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, August 17, 2009

Accountability is Encouraging

One of the things I encourage men to do is get into an accountability relationship with another man. In Proverbs 27: 17 God tells us how accountability is important.

Proverbs 27: 17 You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another 

I recently read about a great example of how this works.  I found the story on page 113 of "Stories for a Man's Heart" by Al & Alice Gray.

There's a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the greatest entertainers of a generation ago.  He was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans.  He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn't mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment he would come.  Of course, the show's director agreed happily.

But when Jimmy got on stage, something interesting happened.  He went through the short monologue and then stayed.  The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying.  Pretty soon, he had been on fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes.  Finally, he took a last bow and left the stage.  Backstage someone stopped him and said, "I thought you had to go after a few minutes. What happened?"

Jimmy answered, "I did have to go, but I can show you the reason I stayed.  You can see for yourself if you'll look on the front row." In the front row ere two men, each had lost an arm in the war. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left.  Together, they were able to clap, and that's exactly what they were doing, loudly and cheerfully.

When men hold each other accountable it is like the two men who had lost their arms.  They help each other with what ever issue they are facing.  Jimmy also represents men in accountability because men in accountability stay with each other no matter what is pressing on them.

The men's group (REAL Men RoCK) I attend each week is important to me because I know I have men who are free to ask me how I am doing with the issues I face.  I also know they will stand by me no matter what is going on around us.

I encourage you to find a man or some men and grow in your relationship with them to the point where you trust them to hold you accountable.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Leadership Lessons from the Civil War

I am currently rereading "Leadership Lessons from the Civil War" by Tom Wheeler.  Mark Warner, senior pastor of Overland Park Vineyard, once said this was one of the best books on leadership he has read.

I want to share two lessons from it which I believe will encourage you.  The post just before this one was about an event that appeared to have failed but because I read books such as this one I saw it in a different light.

Lesson One - Dare to Fail

Don't confuse victory with avoiding a loss

The willingness to fail breeds success.  

Decisive victories require risking a loss.  A leader who fails to risk will fail to win.  Of course one must consider the risks involved and avoid risk for risk's sake.  But successful leaders are the leaders willing to embrace risk.

Union General George B. McClellan's fear of loss was so great that it prevented him from winning even though he commanded the most powerful force ever assembled.  His Confederate adversary, Robert E. Lee, although short of troops and supplies, won his major engagements with McClellan precisely because of his willingness to risk failure.

Lee focused on the victory he could achieve, while McClellan focused on the loss he must avoid.  The results demonstrated graphically that the fear of failure is too often self-fulfilling.

In a time of strategic imperative, if you don't take risks . . . you lose.

Lesson Two - If at First You Don't Succeed . . . So What?


Risks result in failures.  Every major decision is an invitation to defeat.  But how one responds when a risk doesn't pay off can be an even greater leadership challenge than deciding to take the risk in the first place.  Risk is the ante.  The greater test comes when the pot is lost.

Those with the leadership skill to persevere in the face of adversity are described as "tenacious" or "persistent."  Eventually, however they are called winners."

The Civil War produced one of the most tenacious leaders in history in Union General Ulysses S. Grant.  While the war gave Grant the opportunity to leave behind a personal life dotted by failure, adversity followed him onto the battlefield.

But U.S. Grant was persistence personified.  Because he refused to accept failure, he became the Civil War's most decisive--and successful--military leader.

Leadership requires the tenacity not to be undone by setbacks, coupled with the willingness to continue to take risks despite the setbacks.

For such leaders, failure is only an interim step on the path to success.

We can find several examples in the Bible of men and women who risked failure or who failed but did not give up.  We will look at only one who took a risk, failed and then turned failure into victory.  

In John 18 we find the account of Peter denying Jesus three times.  What a large failure on Peter's part! 

In Acts 2 we find the Apostles in an upper room on Pentecost and after receiving the Holy Spirit Peter went out and spoke boldly to the crowd and many were converted.  Another risk but this time victory!

What was the difference in the life of the Peter the night Jesus was betrayed and 50 days later? Besides Peter having seen the resurrected Jesus the only difference is he now had the Holy Spirit living in him.

That can be the same difference in the old you and the new you.  You can turn what appears to be failure into victory by using the Holy Spirit to guide you.  But first you have to step out and take the risk of doing something and then sticking with it even when it does not look good so that you can eventually have victory.  You must risk trusting someone when others have betrayed you.  You must take risks in serving when it has only brought you pain in the past.  You must get up and do something or life will pass you by.

Please encourage us by sharing with us the risks you have taken and how you eventually ended up in victory.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

When Failure = Success

Sometimes we attempt to do something that doesn't turn out as we hoped.  It appears to be one BIG Failure.  Today my wife, Kat, and I sponsored a Kickball Fun Day which started with a Pancake breakfast catered by world famous Chris Cakes.

My wife dreamed the event up to help some friends who are struggling because of the husband's illness.  

Today rolled around and we had no teams signed up and once breakfast was over we found we had spent $200 to pull in $85 worth of donations for our friends.  In most people's book this event was one BIG failure.  I see it differently.  Sure we spent $200 and had no teams show up but lots of positive things have come out the whole event.

Kat is a very talented woman but for all of our marriage I have been the person who has been in the spot light.  This event was her idea and grew out of a desire to help someone else.  I am so proud of her because she not only said she cared for our friends but she tried to do something about it.  

A couple of men who did not know each other sat and talked for a couple of hours about life and their walk as followers of Jesus.

Several people who knew each other but had lost contact with each other saw each other at this event.

When we look at stories in the Bible we find times of failure or trials that God turns into success. Look at the story of Noah in Genesis 6, 7, 8 & 9, the story of Abram in Genesis 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 and the story of Jacob in Genesis 27 through 30.  God took what looked like failure and turned it into success.  Moses, Samson and David are other examples of men failing but God using their failure to bring about His will and success.  The greatest example is the short three year period of Jesus' ministry and how God turned what looked like the ultimate failure into the greatest success.

Today my wife's event failed but out of that failure our friends know they have a person who loves them more than cash.  Two men started a new friendship and two men rediscovered old roots.  What looks like failure to most is the beginning new success in my wife's life.

I once heard someone say, "If you haven't failed you have been sitting on your butt for far too long."  Get up off the couch and get out and fail at something and as you do you will find more success than you found sitting on the couch.

I once heard someone say, "It isn't what happens to you that is important, it's what you do with what hapeens to you that counts".

What failure in your life can you allowed God to make a success?

Go to this link for some comments I received on a post at Blog Catalog http://www.blogcatalog.com/discuss/entry/when-is-failure-actually-success.