Monday, December 08, 2008

You Can Always Change The Game...

Hello All,

This past weekend had Lela and I in Lake Arrowhead enjoying our staff Christmas party/retreat. As usual, it was a great time to get together for spiritual and non-spiritual activity, both types being in abundance. I'll get to that in a moment.

When I got to the cabin, the one question that was on my mind was how my drum student had done the night before. I admit that I was really nervous to hear what had gone down, mostly for how she had come into that previous night. It was a ball of confusion, as she had been preparing for a certain list of songs, only to find out on that day that the worship leader who was to play those songs was not going to be leading at all! During our lesson earlier that day, I told her that we would use the extra time to prepare, and not to feel bummed.

I felt sort of foolish, as I had worried so much and now there was nothing to worry about...until the worship leader that did show up, extended the invite for my student to play! However, this was different, because now there was no build-up, no expectation, so things would come out in a natural and good way. I was relieved, but still a little worried that she would not have the best first experience.

That brings me back to the mountain home and the first person to greet Lela and I. Jonathan, the high school Pastor greeted me and before he could finish saying "hello..." I said, "Well, how did she do?"

Not even a moment went by for thought and Jono lit up and reported that she had done amazing! I was so proud and thankful. He spoke volumes of the intricacies of her "performance" and I was beaming, at least in my spirit! I figured, what a wonderful way to begin this retreat.

And it continued just like that. The beautiful sonorous sounds of a good time: Laughter, loud talking and good food! That night, we did our gift exchange, which produced some wonderful white elephant gifts, some of which you will see shortly...not in this post, but soon!

Of course, the evening took a dramatic turn when the ladies beat the men in Guesstures. And thus the title and theme of this post. Change. You see, the women, noting their futile attempts to defeat us in Catch Phrase, have subtly, perhaps not so subtly, simply changed the game on the men. The move from Catch Phrase to Guesstures is on the surface subtle, but just under the surface, truly insidious.

I imagine their minds focusing power together, and agreeing silently, imperceptibly, to "forget" the game last time that we played. Then of course, when this next retreat came up, the men would only remember the last time that we played. Wanting to avenge themselves, they would almost insist on playing Guesstures, a game that men cannot be that good at.

Why you ask? Guesstures requires multi-tasking skills that women are simply better at. You have to read a word, act it out without saying anything and then push a button. That's three different functions! If you play the old Guesstures, you also have to delicately remove the falling cards, something men with large hands would have a difficult time doing.

So in almost ironic fashion, we pushed the ladies to the deciding 5th game. We were tied at 2. In a dramatic show of brilliance, Danny Larsh put us into position for a win, with us just shy by 1 point. We told him to "bank" it, even though he had about 10 seconds left. The girls would need 5 to win and nobody had gotten 5 all night. In fact, for most of the night, there were some very difficult words to act out. We were poised to win.

Unfortunately for us, Brenda Paternostro, that paradigm of sweetness, came up and incredibly got 5 points! It's shocking that she got 5 points, but when you hear the words she got, you will see that the men were robbed! Us guys had to act out things like "Blue Cheese," "Great Dane" and "Dyspeptic Aphorism." Brenda's words were not only simple, but they had been acted out by previous participants! It went like this:

(Brenda pointing to her right arm) Girls respond: "ARM!" Bank...

(Brenda lifts her pinky finger) Girls respond: "FINGER!" Bank...

The men in stunned silence can hardly believe the monosyllabic choices that the game is currently spewing...

(Brenda throws a long pole) Girls respond: "JAVELIN!" (Frank just about faints as he acted that one out personally 2 rounds ago!)

And so it went! The ladies had what they came for: A win, by one measely point! I'm sure that the ladies will take it, as a win is a win...however, if there was a staff retreat commission to investigate the fairness of the proceedings at any given retreat, the ladies may find themselves in prison for ROBBERY!!! ACT THAT ONE OUT TATUM!!!!

But, the greatest change for this post was the addition of Pastor Rod Collins to the mix. Rod graciously came up the next morning and spoke into the lives of our staff members. He spoke about leadership and really blessed us with his wisdom and breadth of experience. Rod encouraged us to do all things excellently, be wise in balancing our lives, and to be loyal team mates to one another. Rod's talks were candid, personal and filled with great wisdom for each of us. His presence was very welcome, his content much needed!

On a personal note, Pastor Rod and I have been friends for almost 20 years. I have always admired Pastor Rod and have always appreciated his zeal and passion for the Lord. Now, as Pastor of Sanctuary church in Beaumont, there is new depth of wisdom that refreshingly poured over us at the retreat. Rod, should you read this: Thank you so much for being willing to share your time and wisdom with us!

As usual, the Kingsfield staff enjoyed the time together. The fun together was one thing. The bonding and the instruction taken together was invaluable.

But next time, it's catch phrase or nothing!!!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez


Carrie said...

Just for the record, the boys never had any of those crazy words Frank just wrote about.

And if you want a girls perspective of the story, please visit my blog for one coming soon. Because I must say, I don't think I have ever had such a sheer sense of excitement than I had when we got all 5 of those words for the win. Us girls were just freaking out! SO GREAT!

Frank And Lela said...


As you duly noted, those exact words were not THE exact words. However, the type of words in terms of difficulty is definitely close. All I have to say is that I have offered truth...except for the exact words during that last, fatal round.

Simone Knepper said...

Try doing "projector" Frank!! you guys would NEVER have gotten that one, which just goes to prove the girls have a higher skill level of acting and guessing ability.

Patty said...

What fun! You guys are so blessed to be able to get away as a couple as often as you do.

I am blessed when I read about you and your church family. I remember when our church was that size where everybody knew each other and had some kind of personal involvement with each other; even if it was just noticing that someone wasn't at church and prayed for them. I am happy for the Kingdom that our church has grown so much but I'm a midwest girl at heart. I miss the personal touch. Keep posting. I love reading about you and your church family.

And if we don't see you......Merry Christmas!

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