Thursday, September 28, 2006

More From "Paul"

Hello All,

Did I mention that I am loving this book!? Chapter 6, page 89, covering Acts 11:19-26. Barnabas has just gone to collect Paul for the revival that is taking place in Antioch. For 3 years, Paul has been living in the shadows, being trained and readied for the ministry. It's amazing, but when we think of Paul, we think of all the glory stories that are par for his life. Yet, in the beginning, there was a time of training and equipping. Here are Chuck Swindoll's closing remarks that really spoke to me about this period of our waiting.

"Let me suggest four principles I find between the lines of the events we've just considered. They may mean more to you later than now-in a time when God leads you to wait in the shadows...

First, when God prepares us for effective ministry, He includes what we would rather omit- a period of waiting. That cultivates patience...

Second, as God makes us wait, hiding us in His shadow, He show us we're not indispensible. That makes us humble...

Third, while God hides us away, He reveals new dimensions of Himself and new insights regarding ministry. That makes us deep...

Fourth, when God finally chooses to use us, it comes at a time least expected, when we feel the least qualified. That makes us effective..."

And finally the quote that so encouraged my soul this week, especially in light of all the time we have spent beyond what we had originally believed:

"Exceptional work is preceded by extended waiting."

Lord, may it be so!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Whole Lot Of Worship...

Hello All,

Great blessings to all who enter this area. This last weekend saw Lela and I back at Calvary Chapel Creekside in Ontario with Pastor Eric Sorian. We got the opportunity to lead worship for the 2 morning Sunday Morning services. We had led worship at Creekside just a few Wednesdays ago and both times we were blessed by the congregation's passion to worship. Thank you Pastor Eric and staff for inviting us to minister among you.

We have actually been involved with worship all this last month. That has been a cool opportunity for us, to worship during this time. We have actually had little time on Sundays or Wednesdays to share or talk about the mission that God has given us. In that regard, I wonder if God is trying to get our attention.

To be honest, that has been a constant struggle as we have been home. Sometimes being able to speak about the mission, keeps our hearts and vision focused in Spain and on the mission we are pondering, and waiting for. But God has not given us that ability this last month. We have been busy worshipping and that has kept our focus and our vision on the Lord. In the end, this is the most important function of our lives. No matter what happens or does not happen with Spain, it is the missionary's temptation to become so focused on their mission and lose sight of their Master. This last month has been a real reminder of the fact that that truth can never be lost as we endeavor to serve our Lord in love.

But it's a reminder to all of us that Jesus does not want our service, as much as He wants our hearts to be His. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart..." Let us never lose sight of that, for that is the foundation upon which all else is built and sustained.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, September 25, 2006

This Says It All!

Question: What happens now that there has been gum and soda?

Answer: We did not think that far ahead! We were hoping for the rapture!!

Oh, by the way: Renae chose Coke over Pepsi!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Renae...well sort of!

Hello All,

We are celebrating Renae's Birthday today with our family, even though her birthday is actually on Sunday. This is the big 5 year mark and as I mentioned earlier in the week, she gets to have gum and soda beginning today! If you want to wish "Nae-Nae" a happy birthday, feel free to do so in the comments section at the bottom of this post. Lord willing, this will be the last birthday we celebrate in the U.S. for some time. We are hopeful that the next few birthdays we celebrate will be in Jerez!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Excerpt From "Paul"

Hello All,

As many of you know about me, I love a good book, as much as I like a dumb book! Though I read often many different types of books, I always manage to return to Chuck Swindoll's works. I especially like his "Great Lives From God's Word" series, which are basically biographical sketches straight from the Word. My previous favorite was David, which in my opinion, is a classic. But I am currently reading Paul, and this section really stood out to me, so I thought I would share it with you. This comes from Chapter 4: The Necessity Of Solitude, Quietness, and Obscurity.

"In his splendid book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes words that penetrate: 'Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.' ... A life marked by depth can only be cultivated in protracted periods of time spent in solitude, quietness and obscurity - concepts foreign to those who live their lives at the speed of light...Stop and think for a moment. When was the last time you carved out time to be absolutely alone with God? You made arrangements for it. You set aside responsibilities and said no to things that would have filled your schedule, robbing you of any remaining time for quietness before the Lord. Can you remember? If you're like most, you'll have difficulty stating the last time you did that. Quite possibly, you've never considered taking time away to rearrange your private world, rethink your priorities, and simplify your life."

The rest of the chapter is a fantastic exploration into the concept of Paul's retreat into Arabia. But, just for us today, I pray that we can take some time and work some silence into our lives. Just like any relationship I know it takes time, but more so, the necessary commitment of our own hearts regarding it's necessity. For me sometimes, I just need to turn off the iPod or the car radio when I am driving. Perhaps even the late night movie.

I pray that you will consider checking out Swindoll's book, and more importantly, embracing this concept that he brings to life in it. I am sure that it will benefit each of us in our endeavor to be conformed into the image of Christ.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, September 18, 2006

Some Miscellaneous Items

Hello All,

Here's a reason to smile: FALL IS COMING! In fact, the way it feels around here lately, it may have come early. A welcome relief to those of us who feel like heaven is Spring and Fall. The other place, well... we'll leave that where it lies!

Just wanted to get you a few quick bullet points to be thinking and praying about.

• We are getting close to figuring out a date of departure. The complications are many, so pray that God would give us wisdom. There may be a special entry just about this point soon.

• Renae has been enjoying Kindergarten and is celebrating her 5th birthday this week. As many of you know, the big deal is that she can now partake of soda and gum! This might be the cheapest birthday we get with her!

• Visas. Need I say more!

• We're back at C.C. Creekside this weekend for worship and sharing. We want to be a blessing to them.

• The All Spain Prayer List is slowly coming along and will be debuting here soon.

That's all for now. Thanks for your love, support, and for checking in on us.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More From C.C. Creekside

Here's Elizabeth trying to explain the Eschatological scheme of the minor prophets...

And then there's Renae and Caleb, never ones to shy away from any stage or microphone. Here they are singing "Here I Am To Worship." This is how it starts folks! Soon, they will be charging astronomical figures to sign their latest worship CD, which will likely be available for download come 2015. Look for it. If they have any say in it, the title of the CD will likely have something do with the common functions of the body! Come to think of it, Lela and I will likely name the CD for them!

C.C. Creekside

Hello All,

I say this sincerely to those who have either happened by, or those who might be frequent visitors: I pray that you are doing well and are experiencing God's presence in whatever it is that He has you pursuing. Thanks for stopping by.

Also, I have been taking a look at other blogs and have noted that there are a lot more pictures being put on these entries than what I have been doing. I hereby pledge, this being an election year in California and all, to put up more pictures in these posts! Hope you enjoy them. Now, onto the purpose of this post.

We had the priviledge of joining Calvary Chapel Creekside for their Wednesday Night Study. Pastor Eric Sorian invited us to come and lead worship for his fellowship there in Ontario, and we were happy to oblige. The night was a little different, in that it was not your typical night of worship and study. It was much more like a communion/afterglow type service and it was apparent from the very beginning that the Lord was wanting to touch and minister in a special way. And as the evening went on, the Lord's presence was strongly felt by each of us.

It was funny though how "out of shape" my fingers have become! I have been playing drums a lot, but have had little opportunity to play the guitar. As a result, my endurance has suffered. Normally, in a usual set, we'll do 5 songs or 25 minutes, but Pastor Eric wanted to do an extended ministry time. "No problem," I say as I recall hundreds of times when we did exactly that. But this time, I made it through a few extra tunes, and I could feel my fingers screaming at me to relent! So, while the congregation was entering into worship, I was praying that my fingers wouldn't fall off! I know: WHAT A BABY!

After the service, the reward was the warmth of the fellowship and my first ever Hebrew National Kosher Hot Dog! Between the church and the office/children's facility, there is an area where the congregation settles in for the "heavy hang."

Anyway, it was great night. Thank you C.C. Creekside for having us. See you again soon.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Introducing My Daughter Elizabeth

The moral of this picture has nothing to do with Spain. But it is that there is nothing safe when Lizzy is around!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, September 11, 2006


Hello All,

I am sure that you remember where you were that morning 5 years ago today. I had just gotten out of the shower and was about to iron my clothes. I turned on the TV and saw the "Breaking News" on the morning show. The volume was low and it just looked like a bad fire in one of the buildings. I turned the channel, but it was on every station. Soon, the "breaking news" banner had given way to the "America Under Attack" banner. My mouth just hit the floor and I went back into the bedroom to wake my wife up. At the time, Lela was pregnant at full term with our oldest daughter Renae, who would be born just 13 days later. Lela stirred and I told her what was happening. Of course, the usual way of waking up, where one gets to imagine their day and plan accordingly was ripped away, and Lela awoke to a new reality that would certainly shape not just the way our day would go, but eventually even the mission we would attempt. We prayed, we watched, we cried, we sensed a violation that we had never experienced before.

An event so tragic and horrific, one would be amazed to think of anything good that could come from it. And yet, over those next few days, the NYPD and the FDNY overwhelmed our hearts with their heroic activities. I'll never forget the pictures of people escaping the blackness and the smoke filled air, and the authorities running full steam back into it. How about those politicians, from both sides of the aisle, singing on the steps of the Capital Building, or the several people praying out loud on National Television!! Where was the ACLU then? For me personally, I was leading worship the next night for our Wednesday Night service. It was our first chance to see what would happen. The worship that night was amazing. Our church was full and the worship was absolutely powerful. There was an urgency in the air, and a passionate cry out to the Lord that I had never experienced before, and really since.

But what was under the surface of it all was the emergence of a battle that was not rooted in politics or in geography. It was a battle that has become increasingly more clear as the time has gone by. It is the battle for the soul of the world. Interestingly, many people who are watching the trends of Spain have commented that in the next 10 years, the major conflict will not be political, but the choice between Islam and Christianity. Perhaps it started way before 9/11, but it was that day that brought the battle to the forefront and defined it like no other event could do.

May we have courage to stay in the battle, and remind ourselves of the ultimate costs that are involved. No wonder the enemy fights so strongly. Let us not lose heart or perspective. I pray that I would have the courage of those heroes of 9/11, the kind of courage that would run, not walk, back into the darkness, with the hopes of clinging on to as many as possible. I do not think it's a stretch in the metaphor. That is what we as Christians are called to do. Look at Jude 23. "Pull them out of the fire..."

And yet, the metaphor and the actual mission could possibly never be as overwhelming as what the NYPD or the FDNY went through those 5 years ago. May the Lord bless them and their families. Thank you for your service and the inspiration that you have exemplified through your bravery.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, September 10, 2006

PackingHouse & The Red Barn

Hello All-

It's been quite a busy weekend for me as I got a chance to play drums this weekend at the PackingHouse with Pastor Ed's worship team for the Saturday night and Sunday morning services. Before I left for Spain, I played drums for Pastor's team, so it was a comfortable fit for me. It is always a privilege to play for the Lord, especially when I get to play the drums! That and the excellent encouragement I received from the members of the team and especially from Pastor's wife Rae Lynn, who provided a set of insightful comments regarding our current situation. Thank you Trent for letting me sit in on your "gig." :)

Then, Sunday night, tonight as I write this, Lela and I had the privilege of leading worship for the evening study at the Red Barn, Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino. On top of that blessing, Pastor John Miller's message was right on with regard to our situation. His text was Mark 5 and he relayed that Jesus is the Lord of Delays and that his timing is perfect! Then, after the service, Pastor John's Father and his wife came up to us and showed us their Bible, which had their prayer list in it. Inside were our names. It really touched us to see that they had thought to pray for us every day, even though we had never met them! Thank you Pastor John, Pastor Lee and all the staff at the Barn for such a warm welcome and opportunity to serve.

Two final "thank you" notes are in order to my brother, who loaned me his capo and to my long time bandmate Vicky Napier, for the loan of her Taylor guitar! Thanks you guys!

As you can probably tell, this weekend was a real good time for me to be on the receiving end of the blessing of fellowship. I guess I really needed it, because I really sensed the Lord caring for us through the generous souls that he placed around us this weekend. It was just something in everyone's voice and eyes that really gave me the strength I needed. Thank you to all that might apply to. You know who you are.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Things I Miss The Most...

"HOLA! QUE TAL!" This is the signature Domingo greeting, in a voice that is unmistakeable! Imagine a robust, joyful voice, filled with life and love and that is our brother Domingo! He has a great voice, a great spirit, and a great family. We miss them all!

WORSHIP PRACTICE AT LA CASA SANCHEZ! Yolee, many times her son Miqueas and Andre, join us at the house for an hour or so of work and an hour or so of laughing and joking! We miss their voices as well!

Ok, not snails! But MEDITERRANEAN FOOD!! Oh what I would'nt give for a serranito, micktelobo, bocadillo con jamon serrano or a tostada! Ok the last thing is just a piece of toast...oh did I mention a Cafe Con Leche!!!

Walking, what a lost art! Spaniards walk here every night...unless there is an important soccer game! "The World what..." Let me also mention how much easier it is to lose weight! But the walking is for fellowship and community more than anything else.

And of course, last but not least, our church family! This is not all of them. We are missing a few, but this is the building we have come to love and the people within it are precious to us. We miss them greatly and hope the Lord's blessing is resting upon each of them.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Morocco/Bolivia Report

Hello All,

I got a chance to talk with Pastor Carlos Casco yesterday morning about his recent travels to Morocco and Bolivia. Thank you for praying for him. He has safely returned to his home in Spain and is doing quite well.

Both trips went very well, but were of differing natures. Morocco was a great trip and Carlos was able to show the Jesus Movie over 8 times, a significant figure due to the tense religious atmosphere of Morocco. The Bolivia trip was different, in that it was less evangelistic and more Pastoral training. Carlos was able to take materials into Bolivia and begin to train the leadership of several churches there. He has left them with a curriculum and will continue to monitor the progress of the group through email. A subsequent set of trips is being developed for the near future. Carlos mentioned the utter hunger of the Bolivian people to receive instruction in the Word. The group of leaders being trained were very thankful that Carlos would actually travel all the way from Spain, to minister among them.

The trip was a blessing to the Bolivians and a great time of ministry for Pastor Carlos. Time will tell whether his digestive system will agree. According to Carlos, he ate Aligator Tail and Fried Pirahna! We ask that you would continue to pray, that the Lord would swing open doors in Morocco and in Bolivia, and that God would provide for such ventures to continue. We have faith that He will.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Powers That Be

Hello All,

The other night Lela and I had the privilege of dining with a wonderful family that we love dearly. We laughed and joked around, shared and got the chance to learn. At the end of the evening, we learned just how real spiritual warfare had touched the lives of this family. And it got me to thinking: How many times have I sounded the alarm on so many other issues, and yet, when was the last time I had reminded our family, friends and faithful supporters, about the reality of spiritual warfare?

It seems like one would not need the remedial teachings of spiritual warfare, but even as I sat and listened, I thought within myself that I had not given much thought to it's reality lately.

Sometimes it's Satan; Sometimes it's us. Sometimes it's the enemy when we have not done our part in trusting God and fully obeying His declared Word to us. Let me explain:

- When a wicked thought comes out of nowhere, with no explanation to it's source. It just might be the enemy.

- When we look out and lust or covet over something, that is most likely our flesh.

- When we find ourselves in great fear or in dark confusion, the enemy has likely gained a foothold where we have failed to trust the Lord fully to act obediently.

One good example of this is found in the book of 2nd Corinthians. Paul has asked the Corinthians to deal with a situation. At first, the church is tolerant of the man who is in public open sin. Then Paul says that this should not be the case, but that they should kick him out for the destruction of his flesh. The church does it. The man, now sensing his utter spiritual destitution, repents. However, the church in Corinth refuses to allow him to re-enter their fellowship. Paul corrects them, and tells them to be both corrective and restorative. And if they did not?

"(lest) Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11

The English phrase "take advantage" comes fro Greek word to "cheat someone out of what is rightfully theirs." The idea is that in not doing what they knew to do, restoring to fellowship a repentant brother, they themselves were allowing the enemy to have a foothold from which to attack the church and that believer. The enemy wants to rob us, the church of seeing the Lord's grace in action. At the same time, he wants to defeat the spirit of any brother who has fallen from grace, leading ultimately to despair.

How often has the enemy gained ground in our lives when we have blatantly disregarded God's plain Word? How often has the enemy stolen from us when we refused to believe God's Word, through our Pastors or teachers?

I say all this 1) to remind you that like Peter, Satan desires to "sift you as wheat" and 2) that the mission field and those that would desire to enter into it, are precariously close to Satanic territory.

Please, take a few minutes to pray for our Spanish missionaries, Lela and I included, especially for spiritual covering and defense from the enemies attacks. He loves to use the weapon of doubt or the dagger of fear. Pray against these very potent spiritual attacks in our lives. The enemy wants to rob from our joy and pillage our peace! Pray. Don't think for a second that our weapon of prayer is not an excellent match for the enemy's schemes.

But also take a moment, and ask the Lord to reveal areas to you where you have given the enemy ground from which to launch attacks into your heart. Are there commands that have been avoided? Words from the Lord that have been ignored? Don't give the enemy of our souls one inch of space.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez