Catholic Commute S01E22 6 Steps to Improving Your Prayer Life

How to have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Our Lord

Prayer is hard.  Being truly open and connected to another person here on earth is hard enough, but opening ourselves up to the Creator of the Universe is even harder.  It is, however, super important.  When we open ourselves up to the Lord, we connect ourselves to the font of creativity that made the universe.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to claim that a great many psychological disorders could be solved through confession and prayer.  That is how powerful this is.

In this episode, I give you 6 practical steps to take your prayer life to the next level.  It is difficult to go directly from “casual catholic” to “Mother Teresa” level.  To help make some progress, I’ve broken out 6 steps.  I think you’ll find some help.

For those who haven’t subscribed yet, you can download the .mp3 file directly here, or listen below!

Catholic Commute S01E14 5 Critical Steps to improving your Relationship with Jesus Christ

Getting to know our creator means letting go of ourselves

Last episode hopefully made everyone at least a little bit uncomfortable – a little bit uneasy.  I want to build on that momentum in this episode and challenge all of us to improve.  Building a relationship with Christ is the most important thing we can do in this life, but yet it often times can feel like the least urgent.  We have to intentionally make it a priority!

Do you set aside time regularly to build your relationship with our Lord?  If not, then it’s time to start.  Is there any earthly relationship that cannot be built and maintained without dedicated time?  In this episode I regularly compare our relationship with Jesus to our relationship with a spouse.  If two married people only saw each other once a week for one hour, that marriage would be shaky.

Challenge yourself to make a real change in how you live your life.  Take the next step to improving your relationship with Jesus Christ

You can download the .mp3 file directly here, or play using the built-in player below!

Catholic Commute S01E13 5 Uncomfortable Tenets of Christianity

Sometimes it's hard to follow christ

All, my apologies for the delay in publish this week.  It turns out I did not properly set up all the automation.  Please hang in there with me!

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To walk in the path of Christ requires sacrifice – we all know this on an intellectual level.  Yet, for those of us born into the comfort and safety of the modern first world countries, we have a big disconnect from what that sacrifice really means.  Without embracing these less comfortable parts of our faith, however, we miss out, perhaps missing the entire point.

In this episode, my intent is to challenge all Christians to find where they need to take the next step.  I talk about 5 parts of our faith that we all struggle with at times, and give some advice for how to become better.  Hopefully both Protestants and Catholics will find ways that they are not fully living their faith, and be encouraged to push harder.

If you have not subscribed on your favorite device, you can download the .mp3 file directly here, or listen using the link below.

Catholic Commute S01E10 4 Questions to ask about the hour of your death

If you spend some time thinking about your ending, you get perspective for the moment now

You are going to die.  There is little else I could promise you with as much confidence. What will people say about you?  How will you have impacted the world.  Not only are these important questions then, but they should be important questions now too.

We live our lives with far too little attention on our goal.  I don’t just mean “Am I going to heaven” – although that definitely is the most important one!  It’s more than that.  We need to spend some time thinking about what we want to accomplish.  That will give some much needed perspective on what is really important for us to focus on now.

To help get that thought process going, I discuss in this episode, 4 Questions you should ask yourself about your own death.  This is just the start of a much larger life-plan and goal-planning process that we’ll go into with more detail over time.  I hope you’ll find it helpful!

You can download the file here, or listen using the player below!

Catholic Commute S01E09 5 Reasons to live in the moment

How to be present with all those you love

We’re all busy.  If you’re like me, you probably are not only double-booked during the day, but into the evening as well.  My “To-Do” list needs it’s own Zip-code.  Amidst all this important stuff to do, how are we supposed to find peace?

This episode we’ll explore one of the two most critical moments to live in – Right now.  If you aren’t living in the moment now, then you are missing out one what God meant for you to have.  Yes, work and accomplishments are important!  Even when doing that work, however, we must still be present in the moment.

It may sound silly – whatever other moment could we live in?  Actually, I think there are several other options.  Listen in, and I’ll explain what I mean.  Today, I present 5 reasons why we must all live in the moment – and what the danger is if we don’t.

If you haven’t subscribed, you can download the file here, or listen using the player below!

Catholic Commute Episode 08 – 4 steps to return from Exile

The best part is coming back together!

Hopefully you explored where you are in Exile from God during the last episode.  In this episode, we’re going to get a bit more practical.  Here I present 4 practical steps to try to return from Exile.

We start be exploring how the Israelites returned from their exile.  This took place slightly before Jesus arrived on earth, so I think there is particular importance for us to help prepare for the arrive of Jesus in our own life.  He wants to come back, He stands constantly at the door and knocks!

It’s important to remember that God is a loving parent who not only has his arms open wide to receive us, but is willing to forgive any and all debts we’ve accrued.  Let’s run to him, and embrace his generosity!  Remember the story of the Prodigal Son.  Due to our sin, we all fall as he did – daily.  Sometimes we fall even further. When we’ve fallen into exile, it’s important to look at how to return.

If you’re not subscribed, you can download directly from this link, or use the player below!

Catholic Commute Episode 07 – 4 Ways that You may be living in a Modern Exile

Why exile is a tool that God uses to help us all

Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you?  Perhaps you’ve been utterly overwhelmed by all that’s going on?  Well, you’re not alone.  Time and time again in the Bible the Jews end up going into Exile.  God has withdrawn his support from them, and life has gotten really hard.  Of all the exiles that are discussed in the Bible, one that is perhaps least widely known about is the exile after the era of kings.

In this episode, I explore this particular exile and how I think it can relate to us all in modern life.  It can be difficult to understand why God would allow such hardship to come, but there is a reason for it.  Like all actions of God, there is good that can come from it – great good.  We need to embrace that sometimes the best option is to be cut off from God.  It helps us get perspective on what is really important.

It’s likely that there is at least some part of your life where you don’t feel connected to God.  I invite you to explore that absence – God intends good to come of it, but we need to cooperate.  All exiles do come to an end, resulting in great healing and growth.  Be open to your own exile.

As before, if you’ve subscribed, you likely already have the content downloaded!  If not, you can download the mp3 directly at this link, or play using the player below!

Catholic Commute Episode 6: 4 Intuitive Reasons to Believe

Reasons for you to believe in Jesus that connect with your gut

There are many reasons to believe in the truth that Christianity sets before us.  Scripture tells us that the entire world and all of creation proclaim the greatness of God.  It’s important to realize it’s not just about what we think in our head.  We have to know and understand the truths of Christianity on a gut level.

Many people live much more strongly on the gut level.  There’s nothing wrong with that – god has created a wide variety of temperaments and personalities.  We can all benefit from exploring the various ways to view the world.  I think that these intuitive reasons will resonate very strongly with many, and will connect even with the most hardened academic.  As with last episode, these are not all the intuitive reasons to believe, just 4 that I have chosen.

I hope that after this episode you’ll be a bit more equipped to really answer your neighbor when he genuinely asks you to explain why you do believe.  So many of us just default to the answer of “well, I guess I was raised that way.”  We can all do better!  The truth is set before us all.  Even the most hardened atheist will occasionally encounter something that doesn’t fit.  We need to have ready answers to these hard questions.

If you have already subscribed, the podcast will be automatically downloaded to your device.  If not, you can download from this link, or simply listen through the gadget below.  I hope you find it helpful!

Catholic Commute Episode 5: 4 Intellectual Reasons to Believe in God

Know your "why" of faith before anyone else asks

Welcome to Episode 5!  In this episode I cover 4 intellectual reasons to believe in Christianity.  You might wonder why I say “intellectual” – that’s simply become the following episode is going to talk about intuitive reasons.  It’s an important difference, and I think we all need to acknowledge that we, as individual people, need different types of persuasion.

I think today’s society has been largely convinced that “faith” and “reason” are two very different and distant things.  For most of the history of Christendom, this has not been so.  Instead, for hundreds of years, reason formed the very basis of faith.  I hope with this episode to start recapturing some of that connection.

By no means is this a complete list of all the intellectual reasons to believe in God.  Indeed there are many more – these are simply my 4 favorite.  I hope, if nothing else, this episode will open your mind and encourage you to find even more intellectual reasons to believe that not only is God real, but that He has a real plan for us, truths conveyed through the faith of Christianity.

If you’ve already subscribed to the podcast, it should be able to download automatically!  Also, you can get the mp3 directly by this link (click save-as), or you can listen through the website using the gadget below.

It’s finally here – the Catholic Commute podcast is launching

A new blog for men for their commute

I am so excited – this has been a work in progress for many months now.

Six months ago we moved from Portland, OR to Boise ID.  At the time, my blogging slowed down (ok, really actually stopped).  But also, at the same time,  I started getting some feedback that guys didn’t want a written blog, they wanted an audio form.  So, that got me started thinking about making a blog.  About the time this conversation got serious,  I was listening to Greg Willitz’s Lifechangers program and he recommends people start a podcast. Well, the forces aligned, and here it is!

My goal is to launch two episodes a week, each about 20-30 minutes total.  Each week will have a mini theme, and the two (or sometimes maybe three) episodes will explore different aspects of that theme.  This first week, my goal is to introduce myself and the podcast.

You can download the show through itunes!   I am registered and approved.  All is ready, and you can now search for “The Catholic Commute.”  Thanks for the patience!

Thus, with great anticipation, I give you the Catholic Commute, episode 1: 5 Reasons why you should change what you listen to during your commute.  I also cover some great practical tips on how to get other audio content into your cars for those who are new.  I give you several different sources to listen to (afterall, you need a lot more than just my podcast!)  I hope you will find some practical tips, and that you too will be motivated to change your commute.

You can also download the mp3 version directly at this link!

Finally: Let me know what you think!  This is the first episode, I’ve already recorded a few more and each one gets better I think.  Still, I want to know what you think I can do better!