Monday, November 24, 2008

You Pick My New Facebook Profile Pic


This may be the most trivial post I have ever posted, but I do not care! You are my friends and you should have a say in the "what picture should Frank use for his new facebook profile picture" sweepstakes. Sure, you have more important things to do. So do I! But the world will not stop if you take a moment to vote. However, when the pic shows up in facebook, if you are a friend of mine, remember that if you are dissatisfied, you have only yourself to blame!

You may vote your conscience in the comments section. I will vote for my favorite, so if nobody comments, then I will have won by default and you may not want that. Here you go:

Frank, The Serious Cyclops
Frank, The Happy Borg!Frank, The Whale Whisperer!
My vote, along with my reasoning will be in the comments section. Incidently, if my wife had a facebook (She does not...) I would choose one of these two pics:

Lela, The Pseudo Scared Adventurer

Lela, Such A Babe She Makes Whales Swoon!
Alright, enough levity! Now: VOTE!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maybe The Blind Should Lead The Blind!

Hello All,

As many of you are aware, my 35th birthday just passed this last Monday. By Wednesday night, the night of my Home Fellowship, I was pretty sure that all the festivities were past. I was wrong, as my wife surprised me with a quick getaway to San Diego's Gaslamp District on Friday. My wife loves surprises and I have to admit that while I loathe being surprised, I love what happens when my wife does it, for it ends up just being us, doing what we love to do. That means eating, sleeping, hanging, talking and driving, without children! (We love our children of course!)

She picked me up after the Women's study on Friday (she leads worship there...I am in my office...I don't attend women's events!) and we went to one of my favorite places for lunch, the NYC Cafe. After an incredible Corned Beef sandwich, my favorite on the planet, we made a spur of the moment decision to go down to Sea World. Funny, but being without the kids seemed to open up a whole new world of discovery, as we slowly, leisurely explored the now very familiar Sea World ground, finding fish that we had never seen and enjoying the excellent day of weather. Among the more enjoyable exhibits, the stonefish provided us with prolonged delight, as their feeding was completely fascinating. I know: I'm a nerd!

After Sea World, it felt wrong, but I needed to eat at Red Lobster. I was just dying for some fish! All day at Sea World, every time, I ask the question, "What does it taste like?" Thankfully, most of the time, I am unable to act upon my craving for lack of duckets! We found a Red Lobster, (awfully close to Sea World by the way...hmm?) sat and ate, talked for a while and enjoyed a sweet cuisine. By the way, if you are good at saving, love seafood and want to splurge a little, I highly recommend the wood fired Tilapia. It was brilliant! Throw some crab legs on there and you've got a fine feast.

The next morning, Lela and I walked slowly over to Starbucks, taking in the giant buildings all around us, musing that we could never live in such a place. On the way, we saw a blind man walking on the other side of the street. As usual, my heart went out to him. I wondered what it was like to be blind and wished that I could be helpful, but he seemed to have everything in hand, so Lela and I continued walking a little bit until we entered the Green house of Caffeinated bliss.

Funny, but in the city, there are no seats inside or outside of the Starbucks. The barista with the dreadlocks told us that usually people would just walk in from work and walk back to their desks. It was a little bit of a bummer, but it set us up for what became quite a comical turn of events.

We came out of the coffee shop and saw the blind man across the street being instructed by a man in a nearby car. At first it seemed like the man was yelling something insulting, which really boiled my blood. I realized that he was just being loud and was trying to help the blind man, who now appeared really lost. I felt compelled to take the opportunity to help this man. I crossed the street in hopes of making a difference in this man's day and life.

I came up to the man, who was obviously homeless and also, almost necessarily eccentric. In a bit of irony, the man was wearing a toupee. Let that sink in. Think about that for a second!

Immediately, the man let's us know that he is going to be alright and that we should not worry about him. I had prefaced my approach with a supposed sensitivity to that very thought. I told him, "You probably don't need our help, but you can have it if you need it." I thought that that was pretty clever, but I think that I might have tipped him off to my own insecurity.

He sounded like Peter Sellers from the Pink Panther and was explaining that he just wanted to find the Bank Of America. He had that kind of Frenchman's accent and I would have sworn it sounded "Clouseau"esque. I wanted to know where his accent was from, and so I asked the obvious question pertaining to his origin. With every question, he answered with a question of his own that mirrored mine. "Where are YOU from?," "Where is YOUR family from?," etc. I am slow, but I finally understood that he did not want to divulge information to a stranger who now knew that he was going to a bank. Alright Frank, strike one.

So now, it's time to try to lead this man to the bank. I start walking and do not even notice that the man is not keeping pace with me. He has a cane and is trying not to trip! I am looking for where the bank is, but cannot really see it. Meanwhile, Lela is walking with the blind man, trying to talk him through the next movement.

I think that I see the bank in the distance and offer that information. I look back and Lela is trying to lead the man and I am trying to insist that he just look...oh, yeah, he's blind!

"It's just over here..." I say, as the words escape my lips, but the idea has obviously not run through any filter of thought. Strike two Frank!

Finally, we get to the bank, in what seemed like an hour long process and the blind man begins his descent down the stairs to the ATM. I think of remarking, "The ATM is right there. Do you see it?" but don't. Thankfully, I avoided strike three!

In the words of Kung Fu Panda, I probably sucked more at helping a blind guy than anyone in the history of sucking! I was truly terrible. I could not have been more confusing or insensitive than I was! Thankfully, it wasn't embarrassing to my wife, who mostly just wanted to laugh at me, but I left wondering just how much worse I made this guy's life! He was probably totally relieved that I left.

I wondered at the spiritual applications of this episode. How futile was it to try to lead a man who does not have a sense that I possess. I can see. I use my eyes all of the time to lead me. To a man without that sense, it's useless for me to attempt to lead him the way I myself might find anything. I wonder how often Christians do the same thing, with their Christianese or the superimposition of their law of morality. A non-Christian does not understand the vernacular and has no reason to follow the law of God. In fact, for a person outside of a covenant relationship to Christ, I would question their sanity for wanting to! To do so would make no sense at all.

I feel that while this is a bit of a stretch spiritually, I do feel that this episode reminds me of the fact that I cannot just want to help someone. I need to have the inclination and then have the wisdom to ask the Lord to quicken me to ways that might be effective in attaining that goal. Too often, men and women are stymied by a desire that is not backed by wisdom. The next time, I'll ask the Lord's help and listen to the blind man. I might just serve him better, instead of serving my own need to help, a subtle difference.

If I could just learn to ask the unbelievers in my life, "How can I address you with respect and listen to what you need to learn about God without assuming that I can just use my resource to guide you along?" What do they need, what do I want to give and what is the difference?

Maybe that's the lesson.

Maybe I just need to leave the blind guy alone.

Maybe we should have stayed in our room!

In any event, I do pray that somehow that man, in later evaluation, realized that somebody cared for him and at least attempted to help him.

Maybe God will redeem that situation.

Maybe you'll laugh.

Maybe that's all it happened for.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Session #1 From "The Practical Redemption Of Man"

Hello All,

This is an experiment. I have long wanted to share what it is that I teach, as that is a large part of what I do. A few people have asked if I would do this someday, and I may have found a way to do it using badongo. Now granted, these people are simply my Mother and Grandmother, but if I'm not blogging for them, then I'm not blogging for anyone! If this works, then I'll also share music from time to time of things that I have recorded on. For now, the file that is supposed to be available is the first teaching I did in a series entitled "The Providence Of God And The Practical Redemption Of Man" which is essentially the life of Joseph. I have definitely gone to the John Piper school of series naming! You can download the file here ( for 50 days or I think, listen on the link provided below. You can also check the notes and discussion questions that I wrote here.

Photo Sharing and File Hosting at

Let's see if this works...

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, November 15, 2008

People Were Pretty Kind To Me This Week

Hello All,

The other day, the our staff was assembled together after the staff meeting, sitting around and joking as usual, when Carrie brought the offering box up to the room. She was bringing it to finish collecting the offering and had noticed that the lock mechanism had been tampered with. Of course, Jonathan Knepper, the world's most resourceful person, was able to simply put the mechanism back into place and a minor crisis was averted. We opened the box and pulled out the usual checks and connection cards, when at the bottom, a regular card was found with my name on it.

Being the suspicious type, I checked for ticking and then held the card up to the light to see if there was any powder emanating from said envelope. I was glad to see that it was "clean." I slowly opened it and saw a Black Angus gift card with a really sweet note from one of the members of Kingsfield Church. It really blessed my day.

I went into to tell my wife that I was going to take her to dinner on Friday night. We went last night and had an excellent night together.

I regret that I do not know who gave me that card, but if you happen to read here: Thank you very much! The timing was perfect and the food was delicious. Thank you for thinking of me and for your kindness.

And speaking of kindness, the very next day, I arrived to a bit of a surprise. You see, it's my birthday on Monday. I have never been real keen on birthday celebrations for myself. If it were up to me, I might just skip it. Of course, every year, I am reminded that it's certainly not up to me!

I had been as cryptic about my birthday as possible, but our crack staff, lead ably by the Celebration Committee (Carrie And Simone), ascertained the precise date of my birthday by using their powers of observation, their skills at arriving at a date by context clues and by simply asking my wife, who apparently gave up the information with little to no prodding!

So Thursday, I get to church, as I do every morning, at 8:49AM. There is immediately something askew, for there are other cars in the parking lot! I am always the first one there, by at least 5 minutes. Immediately, I suspect that I am about to be "surprised."

My fears are further exacerbated by the eerie silence that greets me atop the stairs. Another thing about our staff is our aversion to silence. If we are in the room together for more than 60 seconds, there is laughter and joking and usually, a Youtube video. This particular morning, it was deadly silent. "Where could they be? What exactly was I in for?"

I decided to step into my office to drop off my stuff and investigate. Coming around the corner, I hear a strange siren sound. Now I know something is seriously amiss. I come down the corridor to my office, put the key in the door and...


They are all in my office!! Balloons are everywhere, "Happy Birthday Frank" sign on my window and a grip of Cherry and Strawberry Starburst on my mouse pad, separated specially by Carrie Allen! Of course, the obligatory rendering of that classic tune "Happy Birthday" was attempted, with somewhat cacophonous results, but as they say, it was the thought that counted!

I laughed and was thankful for their effort and their love, which is always apparent. I was grateful, not so much for the celebration, but for the celebrants, who have become a rich part of my life. There was Chris Norman, a brother who I've know since 1991 and then when we were both in Attila's band together in the mid 90's. Chris Reinhardt, who I've known since he was 11 years old. Carrie, Jonathan and Simone, who have been great new friends and allies since my coming on staff almost two years ago now. I felt lucky to be there and to receive the love from them. Even though I am a grumpy, reluctant birthday celebrater, these friends drew me out and made my day!

I wish that that day would have ended right there or that I could just skip to the great Chipotle lunch that the staff treated me to. However, that's not what happened next! I had a blowout at the bank that I make a deposit for the church for! Right on my way in to the parking lot, minutes after the great celebration! Thankfully, the staff's joyous surprise carried over and I did not worry much about this. In fact, the occasion caused me to laugh even more when at the tire place, just seconds from the bank, I spotted this abnormality:

It made me laugh in that moment, though now, I think it's pretty silly to have laughed at a giant remote! I think it was a little of God's grace for that moment and the touch of kindness from my friends.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The State Of The New Union

Hello All,

In visiting a neighboring blog, I came across this cogent piece of material written by Dr. Al Mohler about our new President and the state of issues that continue to press in upon evangelicals. I felt that he wrote it better than I could have and felt that there were many who would benefit from what I feel is a very mature treatment of the subject at hand. I hope that you find it as insightful as I did.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

by Dr. Al Mohler
The election of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States came as a bang, not a whimper. The tremors had been perceptible for days, maybe even weeks. On Tuesday, America experienced nothing less than a political and cultural earthquake.

The margin of victory for the Democratic ticket was clear. Americans voted in record numbers and with tangible enthusiasm. By the end of the day, it was clear that Barack Obama would be elected with a majority of the popular vote and a near landslide in the Electoral College. When President-Elect Obama greeted the throngs of his supporters in Chicago's Grant Park, he basked in the glory of electoral energy.

For many of us, the end of the night brought disappointment. In this case, the disappointment is compounded by the sense that the issues that did not allow us to support Sen. Obama are matters of life and death -- not just political issues of heated debate. Furthermore, the margin of victory and sense of a shift in the political landscape point to greater disappointments ahead. We all knew that so much was at stake.

For others, the night was magical and momentous. Young and old cried tears of amazement and victory as America elected its first African-American President -- and elected him overwhelmingly. Just forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, an African-American stood to claim victory as President-Elect of the nation. As Sen. Obama assured the crowd in Chicago and the watching nation, "We will get there. We will get there." No one hearing those words could fail to hear the refrain of plaintive words spoken in Memphis four decades ago. President-Elect Obama would stand upon the mountaintop that Dr. King had foreseen.

That victory is a hallmark moment in history for all Americans -- not just for those who voted for Sen. Obama. As a nation, we will never think of ourselves the same way again. Americans rich and poor, black and white, old and young, will look to an African-American man and know him as President of the United States. The President. The only President. The elected President. Our President.

Every American should be moved by the sight of young African-Americans who -- for the first time -- now believe that they have a purchase in American democracy. Old men and old women, grandsons and granddaughters of slaves and slaveholders, will look to an African-American as President.

Regardless of politics, could anyone remain unmoved by the sight of Jesse Jackson crying alone amidst the crowd in Chicago? This dimension of Election Day transcends politics and touches the heart of the American people.

Yet, the issues and the politics remain. Given the scale of the Democratic victory, the political landscape will be completely reshaped. The fight for the dignity and sanctity of unborn human beings has been set back by a great loss, and by the election of a President who has announced his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. The struggle to protect marriage against its destruction by redefinition is now complicated by the election of a President who has declared his aim to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. On issue after issue, we face a longer, harder, and more protracted struggle than ever before.

Still, we must press on as advocates for the unborn, for the elderly, for the infirm, and for the vulnerable. We must redouble our efforts to defend marriage and the integrity of the family. We must be vigilant to protect religious liberty and the freedom of the pulpit. We face awesome battles ahead.

At the same time, we must be honest and recognize that the political maps are being redrawn before our eyes. Will the Republican Party decide that conservative Christians are just too troublesome for the party and see the pro-life movement as a liability? There is the real danger that the Republicans, stung by this defeat, will adopt a libertarian approach to divisive moral issues and show conservative Christians the door.

Others will declare these struggles over, arguing that the election of Sen. Obama means that Americans in general -- and many younger Evangelicals in particular -- are ready to "move on" to other issues. This is no time for surrender or the abandonment of our core principles. We face a much harder struggle ahead, but we have no right to abandon the struggle.

We should look for opportunities to work with the new President and his administration where we can. We must hope that he will lead and govern as the bridge-builder he claimed to be in his campaign. We must confront and oppose the Obama administration where conscience demands, but work together where conscience allows.

Evangelical Christians face another challenge with the election of Sen. Obama, and a failure to rise to this challenge will bring disrepute upon the Gospel, as well as upon ourselves. There must be absolutely no denial of the legitimacy of President-Elect Obama's election and no failure to accord this new President the respect and honor due to anyone elected to that high office. Failure in this responsibility is disobedience to a clear biblical command.

Beyond this, we must commit ourselves to pray for this new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We are commanded to pray for rulers, and this new President faces challenges that are not only daunting but potentially disastrous. May God grant him wisdom. He and his family will face new challenges and the pressures of this office. May God protect them, give them joy in their family life, and hold them close together.

We must pray that God will protect this nation even as the new President settles into his role as Commander in Chief, and that God will grant peace as he leads the nation through times of trial and international conflict and tension.

We must pray that God would change President-Elect Obama's mind and heart on issues of our crucial concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.

Without doubt, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must expect to be frustrated and disappointed. We may find ourselves to be defeated and discouraged. We must keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up nations and pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think as unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.

America has chosen a President. President-Elect Barack Obama is that choice, and he faces a breathtaking array of challenges and choices in days ahead. This is the time for Christians to begin praying in earnest for our new President. There is no time to lose.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Night Before An Election

Hello All,

There is nothing left to say for the two candidates. Tonight, like the rest of the United States, they will sleep and wonder if their road continues or if it comes to an end. One man will emerge victorious, another man will face defeat. In the middle of it all, God sits on His throne, unmoved, unchanged, unchallenged. He calls to both men and calls them to surrender themselves to His will. Prayerfully, both will respond to His kindness and love.

Tomorrow, responsible, godly Christians will go to their voting places and put their convictions on the ballot. Christians on both sides of the aisle (Yes, you can be a Christian if you belong to THAT party and vote for THAT guy!) will be moved to represent what they believe God has led them to vote. Ballot initiatives and the people on the corners of virtually every street in your town have done their best to sway you. The rubber meets the road tomorrow when you vote your belief.

Tomorrow night, perhaps late into the evening, we will know what God already knows. We will hear of one candidate who will have a new address come January 09'. It might be hard to believe, and difficult to comprehend, but that man, whoever he will be, has been appointed by our God to rule! Our posture will be to pray for that man, as he will face incredible challenges that none of us could ever imagine.

May God give Him wisdom; May He give us mercy!

In the meantime, we wait, we pray and we rest in the God who can never change and whose rule and ultimate plan is never thwarted, whose will will always come to pass!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Blast! A Photo Retrospective

BLAST! The Day After

Hello All,

"Kingsfield Church knows what it means to have a Blast!" That's the cheesy line that I came up with in my head, that I imagined would make a great radio commercial, complete with heavy metal music in the background. Yeah, I know: I didn't miss my calling!

Yesterday was our version of a Halloween alternative party, which culminated in a fun free for all Friday evening. The staff has been planning this celebration for some time now, lead by the incredible Administrative tour de force, Carrie Allen, who masterfully put together one amazing night of fun. (For a look into some of the "before" activity, check out this post on Carr ie's blog.) Everything came off brilliantly, as she arranged and ordered up some incredibly fun equipment. Kudos Carrie. You did an amazing job!

And kudos belong to the staff and the Kingsfield volunteer force as well, who executed the vision! The Amazing Maze, constructed by Jono Knepper, again employing more cardboard than has ever been assembled in one place, has become a thing of legendary proportions. Chris Reinhardt, the ma
ster of crisis management, again triumphed over the problems of the unseen and unplanned for! Simone Knepper and yours truly, in separate vehicles of course, ventured out in all directions, purchasing last minute items from all corners of South County, braving the traffic, purchasing fish (Simone) and living with the dangers of packing a van to the limit with food for a projected 600 people (Frank)! Brenda Paternostro, with her calm and godly demeanor, quietly and effectively came alongside and made sure that important things were not left undone or uncovered. ("That candy in the sun can't be good!")

As for the volunteer force, well, they were just awesome. From blowing up a gazillion balloons to setting up tables and centerpieces, painting pumpkins to building booths, to cleaning up late into the evening, they performed with distinction
. I would name all that I can remember here, but I'm afraid I would leave someone out and I don't wish to offend. You know who you are: Thank you so much! We could not have done it without your awesome assistance!

Of course, today, every part of my old body is in pain! A 16 hour day, mostly on my feet, caused the skin to completely erode from my feet. The bones in my feet are now touching the floor! It's brutal! My back, my neck, my hands all scream to me: YOU ARE SO OLD!!!

And so I am! But as you can see from the pictures of my kids, they had a BLAST! Of course, they represent the bulk of the hundreds that were there. So long as that happened, it was worth every minute yesterday and every ache today!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez