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, June 23, 2010

Vacation Time

Tomorrow I leave for six days of vacation. I will be spending time with my wife, Kat, my daughter, Missy, and my G-Kids, Spencer, Dakota, Cierra and Kai. It is going to be lots of fun camping, hiking and rafting with them. I will share with you more when I get back. 
Until then keep looking up!

Monday, June 21, 2010


     Yesterday all across the United States of America people celebrated a day honoring their father. Meals were shared and Cards and gifts were given in most households. With this post I want to stir in you good and bad memories of your father. I hope that most of the memories are good ones but let's be honest no father is perfect and there will also be some bad memories.
     In my own life I know that I have made some really bad mistakes which hurt my children. I was not an abuser but having an addictive personality and my fear of abandonment I tended to hide myself in a fantasy world. I often spent my time playing games on the computer or not talking. Those traits still affect the relationship I have with my children.
     I also did some things right. I often found ways to show love to my daughter like placing candy kisses on her pillow or giving her cards for no particular reason. I would guess you would have to ask my children for those things they feel I did right.
     Enough about me. I know that many of you have been hurt by the actions of your dads. They were alcoholics, work-a-holics, abusive, angry, or distant. I want you to consider something about them but do so without disregarding how they were. Consider what caused them to be the man they were. What wounds did they have in their lives that drove them to be alcoholics, abusive, angry and distant. What caused them to be who they were is not an excuse for how they treated you but it will help you understand why.
     Consider your own life why are you like you are. If you will do this I believe you will find that you are like you are because of events in your life that control you. That is exactly what caused your dad to be like they were.
     The good news is that cycle can be broken beginning with you. Yes it is too late for you to do anything about the past but you can begin to tackle those wounds in your life so that today and tomorrow will be different.
     I know today I am not the man who I was just a few short years ago. I still struggle with some things like playing games on the computer but I am getting better.
     Here is the really good news: Hebrews 13: 5-6 Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you," we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I'm fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?
     We often look at God through the eyes of the pain our father's caused. We accept or reject Him because of the actions of our dads.
     If you are a dad who is struggling with wounds caused by your dad and ones that have affected how you have fathered your children I encourage you to sit down with your heavenly Father and ask Him to help you first forgive your dad and second to heal your emotional wounds so that you can bring this cycle of bad fatherhood to an end.
     If this post has stirred old hurts in your life now is the time to deal with them. Forgiving does not mean ignoring what took place. Forgiving is laying it all at the feet of Jesus and asking Him to help you deal with the wounds so that you can be the one who breaks the cycle of pain.
     If you are willing to take these steps I encourage you to do something before you do anything else. Either go out and get your dad a card or write him a letter or send him an email letting him know how important he is to you and that beginning today life will be different.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Climbing the Dunes Pictures Life

Next week I will be taking a trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. It will be the fourth time that my wife and I have been there. The first trip, 19 years ago, was with my daughter and she will also be with us on this trip. Now 19 years later we will get to hike to the top of the dunes with her and our grandkids.

With this post I want to share the beauty of the dunes and relate them to the struggles of life.

As you begin your climb up the dunes you will discover that as you take a step you sink into the sand and slide backwards. Often life is like that .

You might be pursuing a dream or getting an education and you find that with each step towards your dream it seems you slide back a little.  It is at these moments that you need to remember to not give up.

It may seem as though you are not getting anywhere but if you do not give up your struggles will pay off. You will top the ridge to discover the struggles have made you stronger and more able to reach your dream.   

Once on the ridge you will look over and see others struggling up their hills.

In Romans 5: 1-5 Paul tells us that we will face struggles and if we will just hang in there we will develop character and find hope.

We can find hope in what Jesus did for us and what the Holy Spirit continues to do within our lives. Because of that hope we can reach out to others who are struggling and encourage them not to give up.

After sometimes years of struggling we will reach the summit and we will be able to look out over our lives and enjoy what God has done in us. The struggle to the top was not easy and it was painful. Once at the top what we experienced will not compare to what lies before us.

If we endure to the end our reward will be well worth the effort.

As we look back over our life it will seem there are moments that we struggled alone. There is a poem about that struggle called footprints.

This final photo is one I took years ago looking back at the trail my wife and I left. It reminds me of the poem except in a different way. In this photo instead of a single track of prints like in the poem there are two. Often when we are struggling we seem to be alone but I believe Jesus is right there beside us as we struggle. He is not whispering but yelling "Don't give up!" "Keep moving forward!"

As my grandkids climb the sand dunes I know there are going to be moments when one will want to give up but I know what the view is like at the top so I will encourage them to keep going and not give up.

That is what I want to do now is to encourage you to not allow the struggles of life to keep you from reaching the potential that God has for you. In the end all of your efforts will be worth it. You will hear the Father say, "Well done my son come and enter the Kingdom".


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mistaken Encounters

My brother who is a artist and a chef accepted Jesus as his savior while living in Eureka Springs, AR. He owned Chez Chalres at the time which was a fine dining experience.

One evening a group of men showed up at his door looking for Charles but as it turned out it was the wrong Charles. But was it really? You see they were going to meet with Charles and he was going to be accepting Jesus as his savior. That is exactly what happened except it wasn't the Charles they had planned to meet with but it was exactly the one God intended for them to meet. 

In my mind meetings like this are divine appointments. I believe if God had not caused this meeting to take place my brother might still be on his journey without a relationship with Jesus.

Have you ever experienced one of those moments which you know was not a naturally designed appointment? If so share it with us here or better yet use it in your own story as you share the Good News about what Jesus has done for the world.

In talking with my brother about this painting he describes it as a picture of what happened at the moment he accepted Jesus. All of his stuff was transferred off of him and to the cross. Look at the painting and allow God to speak to you through it. What does it stir in you? 

God can use anything He wants to gain your attention even a mistaken knock on a door.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Offended and Offending

I am going to share an experience I have recently had. I will try to make it as anonymous as possible but if you are close to the situation you will know what I am talking about. If you do know about the situation then you just might be the one to be able to point out error to the party in the wrong.

Let me begin by asking a couple of questions.

1. Have you ever been hurt by someone?

2. Have you ever hurt someone?

To be honest I have experienced both and within the recent year. What should you do when you are hurt by someone? In Matthew 18: 15-20 we are told by Jesus: "If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've made a friend. If he won't listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won't listen, tell the church. If he won't listen to the church, you'll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God's forgiving love. 

"Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there."

And in Matthew 5: 23-24 Jesus tells us: "This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God."

I believe from these two scriptures we can get the picture that Jesus takes offending and being offended by someone very seriously. In both cases He tells the offender and the offended to seek out the other person.

Sometimes we come to a crossroad and we have to choose which way to go. One turn leads to being controlled by the other person and the other turn leads to me being released to move forward. We may have apologized for our behavior and we have explained to the other person how they have hurt us. Their response in both cases might not be favorable. That is why we stand at a cross road.

We have to understand part of the reason they refuse to acknowledge us has to do with their own insecurities and fears. 

It is my belief that once we have forgiven the offending party healing can begin in our lives and in the lives of others. I believe God wants us to be healed of the wounds that we have caused and that have been done to us. I base this on  2 Corinthians 5: 19 "namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation."

My question for you today is: "What offenses do you need to release others from or do you need to be released from?" I encourage you to drop what you are doing and find that person you have offended and seek forgiveness or seek out that person who has offended you and gently point out how they have hurt you. Then lay whatever it is at the feet of Jesus and get up and walk away from it leaving it with Him.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vacations and the Messages God Gives

In a few weeks my wife, Kat, and I are taking our daughter and her children to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. It is a trip my wife and I have made several times with the first being when our daughter was 10 years old. Many great memories have been made at the dunes.

I took this picture the last time that Kat and I were there. I saw these people climbing up the dunes and thought it would make a neat photo.

It now reminds me of how life is. The closer dune is at a steeper angle and the other more of a rounded slope. Life stages are like that. Sometimes we face very steep trials in our lives and at other times the trials are not so steep. 

I took this photo as well on that last trip.  These are our footprints and this photo encourages about having a friend who I can share my I struggles with. Of course Kat is one of those people. I also need another man in my life who I can walk through life with and rely on to be there when I get discouraged or am tempted. 

Every time Kat and I take one of these trips I find not only memories but great examples of how God wants us to live. He uses these moments to bring us closer together as a family and He shows me that as a man I need to have other men who I can call family as well.

Pull out your vacation photos and let God speak to you through them. Hopefully the memories will be positive but I know that through those photos He will show you insight into what He wants to improve in your life.

Last year we took two of our grandkids to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. I took this photo of them in the new wing of the museum. To me it shows how the older granddaughter is protective of the younger and how the younger is dependent upon the older.

Another great lesson for us. Older men and older women need to take an interest in younger people. 

As you view these photos you might get an entirely different message. Because each of these photos are connected to my emotions they stir me in ways that you do not feel. That will be true for the photos and events in your life.

With the beginning of summer I encourage you to load up the wife and kids then head off to a great adventure. Some weekend get another guy or a group of guys together for a guy adventure. It could be a baseball game, a mountain bike ride or a game of golf. 

I believe God wants us to form memories through the relationships we develop that we form through these trips and moments. The memories and relationships will come in handy when we face trials in our lives.

Hope you have a great summer!