Breadbox Media
The Power of Yes

The Power of Yes

August 14, 2019

“Yes” is a word with tremendous power. It can unlock amazing opportunities, open doors, and lead us to a richer, fuller and more vibrant life. In this podcast, Tony discusses the Power of Yes.

Scripture: “Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” –Luke 1:38

Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. –Matthew 1:20

Quote: “Let us look at her, and let us look to her, in order to be more humble, and even more courageous in following the Word of God, to receive the tender embrace of her son Jesus, an embrace that gives us life, hope, and peace.” -Pope Francis

Reflections: Have you said yes to Jesus? How did Mary and Joseph’s yes make you examine your own commitment? How do you say yes every day to Our Lord?

It’s All About Commitment

It’s All About Commitment

August 7, 2019

I am a fan of committed marriages. Whenever I hear of a couple celebrating 50 or 40 or even 25 years together it makes me smile. In this podcast, Tony discusses commitment in marriage and offers 6 things you can do to have a deeper understanding of commitment.

Quote: “God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.” — Max Lucado

Quote: “As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two.” — Thomas Adam

Reflection: Do I have a “do what it takes to make this relationship work” commitment with my spouse? What are the thing I am doing to strengthen my marriage? Do you feel that a Christ-Centered relationship give you an commitment advantage?

In The Blink of an Eye

In The Blink of an Eye

July 31, 2019

Time flies is an expression we hear all the time. And it’s true. In this podcast, Tony discusses how time flies and how we need to understand that in the blink of an eye things can change. He offers several suggestions. too.

Scripture: To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, or like a watch in the night. You sweep them away like a dream, like grass which is fresh in the morning. In the morning it sprouts and is fresh; by evening it withers and fades. Psalm 90 4:6 (Grail Version)

“Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

Quote: In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance, when you least expect it, sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined. –Nicholas Sparks

“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.” — Albert Einstein

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” –Walt Whitman

“Life can change in the blink of an eye. All you have is right now. So don’t ever put off telling someone how you feel about them, don’t assume that they know, because they might not and it might be too late.” ― Alexandra Potter

Reflection: Have you blinked you eyes and a year has goon by or even a decade? What can we do to savor the time we have together? Do you try to live in the moment? How difficult do you find it?

The Crosses We Bear

The Crosses We Bear

July 24, 2019

“Please don’t shake my hand too hard,” one of the prisoners whispered, as I reached out my hand to greet him. “I have cancer.” As we took our seats, with Theresa, George and me facing them, I asked, “tell me about your cancer?” In this podcast Tony discusses the crosses we bear.

Scripture: God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. [1 Co 10:13]

Reflections: Which of the three crosses would you choose? Or, would you rather keep the one you’ve got now? Are there those whos crosses would be too hard for you to handle?

One Nation, Under God

One Nation, Under God

July 17, 2019

Let’s face it, the Christian monopoly on politics, world views, government and society is over or at least on life support. Our country is no longer rooted in Christendom. We are moving quickly toward national secularism where the Judeo-Christian ethic and especially Christianity has become a personal hobby. In this podcast Tony discusses the end of Christendom.

Quote: “The world in which we live is the battleground of the Church. I believe that we are now living at the end of Christendom. It is the end of Christendom, but not the end of Christianity. What is Christendom? Christendom is the political, economic, moral, social, legal life of a nation as inspired by the gospel ethic. That is finished. Abortion, the breakdown of family life, dishonesty, even the natural virtues upon which the supernatural virtues were based, are being discredited. Christianity is not at the end. But we are at the end of Christendom. And I believe that the sooner we wake up to this fact, the sooner we will be able to solve many of our problems.” —Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others. –Titus 3: 1-8

Reflections: What are your thoughts about Christians being exiles in our own country? Do you see the increase in secular humanism and how it is affecting everything? How do we live in this new reality?

Church, My Mom Made Me Go

Church, My Mom Made Me Go

July 17, 2019

Faith was the center of my mother’s life. Everything revolved around the church; mass, confession, holy days, and Christmas and Easter. My mom was also a stickler for attending mass and confession. As a kid, I never got away without attending Sunday mass and every week, it was confession on Saturday mornings. It wasn’t really my choice, my mom MADE me go! In this podcast, Tony discusses the positive influence his mother had on his faith.

Scripture: Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Reflection: How do you share the faith with your children? Do you think that your faithfulness has rubbed off on your children? How important is passing along your faith to your kids?

Persistence in Prayer

Persistence in Prayer

July 10, 2019

Do you ever feel like your prayers are never answered? Do you wonder if God actually hears your prayers? If God knows my needs, then why do I need to pray more than once or at all for that matter? Wouldn’t He just know and answer them? In this podcast, Tony discusses persistence in prayer.

Scripture: “Then, he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision Persistence in Prayer for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” –Luke 18:1-8

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. –1Corinthians 15:58

Reflections: Do you feel your prayers go unanswered? Does God really hear my prayers? What can I do to be more persistent in my prayer life?

Walk the Talk

Walk the Talk

July 3, 2019

“Put feet under your faith.” I hadn’t heard that phrase since the late 1970’s. It’s a phrase that we used when we discussed putting our faith in action, to reach out to those less fortunate and offer a helping hand. In this podcast Tony asks, “You can talk the talk, can you walk the talk?”

Scripture: For, I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ —Matthew 25:35-40

“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. –1 Peter 4:10

Quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Reflection: How are you walking your talk? Are you putting you faith into action? What can you do to put your talents to work for the betterment of others?

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

June 26, 2019

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who am I?” What are the things that most define my personal identity? What are my talents, passions, and strengths? In this podcast, Tony discusses who you really are.

Scripture: But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. –1 Peter 2:9

For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. –Ephesians 2:10

Exercise: Here is an exercise to try.

1. Make a list of all the things that define you both externally and internally.

2. Eliminate anything that is negative from your list.

3. Scratch off the list those external things that might change in the future.

4. Look at what is left and ask the question, “What remains on my list that really defines me?”

Reflection: Have you tried Tony’s idea on discovering the real you? Do you like hat person better than the one you portray? What can you do to live the person you really are?

On Father’s Day

On Father’s Day

June 19, 2019

Father’s Day; it is the one day each year that we honor fathers, a day to tell dad just how much he means to us. But, it is a shame that over 24 million kids, one in three children, growing up in the United States today, have no father present in the household to honor. In this podcast, Tony discusses the Father crisis in America.

Quote: People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father.” –Vincent DeCaro

Tony’s Prayer: Heavenly Father,

…Help me to become a better father.

…Make the way I treat their mother be a model for their future relationships.

…May I find quality time to spend with my children and understand that “any time” is better than waiting for the “right time.”

…May I nurture and guide my children, passing along my faith by making God, church, and service to others, a priority.

…Lord, give me the ability to provide for my wife and children and protect them for any harm.

…And, may my kids look at me as a shining example of God’s love, that one day they will say, “I want to be just like dad!”

Amen.

Reflections: How do your kids view your relationship with their mother? What do you think of Tony’s comment that kids spell father T-I-M-E? Do you view yourself as a role model?

 

What Defines Character

What Defines Character

June 12, 2019

The dictionary defines character as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It’s our defining presence, honed by our actions, integrity, honesty, and the choices we make. Our character is one of the few things in life that can’t be taken away from us. In this podcast Tony discusses Character.

Scripture: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. –Matthew 5:13-16

Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. –1 Timothy 4:15

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Called to Evangelize

Called to Evangelize

June 5, 2019

evangelize

As Christians, as Catholics, we are called to witness. We are called to share our faith with the people around us. So why is evangelization so hard for most Christians? Why are we so afraid to share our beautiful faith with others? In this pod cast Tony discusses the call to evangelize.

Scripture: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.” –1 Peter 3:15-16

For, I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. -–Romans 1:16

Quotes: “Sometimes I ask myself, “Do I have the courage to do the right thing when it matters most?” And that answer, I’m afraid, is silence.” ― Jarod Kintz

Reflections: Are you reluctant to discuss Jesus for fear of offending someone? Is evangelization something you take seriously? Do you leave evangelization to others more qualified?

Life Lessons on the Journey

Life Lessons on the Journey

May 29, 2019

Last week, I received a note from a reader who asked, “What are some life lessons you would share with your new grandson?” I replied that I began writing my stories with that thought in mind. Is there anything I can share that might help the next generation avoid some of the pitfalls that I’ve experienced that would help them lead happier lives? In this podcast, Tony discusses life lessons.

Here are 14 life lessons from along the journey of life:

 

1. Live in the moment. We spend so much of our lives reliving the past or anxiously awaiting tomorrow that we fail to live today. Life is short; it passes us by in the wink of an eye. As the old saying goes, Life is lived in the moment between each breath. We need to live today, enjoy ourselves today, and drink in today’s wonder, savor today’s moments.
2. Relationships are everything. We need to put our relationships ahead of everything else in our lives, before jobs, homes, cars, hobbies, sports, or smart phones. Our relationship with God, our spouse, children, parents, siblings trump everything else. We need to be there for our children when they need us. And, remember, friendships require time and attention. One of the regrets of the dying is they didn’t work at their friendships.
3. Slow down. We live in a world that has no patience. We are always moving at the speed of light, often cramming our calendars with so many tasks and appointments that we never give enough time to anything.
4. Less is more. We are always in the pursuit of more. A bigger house, a more expensive car, a bigger television screen, electronics, gadgets, shoes, and clothes. Whenever you do some house cleaning what you will find is that things just gather dust! If you eliminated everything from your house that is gathering dust, you’ll be surprised at freeing power of less stuff.
5. Giving is better than receiving. This runs contrary to everything we are bombarded with in the media. But, I promise you there is no better feeling that giving to someone that can never repay you and having a positive effect on someone’s life.
6. Practice Gratitude. If we aren’t grateful for what we already have, then how can we expect to be grateful for those things we want? Start the day with thanking our Lord for life, for the day ahead, for family friends and a job. The greater the gratitude to greater our happiness.
7. Be compassionate and show empathy. To have concerns for the sufferings and misfortune of others, and the ability to understand and share the feelings of others will motivate us to desire to help those less fortunate.
8. Be forgiving Anger and resentment will harm your health, get in the way of your happiness, and cause you to live in the past. It is said that anger and resentment are like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It will kill you if you can’t find a way to forgive.
9. Be passionate. Over the years I have had the opportunity to hire many people and I can say that passion is the one thing that stands out above everything else. Find something you really enjoy doing, then, be passionate about it!
10. Be Kind. The smallest act of kindness can change a person’s life forever. It costs nothing to be kind, and it sends a powerful message.
11. Say I’m sorry. When you’ve done something that needs an apology, say it! Don’t assume the person knows your feelings. Say I’m sorry, and mean it.
12. Fear is an illusion. Fear will paralyze you, it will cause you hesitate, stay in the wrong situations. The fear of taking action is always debilitating. Take small steps, take pride in your taking action, it builds confidence.
13. Failures are life lessons. If we don’t take action because we fear failure, then we don’t understand that failures are simply lessons. Failure often puts you one step closer to success. History is filled with people who failed many times before they succeeded.
14. Pain is a normal part of life. We all will experience pain in our lives. Physical pain, mental pain, sickness, injury, a job loss, a bad marriage or a financial setback. Embrace pain as part of life. We all will deal with it sooner or later. Our attitude will do wonders to help us get through the pain.

Friendship Deficiency

Friendship Deficiency

May 22, 2019

One Thursday morning, waiting for 8AM mass to begin, I realized that I was surrounded by eight male friends. Thursday’s are special because after mass we all go to breakfast together. It’s a time to share stories and tell jokes, but it’s also a time for prayer and concern for others. In this podcast Tony discusses friendships.

Scripture: This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. John 15:12-17

“There are friends who bring ruin, but there are true friends more loyal than a brother.” –Proverbs 18:24

Reflections: Do you work at making new friends? Do you feel “Friendship Deficient?” What about accountability, do you like it when a friend holds you accountable?

Open the Door to Your Heart

Open the Door to Your Heart

May 15, 2019

One of my fellow jail ministers, George, likes to use the painting “The Light of the World” by William Holman Hunt to make the point of inviting Jesus into our hearts and lives. It’s a wonderful way to illustrate that WE must ask Jesus into our lives. Our Lord never forces himself on us, but is always waiting for an invitation to open the door to our heart. In this podcast, Tony talks about opening that door.

Scripture: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” — Revelation 3:20

Reflection: Are you opening the door to your heart? Have you made the first move to meet Jesus waiting at the door of your heart? Do you see the symbolism in the painting?

*The Light of the World (1853–54) is an allegorical painting by William Holman Hunt.

Thank God for Crying Babies

Thank God for Crying Babies

May 8, 2019

I’ve learned to love it whenever I hear babies crying at church. I like it when a toddler asks his mom a question with a voice to loud to be church worthy. And, my heart is warmed when I hear the cooing, giggling, and silly baby laughter especially during the quiet time following communion. To me, it’s like the angels speaking from heaven. In this podcast, Tony discusses babies crying at church.

Scripture: “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” –Matthew 19:13-14

“Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me.” –Mark 9:36-37

Reflections: Are you willing to hear some crying to know the church has a future? Do you ever thank a parent for bringing their kids to mass? As a young parent, do you ever feel unwelcome at mass?

Doing vs. Being

Doing vs. Being

May 1, 2019

Doing is easier that being. Doing is quantifiable. We can measure our productivity in a big promotion, a cleaner house, a better report card or a bigger paycheck. Doing is what we are taught to do from the time we are old enough to understand. But where is the balance in our lives? After all, we are Human Beings, not Human Doings! In this podcast, Tony discusses the difference between doing and being.

Scripture: But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. Matthew 6:33-34

Quote: “We are warned not to waste time, but we are brought up to waste our lives.” –Eric Hoffer

Reflections: Are you doing or being? What do you do to be a more being person? Do you agree that “Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship?"

Married and Lonely

Married and Lonely

April 24, 2019

Why is it that so many married people feel alone and lonely? They feel like they are living together separately. No love, no kisses, no sex, no communication. Rather than oneness, they feel like ships crossing in the night. In this podcast, Tony discusses what has happened?

Scripture: 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.” Matthew 19:4-6

Quote: “When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.” Joseph Campbell

Reflections: What measures have you taken to keep the fires of unity in your marriage burning? Is Christ at the center of your marriage? Do you pray together?

It Only Takes One

It Only Takes One

April 17, 2019

have always been impressed with the power in the number one. It only takes one person, one kind word, one thought, or one good deed to change the world. One is a very powerful number. In this podcast Tony talks about the power of one.

Quote: It only takes one smile to offer welcome and blessed be the person who shares it. It only takes one moment to be helpful, and blessed be the person who will spare it. It only takes one joy to lift a spirit, and blessed be the person who will give it. It only takes one life to make a difference, and blessed be the person who will live it. --Amanda Bradley

Scripture: “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. –Isaiah 41:10

Reflections: Have you ever been that one person for another? Can you remember the one teacher, coach or friend that helped you become the person you are today? Have you ever mentored a friend?

We Celebrate

We Celebrate

April 10, 2019

A few months ago, Diane and I had a very busy weekend. We celebrated the baptism of a niece’s son. We celebrated the lives of a husband and wife who had died only hours apart. And, we celebrated our mutual birthday (we were both born on February 23rd) with four other couples that share the same birthday week, an annual tradition for over 20 years. In this podcast, Tony discusses celebrating.

Scripture: Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy sanctuary; give praise in the mighty dome of heaven. Give praise for his mighty deeds, praise him for his great majesty. Give praise with blasts upon the horn, praise him with harp and lyre. Give praise with tambourines and dance, praise him with strings and pipes. Give praise with crashing cymbals, praise him with sounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath give praise to the LORD! Hallelujah! –Psalm 150 1:6

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, 1 Peter 3:15

Quote: The best way to live life is to celebrate life. –Matthew Kelly
Book: Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly, Beacon Publishing, 2012

Reflection: What do you celebrate? Is celebration at the center of your Catholic life? How do family traditions become our celebration?