Catholic Commute Episode 4: 3 Specific words

3 words that we all use very poorly - to our own detriment

In the first half of this week we covered the power of words to change our reality and several practical tips to really harness that power.  This episode is going to get a lot more detailed.  In this episode I chose three specific words that I think we as a society are misusing pretty badly.  I’m going to explore each of those words, what they really mean, why I think that meaning is important, and what proper use can do to change your life.

This might sound a little bit silly to some of you – why put so much effort into just a few words?  These words form the basis of how we communicate our thoughts, our feelings, our identity, our very core of being to each other.  If the words are broken, those communication channels are shut down. We are all built and designed to work in relationship.  Broken words lead to broken relationships.

There will be more words we explore over the course of this podcast, but I think these three are critical to moving forward with all the other important topics.  I hope you enjoy this episode, I had a lot of fun making it!

If you have successfully found and subscribed to the podcast, it should already be downloaded onto your smart phone!  If not, you can find it in Itunes or Android by searching for “The Catholic Commute”  If you have that option, it makes the media much easier to get!

For those who don’t have the option, you can download the file directly at this link, or listen using the player below!

Please, leave feedback and ratings!  I’m excited to hear what you think!

Catholic Commute Episode 3: The Power of Words

How the words you use will shape your life

This week we open up the topic of our language.  In order to set the basis for episodes going forward, we need to start by looking at our communication.  The words we speak have tremendous power – they can literally shape and transform our lives.  Does this sound like an incredible claim?  In the first part of today’s episode I talk about 3 ways that your words have a bigger impact than you think.  I think we all need to put a lot more thought into what words we use and how we use them.

The second part of the episode today, I talk about 4 steps to harness this incredible power of words.  If words are so powerful – and I hope by this point in the episode I have successfully persuaded you they are – then what is to be done?  Do not fear, we can indeed harness this powerful tool that God has given us.  We can use it to successfully transform our lives and the lives of those around us.

I think the episodes this week will be a critical groundwork for many episodes to come.  I hope you enjoy listening these as much as I did making them!

If you have successfully found and subscribed to the podcast, it should already be downloaded onto your smart phone!  If not, you can find it in Itunes or Android by searching for “The Catholic Commute”  If you have that option, it makes the media much easier to get!

For those who don’t have the option, you can download the file directly at this link, or listen using the player below!

Please, leave feedback and ratings!  I’m excited to hear what you think!

Catholic Commute Episode 2 – 6 Steps to Achieving Greatness

You were made for greatness.  Blessed Pope John Paul II repeated this truth all over the world, and people of every age responded to it with enthusiasm.  We all have this deep need to be great.  Today, continuing with the theme of introduction to the podcast, I’d like to offer you my view on six steps that you can take to help achieve that greatness.

This episode gives the 30,000 foot altitude view of greatness.  In future episodes I intend to dive into a lot more specifics.  These six steps can apply to every aspect of life, all the categories.

For those who haven’t found my podcast in iTunes yet, here is a direct link.

The direct download for the mp3 can be found on this link.

Lastly, you can listen to the podcast directly below!

Into The Storm

From time to time we all encounter a storm.  I’m right now nearing the end of my own little storm – moving from Portland , OR to Boise, ID with a change in jobs.  By the grace of God and some amazing support from a loving wife, this storm has not been too bad.  Although it isn’t over, the end is nearly in sight.  As I start to be able to breathe again, I want to share some of my reflections.

I want to start with how Jesus handles a storm.  You can read slightly different versions in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, or Luke 8:22-25.  We all know the basic story: Jesus is sleeping, there’s a big storm, the disciples get scared, they wake Jesus up, and He calms it down.  Simple, right?  Let’s look deeper.

When it’s time to leap

I’m currently unemployed with a baby on the way – and I don’t have a new job offer.  It’s not a comfortable position to be in but it’s not by accident that I’m here.  I left my job because I believed that God was telling me it was time for the next thing.  Leaping without a safety net is scary!  Do you feel called to do something different in your life?

Dignity of Women and Men

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)  Lots of effort goes into comparing the genders and their position in our society.  The Catholic Church sometimes gets a negative image in the media over some positions she takes.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”  Today, I’d like to try to address one common misperception.

My blog is intended to inspire men to become the best version of themselves.  To do that, I try to describe that potential.  I do not speak as much to women but I certainly believe that they also have great potential given by God.  Men and women were both created in God’s image.  To reach that potential, both genders need to understand the special strengths of each gender.  It’s not enough to merely be a great person – you must also be great at joining with others to create the Body of the Church. 

Confrontation and You: Steps to Success

This post is a review of Michael Hyatt’s podcast from Season 2, Episode 5: How to confront someone who offends you (or others) without ruining your relationship.  I strongly encourage you to go listen to this podcast, it’s fantastic!  Everyone struggles with confrontation, but I think men have a particularly hard time with confronting without causing damage.  Hopefully this article will give you some new techniques to improve your confrontation skills in any relationship.

Michael presents 6 steps to handling confrontation.  As you read through these, I want you to picture confrontations you’ve had in different important relationships.  Perhaps you recently had a disagreement with your wife or children.  Perhaps you’ve disagreed with a parent or in-law.  Remember what happened, and now ask yourself “what could I have done differently?”  I’ve added some of my own discussion to each step below:

1. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt.  It’s a good thing this one is first, because without this step you won’t get anywhere.  I personally have found that this one step can solve probably half of the arguments I have whether at home or at work.  There are so many times I have responded poorly to a comment from my wife when I assumed the worst.  Many harsh words later, the truth of her real intention was uncovered, but it was too late.  Words are like arrows: once loosed, they can never be recalled.

There’s a second part to this step: you don’t have to confront every minor injustice you encounter.  Michael gives a great story in his podcast that just touched my heart.  A passenger on a commuter train is riding home one evening when a man and several children get on the train.  The children are poorly behaved and bouncing all over the train.  The man seems aloof and distant.  After a certain amount of time, the first passenger decides to confront the man about their behavior.  The man responds “Oh, I’m so sorry, they just lost their mother and we’re all pretty broken up about it.”

Discipline, a Medicine For Life

It’s the final full week of lent.  It seemed like a post on discipline might be appropriate.  For those of you who aren’t Catholic, stick with me here.  We all struggle with self-discipline.  I think before doing almost any unpleasant task, I have to tell myself to do it a minimum of five times.  I have watched the grass grow to my knees before mowing.  I’ve waited half the winter to finish insulating my windows.  Don’t even ask where the dog is able to walk in the back yard right now to do her business.  Let’s face it, I need better discipline.  Is it actually that important?

Why does discipline matter?  In The 7 Levels of Intimacy, Matthew Kelly said “Never believe a promise from anyone who does not have discipline. They have broken 1000 promises to themselves, they will break the promise for you. Discipline is evidence of freedom, and freedom is a prerequisite of love.”  Let’s unpack this sentence a little.

Lead from Your heart

Have you ever been part of a team where the person in charge didn’t seem to care about the project? It’s not a secret when a leader isn’t passionate; other members can sense it and start questioning the meaning of the project. Whether it’s at work, community events, or at home with your children or your spouse, true leadership comes from the heart. I don’t mean some kind of feminist foo-foo warmth here; I mean real passion, excitement, and engagement.

All too often we stumble through our days, simply trying to diffuse one crisis after another – living only to avoid pain. If your heart isn’t engaged in your daily activities, you’re not really living – and you’re certainly not fulfilling your mission of leadership. You have to put all of yourself into your life – every little bit of enthusiasm and conviction you can muster. Sound scary? It sure is. When we put our heart first, it can be hurt. If we don’t though, the consequences are even worse.

This article is inspired by a podcast by Michael Hyatt, an expert on leadership. The podcast can be found on his website. I highly recommend you go and listen to it. It will make a difference in how you live your life.  He takes a slightly different perspective, and he’s a fantastic speaker!

Welcome to The Stakes are High

Hello, welcome to my blog!  Everything isn’t quite ready yet, but it’s time to get started.  This is a blog for men.  I want my first post to outline my goals for writing.  There are a lot of blogs out there that deal with leadership and self-growth.  There are also a lot of blogs on theology.  I believe, however, there’s a very real and urgent need to challenge men, specifically, to grow in Christ-likeness.  We are tasked to lead our families and communities as Christ models for us: through sacrifice.  I’m going to be direct and it may be hard to read.  It will be even harder to actually live.  We all have people that are counting on us, depending on us, maybe even desperate for us to grow into the men God intends us to be.

Mountain Road

So, what is this blog actually about anyways?