Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Books, Books, Books

Hello All,

I have successfully rediscovered the joys of recreational reading over the last couple of months. My current and best book is called "Respectable Sins" by Jerry Bridges. His other books, "The Pursuit Of Holiness" and "The Practice Of Holiness" ministered to me mightily when I was a High School student, which was 16 years ago! Amazing how time flies!

The book is about sins that we tolerate as Christians, so it's not for you if you are against being convicted!

So, I have been steeped in this excellent book and was moving at a pretty decent clip when I came to a quote that stopped me in my tracks. It was a quote within a quote. Mr. Bridges quoted the man who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," John Newton in a letter that he wrote to a friend about the concept of time, which affords the opportunity to become anxious and frustrated, twin sins that we as Christians tolerate, but are an offense to God. Newton's quote was so good that I had to blog about it!

"From hence arise impatience, resentments and secret repinings [ie. complainings], which are not only sinful but tormenting; wheras, if all things are in his hand, if the very hairs of our head are numbered; if every event, great and small, is under the direction of his providence and purpose; and if he has a wise, holy and gracious end in view, to which everything that happens is subordinate and subservient; - then we have nothing to do, but with patience and humility to follow as he leads, and cheerfully to expect a happy issue...how happy are they who can resign all to him, see his hand in every dispensation, and believe that he chooses better for them than they possibly could for themselves."
John Newton, quoted in Respectable Sins, pg. 66

Nothing new there, but superbly well put if you ask me! I would hope that we would take this charge to heart, as we live in a world that exists to teach us otherwise.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Privilege Of Relationship

Hello All,

As many of you have known, I have asked that prayers be made for our good friend Alan Brown, who has been suffering through a bout with a rare form of cancer. It's with some sadness that I announce that the prognosis has turned, and Alan now has days, maybe weeks, to settle his affairs here on earth, and then to relocate to Christ's side. It has been a brutal 5 month process of chemotherapy and treatments that no human should have to endure, only to realize that there is no cure for this cancer. The Lord will heal in the ultimate way.

Tonight, Lela and I had the privilege of leading a group of friends into worship. This group began the process with Alan and Annette back in early January, and has been by their side throughout the entire ordeal. Now, in a fitting tribute, we all sat together and sang songs to Jesus together.

As is always the case, there was laughter and joy, but there was also a depth of understanding and relationship that can only come from experience and love. Most of the people in this room have known us for more than a decade, and in fact, two were my Junior High students some years back. That warmth and friendship was so palpable, and I realized what a privilege it was to sit there and lead this group into a place of communion with the Lord on this night.

It was peculiar in one sense, seeing that I have rarely touched my guitar since I have been back in the states. I had been trying to think of what to play and trying to remember the chords to certain songs. But when we sat there together, it all came flooding back as though no time had passed since the last time I led worship.

We flowed from one song to another, singing about God's faithfulness, His greatness and His holiness. At one point, we sat silent and just basked in the presence of the Lord. I looked up and saw and felt that familiar awe that settles over a group of people when the Spirit touches lives, and moves in power in our midst. His work of reminding His people of His own greatness and sovereignty, through the medium of musical expression, amazes me time and time again.

Afterward, Alan, Annette and Lela, Leah and I, sat together to plan Alan's memorial service. Talk about surreal. Here is a man that I remember dropping off his daughters at Youth Group, or grilling up a few choice pieces of meat, laughing gustily all the way, talking about his own memorial! What a privilege it was to sit there, look Him in the eye, and promise that I would carry out his wishes. He can rest that I will make no bones about who His Savior is. His name is Jesus, by the way, the Christ, the unique Son of God, by whose stripes, we are healed and redeemed, whose life we live on earth and whose face we will stare into for eternity! For those who believe upon Jesus, there is this hope. That's Alan's destiny, and mine. I pray that at his memorial, others will join the roll.

I praise the Lord for moments like this. It's hard. That goes without saying. These moments of pain and suffering are difficult for any minister who cares about people, to endure. I suppose that is why some ministers innoculate themselves from having close relationships with people. In some respect, I don't blame them. But I would rather share in the grief and the pain, than lose the greatness of the fellowship that Lela and I participated in tonight. That was special and worth every ounce.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, April 25, 2008

Kingsfield & Softball

Hello All,

As you can see from this new blog entry, the computer has again been resurrected, thus saving us money and time, but preventing us from having to purchase a new one. UNBELIEVEABLE! But before I digress, this blog entry is about 1 thing: Softball!

It all started so innocently during announcements on Sunday morning, which I am responsible for giving. I was kidding around with the congregation, telling them about my prowess on the softball field. I may have been embellishing a bit, but not by THAT much. I went to my seat, laughing and Chris Norman, my friend, my fellow laborer in the Kingdom, mocked my skill level in front of the entire congregation!

Now, I will say this in his defense. First, Chris has only heard me tell about my BASEball career, which I will admit, was a tribute to underachievement. In fact, it wasn't until my final game when I realized why I could not hit the ball: I was unable to see it coming at me because my peripheral vision was limited. The last game I played, I decided to open my stance and was then able to see the ball. I went 3 for 4 that day, with a double and two long singles.

Second, Chris has never seen me play anything that involved any level of physical skill. However, what he should have known is my incredible competitive streak. When he opened up the door by talking trash in front of the WHOLE congregation, I made it my mission to do all that I could to secure a win.

When the time came and the teams were chosen, a few short hours later, it was left into the hands of providence. I had really believed that Chris' team had the heavier hitters. Little did I know that we were actually the team with some strong bats and even stronger gloves! Turns out...strictly by an act of divinity, mind you...that we had a golden glove infield, with me at 3rd base, a direct shot at Chris' assertion that I was only allowed to play right field back in my playing days!

The competition was fierce, the lead changing several times over the course of the 9 inning game of the century. I won't lie: This game was not a pitching duel or a complete defensive template. The score going into that last inning was 13 -12, advantage Frank's team. It was then that we scored 4 more runs, giving us insurance, a 17-12 lead.

Jonathan Knepper, our Youth Pastor and pitcher was holding up just fine, but the bats came to life in the bottom half of that inning for Pastor Chris' team. They scored 4 straight runs! I admit, there was a pit in my stomach and an ill feeling in my heart. Would our team indeed lose on this day? Would Chris have the final laugh? The tension was palpable; you could cut it with a knife!It's 17-16, bottom of the ninth, the agreed finale between these two teams. The winning run is on 2nd, a young man, the tying run is on third. (I am not sure how he was able to stand on that base even though I did my best to push him off!) And lo and behold, Pastor Chris gets up to bat. All the glory will go to him! He will win this game! The fate of this game will be in his hands! I am aghast at the pain of losing, especially on this day.

Of course, along with Pastor Chris is his wife Tatum, who has never beaten any team that I was on. I am undefeated against her. I am realizing that with Tatum on Chris' team, that I will not only lose to Chris on the day that he mocked me, but Tatum will have gained her only victory against me.

The ball gets tossed to the plate. Chris is watching for his pitch. I am a bundle of nerves. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, but was only a second or two later, Jono pitches what would be his final pitch of the day. Chris makes contact... and pops the ball up...toward THIRD BASE!!! The entire field was silent. I moved forward about 10 steps to get under it. I don't remember
hearing a word as the ball flew into the path of the afternoon sun. For a second I lost it in the brightness of the sun, but soon recovered and watched the ball float right into my glove!

I heard the song of irony play deep in my satisfied heart. Vindication is SO SWEET! Oh and Tatum is still 0 and ?? against me!

This day was so fun. The brothers and sisters that came out to play had a fantastic time together. For those that played or watched or came out on their bikes and laughed at all of us (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!), it will be a great memory for all of us Kingsfeldians, especially me!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

I Am Sad: These Moments Were On Video!

Hello All,

After the softball game of the century, the kids got to play a little bit. Both Renae and Caleb made contact. Renae actually rounded first base. Caleb hit the ball and went straight to second! So...we're going to need to do a little work on that!

However, the video was amazing and I'm sad to report that you and I cannot watch this moment. I wish I could say next time, but unfortunately, you don't get to do your first at bat ever again! Oh well, at least we have pictures. And they are cute, so I'll console myself in that reality!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

While I Try To Resurrect My Computer AGAIN...

Hello All,

Once again, my computer is flirting with death. At this point, I wish it would COMMIT! I grow tired of waiting, saying goodbye, and then looking forward to a new computer, only to watch the one that I have now come back to life, to the cheshire cat smile delight of my wife! ARGH!!!

Anyway, while you are waiting, I thought you might check out this blog entry by former contemporary Christian Artist, Steve Camp, who often has very insightful blogs about the state of the church. I loved this blog entry and thought that some of you might find it humorous or too true to be humorous!

Either way, I hope to be back relatively soon, as I have a report on last weekend's softball game that I would love to get out in time for the people who were at Kingsfield on Sunday. There is some information that you might love to read about! Plus there are pictures of me in action. You won't want to miss that!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, April 21, 2008

So This Is Who You Are!

Hello All,

As you might have noticed, just about 3 weeks ago, give or take a few days, we put up a counter on the right side of our blog. Within a week, we were surprised to find out that we had visits in the hundreds. This makes sense, as the rule with non-bloglines using readers, is to check in on someone to see whether or not they have updated their blogs recently. Sometimes, that can be a couple of times a day. Lela and I routinely check throughout the day, to see if anyone has commented, so there is 10% of our visitations right there.

Then today, I got really curious to see more about our visitors. I went to statcounter's website and logged in. I was able to find people from California looking in. No surprise there of course. Saw some people in Spain. Yeah, pretty normal. Germany? North Carolina? Canada? Cave in Pakistan!? Ok, the last one was a joke! But wow, we have an international audience! Pretty cool.

So, welcome to each of you, whoever you truly are. Perhaps you are old friends who remember the mullet days, or you are friends of other friends, or you are just entirely bored and are surfing endlessly until something mildly entertaining piques your interest. In any event, I'm glad you're here.

You might be wondering why I blog as I do. This whole thing started with Jason Dean telling me that I should have a place for my Spain mission supporters to check in on. I thought that this was a great idea, and he graciously set up a page for Lela and I. Most of the first half of our posts were dedicated to letting our supporters in on our life in Spain.

But hey, what about now!? Why continue? We are obviously no longer on the mission field, but the fun of blogging just keeps me coming back for more. I love to write and I love that my family and friends can check in on our family, and the happenings that...well, happen!

In many ways, I wish that my Grandfather and Father had blogs back in their day. It would be fun to have read about their lives, in their words, as things were happening. In that way, I feel like I am writing for my kids as well, so that they might have a little bit of an idea of what I was thinking when they were growing up. Thankfully, I have enough tact to greatly edit what I actually write, but they will get the gist of the good memories!

I like to write about God, my family, the ministry of the gospel and just about everything else that touches my heart. Somehow, whoever you are out there, I hope that you will see a Pastor who loves Jesus, life and the people around him. I pray that you might find me normal enough to approach, and dedicated enough to respect.

More than anything though, I hope that you share my love for Jesus and His life. Wherever, whoever you are, Jesus has a passionate love for you. His submission to the capital punishment of His day, the cross, on your behalf proves His love and because of His subsequent, bodily resurrection from the dead, all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. I pray that you are in that number, and that your love for Him increases to the day of His return. For my part, that's my proclamation; that is all of my hope! I pray that it would be yours as well.

If you wanted to ever submit your life to Christ because of something that you have read here, that would not only utterly amaze me, but it would humble and honor me to know about it.

To all the rest, I hope that you will keep laughing right along with me.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, April 20, 2008

And This Is Where You Are Today...

Just thought it would be cool for you to see...yeah maybe not!?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pastor Carlos Has Left The Building...

...about 3 days ago!

Hello All,

As you may have heard or read this last week, Pastor Carlos Casco came out to visit us here in California. It was such a privilege to have him here and it was truly a blessing to have him meet so many of you who have heard so much about him from Lela and myself. I have asked Pastor Carlos to consider a two week stay next time, as there was simply not enough time to facilitate
the meetings that I wanted to get going for him. For example, I would have loved to do a full Spain Chain meeting, but with only a week, the timing was not feasible. Next time, we'll do an open house BBQ, which would be really fun. Anyway, here are some pictures from this inaugural visit.

Carlos' first Mocha! I am so thankful that I got to introduce him to the "bucks" near our humble abode. As you can see below, he approved!

A "Frank and Carlos" week cannot be spent without various computer functions. We are both Mac enthusiasts, so we are equally yoked, but there is always some update or program to download. If you put a different background to this picture, you would have a good idea of what we did a lot of in Spain!

Carlos, meet Yogurtland! Not just any Yogurtland, but the brand new NO LINE version in Rancho Santa Margarita! Carlos, like any first time visitor, went a little crazy on the yogurt toppings, but thoroughly enjoyed the new cultural phenomenon...I hope...that is Yogurtland.I will simply entitle this picture, "Pilgrimage!" (Hey, attention "blogger in draft" people: I don't like blue fonts and I don't want this to be underlined!)

Finally, and most importantly, Pastor Carlos was able to share at several places, with several different groups and several different Pastors. This picture was taken after he shared at the Men's study that I normally teach on Tuesday mornings. I know that each of the men were really blessed and inspired that morning by hearing Carlos' testimony. As you can see, Chad Gloetzner, a fellow blogger himself, was still reeling 15 minutes afterward!

All in all, it was a great visit from a brother and Pastor that we respect and admire greatly. If you would, please pray for him as he is currently working in Bolivia, preparing a series of seminars for Pastors and church members there, including an Inductive Bible Study seminar with my Father-In-Law, Dan Finfrock.

I hope that if you did not get the chance to meet Carlos, or hear him speak, that the next time he is here, we will have some things in place for everyone that wants to, to meet him.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shout To The Lord & American Idol

Hello All,

I don't really want to talk much about this, especially as there are thousands of articles all over the net about this subject. You can see this article here, or here, or here or here for that matter! I definitely find myself caught between outrage over the omission of the name of Jesus, and ambivalence over the consistent Anti-Jesus bent of the world. I want to yell, "Let's boycott" while simultaneously resigning, "What did you expect?" This all being said, I have seen in some of these articles, the report that A.I. got it right on the second night, as well as on iTunes, putting Jesus back into the song in their performance. So, I'll leave that there.

But I felt that there were some points that warranted discussion. Some years ago, I read a book by Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer called "The Church At The End Of The 20th Century." A point that he made, and I feel I will likely butcher it, carried the sentiment that the church would be filled with words and sayings that would be "god words" but be entirely innocuous in nature to the "secular" world. For example, there is no offense in the concept of the word "God" or the word "Savior" or "Lord." How about the "Big guy upstairs!?" I will always champion the cause of proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only hope for the salvation of mankind. I will always hold to the cross and blood of Jesus Christ as the sole means of man's justification. We soften the blow when we proclaim anything less!

So, we can have a worship song that works for the world if we remove just one word: Jesus! That's sort of interesting...I wonder how many songs in our current vocabulary could be just as acceptable to the world?

That being said, I must say that Shout To The Lord is one of the greatest worship songs in the world, at least in the sense of how many churches have been doing this song since it came out. This single song has brought people into a place of communion with Christ all around the world and in virtually every tongue. That is a pretty cool distinction. Darlene Z...well, the lady that wrote the song, has crafted a wonderful song, and she deserves all the credit in the world for allowing the Lord to inspire her with the necessary excellence and creativity.

Which leads me to another point about worship songs. They have really changed over the last 20 years! I remember a time in the church when a worship song was a verse, that you kept from being repetitive by singing in rounds and girl repeats! Remember "Humble Thyself!?" "...And he (ladies repeat, "and he"...) Then, songs progressed to a verse and a legitimate chorus. Today, the songs that we sing unto the Lord have come into full maturation musically, complete with intros, verses, and bridges. It's somewhat telling that Shout To The Lord is so well crafted, that the world cannot ignore it's musical excellence.

Now, can we marry the two: Musical excellence and scriptural integrity, so woven through the tune that no one phrase could be removed without doing violence to the meaning of the song!? What a world that would be!

Does this sound like I am leading to an "all hymns, all the time" mentality? Not really. I love hymns when they are done well. But what I would love more than doing the old hymns, is for the church to once again embrace deep theological truth, and be so inspired to write fresh expressions of truth that will display an honor to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and be RELEVANT musically! When will that happen? When the pulpits of the world and the pulpiteers...oh, don't get me started!

For now, our best attempts at worshipping God will for the most part be expressed at the level of where our Christianity defaults to. Is our Christianity "me-centered" or "thee-centered?" Our personal worship and the worship of our churches will be determined by the answer to this question. The more that the former is the truth, the more shows like American Idol will have inspirational tunes to draw from, but will likely wonder what makes the church and their worship so different.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

This Will Save You So Much Time!!!

Hello All,

I wanted to write specifically to the blog reading community in this post. There are at least 700 in the last 10 days (at last check) of you out there who read this blog. Well, take away the 10% of that, which is Lela and I just checking to see if anyone has commented. That still leaves over 600 visits. On that note, I might just say that the numbers have been quite a surprise to me. I knew that my family and certain friends have been watching...who are the rest of you!? Anyway, aside from that, and away from my point, I wanted to write this post for those of us who are checking each other's blogs.

If you are like me, and I pray for your sake that you are not in most respects, then you are loving the idea of checking up on old friends, as well as what your current friends are up to. Up until Sunday afternoon, that meant going to each individual blogspot or wordpress page individually. The page comes up, and alas, the visit is for nothing, as nothing has changed. In fact, they haven't posted since September 2007! (Gee, I hope that they are still alive!? This reminds me of a great story...another time!) So there you are: Hope dashed on the rocks of inactivity. Oh well, onto the next friend. Repeat, for me, 26 other times.

Well, no more. A friend of ours, a fellow "Kingsfeldian," and a fellow blogger, Blythe Hill, has through her blog, unveiled one of the most helpful posts for blog lovers ever! She gives the lowdown on how to set up a bloglines account, which is essentially an rss feed catcher, that will allow you to check on ALL your friend's blogs in one place!! Just think what you will do with all that extra time. It's 2 more chapters of the Bible, 100 extra sit-ups, one more mile, you name it! Bloglines is here and the Blythe's blog post is here.

Now, go and enjoy all that extra time! Perhaps you can begin enjoying all that extra time by watching this amazing video!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, April 07, 2008

Look Who's In The House!

Hello All,

That's right: Pastor Carlos Casco is in the HOUSE! Pretty cool! Carlos flew in from Texas just a few days ago and is here for just a few days more. He has been pretty busy and will continue to be so for the remainder of his one week stay. To say the least, we have been totally blessed to have him here with us. For those of you men who have the ability to come out and hear him speak on Tuesday morning at the Morning Fill, I can't encourage you enough to give up some sleep and get to Kingsfield by 6AM. It's going to be great to hear from Pastor Carlos on this very rare occasion. I really hope that you don't miss it!

Tuesday Morning, 6AM, Kingsfield Church in Irvine!


Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Thoughts On The Baptism

Hello All,

For those who have been checking in, you know that Kingsfield Church held it's quarterly baptism this last Sunday. It was held at Ted and Fayanna's house, who are truly gifted with the gift of hospitality. As you can see from the pictures, space was limited, and the water, heated to 80 degrees, welcomed 15 dedicants. I wish I could tell you the stories that I know, but I will reserve that for when we all sit in the Kingdom, and time is no longer a taskmaster. Suffice it to say, in the pictures before you, there are wonderful stories of the redeeming hand of Christ, who has changed hearts and lives and moved them toward Himself.

Getting in the water and beginning the process got me thinking about Christ's baptism. I could not help but think that there were certain elements of Christ's baptism that would be typical for our baptism.

Before I get to what I mean, I want to share what a believer's baptism is. It is the intentional declaration of the believer to the watching world that he or she is identified in the work of Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. In baptism, I am saying that I am in Christ, and the symbol of that is my immersion into the water (death), submersion under the water (burial) and then the coming out of the water (resurrection). I am publically declaring what has been privately held, that I am Christ's, dead to my old ways and manners, and alive, in the power of God's Spirit, to become a slave to God for righteousness. (Read Romans 6:1-4 for the complete picture)

So, with that as my context, I began to think about what happened to Jesus after He was baptized. The first thing that happened came from heaven.

"When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'"
Matthew 3:16,17

There was an attestation from heaven to the person of Christ, to His authenticity. A stamp of God the Father's approval on God the Son, with God the Spirit descending upon Him, all three persons of the Trinity, seen in this one verse. I want to say that I believe that as we proclaim the Lordship of Christ over our lives at Baptism, that the Lord proclaims His stamp of approval upon that believer, who has shown by baptism, that a work of salvation has taken place in His heart. I believe that the Lord is proud to say that this person is His beloved, in whom He is well pleased.

Why do I say that? Simply because I am in Christ. God the Father is pleased with Christ, and I am in Him! God the Father sees me through the lens of Christ, the Son.

The second thing that happened came from hell.

"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."
Matthew 4:1

The Gospel of Mark says that he went immediately out into the wilderness. I almost imagine Jesus going alone, still dripping, away from the crowds, in the privacy of the desert, to be tempted by the devil. It's interesting to me that Mark again uses an interesting word in his description of this same event. Mark says that the Spirit "drove" Jesus into the wilderness. This is a divinely ordained event. Why? Jesus will defeat the enemy, who uses the same temptations that he did against Adam and Eve, when He is the weakest physically, in a desolate place. He will defeat the enemy and win where Adam and Eve failed.

What will happen to a believer who goes through a spiritual event, like baptism? I believe that he or she can expect the enemy to fight hard against them. I have certainly seen people come out of the water or any spiritual event, only to come away and find that there is a different level of spiritual warfare in their life.

Finally, the third thing I see happened on the Earth.

"From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
Matthew 4:17

Jesus began, after His baptism, engaged in His public ministry. Prior to this, Jesus has privately grown in wisdom and stature among men. However, now it is time for Him to be publicly known. Something has made it appropriate to enter into public ministry now. It seems that Christ's baptism is His launch into ministry. And what better time is there? For a believer who has gotten up the courage to stand before his peers and family, and say, "I am living by a different code and agenda in life," this is the perfect time to be emboldened to follow the Lord in the things of ministry.

These are just thoughts that I have been having since last weekend. I would hope that for those who have not been baptized, that these thoughts might stimulate a "what if?" in your life. For those who have been baptized, I hope that this will bring comfort and encouragement, realizing that there might be some warfare occurring in your life. Either way, I hope that we continue to see more people baptized at Kingsfield, as we continue to devote ourselves to the Lord.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

P.Y.F. (Packinghouse Youth Fellowship)

Hello All,

I was invited to speak at the Packinghouse tonight, to address the Youth Group. First, I thought I would thank Jeff Harry for the invitation, a young man who was once in my Junior High group. Jeff, should you read this, thanks for having me out. It was my privilege to be there. Second, to the youth that were there, you guys were fun to speak to. I would caution you not to laugh with guys like me as much as you did, because, as you saw, it only encourages them to continue in dorkdom!

I will tell you that the night was a much more powerful experience for me than I gave it credit for. I had sort of felt that I would walk onto campus and feel unaffected by the atmosphere. I walked onto campus, and the flood of memories just overpowered me. The smell of the orange grove, likely the last one in that part of Redlands, the look of the setting sun on the three buildings, even the stairs, evoked powerful memories for me.

You might wonder about the stairs. Let me tell you a story about me and my old office mate/surrogate older brother Attila. We used to compete in the most ridiculous ways with each other. For example, we had a door that you always needed a key to open. Often, I or he, would wait at the top of the stairs by the door. When he or I would come up the stairs, we would quickly close the door in the face of the other, and laugh hysterically when the other guy had to pull out his keys to get into the office! I would often be on the inside while Attila would be left reaching for his keys. "It's my blog, my story..."

With this as the background, we would often race each other to our office, so that we could get the one-up on the other guy. On this particular occasion, I was running toward the building when I tripped on the bottom stair, and subsequently sprained not one, but BOTH ANKLES!! UNREAL moment of pain. A testimony to our ridiculousness: Attila believed for a moment that I was faking it! And he was right to distrust me! I would have pulled that trick, but that time, a real injury occurred.

Alright, LARGE side-note! In any event, I came into the main sanctuary and every sight and sound brought me back. There were the thermostats that I monitored after each service for years. There was the soundboard that I stood by and talked with various soundmen and enjoyed the banter of the bands. There is that ancient overgrown, dolly thing that still has that fake grass type cover that we used to cart really large loads with.

And then there was the group of faces, excited to be there. I was reminded of the many faces that I watched come in and out of this sanctuary over the years. The people who were the most important to me on that weekly basis. It was amazing to me.

Speaking of amazing, the worship team! Incredible! Unreal! They set a great tone, and an easy transition for me to come up and speak in. The Nieves Family and Brad Bischoff, dear friends of mine, are a true blessing to the body of believers there at the Packinghouse. Oh, and the surprise of the evening: Libby Redinger! WOW! What a voice she has! I did not say this in front of the group, but I remember her when she was very, very little! It always makes me feel so old to say that...

All in all, it was tremendous evening for me personally, and I know that it was a blessing to at least 5 High Schoolers who responded to the message that the Lord ministered to their hearts. I pray that the Lord will solidify and plant that message into their hearts and that it would become life to them. I pray that they would continue, as a group, to walk excellently with the Lord!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez