Welcome to REAL Men RoCK

This blog is about the issues men face and things I have experienced.

I hope you will be encouraged, challenged, and stirred to take action.

Proverbs 27:17 (The Message)

17 You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another


ighteous   E ncouraging   A ccountable   L oving 


ely on    C hrist's   K indness

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Great Adventure

It was early June and we packed the last bag in the van and we got in and headed on our adventure. My wife, Kat, our daughter, Missy, and her friend, Denise and I drove across Kansas heading to our goal of Colorado and then Arizona.
Our first stop was the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
Arriving at sun down we unpacked our tents and set-up camp. The next morning after having a terrific breakfast we headed off to play on the dunes. At the base of the dunes is a stream that in the springs runs about four inches deep. It is an unusual stream because as it flows the sand builds and then breaks causing a rippling effect. We then began to ascend up the sand dunes to the highest peak. We took a step and slid back a half of a step, took a step and slid back. Three hours later we found ourselves seven hundred feet up at the top of the highest peak looking down over the dunes below.

As we were looking around Missy and Denise asked what was causing the shadows that were moving over the landscape below. Because they were being raised in the city they had never seen shadows from clouds before. Suddenly we heard a rumble and then another. We looked off toward the mountains to the north and watched as a thunderstorm moved through the peaks. After sitting for an hour and watching the marvels of nature it was time to head back down the dunes to the stream.

We moved down the side of the dune and I handed my camera to Kat and I told the girls to watch. I began to run and to the shock of the girls I leaped off the edge of one of the dunes. They stood watching as I landed about 15 feet down the side of the dune and then took another leap. It took only a second for them to join me in leaping down the dunes. What took three hours to accomplish going up took about twenty minutes coming down.

The girls laughed and played enjoying the marvelous sand dunes. That night we all slept soundly.

The next morning we loaded the van and headed to our next stop, Mesa Verde in south west Colorado. Again we arrived in late afternoon and unpacked our tents and pitched our camp. The next morning we woke for breakfast and found several deer eating the grass just beyond our camp site. After breakfast we headed off to view what remains of the cliff dwellings. At one point we had to climb a thirty foot ladder to reach our destination. Denise was somewhat afraid of heights but we encouraged her to take each and every step. Fortunately the people behind us were patient because what should have been a 30 second climb took several minutes. Once at the top of the ladder Denise was glad she took the risk because the dwellings and the view were spectacular. After a long day of hiking we retired to a nice camp fire. We all slept soundly that night too.

The next morning we again loaded the van and headed for our final destination the Grand Canyon and again we arrived in late afternoon.

I had always heard that the view would take your breath away and it certainly did. That evening we set-up our camp and roasted marsh mellows over our camp fire.

The next morning Kat and I got up early and walked down to the canyon's edge. The temperature was about 35 degrees and as we neared the edge you could feel the rush of warm air coming up out of the canyon below. At the edge of the canyon the temperature was about 50 degrees warmer. It was amazing to have the back of your head freezing while your face felt the warm breeze flowing.

Later that day we took a three mile hike down the canyon and this is were the trip got the most interesting. Remember that Denise was afraid of heights and as we descended into the canyon the trail narrowed on one side was a wall going up almost straight up and on the other side a drop off going several hundred and at times thousand of feet down. Denise wore a white top, white shorts, white socks and white tennis shoes. As we walked Missy would occasionally look over the edge while Denise was hugging the wall and at times crawled. After hiking down and then back up we headed to the nearby store where the girls each bought a t-shirt. Missy's read, "I hiked the Grand Canyon" while Denise's read, "I crawled the Grand Canyon".

To this day each of us remember this trip and of the memories we developed.

Here are the lessons I learned from this trip:
1. At each of these stops I understood even deeper why the angels sang with joy at the foundations of the earth Job 38: 4-7.

2. Children value our time more than they value what we give them.

3. What lies beyond your fear is usually so fantastic that it is well worth the struggle getting there. FEAR is always False Evidence Appearing Real.

Both Denise and Missy have talked about wanting to take their children on a great adventure like we shared together 17 years ago.

I encourage you to take the time next year to take an adventure with your spouse and children or if you are not married with your friends. I believe if you do you too will have memories that will last a life time.

Monday, December 29, 2008


This is the last week of 2008 and Thursday marks the beginning of a new year. As we look back over the past year some of us will notice that there were times we were in bondage and some of us will notice that we had been freed.

I live in a country that values freedom. At the base of the Statue of Liberty are these words, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” The United States of America stands as a beacon of hope to those yearning for freedom. But does this country offer the best hope for freedom? As far as human governments is concerned I would say yes but there is a greater hope for freedom not found in human government.

For years I was addicted to pornography and in bondage to self-doubts but through the encouragement of others I found release in a relationship with the Savior of the world, Jesus.

In Matthew 11 Jesus made a similar call to what we read at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
28-30 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

My country offers physical freedom but my God offers spiritual freedom which frees the whole person.

As 2008 ends and 2009 begins I invite you to move out of control of anything that holds you bondage and into the freedom. You will not find that release in a church although a church might be used, you will not find it in a government agency although a government agency might be used. You will find true freedom only in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 3: 17
And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us!

May 2009 be the year you gain your freedom and may you use your new freedom to help someone else discover the freedom found in Jesus.

Father, bless all who come to Your Son, Jesus, with freedom. In the name, power and authority of Jesus we pray. amen

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Hope of Christmas

We do not know the exact night or date that Jesus was born. But the fact is He was. His birth is important because without His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection we would have no hope of life after this physical life.

My prayer is that you will remember the reason for the birth, life and death of Jesus as our Lord.

What Christmas pictures is the relationship the Creator wants to have with His highest form of creation. Humans are created higher than angels although for now we are lacking compared to them. God's desire and our hope is that once God's plan is complete we will be the bride of the most High.

No matter what I am facing that brings me hope.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hersey's Kisses and Niagara Falls

There are several things that I use to do with my daughter that she has introduced to her children.

When my daughter was a little girl I use to every now and then leave a Hersey's Kiss on her pillow. It was a little thing I did to tell her that I loved her and it must have been special to her because after she had her own children she introduced the idea to her kids.

When they come over they always ask for a kiss before they leave.

Last year I introduced the grandkids to the 3 Stooges. I use to do the skit they called, Niagara Falls or Slowly I Turn, with my daughter. I changed it from how the 3 Stooges did it by replacing the hitting with tickling.

She would say Niagara Falls and I would get a strange look on my face and then say, "Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch," and then I grabbed her and tickled her.

One morning at church our minister was talking about his vacation and how much fun he and his family had at Niagara Falls. My daughter suddenly got this strange look on her face as if I were going to go tickle him.

Today I do the same thing with my grandkids and often when they are leaving our house our neighbors can hear them yelling: Niagara Falls as the drive down the street.

The reason I share these two things with you is to encourage you to do something simple that your kids or grandkids will always remember.

Every time I share something with them like the above I have a reason behind it. The candy kisses represent my love for them and the 3 Stooges skit represents my love for having fun with them.

Two other things I have shared with them: Creamed Soda and the movie "Gone Fishing."
I will share the story behind Gone Fishing in the future which I believe you will find funny.

Go ahead do something silly, do something immature and have fun.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The darkness

With this post I am going to challenge you to do something very hard and that is to forgive. All of us have been hurt by someone else and some have been hurt to the point we still suffer from it today.

It might have been a dad who was never around, a mom who controlled you, a person who stole something from you or it could be God. Actually not really God but you have blamed God for something that has happened to you.

Whether you believe in God or not the truth is a lack of forgiveness will keep you from having fullness in your life. It will always keep you from enjoying your life fully. It will always keep you from taking the risk to truly love someone else.

It will always cause you to have the darkness of sadness in your life.

I am currently reading "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young and I want to share a couple of paragraphs with you about the darkness.

"The darkness hides the true size of fears and lies and regrets," Jesus explained. "The truth is they are more shadow than reality, so they seem bigger in the dark. When the light shines into the places they live inside you, you start to see them for what they are."

"But why do we keep all that crap inside?" Mack asked.

"Because we believe it's safer there. And, sometimes, when you're a kid trying to survive, it really is safer there. Then you grow up on the outside, but on the inside you're still that kid in the dark cave surrounded by monsters, and out of habit you keep adding to your collection. We all collect things we value, you know?"

I know that I have had darkness in my life. For example, when I was 18 a man molested me and I held that darkness inside for years and allowed it to keep me from developing deep, meaningful friendships with other men. Once I began to allow the truth in I slowly began to allow other men into my life. My first true male friend was Tom, a quadriplegic which I find humorous when I look back on it because it was a fairly safe choice since he could not use his legs or arms. I did not experience release though from the darkness until I surrendered it to God and allowed the light to penetrate my hurt and wound.

Another example is I had lived for years with the darkness I caused my son when I rejected him. When I finally surrendered my pain I caused him and me to God I was able to accept the results of my actions. I am no longer controlled by the hurt of being rejected.

You might be suffering from a wound caused by a dad who said harsh words to you, or a mom who controlled your every move or a boyfriend who left you, or a guy who raped you, or maybe someone close to you died unexpectedly and you blame God. Each of these experiences are real and they cause real pain but you do not have to continue to suffer the hurt.

You can choose to stay in the pain and suffering or choose to move out of the control of darkness and allow the light of truth to shine into that area you protect. I am not smart enough to tell you how to achieve this but I can suggest several books that helped me.

Total Forgiveness by RT Kendall
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

These books will help you begin the process of forgiving the one who has wounded you. The finishing work though will be done by you surrendering your wound to God. He through His Holy Spirit will release the hold of the darkness on your life and allow you to truly live.

One final word, if you are angry with God for something that has happened to you I must tell you that you cannot forgive Him. Only He has the power to truly forgive. Even your forgiveness of someone else comes from surrendering your anger to God and He gives you the peace that results.

Today is the day to move forward beyond the chains of your wound and begin to truly live.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

REAL Men RoCK - a year end recap

Before the year ends I believe it is appropriate to revisit why I began this blog. I hope by doing so I provide some inspiration for someone else to go after their dream.

A few years ago I was doing my regular thing at church greeting people and looking for either a new person or someone who looked like they needed someone to talk with. In walked this nice looking guy who headed straight for me and as he came up to me he stuck out his hand and said, "Hi my name is Doug, I am an ex-con who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus." At that moment I knew we were going to have an interesting relationship.

Doug and I developed a neat relationship over the next few years. We were accountability partners, team members on a mowing crew and developing plans to do ministry together. Our first experience in ministry was starting a men's small group and it was our hope that within the next two years we would plant a church either in the inner-city of Kansas City or at the Lake of the Ozarks. Two very different churches but the same goal of reaching out and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the down and out, the addicted and the rejected. Last year Doug discovered he had cancer and late this past spring he died.

What does that have to do with this blog called REAL Men? Everything because you see Doug was a Righteous, Encouraging, Accountable and Loving Man who Relied on Christ's Kindness. He was the inspiration for REAL Men RoCK.

Just what does REAL Men stand for?

R = Righteous
E = Encouraging
A = Accountable
L = Loving


R = Rely
C = Christ's
K = Kindness

Doug and I began our small group based on REAL Men RoCK.

1st - Being Righteous does not involve the things you do, the things you know or the thing you believe. All of that leads to self-righteousness which elevates the self above others. True righteousness is found in having faith that Jesus is our righteousness.

Romans 3: 10 says: "As the scriptures say, "No one is good - not even one."

1 John 2: 1-2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins, He takes away not only our sin but the sins of all the world.

To be righteous means you are free of the guilt of sin. Your works, knowledge and beliefs cannot do that for you. Only God Himself can take away your guilt and replace it with righteousness.

2nd - As followers of Jesus we are to encourage those around us.

Isaiah 1: 17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of the widows.

1 Thessalonians 5: 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Our thoughts, actions and beliefs must spring from our faith in Jesus and the credit for anything good we do be given to God.

3rd - As men we need to be held accountable. I believe 100% of men who go to church have a problem in one of the following areas: Pride, Greed, Power, Lust, Life Controlling Habits, Fear, Work, Marriage, Parenting. We need other men to come around us and support and keep us moving in the right direction.

Romans 14: 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Proverbs 27: 17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

4th - We are to men men who love.

Ephesians 5: 33 However, each of you also must love his wife as he does himself...

Romans 12: 9-10 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Finally - Unless we rely on Christ's kindness which leads us to repentance we cannot be righteous, be truly encouraging, be willing to be held accountable, or show unconditional love.

Romans 2: 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to

This blog sprang from a dream of Luke 4: 18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."

Doug and I felt we were called to follow in Jesus footsteps as ministers to those who are captive to addictions, who feel rejected and to empower men and women to use their spiritual gifts in service to others.

My goal is to write each post with all of this in mind.

After each post I look forward to reading the comments made by the readers. The only way I improve this blog or know if I have touched someone is by people leaving their comments. Not only do you help me when you comment but you leave something for someone else to benefit from.

I believe each person who visits REAL Men RoCK does so because God lead them here.

I began this post saying I hope it inspires someone to move forward in their dream. If you have a dream and are ready to pursue it please share it with me. I want to encourage you along the journey.

My Father in Heaven, thank You for this blog, thank You for blessing me, may I continue to seek and do Your will. Bless all who read this and give them encouragement. In Jesus name amen

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Wonder Working God

When I first started to think of doing a blog I immediately began to feel inadequate of able to express myself clearly and in a way that men would be moved to take action. I wanted the blog to be an instrument that God would use to touch the lives of men who were struggling with life controlling issues, feelings of inadequacy or who needed the encouragement which can only come from another man who has experienced a similar situation that they find themselves in. I have faith that God can use any of us to achieve His work and what we are lacking He will supply so I stepped out. This blog is not a reflection of any talent I have but of what a Wonder Working God can do through an inadequate man who is willing to look beyond his limitations to be used.

Please listen to this song by Andy Park.

Are you struggling? Are being controlled by a habit that you just cannot break? Do you feel inadequate? God wants to do something through you, are you willing? If you are willing take the risk you, too, will find what a Wonder Working God can do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What happens at the beginning of each new year? Many people make a New Year's Resolution and most end up giving up on it within the first month. With this post I am going to encourage you to try something different.

Let me begin by sharing something I read on page 54 of John Maxwell's book, "The Winning Attitude". A set of attitudes accompanies each personality. Generally people with certain temperaments develop specific attitudes common to that temperament. A few years ago, pastor and counselor Tim LaHaye made us aware of four basic temperaments. Through observation, I have noticed that a person with what he calls a Choleric personality often exhibits attitudes of perseverance and aggressiveness. A Sanguine person will be generally positive and look on the bright side of life. The introspective Melancholy can be negatives at times while the Phlegmatic says, "Easy come, easy go." An individuals personality is composed of a mixture of these temperaments, and there are exceptions to these examples. However, a temperament follows a track that can be identified by tracing a person's attitude.

Each of you reading this have a dominate personality type and one you operate in now and then. For example, I am a Sanguine who occasionally operates as a Choleric. My wife, my daughter and I vacationed in Miami, FL and attended a conference where we heard Dr. Robert Rohm speak on personality types. Dr. Rohn labels a Choleric "D" for Drivers or Doers, a Sanguine "I" for Inspirational, a Melancholy "S" for Steady or Stable and Phlegmatic "C" for Competent. I took, my wife and daughter to the conference when Dr. Rohm spoke and the next day we were driving to the airport and as we pulled up to the terminal my daughter said, "Mom, did you see that!", "Dad went from an "I" to a "D" just like that.

Here is my suggestion: Get one of the books listed below either at your local library or purchase it at one of the online stores listed below or at your local book store. Discover your personality type and then set a goal for next year considering your personality type. Make it a goal that moves you forward in your personal life but with steps that take into account your personality type.

For me I would set a goal of having a more consist ant exercise workout by listing the positive things about doing so and then making it something I can use to inspire other guys to do the same thing. I would also find someone to challenge me by holding me accountable to my efforts.

Personality Plus by Florence Littauer at ChristianBook.com $10.00
Positive Personality Profiles by Robert A. Rohm at Amazon.com $18.00

A caution about setting goals: "You will struggle at first in achieving your goals but I want to encourage you to get back up with the help of God and move forward in achieving your goal." I believe if you will try this you can achieve the goal you set and then use the experience to set another goal which might be a little harder.

Please share a goal you would like to accomplish in 2009 and keep us informed how you did.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What is holding you back?

I watched a movie on the Hallmark channel tonight that is stirring many old memories and feelings. The movie is called "Front of Class". The following video is of the real Brad Cohen. What do you have in your life that is keeping you from moving forward in your dream?

All of us have something in our life that is kind of like a giant that stands over you and keeps you from moving forward. It could be something a teacher did to you, it could be your own attitude or behavior, it could be a sin, it could be a life-controlling habit or it could be some type of handicap.

If you are struggling with something that is keeping you in a box or worse in a pit then I encourage you to find someone who will take the time to call, write or email you an encouraging word. You do not have to stay in bondage to a life-controlling habit or to something that someone said to or about you in your past. You can move forward but you need the help of friends and most of all from God.

If you do not have a friend then leave me a comment and I will pray for you. You can email me at lnclark1950@gmail.com. Together you, a friend and God can move forward overcoming any giant you face.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Love, Respect and Marriage

This evening I met with a young couple who are planning to get married in the near future. When I counsel couples about marriage I talk about three areas: 1. Where did the institution of marriage come from, 2. What is Love and 3. What are the Responsibilities of a husband and wife.

I point out that in Genesis 1 and 2 we find out that it is God instituted marriage. I stress how Eve was created from the rib of Adam and that is an example of where a woman's place is. She is to be at his side not behind or in front of him.

I then talk about Love. I use 1 Corinthians 13 to point some qualities of love:
Love never gives up
Love cares more for others than self
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have
Love does not strut
Love puts up with anything
Love always looks for the best in others
Love never looks back
I explain that Love is not a feeling but an action.

I talk about the importance of sex in marriage and that once married a man's body does not belong to him but to his wife and that a wife's body is not her's any more but her husband's.

Finally, I describe the responsibilities of a husband and wife. I use Ephesians 5: 33 to point out that a man is to love his wife and the woman is to respect her husband. Showing love is somewhat foreign to a man and showing respect is not understood by a woman. If you watch two women who do not know each other enter a bathroom at the same time you will most likely see them come out talking as if they knew each other. If you observe two men go into a bathroom and followed them in you would see that they respect the space of the other. Men understand respect and women completely understand love. Love is natural for a woman to express and respect is easy for a man to understand. So God is asking a man and woman to do something totally unnatural for them to do but what is necessary for a great marriage.

I usually share the following three sayings by three famous people.

David A. Seamands said this about marriage: “Marriage is an adventure, not an achievement.”

Here is something Martin Luther had to say about marriage: “Woman make your man glad to come home and man make your woman sorry to see you leave.”

Robert Browning tells us how to have a successful marriage: “Success in marriage is more than finding the right person, it is being the right person.”

I believe that if couples would remember the following three things they can have a good marriage: 1. marriage was instituted by God, 2. In 1 Corinthians 13 He showed what love is and 3. He explained in Ephesians 5 what the responsibilities of a wife and husband are.

I hope that what I have shared encourages you in your relationship with your spouse or future spouse.

If you are struggling in your relationship with your spouse here are some suggested books to read:
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman from ChristianBook.com
Love Talk by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrot from ChristianBook.com
Intimacy by Dr. Douglas Weiss from Amazon.com
Man of Steel and Velvet by Aubrey Andlin from Amazon.com

How may I pray for you?