Evangelization 101: Are You Checking Blood Pressure or Applying Tourniquets

Catholic Healing RetreatMost Catholic Men, unless you have been living under a rock, have heard about Bishop Olmstead’s (Diocese of Phoenix) recent apostolic exhortation Into the Breach. With more than 6K shares via social media, which is still not nearly enough, it was hard to go on Facebook or Twitter without tripping over it repeatedly in the news feeds.

As a strong supporter of The King’s Men, having recently brought Into the Wild to the diocese this past June, Bishop Olmstead’s exhortation was filled with the TKM mantra of Leader, Protector, Provider. Reading it was a tremendous affirmation to our mission at TKM, and I couldn’t help beam with a little pride at the indirect endorsement of our work in the apostolate.

Bishop Olmstead gave three societal “contexts” that summarize at large society’s disposition to receiving the Good News of the gospel:

  • A New Apostolic Moment—A “New Evangelization”
  • A Field Hospital and a Battle College
  • Man and Women are Complimentary, not Competitors

In this blog, I am going to focus on the context of “Field Hospital”, and more specifically the following quote. It has tremendous implications to how we evangelize, witness to friends and family who have fallen away from the faith, and continue to move forward with Christ on our own paths to sanctity. Continue reading

A Necessity in Catholic Men’s Groups: The “Challenge”

Catholic mens groups

Blurry, but great shot of TKM men praying the rosary

Growing in virtue is hard.

There, how’s that for a profound statement right out the gate.

Hard as it may be, this is the danger that the Catholic Men’s Groups of The King’s Men enters into across the nation on a weekly basis when we meet to pray, learn the faith, and challenge one another to return the following week a better man. That being said, we’ve all encountered people who will make the same commitment over and over again with seemingly no progress (perhaps we fall into that boat ourselves).

Enter arguably the most underused “C” of the TKM four-C’s; the challenge. Continue reading

Top 5 Father Son Activities for the Backyard

Looking for a little father son bonding? You don’t have to go far, and you don’t have to break the bank. After all, how often do we get our kids a bright new toy only to see them spend hours playing with the box? Specifically, for father son things to do in your own backyard, the key to creating an enduring father son bonding experience is working and sweating alongside one another. Orient those father son activities toward a boy’s development as a leader, protector, and provider, and you’ve got the perfect formation program for a boy’s development to be a man of virtue.

For fathers looking to make some great paternal memories with their sons, here are five father son activities you can do in your own backyard. Continue reading

Word to Catholic Men’s Retreats: Men Bond through Battle!

Catholic Men's Retreat

Where does masculine intimacy begin?

“Ok fellas, let’s share our feelings.”

Feel that? That nauseating sensation at the base of your stomach, coupled with the scrunching of your nose and slight shake of the head—that’s your manhood communicating to the world, “Sorry dude, that’s not the way this works.”

It’s reactions like this that build the stereotype that guys fear intimacy and prefer shallowness to vulnerability. Without a doubt, there is a nurtured fear in the modern man to air on the side of bravado rather than reveal what’s really going on. But this guarded behavior that appears the masculine default arguably has a hidden virtue.

Men don’t fake intimacy well.

So, in our intimacy-starved culture that grows shallower by the minute, how do we tap into the chasm of authentic masculine intimacy, which is the source of strong virtuous friendships and the bedrock of healthy marriages and families? Continue reading

Venting: Destroying Catholic Men’s Groups Since 33 A.D.

AngerYou ever have someone come up to you and say, “Hey, can I vent to you a little?” A seemingly harmless request, is it not? Then out come the daggers! Before you know it, a benign “venting” session has devolved into a full-out rant, the fruits of which beg one to question, “Have we just crossed the line into something destructive?”

As a subject matter expert, a professional “Ranter” if you would, having for decades sat ignorantly in my own toxins and invited others to marinate with me, I wish to offer some thoughts gleaned from my own journey of self-pity/righteousness that has brought me to this controversial conclusion I offer for the reader’s discernment:

Venting is always sinful, and always tears down the Kingdom of God. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Continue reading

Are You an Evangelist, or a Salesman?

Evangelist vs. salesmanEver find yourself with a close friend or family member who has fallen away from the Church and have a burning desire to share the truth of the gospel with them? Then comes the questions: “Is the timing right? Will they be able to receive this message? or everyone’s biggest concern “Will I come off as self-righteous and push them further away?”

When we abstain from boldly proclaiming the moral good or truth of the gospel in such moments, we can feel like we’ve missed an opportunity. If our perception is that theological argument and injecting moral tension into a person’s life is the only way that we communicate Christ’s message, then yes—we’ve failed. But, is this the only way that Christ calls us to spread the good news? Continue reading

3 Truths About the Galileo Controversy Every Catholic Should Know

Catholic response to GalileoSo often the Catholic Church gets bashed for being “anti-science.” Indeed, the history books of the last century have not offered a kind interpretation to Catholicism’s contribution to scientific progression. How are Catholic’s to respond?

Without going into how Christianity, and its revelation of an intelligible created and rational order to the universe, serves as the very foundation for all scientific theory, let’s focus on the most famous and often cited historical example of Catholic “anti-scientism”: Galileo. Continue reading

TKM Triumphs in Federal Court

The King's MenWith the looming prospect of taking the stand to defend our actions of the past 8 years, TKM Founder Mark Houck, Director of Operations Chuck Harvey and 5 other brothers and 1 sister in Christ entered Federal Judge Patrice Tucker’s court room this past Monday. The long journey to this day in court was upon us, but none of us thought it would end so abruptly.

In 2011, the sexually oriented business (SOB) known as Adult World filed a lawsuit against The King’s Men and some of its members. It marked the first time that an SOB had attempted to sue TKM for exercising its First Amendment rights. It was not the first time TKM had been involved in litigation, but a lawsuit seeking damages of $50,000 per person and the TKM organization was something none of us were expecting. Continue reading

How to Succeed at Your New Year’s Resolution

how to succeed at your new year's resolutionAs we cycle to the end of an old year and reign in the new, we might find ourselves pausing to reflect on our resolutions from January 1, 2014. If you have found success in 2014, congratulations! You are part of the elite 8% who keep their resolutions. But, if you find yourself amongst the 92%’ers, know this…there is a method to the success of the elite 8 in changing their behavior (pardon the March madness reference, stay with me now).

Author and business consultant Thomas Smith of Partners and Leadership Consulting wouldn’t have sold over half a million copies of his book, Change the Culture, Change the Game, had he not tapped into a method of building organizational cultures that generate desired results. Borrowing his model and bringing it down to a more micro-level, we can apply his same award-winning principles to our own resolutions in 2015 and enter 2016 with greater discipline and virtue (and a few less pounds). Continue reading

Top 5 Books for Catholic Men’s Groups

Top 5 Books for Catholic Men's GroupsThere are terrific reads for men today. On Thanksgiving, a family member recommended I read the 2010 nonfiction book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. The book is a survival story of a prisoner of war from World War II. This book has become so popular that Angelina Jolie is directing and producing a soon to be released movie about it. As much as this book intrigues me and I’m sure it would for many men, the following list is not about books such as these, rather, it is one meant to inspire men to live better and more virtuous lives. These books take a man more deeply into the mystery of his eternal origins and destiny. They are of great assistance and guidance for men on their masculine faith journey.

Here are the top five books for Catholic men’s groups in descending order. Continue reading