Catholic Commute S01E26 Think-To-Talk or Talk-To-Think. 5 Tips

Communicate better with the other type

There are two types of people in the world when it comes to communication styles.  Those who need to Talk in order to Think, and those who need to Think in order to Talk.  Whichever you are, you will have some challenges in communicating.  Most of the time, we tend to marry our opposites.

In this episode, I give each type of person 5 tips that will help you communicate more effectively.  Most importantly of all is to realize what type of person you are, and what type of person you are addressing.  As with all character aspects, there is no “right” or “wrong,” there is only room to move towards compromise.

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Catholic Commute S01E17 6 Steps to Properly Use Alcohol

How to enjoy a drink, not only that night, but the next morning too

Alcohol is everywhere in our society, and I think men especially can find great comfort in its consumption.  Alcohol is not intrinsically bad, and there are definitely good ways to enjoy its use without causing problems.  Still, it can be abused without care.

In this episode I explore 6 steps to help you use alcohol in a way that you will still be able to enjoy the next morning.  If we don’t take care to be intentional in our choices, we can quickly become a victim.  The Bible is full of wisdom about how to use this particular creation of God.

Come along today as I explore the actions and statements of Our Lord, as well as historical tradition offered by the old testament.

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Catholic Commute S01E16 5 Truths about Sex to unlock its potential Part 2

Why sex cannot be just about a sensation

There are perhaps few topics that modern society has attacked as hard as sex.  We are literally saturated with toxic and misleading messages about what we men (and women!) should expect about sex and from sex every day.  Yet, somehow, we are still supposed to find meaning and fulfillment from our sexual experiences in marriage.

In this episode, I tackle the second 3 of 5 really difficult truths about sex for men.  It’s not enough to simply “try hard” – we need to be deliberate and intentional.  These are not easy things to hear, but they are harder things yet to live without.

Join me today, and if you struggle with these issues, you may find some help to change.  Today’s topic is an adult one, so consider carefully who can hear the podcast.

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Catholic Commute S01E15 5 Truths about Sex to unlock its potential Part 1

Why sex cannot be just about a sensation

There are perhaps few topics that modern society has attacked as hard as sex.  We are literally saturated with toxic and misleading messages about what we men (and women!) should expect about sex and from sex every day.  Yet, somehow, we are still supposed to find meaning and fulfillment from our sexual experiences in marriage.

In this episode, I tackle the first 2 of 5 really difficult truths about sex for men.  It’s not enough to simply “try hard” – we need to be deliberate and intentional.  These are not easy things to hear, but they are harder things yet to live without.

Join me today, and if you struggle with these issues, you may find some help to change.  Today’s topic is an adult one, so consider carefully who can hear you.

You can download the .mp3 here!

Click “Continue Reading” to read the show notes!

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.”

Tenderness is Manly

“My little girl, you need to try again, and try harder!”  A storm of tears erupts, even more than last time.  At this moment, I’m firmly convinced that our 4-year-old daughter is in imminent danger of growing up without any work ethic or strength of character!  Well, perhaps not, but it is a father’s job to build strength and character in the children, right?  Amid the perpetually falling standards of our society, I genuinely do worry about being too soft.  Later that evening I read this quote from Pope Francis: “Christian triumph is always a cross, yet a cross which is at the same time a victorious banner borne with aggressive tenderness against the assaults of evil.”  (emphasis mine)

Tenderness.  I hadn’t really stopped to think about that word, and how it is different from “softness.”  When my wife accused me (note entirely incorrectly) of being too hard, I had believed she was suggesting that I be more soft.  That is the opposite of hard, right?  I’m pretty convinced that men aren’t supposed to be soft, there’s little about me that is soft.  Tenderness, on the other hand, that might be different.  Maybe.  At least the Pope used the word “aggressive” with it, that makes it a little bit more palatable.

So, as a Christian, my triumph is to come through aggressive tenderness…What, then, is this “aggressive tenderness?”  Let me start with Saint Francis de Sales: “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”  We’re coming near to yet another seeming paradox of Christianity.  In order to be strong, you must be gentle.  That’s hard for me.  There are two ways I tend to respond to a tough situation: Ignore it, or solve it with a strong hand.  This gentle strength is a third path that I’m not particularly good at.  It is, however, essential to each of the callings we men have.

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?

Understanding the Mind of a Woman

This post is dedicated to a fantastic book I read, Understanding the Mind of a Woman.  Discovering the Mind of a womanMany men joke, “Not even women can understand the mind of another woman!”  I’ve made the same joke myself, and the author opens up with it.  Still, it is not true.  Men can learn to understand the minds of their wives.  Instead of a literal interpretation, however, it requires a deeper Christ-like attitude.  I’ll warn you, this topic is not for the proud or the stubborn.  If you want to truly connect to your wife, you must use your heart and be prepared to look at your relationship in a different light.

God created men and women to be different.  He gave each of us different skills, viewpoints, and abilities.  He appointed men to the headship of the family.  But, what does that mean, really?  We see so-called “leaders” of society and we see wealth and prestige.  That is not, however, what Christ showed us.  How did Christ lead?  From on top of the cross!  Are you ready to join him up there?  Let’s find out!