Good For You, Young Man

February 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, cultural manliness, Faith, manliness, Sports

NorthrupHave you heard of this story?  A young man from Iowa, named Joel Northrup, declined to wrestle a young lady in the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament.  He lost by default and the young lady he was supposed to wrestle, who won by default, moved on in the tournament.  This was the first time in the 85 year history  that a female wrestled in the state tournament in Iowa.  This year, not only one girl, Cassy, but two girls made it.  The other young lady was named Megan.

Joel said that he didn’t believe that boys should wrestle girls.  I agree with him.  It’s inappropriate.   He said, “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments.”  For Northrup, it doesn’t appear to be a fear thing; he’s not afraid of these girls.  He was 35-4 in matches this year and has already had success in Iowa in previous years.  It’s a matter of principle for him.

“Wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times,” said Northrup. “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.”

Here’s a bit from his coach…

What does he mean by a “matter of my faith?”  What does being a Christian man have to do with not wrestling a woman?  (Just writing that sentence seems silly to me.)  I’d say that it goes back to our creation as men.  It speaks to the heart of a man.  Deep inside every man is a sense of wildness, a rugged “warrior” drive and our natural inclination towards adventure.  There’s nothing natural inside a man that says “I should my brute strength to pin a woman to the floor to win a tournament.”  In the history of wrestling, dating back to the ancient Greeks, men and women never wrestled one another.  In fact, women never wrestled at all.  Females wrestling is a pretty new invention.

It’s a weird proposition, having to wrestle a girl.  I should know… I wrestled two girls in middle school.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the courage that Joel had, to say “I default”.  The young ladies that I wrestled in middle school were sweet girls, and pretty feminine, they also happened to like to wrestle.  I’m not really sure why.

Some people would then ask, “Dave, what if your daughters came to you and said, “Daddy, I want to wrestle.”?”  What would I say?boy forfeits to girl I’d say no.  It’ll be a ‘no’ if they come and ask me to be a boxer.  It’ll be a ‘no’ if they come and ask me to be an altar server at Mass.  It would be ‘no’ to a lot of questions.  It’s not authentically feminine for women to do things men are naturally inclined to do.  I’ve written about this a lot – we (men and women) were created with equal dignity, but separate roles.  It’s NOT a bad thing, it’s a GREAT thing!  When men do what they were created for and women do what they were created for IT WORKS!  If that gets all screwed up, everything falls apart.

When I write posts like these, I typically get at least one feminist email spewing hate towards me and this view point (which isn’t solely mine – but that of the Church as well).  I get called all sorts of names and get blamed for being a chauvinist and hateful and harsh and intolerant and so forth.  I welcome those emails because it creates good dialogue.  It’s not about some notion of equality, that a woman should be able to do whatever a man can do.  It’s about the notion of order.  So, if you read this and disagree, let me know.

TrueMan up!

Through Thick and Thin

Chris MedinaThanks to my man Travis for sending this video along.  Blew him away, so he sent it.  Blew me away, so I’m posting it.

Chris Medina – I have no idea if you made it past the initial cuts, but that doesn’tmatter.  You’re doin’ Chris Medinait right, bro.  You made all the men who strive to serve their wives step up their service and love.  Keep on.

Stories like this one should make us all stop and look at what we do and how we spend our days.  We were created for something more than ourselves and for something better than we have currently.  Striving for perfection, as Scripture instructs us, is so very hard.  Living a life of service, as a man of God, is hard.  Hard as it may be for Chris and his fiancée, I bet if you asked him if he’s happy, he’d tell you he’s more happy today than ever before.  Maybe he’ll read this and let us know first-hand.


TrueMan up!

Couldn’t Disagree More

February 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Fatherhood, manliness, pornography, Scriptural Examples, Virtue

In this video, Ted Haggard spouts off about forgiveness and restoration.  Haggard, an ex-evangelical preacher, you may recall, was caughtTed Haggard up in a web of lies when his gay male prostitute “mistress”, also a meth addict, outed him and exposed him to not only his wife and children, but to his congregation (New Life Church in Colorado Springs – a non-denominational mega church) and the world.  Haggard was destroyed in the tabloids, the news, the reports, on the web and especially in Christian circles.  He was a fraud and led many astray because of his actions.

When Haggard speaks of restoration, he speaks as though he deserves it.  Although he can be forgiven, his attitude doesn’t seem (at least not to me) to be in the right place and it doesn’t seem that he wants to take any responsibility.  I’ve seen him in other videos and have always felt the same about those interviews.  He seems to place a lot of blame and like he doesn’t want to accept his consequences.  Not very manly, if you ask me.  “…Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

DisagreeI couldn’t disagree more with what he says in this video.  He speaks of “the church”, as most Protestants do, as the group of people who believe in Christ.  As Catholics, we speak of “The Church” in a different way and I think that, as She always has, The Church does a great job of restoring people.  It’s frustrating to see a video like this because this ex-pastor, who still has influence on people and can give them reasons not to believe, feels like he can say whatever he wants with complete disregard for who hears it or who he affects.

Watch it and see what you think.  Leave me comments.

TrueMan up!

Let God Do It

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my life and how God has blessed me.  I think about it all the time, really.  I constantly pray in thanksgiving, for my life has been very abundant and gets better as every day comes and goes.  When I look at my family, my children and wife especially, my occupation, my friends, my stuff, my home, my ministry, my faith… I realize that I am a blessed man.  God certainly remains faithful.  I think about all of this in the context of time and relate it to others that I know that struggle with letting it all happen in God’s time.  Whether it be a job situation, a financial situation, a relationship, having children, whatever the case may be, many people desire to control the situation and try to do it all their own.  My advice… Let God do it!

Take a look at my life, for example, and see how (in only a short period of time) my entire life has come together.

chains on the beach10 years ago, I was a two-faced 19 year old boy, living one life in public and one life in private.  I was an evangelical Protestant at the time, who hated Catholicism and most Catholics.  I was merely a college jock, a rage-aholic, a porn addict, a womanizer, angry-as-all-get-out and lost in my own selfishness and pride.  School didn’t matter to me, I was lazy (a sloth, really) and concerned with very little in the world.  I didn’t have a serious girlfriend (who would’ve wanted to date me?!), and if I was seeing anyone, it was almost always about getting some sort of physical pleasure from them.   Never to be a self-sacrificing gift of self.  Never to be a leader. Never about being a TrueMan.

8 years ago, I had a profound conversion.  I experienced Christ in the Eucharist and desired wholeheartedly to be part of His Church, the Holy Roman Catholic Church.  I was over my rage issue, was dealing with my porn addiction, wasn’t two faced anymore for “my yes meant yes and my no meant no” and many other blessings were coming around.  I was still single, but that was okay.  It wasn’t the right time yet.

6 years ago I was working as a Catholic missionary with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students).  I made very little money, about 2/3 below the poverty line!, but it didn’t matter to me.  I was changing lives.  Then, it happened.  I met Catherine.  From then until now, a very short period of time, my life has gone into hyper-drive.  God has brought me every blessing I could imagine and I am so grateful for it.  Catherine and I started dating.  We had very little.  We took it a day at a time and now, 3 children, a mortgage, a thriving website, a career of my dreams and a solid marriage later, here we are, blessed abundantly.  We’ve been married 4.5 years.  It didn’t take long.  God blesses in His time, in His way, through His plan.  Not mine.  My plan stunk. My time was rubbish.  My way was wrong.  Only in Him will we find our joy.

Why do I share this?  To toot my horn at you?  No.  To show you that God has great things planned for you?  Yes.  To suggest that you step back from control and worry?  Yes.  To say, “I’ve been there.  I’ve been down in that ditch.  I’ve been wallowing in my own filth and that’s not the place for you!”  Yes!

Look, 10 years ago when I had a horrible life, was angry and with only a few friends, I had little hope for life.  I was in a place of despair.  I was to the point where I figured no woman would ever want me.  That meant I wouldn’t have kids.  That meant that I wouldn’t fulfill my dream of being a dad.  I didn’t think my career would mean much because I had no drive.  Overall, I figured God had given up on me.  In reality, though, I had given up and put God on the back burner.  No, actually, I had put God down in the crevice between the cabinet and the side of the oven where all the crumbs, dust and grease are.  I tried to do it all on my own.Let Go Let God I thought that was being self-sufficient.  I thought that doing it on my own was manliness.  I thought that dominating a young woman meant being manly and leading.  Once I let Go, I saw more clearly.  (Let Go and Let God.)  I let God work, I let God bless, I let God love.  I accepted it.  I welcomed it.  I was ready for it.  God’s time was the right time.

Will your life play out like this?  No, not necessarily.  Your life will play out the way God wants it to play out… if you let Him work in you.  He’ll be there, regardless of what you decide.  But take it from me, surrendering your life to Him now makes a whole lot more sense than living the way I was.  Give up the control, the self-sufficiency (in the context I used it above) and seek Him.  Let God do it!

TrueMan up!

Prayer Question

February 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Man praying 2I received an email from a blog reader today and I thought I’d share the question and my response here.  Thought it might be helpful for more than just this one guy.  The question was: “My prayer life is really screwed-up.  I was taught that a prayer life is a dialogue with God, through Jesus, about how to grow closer, gain insight and follow Christ.  My prayers are rantings, raving, and venting about stupid and ridiculous things. Where did I go wrong?”

My response was pretty basic and doesn’t cover everything, but here’s what I suggested: “Thanks for the email.  The fact that you are concerned about this shows that you care.  There is a way to dialogue with God, but there’s not only one way.  You have to find your own way to pray.  I recommend finding some solid books on prayer, talking to a priest, listening to CDs/mp3s on the topic, etc.

Start with this, to get back into the swing of properly ordered prayer… A.C.T.S. is an acronym to structure your prayer.  It may help.

  • Adoration – Adoring God.
  • Contrition – Showing remorse for your sins against God.
  • Thanksgiving – Giving thanks for anything and everything.
  • Supplication – Asking God for things/requests that you need/want.

You can also spend time, not only in contemplative prayer, but in meditation, journaling, sitting in silence, repetitive prayer, spending time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, etc.

All the best.  Keep trying!”

TrueMan up!

Incredible Story

February 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Fatherhood, manliness, Virtue

DWD JRI don’t have the time now, but soon I will post the incredible story of the birth of our miracle baby, my son, Dave Jr.

You will want to come back to read this incredible story.

TrueMan up!