Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dear “Cafeteria Catholics”…

Cafeteria C.

Over the last year there has been a major issue on my heart that I haven’t known quite how to share until now. Most of my friends know that I grew up in the Catholic Church, attended Catholic grade school, and even a Catholic college. Then, I fell away from the Church because even after all that Catholic schooling I didn’t know what I didn’t know. (*mainly because I have a very hard time paying attention for a time span longer than few minutes – thank God I found Spark)

I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Over several years I took the time to challenge my faith – every bit of it. I challenged why the Church taught what it taught and asked as many “why” questions as I could. Throughout that process I heavily educated myself on not just the Catholic Church’s teachings, but also on the teachings and beliefs of other faiths including many Protestant ones. Through that process I’ve become much more in-tune with the teachings of the Catholic Church and am stronger in my faith than I’ve ever been. I thank my beautiful wife for constantly challenging me to be even stronger in it.

During my questioning phase I spoke with many Protestant friends and I heard on many occasions that they knew “Catholics” that weren’t living very holy lives and apparently had a poor reputation, which led my Protestant friends away from the Catholic Church. Needless to say, that was not a very comforting thing to hear. It especially wasn’t comforting because I knew exactly what they were talking about because I was at one time part of that problem.

I think everyone experiences the questions of “What church do you go to?” or “Are you a Christian?” at some point in their lives. I know I had been asked those questions numerous times. Now, I was not the model Catholic by any means and I wouldn’t even say a model man, but because I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school I would always tell people I was Catholic. I claimed my Catholic faith like a badge of honor even when I wasn’t attending mass regularly, didn’t know what the Church taught, and when I was living a very unholy life. Ergo… my contribution to part of the problem I mentioned earlier.

Catholic non-negotiablesThis was the big issue with me and the big issue that I see a lot of today: I was turning people away from the Church because of the way I lived. I was a terrible witness and wish I had never told people I was Catholic on the many occasions that I had because I was a poor example of one. Well, just like when smokers quit smoking they begin to notice how terrible cigarettes smell and how unpleasant they are, when I re-dedicated myself to the Church I began to notice so many other people living the same way I was living. Now I see other “Catholics” claiming their Catholic upbringing like a badge of honor all the time and especially lately even with regard to the 5 non-negotiables (1. Abortion and subsets in that category including contraception, and in vitro fertilization/fertility treatments; 2. Euthanasia; 3. Same-sex “marriage,”; 4. Human cloning; and 5. Embryonic stem cell research). While there are MANY things you can disagree with in the Catholic Church, as a Catholic, those 5 things you cannot.

Here are a couple recent examples: First, I think everyone heard of the highly publicized Brittany Maynard physician-assisted suicide (euthanasia) case. If you didn’t then you most likely don’t have internet, a phone, television, etc. because it was everywhere. I posted a blog post about how euthanasia is intrinsically evil then posted it to Facebook and I had a ton of Catholic friends that argued with me saying that she should be happy and not have to suffer any pain.

The most recent example are all of my Catholic friends that have supported same-sex “marriage” by shouting victories in Facebook statuses claiming their support of it and even changing their Facebook profile pictures to depict a rainbow (which somehow now is a symbol for gay pride as opposed to a sign of a covenant from God). I believe this support was driven by compassion rather than a knowledge of and disregard of the Church’s teachings.

Some people believe that because Catholics don’t approve of same-sex “marriage” that they hate homosexuals. That is incorrect. This may surprise many people, but the Catholic Church actually teaches about same sex attraction. There is no hate in its teachings:

CCC 2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

 

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That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about. (Quick side note… God did not teach us to not judge. In fact, He taught us HOW to judge). Catholics can disagree with MANY of the Church’s teachings, but NOT one of the 5 non-negotiables. Those are not open to your opinion, argument, etc. Not only can you not participate in OR even support them, as Catholics you have an obligation to vote against them and the political candidates that approve of them.

Catholic abortion pro life pro choice

It was very heartbreaking to see so many of my Catholic friends supporting same-sex “marriage” just because they want their homosexual friends to be “happy.” It’s heartbreaking mainly because that shows that many of my Catholic friends are not in-tune with their faith anymore or even worse never were – much like where I was. We as a society must realize that God did not tell us that we are here for our pleasure and to do whatever makes us happy. Nor did He put us here to show support for sin. We are created for much more.

So here is my request, if you are openly supporting any of the 5 non-negotiables, PLEASE do not be the type of Catholic I once was and send mixed messages about the Church. The bride of Christ, the Catholic Church, is unexplainably beautiful. When my wife and I discovered its true beauty we fell in a deeper love with Christ than ever before. I feel terrible for once associating my poor actions with the Church in the past and for turning people away from it. I only share this and make this request because I don’t want someone else to feel the shame I felt by doing so. I encourage everyone to grow deeper in their faith and be open to challenging it and to receive the challenging responses with an open mind.

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Marriage… How It Is Defined Now

Catholic marriage sacrament Christian

As I sit here and contemplate the decision of the Supreme Court on “same-sex marriage,” I’m realizing that I’m not very surprised with the opinion. Considering previous posts and my conservative views, some may expect this post to be hurtful, hateful, offensive, etc. I assure you it’s none of those, at least it’s not intended to be. I love my brother’s and sisters whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. I truly do. So before reading this post, please watch this short video:

I am expressing my concerns with where this world is heading without fear of offending anyone because that’s not what I’m trying to do. It’s time that the intolerant “tolerance police” become tolerant of other people’s views themselves. It’s time that we can speak openly, disagree, and still love one another, still talk with one another, and still be friends. It is okay for people to have a differing opinion than you. It is okay to disagree. You don’t have to hate them, ridicule them, de-friend them, etc.

This is not some foolish or ignorant debate, because it has serious consequences for our future generations. (2 Timothy 23) I would be slow to call a discussion of such an important subject foolish or ignorant. So as I explain the issue with SCOTUS’s decision, I hope you would understand my purpose by reflecting on these verses: “A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.” (2 Timothy 24-26) That is my intention with this post:

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) legalized what they call “same-sex marriage;” an act that many have declared has changed the “definition of marriage.” The claim that SCOTUS has changed the definition of marriage is in fact true… from a relativist point of view. What is relativism, besides “the most significant problem for faith and morals today?” Allow me to educate you by using a few examples:

Example 1: I tell you that “the world is round.” Then you tell me “that may be true for you, but I believe it is flat.”

Example 2: I tell you that “the sky is blue and that’s the color that we call blue.” You then tell me that may be true for me and many other people, but you are deciding that it is red and that’s what is true for you.

Example 3: I tell you that “marriage is a sacred sacramental union between a man, a woman, and God, which is more than just two people loving each other and a contractual piece of paper conferring governmental benefits on people.” You then tell me that you believe “God is love and because of that He would want everyone to marry whoever they love.”

With relativism you’re deciding what’s true to you, not what is actually true. In today’s society we are allowing people to make their own truths because we believe they should be free to believe what they want and are continually asked “who are we to judge them for believing what they believe?”

This is no more true in any other situation than in people’s beliefs on same-sex unions. So in fear of being seen as a bigot, a homophobe, a hate monger, among many other things, those that believe in what is called “Biblical marriage” are being suppressed from expressing the truth; however, as most of you may know, I’ve never been one to allow myself to feel suppressed. 😉

TWO POINTS:

1.The government should never had involved itself in the “marriage business” in the first place (heterosexual or homosexual).

2. SCOTUS has changed the “legal definition” that the government will use for “marriage.” That does not change what the Sacrament of marriage actually is. From the beginning of time, God designed marriage to be a sacrament between a man, a woman, and Him. That’s what it always has been and that’s what it always will be. It matters not what the government decides to define it as because we are not the government. We are the people. The people of God. Marriage has not been changed today my friends, nor will it ever. SCOTUS’s decision today is a perfect example of relativism. SCOTUS can redefine marriage for the government viewpoint to be a man and a woman, two people of the same sex, a person and a dog, a person and a tree, a person and whatever or whoever they love, etc. That will never change what marriage actually is and it’ll never change this definition:

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.” Canon 1055 §1 of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Sacrament Marriage

He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” – Mathew 19:4-6

So for all of you that are stressing or worried about two people of the same sex getting “married,” please don’t feel that way because of the fact that some people are now receiving a paper document acknowledging that union and receiving financial benefits from it. Instead, take comfort in that fact that marriage has not changed. Marriage is defined now as it always has been defined by God. No man, government, or court can change that.


I think Glenn Beck sums up the tolerance point very well:

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 6.16.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 6.17.12 PM


 

For further reading on this topic, please checkout: the Desiring God posts, So-called Same Sex Marriage and Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins.

If you want to read a hilarious response to the court’s ruling, read this: “I’ve Decided to Marry Bacon.

Dear Camille, Thank You For The Best Father’s Day!

Dear Camille,

You and mom made this Father’s Day so special! I’ll never forget it. It was very relaxing… just as I wanted it. Thank you for the most incredible breakfast I’ve ever had! I could eat those Paleo bacon and blueberry pancakes EVERY DAY! If you didn’t know by now, your mom’s cooking is DA BOMB! She said she’s going to teach you everything about cooking because she wants to see you on Master Chef, Jr. at the age of 8 (that’s the truth, #forreal). So when we start homeschooling I’m sure she’s going to make the culinary arts a mandatory course. 😉

Father's Day Breakfast Meal Paleo Blueberry Pancakes and Bacon Pancakes

I loved how you already have me figured me out too and there was no clearer way to show it than the way you did on Father’s Day. Your mom and I decided to record it the third time you pulled your little stunt. You know, the one where I’m holding you and you’re fine and the second I put you in your seat you throw a tantrum and then immediately stop crying right as I’m going to pick you up again. I’m sure you conveniently don’t remember that, so watch this:

As awesome as the breakfast and the entire rest of the day was, it couldn’t even come close to comparing how amazing it is to be your father. These last 3 months of being your dad have been the best 3 months of my life. You and your mom are always making me smile and laugh and are a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have you both in my life. You and I REALLY have to do it up right for Mother’s Day now because you and your mom really made me have such an incredible Father’s Day, especially with the gift from your Father’s Day photo shoot at Aunt Sarah’s.

First Father's Day

I love you little bean!

Daddy

Launchapalooza 2.0 Is Where It’s At!?

AdvoCare Launchapalooza

Last year we had Launchapalooza 1.0, which was incredible! Several new products were released and all of them were incredible. This summer AdvoCare has decided to run Launchapalooza 2.0 and there have already been some awesome NEW releases and some oldies but goodies brought back!

AdvoCare On The Go OTG OnTheGo Official sports drink of major league soccer MLSThe first BIG surprise was that OTG (OnTheGo) was made available to consumers instead of just on the Major League Soccer sidelines! Let me tell ya’… DELICIOUS! I like all of them, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Orange and I think Mariah’s would be Mango Pineapple. We went through the first few boxes so fast that we just ordered more today. We have been told that they’ll sell out for quite some time with the last remaining cases available until this Thursday June 18th. So if you’re going to order, ORDER FAST!

The next big surprise was the change to the distributor kit. When someone enrolls for the wholesale discount they now get THREE boxes of Spark instead of one box of Spark and one of Slam! That’s nearly $70 of retail product, a 20% discount. your own microsite to order whenever you want AND the ability to earn extra income for JUST $79 with ZERO monthly minimums, auto-ships, monthly fees, etc.! I have always said that it was an absolute no-brainer to enroll for the discount before, but now it REALLY is!

Advocare Distributor Kit Become an Advocare DIstributor ADVOCARE DISCOUNT
The latest product release came today in the form of the AdvoCare Peach Bars! This is the “oldie, but goodie” product! I remember these from when I started using AdvoCare products. They became unavailable for quite a while, but today they have just made a big comeback! Mariah has never had one so we made sure we ordered some of this “limited time only” bar TODAY! You do not want to miss out on these tasty snacks!

AdvoCare Launchapalooza Perfectly Peach Bar Peach Snack Bar

The Stay-At-Home And Work-From-Home Mom: A Husband And Father’s Perspective

Mildred B. Vermont Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love.

Before we even get to the meat of this post, I want to clarify that this post is about moms that have chosen to be stay-at-home or work-from-home moms. It is NOT about moms that choose to work instead of being home. So please don’t look for something to be offended by in this post because nothing in it is meant to be offensive. It is not a “Mommy Wars” post to say one type of mom is better than the other. It is simply my view of the moms that choose to stay home and raise their children.

The best thing that you can give your child is time

I guess I should let you in on a little background information so that you know this isn’t a new subject to me. As far back as I can remember, if I was home then so was my mother. She didn’t drop me off at someone else’s house or a daycare so that she could go to work (not that there is something wrong with doing that). She made the decision to stay at home and raise my sister, brother, and me. Since that was what she wanted to do, my father made sure that was possible and worked his tail off to provide her with that opportunity. My mom wanted to be the primary influence in our lives and because she was, even to this day, I continue to see her in things that I do, say, and believe. I’m 34 years old and I’m still catching myself saying or doing something I’ve never said or done before and I’ll say to myself, “Whoa, that definitely came from my mom.” I’ll be forever grateful for my mom making the decision to be home full-time because I know it kept me out of A LOT of trouble. Shoot, it might actually be a reason why I’m still alive now. Some of the stupid things boys get into can certainly be life threatening even with parental supervision and influence.

After growing up in a household where I always had my mother around and seeing the impact that it had in my life, I have always wanted to provide that opportunity for the woman that I would marry. I wanted to give her that choice like my dad afforded my mom. I’m not one of those guys that thinks if their wife isn’t “working” at some “job” then she’s not “pulling her weight.” There are more ways to help “provide” for the family other than earning income, which I will get to shortly. I did not know when this wife would come along or even if raising our children full-time is something that she would want. I just knew that when she came along and if she wanted to be home with our children full-time then I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and provide her with that option.

"Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling...It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in, it is what God gave us time for." So at 33 years old I married the most perfect woman. She’s smart, HILARIOUS, loves God and has a strong faith in Him, she’s absolutely gorgeous, and is the most patient and kind hearted person I’ve ever met. And guess what… her life-long calling that she felt since she was a child herself was to be a mother. That’s what she told me she always wanted to be and I quote, “I’ve always wanted to be a mother.” When she said those words she didn’t mean that she just wanted to get pregnant and give birth to a child so that she could be called a mother. She meant that she wanted to be a mother in a deeper sense. She always felt called to be a mother as a vocation and took the role of motherhood very seriously. When my wife told me that, I knew that I was going to do whatever I had to do to make sure the bills were paid so that she could live out that desire. In March 2015 Mariah’s wish to be a full-time mother became a reality, thanks to AdvoCare. That’s when our daughter Camille was born.

From Day 1, my wife has been home with our sweet little girl. That’s what she wanted and I support her in that decision. There are several reasons why. The first of which is that our family ideals will be instilled in our child at a young age instead of someone else’s. I have seen time and time again instances where my friends’ kids pick up some bizarre activity, language, or even immoral teachings up from a daycare worker. I’ve also seen instances where my friends’ children have picked up bad habits from other children they share a daycare with. I’m not sitting here suggesting that we are going to shelter our daughter from civilization (even though I’m taking her to look at convents instead of colleges and making sure she becomes a nun – ;)) I’m simply saying that I believe that we are in a better position to teach our children right from wrong if we are the ones spending the most time with her. Let’s face it… if someone else is watching your child for the 8 hours you are at work and likely the 30 minutes to and from work (9 total hours) then there will be a massive competing influence in that child’s life. I’m also not saying that all daycares are bad or that they are even bad in general. All I’m saying is that they are not for us for the reasons stated above and among many other reasons because of the things I have seen in my line of work that has lead to some daycares being shut down, sued, and owners and employees of them spending time behind bars (you do NOT want me to explain the details of these crimes – you will have nightmares).

Proverbs 22:6: "Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it.

Proverbs 22:6: “Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it.”

I support my wife because I’m not sure I could do what she does. I actually can’t believe that so many moms choose to be home full-time or aren’t yet, but want to be. That has got to be the hardest job in the world. Not to mention you’re likely doing it on little to no sleep. I’ve had my alone time with Camille and I gotta say, taking care of her is much more difficult than my job. Now, with that being said, I’d still rather be home with her all day, but there’s no doubt it would be a much more difficult task to take care of her on no sleep than to practice law.

As I said earlier, there are more ways to “provide” for a family than just earning income. My wife provides our daughter with more than just diaper changes, baths, and nourishment. She provides her love and care, nurturing, gentle arms to fall asleep in, someone to read to her, constant attention when she’s awake and a watchful eye when she’s asleep, someone to pray with, someone to take her to the park in the middle of the day or to a mom’s group to play with other children, the primary influence in her life to teach her right from wrong and moral from immoral, a role model of faith and a love for God among many other things.

Your children need your presence more than your presents Jesse Jackson

Our daughter isn’t the only person she provides for. She also does a lot of the laundry, nearly all of the cooking (not because she has to, but because she genuinely enjoys it enough to look at it as a hobby – wait, who am I kidding? She actually does have to do it because we couldn’t live off of Paleo desserts, chicken, mixed vegetables, and sweet potato fries for every meal because that’s about all I got), and she routinely helps clean the house as well. The craziest thing is, she does it on very little sleep and she does it for FREE! It’s not a paid position in a monetary way; however, it is paid with love from both Camille and me. She’s a servant in the most wonderful sense of the word because she’s doing it out of love and to add value to our daughter’s life.

So to all you mom’s out there that have chosen to stay home with your children whether just to raise them or to do it while you work from home, cheers to you. You are doing something I honestly don’t know that I could. You are incredible.

I saw this piece on Time.com and I remembered it while writing this post:

A company placed this classified ad looking to fill a Director of Operations position.

The job had a mandatory 135+ hours a week of work and required the job holder to be on call at all times, day or night. Qualified candidates should have a knowledge of psychology, medicine, personal finance, culinary arts and basic technology skills. The job also had physical requirements: the ability to stand for hours, lift up to 75 pounds, be constantly moving and operate on little to no sleep.

While the nation’s jobless claims may have dropped to the lowest levels since 2007, 24 people responded to the job posting at Rehtom, Inc., even though the position offered no medical or dental benefits, no pension and no paid holidays, but did offer “infinite opportunities for personal growth and rewards.”

The 24 applicants were interviewed via webcam. That’s when they got the surprise of their life. The video is worth watching all the way to the end.

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