Monday, October 27, 2008

What Did I Do Before Al Gore Invented The Internet?

Hello All,

As many of you know, I am an Internet Ranger! I love surfing the web, finding everything and anything that I might want to know about. Over the last several months, I have been especially enjoying a few websites that many of you may or may not know about. I figured that I would include my top ten favorite sites that are admittedly more entertainment driven. (I would include favorite Christian sites, but am afraid of stumbling Christian people who feel certain people are too ___________ reformed/intellectual/charismatic/political, etc.). So I felt that maybe this would engender a more relaxed enjoyable vibe for all of who like to seek some entertainment in our lives that fits our particular filters. At the same time, if you would feel so inclined, I would love you to share some of your favorites with me in the comment section. These are the sites that I enjoy late into the night, well past my kids and wife's bedtime! Beware: In order to keep your life in balance, you might have to keep such hours to enjoy any or all of these!

These are in no particular order, as each one is my favorite depending on my mood.

#10 Facebook & Soup. I have a Facebook and my very own "soup." My "soup" is where all my blogs end up when they have been posted. But whenever I upload to flickr, the photos appear there as well. It's a great catch-all for the things that I write. With my soup page, I generally like to fool around with the layout. I like that there is one place for all my blogs and pics, to go. Facebook, my only social utility, has really been a lot of fun. I like the fact that I have caught up with so many friends that I have not seen or heard from in several years. On one particular night recently, I chatted with a friend who I have not seen since my days in the Saturday Night Life band. When he "friended me," I was shocked that he even remembered who I was. But one thing led to another and I chatted with him until 12:30 one evening. We caught up and it was good to see that he had remained faithful to the Lord, even participating in music ministry. If you are a Facebook user, feel free to friend me, or go over and have a little Frank Sanchez Soup!

#9 Pandora Radio. Imagine you are studying deep in the evening hours and you need a little mood music. Your iTunes library, well over 5,000 songs, does not have any Neil Diamond. You consider, "What sort of weird food did I consume to want to study to Neil Diamond?" Once you get over the fact that such random events occur to even the most ardent anti-Neil person, you reconcile that you must satiate this feeling, or lose the momentum that you have gained in your study. Where do you go for a little "Sweet Caroline?" Pandora.

Pandora takes requests and allows you to check out mixes of tunes according to genre. You simply type in Neil Diamond and it picks a list of tunes that fit that...ahem...genre! And the kicker: It's totally free! My favorite word!!

#8 Bloglines. Have a lot of friends with blogs? Back in the day, you had to go to each individual url to find out if they had updated their sites. If you have a lot of friends, this could cause you to have to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome, as you navigated to each and every blogspot that there is. And if you have friends who have a blog, but have never actually blogged twice, this could be a frustrating exercise. Bloglines feels your pain. Bloglines has come to the rescue.

With one click, you can check on all of your friends from one place. You subscribe to their blog and if they have updated it, the sidebar will show up with their names boldened, indicating that there is some juicy news that you can now consume about them. Bloglines rocks!

#7 Dark UFO. No, this does not have to do with Unidentified Flying Objects. This peculiar name represents the best of the LOST community sites that I check out during the LOST television series. Want to see some screencaps? How about the latest theory on why Locke is in the coffin? Want to vote on your favorite LOST icon, character or episode? It's all right here! There are several other lost sites, but for my time, I like to spend a few minutes here. It's a fun place for a LOST-O-HOLIC like myself.

#6 House Of Drumming. I discovered this gem of a website back in 1999 while doing a Google search for Vinnie Colaiuta, my favorite, and indeed the world's greatest living drummer! It's run by a drummer from Hollywood, who himself has some serious chops, Steve Holmes, and boasts an incredible array of drummers who gather weekly on the HOD forum. This is where I get all the info on current happenings within the Jazz fusion arena that I love the most. Where Vinnie or Dave or Steve will be playing or what happened when they played last, will undoubtedly appear here. Or, if I have a question about the drums, I am able to get a solid, professional answer here. Of course with any site, there are some threads that are useless, but the predominant feel of HOD is fantastic for any serious drummer. You might also want to check out or...

#5 Drum Channel. Amazing drum stuff. Great new instructional material, live streaming drum concerts that are killer! It's just getting started up, but I already have learned quite a bit from this brilliant site. It's a by drummers, for drummers site. Nothing more needs to be said.

#4 E-How. Wanna know how? So do I! That's why I hang out at eHow. I can get a lot of helpful information there, and you might just be able to figure out anything you would want right there as well. The great thing is that it's all video instruction. No typing or reading. You can watch whatever you want to learn, done right before your eyes! Cool!

#3 Wizzard TV. Alright, so I love OLD stuff! The Twilight Zone, and old comedians like Abbot and Costello, Jack Benny and Steve Allen. And while Wizzard TV does not have all of these guys, they have a few. What's cool is hearing an old radio broadcast, complete with campiness, commericials and all. One of my favorites thus far is the Zero Hour, which was a suspense half hour drama, spread out over 5 installments. Rod Serling, the voice of the Twilight Zone, is the MC and is just plain creepy. It is a lot of fun for those who have a good imagination.

#2 YouTube. Now, you cannot go wrong here when you are looking for some great entertainment. For those who have read this blog, or my drum blog, you have seen some incredible stuff. The Korean Drummer, "Ken Lee" and of course, the Sanchez family videos, are all on this great site. In addition, there are also fantastic instructional vids, as well as really cool documentaries. I watched a Rod Serling documentary a month ago that was better than anything on T.V. that night, by far. And just a little trick for everyone, though I am pretty sure that I might be the last one at the dance on this one, but if you put in "&fmt=18" after any YouTube address, you can see it in superior quality if it was uploaded in high quality.

#1 Hulu. Now, I think that I might have misrepresented myself here. Either that or my subconscious has rooted out my favorite website. Hulu is the place where I almost literally watch all the T.V. that my schedule might have made me miss. I can watch new shows, like "Fringe" or I can get a blast to the past, like the Incredible Hulk from the 70's. This site is incredible! Anyone remember "Alf?" How about the "White Shadow?" It's all fun, all at my command! And what about movies? Well, you can take your pick, cause there are plenty to choose from. Hulu is definitely my favorite site this year.

Well, there it is. Remember: These sites are meant to be enjoyed AFTER all other things are put in order. Don't neglect your walk with the Lord, your family (something these sites tempt you to do) or your work. But when you have the time, there's nothing else to do, and you have some time to explore, take a look at some of these sites for some fun.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Power Of The Tongue

Hello All,

This week, I was reminded just how important it is for there to be good, healthy communication within the body of Christ. It was years ago that I learned, after having stepped over my words in a regrettable way, that I never wanted that to be the consistent pattern of my life. Thanks to the Word of God and His grace, I have succeeded more than I have failed, even though some of my failures have been pretty significant. I felt that with all the experiences of this past week, that I might just blog about a few principle statements that may have alleviated some of the issues of this past week and may keep you from the road to regret this week.

Principle #1 : "Think" Before You Speak

You've probably seen this acronym elsewhere. I myself heard it for the first time when Pastor Greg Laurie used it in a message a few years ago. I was in the car, desperately trying to write it on my hand while I was driving! Talk about "hands free!" In any event, the acronym is a filter. Ask yourself, "Is what I am about to say:

- True. This would help to alleviate a ton of problems in and of itself. If I have to find out if something is true, that would force me to go and ask someone about a given matter before airing it.

- Helpful. Are my words going to help the given situation? Will these words work toward a resolution or a reconciliation? If so, they are helpful and I should say them. If they will act as gasoline upon a fire, then I should abstain.

- Inspiring. Inspiration, meaning that a person is provoked to act righteously after hearing what has been said. Sometimes my words just provoke, but not to righteousness!

- Necessary. Does what I want to say, NEED to be said? Is this absolutely important to the discussion or can it be left unsaid?

- Kind. Ah, and here is a great needful reminder. Is this kind? Perhaps no more would need be uttered if I put what I would want to say through just this part of the filter!

Principle #2 : The Bible Talks A Lot About Our Speech; Learn It!

I have done my own search and now I think that you should do one. Open up Blue Letter Bible and type into the search engine, either the word "speech" or "tongue." Check out what comes up. Look at how many admonitions that the scriptures give regarding the way that we talk with one another. You might be surprised. Here are a few of my favorite examples:

"Walk in wisdom toward those [who are] outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."
Colossians 4:5,6

"Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell."
James 3:5,6

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14

Collect your own set of favorites. The first time that I did this exercise, it was because my mouth had gotten me into trouble (again!) and I wanted to put a guard over my lips. I made myself read over and over again, these and a great many more verses. It was worth the time and investment.

Principle #3 : You Will Regret Less, If You Say Less!

Again, brevity is the key. I will often regret what I have not said. But that regret is alright. It's better than regretting something that I have said that I cannot take back. I'll pass on that sort of regret. This means a lot of things for me. It means, not necessarily in this order:

- Editing Myself. Not saying what comes to my mind first. I wish that I always obeyed this rule, but it is what I aspire to.

- Choosing My Words With As Much Care As Possible. I do my very best to mean what I say the first time, but not to be mean in what I say. Again, I wish I had a 100% record.

- Never Saying Anything In Anger. At these times, I am prone to be headed for Regretville and for long agonizing nights of wishing that I could take "that" back.

I hope that you who read will understand that your words, have the power to give life, to bless, to encourage and to honor the Lord. That same power can equally be used for death, cursing, discouragement and shame to the name of the Lord. Place a guard over your lips. Beware. I will put a guard on my lips yet again this week. I pray that you might do the same.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, October 20, 2008

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

Hello All,

For those of you who are not on Facebook, I shared this video, courtesy of Alan Diaz, earlier today. So far, the comments have been that the video is funny, but a deeper argument has ensued: Is it real or is it fake? After viewing, feel free to leave your comments either way. For me, it really doesn't matter, as I laughed incredibly hard!

Blessings... To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Still Pending!

Hello All,

I must apologize for my lack of "blogtivity." A combination of factors have contributed to this. Along with the usual busy-ness, there has also been a lack of interesting material to contribute. Actually, the real problem is that the material that I would love to write about is priviledged information, and many of the participants read here. As a result, I am unable to write of the things that I am involved in on a daily basis. In many of these situations, there is great pain, sadness and toil of soul. There are people that are dealing with broken relationships, court cases, loss of employment or property loss. That is happening all around us.

Many times, I get the opportunity to encourage and strengthen these brothers and sisters. In some cases, I feel that I have said all that can be said, and still feel as though there is nothing that has been accomplished. The stories drag on with no end in sight and I wonder, "How can these brothers and sisters continue to deal with this scenario?" I question the Lord and ask, "How long will you allow this trial of theirs to continue?" I don't usually get an answer to that question.

Instead, I am reminded of our own trials of faith that we have gone through as a family. I remember a time, not too long ago, where Lela and I were trekking across the globe, waiting for visas in a Spanish town. They never came and confusion reigned. We kept getting a little hope here and a little hope there, but in the end, the Lord brought us home and planted us in a new place. The point is that in the midst of that trial of our faith, things seemed endless!

As I sit from this vantage point, on the other side of the trial, I realize that it was not endless, but it sure felt that way. But what I have really come to realize is that these cases, while they are still pending, are assured to be good stories in the end, because these friends love Jesus and they will see Jesus deliver and bring them to a good place, even though this time of their lives are anything but good. For these, there will be vindication and restoration. God does His best work from the most ruined landscapes.

To my friends, and you know who you are: Stay focused on the Lord and hang on with all your life! We love you and are praying for you. In any way that we can participate with you, we will. But know this: This will end, God will be glorified in your lives and the joy of a good testimony will be yours.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Men's Retreat, Pt. 3

Hello All,

I had mentioned that I would provide pictures of the Men's Retreat. Unfortunately, my pics did not turn out very good, so I will have to go back on my promise for now. Other guys took shots and I'll do my best to gather them. For now, I will have to give what Chick Hearn used to say was a "words eye view."

Our retreat took place pretty close to home at the Aliso Creek Inn and Golf Course in Laguna Beach. It's tucked away and presents a mountainesque atmosphere, but does not force us to drive to the mountains, which would have taken a possible 6 hours out of our weekend. The place is a little rustic and a little conference center, with a 9 hole golf course right in the middle of the campus. The place was perfect for us men.

The next important part was the speaker. This took a little longer to find. I had made the reservations for the place almost a year ago; our speaker was secured just 4 months ago. I had asked several speakers and had been turned down on each call. I was wondering what was going on, and why this had been so difficult to secure. Did we have leprosy? Were we uncool?

In the end, it was the Lord who sovereignly had a choice that was perfect for our men. Back in July, not looking for a speaker at that moment, but checking in on Sanctuary's website, a church in Beaumont led by Pastor Rod Collins, I had a brilliant idea. Pastor Ridge Burns, an associate Pastor at Sanctuary, had a recorded message on their website. I listened to about 5 minutes and remembered where I had heard Ridge before. Back in the 90's, Ridge had spoken at Saturday Night Life, a service that I played drums at. I remembered that he was funny and engaging, but was also a very powerful speaker.

I called; He accepted. I knew that he would be good; he turned out to be great! The Lord really spoke through what Pastor Ridge prepared for us and both Pastor Chris and I felt that we could not have had a better speaker for our men on this weekend.

He spoke to us about a day in the life of Jesus beginning in Mark chapter 4. The thrust of his messages ended with an observation of God's power, and men and women marveling at this man that they reverenced. This man Jesus changed the rules. The seas obeyed Him, demons were sent out by His word, a girl was raised from the dead and a woman was healed from a humiliating, lingering issue of blood. In each of the sessions, the Spirit of God cut deep into our hearts, touching on issues that every man can relate to. I looked around during each of the sessions and noted that the men were eating up every word, a gift that is rarely exhibited.

That included me by the way! For all the retreats I have done, I have found that often times, because of my worries or the administrative detail that I have to attend to, I mostly casually observe. This weekend was different. It seemed that at every session, God was cutting me deeper and causing me to confront my own stuff. It was not just Ridge, but Robert Custer in our room Friday night, Mike Shepard at the Laguna Beach prayer meeting at 6:30AM Saturday and then Sean Sullivan at the 7:15AM devotions. God just kept moving upon my heart, the lump in my throat growing with each passing moment. It was difficult, but really refreshing to be so moved.

I was not the only one, as there was a great amount of evidence that this was a wide spread phenomenon, something that made me feel that we had succeeded. To me, as the Pastor who oversees Men's Ministry at Kingsfield Church, this was the highest goal, the one which mattered the most. I was so grateful to be a part of this weekend, and to have given some direction to it, though I will never take credit from the Holy Spirit, who reigned in our hearts in a major way.

And here was THE sign that this weekend was a success: I can't WAIT for next year! The problem will be topping this last year, which is actually not my problem at all. I am sure that the Lord will be just as faithful in all the years to come to the Men of Kingsfield Church.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Men's Retreat, Pt. 2

Hello All,

Just a quick note of thanks to all that prayed for the retreat. I will say honestly and truthfully that it was one of the most impactful weekends of my Christian life. Personally, it felt like I was being deconstructed piece by piece, and then reconstructed. Pastor Ridge Burns brought the Word with power and authority. It was truly an annointed time.

All together, we had (at one time) 40 men join us from Kingsfield Church. This was our first retreat under our new name and the first retreat for the men in about 3 years. I am grateful that we had this many men join us and am hopeful that we can add to that number next year.

Our problem though will be how to top this year! I can't even fathom how, but I know that God is able to exceedingly, abundantly above what I can ask or think, so I'm going to go ahead and trust him with that "problem!"

I'll blog more about this in a few days. For now, I have a sermon to write and a family to love on! Thanks again for praying!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, October 10, 2008

Men's Retreat, Pt. 1

Hello All,

Just a quick note to ask for prayer for our Men's Retreat. I am leading it, have been planning for it for several months and today is the day that it begins.

Pray for me personally, as these retreats tend to really take it out of me, even though it's completely worth it every time.

Pray also for the men that have committed to come. Pray that they would be overwhelmed at the Spirit of God's move over their lives.

Pray for Pastor Ridge Burns, who is giving the messages for the weekend. Pray for his powerful annointing to minister to the men of Kingsfield Church.

Pray that the Lord would use this retreat to glorify Himself among the brothers of this Church. This is our first retreat in a few years, so I truly believe that the Lord is readying the troops for something special in the years to come.

Thank you friends for your faithful prayers. I'll update next with some pictures of the event.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Next Time It Might Be More Relaxing To Stay Home!!!

Hello All,

Well, it's that time of the year again and Lela is at the Pastor's Wives' retreat in Murrieta. That means that I am playing the part of Mr. Mom at home. Oh, I can almost hear it in the air. Insert high pitched female voice, in the throes of sadistic delight: "Oh now he'll really see how hard it is to be a Mom!" Let me let some air out of your proverbial tires: This guy isn't too bad off! Laundry is DONE AND FOLDED, dishes are out of the sink, the floor is cleaned, the kids have had a balanced day's nutrition and they were to bed ON TIME! Now, that being said, let me also say that it's difficult work to be sure. I would not trade with Lela for a million bucks! She does her part not only well, but in an excellent way! As a result, I am grateful for the opportunity that she has to get in a well deserved, relaxing getaway. Unfortunately, this one did not really fit the bill.

It all started Sunday with a request from Tatum that the girls take our #2 car over the Norman #2 car. Out 97 Corolla barely outclasses their #2 car, in terms of comfort, gas mileage, etc. But there was a little, I thought, insignificant matter to attend to. For these last weeks, a "Check Engine" light has been plaguing me. The car was running fine, the fluids were normal, so I did not worry much about it. However, when the prospect of my wife and Chris' wife driving that car to Murrieta came up, it caused me to get to the bottom of that light.

So Monday...ah, Monday! My former "day off," now a day dedicated to the fine art of mechanic work, also a day for me to part with large sums of money! This check engine light was just a sensor...a $200 sensor...but just a sensor nonetheless. "We'll wait on that," I told Sam the front office man, thinking, "Wow, at least we don't need to make a repair today." Almost as quickly as I thought that wonderful thought, Sam dropped the chalupa on me when he said, "But, your motor mounts are bad and need to be replaced."

Motor mounts? Hmmm...let me search the database...Driving toward Victorville...taking Lela to an inservice...Tercel motor fell out of the car...AH YES! MOTOR MOUNTS! Now, this was about 10 years ago and because of very helpful shock therapy, I was able to forget the cost.

THANK YOU SAM FOR REMINDING ME that motor mounts run about $600.00!!!!! Ah, what a joy!

Now, this is important information because my wife used her debit card to pay for this. She was already leaving an hour late and now she was going to use her debit card to deal with this expenditure.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, I was picking up Renae from school, navigating through the sea of humanity, looking for my daughter's class. Thankfully, Caleb "Human GPS" Sanchez has his mother's gift of directional wisdom and we found it on time. After getting home, I received a call from our bank, informing me that there was some "suspicious" activity involving Lela's card. "Suspicious" to the tune of a certain percentage over our daily limit.

I tried to call and run interception, but Lela would have to deal with this from her end, this after being stopped from attempting to purchase a Starbucks drink. If you know us, then you know that not being able to get a Starbucks is a MAJOR TRIAL!!! :) I figured: "Poor girl! She has not had a moment of peace." Unfortunately for her, that's not where it ended.

Because I teach a very early Bible study on Tuesday morning, I enlisted the help of my sister Leah for the morning. I asked her to take Renae to school this morning, which meant that she needed to traverse the labyrinth that is Ladera Ranch. As noble as the effort was, Leah got lost and needed help to get Renae to school. She called our cell phone...Lela has the cell Murrieta...on retreat...uh...let me see if I can paint the picture:

Lela and Tatum probably stayed up late, reviewing the retreat or talking about their loser husbands..."Imagine them, trying to dress the kids. I bet Caleb is wearing Renae's clothes!! Well, hey, at least we don't have to get up early!"

7:45 in the AM is early for Lela, who is renowned for her love of sleep. She was awakened by my sister who was wandering the streets of Ladera, desperately trying to get Renae to school. I'm just glad that I was not making the call! Leah, you are so brave! I would probably have just kept Renae from school, rather than wake Lela up for directions!

Of course, at that time, I was enjoying a great Morning Fill, where we took communion, prayed for one another and re-covered some material from our first 3 sessions of our new study. It was an awesome and refreshing least for me...

Looking back, I at least have had a great laugh over these events. My time with the kids has been pretty uneventful. I went to the library with the kids and said "shh" a record 4 million times! I jumped in the pool with the kids because it was 95 degrees about an hour later. Let me tell you that there is a HUGE difference between a heated pool and a 95 degree day in August and a non-heated pool and a 95 degree day in October!

The classic though was reading the Bible last night with the kids and talking about Philip's power to heal in Acts chapter 8. Caleb is all about powers right now and can't wait to watch Iron Man or Batman. When I mentioned that the gift of healing was "a power to heal," Caleb perked up and said, "Power!?" This led to a classic conversation about the "powers" that the kids had that could be used for Jesus!

Yeah, I think that I had a much more relaxing and fun retreat! Prayerfully, tomorrow, Lela will have an uneventful final day of the retreat. Maybe you could pray that we would both enjoy this last day of three. Yeah, alright: Pray for my wife more! I'll have you save mine for this weekend, when I lead the Kingsfield Men's Retreat. Lord have mercy!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, October 04, 2008

It Sure Looked Like A Good Idea...

Hello All,

Who thinks that consuming 3 hot chocolates is a good idea? Well, Renae thought it was a good idea this morning.

Of course, like the good parents that we are, we let her finish off Caleb and Lizzy's.

So, this is the face of "contentment." The old upset stomach attacks and oh, the misery!

Of course, I thought that she looked pretty cute, so I kept snapping shots. I think that it worked out of her.

Of course, I may have taken one too many pictures. Us fathers have a propensity for that kind of thing you know! Renae decided to take matters into her own hands and threaten me with violence. Oh, it only sounds cute. I think that anyone would be intimidated with this face coming at you!
She's just too cute, but we probably won't be letting her drink 45oz of Starbucks chocolate again!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, October 03, 2008

Politics And Other Dirty Words

Hello All,

In all my time as a blogger (..."a part-time blogger..." Thank you Stevie Wonder!) I have managed to skirt the issue of politics. Unfortunately, we are in an election season, and there is no way to avoid it. In fact, I have been questioned more than ever recently about my political beliefs and practices. Eventually, at the end of this blog, I will bring this back to what I think that God thinks about politics. But before I do that, I need to explain and get off of my chest once and for all, my thoughts about politics.

I will go ahead and acknowledge right at the start, just how much I disdain the political arena. This extends not just to the Republican/Democrat/Independant arena, but politics in the broad sense. Thank you, for the following definition:
to deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, or devious way, as for job advancement. I have seen office politics, city politics, school board politics and so on. It truly turns my stomach.

On the national front, I used to believe that there was one party that was more godly than another, especially since most from that party seemed to back family values and the support of Israel. It seems that several of them even had a relationship with Jesus, or at the least, believed Him to be a "great influence" in their lives.

The problem for me is the necessary duality that a politician needs to exist in. He needs to appeal to everyone and make them believe that he is one of them. His smooth, speeches endear audiences to his platform and before you know it, a vote has been secured, based on promises that have been made. But just as soon as the promise is made, it is broken and trust is destroyed.

I won't completely fault these politicians. They promise and act as though they have the autonomous power to fulfill every word. We seem to believe them and elect them based on their rhetoric. Unfortunately, most of these men enter office and realize that Washington is not run by the people that elected them, but by special interests, power brokers and other politicians with agendas of their own. Then, as if that was enough, that man has to deal with the balancing act power play that exists between the Congress and the House. Before you know it, this guy who had made you believe enough to vote for him, has turned into a figurehead that just seems out of touch with where you live and powerless to truly act on his previous promises. He becomes another person, intentionally or not.

Politicians bring answers based on the lives that they lead, not the ones that we lead. They don't dress like us, live like us or think like us. It's folly to believe that they represent my interests in any conceivable way.

Now, I think that for the most part, I am preaching to the choir. I have yet to see anyone with a long term of experience, be enthused about the subject of politics or politicians. And, it may be disheartening for you to read just how anti-political that I am. It probably leads you to some questions.

Am I registered? I thought I was...I need to correct this this week...Long story, but I did this at the DMV when I renewed my license, but never received anything for our state election last year.

Do I vote? Every time, sans the last state election.

As a Pastor, do I encourage others to vote. Without question!

Do I read the issues and the ballot measures? Every single time!

Do I vote my conscience before Christ and gather consensus between my wife and myself, so that our votes don't cancel each other out? Definitely!

Do I get excited over politics? NEVER, especially during the primaries when all the hopeful goons are out! I'll wait until the two major candidates emerge.

Do I want to endorse any candidate? Why? There seems to be very little difference, my opinion you understand. Officially as a Pastor, I am unable to endorse a candidate publically. Even if I could, I would not, simply because I never want to be in a place of endorsing a candidate who is the most susceptible to moral failure due to the extensive media scrutiny that he will inevitably face in office.

The most important thing for me to communicate to you about this issue is this: Don't define yourself by your party or your views. Don't limit yourself to a stance or a candidate. And more than anything, don't fool yourself into thinking that any one of these guys is the savior of our society!

Now, if any of you have made it this far through my diatribe, I want to say a few things that God desires out of my heart and yours. The first and most obvious is that we are to bring these men before the Lord in sincere prayer, that they would be led to and by the Lord. I Timothy 2:1-4 says this:

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

At no time do I pray that these men will be the saviors of our world, but that they would be willingly used of the Lord to bring about His will on this planet.

The second thing that I believe God would have us espouse, is the priestly function that believers, not politicians, have to represent God's heart to the people. This pertains to employing our vote toward the man whose career efforts are least in conflict with the Lord's values. No man will have a perfect record, but his record will speak of his values. Do they line up with the Lord's more than the other guy? Then that guy gets my vote.

Same thing goes with the ballot initiatives. Does the ballot initiative seek to reverse a clearly stated biblical mandate? My "yes" or "no" vote will reflect the Lord's heart on the issue.

In many ways, though I am not a eschatological enthusiast, I do believe, strongly, that believers are the salt of the earth and the ones through whom the Spirit of God expresses a protective covering of society. (Read II Thessalonians 2:5-8)

Third, I believe that we need to pray that God would surround these politicians with born again Christians, who are completely faithful to the Lord. The fact that God has done this throughout human history is well attested to in the Word. Where would Pharoah be without Joseph in the last several chapters of Genesis? Esther was the Queen to Ahasueras, Nehemiah was the cupbearer to Artaxerxes and Daniel was a wise man in the court of both the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and the Persian Emperors Darius and Belshazzar. These men were key to each of these men's administrations. We need to pray that these type of influential people have a voice near the ears of these political people.

Finally, and I truly believe, most importantly, God wants us to trust in Him no matter the outcome of these elections. I love the way King David says this in the Psalms:

"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God."
Psalm 20:7

No matter the outcome, whether there is a Democrat or a Republican in office, whether our propositions come out, I will trust in the Lord to accomplish His will on Earth. My family and I will vote our conscience and rest assured that the outcome will serve God's purpose best.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez