Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Hello All,

I don't think I would give a penny for these thoughts, but they are mine nonetheless!

• This last Saturday was somewhat overwhelming. I was on Saddleback Church's campus for the first time to witness the baptism of our neighbors and friends, Marc and Sierra. That church's facility is one to write home about. Very impressive. More amazing was the opportunity to witness a culmination of what God has been doing in Marc and Sierra's lives! It was fun! By the way, Marc and Sierra, I will have video for you some day soon...

• Sunday was miraculous! Worship was amazing, the message was great and I preached at a funeral where 15 people gave their lives to the Lord! Miracle!

• I have been drumming in the worship band with Brook James, who picks really great songs for drummers. I have had more compliments playing with him than with any other leader I have played with! Brook, keep up the good song selection!

• My daughter Renae read me a solid page of her new book last night. I almost cried! Thankfully, being a Vulcan kept that from happening, but I did get emotional and told her how proud I was of her.

• We have now moved on to the Parables of Jesus in our Bible time before bed. I moved into the part where Jesus is describing the good ground and cross referenced where James says that a person who does not do the word is like a man that looks at his face and can't recall what he looks like. The kids busted a gut over that concept! I just hope that they won't be guilty of it.

This interview was very thought provoking.

This debate is worth watching if you have ever debated the existence of God with someone. Plus it's fun to watch Deepak Chopra get all hot under the collar!

• God is "the logos." The word, as I understand it, means "the logic" or "the order." Without God, there is chaos and confusion, because their is no logical or order. Never was this more clear than when you try to listen to Deepak and the Bishops rendering of what is good and evil.

• Week 3 and I have now made myself 9 Vanilla frappuchinnos from our new $40.00 espresso machine. According to our calculations, by 10 months time, we will have saved $300.00. And I actually like the ones I'm making more than what we used to buy!

• A quote that I have been trying to perfect regarding contentment: "I want what I have so that when I get what I have, I will have what I want!" Profound or ridiculous?

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"My First Surprise Party..."

Hello All,

In all of the years that I have been married to Lela, I have never once surprised her on her birthday. Aside from the usual ways in which gift cards appear on her night stand or flowers on her kitchen table, there are generally no other startling moments. I can't really say what got into me this year, but for the first time in 12 years, I decided to surprise Lela. And that's just what I did.

It began in my mind a while back, when I thought that it would be fun to see her face when she saw how cleverly I had played the role of "Business-As-Usual" Frank. That's when the plan hatched. I would invite our neighbors to our house, they would wait in the garage and when the door opened up, Lela would be looking at our neighborhood friends who had come to celebrate her. Pretty standard surprise fare, but the challenge would be my ability to pull of the deception.

Without tooting my own horn, (too much!) I will say that for a newbie to the surprise industry, I think that I pulled it off quite nicely. With a HUGE assist coming from our precious neighbor and Lela's prayer partner, Mia, the surprise went off without a hitch. Returning from Olive Garden with my parents, Lela opened the garage and saw the little feet of all our kids jumping up and down in excitement. Smiles were everywhere, but especially on Lela's face!

It made me happy to celebrate my wife this way. I know how much that she is loved and this little party helped her to see that in a little more tangible way. At the end of the day, she reported how special she felt. I said to myself, "Mission Accomplished!"

Here are a few pics of the festivities:
"...The Garage goes up and..."SURPRISE face! Inside the garage photo courtesy of Cecelia!

Those terrible Costco people and their cruel sense of humor! They'll be hearing from me about this!

While we were at dinner, Mia and the kids did a makeshift birthday banner, as well as a few "cards" from the kids. A little chalk on the walls and you have a festive environment. Mia: Thank you so very much for your help!

And this is pretty much the end of every event: Hang time!Next year: Clowns! It's going to be fantastic!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

While We Were Walking...

... I managed to snap these...Sunset in Ladera Ranch, 65 degrees...Me and my family on a walk on one of the many trails, especially this one near the "Dead Swamp"... There is not much better in my life! I really don't think that I would trade any thing in the world for these moments!
Then there were the obligatory funny face ones...

I am a really blessed man! Thank you Lord!

Some Things Bear Repeating

Hello All,

This morning at the Morning Fill, I spoke about the need to seize spiritual authority. As men, and really, as Christians, we are to recognize that authority has been given to us by God, for a certain audience, in hopes of seeing Christ "formed" in those that surround us. That word "formed" in Galatians 4:19 means to "morph." Defined and expanded, the lexicon deals with it this way: "A mind and life in complete harmony with the mind and life of Christ." Therefore, it is my desire as a Christian to see this take place through my life toward others. I wrote this in my sermon:

"When I see you in complete submission to Christ, willing to assume responsibility for His Kingdom, walking successfully in the things of God, reproducing that work in others lives around you, then I will be able to rest!"

For my wife, my kids, my immediate family, the Men's group at Kingsfield, this is my desire. It has been my desire for many years. Looking back upon those early days of Junior High ministry, then on into College ministry at the Packinghouse, I can turn back with joy and see so many who are fulfulling my joy and I am thankful for each of them. I agree with the Apostle John, who wrote, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (III John 3:1-3)

Along those lines, I received a wonderful email from one of my very first Junior High students this last week in my Facebook email. Check out what she wrote to me and Lela:

"I think about you and Lela all the time and how it is amazing how the Lord used you in having a long term impact on my life. I'm now a Jr. High leader at _______Church and pray that God will use me in my girls' lives the way He used you both in mine!"

I just about lost it when I read this. My heart was thrilled to see that God had used Lela and I to influence this wonderful girl's heart! This is the best reward this side of heaven that any Pastor can receive and I am sure that she does not know how encouraging and timely her note was...probably until now. (Thank you so much!)

There is nothing better than to be able to look back and see what God has done. Of parralel wonder is to look sideways and see what God IS DOING with those you have sown into. Many no longer lag behind in spiritual things, but are in all ways, fellow laborers in the things of God. To look over and respect as peers, those who I once had the privilege of serving, is a great gift that will hold me over a few more years!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Great Kids

Hello All,

I just wanted to take one blog entry and salute my wonderful kids. They bring me incredible joy, especially as they get older. They are now 7, 5 and 4 respectively. I thought that I would put up some pictures where they are not completely laughing out of control and give you a brief update about their lives currently.

Renae, The Thoughtful. Ms. Curious. Ms. No-Question-Left-Behind. This last week, Renae, a bright 7 year old, asked me about the economy, politics and the necessity of employment. Renae is the master planner/manipulator. If she wants to eat somewhere, she will find a way to make it an idea you thought of, even though she is the one who thought of it for you. She's good...She's very good! I'm pretty sure that she will one day be the Dictator of a small but powerful country.

Renae is doing awesome in school, reading like a champion and keeping ground on her math skills, which had not been as strong earlier in the year.

Caleb, The Sensitive. He is perhaps the most polite boy that there is in the world. He loves his sisters and always helps them build forts and caves by hanging blankets from the bunk bed. He is quick to smile and easy to make laugh. When he laughs he cannot stop himself.

Caleb is getting ready for school in the fall. Lela is spending a good deal of time working with the Bwudda.

Elizabeth, The Entertainer. Lizzy does naturally what the other two wish they had the capacity to do. Lizzy makes us all laugh with her one liners and witty repartee. Add to that, that she cannot make the distinction between the "r" and "w" sound, which makes her sound super cute!

That being said, she is a bit too fascinated with potty humor, which tends to be her "ace in the hole" when it comes to getting the other kids to laugh. I always fear that she might be trying to release some inner sailor with that humor, but for the most part it's pretty innocent. Lizzy loves to
learn, enjoys reading and is always super affectionate with Dad, who loves to "Wock her" in his chair.

These are our pride and joy. The looks on their faces are not the norm, but I loved the contrast
between their faces and their amazingly distinct personalities. Call it my little artistic diversion on a late Sunday night.

Call them my favorite subjects!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, March 09, 2009


Hello All,

A few thoughts/observations/rants that can no longer be held within:

- If you have 50 items in your shopping cart and the person behind you has one, please let them go in front of you! That is just the right thing to do...every time!

- Lela and I went for a spin on the 91 freeway the other night. Our car careened out of control just before the 3+ lane. It's not quite a "great memory" yet, but it was pretty amazing. It happened...oh, I'll just write about that some other time.

- Kingsfield Church did an amazing Couples' breakfast on Saturday at a very exclusive golf course in Orange County. Here is the scene: My 97 Corolla, parked next to a Jag, a BMW, a Porsche and a Lexus. These are the times when I am glad to be immune to people's opinions!

- Back to that Golf Course, it did make me want to someday have a home on the course, with an English butler name "Gibley."

- Daylight Saving time continues to be a thorn in my side. Why can't we change our clocks on Friday night? Saturday night is such a bummer for those of us in "Professional" ministry! Can someone with ambition and a belief that politics can really change things, get a petition going!

- On my iPod recently: Christian Heavy Metal dating back to my pre-teen, pre-mullet days! I don't know what's gotten into me!

- That music kept me interested in all things Christian back in those days. There was a time when all I listened to was Stryper, Saint and Messiah Prophet Band. Some of those bands made indelible marks upon me and their ministry was very important, though they are long forgotten today. I wonder if they know how appreciated they were...maybe I should write them a letter...

- The memories from those days swept powerfully through my mind to what church was like back in those days. We worshipped from Praise books, the band comprised of a piano player, and three singers. The songs were simple, literally sometimes only a chorus. When I sit with my guitar in my living room, I tend to play those songs the most.

- Still not on Facebook!? C'mon already!

- Evening light brings great joy to the Sanchez Family. It feels like we have been cooped up for a decade.

- Thirteen people follow this blog! We love you guys and are thankful that you check in on us!

- "Why don't you blog more often?" A combo of the following items: Dense schedule, boring life, and stories that I can't tell yet. Maybe someday that will all resolve.

- Can you believe it: I'm already looking out for Summer vacation dates! We would love to go to Washington D.C. to visit our friends there. However, with the economy, both nationally and "familially," we'll be lucky to visit Washington STREET in Colton! Yes, it looks more like a STAYcation this year...

Well, that's all for now. Time to hit the hay!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, March 01, 2009

God Has Not Given Us A Spirit Of Fear!

Hello All,

As the kids get older, I have noticed that what I watch with them on T.V. has to be closely monitored. Especially when it's our oldest. It used to be that we could at least watch the news without her having a few uncomfortable questions or making a few illogical leaps. The questions are pretty standard, as she is always curious about the meaning of words, which of course delights me! The worst is when she asks me to define a word and then to define the word that I used to define the initial word! This can go on for quite a while.

The other problem is the illogical leap. A story is done on a tiger that has escaped from a zoo in the Netherlands and is threatening homes in the area. Renae will believe that a tiger attack in Ladera Ranch is inevitable and that we should all be careful!

I'm not quite sure what gets into her about such things. I remember when she was barely able to talk that she had a certain fear of lions. I had to create a pretty ridiculous story about what would happen in the case of a lion incursion onto our "territory" in Highland. At the time, she only knew about spanking, so I promised to spank the lions if they came to our house. That satisfied her back then.

Today however, there is a new fear. It's the fear of being kidnapped. Of course, it doesn't help that there was a reported kidnapping suspect in Ladera about a week back. The news made a big deal about it and there was heightened awareness all around us. We kept Renae from the news as long as we could, but one of the neighbors spoke about it a little loud and now Renae has picked up the story.

This afternoon, Renae informed me that it was my job to watch her while she was playing outside. And she is absolutely right. It's my job to stand there and look out for her and to provide an environment where she can play freely without fear of being taken. What she doesn't realize is that either Lela or I is standing at a close distance, ready to pounce on any would be abductors. Many times, it's not that we are absent. It's simply that she can no longer see us from her vantage point. This leads to her fear. It's not my presence that deals with that fear in her heart, it's her AWARENESS of my presence that does the trick!

I believe that this is the same with the Lord, who has promised His presence to each of us in Him. We need not fear. We need not fret. But we do, mostly when we feel that He has abandoned us and that our cause or concern is unknown to or unseen by Him. It's when I hear His voice affirming His presence and see His hand move in a providential way, that I am relieved.

This is the cure for our fear. When Abraham returned from his successful fight against the Kings of Sodom, he recognized his tenuous position. God appears to Abraham and tells him not to fear because He will be his shield!

Today, I wonder often if we have forgotten His presence with us. The market will perilously plummet. Checking and saving accounts will get low. Kids will make terrible decisions. Businesses will fade. God has not left us. God is not concerned with how bleak things are. He is in the business of showing Himself strong in the most difficult of times and the people of God will always look back and see that He never let them down. In fact, the story seems to be the same every time believers recount their stories: "God showed up just in time!"

I pray that you and I will be able to live this in front of the watching world. Things might be difficult right this minute. I pray that you will be able to hang on until the Lord reveals His mighty hand.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez