information about his ministry, his schedule of talks and what media is available to order.

I promise you that Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers is a force to be reckoned with in the battle for souls. The devil will attack all these great speakers as they continue doing the work of God. Please pray for them - as they do for you.

God bless!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Real Catholic Ministries Needs Your Help

Dear men and women of God,

Today I come to you a humble man in need of help.

Real Catholic Ministries is in serious financial need. Yesterday, I was informed that the ministry’s telephone and internet bill would be going up $15+ per month. I also found out today that the credit card that I have been “fronting” the annual men’s conference expenses on has been accruing interest that I was not aware of. Seeing as how I won’t begin selling tickets for next year’s conference until February/March of 2010, it is difficult to see how the $292 RCM bank account balance will hold out.

This past year, I flew out three amazing speakers, paid their fees and lodging costs, all to the tune of about $5,000. I advertised in the Catholic Sentinel and printed/mailed 150 posters and announcements which added another $700 to the tab. There are also the “regular” ministry expenses of telephone, internet access, post office box and annual business license fees.

Ticket sales for last year’s conference, minus the cost of food, brought in close to $5,000. You can see where the numbers simply do not add up.

I am asking each of you to pray about how you can help this ministry. As little as $10 would be greatly appreciated. And while I cannot currently offer a tax deduction (although we are moving in that direction) I can offer you my undying gratitude and prayers.

I know that these are the e-mails we all hate getting, but I promise you that I would not be sending it out if it weren’t incredibly necessary.

It is your generous support that lets us do things like the March for Purity, and well as the upcoming men’s retreat, Women’s Tea for Life and the Real Catholic Men radio program premiering in January.

Thank you again for considering a small – or large – donation.

May God bless and keep you,

David Renshaw
Real Catholic Ministries
P.O. Box 116
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Monday, September 14, 2009

"March for Purity" is the First of Many

This past Saturday (September 12th) I had the great blessing of organizing the first "March for Purity." The March was attended by 20+ men with Rosaries in hand to pray in front of the local Planned Parenthood building, two strip clubs and an adult bookstore.

It was a brisk 95 degrees, but we were fortunate enough to have a lot of water, as well as finding shade at all of the locations.

This was my first time doing anything like this - either as an organizer or as a participant. I must say that it was amazing. Many men who attended had not been to the conferences I had put on, and had no idea who I was. They each came up to me and thanked me for making this event happen. A few even said that they had thought of doing something like this themselves, but just didn't know where to start.

I am so glad that I was able to offer the opportunity.

Fr. Eric Andersen - a newly ordained priest, accompanied us to the first two locations. His presence was much appreciated, and much felt. His prayers and blessings were sustaining.

We received only a few comments from passers-by, and a train nearly drowned out one full decade, but the day belonged to Mary.

Saturday was the Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She was with us every step of the way. She was there to comfort us and give us strength, in addition to holding out her loving hand to those "dancers" who came out to laugh at us.

Please pray for all of those who have had abortions, those caught in the web of sexual addiction and those who run such establishments. They need us to show them the light.

The light of Christ.

God bless you all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What the Lord Wants


One word. A lifetime of prayer and progress. I wish I knew more about it.

I am at a time in my life when I am trying to "discern" more than ever. At 40 - and currently out of work - I really feel that I am at a true crossroads.

God is calling. But what does He want? I think I know. Or is that me talking?

Maybe discernment isn't a definitive moment in time. One where you can say, "Righ there! That's when God spoke to me."

Maybe it's a small smile. Walking a few steps in front with arms crossed - like a father when his child learns to walk or ride a bike.

He wants to see my dedication. My focus. Not on the "goal," but on Him. He needs to remain at the center of ALL things.

I read. I reflect. I pray.

There is no lighting, thunder, burning bush or e-mail.

Just a smile. A nod.

Just as a loving Father should.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Walk with the Spirit

This past Friday, I was working my shift at the Oregon Right to Life booth at the Washington County Fair. For those of you NOT in the Portland, Oregon area - last week was one of the hottest on record. I say this to set the scene for the following story.

When my shift was completed, I called my wife to have her come pick me up. We live about 3 1/2 miles from the fair grounds, so I wouldn't have to wait long. The only problem was that the garage door had broken and that she, the kids, and the cars were trapped. She tried to get some of our neighbors to come and get me... but none of them were home.

It was at this point that I began my walk home.

That alone wouldn't have been extremely tragic. The issue was that I was wearing flip-flops and pants... and the temp was still in the 90's.

My wife was worried. But I smiled. Now I get to pray.

Before I got a hundred yards, I pulled out my Rosary. I prayed it for the poor people who were working the Planned Parenthood booth just a stones-throw away from where we were stationed. By the time I had completed the Rosary, my flip-flopped feet began to ache.

Praise God! I thought. I'll offer up my suffering for those workers as well.

I took off my flip-flops and began to walk barefoot. I immediately thought of the feet of Christ. All the walking he did. How dirty they must have been. How they must have hurt a lot of the time.

I raised my arms as I walked. Praising and thanking God for all His great works. The sun. The air. The trees. I prayed for my friends and family. I asked for the intercession of EVERY saint I could think of. I thanked God for my enemies. For my wife. My children.

I just praised. I don't think I even asked for anything. I just praised God.

After an hour and 10 minutes of walking, I arrived home. I was beat and my feet hurt (and boy, were they dirty), but I was filled with the Holy Spirit. Once I stopped walking, I could barely move my legs. Yeah, I'm a little out of shape;-)

After my wife gave me a tall glass of ice water and a plate of ravioli, I moved over to the couch. My wife surprised my by washing my blackened feet. I cannot tell you how good it felt.

But what felt better than my feet was my spirit. God was with me on that walk - as He is with EVERY walk that ANY of us take. Never forget that.

God be praised in all things.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Find Joy In Me"

I feel different.

The first weekend in June, a good friend of mine and I attened a retreat for men's group leaders which was held at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH.

I was originally under the impression that it was going to be more of a conference, where men would exchange ideas and tips on how to run men's groups/conferences better. To my surprise (and joy) it was MUCH more than that.

The weekend (as well as the location, for those who have never been to Franciscan University) was life changing. On the first night, we took part in benediction and adoration. Truth be told, I have never been good at adoration. Either my mind wanders aimlessly... or I fall asleep. This time I begged God to speak to me in this setting. 75 men worshipping Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament after having been through confession. I asked for Him to show me true happiness. True joy that would not send me "seeking" in the wrong (and sinful) places, or cause anger and frustration when let down by those in whom you've put your trust.

"Please," I begged. "Please, please, please..." And He spoke to me. And His words were few, but powerful.

"Find joy in me."

"Of course!" I thought. But I kind of knew that. He is the source of all joy. For what seemed like 15 minutes, all I could hear in my head were those four words. Find joy in me. Find joy in me. Find joy in me.

But as I continued to think... and soon became destracted... the phrase (or at least the emphasis) changed. Soon it was: "Find joy in ME." At each distraction, I was "snapped" back to the center by Christ saying, "Find joy in Me." Not is other people being more quiet. Not in the bad driver. Not in the screaming children. Not in your job, your friends or your family. Over here! Find joy in ME! Not over there. Find joy in ME.

There it was, a true (to my definition) "centering prayer." One that brings your focus back to God and not on the noises in the periphery. One that holds your gaze, your attention and your spirit.

Finally! I had "found" something in adoration. But that was only the beginning. The Masses at the University were the most amazing I have EVER attended. I was prayed over and deliverd from so much brokenness. I heard speakers who pierced my soul. I talked with men who LOVED God.

I came back to Portland unconcerned that I had only sold a handful of tickets to a conference I was funding with my own credit card. As my wife and I began a Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary... the registrations came pouring in. On the day of the conference I had 60+ walk-up registrations. The day was amazing!

The next day (Father's Day) was full of joy.

The next day (Monday) I was fired from my job.

It was not a "good" break up.

But you know what. I know now that I can't look for joy in others. They'll let you down every time. As I drove away from my now-former work, with my box of stuff in the passenger seat, I smiled. I know that our God is an awesome God, and that He has WONDERFUL things in store for those who love Him.

As I write this I am three weeks into being unemployed. I don't know how I'll pay my house or car payments next month. I'm having some problems with an old knee injury and have no insurance. But I know where the source of joy is... was... and always will be.

In my Lord who strengthens me.

"Find joy in me."

Thank you, Jesus. For the simple message that speaks so much.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2009 Real Catholic Men Conference: A Done Deal.

I know, I know. It's been forever. Some of you might be saying, "I never knew he was gone." Either way, I'm back to let you know how everything went for the 2009 RCM Conference.

I arrived at the venue (St. Joseph Parish in Vancouver, WA, just over the river from Portland, OR) at about 6:15 AM and was surprised to find the venue coordinators Christian Spencer and Jerry Herera already there. We had a couple of issue right off the bat.

The graphic I created to project on the big screen as a welcome to the men when they arrived wouldn't open for some reason. Luckily, the day's program was also on a disc, and Christian whipped up a new graphic that looked great - better than what I had originally come up with!

Then, my father-in-law and I tried to put together the RCM sign frame which is always a hassle - and it was again. But we had plenty of time and were able to throw it together.

I must admit, we had some scary times over the past few months, as advance ticket sales were very poor. However, my registration table helpers came to me early on and told me that the walk-ups just wouldn't stop. Thank You, Jesus!

This year we served a continental breakfast in addition to lunch. Yummy! I heard rave reviews for all who came about the quaility of the food. You go, Knights of Columbus.

Evangelist Richard Lane was the first to take the stage. He gave an emotional and heart-felt talk about change and the call for Reconciliation. The crowd was shouting, "AMEN!" from the moment he began until the moment he left.

It took Richard 15+ hours to make the trip from St. Louis. No, that is not how long it should take. And, yes, it is a long story.

After that, 200 men made their way to Confession. The seven priests in attendance offered the Sacrament, and I was so pleased to see so many men make a fresh start. Music was provided by world-class composer and pianist, Ken Canedo of Spirit and Song.

Lunch followed, and it was a great time to shop the vendor tables and have over an hour of fellowship. I worked the tables and sold raffle tickets to support the Father Bernard Youth Center in Mt. Angel, Oregon. We raised $354 for this great organization.

After lunch, John LaBriola hit the men between the eyes with a talk on spiritual warfare. It was a topic I knew needed to be discussed. John did a great job, and many men told me how great the practical tips were. Thanks, John.

Father Donald Calloway closed the speaker portion of the day by recounting his amazing and anointed conversion story. Wow! No matter if you've heard it before or not - you can't help but be moved.

As is customary - and rightly so - the day ended with Holy Mass in the beautiful church. The place was packed. And that's the way it should be!

St. Joseph Radio was there to record the day, and they sold out of every copy they had burned... and continued to take orders for more. I hope to have more information about how to obtain copies if anyone is interested.

Many men were transformed by the day, and the feedback has been incredible. I am so excited to be preparing for 2010 and beyond. For more information on the 2010 conference as well as pictures from the event, log on to

Friday, May 29, 2009

A May to Forget

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging for a while. Well, there are a number of good reasons for that.

First and foremost are the 4 ER visits and 3 hospital stays my wife (and I) endured this month. We even had to resort to having my mother coming out from Arizona (God bless her) to help out for a week so I could actually go to work. You see, I had used up ALL my sick time taking care of her and the kids since January.

I have also been solely responsible for launch a huge project at work which called me to work 13-hour days - all while my wife was in enormous pain. We've had to call on friends to take shifts in watching the kids, picking up my oldest daughter from Kindergarten, bringing us food and just keeping our heads above water.

Our faith community has been a literal God-send. But that doesn't make the stress any less. It was during this time that we also decided to have our daughter go to a different Catholic school for the 1st Grade next year. It's much closer, but not a place we have been too involved in... and not a place where we have a community (yet).

Oh, and don't forget I'm also in the final weeks of planning the men's conference - and ticket sales have been WAY down.

I can barely bring myself to pray...and when I do, it seems to come out as simple begging for the stress and strain to stop. I just want it to end.


Because I have not spiritually armed myself well enough to handle such periods with grace and fortitude. I really thought that this was the time I was going to crack under the pressure and make a reservation in a little padded room.

There's other stuff too, but I won't go into it here.

The devil is trying to get me down. And he's done a pretty good job of it so far. I need help. We all need help.

My scripture reading and prayer time has vanished. I just want to sleep. I just want the kids to be quiet. I just want to go away.

But I know I have been called. And I cannot turn away. Because it was the Master who called His servant.

"Speak, O Lord. Your servant is listening."

Unfortunately, I'm too busy begging for it all to stop to listen.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Are You Ready For More Catholic Bashing?

Reports today state that Mel Gibson's wife, Robyn, has filed for divorce.

As "the face" of Catholicism to most people, this tragic event in the life of the Gibson family will be just the foder the anti-Catholic community has been looking for.

Hold firm. Show love and forgiveness.

And most of all - be prepared to defend yourselves.

And, of course, pray for them.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Fail, Therefore I Am

Living your faith raises the bar.

It's like setting the high-jump to 12'. God's pretty sure you're not going to make it over, but the plan is for each of us to work hard every day and give it our best shot.

That's how I've been feeling lately.

When I set out to do the Real Catholic Men conference and the associated ministry, I knew I'd be putting a sort of target on my back. Who the heck was I to be taking on this role? What would people think of me if I stumbled and fell for all to see? Would the people of faith afford me the forgiveness and understanding that I need when I fall?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I am human, and that I have been having a hard time lately.

Like many men, there is something in (or around) my heart that is not letting Jesus fully inside. Either that, or that there is so much garbage in there that there is no room for Him. My faith has taken up residence in my mind, but not in my soul. Christ continues to live in the fringe and not at the center of my life. I am trying - don't get me wrong - and I will not give up. But it's difficult.

The relationship that I have with God is much like it is with my wife. She is a saint to put up with me. And I'm sure all of us who are married can pretty much say the same thing. We can be a real pain in the butt. Lately, I have been a HUGE one.

And while I truly love my wife, there are times that I treat her horribly. She deserves better. But I seem to not be able to let her all the way inside my heart, and anger is usually the easiest way to keep her out.

I know my faith and I (for the most part) live my faith, but I am having hard time feeling my faith. I read and pray and confess and pray some more, but the wall is still up.

I have recently found a new spiritual director who I hope will take me further in my understanding of why I am who I am. I am a sinful man, trying to leave that person further behind each and every day - only the distance is not increasing.

This is a life-long endeavor. I will work on it every day until I die. God willing, in end I'll have been made worthy to hear those words: "Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done."

Pray for me as I do for all of you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

How Low Can We Go?

I've never been a fan of horror movies. Neither in my past life as one who consumed movies like candy - nor in my current one where me watching a movie is about as common as lunar eclipse.

I do, however, watch an occasional television program, so I see the ads for what is coming out in the theaters.

The influx of disgusting, over-the-top, slasher flics like "Hostel," the "Saw" series and the like, make me wonder what the world is coming to.

Recently I saw an ad for a movie called "The Last House on The Left." I remember when the first version came to cable in the early 1970's. I could not recall what it was about, so when MSN posted a "review" (and I use that term loosely) for the film, I decided to see what they had to say about such a revolting indulgence.

It was while reading this review (which was more of a review for the previous incarnations) that I came a cross a phrase I had never heard before. It was a phrase used to refer to movies such as this and the ones I mentioned earlier. The phrase was: "torture-porn."

Now, while the phrase alone should make anyone with a soul cringe, it was the apparent "throw away" usage of the word that hit me the hardest.

Shouldn't this phrase, and the movies it represents, absolutely infuriate every single living, breathing human being? Is anyone out there actually "pro torture-porn?"

As a matter of fact, the reviewer is woman. Does she feel nothing when she sees the portayal of women as nothing more than magnets for sex and violence? Does a paycheck make her numb?

How much lower can we go when "torture-porn" is synonymous with "entertainment?"

The word "repent" has no better application than for those who create, fund and promote such destructive content.

In this Lenten season, pray for these people. Their desert is vast and wide, and they are giving into the tempations of the Evil One.

Repent and believe in the Gosepl.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Listen to the Cross

History tells us that St. Francis of Assisi - while praying in front of the crucifix - heard Jesus say to him three times, "Francis, go and repair My house, which you see is falling down."

Francis thought He meant the physical structure he was praying in, and set out fix the church brick by brick. It was later revealed that the crucified Christ was referring to the state of The Church and her people.

But the question I pose today is this: Does the cross still speak to us today? And more than just the simple symbol of the cross - but the glory of the crucifix.

Yes, there is glory in the pain and anguish of the crucifix. There are lessons to be learned by each of us. Whether it be of suffering, service, denying yourself, or sacrifice - or all of the above.

One night in prayer, I asked Jesus about His agony in carrying the cross through the city streets on His way to Calvary. My specific question was, "When you were carrying the cross, were you trying to get to the mountain as quickly as possible so that you could fulfill your destiny, or were you so scared that you were goining as slowly as you could to delay this pain?"

And Jesus answered me. He told me, "I walked just fast enough so they wouldn't beat me any more."

A glorious answer from the God-Man. So divine and so human.

He may not have exactly spoken to me from the cross, but his passion, death and resurrection speak to us every day. Sit in front of the crucifix and listen to what Jesus has to say to you. He has a message that He wants you to hear. A message just for you - his precious child.

Come to Him as a child. Sit at His feet and listen to the Master. There are words of wisdom, love and life from the King of Kings!

Embrace the Cross!

Monday, February 23, 2009

And the Loser Is...

Last night I watched a bit of the Academy Awards. Not a lot - but enough.

For those of you who don't know, I spent 12 years in film and television production, and more than a few of those in Los Angeles. I was on the road to working in "The Biz" for the rest of my life when my morals and ethics got in the way. Just kidding.

My dream was to write an award winning screenplay and be in just such an audience as there was last night at the Kodak Theater. Believe me - I've done the mock acceptance speech thing a number of times.

Over the last 4-5 years, I have pretty much completely separated myself from that industry and all other pointless pursuits. I have no desire at all to go back there. To "rub elbows" with the rich and famous.

So as I sat there last night, knowing full well that it was just a matter of time before someone made a political/social/religious statement that would make my blood boil. I hunkered down as they announced Sean Penn as Best Actor.

Mr. Penn attempted to wax eloquent about the shame that those who had voted for the ban on gay marriage would bring onto themselves and their grandchildren.

At least those who voted on the gay marriage ban WILL have grandchildren. Those who vote pro-life WILL procreate.

Mr. Penn needs to realize that he and his egocentric Hollywood hot-air blowers don't speak for America. And they certainly don't speak for true Catholic Christians.

While they may not believe that God exists, God certainly knows that they do. And He knows the lies they are spreading.

When Mr. Penn's time comes - and it will indeed come - I hope he understand that the path that he is headed down is nowhere near as enjoyable as a post-Oscar party at Spago's. And this place is for eternity.

Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Comprehensive Stupidity

Here is a story from KGW here is Portland that I saw on the internet. I poste my response (below) on the site as well. Here is the story:

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Grant High School teacher's sex education teacher is changing his curriculum after a controversial presentation he did hit YouTube.

Norman Scott's unorthodox method of teaching students about sex education involved wearing a pair of red underwear over his pants. He also put a condom on his head after blowing it up.
Scott has taught health and physical education for 33 years. He told The Oregonian it was the first time he's tried the teaching method and found it to be quite effective.

The district has told him to stop.

Here was my response:

Yes, STIs and AIDS are hilarious. While the STI rates among teens continue to rise, the public schools are still trying to sell what doesn't work. The largest increase in STIs are those that are spread by skin-to-skin contact - which "protection" does not protect against. Maybe the teachers should be educated before the students. Comprehensive sex ed is a complete failure. Good job PPS.

On this particular website, other readers can give your comment a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down." Not surprisingly, I have currently received 19 "thumbs down" responses.

Rather than burying his head in a condom, he has been burying his head in the sand. How can "sex ed" teacher (more than likely, a P.E. or Science teacher who got wrangled into the job) so callously pass along this information. This is about the lives of our children. Not about the number of "hits" you get on YouTube.

Please pray for our kids who are being "taught" by the likes of Mr. Scott.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Encounter with "The Angry Young Man."

I had an odd morning yesterday.

After dropping my daughter off at school and a quick stop at the post office, I began my drive to work.

While pulling up to a red light, I glanced in my rear-view mirror to see a woman trying to get out of a car and a man pulling her back in. They were screaming and hitting each other. The light quickly turned green and I moved foward, wondering what my duty as a citizen and an Catholic man is in just such a situation.

At the next intersection, the light turned red as well. The car sped up and stopped behind me once again - and again the same scenario played out. I reached for my cell phone, about to call 911. I thought to myself, "by the time time I make the call, they may be gone and I'll lose my chance to help."

So I put my car in park, put on the hazard lights and got out, making my way to the car behind me.

Out pops the "angry young man," telling me I'd better get my *%$# back in the @#$%ing car. Again and again he tells me this. Calmly I ask him, "Does she want to get out of the car?" More cursing. "Does she want to get out of the car?"

I look a the woman, her head in her hands - partly out of sadness, but mostly out of embarrassment, I think. The AYM hops back in his car and speeds around me. So now I can get behind him and get his lisence plate number. I dial 911, talk to an operator, give her in the info and in an instant the bright green Honda CRX is down a residential street and gone. I try to loop around a few times to find it, but can't.

I do, however, see a cop looking around the same area I reported so I flag him down. I am able to describe the guy, the girl and the car to him.

I'm back in my car and on my way. I try to say a Rosary - for myself and both of those people. I can't. I just keep thinking, "Did I do enough?" What if he beats her again? Kills her? Would it be my fault?

Most of my morning is spent thinking about this encounter. It's a weird day.

Today I say a Rosary on the way to work. No fighting twenty-somethings. No confrontation. Just me and the Luminous Mysteries. Today I feel at peace. I did my best. If the Lord had wanted me to do more, I would have. He gives us strength that we might not think we have if He wants us to have it. The strength to pray, to forgive, to fight sin - to tackle an abuser if need be.

Today the Lord calms my fears. I hope he calms those two unfortunate souls as well.

Pray for them.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How About Some R.E.S.P.E.C.T for L.I.F.E.?

Today I watched the March for Life from Washington D.C. on the internet (thanks to EWTN).

I was uplifted and encouraged by the enthusiasm of the marchers - both young and old alike - who have been there year after year, and some for the first time.

I was especially happy to see all of the young people there. Those who came with their church youth groups, high school and college clubs, or lay ministries. They way they spoke of their love of life and love of the Church was inspiring.

And please know that unless you watched it first-hand (or were there) you will NOT be getting the proper coverage in your local or national new outlets. Some websites were reporting "tens of thousands", while those who were there marching said it was the largest they had seen in some time. Closer to 200,000 or more.

And as can be expected, reports focused more on President Obama and his "reaction" to the pleas from most of the speakers.

As an abstinence educator, I will someday be able to put into words how backwards his thought process is on reducing the number of teen pregnancies while also cutting funding for abstinence education. But for right now, I am just too angry.

I pray daily that this man who means so much to so many will give the r-e-s-p-e-c-t that is due to those who are most vulnerable.

After all, Aretha Franklin did sing at your inauguration.

Take care. T - C - B.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Real Pro-Life Men

Here is my interview with the Fathers for Good website... a part of the Knights of Columbus.

David Renshaw, founder of Real Catholic Men conferences, spoke with Fathers for Good about promoting the Culture of Life in his family and his Oregon community.

Fathers for Good: You live in Oregon, the first state to legalize physician assisted suicide. How does the law affect the culture there? Have you seen any impact among friends, family?

Renshaw: While the culture in Oregon has always been very “choice” oriented, the physician assisted suicide law has added another dimension to the pro-life fight. Physicians have made themselves into instruments of social change, rather than healers.

Even though it is a public law, it does not include any sort of mandatory reporting as to who will be notified when this choice is exercised, whether other options were given to the patient, whether the patient was depressed at the time, whether the patient was concerned about the cost of continuing care – nothing. There is a veil of secrecy around the public practice of this procedure. But what we have heard in darkness, we need to proclaim in the light.

The doctors and legislators tell us this is just another way to exercise one’s freedom, but the truth is these people are slaves to the sin in their lives. Slaves to idea that “might makes right,” as well as to their ego that tells them that they can deem someone worthy to live or die. The only one who can choose whether we live or die is the one who created us – our Heavenly Father. Our family and friends continue to pray and try to educate anyone who will lend us an ear.

FFG: How do you explain such a law to your kids when the message seems to be some people are better off dead?

Renshaw: My girls are 5 ½ and 4, and I have a 6-month-old son. During the last election we had to explain abortion to our oldest daughter because they were doing a mock election in her kindergarten class. I’m not quite sure she understood it completely, but it was a humbling moment to be sure.

This weekend (January 18th) we’ll be attending a Roe v. Wade rally in downtown Portland, and it will offer another opportunity to explain how precious life is.

FFG: How do you pass the pro-life message to your children?

Renshaw: We are blessed to have many friends who have had babies in the last few years, as well as some who are currently pregnant. What a wonderful chance to tell a child that “there is a baby in there.” To see their eyes light up lets you know that they completely understand what that means – more so than many adults. To see their own mother (or family member or friend) go through a pregnancy and deliver a beautiful new life -- there’s no better teaching tool than that.

FFG: Tell us about Real Catholic Men? When did you start it, what is the goal?

Renshaw: Real Catholic Men started as both a positive and negative reaction. I was blessed with meeting many men (the type of men I had never encountered before) who were so alive in their faith that I wanted to know what they had -- and what I was missing.

At the same time, I was growing increasingly frustrated with men who were not living up to their God-given roles of husbands, fathers, sons – MEN! Real Catholic Men is now in the process of planning our second conference in June 2009, gearing up for podcasting and – God willing – producing a radio program that will help us with our goal: to reach as many men as possible and bring them closer to their faith, their families and their Lord.

For more information, visit the Real Catholic Men website.

Monday, January 19, 2009

For Whom The Bells Tolled

Yesterday I attended a Roe V. Wade Memorial Rally in downtown Portland, Oregon.

The rally started with the tolling of bells. 50 of them. One for each MILLION babies that have been killed in the womb.

I was reminded of a phrase I heard first in high school - and have heard many times since: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

To be honest, I couldn't remember where it was from, or what the context was, but I somehow knew that it (pardon the pun) rang true with where I was and what I was there to support.

The line comes from a poem by John Donne written in 1624. The same poem contains another famous line: "No man is an island." Here is the complete work.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, ask not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

This poem is so unbelievably appropriate. These unborn who have no voice - murdered before they even had a fighting chance - are part of us. Their death is our death. Their loss is our loss. The pro-choice people will tell you that each man IS an island. They can make their own decision because they affect no one but themselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When those bells tolled, they not only tolled for the 50 million lost... but they tolled for each and every human being who has come before us, is here now, or will ever be.

Every life is sacred! EVERY life!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009 Can Be The "Year of the Catholic Man"

Dear Men of God,

2009 offers us a unique opportunity to be all that we can be in terms of living our faith to the fullest - and in full view for all to see.In a societal sense - things look a bit rough. Many of us are losing our jobs or have been "cut back" in our hours. While prices go up, our incomes go down. This - as you can imagine - causes our stress level to go up, which in turn can bring about serious sin: anger, physical abuse, escape to pornography, etc.

I don't want to get all "political" here, but our President-elect vows to "protect a woman's right to choose" by quickly passing the Freedom of Choice Act (F.O.C.A.) - a bill that will undeniably kill more babies each year than our country has EVER seen. The death toll stands at 50+ million lives lost. That could be paled in short-order.

Our call is to remain steadfast in Jesus Christ and follow HIM - especially in the current climate. Pray harder than ever before. Not just in your bedrooms or churches, but in front of (and with) your children. In public restaurants. Attach prayer cards to your computer monitors - at home and at work! Turn off the television and read, play games with your family, attend Bible study groups, help the less-fortunate. Don't just be hearers of the Word, but be doers of the Word!

Make yourself - and your faith - visible. Go to rallies. This weekend (Jan. 18th) I'll be at the Roe V. Wade Memorial Rally in downtown Portland, Oregon. You should do the same if one comes available. Say a Rosary in front of an abortion clinic, strip club or adult book store.

This is our call. This is our duty. In good economic times and in bad. Who cares how much money you're making? You must live your faith regardless of your financial status - or if you "feel like it."

Be a Real Catholic Man. Make 2009 a year of re-discovery when it comes to the reality of Christ in your life.

Live your faith out loud! God bless you all.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Humble beginnings to a New Year

The idea of "deserving" something. It has been on my mind lately. Do we, as mere humans - yet God's most prized creation - deserve anything? I mean, if we work hard, do we deserve rewards or is it just part of the system we live in?

I have been working very hard lately (as at most times) to be a better Catholic. I attended Mass 3 times this week. I went to Confession. I prayed the Rosary. I read Scripture.

During this time, I received a nice donation to RCM from a gentleman who attended the 2008 Conference. In the weeks previous I had gotten other dontations which allowed me to purchase some equipment for podcasting (which will begin soon).

So my question is... did I "deserve" this stuff because of my striving to be better?

Or is that a question that turns us inward, when we should be looking to God?

I don't think it's about us. It never is. It's always about God and His glory. I do what I do to glorify God, not to get "stuff". Or accolades. Or recognition. I do it because more than anything, I want to spread the truth about God's love and how its fullness can be found in the Catholic Church.

I feel like one of those football players who scores a touchdown, then points to the heavens. He knows where his success came from. As do I.

In, through and with Christ... all things are possible.