Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Do I Blog? (Tidbits)

Hello All,

One of the beautiful things about blogging for me, is the lack of schedule. It's the one thing in my life that does not require daily attention. It can always be what I need it to be and nothing more. It's always faithful to represent me correctly (though Lela USUALLY agrees with what I write) and is always ready for more...or less.

When I began blogging, there was so much more purpose involved. I wanted to give our mission supporters a place to check in on us at their leisure. We were in Spain and wanting to communicate, I blogged 3 times a week. When we moved back to the States, the focus gradually changed. I was no longer needing to communicate, as life started to groove. Who wants to read, "I got to work at my usual time, though I did notice a longer than usual lag on the 5 at El Toro!"

No, that would not make for compelling blogging! (I'm not sure that THIS makes for compelling writing either!) But I still blog.

To be completely honest, I am not even sure why I do anymore, except that I expect that I will one day (perhaps soon) return to blog on more weighty matters. Perhaps the blogs that I have been writing for sometime will be considered over time as "that period before he had something important to say!" (I wonder if there will ever be "blogger historians?")

Is there a way to say, "keep checking back, not for what I write right now, but because something is bound to happen sooner or later that's worth noting!?" Who knows, but there may be a major announcement...soon! You never know!

Until then, I want to note a few things that are either happening, or are about to happen that you might find interesting:

• Lela and I are about to celebrate our 12th year anniversary! Seven of those years have been with children, four were concerned with getting to or staying in Spain and for three, we have been involved in Orange County.

• My Father-In-Law, Dan Finfrock, founder of Intensive Care Ministries, is coming out with a book very soon called "Intensive Faith." For those who have ever sat and listened to Dan's adventures, you know that his stories always leave you marvelling. I'll let you know when it comes out.

• Speaking of Dan and speaking of speaking, he will be the guest speaker at next month's Steak & Study! That news just happened yesterday and it's being reported here first! For those who want to come, who happen to be Men, mark your calendars for June 18th.

• I heartily recommend this to anyone: Pastor Alistair Begg has graciously released over a thousand sermons for free download at this site. There are few Pastors that I enjoy as much as Pastor Begg. I hope that you will soon enjoy a series or two. His prayers, often more deep and articulate that 50% of the pulpits in America, are alone worth taking notes on! Always insightful, Alistair Begg also has a hint of a Scottish accent, which is a total bonus!

• I am about to finish my third Men's Study "The Power Of One: One Man, One Life, One Mission," in about two weeks. The notes for all 24 weeks are available here. I offer them to anyone with insomnia!

• This blog was written while listening to "Tetsuo Sakurai: Gentle Hearts 2004" and waiting at Pep Boys for my brake/alignment job to be done. Not interesting, but I wanted to share anyway! This day has inspired me to see if I can't learn about a dozen things relating to vehicle repair!

• Weird things that have developed "peeve" status in my life: Atmospheric keyboards at the beginnings of songs, creating music on just one side of your headphones, going to the mailbox before the mail has come and the "suggestions" on Facebook. I'm so glad I got that out! Thank you!

• Look for a new video later this week, featuring Caleb entitled: "No Escaping Destiny!"

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Caleb Is Now This Many Years Old!

Hello All,

Actually, it was 6 years ago this past Thursday. But when you are a kid, and really, for that matter, for an adult, who likes to celebrate on a Thursday? I would suggest that Thursdays are second only to Mondays in terms of lame celebration days! Anyway, I digress...

I remember the first day we brought the BWUDDA home. It was a hot sunny day in Redlands. Redlands Community hospital released us with our son and the plan was to take him over to church and then home, where Renae would see him for the first time. I remember being so
proud and excited at the prospect of having a son. That feeling has not abated.

In fact, it's more of a joy everyday. Caleb often brings a new level of goofy humor to the table each morning. His joy is positively infectious. I hope that he enjoys us, as much as we enjoy him.

I know that he thoroughly enjoyed this day. It began around 8AM with the girls coming into our room to wake us up. They excitedly reminded us for the 50 thousandth time, that this was Caleb's birthday and that we were to go and "surprise" him. We all got up and yelled "surprise" and sung "Happy Birthday." He rolled out of bed with that signature smile and the day was on.

A party ensued, gifts were given, a pinata was destroyed by my iron fist and cake was consumed. The end of the party had Caleb running around with his new Bug Vacuum (shown in this picture) which was the run away favorite gift.

Our son is the very best. We love him so much and are thankful that he had an amazing birthday.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Reward Of Ministry

Hello All,

Sunday mornings are a bit unique for me as a Pastor. In the congregation that I currently serve, Sunday mornings for me, is drumming, serving Kingsfield Church as the foundation of the worship band. I'm a drumming Pastor! Sometimes, I walk off the stage and walk through the sanctuary and only relate to people based on my drumming. Most of the comments are complimentary (naturally! :), and we celebrate the nature of the music, which is always fun. However, as great as it is to be well thought of as a drummer, it is better to have what happened yesterday.

After coming off of the stage and another "scintillating" set, (said with my tongue firmly in my cheek, as this drummer dropped not one, but two sticks in the same section of one of the last songs of the morning!) I saw a group of people that were waiting to talk with me. I knew that this group of people was not interested in talking with me about the drums.

The first couple is a couple that I spent a half dozen weeks with last year in pre-marital counseling. As with most of my couples, we formed a bond over the process, and it has been a joy to see them walking in as a married couple. They stood in front of me, hardly able to contain themselves, as they announced that they were now pregnant, due to deliver in December! It was great to celebrate that moment with them and because they were so great to counsel, I made up the concept of "Pre-Infant Counseling!"

After talking with them, the next couple in that group came up to thank me. Just last week, this couple was in a major life dilemma, the man, facing his own mortality. I had been advised of his condition and agreed to see him in the hospital. Of course, at that moment, I had assumed that he was at a nearby hospital, at least within Orange County. When I realized who this was, I also realized that he actually lived in Riverside County, which wasn't bad, but still required a trip on the dreaded 91 freeway! Still, not that bad. Then I called the couple, just to get room information and schedule a time to come and see them. It was a this point that I was told that he was being transferred...TO FONTANA! Fontana is in San Bernardino County! I had already promised and with his condition being so dire, I knew than an "over the phone" blessing was out of order.

I made it to Fontana (known to the locals as "Fontucky!) just in time to pray for this brother before he went in for the procedure that would determine whether or not he had a heart attack or an infection near the heart. He was scared at the prospects, as is natural, and staring down the tunnel of mortality that no man at age 35, believes that he will see. We prayed together and then I prayed with his wife and daughter. About 45 minutes later, I was called and told that the doctors had discovered and confirmed that this was an infection and that it should reverse itself with the proper medications.

Of course, at that time, I did not expect to see these two together for a few weeks, but here they were! He looked strong and was so thankful that I had come to pray with him. He didn't know that I was the one that was thankful for the experience.

After catching up with these two, I ran across another couple that I counseled pre-maritally last year. (Last year, I had 5 couples, not many by former Redlands standards, but still enough for me.) I got to do the ceremony for this couple and I admit that there is great deal of love that I have for them. On the one hand, they are living out a wonderful, godly marriage. On the other hand, the husband is a brand new Christian with a sordid past, but a wonderful future. He and I have been meeting together weekly for discipleship. I am blessed by his questions and the zeal that he has for the Word of God. Each week, he challenges me with the latest barrage of questions. The answers might be a blessing to him, but the questions are the blessing to me!

Finally, I got to the back of the Sanctuary and met with yet another woman who I had visited in the hospital the week prior. Unfortunately, her condition has not vastly improved and her family's situation is a very difficult one. She updated me on things and I was again able to pray for her, with this young man that I have been discipling, laying hands alongside of me. I know that it seems weird to those who do not do this type of work, but I believe that anybody can relate to seeing someone take on the same practices that you find so valuable, negative practices excluded of course!

This process took up most of the time that fellowship usually happens at our church, but this was enough. Ministry, like any other position in life, has it's ups and downs. Often, the "downs" take precedence in our minds and most of our energy is focused there. However, it's true that when these "ups" happen, it makes all the "downs" worth every second. To have any of these moments, there must be necessary, reciprocal expenditure into investing relationship. I am grateful to have been spent for this cause, the cause of Christ being honored and glorified in the lives of individuals who now carry the same passion for Him that I do.

For those in ministry, let me remind you that this is your joy and crown. Your investment, even if you do not see it manifest in this way, is seen by the Lord, who will reward you. Be encouraged. It's worth every moment.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez