Why I Hunt

August 31, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Fatherhood, manliness, Sports, Virtue

Dave Hunting croppedThe fall 2015 hunting season is just around the corner.  I’ve been putting in some time preparing for the season, and thought that the topic lent itself to the discussion of manliness, so I’m writing about why I hunt.  No, to be clear here, hunting doesn’t make a male a man.  No, you don’t have to hunt in order to be considered a TrueMan.  There are no pre-requisites in this article, simply my heart.  Here are some of the reasons why I hunt.

  1. For Provision.  I hunt to provide food for my family.  No, it’s not our only source of food, but meat has definitely become the largest consumed food group over the past year.  Previously, our main consumption was probably grains; we’ve cut those dramatically.  Besides the purchase of local beef and pork – wild venison, dove, pheasant, turkey, and hog have become mainstays in our freezers.  My children thoroughly enjoy meat, prepared in various ways – usually grilled – and are growing lean muscles because of it.
  2. For Bonding with my children.  My children, from very young ages, have demonstrated a desire to hunt with me.  We’ve spent time reading, watching, learning, and discussing hunting.  In my opinion, this is an absolute win-win situation for me.  I am able to have a hobby, that brings me life, that allows me to provide for my family, while also spending time with my kiddos doing something that we mutually enjoy.  Just a few weeks ago, my 7yr old daughter asked (unsolicited, I might add) if for her birthday this year, I could take her hunting.  Absolutely!  September 23rd I’m hoping to bag a deer with her!
  3. For Education of my children.  Being in the wilderness with children offers countless educational opportunities.  It’s a great time to talk one-on-one, with no distractions.  It’s a great science lesson.  It’s a great opportunity to ask them to talk about God, His creation, and His love for us.  It’s perfect timing to talk about ethics (in hunting, and life in general), laws/regulations, and weapon safety.
  4. To Rejuvenate.  Some might call this ‘to recreate’.  Either way, any time I have the opportunity to go out into the woods and the fields, it brings a sense of rejuvenation to me that being in town (even our small farm town) cannot provide.  Typically, the cell signal is low or out, you’re on your own and have to be self-reliant, and for me, those factors make me come alive!  A weapon in my hand, just waiting for the opportunity.
  5. To Remain Mentally Sharp.  If you’ve never hunted, this one might seem obscure, but there’s something profound about waiting absolutely still, and quiet, in full camouflage, for that perfect opportunity to harvest a wild animal.  Your mental aptitude is tested, and between scouting out your location properly, to understanding the ins-and-outs of the particular game you’re hunting, it can be mentally exhausting. The wrong decision, movement, or noise can ruin your chances.  You should have a game plan, and backups, and that takes preparation.
  6. To Hone My Skills of Survival.  Some would call me a conspiracy theorist, others might call me paranoid, still others would say that I’m not prepared enough.  Regardless of what your beliefs are about Muslim invasions, economic downturns, government oversteps, or terroristic attacks, one thing remains true… having the skills to live on your own may come in handy some day.  I need to know that I can harvest and cook food on a fire I created, and protect myself and family.  Being in the wilderness regularly helps me in that preparation.  Having skills with weaponry helps me in that preparation as well.

2013 - 10 point buck

If you’ve never been in to hunting, but you want to get started, I’d ask these questions first.  1. What weaponry do you own?  (Shotgun, rifle, BB gun, bow, etc.  The weapon often dictates the game you’re able to hunt.)  2. Are you proficient with your weapon(s)?  (If not, practice practice practice.)  3. Where do you live and what are your local regulations?  (You have to know what education, licensure, and tags/permits are required, where you can use them, and when.  Learn this stuff online.)  4. Do you have any close contacts for people who can help teach you?  (Most true hunters would love the opportunity to hunt with someone new.  They can be your ticket into the hunting world!)  5. What source of educational materials do you have access to? (Online videos, YouTube, hunting channels, magazines, books, etc. are great sources to learn from.)

As always, if you have any needs or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.  Email me at Dave@TrueManhood.com!

TrueMan up!

Expounding on “Ditch”

August 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, cultural manliness, manliness, pornography, Sports, Virtue

After I reposted my article, “Ditch the Fantasy“, I received a number of comments and critiques about the article.  The same happened last year when I originally posted it.  I’m thankful to receive the comments and critiques, and that’s part of my intent when I write something… especially things that might grab someone and challenge them… to get people talking about things.  To those who disagree, I ask that you forgive the tone of my article, should it have been hurtful or made you feel like I was condemning you, calling you a sinner, or shattering your confidence.  If it was taken in an uncharitable manner, then I sincerely apologize.  I certainly don’t want to tear anyone down, but rather, my goal is to build men up.  If I have torn you down in any way, please accept my apology.  It’s also not my intent to point fingers at other’s sin, as if I’m not a sinner myself; I most certainly sin, and take ownership of my sin. Mea culpa.

I was wrong

 The critiques came mostly in the form of people feeling attacked for their like of, or involvement in, fantasy football.  Although I remain firm in my position on Fantasy, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain it deeper.

What’s taking place in a Fantasy Football League?  In my previous article, I said that I wouldn’t give an explanation of Fantasy, but I broke my rule and am explaining it here in quick terms.  Players organize themselves in a computerized league, draft specialty players (QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, Special Teams players, etc.), and team defenses, and then as the real NFL season progresses, the players make mock lineup changes and substitutions with the hope of scoring the most points/yards/wins (based off of the actual performances of NFL players) so that their fantasy team beats the other fantasy teams in the computerized league.  To make changes/substitutions, a fantasy player may spend little, some, or many hours researching teams, watching film, checking standings, reviewing the injured reserve lists, listening to and/or watching television and internet shows related to fantasy, rating matchups, and so forth, so as to have the best possible lineup for the upcoming week.  Teams within the league play against another team each week, and the winners racks up points. The standings change each week in the overall ranking within the league.  Depending on the initiative of the players, there may be no, some, or lots of human interaction (in my experience, often in the form of smacktalk) between the actual players.  Some of the leagues are free to join, some cost money.  Some have prizes or purses for the winners, some do not.

fantasy-football

Fantasy Football as fantasy.  I received the following quote: “The word fantasy is present, but there isn’t a whole lot of day dreaming or fantasizing involved.”  If you’ll recall in my original post, I mentioned the dictionary definition of fantasy “imagination – to the point of being improbable or impossible.”  Okay, big deal.  Or is it?  The reason I believe that Fantasy Football is absolutely a Fantasy is because it’s made up.  The teams are made up, the leagues are made up, etc.  Along these lines, I linked the playing of fantasy to pornography, and that also got a rise out of some readers.  Notice that I mentioned that “fantasies lend themselves toward sinfulness – idle behavior, sloth, selfishness, and deeper fantasy.”  They “lend” themselves toward sinfulness.  No, I’m not necessarily saying that Fantasy Football will send you to hell, but I believe that addictive behavior can spread very quickly from activities like this, especially when technology is involved, and that is at the very least something we should be aware of.  (Personally, I lived this not only through my pornography addiction but also through my use of television, movies, and video games.)  This opinion of mine is linked to studies and scientific data that show that the brain is negatively affected by stimuli coming through technology.  We condition our brain to react a certain way based on the content we consume and the brain chemicals that create dependency. For this reason, I am also opposed to video games, especially in adolescent boys.

family-playing-monopoly-vintage

Linking Fantasy to board games.  One major critique is to pull board games into the mix, and argue that fantasy football is no different than playing a board game.  To this point, I disagree.  Board games require human interaction at every turn.  Even the body placement of the players during most board games has the players facing each other around a table.  This body placement promotes conversation, human interaction, and non-verbals and, in my opinion, is much more human than someone merely sitting in front of a computer screen, tablet, or smartphone.  In board games, the opportunity to be compassionate, caring, and/or relate with other players is prevalent.  Not so in fantasy.  I’d say that board games are absolutely a bonding opportunity, and can be a good use of time.  Go for it!

The “All Things Good in Moderation” lie.  Please don’t buy into the lie that “all things are good in moderation.”  This is not the Catholic position!  The Catholic position would never say that drugs in moderation, or unfaithful, extra-marital sex in moderation, or lying in moderation are good things.  Obviously not.  What the Church would say is that we (humanity) should live the virtue of TEMPERANCE in all things.  Temperance “moderates our attraction to pleasures… the temperate person directs the sensitive appetites towards what is good.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1809.)  The Church would also instruct us and compel us to utilize the virtues of WISDOM, PRUDENCE, and others, in terms of what we do and how we spend our time.  I think this is reasonable to bring into this discussion of manliness and how it relates to activities such as Fantasy.

I suppose it also benefits the conversation to ask the question “Is Fantasy Football cultural manliness?”  Is Fantasy telling men that the more power, money, sex, and stuff they consume the more manly they are?  Not necessarily in every case, but I am personally aware of many cases that fit this definition.

Ultimately, we shouldn’t be shooting for something that’s “just okay” or “not as bad as”… we should be shooting for the greatest good.  Our actions as males, whatever they are, are either virtuous or vicious.  They are either working to be like Christ, or they aren’t.  That’s for you to think about and decide.

You may not agree with me.  That’s your prerogative.  I would leave those who disagree with this thought and challenge.  Is it possible that you are abdigating your responsibilities during the time you are playing Fantasy?  (The same could be asked about a lot of activities, most certainly.)  Are you missing out on “greater goods?”  Is Fantasy Football helping you reach your goals in life?  Is it helping you to grow in holiness?

TrueMan up!

REPOST – Ditch the Fantasy

August 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, cultural manliness, Faith, manliness, pornography, Sports

I received yet another invitation to play Fantasy Football this year.  That makes, well, several invitations.  Because it was such a big article for me last year, and because I think it needs addressed again, I’m reposting my article “Ditch the Fantasy.”

Brothers, can I be honest with you?  Really?  I mean, can I really lay something out on the table and call you to task?  Bros… it’s time to ditch the fantasy football leagues.  Playing football… awesome.  (Especially local pick-up games at the park.  I played ball as a kid up into college.  It taught me teamwork, hard work, discipline, tenacity, perseverance, and so many other great characteristics.  It even – significantly – helped me pay for undergrad!)  Watching football… fine.  (I thoroughly enjoy it myself.  It’s always been something we do in my family… gathering us together like nothing else can.  Literally like nothing. else. can.  Eating, talking, enjoying one another.  It’s awesome.)  Fantasy football… nah.football

I’ve been getting jazzed for this season of late and excited about the Steelers’ run for their 7th championship (stop – don’t send hate mail!)  In watching some stuff about the NFL and listening to some sports talk radio on my long commutes, and following a few threads here and there, I keep getting bombarded with the fantasy talk.  I even went to a game recently (pre-season Vikings vs. Chiefs at Arrowhead – thanks Jeff!) and heard it there.  Over the loud speaker, on the jumbotron, on posters.  It boggles my mind that grown men get so into this garbage.  Don’t you have better things to spend your time on?  Can’t you find something productive to do?  Sure, a lot of us spend time poorly on occasion.  Sometimes it’s leisure, recreation, relaxation, etc.  Sometimes, it’s just blatant idiocy.  I have to be frank about this, even the name evokes the shear viciousness that is fantasy football.

For those who don’t know what fantasy football is, there are countless places to learn about it, but you won’t find that on TrueManhood.com.  Sorry.

fantasy-football-idiotsIf you find yourself ready to attempt to justify fantasy to me, stop yourself, think through it, and ponder this: it is a fantasy.   Fake. Fantasies lend themselves to sinfulness – idle behavior, sloth, selfishness, and deeper fantasy.  We need to live in reality, not in fantasy.  If you look up the definition of fantasy online, it will tell you that it’s “imagination – to the point of being improbable or impossible.”  This is what you spend countless hours on each week?  This is what gets you hot and bothered?  Don’t tell me that you might win a $1,000 if you win your league.  Don’t tell me about bragging rights over your brothers, co-workers, or poker buddies.  Require more out of your life than fantasy.  Our wives and children deserve more than fantasy.  Our world deserves much more than fantasy.

Why do I care?  ‘If I don’t like it, I don’t have to do it.’  Right?  How many of you are thinking that right now?  Guess why I care… because men have too many responsibilities that are going undone because we waste our lives on crap like fantasy football.  To me, this isn’t much different than porn.  Porn is a fantasy land.  Unreality that leads to viciousness.  If you don’t think it effects you and me, you’re wrong.  When men don’t live lives of virtue, they’re living lives of viciousness.  There’s no two-ways about it.  We have tons of males running around like boys, playing games all day long, wasting away the good opportunities to be something, and to do something.  Get it together, bros!

So, what are you going to do instead of fantasy football this year?  I’d suggest anything along the lines of… anything but fantasy.

TrueMan up!

Ditch the Fantasy

footballBrothers, can I be honest with you?  Really?  I mean, can I really lay something out on the table and call you to task?  Bros… it’s time to ditch the fantasy football leagues.  Playing football… awesome.  (Especially local pick-up games at the park.  I played ball as a kid up into college.  It taught me teamwork, hard work, discipline, tenacity, perseverance, and so many other great characteristics.  It even – significantly – helped me pay for undergrad!)  Watching football… fine.  (I thoroughly enjoy it myself.  It’s always been something we do in my family… gathering us together like nothing else can.  Literally like nothing. else. can.  Eating, talking, enjoying one another.  It’s awesome.)  Fantasy football… nah.

I’ve been getting jazzed for this season of late and excited about the Steelers’ run for their 7th championship (stop – don’t send hate mail!)  In watching some stuff about the NFL and listening to some sports talk radio on my long commutes, and following a few threads here and there, I keep getting bombarded with the fantasy talk.  I even went to a game recently (pre-season Vikings vs. Chiefs at Arrowhead – thanks Jeff!) and heard it there.  Over the loud speaker, on the jumbotron, on posters.  It boggles my mind that grown men get so into this garbage.  Don’t you have better things to spend your time on?  Can’t you find something productive to do?  Sure, a lot of us spend time poorly on occasion.  Sometimes it’s leisure, recreation, relaxation, etc.  Sometimes, it’s just blatant idiocy.  I have to be frank about this, even the name evokes the shear viciousness that is fantasy football.

For those who don’t know what fantasy football is, there are countless places to learn about it, but you won’t find that on TrueManhood.com.  Sorry.

fantasy-football-idiotsIf you find yourself ready to attempt to justify fantasy to me, stop yourself, think through it, and ponder this: it is a fantasy.   Fake. Fantasies lend themselves to sinfulness – idle behavior, sloth, selfishness, and deeper fantasy.  We need to live in reality, not in fantasy.  If you look up the definition of fantasy online, it will tell you that it’s “imagination – to the point of being improbable or impossible.”  This is what you spend countless hours on each week?  This is what gets you hot and bothered?  Don’t tell me that you might win a $1,000 if you win your league.  Don’t tell me about bragging rights over your brothers, co-workers, or poker buddies.  Require more out of your life than fantasy.  Our wives and children deserve more than fantasy.  Our world deserves much more than fantasy.

Why do I care?  ‘If I don’t like it, I don’t have to do it.’  Right?  How many of you are thinking that right now?  Guess why I care… because men have too many responsibilities that are going undone because we waste our lives on crap like fantasy football.  To me, this isn’t much different than porn.  Porn is a fantasy land.  Unreality that leads to viciousness.  If you don’t think it effects you and me, you’re wrong.  When men don’t live lives of virtue, they’re living lives of viciousness.  There’s no two-ways about it.  We have tons of males running around like boys, playing games all day long, wasting away the good opportunities to be something, and to do something.  Get it together, bros!

So, what are you going to do instead of fantasy football this year?  I’d suggest anything along the lines of… anything but fantasy.

TrueMan up!

In (Un)Honor of World Cup

June 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Just For Laughs, Sports, Virtue

soccer flopI’m not a soccer fan.  Although I played it a lot as a kid, I can’t stand to watch it.  Sure, the World Cup is on, and all these gazillion people are watching, and there are watch parties, and scarves, and… blah.  My kids enjoy to kick the ball around, and it’s fun to run around with them, but again, watching it is like watching a bad novela (Spanish soap opera) in slow motion.  Nothing ever happens, you can’t understand what they’re saying, and it’s all fake.  The worst part, hands down, is the flopping.

soccer flop2The falls these players take are so ridiculuous I can’t even take it.  There’s a whole bunch I could write about here, in regards to sportsmanship and virtue, authentic masculinity, dedication, determination, etc. etc. etc.  Instead, I don’t want to give it much due, so I’m going to post this “oldie but goodie” video.  This is intended simply for a good laugh.  Blast away, Barry!


USA is set to play Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.  I want to believe that we will win, because we’re America.

TrueMan up!

TrueManhood Media

Dave DiNuzzo Sr.Check back often for updates with media clips from TrueManhood. Dave travels the country giving talks, putting on retreats, and making appearances on Catholic radio. (See below for some promo clips from a radio program that Dave guest hosts for Divine Mercy Radio in Hays, Kansas – “One Body: Stewarding God’s Creation.”) Be sure to visit TrueManhood on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for the latest updates.  To book Dave to speak at your event, email ContactUs@TrueManhood.com.

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Dave DiNuzzo Sr. - speaking

A TrueMan Fighting the Pro-Life Fight

There’s no question in my mind that abortion is a man’s issue.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… if males were handling our business, women wouldn’t feel the need for abortion.  If we want the issue of abortion to go away, and for women, men, and children to receive healing, we must step up and fight.

One of my friends, my buddies, my other-brother-from-Our-Blessed-Mother is on the front lines of this battle, and I want to highlight him, his wife, his kids, and the people who are, literally, running along side him.  This man has a new role that he’s gearing up for as President of the Vitae Foundation, and on top of all of that, he is one of our nation’s heroes, an officer in the United States Air Force.

Pat Castle 2

Lt Col Pat Castle, USAF

This man’s name is Lt. Col Pat Castle, PhD., and I’m blessed to know him and call him ‘brother’.  Several years ago, Pat and a few of his closest friends started a pro-life running ministry called “LIFE Runners“.  LIFE Runners has gone worldwide and has runners all over the place;LIFE Runners logo running, praying, and raising money to end abortion.  It’s so powerful, they even convinced my non-running-self to run in the inaugural A+Cross America Relay.

Pat is relentless in his pursuits!  He is first and foremost a son of God, and a great husband, and a great father, and with great passion that never stops he is relentless in fighting the evil of abortion.  Vitae has honored him with the new role as President of the foundation, a great honor and a perfect spot for him to land after his long and illustrious Air Force career.  (Read about Pat and his VF role.)  Pat retires at the end of the month.

Pat Castle STL

Pat Castle giving God the glory!

If you want to be inspired, and encouraged as a man who is willing to fight abortion, I’d get involved with Vitae, join LIFE Runners, and get Pat’s emails.  Everytime I hear from him, see something he posts, or see the aftermath that he leaves behind (GOOD aftermath!), I am undoubtedbly inspired.  Pat’s energy and efforts are effective.  There is no wasting time, no messin’ around… he gets the job done.

For all that you do and especially for the TrueMan that you are, HIGH FIVE to you, Pat!

TrueMan up!

Men Leading Boys, Not Boys Leading Boys

 

boys jumpingDads, this post is for you.  On the heels of St. Joseph’s Feast Day, I wanted to talk about what I believe is an important topic regarding fathers and their sons.  As you read in the title of this post, I wrote “men leading boys, not boys leading boys.”  This idea has come up a lot for me, especially of late, in regards to things that take place in and around our world.  Three specific areas that I’ll mention are 1. Scouting 2. Catholic Schools and 3. Firearms.

 The concept of boys learning how to be men from men might seem like an unnecessary one to hash out.  Unfortunately, I believe that we have a crisis of masculinity because boys have been learning how to be men from other boys.  This simply doesn’t work.  Keep in mind that the opposite of masculinity is not femininity, but rather, childishness.  Both boys and men are males, but not all males are or become men.  (Some dogs are males too, that doesn’t make them men.)  Some males may never reach manliness – this would be due to their actions, choices, and attitudes.

This opens the doorway to many criticisms of this idea, such as fathers who have abandoned their children, fathers who are divorced and estranged from their families, boys whose fathers may have simply been a “donor”, and sadly for some, boys whose fathers have passed away.  (Most of these scenarios, as you can see, involve a party other than the boy himself, making a choice that negatively impacts the boy and his development.  I would put the ‘fathers who have passed away’ in a different category altogether for my argument.)  Unfortunately, the common response is “we can’t expect fathers to be with their sons because so many boys don’t have fathers who are present.”  This is the wrong response, and probably a major factor of why we are in the predicament of a fatherless culture.  Let’s stop making excuses, and save what good we have, and fix the bad.  If you have a boy (or many boys) in your life – family, friends, neighbors, your children’s classmates, etc. – who don’t have a father in their life, be that man to him as much as you can. Boy Scouts 1918 sliceRegarding scouting: there has been a big push, especially among Catholics, to leave the Boy Scouts of America organization because of choices and changes they have made, areas of morality they have compromised, and unsafe environments that have gone unregulated, to name a few.  I’ve engaged in the conversation several times with various folks and have come to the conclusion that whatever our boys do, the fathers MUST be involved!  Whether the boy is in scouts, (Check out Dr. Taylor Marshall’s Catholic option) or in sports, how can we expect one man, and sometimes a woman, (ie: the scout leader or the coach) to form every young boy he has under his care?  That’s crazy to think that it will happen.  Even with a few leaders or a few coaches, the journey from boyhood to manliness won’t occur properly without each boy’s father being present.

Dad and Son

My second area of concentration on this topic is within our Catholic schools.  Hopefully, if you’re a father of a child in school, you not only know their teachers, administrators, and coaches, but you know their friends and the parents of their friends.  Knowing the teachers and administrators means more than simply knowing their names and faces, but actually knowing their philosophy and certainly their theology.  (I’m guilty of not knowing enough about this with my own children.)  My point is this… if the father is void of this vital time, or simply “lets mom do it”, our kids will suffer.  Fathers must be active in the education and formation of their children.  Again, it seems unnecessary to say it, but it is so true and utterly ridiculous to think that our boys will become men from the other boys they are around at school.  The other boys in school might be watching inappropriate movies, shows, and listening to inappropriate music.  They may also have misguided “world views”, or beliefs that are contrary to Catholicism.  Many of these boys are already addicted to porn, engaged in sexual behavior, using alcohol and drugs, and involved in unlawful acts.  Are these the boys you want your boys being formed by?

 My parenting philosophy here is not to simply lock my children in the basement and keep them in a Catholic bubble, but rather, to properly form them, instilling virtue into their lives, so that when faced with tough life decisions, peer pressure, or sin-in-general, they make the right decision.  Get in there and be the leader your kid needs!

Dave DiNuzzo Sr. with 3yo son, Dave Jr. and "Papa Tony" (Grandpa) out shooting.

Dave DiNuzzo Sr. with 3yo son, Dave Jr. and “Papa Tony” (Grandpa) out shooting.

I thought I’d also throw in the third area – firearms – because I continue to hear so much untruth surrounding them.  Yes, I am a gun-guy.  I have a bunch of firearms and I enjoy them thoroughly.  I talk about them with my kids, show them how they function, how to load them, how to clean them, proper stance for various shooting positions, and include various tactics and methods.  I take them hunting with me (they are not of hunting age themselves, but may accompany me) and to the range or country to shoot.  Along the way, their formation is heavily involved because I don’t leave things at surface level, but rather, dive into serious topics and scenarios with them.  We’ve discussed the ethics and morality in relation to hunting, requiring us to be smart, safe, and legal.  We’ve discussed the reality of the danger of firearms when used incorrectly, with the devastating effects that they can have, including the reality of death.  We talk about a lot of things regarding firearms – they are a part of our lives.  Heck, many nights, the food we eat is due to the firearms that I have and have used.  I don’t shy away from having them, using them, or showing them to my kids like my firearms are some sort of evil-doer or monster.  We embrace them as a tool and just like my hammers, screwdrivers, drills, and wrenches, I teach my kids how to utilize them properly.  How else would I expect them to learn?

I guess I’ll end with this: if we want out boys to remain boys, and never reach TrueManhood (a life of virtue modeled after Jesus Christ), then we should let the culture raise them.  If, however, we want our boys to reach TrueManhood (and ideally, as soon as possible), then we should raise them.  This means being heavily involved in every aspect of their life, at all times, without compromise.

 I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… we’ve all heard the saying “If I don’t do it, nobody will.”  I’ll see your bet and raise you eternity… “If I don’t do it, the devil will.”  Think about it.

 TrueMan up!

State Champs; Young Gentlemen on Their Way to TrueManhood

St. John's Basketball ChampionsCongratulations to the young men on the basketball team from our ‘small school in the middle of nowhere’ as they were crowned State Champions in Kansas Boys State 1A Basketball!  I write this post partially to talk about sports, but more so to discuss the young men that make up this team and our high school.  We haven’t lived in our small rural farming town for long (only 6 months at this point) but I’ve been impressed with these young men countless times already, and am so happy to highlight them in a post.

St John's Beloit BB ChampsThe basketball team was led by my college friend (Benedictine College) basketball Head Coach (and Husband, Father, and County Sheriff’s Deputy) Lance Bergmann.  These young men have been really impressive on the field and court this season.  In football (8-man) and in basketball, they have played with an intensity that is rare.  While watching my first-ever 8-man football game back in September, I was literally blown-away by their tenacity, drive, and determination.  They played with a speed and ferocity that I have rarely seen with high schoolers.  On the basketball court, they play the same way, but with the finesse that basketball requires, while also being scrappy and resolute.  They finished as State Runner-up in football, falling just short of the title of “Champs.”  [I’m writing vaguely about who these young men are because there are only about 20 high school boys in the entire school and, from what I’ve seen, they come as a packaged deal.  A good slogan for these young men could be “all for one and one for all.”  For the few who don’t play sports (absolutely fine in my book, btw), they are involved in other endeavors and contribute to the athletes in the form of virtuous friendship and support.  This is a complete-package sort of win for everyone at St. John’s in Beloit.]

St. John's Catholic SchoolNot only have they experienced success in sports, four of these same scholar-athletes were recently crowned State Champions in Scholar’s Bowl, a number of them were on the State Championship Math Relays Team, and they all succeed widely in their classroom endeavors.  They are pro-life activists, TV/radio stars, and servants to the community.  But it still goes deeper for me.

I concentrate not on the mere accomplishments of a man, nor his degrees, his occupation, the size of his home, nor the make/model/year of his vehicle, but rather on the life the man leads.  I focus on  who he is.  These young men are well on their way to living TrueManhood, and for that, they should be proud.  I see these young men in Mass on a weekly (and many, on a daily) basis.  They serve, read, sing, and usher.  They are present in prayer.  Their Catholic faith is core to who they are.  They are sponges soaking up knowledge, learning from some great educators that devote their lives to our kids.  And quite possibly one of the most impressive attributes that I’ve seen in these young men… the leadership that is offered to them by their fathers.  It is truly beautiful to see sons encouraged, properly formed, trained, and supported by fathers who are second-to-none in work ethic, morality, and ultimately in their roles as husbands.  For most, the attributes of TrueManhood have been passed down for generations; performed as God originally intended.

To these young gentlemen – I’m extremely impressed.  I see you hold open doors, take care of the “little kids” (including my own children), honor your parents, respect the young ladies in our school, work extremely hard, and do all of this, and more, with smiles on your faces.  You have an incredible opportuity to positively impact our world for good.  Strive for holiness by living out virtue.  You are well on your way to becoming the TrueMen that God has created you to be.  Do not buy the lie that the world is selling… it is counterfeit, empty, and will lead to eternal death.  Choose the path that Christ set out for us, and journey with me and others, as we strive for TrueManhood.

To learn more about our awesome school and the faithfulness which we strive to uphold, check out this recent episode of EWTN’s “Life on the Rock”.

TrueMan up!

“Courageous” Opens Tomorrow

Courageous movie 1VERY RARELY do I get excited about a movie debuting in the theaters.  To put my theater-movie-watching in perspective, the last two movies I’ve seen in the theater have been “Tangled”, which I took my oldest daughter to as a special daddy-daughter date and the 4th Indiana Jones.  (That one came out in the summer of 2008.)  So, you can see that I don’t frequent the movie theater.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy movies, but I struggle terribly to find time to go to the theater and I struggle even more with paying ticket prices for movies nowadays!  (Tangled was a matinee with a coupon, and someone gave me free passes for Indiana Jones.)

BUT… I must say that I am VERY excited about an upcoming movie that is making its way to theCourageous movie 3 big screen tomorrow (Friday, September 30, 2011).  The movie is called “Courageous”.  The producers of this film also produced the movie “Fireproof” (and a few others), which I thought was a good movie.  If “Fireproof” was good, “Courageous” is great!  I had the privilege of pre-screening the movie with my colleagues at our office and have the honor of being part of The King’s Men, one of the ministry-resources for men after they see the movie.

For the pre-screening, I went in very skeptical.  I went in believing that Sherwood Pictures was going to make the movie cheesy with Bible innuendos and very heavy, to the point of burdensome, like they did in “Fireproof”.  Not so.  “Courageous” was very well done and had just the right amount of the “Jesus-factor” so as to still be relate-able as a tool for evangelization purposes with men who are non-believers.  This movie has action, drama, suspense, thrills, excitement and a host of other great characteristics.  I cannot recommend this movie high enough.  Go see it, even at current ticket prices, and show Hollywood that Americans want good, wholesome entertainment and not the garbage they have been spewing for years.

Courageous movie - small group praying SMALL SIZEThis movie is real.  It is about real men, attempting to live through some real life issues and situations.  It’s very practical and very helpful.  The acting is top notch, the storyline is right on and the cinematography is great.  Again, I cannot recommend this movie enough. (The trailer is located on our homepage on the right side.)

After you see the movie, you may want to get involved.  If you desire to follow in the example of the men in the movie, and become part of a small men’s group, I have a turn-key solution for you.  I’m happy to recommend a format for a men’s small group meeting that is easily duplicated, dynamic, and proven.  We do not charge dues, have no membership and offer incredible support to our leaders.  Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – we have the track record of  a program that works.  Men’s lives are changed because of it.  Men who invest themselves into a men’s smallCourageous movie 2 group experience extreme growth and positive change.  Don’t wait another day!  If your parish/church/group/city/area gather enough men together, I can personalize a leader’s training workshop for you and train all of your facilitators in a day-long training session, complete with resource manual and all the how-to’s and nuts and bolts you could ever need.

If we don’t currently have any groups nearby, maybe this is the day you step up and start one.  Contact me for all the resources and support you need.  Info@TrueManhood.com.

TrueMan up!

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