Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Scream Like A Little Girl" World Premiere Video!

Yeah, you won't see this anywhere else!

Blessings To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vacation 08' Report Pt.1

Hello All,

I am officially on vacation! There are few better feelings than leaving the office on the last day before a vacation, knowing that you won't be back for 2 weeks! Pretty nice!
Unfortunately, I began vacation 08' with a nasty cold. My first 2 hours of my first day were spent in sleepless torment. I had gone to bed at 10PM and woke up at 11PM with inflamed sinuses. Midnight rolled around and I was out of bed, downstairs in front of the T.V. watching a Sherlock Homes movie. At 2AM, there was enough relief to hit the hay. Just hours later, we visited a popular church in the area.

The church, which will remain nameless, was refreshing to be in for some reasons. There was a genuine sense of anticipation in the air, as people crowded into their seats several minutes before the service began. The service began right on time, and with the worship team completely on! But then came the speaker.

To be fair, this speaker did not represent the totality of teaching at the particular church. Also to be fair, this brother probably has had other occasions to more fully express the truths of his beliefs. So, the following comments represent more of my thinking than a rebuttal to what I heard this morning.

The issue at hand is the Social Justice commitment to missions, which was the backbone to his entire message. For those unfamiliar with this concept, the emphasis is that we as Christians would go into the nations, and seek to right the wrongs which those particular nations face. Poverty, mistreatment, medical relief, hunger, are all popular campaigns, but are certainly not the only ones. My beef with this movement was expressed well by the statements that this brother made. The sentiment is simply this: Meet man's physical needs and they will be in position to then be in harmony with God. "Let's simply abolish hunger and people will come to God."

Let me be clear: Social missions should be something that Christians do in missions. Social justice should be the means, but not the ends. Divorced from the ends, namely the sharing of the gospel of Christ, we simply reduce missions to humanitarianism, which any heathen can do! In fact, there are some wonderful humanitarian based organizations that go into Africa, feed starving babies and restore them to physical life. Some of these Doctors are Athiests, completely against God!

Proponents of social justice missions complain that the "other side" errs on the side of presenting the gospel without meeting physical needs. "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!" Perhaps I agree with them, but this sentiment is just as much of a cop out. To simply meet someone's physical needs without ever introducing them to Jesus Christ is a job half done!

I'll be honest: When Jesus and Paul do not fit into a missions philosophy, I tend to think that that philosophy might need some work! Jesus at some points in His ministry refused to feed the masses that had gathered simply for that purpose. Most of Paul's missionary work was done without any social aspect to it at all! Of course, this does not discount the need for good social justice ministry that seeks to honor Christ and make Him known. I only submit that point to emphasize that the SPIRITUAL needs of any person, from any nation, supercedes their physical needs in terms of importance. So long as that balance is maintained, I am all for social justice missions.

A great example of this to me is Carlos Casco, who goes into the impoverished towns that he with a van filled with toys, dental equipment, eye-glasses and so much more. But then, in every case and with every opportunity, shares the gospel with every creature that will listen! "Here are those eyeglasses that you need. While you try them on and I adjust them, let me tell you about Jesus Christ, who loves you and has sent me to care for your eyes and your soul!" THAT is the social justice mission that I can get behind.

And just when I was about to finish this blog entry, Pastor Josh Harris noted some sentiments that he heard in a Mark Dever sermon, which can be found right here.

I'm not sure I should be thinking about these things right now, but I hard to turn things off!

But I did better "turning things off" on Monday! Lela and I went out to the I.E. right where it's roughly 250˚ in the shade! What possessed us? I was commissioned by my Father to come out and record drums for two tracks on his upcoming album, which landed me in Joe Marchiano's studio. Recording with Joe is thankfully, a huge part of my musical experience and today was just another cool chapter in our relationship. Joe's new place is extravagent, with great equipment and sitting room in the engineering room! Back in the day, we had to listen back to the tracks, virtually on each other's laps! Today, in the new place, I had my choice of two chairs or a couch! While I recorded for a couple of hours, Lela and the kids went over to the "Craw" Palace and hung at the Hale residence. I finished recording after they had gotten some burritos from CUCA'S! Thankfully, I would not be defiled. I ATE AT EL BURRITO! In case you don't my feelings about this, check out this blog, right here. When that thread was live, there were 40 comments...anyone want to add any new sentiments?

Then, we went as a family to see Kung Fu Panda. The movie was fun; Caleb laughing at the movie was absolutely the greatest joy we had today! Watching him belly laugh at all the slapstick humor was totally hilarious!

Two days down and things are going well, including a cold that is going away.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Hello All,

Just a quick note to each of your Fathers on this special day. As a son, Father and Pastor, I can relate to how difficult it is to keep it all in balance. Some days you succeed, other days you fail miserably! Not many understand the dynamics and oftentimes, you have to hold it in and carry it between yourself and the Lord, knowing that sometimes "talking it out" is just counterproductive. You know that the junk you often have to carry and subsequently release to the Lord, is more than made up for in the days that you succeed. Seeing happy faces when you come in the door, knowing that the bills are paid and the relationships that make up those "off hours" makes up for any previous grief quite nicely.

You men, the ones who are Fathers that read here often: Thanks for letting the Lord work through you this year and for staying faithful to the call of God upon your life. Thanks for investing in your family, in all the big and little ways. Thanks for being the example in other guys' lives, as oftentimes, that is the biggest motivator of men: Seeing Other Men Do It Right!

You all are a blessing to your respective families. May God give you the strength to do it again this year.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, June 09, 2008

- by +, not + by -

Hello All,

I was musing over this concept the other day, while I was having an early morning coffee with a man who needed a little encouragement. He was discouraged about the way that things were going spiritually for him. He had rid himself of just about every vice that he had, except for the final vice that would be the most difficult, but he felt that this emptying would equal spiritual success.

I sat there, listening, but wondering where we have come to this conclusion whereby we measure our Christianity, our walk with Christ by our abstinence. We measure ourselves by what we don't do. I brought to mind the old saying "Don't drink, don't smoke, don't chew and don't go with girls who do!" What is wrong with this concept? I suggest that there are two things wrong with it.

First, for the individual. Ridding oneself of one or all vices is only half of the battle. For someone in this position, there is a false sense of security that is created. Christianity is not about what we don't do! The second thing that this creates is a tension between that person and the world around them. Now, don't misunderstand me: There should be a tension between the world and the believer. But imagine unnecessarily heightening that tension by sitting in a group with a bunch of non-Christians who are drinking alcohol. They offer you some, and you say, "I am a Christian, so I don't drink!" Now, you have been rude, and have given the wrong impression of Christianity, for Christ neither accepts or rejects a person based on what they do or don't drink!

As I continued to muse in my mind, still listening to this brother, a passage came to my mind. Luke 11:24 and following, provide an interesting backdrop to this conversation.

"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
Luke 11:24-26

Jesus is talking about a spiritual principle in the spiritual realm that applies in the physical realm as well. You can clean out your house, figuratively speaking. If however, there is not a subsequent filling of your house, that neutrality leaves you vulnerable to return to that vice that you left. I have seen this over and over again.

A person leaves a certain lifestyle, but does not assume an alternate or other lifestyle. Soon, they are back with their old friends, doing the same old thing. I remember notably a friend of mine who destroyed all of his tape collection (that's right; I said "tape collection!) and rid himself of all the "devil's" music. He did not replace that void with anything and ended up buying his tape collection all over again, this time on CD!

Please don't misunderstand: It's vital for us to be relieved of certain habits and vices. To discipline ourselves in the use of our tongue, and what we allow into our hearts, is of vital importance. But to simply empty ourselves is not the point. It's what we begin to do that makes the difference in our lives.

I don't just stop drinking. I start praying when I'm depressed or want to escape.

I don't just stop cussing. I start learning to share with brothers and sisters my frustrations.

I don't just stop partying. I start spending time with believers, in meaningful, purposeful relationships.

It's subtraction by addition, not addition by subtraction! Take a look at such verses as Ephesians 4:20-24 and Colossians 3:8-11. Whenever the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesian or Colossian believers to put off the old man, he quickly adds that they should put on the new man. The final straw in this line of reasoning came to me from a statement made by the Apostle Peter. He begins his second epistle talking about all that God had given to them and to us, power to live the Christian life, and promises to sustain us. Then comes a perfect statement for the point that I am making, and really the point that the Word is making.

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, ADD to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
II Peter 1:5-8

ADD to your faith! Be innocent of evil, but excellent in what is good! These are not just mental attributes. Each requires an action. Virtue is a mindset, but there are accompanying actions. Knowledge is mental, but in order to attain knowledge, an accompanying action is necessary.

Neutrality is a break from sin; To aggressively add to one's faith is to have sin's hold broken from our lives, by the new control of holy living. This is the essence of Christianity and the true transforming work that God wants to do in each of our lives.

By the way, the guy I talked with got it! He was encouraged and as he walks, I am sure he will find what I have written here to be the truth for transformation.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, June 06, 2008

Happy Anniversary...To Us!

Hello All, Yes, it's true: Lela and I have been married for 11 years! I for one, would do it all over again and can't wait for the next 11! I love you honey!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Thursday, June 05, 2008

See You Soon Dear Friend

Hello All,

Six months ago, we asked you to pray for Alan Brown, who had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Our prayers were for his bodily healing and restoration to health. As time has passed, our prayers have turned from miraculous intervention, to merciful completion. Today, I received the news that Alan has gone home to be with the Lord.

I admit that even though it was expected and even desired for him to cast off the suffering that his physical body was experiencing, it was still a great heart break to hear Annette's pained voice over the phone. In that moment, we both shared grief, that turned to praise, as we both understood that God had answered our ultimate prayer, choosing to heal Alan totally, in His very presence.

The sadness and pain however, will not diminish for those of us who knew him, and especially so for those who knew him well. Alan was a man of great humor, who loved and honored his wife and daughters. I can almost hear his hearty guffaw now in the annals of my mind, as I survey the moments that we had together. Many of those moments include a hearty laugh and a piece of meat, only complete because both of our families were there sharing in the fun!

We ask that you pray for Annette, Sarah and Katie, who will now face the memorial service and the weeks that will follow. Pray for their strength and comfort during this very difficult time of their lives.

One final request for prayer: The memorial service will be next Wednesday at the Packinghouse in Redlands. Alan, prior to his death, asked me to officiate his memorial service. His sole desire was that I make sure to present the gospel as clearly and poignantly as possible, something that I intend to fulfill each and every time I do a memorial service. I ask that you would lift me up in prayer and that the Lord would speak very clearly through me at that time. What a joy and privlege it would be to see God do the work of drawing people to Himself at this occasion. Pray that we might see it happen.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Staff Retreat And A Short Update

Hello All,

It just seems so cliche to say, "Oh, we have been sooo busy." Don't you just want to say, "SOOOO WHAT!" Yeah, I know what you mean! But truth be known, we have been bogged down quite a bit lately. All good things mind you like a staff retreat, but little blog time has been available. So, with this blog entry, I'll attempt to bring you up to speed.

Before I get to our family update, I thought I would just share a word or two about the staff retreat which we participated in this last weekend.
It was held at a beautiful house in Lake Arrowhead, owned by a very hospitable family from Kingsfield Church. The house is right on Lake Arrowhead and is spacious enough to accomdate our entire staff, which has grown by 2 people since our last retreat, which we took back in October. I have taken the opportunity to provide a few pics from the weekend.

The retreat itself was very fun, relaxing and challenging, if that can be believed. Usually, those words don't exist in the same sentence or happen in the same weekend! But God was gracious, and the staff enjoyed each of these sensations in good measure.

The spiritual challenge was to check our motivation for ministry. It was clear that each of us wanted the Lord to increase a love for Himself in our hearts, so that the ministry that would come
from our staff would originate out of that motivation. It seems subtle, but it is one of the most vitally important distinctions that needs to be made by anyone in ministry. There was a song that we used to sing at Redlands which said, "Reduce me to love." That I felt, was the theme of our retreat.

The highlight of each retreat though is the gamesmanship that takes place on the last night. It's guys versus girls, usually with catchphrase as the great equalizer. However, as much as that game has been the traditional plumbline between the guys and the girls, in a strange and mystical turn of fate, somehow, someway, the game was "forgotten." Hmm... Of course, nobody thought much of it at the time, but if you are a fan of Oliver Stone's "JFK," one might be a tad suspicious.

Thankfully, or regrettably, a game was found: Guesstures, which we soundly defeated the
women in the last time we played. However, this was the old Guesstures, so immediately, we were faced with a challenge that went beyond simply defeating the women, which had been our habit. This version of the game required great skill at charades, and great fingers to keep the cards from falling through the cracks. Two entirely different disciplines for guys, especially since we are immediately handicapped due to larger fingers!

The ladies torched us in game 1 of 3. They were admittedly hungrier for a victory than the guys, seeing that they had taken home the bitter taste of defeat each previous occasion. When you are used to winning against a certain opponent, the tendency is to slack and expect a victory. Unfortunately, sometimes expectations are simply unmet. While we played an impressive second game, we could not get over the hump, and subsequently fell to the ladies, 2 games to 0

At first, I admit that I was disappointed. It's obvious that the ladies that were added to the team this year, Brenda Paternostro and Carrie Allen, fellow blogger and newest staff addition, were the difference makers in this latest round of combat. However, when thinking about perspective, one might easily surmise that even the lowest team on the totem pole can take down the champs on any given night. The L.A. Clippers had a really bad team this year, and EVEN THEY beat a few great teams. If one were to examine the records, they would look like this: Kingsfield Guys Staff, 5 wins, 1 loss; Kingsfield Girls Staff, 1 win, 5 losses. Which team would you rather be on!? Ladies, I predict that your reign will be short and that the next time, us men will not be caught without the proper games, or mental attitude!

At the end of the day, these retreats are truly marked with a genuine love and care for the fellow
staff members. I really am grateful to be working with each one, and am looking forward to spending some life with these great, insightful and creative people, who are dedicated to seeing God move in a great way at Kingsfield Church.

So, how's the family?

• Let's start with the kids. Renae is about to finish her second Kindergarten year. This, I remind you, is her 5th Kindergarten class. She is right where she needs to be skill wise. She is quite the prolific reader and her penmanship looks at least as good as her Dad and Mom's! Caleb is enjoying gum and soda, the right earned after he turned 5 last month. Lizzy is still a brute force of nature, unintentionally hurting everyone around her because of her reckless energy. Not a day goes by without a below the belt hit or a head-butt to the nose! She is the Kimbo Slice of our family! The current movie du jour is "Pippi In The South Seas." I admit that I at one time, used to watch this movie, as a child. Every time the kids are watching it, it brings back memories, and is at the same time endearing because of it's ridiculous humor.

• Lela has finished her first year as the worship leader for the Women's study. In the time that she has had, she has returned to the keyboard to write a few worship tunes. As many of you might remember from the Packinghouse days, Lela wrote "Let Me Cling," "I Believe" and "Worthy To Be Praised." The Lord has given her such a gift to be able to write worshipful songs and if she did not have to attend to her four kids, she would likely be a professional songwriter! Maybe one day, we'll have the ability to play some of her tunes right here on this site. For those of you who are Lela fans, be praying!

• Frank (me...I...the author...oh, you know what I mean!) has just finished teaching through a series entitled "Autonomy, Authority And The Man Of God" with the Kingsfield Men. All the notes are on my Bible notes blog, which you can access on the right hand side of the front page. On a more recreational note, I just bought myself a mountain bike.
I bought it using the Pennysaver, and did in fact save some pennys! I don't think that I can go wrong for $80, especially since it rides like a charm (whatever THAT means!). I am currently able to go a mile or so. I'll keep you abreast of any changes that occur in that number over the next several months.

We love you guys and thank you all for checking out our page. We sincerely miss everyone from Redlands to Spain, and hope that you are all doing well and are blessed in your walks with the Lord.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez