Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Almost There!

Hello All,

We are almost back to normal here at the new Sanchez Diggs. I have been able to find stuff in the morning when I am getting ready, and I have found ways to keep my commute from being longer than it has to. When we have some time, we are enjoying some of the new amenities that we have here, including the pool, the spa and the nice trails that overlook the wash area next to Mission Viejo. It's felt a little bit bizarre at the same time, as Summer has taken an abrupt halt over at the church. Just two weeks ago, we were at the Barbecue, brimming with loads of people in and out of the building, to today, when it felt like a ghost town in the office! The summer is giving way to the rigorous scheduling of the fall, and in many ways, church is about to get a whole lot more busy.

So for now, it seems that we might just take the rest of August off from the discipline of blogging. I will come back with two posts right away that have been itching to get out of my system. The first will be a treatise on prayer. The second will be focused on the 10 greatest lessons that I have learned in ministry, which will be a 10 part series of posts.

And, if our computer can handle it, we'll put up some pictures next week of our new place, not just here in the house, but with our new church as well.

For the time being, check out some of the links on the side. Jason and Kris are back in the United States over at Missions Down Under. Pastor Carlos Casco has a great slideshow up on his page from his recent trip to Bolivia. Jim Burns always has something great for families on his site. Brad Bischoff has some samples of music that feature my drumming, especially Presence Of Mind, which I am particularly proud of. Or, you can hear whole tunes here under Brad Bischoff and PYF, Boycott Hell! After you get through that, then it's likely that we'll be back in full swing.

I hope that you all are doing well.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, August 24, 2007


Hello All,

Things are slowly taking shape here in our new place. Boxes still line the floors, the cable guy is still coming and the garage door is still ridiculously slow. Otherwise, we are pretty content.

Yesterday, I took the day off from moving and my vacation, to get back to some business at the church with our Men's Steak & Study. This was the final edition for the summer, so I wanted to be there to see it through. The day was typical for a Steak & Study Thursday. Costco, Smart and Final and Vons, all saw me zip through with the usual stuff.

The other item that made this event pretty cool, aside from it being the last one, was that I had some dear friends coming from the Inland Empire to share in the festivities. Patrick Egle and Jeff Schaefer came out to join me for the evening. Both of these guys were leaders in the College Ministry at the Packinghouse when I was the overseeing College Pastor a few years back. Seeing them pull into the Calvary Laguna parking lot felt funny at first, but then so natural when we began our usual witty banter.

It was great to introduce Patrick and Jeff to the Calvary Laguna guys. It was my past and my present right before me. "Patrick, Jeff, this is Marc and Robert and Dan..." Here was this intersection of Kingdom men, who never would have known each other otherwise, but were now sharing in a wonderful night of ministry together. It was really cool.

The actual Steak & Study was fantastic! The steaks are humongous, as usual, and the fellowship around the tables, usually with men from other Churches, is always sweet. Then, our main speaker, Pastor Steve Snook, took the platform and delivered a simple, yet powerful message. By the end of the message, all of the men sat in stunned silence at what God was doing in their lives. I walked up and was afraid to speak, not wanting to interrupt what the Spirit of God was doing, but sensing that I could partner with Him in bringing it home. It was a powerful night of ministry, with several hands of men raised in commitment to Christ.

Afterward, it was Patrick, Jeff, Marc and Mark and I standing together, speaking about the night we had just experienced. It was wonderful to have such wonderful friends from the past and the present right there and I thought, "This is how heaven is going to feel!" Everyone that I have ever shared ministry with, from the early years, right up to today, in the same place, marveling at the work of Christ in each of our lives.

For that moment, I stand proud, in a good way, about what I have participated in in the past, and what I am participating in now, ushering in the future of what relationships will be like at Calvary Laguna.

At the same time, it made me think that I have a time that is set by the Lord, known by Him alone, that I have to minister at Calvary Laguna. Just like the Packinghouse, and just like in Spain, the time will fly by and will someday, perhaps, be over. Seeing Patrick and Jeff reminded me afresh that even the best of ministry times come to an end. They represented a College Group that I loved greatly and wished that I did not have to leave. I hope that this time at Calvary Laguna will not end soon, but I want to make the most of it, in case it ends sooner than I want! It won't be worth it to me unless I give it my all, which I intend to do for as long as the Lord gives me.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ladera Nights, Take One!

Hello All,

Well, we are in the door! Stuff is in it’s general place and what the condo will look like over the next several months is beginning to take shape. Presently, the only thing that I care about is that my bed is set up and I am laying on it!! The rest will come in time.

None of this could be possible without the incredible, wonderful help from our friends. On Sunday, it was our family and friends who came to our aid in Highland. After our family, there was Jeff Schaefer and Mike Cowen. Both of these guys were a tremendous help and I thank them dearly for blessing us! Mike came through especially big when it came to organizing our junk! Mike, not one article was lost or damaged in any way! YOU ROCK!!!

And then came Monday. We got down to Ladera Ranch just before 4:30PM. This time, it was our Calvary Laguna Connection that came to our aid. Brian Lewotsky, Chris Reinhardt, Troy Myer Jr., Darren Porter, and Mike Weisman helped us unload our stuff. Brian came up HUGE on our kid’s bunk bed, which to Lela and I, was the scariest piece of furniture to assemble. Brian figured it out in seconds and had it up in minutes. Darren with great kindness and compassion brought us some great barbecue fare that hit the spot!

We got finished around 6:30 and all sat around for a while. It was a sweet time of fellowship, but I’ll write more about that next time. For now, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to those that were able to help us with this move. You guys blessed us so incredibly again! We hope to return the blessing in the future.

Today (Tuesday) Lela and I cleaned up the old place back in Highland! Let me just say that this time, I was pretty sure that the filth was permanent! It was roughly 2 MILLION DEGREES in the I.E. today! Add the humidity and it felt like 2 MILLION AND TEN! Horrific! Another big THANK YOU is in order to Ed and April Sanabia, who helped clean the inside of our old place. Thanks guys, especially for your awesome carpet cleaner! You guys are the best!

Alright, time to have my second dream in Ladera Ranch!

Blessings…To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, August 13, 2007

We're Moving This Weekend!!!

Hello All,

Just wanted to throw out a general call for help this weekend as we make our move to Orange County. We will become citizens of the O.C. next week! Here is how you can help:

If you live in the Empire, the INLAND Empire, we could use your help loading up the U-Haul van on SUNDAY, AUGUST 19th at 3:30 PM. You will need to contact me for directions and can either email me or leave a note in the comments section.

Now, if you are a Calvary Laguna-ite, then I could use your help on MONDAY, AUGUST 20th at 4:30 PM. We will unload the van into the new Sanchez Palatial Condo, barring traffic, before the sun goes down! Again, I will email you with directions as you contact me.

If you are reading this in Spain, well, you are excused from friend duty! We love you anyway!

Thanks everyone one way or another.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

An Update From Jerez De La Frontera

Hello All,

No, I am not in Jerez, but I did get the chance to talk with Carlos Casco today via telephone. The phone is such a cool invention! Anyway, Carlos filled me in on some of the news from Jerez and we talked for over an hour. It went by really fast as it always does. Carlos is just one of the funniest, most joyful men I have ever encountered. I would encourage you to read Carlos blog (You can access that on the right side of the front page.) and see what has been happening with Carlos' ministry ventures. There is a great slide show there regarding his recent trip to Bolivia, where there are 60 Bolivian Pastors enrolled in a Pastoral training course that Carlos is supervising. Next month, both Carlos and my Father-in-Law, Dan Finfrock, will travel down to Bolivia and run the Inductive Bible Study course that Dan has put together.

Things are also going good in North Africa. There are great reports coming from there. Due to circumstances that I am sure you understand, certain details cannot be shared over the internet. Suffice it say, things are going fantastic!

Meanwhile, in Spain, some troubling times have hit the church. I am again bound by the inability to share details, but we ask that you would pray for Carlos and Yolanda, as well as their daughter Yolee and her son Miqueas. Pray for their wisdom as they consider the future of the work there in Spain.

Otherwise, the church is continuing it's course. Pastor Carlos has begun to have Andre teach on Wednesday nights and Juan Carlos teach the Friday night devotions. Yolee and Andre are leading worship. Juan Carlos is a Bolivian who hooked Carlos up with the churches in Bolivia and has been a truly faithful man of the word since he started coming to the church.

In so many ways, God is using Carlos, even though the work in Spain contains little in the way of Spanish converts. I am constantly reminded and thoughtful regarding the state of the Spanish nation. Remember that this is the first generation that has had religious tolerance. This first generation then still has problems letting go of their traditions and knowing how to truly embrace Christ. The seeds are being planted now for the next generation to be able to hear the Word and embrace the truth of God.

In the meantime, God is sending over Latin American Christians, like Juan Carlos and Andre (of Brazilian Descent) who are absolutely on fire for Christ. What is happening is that the Christian churches there in Spain are being built by immigrants, whose impact in the nation is slowly being felt. We do pray that the Lord would use these faithful Christians mightily for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Of course, this is never to negate the faithfulness of men like Pastor Carlos, who are currently spreading the seed. We of course will also continue to pray for Ivan and Eunice, who are shortly going to return to their homeland for the same purpose. But that being said, there is a need for annointed preaching and proclaiming of the Word, and the annointed hearing as well! Until both work in concert, the fruit will come inconsistently.

Does that mean that we stop, or limit the work to only nationals or only missionaries? NO WAY! We keep sending, keep praying and keep equipping everyone who wants and has the means to go legally. Businessmen, musicians, artisans, anyone, who trade in hand, would willingly go and speak of Christ in the midst of their activities, would be welcome and exciting.

And it reminds me, a person who wishes to be there, has tried to be there, and cannot, that we cannot quit praying and partnering with these precious saints who take the gospel to nations and places that would not have a witness otherwise. In my mind, Carlos Casco is a modern day Paul the Apostle. How would we have partnered with Him as he wrote half of the New Testament? I pray that he might stir your heart to consider the answer to that question.

And it's not just Carlos. I mention him because he is in the nation that I have adopted. Perhaps your heart is elsewhere, in another nation. How can you get involved? Maybe, it's not another nation. How about another city!? Ever thought of Kentucky? Check out our friends Josh and Charlene Marlette, who recently re-located their family to Elizabethtown, Kentucky (Yeah, I asked why too! :) Just Kidding Guys!) and are doing the work of the Lord there.

I just write all this to say: GET INVOLVED!!! Be part of God's program wherever it is happening in any way that you can. Does God need you? NO! But are you missing out on the benefits and blessings that come with working with Him and investing into His programs? I pray that you won't miss out.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, August 11, 2007

3 Weeks Down, 3 To Go!

Hello All,

There are times when we say that we are busy. Then there are times when we are too busy to say that we are busy! These last three weeks have been just like that, especially these last two.

The first week was our VBS at Calvary Laguna. While I did not have direct, daily involvement, in a church our size, you cannot altogether avoid it's impact. We had about 70 kids come and participate in the week long event, ending with a Friday night barbecue. Our children's ministry, led by Stefanie Bammer, really outdid themselves and put on a great week for the kids.

Then came Family Camp. The plan was to rent an SUV, be on the road by 9AM and get to the Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Forest by 6PM. That plan quickly was thwarted by the fine employees of Enterprise Rent A Car. It went something like this:

8AM - Frank shows up and asks for his rental. He is asked for his major credit card. Frank looks bewildered and says, "I don't have one!"

8:15AM - A plan is set in place whereby Frank will be allowed to rent if Dan Finfrock will simply fax some information to the rental office. Sounds simple enough...

8:30AM - Fax arrives in Dan's office, only to realize that Dan's Fax has run out of ink! Getting the ink into the fax machine appears to be a bit of mystery for a while. When done, the fax successfully sends from Redlands.

8:45AM - It's reported to Frank that the fax has not come, even though it was sent 15 minutes prior. Hmm...Frank calls (I love writing in 3rd person!) and not only has Dan left the office, but has shredded the document containing all of his credit card information!!!! The loving Father-In-Law that he is, he heads back to the office to receive another fax.

8:50AM - Frank about to roll himself into fetal position, wondering, "Is the Spanish government running the Enterprise Rent A Car office?"

9:00AM - Dad re-faxes the document.

9:05AM - No document is found at Enterprise.

9:08AM - Nylinda Taylor, Dan's secretary re-sends the document again.

9:10AM - Still no document!

9:15AM - Fax machines are checked on both sides. Frank now begins to limit his vocabulary to words that come directly from King James scripture so as not to get into trouble!

9:20AM - Someone gives me an Enterprise Rent A Car card, I still don't know why, and it has a different fax number on it than the one that has been employed...

9:23AM - Enterprise Rent A Car employee of the month embarrassingly apologizes.

9:23:30AM - Frank considers the 57 different ways that he can end said employee's life!

9:25AM - Fax finally comes, drama ends with no body count and I am driving an SUV!

In the meantime, the kids are driving Lela insane! Somehow they think that running around screaming in a small house is socially acceptable! Long story short, we leave at 1PM, get there in the dark by 8:30PM!

Now, setting up a tent that has been borrowed is hard enough. Doing it in the dark is another proposition altogether! I THANK GOD for the merciful souls that came alongside us that night, men of valor and renown in my book, and set the tent up for us. These men from Calvary Laguna are indeed camping warriors and saints!

The rest of the camp experience was fine. It was sort of funny because we had borrowed everything and the entire week, a good amount of the compliments were toward our grill and equipment! It was a shame that I had to tell them it was all borrowed.

We enjoyed the time with our fellow Calvary Laguna-ites. Campfires, roasted marshmallows and some neat times of worship were the order for the week. Our kids enjoyed the dirt, finding a way to allow it upon every crevice of their bodies! But the kids were oblivious to it. Renae loved it so much that she cried that we had to leave! I don't know why. Our dirt at home is just as good! And to think that she wondered how I could be so joyous on such a "tragic" day!

Then came our third week, which was our Prayer And Fasting week. This was an additional, late add on to the calendar. It was a matter of urgency in the heart of Pastor Chris, so we went for it. As always, there is this resistance in the flesh, but by last night, it was seen that the effort expended was well worth the minor cost.

The results were surprising, even though they probably should not be. I chose a fast where my commute to and from would be solely dedicated to the Lord in prayer. Usually I will turn on my iPod, get the radio going, or get some phone calls happening. Instead, I prayed and found just how much I needed to come to the Lord to clean some things out.

It was refreshing and difficult, but I feel confident that the Lord did some wonderful work amongst us. One thing that did happen that really spoke of God's power to each of us was the healing of Pastor Chris' wife Tatum. She had awakened Tuesday morning violently ill. She drove herself to the hospital and they discovered a blockage in her intestine. During that day, we were all waiting around to find out what was going to happen to her. The word "surgery" was thrown out quite liberally and we were all expecting the worst. What we didn't expect was that that very night, after several X-rays were taken, God would answer our prayers and the doctors would confirm that they saw nothing on her X-ray. They could not find a single thing!

Come Wednesday morning, I came in expecting that I was going to have to take over responsibilities. Shortly after, I heard the report and my first reaction was doubt! Here I am, a Pastor, in the middle of a Prayer And Fasting Week and my first thought is, "Are they sure!? Have them check again!" It reminded me of that story in Acts where the church is gathered together to pray, likely for Peter. Rhoda goes to the door, sees Peter miraculously released, shuts the door and runs back to report to the prayer group. Then in great faith they tell her that it must be Peter's ANGEL!!! (Acts 12:15) I used to laugh at them, but now I understand their position!

It was God! He showed Himself strong on our behalf and healed Tatum. It was almost as if to say, "Hey Calvary Laguna: You will find me when you seek me with all your heart!" And we did! It was a great experience.

Now with just 3 weeks to go in Summer, we are gradually slowing down as a Church. This summer was the busiest summer I have ever had in the ministry, but it was fun. And as we come to September, and things get back to a routine, this September we will be found in Ladera Ranch. We will be moving on the weekend of the 17th of August. Toward that end, if there are any Inland Empire types who want to help us get the moving van loaded, your help will be most appreciated. On the 20th, we will ask our OC friends to unload us.

It's been a difficult 3 weeks, but it has also been rewarding to watch God move in our midst. He is so faithful and truly good to us all.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We're Still Alive!

Hello All,

Just wanted you to know that we're still here! So much is happening right now though, that sitting to blog what I have been thinking about is just out of the question. I will blog soon! For now, I thought you might want to know this pertinent information. According to this report, we only have 5 BILLION YEARS LEFT AS A GALAXY! What you do with this information is up to you. I am trying to get a hold of any ministry who might have "Galaxy Collision" survival kits! Some ministries still have Y2K kits, but I imagine that we will need more than extra water for this one!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez