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

Monday, March 30, 2009

How do people see you?

Mark 2: 14 And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he rose and followed Him.

John 10: 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

1 John 2: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Jesus is calling you to be His follower, to hear His voice and to walk as He walked.

In a court of law would there be enough evidence to find you a follower of Jesus? or Would the court instead find that you were a follower of an organization?

It is natural for us to want to belong to and be identified as part of a group. It is something I have to fight daily. I once was involved with a church that was a cult and that put more importance in keeping the law, the Holy Days of Israel and watching the foods we ate than we did in the life and sacrifice of Jesus. I would have been found to be a follower of that church instead of being a follower of Jesus.

I once heard a joke about a Baptist who arrived at the gates of Heaven and was met by St. Peter. The Baptist proud that he had arrived at the gates of Heaven asked St. Peter, "How many Methodist are in Heaven?" St. Peter replied, "Oh there are no Methodist in Heaven." Then the Baptist asked, "How many Lutherans made it to Heaven?" St. Peter looked him in the eye and said, "There are no Lutherans in Heaven." The Baptist feeling safe then asked, "So Heaven is full of Baptist?" St. Peter looked at him and smiled, "My friend there are no Baptist in Heaven, only followers of Jesus are in Heaven."

Are you known as a Methodist, a Baptist, a Catholic, a Lutheran, or some other Christian organization more than you are known as a follower of Jesus? Are the traditions of your church more important than the things Jesus instructed us to do? Does your heart go out to those of your church more than it does to those outside of the church?

Jesus Is Our Pattern
Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, but He is also our pattern. The Bible teaches that we are to imitate Him.

PHILIPPIANS 2:5 Think as Christ Jesus thought.
PHILIPPIANS 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

Imitate Jesus
1 CORINTHIANS 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

I want to encourage you to take the time and look at the Gospels to discover Jesus' actions, what His heart was moved by and what His ministry was. You are called to take those same actions. You are called to have the same heart. You are called to ministry. You are called to think and be like Jesus. You are not called to be religious or to be anything but a follower of Jesus.

As a follower of Jesus I believe you will find the following:
1. You will think like Jesus.
2. You will begin to identify with the ministry of Jesus.
3. You will find it easier to share the Gospel with others.
4. You will not feel pressured to convert those you share the Gospel with.

People are more interested in Jesus than your membership with an organization.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Do it anyway!

Have you ever noticed that serving is never convenient. The opportunity comes along either at a time when you had something else planned or conditions were not the best.

Let's take a look at the most famous servant of all, God, to see how to handle serving when other things were planned or when the conditions were not the best.

Matthew 14: 13 Now when Jesus heard it, (about the death of John the Baptist), He withdrew from there in a boat, to a lonely place by Himself; and when the multitudes heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.

14 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.

15 And when it was evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, "The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."

{Now when first reading this we get the picture that the disciples had compassion for the people too. That they wanted the best for the people. It was probably more like, "We are tired and hungry so let's send the mob back to the city."} The time was not a convenient time and they had a short vacation planned.

16 But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!"

17 And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish." {They thought that surely with that little food Jesus would agree to send them back to the city.}

18 And He said, "Bring them her to Me."

We know the rest of the story He had them sit, thanked the Father for what was provided, then fed the five thousand.

Let's look at one more time when it was inconvenient for the Master to serve. It is found in John 13.

John 13: 3-5 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

Consider for a moment these two examples of serving:

In the first, the disciples had just returned from having been sent out by Jesus and were in need of rest (a vacation). Jesus had just heard of the beheading of John and had a heavy heart. It was not a convenient time for five thousand needy people to show up.

In the second, Jesus knew that He was going to face a long night of pain and suffering with the crucifixion following. Certainly the conditions were not best for taking a bowl of water and a towel to wash the feet of his weak disciples.

Here is what I get from these two examples: The creator of everything saw it more important to serve than to be served even at times it was not convenient and conditions were not best.

When I think of these two examples and I look at the opportunities that God brings into my life to serve others the timing is often inconvenient and the conditions are rarely perfect.

I encourage you when faced with inconvenience and bad timing at an opportunity to serve to go a head and do it. I know that God will make the inconvenience and bad timing easy to bear because you will see the joy it brings to the one being served. More than that your actions will bring glory to God.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Turning Junk into Hallelujah

The other night at our men's group we talked about how God uses every situation that has happened to you to create a ministry opportunity for you. Let me use my own life as an example:

When I was 3 years old my mom ran away and for years I had a deep fear of abandonment.

When I was 8 years old my second grade teacher stood me in front of the class and made fun of me.

When I was 11 years old the music teacher had me stand in front of the class and show them how not to play the recorder.

When I was 12 years old my basketball coach told each of us what he liked about us. Because of the experiences with other teachers I feared the moment he would talk about me. He had me stand and he told the other boys that I was not the best player on the team but he wish he had ten guys like me. He went on to say that with every coaching situation I listened and did exactly what he asked me to do.

When I was 18 years old I had a teacher tell me I would never be anything but average. I believed that one until I was 45 years old.

When I was 18 years old I joined the Navy and was sent to Vietnam. When I returned I was ashamed as I flew on the plane home with the wounded soliders. Then when they were spit on as we arrived in the United States I felt even more shame.

When I was 22 years old my hero died. I always feared that my dad would leave like my mom and when he died it was devastating.

When I was 24 years old my wife left me and reinforced the abandonment feelings I had.

I remarried when I was 28 years old and adopted a son and then had a beautiful daughter. When I was 32 years old my second wife asked me to leave and I was homeless for several weeks. A godly man, Dick and his wife, Lydia, took me in until I got back on my feet.

When I was 36 years old I married Kat and we have been married for 23 years.

I have been addicted to pornography. I have smoked pot. I have failed at jobs, friendships and finances. I have felt useless, worthless and stupid. I have a desire to be a full-time pastor but the opportunities have not surfaced.

The list is even long than this but here is my point. Despite all of the junk that has happened in my life they are not what is important. What is important is what God has done in me because of all of the junk. In the end, whether I am in ministry full-time or not, I have to say Hallelujah for God has used all of the junk to minister to others through small and some times large ways.

As you listen to Hallelujah think about your own life and then ask God to use all of the junk in your life for the good of someone else. I want you to remember that you are no different than all of the famous people in the Bible. They were weak just like you, they had faults just like you, they struggled with life issues just like you, yet God used them to do might things just like He will you.

In the end all will fall at the feet of our God and sing Hallelujah.

Before you click out please read the comments and if moved leave one of your own.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Pit

I work at a large retail establishment and one of my bonus is I get the honor to purchase some items at a discount. It is spring here in the mid-west United States and one our favorite things to do in spring, summer and fall is BBQing. Last year I had planned to purchase a new BBQ but the money never materialized so I was satisfied with my small old BBQ.

I walked into our store a few weeks back and there in our Garden center was a beautiful Brinkman Smoker BBQ which on some websites lists for $377 and there it was in our store at $177. Have you ever feeling you get when something catches your eye? That tug that says "I want you!". I got it that morning. I usually have a fairly cheap pocket book and I do not get caught up in wanting things. But.....

Thursday was my day off and my wife, Kat, said why don't you drive the Jeep today and go get that Smoker/BBQ that now is marked down to $158. I did not hesitate, I did not shower, I grabbed the keys and off I went heading to our store just 17 miles from our driveway.

I pulled up in front of the Garden Center and headed right in and to my delight there it was. Oh what a sight! I guided my friends of the Garden Center to the Brinkman and proudly told them how I was there to purchase it. One, I will call him, Hy, grabbed the price ticket and headed for the checkout counter. He placed it there and told as soon as he returns from the morning meeting he would ring me up. Wow, with my discount I would be saving lots of dollars! While I waited I went over to the Grocery Center and browsed the seasonings for some meat rub. Once I found what I wanted I headed back to the Garden Center and as I turned the corner I saw them. Two men with their grubby hands on my Smoker/BBQ. I could not believe what was about to happen as they rolled it up to the check out counter and proudly proclaimed they were ready to purchase the Brinkman! They did just that along with slabs of meat and BBQ bricks and wood.

How do you know you are lusting and coveting something? When you have that look I had and the feelings I felt. It struck me as they walked away for a brief moment because I honestly thought about grabbing that Smoker and running to the front chekout.

The purpose of this post is to wake some of you up to the same feelings you have for a house, a car, a set of new golf clubs, a woman, etc. It is sin and it takes your attention away from what is really important in life. I believe God used Thursday morning to wake me and then stirred in me this post to wake you up. It is your chocie either continue in conveting and lusting or discover the blessing God has for you for turning from them.

Today I walked into our store and the Garden Cneter manger showed me a smaller Smoker/BBQ which is just as solid and is perfect for my wife and I at half the price. Not only did God wake me up but He provided the perfect Smoker for us in the process at half the price! Try Him and see what He will do for you. It may not be a fancier car, or a bigger house or that beautiful woman but it will be just exactly what is best for you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why, Who and When?

I believe most people at some point in their life have asked themselves the following questions.

Who are we?

Why are we here?

When will we be complete in our purpose?

Who, Why and When are good questions to ask and to get the truth we need to prove them from the pages of the Bible. If we can get the answers to these three questions our lives will change dramatically. I believe "Why are we here?" is the first to study and prove. Once we have that established why we are here we can know "Who we" are and "When we will complete our purpose".

Why Was Mankind Created?

To answer the first question we will look at Romans 11: 36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

From the book, "Dictionary of Paul and His Letters": God is "the Father of glory" (Ephesians 1: 17). Glory begins and ends with him and his plan is to share his glory. "The riches of his glory" (Romans 9: 23; Ephesians 1: 18; 3: 16; Colossians 2: 7).

From these scriptures we get the picture that everything, especially humans, were created for God's please and to bring Him Glory.

The second question we need to answer flows from this answer. If we are to bring glory to God we need to answer how we do that.

Who Are We?

Some people will not like what I am going to say next but according to what I believe there are only two types of people in the world. There are those who belong to God and those who belong to this world. I believe this because of the following scriptures:

Matthew 12: 30 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

John 1: 1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

We are either with the One who created us or we are not. If we claim that Christ is our Savior and our King then we belong to the Creator of all things.

Since we were created by and belong to God and we are to bring Him glory we need to discover how we can do that.

Our Purpose and When Will We Complete It?

If you do not believe that God created mankind then forget the following because you have no purpose beyond your personal needs and pleasure.

In Rick Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life" he lists 5 purposes for all humans.

1. You were Planned for God's Pleasure.

2. You were Formed for God's Family.

3. You were Created to become like Christ.

4. You were Shaped for Serving God.

5. You were made for a Mission.

If you have accepted Jesus as your savior and Christ is your King God has called you for a mission. That mission has to do with serving God through serving others.

Discovering your mission requires you to do the following things.

1. Discover your Spiritual Gifts and Personality type. Note: I do not support or endorse either of these sites.

2. Discover what makes you come alive. In his book "Dare to Desire" John Eldredge says this on page 39 "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

I believe that God has placed a dream in your heart and He has given the gifts and personality that you need to accomplish that dream. Your purpose is to Worship God and to bring Him Glory through your life of service.

My answer to the last question might surprise you: "You will never complete your mission". We will ultimately be given eternal life and we will worship and serve God for eternity. We will live an exciting and productive life forever.

To recap:

1. All of mankind gets life from the Creator and were made for His pleasure.

2. Everyone chooses to belong to either Him or this world.

3. Those who belong to Him have been given gifts to serve God by serving others. Their purpose is to worship and serve the Creator. This purpose will never be completed but will continue for eternity.

I am interested in hearing your comments on this subject. What do you believe and why?

Father, thank you for creating us and giving us a purpose in life. Without a purpose there is no real point in our lives. Help us to discover our gifts, our mission and to put into motion becoming what we were made for. In the name, power and authority of Jesus Christ amen.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Take control of your finances

Six years ago I lost a job that paid over $30,000 and I am still working to get my total income over $22,000. My wife, Kat, and I made the decision to get out of debt and stop depending upon our credit cards. We stopped using the ATM and gave up on some adventures together although we still take day trips. One thing we did not change is what we give to our church. We gave 10% back then and we still do today.

Today we have almost totally gone to a cash bases and have only about $1,500 in credit card debt. We have a house payment under $400 and do not make large purchases unless we have the cash.

We have not totally adopted the Dave Ramsey "Total Money Makeover" but we are close. Another good product by Dave Ramsey is "Financial Peace". I believe if you purchase one of these books from ChristianBook.com or Amazon or at your local book store you can gain control of your finances too.

Although I believe our decision to control our debt helped us to gain control over our finances I believe the commitment to continue to give 10% to our church has gain us favor from our Creator. I do not believe the tithing thing is magical or legally binding on Christians but I do believe God honors trusting Him by doing so even in tough financial conditions.

Malachi 3: 8-11 "Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day.

"You ask, 'How have we robbed you?'

"The tithe and the offering—that's how! And now you're under a curse —the whole lot of you—because you're robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don't open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers."

The above is an open plead by God for you to give Him a try at His word and see how He responds.

Here are 7 things to do to gain control of your finances?
1. If you are not doing so begin to give 10% to your church.
2. Buy Dave Ramsey's book.
3. Begin to budget your money.
4. Quit using credit cards!
5. Pay off your debt, one at a time. Once you have one paid off use that extra income to pay off
the next largest bill.
6. Refuse to let what the news says to control your life.
7. Continue to have fun together.

As a result of what we have done the last six years we have decided not to participate in the 2009 recession.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Share your prayer

Father, thank you for the person who just clicked on this blog. As in the case of Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:10, bless them indeed beyond what they could imagine, and may Your hand be with them, and that You would keep them from evil, that they may not grieve. Thank You for how You will answer their prayer so that You might be glorified. In the name, power and authority of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some Friends and a Few of My Fellow Bloggers

With this post I am going to promote some blogs of several of my friends and share with you why I think you should check out their blog. Whether you are looking for ideas on how to improve your health or a blog that will challenge your thinking I am sure you will enjoy these sites.

God brought these people into my life at just the right moment in time.

Jason the Bald Guy Blog
I have known Jason for about 3 years when he moved to the Kansas City, MO area after hurricane Katrina hit his town in Louisiana. At Jason's blog you will find honest, open and challenging posts about life and God. Jason is sometimes "In Your Face" and "Always Writes from His Heart".

Rick's Pro-Life Blog

I have known Rick for 27 years. He and his wife, Lydia, helped me out when I was homeless by allowing me to stay with them until I got back on my feet. At Rick's blog you will find a Christian assessment of the abortion issue and other topics concerning current events.

BodyKare by Karen
I have known Karen for about 9 years. At Karen's blog and her "Eat Well and Be Well" website you will find ideas on how to include whole foods in your diet and why they help you stay well.

Vineyard Louisburg Small Group

This blog is about the journey of a small group that I, my wife, Kat, and another couple who live in Louisburg, KS and attend the Vineyard Church in Overland Park, KS started in January 2009.

Along The Road

Along The Road programming was developed to address real life issues that people face every day. It is a partnership between the Vineyard Church in Overland Park, KS and Morphoo the Production and Distribution company.

Mark Warner is Senior Pastor of the Vineyard Church of Overland Park, KS. He has been my pastor and mentor for the past 11 years.

Tom Smith is the Associate Pastor of the Vineyard Church of Overland Park, KS. He has been a friend of mine for about 9 years.

Vineyard Church Sermons - Overland Park, KS

God has used these folks to positively impact my life and that is why I share their blog or site with you. I believe you will find something on their blog that will stir or challenge you. I hope you will visit their site and please share with me your thoughts if you do.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An Invitation to Pray

I am going to try something different on the REAL Men RoCK blog by holding a prayer in.

Please send this to all the men in your address book and encourage them to send it to all in their address book and ask them visit REAL Men RoCK on March 12th and read the prayer I post and then add to the prayer by clicking on the comments line and enter their post.

Imagine what could happen if 100s, 1,000s or even more men praying March 12 and how pleased God would be that men came together to seek His mercy and grace. REAL Men RoCK has been read by 300 men throughout the world and imagine the encouragement these 300 men will receive when they come and read the prayers of other men. I hope you will come and visit on March 12 and add to my prayer by clicking the comments line under the prayer I post.

Also I encourage you to consider doing two things:
1. Join Covenant Eyes If you or a friend has a problem with Internet Porn then this is a site that can help get things in control.
2. Join My Prayer Partners This is a site you can place your goals and needs for partners to pray about either daily, weekly or monthly.

Please respond with how many men you have sent the email to so I can keep track of the numbers of men who may visit.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Are you happy serving where you are?

When I was a Deacon in the Worldwide Church of God I had a desire to be an Elder. I performed every task I was given as a Deacon to the best of my ability and dedicated my time to helping others. I never reached the goal of becoming an Elder but the Holy Spirit always gave me joy in serving where I was.

I have been attending a Vineyard Church for the past eleven years and I have served as an usher, a greeter, a team member of the men's ministry and in 2006 I was ordained as a pastor. I have a desire to serve in the position as an assistant pastor, a men's ministry pastor or a care and support pastor. None of those opportunities have come my way and sometimes I struggle with impatience. Even though I struggle the Holy Spirit continues to comfort me and to give me joy.

Today I am helping to lead two small groups, one for men and the other is open to anyone.

REAL Men RoCK Small Group - Overland Park, KS
We are men who are seeking in the Bible answers to how we can become Righteous, Encouraging, Accountable, Loving Men Relying on Christ's Kindness. We are not afraid to tackle life issues in an honest and frank manner with grace and mercy.

This is a new group which I co-lead and which has a goal to serve in our community the sick, the hurting, the rejected, the addicted and those who do not attend a church.

I also serve on the men's ministry leadership team and as a team member of our church's Angel Tree Ministry. Since October 2008 I have been called to write this blog and I have been encouraged by those who read and comment.

Even though I am not serving as a full-time pastor I am using the talents and gifts God has given me to do the things that He has called me to do now. Honestly, I still struggle with wanting to serve as a full-time pastor but the Holy Spirit continues to give me joy in where I am now.

The purpose of this post is not to point out what I am doing but to encourage you to look at what you are doing today and how you are doing what you are doing.

Are you moving forward in your goals and dreams?

Are you satisfied with where you are and the opportunities you have today to serve?

Are you serving with joy?

If not you can. Just ask God's Holy Spirit to give you joy in serving where you are so that you will be more effective.

I encourage you to look at every opportunity to do ministry as an opportunity to serve our Lord and King. Be thankful for where God has you today. Keep moving forward by being humble and submissive to what God has you doing today so that He can use you in a greater way tomorrow.

I believe you can find joy in where God has you now and more importantly God believes in you and is willing to grant you that joy. All you have to do is ask and keep using your talents and gifts for the glory of God.

Father, thank You for giving us the talents and gifts that we use to serve others. Grant us joy in the serving and not in the position. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit which gives to us our talents, gifts and opportunities. May everything we do bring You glory. In the name, power and authority of Jesus Christ, amen.