Category Archives: Mysticism

God Exists and I Can Prove It

If you believe in the existence of God, can you support your position?  If you’re an atheist, can you refute the most compelling arguments?  If you answered “No” to either of these questions, you might enjoy and benefit from this video.

And please, whatever you do, please get engaged and go crazy in the comments.  Pro or con doesn’t matter.

Because not only do I believe in God, I believe that God wants you to be engaged with Him.  And I believe that if you engage with Him, in time, you will belong to Him.

Cold Weather Help for the Homeless

With the help of my martial arts club, my family, and my friends (and by raiding my own closets) I was able to gather 3 large bags of blankets, coats, hats, socks, gloves and mittens for the homeless which I dropped off at Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC) this morning.  When it comes to the homeless, CCC is pretty much the only came in town.

I feel so incredibly blessed, it only seems natural to give back.

In what ways are you blessed?  How are you going to give back?

Merry Christmas!

CHriStiAnITy iS A tRouBliNG ReLIgiON

Am I troubling you?  I sure hope so!  Christianity isn’t about maintaining the status quo — Christianity is about shaking up the everyday world and infusing it with sincerity and purpose.  It’s about waking you up and getting you engaged!

Hocus Focus: Martial Arts Training Involution #188

Here’s a guy who knew how to hit full power.  Still one of the best boxing books ever written. 

Do you ever just walk up to a heavy bag and start aimlessly pummeling away?  Is your goal to “get sweaty” or “do some cardio?”

That’s not training.  That’s “working out.”

Working out is like ambling around the great outdoors taking pictures — it’s fun and beneficial in a million ways, but it’s not training.  Training is like climbing Mount Rokkō (which I’ve done by the way).  You have to prepare, plan, and execute.

If you’ve just been working out, the improvements in skill and fitness you’ll see when you switch to training with focus will seem like magic — hence the name of this week’s T.I.

SAFE MP dice at http://www.mitch.store

Need some ideas on how to make the switch from working out to training?  Check out my SAFE MP program.  It even comes with some nifty dice to help you put some unpredictability into your training program.  Check it out here.

 

This week we’re training for power.  Come on, let’s go!

Hocus Focus: Martial Arts Training Involution #188

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 4 minutes of Thrusters.¹  If there was ever a way to train for power, this is it!  To warm up, do 2 x 10 low-intensity Thrusters at about 50% of your single rep max weight.  Then set a timer for 8 Tabata rounds (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest).  Do as many Thrusters as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.  While resting, stand tall with your weight in the racked position — at shoulder level and ready to go.  This sounds like nothing, but trust me, it is killer.  Note: Cut your estimated weight for this by about a third.  If you think you can do it two #25 dumbbells, go with #15 and thank me later.  And while you’re at it, thank the immortal Dan John for this little slice of hell.
  • 8 minutes on the heavy bag for power.  Set your timer for 16 Tabata rounds (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest) and then go all in — punches, crams, braces, palms, kicks, knees, etc.  Take 3 mins to cool down.  You’ll need it.
  • 10 minutes of meditation or contemplation.  After you cool down — for about 3 minutes or until your heart rate is below 100 bpm —  have a seat and do 10 minutes of internal work.

¹ What’s a Thruster?  It’s a Squat and a Military Press at the same time.  You can do these with a barbell, two dumbbells or kettle bells, a sandbag, etc.


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Action Gospel: Sunday Message

Maybe you didn’t know that I make a video every Sunday.  Here’s this week’s message — hope you like it!

Take ‘Em Down and Put ‘Em Up: Martial Arts Training Involution #187

MBF dice (“Martial Base Fitness”)

There are certain martial movements so fundamental that someone who doesn’t drill them, it could be argued, is not a martial artist at all.

I have an entire program called MBF (“Martial Base Fitness”) that’s designed to make sure you have a firm foundation in these essential exercises.  Click here to order your copy for $9.99 — it even comes with some handmade dice to add an element of randomness and fun!

Two of the MBF movements are going to form the “Take ‘Em Down” half of this week’s T.I.  For the second “Put ‘Em Up” half we’re going to be putting up our dukes against a heavy bag.

Take ‘Em Down and Put ‘Em Up: Martial Arts Training Involution #186

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching (never stretch static when cold).
  • Full pyramid to 7 of Shots and Sit-Outs.  Perform 1 Shot and 1 Sit-Out, then 2 of each, 3 of each, etc. up to 7.  Then do 6, 5, 4, etc. down to 1.  That’s 49 Shots and 49 Sit-Outs.  Modify as needed based on experience and fitness.  Beginners, sub Russian Squats if and when you gas on the Shots.  Experts, after every Sit-Out go to plank position and complete a Push-Up, then go straight to the next rep (no resets).  Take as few 12 count breaks as you need in order to finish.  If you don’t know how to do a wrestling Shot or Sit-Out, looks like you need my program!
  • 3 rounds on the heavy bag.  Go all in — punches, crams, braces, palms, kicks, knees, etc.  — and all out for speed and power.  Beginners run 2:00/1:00 rounds, intermediates 3:00/1:00, and experts can skip the round breaks and take three 12-count breaks max.
  • 10 minutes of meditation or contemplation.  After you cool down — for about 3 minutes or until your heart rate is below 100 bpm —  have a seat and do 10 minutes of internal work.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books.  Why not check one out?

 

My Ordination and Realization

You could’ve knocked me over with a feather when I got an email from the seminary stating that I was one of just four people selected to be sent on an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to participate in the consecration of bishops and to be ordained as a deacon.  I accepted the honor — and the responsibility — and off I went to Brooklyn, NY.

The Ordination

And so, on November 30th of 2019, on the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle at the Church of the Evangel, in Brooklyn, NY, Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary consecrated new bishops and ordained new deacons and sub-deacons — and I was there to help.

Father Clyde Kuemmerle

Bishops Linda Blakeney Jarvis, Erik Eberle Weaver and Angela Elizabeth DeBry were those officially consecrated, Bishop Benjamin Evans of the Old Catholic Diocese of New Jersey presiding.  Later in the day Jeremy Di Salvo was ordained as a sub-deacon and I was ordained as a deacon. 

This is my chalice and paten set from the church supply catalog. I didn’t feel comfortable taking a picture of the actual set gifted to me by Bishop Linda. Now that they’ve held the wine and host and have been consecrated, they are too holy to be photographed.

The high point was being taught the preparation of the Holy Eucharist by Father. Clyde.  As an additional honor, Father Clyde selected my new chalice and paten to be used during both services that day.  He showed me how to fill the burse, fold and prepare the corporal and the purificator, etc.  For someone who believes that the wine and the host are the body and blood of Christ, and that the Eucharistic Rite is at the center of the Christian life, it was amazing and beautiful and  too much for words.

The Realization

So it’s official — I’m a clergyman. 

The funny thing is, this was sort of written in the stars.  Years ago, when my girls were little and I was an Accounting manager, I thought about making a career change.  It must have been somewhere around 1993.  I decided to go over to J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and take their career placement test.  It was a long and complicated evaluation, taking over 2 hours.  I took the test and a few days later I went to meet with a counselor to review and interpret my scores.  What were the results?  Clergy.  “Clergy?” I thought.  “Seriously?  A preacher?  You have to be kidding.  This test was a stupid waste of time!”

And now here I am.  Now I’m an Accounting Director — but I’m also a deacon.  Bishop Linda said that I was born to wear the collar — one of the finest compliments I’ve ever been paid.  And you know what?  She’s right. I was a nervous wreck leading up to the event.  I was terrified about traveling in clerical attire and worried sick about botching my lines.  I kept imagining worst-case scenarios — tripping up, spilling the wine, dropping the host.

But once I put on that black suit everything changed.  I was as relaxed and as comfortable as I am wearing a Karate uniform or a pair of sweat pants.  And that relaxed, easy comfort didn’t go away.  When I was in front of the congregation I was perfectly calm, even when I read the Holy Gospel.  The selection I was given to read was the Parable of the Lost Sheep.

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’  Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

[Luke 15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)]

Some friends and even family members didn’t know I was in seminary until I had to explain where I was going.  I don’t talk about it all that much, for several reasons.  Firstly, I want to keep my ego small.  My pursuit of the priesthood is between me and God, and someday, my flock.  Secondly, I don’t want anyone to treat me differently.  And thirdly, I’ve never trusted people who flaunt their religiosity.  Christ said to pray in private, not in the streets (Matthew 6:1-6) and I take that seriously.

Since the ordination the question I get asked most is “I thought priests couldn’t be married?”  Well, that’s Roman Catholics.  I’m an Old Catholic.  Old Catholics and Eastern Catholics admit priests who are married, and many Old Catholics even ordain female priests.  If you want to know more about Old Catholics, check out the information below.

If things go as planned I’ll be ordained as a priest in a year or two.  What happens then?  Who knows.  I’m praying about that, and I will go and do whatever God wills for me.

That is, after all, the point.


What is an “Old Catholic?” 

Old Catholics were part of the Roman Catholic Church until Vatican 1 in 1874 when the Immaculate Conception was made dogma and the Bishop of Rome was made a Bishop above all other bishops. Half of the bishops left the Council.  The remaining half voted to to change the governance of the Catholic Church despite the schism.

Five bishops in Holland, Switzerland & Germany set out the Doctrine of Utrecht stating they would adhere to the “old” governance of the Catholic Church with all bishops being co-equal.  Old Catholicism was born.

As a result, Old Catholics recognize the pope as the western patriarch yet do not adhere to Roman Catholic canon law.  In the eyes of Rome, the Old Catholic Church is considered illicit but not illegal — schismatic but not heretical.  In Europe there is a union of Old Catholic Churches with a presiding bishop, but in the U.S Old Catholics are either autonomous or grouped in loose affiliations.