Tuesday, November 06, 2007

#4 I Stopped Promoting Myself & My Virtues

Hello All,

My good friend Kim Hutchcroft would often quote Psalm 37:23 to us young men around the Packinghouse in Redlands. The verse reads, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way." I used to and still do, love when Kim prays mentioning this verse. God has ordered my steps. He has laid out a path before me, one that I don't need to find. All I need to do is follow the Lord closely because He knows where He is going.

Sounds simple enough I suppose, yet I have often caught myself in "promotion mode." What do I mean by this? Promotion mode is when a person attempts to thrust themselves into a situation where they might be the answer to a need or a perceived want.

Let me explain with a story. It was Sunday night at the Packinghouse which was blessed with the opportunity to have guest artist John David Webster as the musical muse for the evening. JDW is an exceptional artist, whose first album blew all of our minds because of the awesome songwriting and craftsmanship that attended it, a rarity to be sure among Christian circles, where cliche and imitation rule the day...in my opinion, of course!

The other great thing about John's album though was that he had members of one of my favorite fusion bands, Karizma, and namely, my favorite drummer in the world, Vinnie Colaiuta. So, naturally, each of the musicians at the Packinghouse were anxious to meet John David Webster, and to propose to him that we might learn his music and join him the next time that he came.

This idea began with a good friend of mine, but I made sure that I actually went after it, seeking to convince John that we could pull off the musical challenge. I mentioned it to him in passing before the service, then during the service, then just after the service. Each time, he politely said that it would be great to have a band, but stopped short of endorsing the plan.

I was frustrated and thought, I am going to really press him right before he leaves, seeing that I was usually one of the last ones out of the building back in those days. Kim, JDW and I sat by the old stage in the old building and I pressed hard. John David would not budge despite my best sales pitch! I left and got in my car, thoroughly unsatisfied.

Now, back in the day, I was blessed with a 5 minute commute across the wash, and into Highland. Right when I entered the wash, the Lord spoke to me in a clear voice about my self-promotion. He said, "Haven't I always given you gigs and put you with great musicians? Haven't I done this without your help?" In those 5 minutes, God flashed all the experiences, the recordings, and the great memories that I had had up to that night. I was humbled and grateful, but it was still a LONG 5 minutes!

From that point on, I purposed not to insert myself as the answer to anyone's problems. I was not going to promote myself or the virtues that I might possess. I want to take every open door that I am invited through, that the Lord opens for me, but there is a huge difference between that, and what I was trying to do, shoving a proverbial crowbar in the door that God had purposed to close, likely more for my benefit than my detriment.

In ministry, it's easy to believe that you are the answer to someone's dilemma. In ministry, it's still an attraction to be included in situations of our own making. But my pillar of freedom comes when I am trusting in His goodness to open the door and then, consequently, trusting in His goodness when a door is not opened. The embracing of what He opens and the embracing what He won't is the pillar of freedom that let's me enjoy serving Him in ministry the most.

I hope that this helps you as you serve Him.

Blessings...To Our Friends
Frank Sanchez

6 comments:

Carrie said...

http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/

there is an interesting blog on a new movie coming out "The Golden Compass"...thought you would be interested to read about it.

Frank & Lela said...

It's Carrie Allen on the Blogomender!

Hey Carrie,

Thanks for the rec. I'll check it out, seeing that I have heard a grip about this movie!

Have a great day.

Blessings,
F.S.

April said...

hi...
hey, i just sent you all an email, but not sure if it's still a good one. i'd love to put you on my mailing list, so if you could send me your mailing address, it would be super-duper. my email is the same: aprilfol@aol.com. you guys were such prayerful supporters when i was in india, so i'd love to have that same support as i move...

Jason & Kris Bauernfeind said...

excellent thoughts on self promotion my friend... i wish i would have thought of that, ha. Glory to God for everything...

Frank & Lela said...

April,

Thanks for checking in. I'm going to put your blog on the links side of our front page. I know that Lela emailed you to put us on the mailing list so that we might pray and hold you up as you continue to serve Him faithfully.

Jason,

Thanks for the kudos. It was a painful lesson, but worth it if the Lord uses it in someones, even my own children's lives.

Blessings,
F.S.

April said...

frank:
i just now checked your blog to see if you'd responded...
could you still send me your address as i don't think i received it.
much love to you guys...