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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Facing Overwhelming Odds

In my prior post, Prepare for Battle, I mentioned the battle between David vs Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17 which I would like to talk about in this post.

You may or may not remember the story of how David when he was in his teens went to visit his brothers carrying a care package from their father.  Here is a summary of the story I found at http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/davidandgoliath.htm:

The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other, camped for battle on opposite sides of a steep valley. A Philistine giant measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. His name was Goliath. Saul, the King of Israel, and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.

One day David, the youngest son of Jesse, was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers. David was probably just a young teenager at the time. While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel. David responded, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?"

So David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the giant. Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd's staff, slingshot and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults.

David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied ... today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air ... and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel ... it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath's head. Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant's forehead and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath's sword, killed him and then cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. So the Israelites pursued, chasing and killing them and plundering their camp.

Here is some additional information:

When David first went to Saul, Saul sort of laughed at him, but then gave in.  He offered David his personal sword and shield, which David found too cumbersome.  David chose instead weapons familar to him.

In researching this battle here is an interesting piece of information I found at ChristianAnswers.com for you to consider about David and his sling:

Surprisingly, a good slinger hurled a stone as far and accurately as a good archer. Roman military texts recommended archery target practice at about 200 yards (183 meters). Slingers are known to hurl their projectiles even farther, as much as 440 yards (402 meters) (a quarter of a mile / 0.40 km).

As for accuracy, one ancient writer noted that the best slingers "would wound not merely the heads of their enemies, but any part of the face at which they might have aimed." Experiments demonstrate that missiles leave a sling in excess of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).

The best method of releasing a stone from a sling is by an underhand motion.

 I do not have any proof for what I have to say next but I can imagine from the scriptures that Goliath had his shield bearer go before him because he knew how accurate a warrior with a sling was.  I imagine that he would peek out from behind his shield and taunt David. Then with perfect timing given to David by the Holy Spirit he left go a stone and brought down the giant with one stone.

The stone that David used was probably about the size of a tennis or soft ball.  

While typical slingstones used by the Greek and Roman armies were the size of golf balls, different cultures liked different sizes. In fact, at some ancient Greek and Roman battle sites, archaeologists believe they can differentiate which slingstones were standard equipment for which army.

During all periods, it was important for an army's projectiles to be uniform in size and weight. Otherwise, a slinger would need to compensate with each toss. Each army standardized the size and shape for maximum accuracy, speed and distance.

This story about how a teenage boy, David, brought down a giant of a man, Goliath, is full of history and supernatural involvement by God.  To me it backs up my earlier post about 1. Know who your enemy is, 2. Know your weapons and 3. Know who has your back.  Our enemy is Satan and his team of fallen angels, our weapons are the word of God, the fruit and gifts of the spirit and those things found in Ephesians 6, and the one who has our back is the Holy Spirit.

I hope you found this informative, encouraging and helpful.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Prepare for Battle

Rising nearly 1,500 feet above the jungles below, Hill 488 was just 25 miles west of Chu Lai, Vietnam, and it was the perfect place for a Marine Corps recon team but for one minor factor…it was deep in enemy controlled territory, well maybe two, and surrounded by massive enemy buildups. Like David facing Goliath, the 16 Marines and 2 Navy Corpsmen were pitifully small in the face of overwhelming odds.

It was June 12, 1966 in the early days of the United States involvement in the Vietnam war and as the sun was falling behind the western horizon several helicopters moved to the top of Hill 488 to drop off Staff Sergeant Jimmie Howard and his 15 marines. Two Navy Corpsmen completed the small unit delegated the mission of watching for enemy troop movements in the valley below and calling in artillery and air strikes on them. For two days Howard and his men did their jobs well. The North Vietnamese control of the area was disrupted by the effectiveness of the American firepower. It didn’t take long for the enemy to figure out that there had to be someone in the area watching them, directing the fire upon their every move. By the 3rd day Howard’s Battalion Commander A. J. Sullivan began to sense the danger the small recon patrol faced and offered to pull them out. S/Sgt Howard believed he could hold out one more day and requested permission to remain on the hill. By the time word reached Chu Lai that a full NAV battalion of 200-250 well trained soldiers were moving on Hill 488, it was too late to pull Howard and his men out. Somehow they would have to survive the night. 

Everyone in the patrol knew it was coming. S/Sgt Howard placed his Marines in strategic positions around the summit of the almost barren hilltop, with orders to pull back into a tight perimeter the moment the enemy struck. That moment came at 10 o’clock at night, only 12 feet from one of the Marine defenders. As the enemy swarmed the hill amid gunfire, grenades, mortars and support from four .50 caliber machine guns, Howard’s men pulled back into a tight circle only 20 yards in diameter. Back-to-back they began to defend their small area, counting on each other to work as a team to do the impossible. S/Sgt Howard moved among his men, encouraging them, directing their fire, shoring up the weaknesses in the perimeter. For most his Marines it was their first major test of combat. Huddled in the darkness amid the crash of grenades and mortars, the sky filled with tracer rounds, and outnumbered more than 10 to 1; the leadership and inspiration of S/Sgt Howard was all that sustained the men.

Then quiet engulfed the hill as the enemy pulled back, their fanatical human wave assault initially repulsed. S/Sgt Howard looked around him. Every one of his young Marines and both Corpsmen had been wounded in the initial attack. Several were dead. Worse, he knew the enemy would return in force again at any moment. Grabbing the radio Howard told Colonel Sullivan back at Chu Lai, “You have to get us out of here” But no rescue force could reach Howard’s men that night..the Marines would have to hold out until dawn.

Then, from down the hill the enemy began to taunt the few survivors on Hill 488 shouting into the darkness, “Marines, You die in an hour.”
One of Howard’s men asked, “Can we yell back at them?”
With nothing to lose Howard told his brave young men, Sure, yell anything you like.” They did, and soon their taunts back to the enemy were met with gunfire. The enemy was preparing to swarm the hill once again. The beleaguered Marines caught the enemy off guard as they joined voices in a “horse laugh”. The enemy suddenly stopped shooting and there was stoned silence. The enemy could not understand how a group of men terribly outnumbered could be laughing.

S/Sgt Howard knew the quiet would not last long. He surveyed what remained of his Marines and found that ammunition was running low. The grenades were gone, expended during the first wave of the assault. So he issued one of the most unusual combat orders in Marines history…

“Throw Rocks!!”

As incredible as the order sounded, it worked. When the enemy soldiers began to push their way through the sparse brush and knee high grass to probe the perimeter, Howard’s men threw rocks at them. Mistaking the rocks for grenades the enemy soldiers would move quickly out into the open, allowing the defenders clear shots that made every round of remaining ammunition count.
The Marines held the hill for another 5 hours and were finally rescued shortly after daybreak. After the 12 surviving men were safely back at Chu Lai it was realized that among them they only had 8 rounds of ammunition remaining. 

This story was found at Home of Heroes  http://www.homeofheroes.com/

David vs Goliath 1 Samuel 17 Another story of facing overwhelming odds.

I believe the above stories tells us three things: 
1. We need to know our Enemy 
2. We need to know our equipment and 
3. We need to know who has our back covered.
Let’s look at this same concept using Ephesians 6.

We need to know our enemy.
Ephesians 6: 10-12
A Fight to the Finish
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 

In Job 1: 8 we see that Satan and his demons are very powerful but they can only do what God allows them to do. (James 4: 7 Resist and he will flee)

We need to know and use our equipment 
Ephesians 6: 14-17
13-18 Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. 

Belt of Truth - The Roman soldier girded themselves with a belt, from which hung strips of leather to protect the lower body. Truth is crucial because dishonest Christians cannot hope to withstand the lies of Satan. The truth referred to here is integrity, a life of practical truthfulness and honesty.

In John 14: 6 Jesus declares, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” and it is this truth that holds all our Armor together. 

Breastplate of Righteousness - The breastplate of Roman times went completely around the body, so that the back of a warrior was also protected. The breastplate was made of hard leather or metal.

The righteousness that the breastplate represents is not the righteousness of Christ, which all believers possess, but the practical, righteousness and deeds of the believer. This breastplate protects the Christian’s heart from wrong desires.

In proverbs 4: 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 6: 1-10 3 We put no obstruction in anyone's way [we give no offense in anything], so that no fault may be found and [our] ministry blamed and discredited. 4 But we commend ourselves in every way as [true] servants of God: through great endurance, in tribulation and suffering, in hardships and privations, in sore straits and calamities, 5 In beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless watching, hunger; 6 By innocence and purity, knowledge and spiritual insight, longsuffering and patience, kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love; 7 By [speaking] the word of truth, in the power of God, with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand [to attack] and for the left hand [to defend]; 8 Amid honor and dishonor; in defaming and evil report and in praise and good report. [We are branded] as deceivers (impostors), and [yet vindicated as] truthful and honest. 9 [We are treated] as unknown and ignored [by the world], and [yet we are] well-known and recognized [by God and His people]; as dying, and yet here we are alive; as chastened by suffering and [yet] not killed; 10 As grieved and mourning, yet [we are] always rejoicing; as poor [ourselves, yet] bestowing riches on many; as having nothing, and [yet in reality] possessing all things.

The life we live either fortifies us against the attacks of Satan’s kingdom or makes it easier for him to defeat us.

Shoes of the Gospel - A Roman’s soldier’s feet were shod with hard, studded shoes. Paul used this image to represent the preparation of the gospel of peace. This may mean either that the gospel is the firm foundation on which Christians are to stand or that the Christian soldier should be ready to go out to defend and spread the gospel. Good footwear could mean the difference between winning and losing.  

Shield of Faith - In some translations verse 16 reads Above all else take up the shield of faith…. This may mean that the shield is to be used against everything. It may also mean that the shield is to cover the whole armor. A Roman’s soldier’s shield typically measured 2 ½ to 4 feet. The Christian’s shield offers protection against all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Flaming arrows could not penetrate the fireproof shield of the ancient Roman soldier, nor can the assaults of Satan penetrate to the believer who places his or her faith in God.

Psalm 3: 3 But you are my shield, and you give me victory and great honor.

Helmet of Salvation - The intricately designed Roman helmet protected the soldier’s head and also made him look taller and more impressive. For Christian’s the helmet of salvation is to protect our minds from the things Satan will try to get us to think about that would not be pleasing to God.

Proverbs 23: 7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].

Sword of the Spirit - The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the only offensive weapon in the believer’s armor. This weapon is not necessarily the Bible as a whole, but the specific word that needs to be spoken in a specific situation. To have the precise word ready, a person must know the Bible intimately. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (James 4: 7 Resist and he will flee)

Know who has your back.
Ephesians 6: 18 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Just like the marines under Sgt Howard’s command covered each other’s back you can have the assurance of knowing that through your continued prayers you will have God’s Holy Spirit covering your back. We all can benefit from having an accountability partner who not only holds us to a set of standards of our choosing but who has permission to speak into our life words of life. God has made us to be relational, with Him and with others.

Today some of you are facing giants or an enemy that appears to be larger than Goliath or maybe the giant is too small for the eye to see and it wants nothing more than to destroy you through discouragement. Some of you are faced with the giants of wrong thoughts, wrong desires of the heart, and some do not put on the shoes of sharing the gospel, others are fearful of relationships and sometimes you forget to put on the full armor available to you. 

I encourage you to take the time to know who your enemy is, to know what your weapons are that you can use to defend yourself and to know who has your back.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whether You Believe it or not You need Someone to Stand by You

We men try to go through life fighting our battles by ourselves.  We are often afraid other men will turn away from us when they discover our weaknesses, our faults or our sins.  When a man discovers true friends who stand by them no matter what it is like a soothing rain on a hot summer day.

In the Bible we have great examples of men taking the risk to become accountable to another man. Look when David hooked up with Jonathan and when Paul took Timothy under his wing.   

If you are a man and you have a hunger for someone to stand by you then take the risk and begin the search to find that one guy who will not judge you nor forsake you because of the junk in your life.  When you find him you will be glad you took the risk.

One of the goals I had in creating this blog was to reach men who were hiding from being real with another man.  I hope that out of the thousands who have read my posts that one man took the risk this last year to become a REAL Men RoCK.  

October 31, 2009 will be the first anniversary of this blog and I hope that I will have many more years of sharing what God has placed on my mind.

As always I would love to hear your story because I am sure it would benefit someone else.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Let's Get Real

Are you tired of hiding?  Are you desiring to reach victory in overcoming the things that hold you in bondage?  Today is your opportunity to lay before God the one thing that causes you to hide or that one thing you need victory from.

I hope that my story will encourage you to lay it all down before Jesus and accept His grace and mercy.  I am going to share certain events that shaped who I became.

When I was three my mom ran off with another man.  My dad had to care for my brother who was seven years old, me and my sister who was six months old.  My dad owned a construction company and he had to travel each week to the towns where the job sites where.  I remember fearing that one day he would not come home.

When I was in the second grade and again in the fifth grade I had a teacher humiliated me in front of the class.

When I graduated I had a teacher tell me I would never amount to anything but average and that I was not smart enough to go to college.

Soon after graduating from high school my girl friend became pregnant and we were married. Within a month of getting married I joined the United States Navy and went away to boot camp.

When I graduated from boot camp I was given orders to the USS Kitty Hawk which was participating in the Vietnam War.  On the trip to the Kitty Hawk I stopped over at an Air Force base and one of the non-commissioned officers invited me to go to town with him.  That night he sexually molested me.

After thirteen months overseas I returned home to a nine month old child and a wife who proudly admitted that she had repeatedly cheated on me while I was overseas.  Despite letting her be free of commitments to me she divorced me.

These events left wounds deep inside of me that I hide.  I was afraid of being abandoned and I feared having male friendships.  As a result I began to use different things to medicate my wounds and cover my fears.  I tried to escape the pain by using alcohol and pot.  After turning from those for medication I turned to the greatest male medicator, pornography and would spend hours escaping into fantasies.  My fears of abandonment and wounds of life kept me from being anything but average.  I never accomplished anything because I was constantly running away from commitment.

I became religious and still no victory over the things that held me bondage.

Then one day about severn years ago God got my attention while I was attending a men's conference.  The pastor giving the message spoke about our purpose and how God would use our life events to show us our purpose and our mission in life.  I had men who barely knew me pray that God would use me to touch other men.  The next day the pastor asked us this question, "What is that one thing that keep you from being used for the purpose God had for you?"  I tried to hide from answering that question.  As we got into our small group we sat there silent with no one wanting to break the silence.  All of a sudden my hand shot up and I was shocked.  Out my mouth came the words I know what keeps me from achieving my purpose.  I am addicted to pornography.  The men in the group were shocked and I was could not believe I said it.  But an amazing thing happened as one of the men placed his hand on my shoulder and prayed for God to bring victory into my life.  That day was the beginning of a process where God healed wounds and moved me to repentence and change.

For thirty-three years I was fearful and a man who had no true friends. Last night as I sat in our men's group called REAL Men RoCK I realized I was sitting with a group of guys who liked me and who saw me as someone more than average.  I sat there knowing that what I could not do God has done.  I am who I am today because of the events in my life and because of the Grace and Mercy of my savior Jesus that covers all of my fears and sins.  

My question to you is what keeps you from moving forward toward your purpose?  What holds you back from achieving victory?  Do you want to experience freedom?

All you have to do to begin the journey is to lay it all at the feet of Jesus and ask God to send His Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen you on the journey.  I cannot promise you instant deliverance but I can promise that one day you will confidently say Jesus covers all of my sins.

I encourage you to get real with another guy and let God work thorugh him to help and encourage you.  

Father, Send Your Holy Spirit to that guy who is reading this and needs the assurance that he can achieve victory.  In the power, the authority and the name of Jesus amen

Thursday, October 15, 2009


With this post I am going to challenge married men to examine their work, recreational and married life.  I believe these three areas should have goals and priorities assigned to them.  

In 2 Thessalonians 2 we are told that we need to work: 2 Thessalonians 3: 10-13 Don't you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? "If you don't work, you don't eat." And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don't slack off in doing your duty.

In 3 John we are told to be prosperous and in good heal: 3 John 1-4 The Pastor, to my good friend Gaius: How truly I love you! We're the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul! I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth. Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!

In Ephesians 5: 33 we are told to love our wife: Ephesians 5: 33 And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

For us men the big challenge is how do we keep these in balance and in the right priority.  Men tend to identify themselves in the work that they do.  Sometimes they find their importance in the amount of money they make or the power they have.  Because of the stresses of life men tend to seek release of that stress in their recreational activities.  They end up spending more time and energy at work and in recreation than they do in lving their wife.

I believe as a man I should be involved in working, spend time in recreation and to love my wife. 

Here are three questions for you to ask yourself:

How many hours per week do I spend at work and volunteer activities?

How many hours per week do I spend in recreation?

How many hours per week do I spend working on my relationship with my wife?

In a given week we have 168 hours to use.  Subtracting the hours per week we spend sleeping, taking a shower, and eating, we have about 98 hours to use on the things that are important to us.

I am going to use myself as an example and I know that you could be similar.

I spend 40 hours working and donate about 15 hours per week in church related activities.

I spend about 5 hours riding my mountain bike.

That leaves me about 30 hours I could be using to focus on my wife.  When I look at what I do with the rest of the time I come to realize I spend more time working and donating my time than I do focusing on the most important priotity in my physical life.

As a man I know that I can get caught in the trap of seeing my position so important I will not release some of the duties to others so that I can focus time on my wife.  I know of pastors who have destroyed their marriage in order to grow their church.  I have watched them spend qualtiy time with their congregation and spend little time building their relationship with their wife and family.

This post is just as important for me as it is for the one who reads it and is spending more time working and having fun than he is spending at home building his relationship with his wife.  The church and our jobs are important but our marriage trumps both.  

Men the bottom line is if we are not building our marriage we are failing as followers of Christ.  If you tell me that you are a pastor and it is your job to spend time building the church I would agree but state that building your relationship with your wife is more important.  The example you set will be repeated through the church and so if you ignore your wife and family by spending more quality time with the church than you do them you will have a church full of men who will have failing marriages.

I confess today that I have and that I am guilty of not spending the quality time I should in building my relationship with my wife.  My number one priority is to build my relationship with God and one of the biggest parts of that task is to build my relationship with my wife.  Jesus uses the marriage relationship to show us the relationship we will have with Him.  

The question is: If you are guilty of not spending time with your wife what are you going to do about it?  

The good news is you and I can make the changes necessary to build a strong marriage, perform in an excellent way at our work and enjoy good recreation and do so in a way that pleases God.  

Join me in making some changes over the next 30 days and let's come back and  share the results.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Come Join Me in a New Adventure

In the mid-1990's a friend told me he believed I would be pastoring a church one day. I sort of laughed at him knowing my past and the obstacles I would have to overcome. Today I am here to share with you a new adventure I am going on and to seek your prayers and for your financial support.
About six years ago my wife, Kat, and I moved to Louisburg, KS, which is about 30 miles outside of Kansas City, MO with the idea of fixing up her mom's house, selling it and then moving back to the city.  Little did we know we would grow to love living in a small town.  During these years I continually bumped into a Pastor of a small church, called New Life Family Church, here in Louisburg.  This past spring the Pastor, Erik Kingsley, asked me to come and join his team and to see if it would turn into an Associate Pastor position.  Within just a few months we both decided that I would come on board as Pastor of Life Groups and Support.  The only problem was New Life does not have the members or the income resources to provide any type of salary for me.
We decided that I would work in my spare time helping Erik to grow New Life by developing Life Groups (also known as Cell or Small Groups).  The idea is as these groups grow spiritually the church will grow physically and eventually be able to have the resources for me to work full-time.  Right now I continue to work full-time at Wal-Mart and I am using Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evenings to help grow Life Groups and Saturday mornings to develop a Men's Ministry.
What I am asking people to consider is to help me raise the income necessary to replace my position at Wal-Mart so that I can focus on growing a Community Chaplain position which includes me being the Associate Pastor at New Life.  To see my plan please go to http://communitychaplin.wordpress.com/.  We hope that God will provide the growth necessary that any outside financial support will only be required for about six months.
Here are a couple of ideas: If 20 people will donate $20 per week or if 40 people will donate $10 per week my income from Wal-Mart will be replaced.  If 50 people gave the cost of a Starbuck's coffee plus tip or $5 per week I would be able to work part-time to make up the difference.
I encourage you to pray for the resources to come in and I ask you to consider being a part of my new adventure.
May God bless
Larry Clark