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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Which is a Greater Miracle?

Last Sunday at New Life we had a guest speaker and his sermon was based on Mark 4: 35-41.  

Mark 4:35-41 (The Message)

The Wind Ran Out of Breath
 35-38 Late that day he said to them, "Let's go across to the other side." They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, "Teacher, is it nothing to you that we're going down?" 

 39-40 Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, "Quiet! Settle down!" The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: "Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith at all?" 

 41 They were in absolute awe, staggered. "Who is this, anyway?" they asked. "Wind and sea at his beck and call!"

His points were: 

1. You are in this storm by God's appointment.  (Mark 4: 35)

2. You are in the storm in His presence. (Mark 4: 36-38)

3. You are in the storm for His purpose. (Mark 4: 39-41)

He pointed out that the disciples went on to move from being cowards in a storm to preaching the gospel even to in the face of certain death.

Someone who is reading this is either suffering from an illness or knows of someone who is dying. The question for each of us is this: "Which is the greater miracle, being healed or being calm even in the face of death?"

By applying Psalm 46: 1-3 to our lives we can face any storm and remain calm.

1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

Our Creator, our Savior, our Comforter promises to always be there for us.  We may die but He will not leave us in the grave. In Hebrews 13: 5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,  “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

If you are facing a storm in your life no matter how small or how big know this our God cares. He more than cares He wants to provide you the strength and the comfort to remain calm even in the darkest night.

I hope this has provided you with a step towards trusting God in your storms.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Don't Look Back

Our little town of Louisburg, KS had a Labor Day parade and that ended at the American Legion park.  One of the events that took place at the park was a children's tractor pull.  Children got on little tractors that were powered by foot peddles and weights were added to a sled that was pulled behind.  The children were encouraged keep looking ahead as weigh was added because once they turned their head they would loose the momentum that they had built and would lose steam and stop.

This is a great example for us in our adult lives as we pursue a dream or try to do battle against those things that keep us from reaching our potential in life.  If we look back we will either stop short of our goal or get defeated by the failures in our life.

In Luke 9: 62 Jesus says, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God." 

What did He mean by this?  Does this mean that if we look back at our life we are not worthy to inherit the Kingdom of God?  

Jesus in the verses before talked about people who He invited to follow Him but they came up with excuses why they could not do so at the  moment.  Jesus calls us to follow Him but sometimes we want to make up the rules of what that looks like or we want to clean up our act before we commit.  

Jesus is also talking about not looking back and desiring any part of our past life that is not according to His will.

Here is what happens if we look back: We can get defeated because of our former life style. We can lose heart to keep moving forward from shame of how we were.  We can let our brain be enticed to go back and taste of the fruit of our past. We take our eyes off the goal and our trust in God.

If you have experienced "Looking back" I have good news for you today.  If you are willing to look forward Jesus is willing to reach back and pull you forward.  He desires for you to move forward and not backward.  To live in victory not the defeats of the past.  The Holy Spirit will provide what you do not have so that you will have what you cannot obtain. All you have to do is turn around, take a step towards Jesus, and as you do He will come back to walk with you.  

Don't Look Back!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Being is Greater than Doing

What do I mean by the title of this post? By the time you are finished reading this post I hope that you will know what I mean and you will be inspired to examine yourself to see if you are being or doing.

I had coffee with a man today who preceives that people at the church he has been attending are shunning him because of possible gossip that is being spread about him in his community. As we talked I shared how when I first began to attend the Vineyard no one spoke or shook my hand even after I had visited 6 times. I shared how I later found out the people of that church had just gone through a painful split and I realized they were wounded and hurting. I shared what I preceived as unfriendiness was actually woundedness. I explained that maybe what he was picking up was a small church mentality and not shunning because of something they had heard.

I am not making excuses for either church but pointing out that sometimes the church comes together to worship God and they do church instead of being the church. When we do church nothing has changed in our lives and we come together to worship and we pretend. When we be the church we live out of our salvation by doing the things Jesus said the church would do.

In Matthew 25: 31-36 we are told that when Christ comes back He will separate the goats fromt he sheep. The sheep are those who gave Him water when He was thirsty, fed Him when He was hungry, clothed Him when He was naked, visited Him when He was sick, when He was a stranger they invited Him in, and when He was in prison they came to Him.

On any given week people who are thirsty and hungry for the truth and for friendship come to our churches. Each week people who are sick or in bond by sin come into our churches. Every week people who feel naked and strange slip into our churches.  

Those doing church see their thirst and hunger, hear of their sickness or bondage, or see their nakedness and stangeness and do n0t grasp their need. They continue to talk with those they already know or hold back from moving up to those in need. It is as if they have blinders on that keep them from seeing or hearing the cries of the needy.

Those who are being the church give water to the thirsty, they feed the hungry, they place hands on the sick, they patiently walk with those in bondage, they cover the naked and make the stranger feel welcome. Their eyes and ears are open to what God is wanting to do in the lives of others. Their hearts feel their pain. They identify with their situation. They take action to bring peace and comfort.

The question for you is: "Are you Doing Church or Are you Being the Church?"

If you read the book of Acts you will find that being a Christian involves ACTION.

Philippians 2
He Took on the Status of a Slave
 1-4 If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

I encourage you to become the church that looks Upward to God, Inward to caring for the Body and Outward to those who are Missing from your weekly worship service. Most of all on the day you worship stop focusing on your own needs but keep your ears and eyes open for those who need you to be like Jesus.

Being the Church is so much Greater than Doing Church.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't Give Up!

There is a painting that shows the devil at a chessboard with a young man.  The devil has just made his move, and the young man's queen is checkmated. On his face is written defeat and despair. One day the great chess genius Paul Morphy stood looking at that painting.  He studied carefully the position on the board. Suddenly his face lit up and he shouted to the young man in the painting, "You still have a move--don't give up, you still have a move!"

We come to those moments when it seems we are checkmated.  We see no winning move we can make. Then the great Master of all life comes closer to us. He remembers one day when He prayed to be spared from the cross: "Let this cup pass from me," he pleaded. The cross seemed the end of His world.  But there was yet another move. Beyond the cross was an empty tomb--and victory.

That same Christ can see beyond your cross to some triumph. "Don't give up, you still have a move," He says.                      by Morris Chalfant from "The Advocate"

You may be looking at the painting of your life discouraged by failures, sin and disappointment. All that you see is broken and seems impossible to put together again. Just as the story above you still have hope but it is not found in human institutions or in the things that bring us pleasure. Only the one who gave all can bring us the peace and hope that we so desperately desire.  I encourage you "Don't Give Up!". You can still win in this game of life but you will have to allow the King of Righteousness to make that last move for you. You will find that victory is just a few words away, "I Surrender All".

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

17 Random Acts of Kindness

My wife, Kat, had surgery on Monday, August 31st.  While sitting in the waiting room at the hospital yesterday two things happened that I want to share.  

First, I was sitting reading a book called, “The Passionate Church” by Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad. Two parts of this book hit me hard and I hope it impacts you as well. In Chapter 9 “Jesus and the Balanced Life” they describe how many churches are two-dimensional. Some churches are good at praying (Upward) and good at caring for the body (Inward), other churches are good at praying and good at reaching out (Outward) to those who do not attend church, and some are good at caring for the body and reaching out to those who do not attend church. In reality the church is to be a three-dimensional church, good at prayer, good at caring for the body and good and reaching out to those who do not attend church. In Chapter 20 “Practicing the Principles of a Vital Life” the authors say this, “Church health is all about life—the body of Christ being an organism rather than an organization. And life gets messy sometimes.

Let me clarify something I did not read 20 chapters of this book in the waiting room. I have this funny way of reading; I go wherever I feel led to read and these where the two chapters I was lead to read during my wait in the waiting room.

Second, after I had read these two chapters I put the book down and picked up "Life Posts" and read a story about a guy who started a website in honor of his grandfather and it was about doing Random Acts of Kindness. I had just finished reading this article as two black men and two black women came and sat close to me. The older black lady was crying about her daughter who was being operated on and who was pregnant and had lost the baby during the operation. Earlier I had noticed three people who in my mind because of their actions and dress were from a church and they happened to be black as well. The four people who sat close to me got up and moved to a different location.

Suddenly a random thought went through my head.  Go pray for them. I looked over at them and thought, “who me”? I then saw the three black church people and I went over and introduced myself. Thinking that they would be more accepted by the woman I asked them if they were from a church and they replied yes. (Okay, I was trying to get out of doing what God’s Holy Spirit was telling me to do.) Then I told them about the woman and her daughter and suggested they might want to go prayer with her. They took one look at her and turned to me and said I think you can do that.

I was stuck. God had said go pray and I had tried to punt and the ball came back into my hands. I got up and walked over and slipped to one knee and introduced myself to the woman. She told me her name was, Loretta, and asked me why I was there. I told her I overheard her conversation about her daughter and I would like to pray with her. I did and after saying amen I got up and she held my hand for a minute or so. As I sat waiting for Kat to come out of surgery I noticed a peace come over Loretta's face and I knew God was comforting her just I had asked.

I share that because I too often look the other way when someone is in need. I am either afraid I will not say the right words or that I will look foolish if I go up to them and offer to help. I want to encourage you to do something for the next 17 weeks: “Do some Random Act of Kindness (RAK)” each Friday. It could be something as simple as praying with someone or even paying for coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks. If you do 17 Random Acts of Kinds the last one will take place Christmas day. I am choosing Friday because it is the last day of most people’s work week and we have the most opportunities to see a person in need while going to work or at work.

If you take me up on this challenge I would like for you come back to REAL Men RoCK blog and share as a comment what happens each Friday you do a Random Act of Kindness. I believe at the end of the 17 weeks many lives will be touched and changed. I know if I would take the effort to do this I will be changed and I will be a living part of the body of Christ and not a member of an organization.

Praying, Caring for the Body and Reaching out to the Hurting is the mission of the church.  If we do these things we will be a healthy church.