Friday, September 03, 2010

Baby News: We...Are...Having...A...

Hello All,

Don't worry: Those are not my tattoos...or my arms for that matter!

For those of you who are not in the know, my wife is pregnant with our fourth child. This child, from it's conception, has been a child that has had the greatest expectations. For one, this baby is it, our final offering to global overpopulation. But more importantly, this baby has the weight of balancing the gender power struggle that exists currently in this family. When this baby was conceived, it would either balance the power and Hercules would emerge or crush the scales in favor of the women.

You probably think that this does not matter much. It does matter incredibly! Let me tell you how. For every movie Caleb picks, there are two chick flicks he must endure. For every army man, there are two dolls. For every vote on what to play, there are two votes for girl games. He can't win.

Oh, but it gets worse. These girls will be the same the same house...where I LIVE!! Are you getting this!? How much drama can Caleb and I take!? So very early on, when it was learned that a baby was coming, the prayers were not so subtle from the male contingency: WE WANT REINFORCEMENTS! Forget the PC "All-We-Want-Is-A-Healthy-Baby" propaganda. I have been "Boy Only" since day 1.

Let it be 3 on 3. Equal opportunity. Blessing for everyone!

Yesterday, we were able to get our sonogram. Let me first say that Beaver Medical Group has sonogrammed all of our children and has been able with great efficiency to determine the sex of each baby. Let me also let you know that with each baby I have been wrong about the sex. When I called "boy," we got a girl. When I called "girl," it was Caleb. Goosegg. 0 for 3! You might think that this discourages me and you would be WRONG! "THIS JUST MEANS I'M DUE!" "I've got to be right this time!"

As has become our sonogram pattern, both Grandmas were present, as well as Elizabeth. Yeah, I see the feminine moral support. We waited for the tech to come out and let us know that we could come back. I stroked my lucky rabbits foot, did not walk on any of the lines on the carpet and prayed, "Let it be male....PLEASE!"

The moment of truth came when the technician came out. I checked his eyes for any sign of hope, any give, but he was stone faced. Clearly, he relishes his job, hiding the secrets as long as he can. He brought us back, no clue as to what he had discovered with his little "secret machine." That's good dude. Let's not gloat.

He then proceeded to show off his sonogrammatic prowess by giving us a tour of the body! Inside I was screaming: WHO CARES ABOUT THE EYES!?!!? WHY DO I WANT TO SEE THE BABY'S NASAL CAVITY!?!?! Clearly, this man needs people to recognize his skills as a sonogram technician! (And yes, just in case you are wondering, the baby has 2 of everything, except where it should have 5 of everything, at which point, that's all there as well!) The ability to make out where the elbow is while in utero, is a fine point on the resume! But what I want to know Sonogram Man is, will we be having an IRON MAN birthday party or another Princess party come January?

Finally, he takes us to the main event, after an amazingly long under card. "Two legs." Finally. "And right there in between the legs..." Drum roll....


I asked him to check again from another angle. Nothing. "How many years have you been doing this!?"


I actually planned to put a picture of the sonogram here, but thought better of it...needless to say:

I am 0 for 4!

Lela and the female contingent scream out in gloating glee, as their population is helped by yet another little one of them! Me? I walked out and plotted my strategy for the bunker that I will make out of the garage!

Little Ana, prayerfully, will join us January 30th. We are working on a middle name right now, and are praying about what it might be, though Renae gave us a great suggestion at the dinner table the other night. Aside for all the jokes, we are grateful for this little one and can't wait for her to come and be part of our very girly family!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"What A Difference The Lord Makes..."

Hello All,

Anyone remember that old advertising campaign for C&R clothing? For those who are too young to remember, I have taken the liberty of sharing this commercial with you. LADIES: I warn you: There is a muscular, near shirtless man at the beginning of the commercial. If such a thing stumbles you, then I advise you not to open your eyes for the first few seconds of the commercial!

Surprisingly, this song came rushing back into my head this week, only I considered it in terms of the Lord's presence in a person's life. This train of thought began with the verbal spat that I had on Facebook, a part of which is seen in the previous post. That conversation was interrupted and taken over by various other parties, which is just fine by me. I pray that they will be seed planters and maybe even one will see an increase!

But what intrigued me was that this woman was on one side of the spectrum, while I met with another lady with the same name, who was on the other side. This other woman was of similar age, even similar, to a degree in appearance. For the sake of the innocent, we'll just call them "Gina."

Gina #1 is an agnostic, who is openly and proudly lesbian. Gina #2 has been a Christian for over 20 years, faithfully married with children to a godly man. Gina #1 is loud and brash, unwilling to converse rationally about things of God. Gina #2 is so soft and sweet, just having her say "hello" blesses your soul!

This has nothing to do with anything other than Christ makes such a difference in your life. Sometimes it's so incredibly obvious. This week, God gave me a little glimpse again into that reality. Jesus makes a radical difference in our lives, taking our rough edges and rounding them off to conform to His image, which is gentle, loving and meek. In the case of Gina #2, that is what I see, but it's not just what I see in her. It's what I see in all of my friends who have loved the Lord for years! There is something so familiar about it.

In fact, I will dare you to go into a store and see if you can't recognize Him in a the faces of perfect strangers! I would venture to guess that many of you would see the same things that I saw this week.

All of this prompts us to remember: Whose image are we promoting? What do people see in us? When there is something contrary to Christ in our actions or attitudes, what is our response? For the sake of those watching, I pray that we'll consider that more carefully.

To the non-Christian, it is a witness like no other. To the Christian, it is an encouragement like no other.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stop! Hammock Time!

Hello All,

I just thought that I'd say "hello." As you can see, I have not blogged in some time. Tonight, I am sitting here, the only Sanchez still conscious, thinking that I should at least explain why. While I do that, I'll intersperse recent pictures of our family, so as to insure that you scroll down the page.

The best way for me to concisely share my "why" comes from another blogger who has found blogging to be a failing medium for her. She shares her reasons and I wanted to highlight the ones that best represent my feelings on the subject.

#2 Right priorities! I am not sure what hers are, but I know what mine are. I have given all that I am to the church that I now serve in Colton.
TECHNICALLY, I blog twice a week over there, as all of my recent sermon notes are posted on my Bible site, where recent audio can also be accessed. Check the right side of the page and you'll see a link for that page. Those sermons represent most of my writing time, as I spend a good deal of time each week crafting what I feel the Lord is saying to me and in turn, our body.

By the way, our Church has really been a major blessing to me. I cannot convey my deep love and appreciation for each of the members that have been sharing their lives with us in this last year. I pray that I will have news of a legal incorporated name within a week or so. We are currently facing a little dilemma in that area, but I pray that it will be resolved this week.

My priorities remain as they have always been and will always be: I am a Christ's, I am Lela's husband, Renae, Caleb, Elizabeth and baby #4's Father, and I am the Pastor of...I'll share the name soon! :-) When it's legal!

Speaking of baby #4, here HE is...I AM WISHING! We do not know yet! Lela is not awake to give me the details, but here she is at ?? weeks. The baby is doing fine and Lela is now doing well as well. She had a bit of difficulty there around the 4th of July with a prolapsed bladder condition. She is now doing well, though, the summer months have made her quite a bit more tired than usual. The Baby is due to hit the ground running in late January.

Alright, next reason for not blogging: #8 Facebook! It has been a great medium for short transmissions, as well as instant interaction. It is a more satisfying medium for Lela and I to communicate through. It's also a great place to share the gospel, which I had the opportunity to do tonight. Here was the interaction: A friend of mine commented that he was reading a book which told the stories of other Jewish men, who had come to Christ by reading the Bible. I made the following comment:

Maybe those who might be skeptical should try the same thing! I suppose if He's not real and there is nothing to it, then what could possibly be the harm! :-)

Then came the reply:

"I've read it, lots and lots of crazy contradictions. Lots of misogyny, violence, incest, rape, murder & cruelty in the name of G-d. Jesus came along and tried to change all of that--"I am the Word become flesh", then humans decided to conti...nue all of that other evilness in His name. Twisted His teachings to suit their own needs. Twisted His Word and His message of love. I shudder when someone says they're a "Christian" Do they follow His actual message or interpret it to breed hate, intolerance & bigotry? I've experienced more of the bad."

To which I replied:

I do not know who you are, but I am genuinely sorry for those who have poorly reflected Christ's name. That is a constant bane and problem for each of us, as those who name the name of Christ, but do not reflect Him make it harder ...for those who are good reflections. On that point, I concede.

I also concede that the Bible is filled with men who have acted in contradiction to their faith. Each and every one, save Jesus, had failed and fallen in ways that defy imagination. There are chapters that are included in scripture that I have a hard time dealing with as well. No problem there.

I do however, take issue with your argument that frankly, no pun intended, leaves you in great peril. To throw out Christ, and ignore clear claims regarding His own person, simply because people have not represented Him well, will not shield you from having to respond to Him. Jesus never instructed anyone to follow His followers. Jesus says, "Come to ME and I will give you rest." For all the rape, incest, murder, etc, that you see in scripture, if you read the part where Jesus is tortured and maimed beyond recognition, in a cruel way that is not repeatable in history, then you will see that GOD HIMSELF paid for every wrong that has ever been committed. Justice was served when Christ died sacrificially on the Cross, not for any sin that HE committed, but for every sin that WE committed!

Jesus says, not me, not Christians, that He is the way, the truth and the life and nobody comes to God except through Him. If you believe in Him, trust in who He says He is, repenting from all known sin, then He will receive you, as He has me and every other member of the body of Christ who is doing their best not to stain His name.

If you reject Him, that is your choice. But to ignore or to claim that His call is not clear simply because His people are failures, is not a tenable position. If it were, I suppose that I could hate all Germans for what Hitler did, all Muslims for what Osama did. And that, as you know, just isn't a way to live!

I am currently awaiting her reply, genuinely hopeful that she will have thought well of my response to her, though I don't expect that to be the case. We'll see.

Facebook. That's the way that can be sometimes. Of course, there are many more instances of less constructive comments, which are usually just fun. But I pray that you'll pray for this woman, that she might consider Christ more carefully.

Finally, #9:
"not sure I can truly show Real life here…" I'm not sure what Charlene meant, but I feel the same way. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. Some stories will never be told. Somethings will tell themselves eventually. Until then, silence will be the best option for now. When there is something to say that is beneficial or newsworthy regarding our family, I promise to say it.

Of course, I really enjoyed doing this tonight. Hmmm...maybe I will leave this up for a while and think about it.

Until then, I'll be enjoying our hammock, thanking the Lord for each of you, our dear and wonderful friends.

Frank Sanchez

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday, June 04, 2010

Funny Bone Removal

Hello All,

As you know, I love making short movies of my kids. This is our latest video, made on Memorial Day, and taken from some footage from back in February. I hope you enjoy.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Friend Has Gone Home

Hello All,

I was informed earlier this week that a friend of mine had suffered congestive heart failure. Sunday afternoon, with his family by his side, Kevin Thomson went home to be with the Lord. I am not sure how many of our friends knew Kevin Thomson, but he had a profound impact upon my life in several ways, some early on in my Christian life.

Kevin was one of the founders of the groundbreaking Christian group "Sweet Comfort Band." He was the bass player. I was unaware of this in my early years as a Christian. All I knew about Kevin was that he was the guy that brought Stryper to Calvary Chapel in Redlands and that was a mind blowing experience for me. Like any young Christian male, I was attracted to loud and heavy music. I remember being rather young and going to that first Stryper show with my Dad. I was in awe that this could be happening in a church. Kevin later told me some of the behind the scenes tales of how certain church members felt about it, some of whom were less than enthusiastic! But that night opened my eyes to Christian music.

Later, Kevin would bring other great Christian bands that would become amazing influences to me in those formative years of my walk. Often, in the middle of these shows, Kevin would get up and speak, inviting people to Christ and many responded. Even then, I remember how unassuming and down to earth that Kevin was. He got straight to the point and it was effective. I later learned and came to appreciate this much more on a personal level.

In fact, it was much later in my walk, but right in that same building, that Kevin's straight talk meant the most to me. I will never forget this: It was an apocalyptic rainy day in Redlands. It was dark and gloomy and I was sitting alone in my friend's office. I had not had the best day. In fact, I was considering resignation! I wanted to quit! I don't remember what brought me to that point, but it was not the first time that I had had these thoughts. I sat there staring out the window of what used to be Don McClure's old office, just hoping for that day to end.

That's when I heard a noise behind me. Kevin had come down that hallway and quietly come to the only lighted office in the building. He smiled and came in. I sort of put on the Pastor's cap, thinking that he might be there for some kind of counseling. I sat down at the desk and he sat across from me. We started to have this conversation about church and politics. Before I knew it, I was sharing my heart with him and he was counseling me! I'll never forget what he said to me that day, summed up in the line that still stands out in my memory:

"Church doesn't have to be this way."

It must have been obvious to him, because at one point in the conversation after he said this, he told me "You probably know better than I do why the Spirit brought me here." He said that he had been driving somewhere else, but felt compelled to come to the church. I might be wrong, but I am not even sure that he and his wife Robin were going to Redlands at the time, so it made it that much more impressive to me. That conversation, but more than that, Kevin's willingness to come and minister, floored me and gave me some tread to continue.

Several years later, Kevin and Robin begin attending Redlands again. This time, I was the worship leader who needed a bass player to fill in for me on occasional Wednesday nights. I was so delighted to ask Kevin, not because of his prowess as a bass player or legend as a pioneer, but because he was a part of how God kept me going. I wanted his wisdom, insight, humor and gentle heart around me as often as possible!

Regrettably, when I left for Spain, I lost touch with the Thomson family. I heard through the grapevine that Kevin had struggled through some difficult health issues. Then, when I heard the news this last week, I knew that I would not have the chance to reconnect again with him here on earth. I wish that he could have read this, but at the least, I pray that having read this you will understand the value of your Christian life. How much impact can you have simply by being willing to be "re-directed" by God's Spirit? Who might He have you have an appointment with?

To the Thomson Family, Robin, Josh and Eli, I love you all and my heart and prayers go out to you in this season. I know that you will have many people share similar stories with you. I just wanted to share mine.

To those who are Facebook friends with me, I shared this video earlier this evening. It's a fitting tribute to a man who loved the Lord and who the Lord loved through. I don't know when this video was made, but it's Kevin who is sharing at the beginning of it. His words, perfect for the time, are much more true now than they were then, as Christ's coming looms ever closer. I imagine that big smile is glowing tonight in the presence of Jesus!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

A Day To Be Free...

Hello All,

I hope that you have had a wonderful Memorial day weekend. For most of us, we have enjoyed what we have enjoyed because of the brave men and women around the globe that serve in our armed forces currently and in recent history. I am grateful as my Grandfather and two Uncles served our country both in the Army and in the Marines respectively. My Grandfather Frank served in World War II in the European theatre and my Uncle Rick in Vietnam. Both returned to U.S. soil and both have since gone on to be with the Lord. In the later days of my Grandfather's life, he told us stories of what life was like during his time there. I remember sitting at our kitchen table, listening attentively to all that he had to say. I was blown away at the fact that he could have had such a profoundly terrifying existence, and still live day to day as though none of it ever took place. Of course, for him I am sure that the memories were not far from his mind in the day to day, but he did not make it known to us kids.

Since his and Rick's death, I no longer have any veterans of foreign wars in our family to thank as each Memorial Day passes. I do however make it a practice, and commend it to you as well, that you take the time to thank any person in service that you come across. I have often walked over and shook hands with those who serve in our military and simply let them know of my appreciation. Each time, it has been gratefully received. These men and women have given up more than most of us can ever know. They deserve our appreciation and our prayers.

"Thank you Lord for those that serve this country. Keep them safe in their endeavors. Bring them home safely and quickly. Amen."

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, May 24, 2010

"The End" Of LOST & Me

"SPOILER ALERT!" If you have not seen the Lost series finale and intend sometime in the near future to do so, I'd suggest taking a look at some of our previous blog entries. Those who are fans of Lost know that being unspoiled is the best way to watch the show. Now that I have given you fair warning...

Hello All,

Last night was an epic night of television viewing for me. It was the final episode of Lost, my favorite show. This show was epic, in terms of time. It felt like a genuine movie, aside from the numerous commercials that interrupted the action. At the end of the show, I sat alone, my wife having given up the ghost, and enjoyed the final dramatic ending of this stirring series.

The inevitable occurred, many fans found themselves confused or unsatisfied with the ending. That happens with everything that we love. It is rare in life to be able to engineer an end that satisfies all involved. The questions that we are all left with will always keep Lost alive in our minds and the potential for discussion and spirited "alternate realities" among the fans of this show will likely emerge.

For me, there is a much more personal set of reasons that I find myself endeared to this show. I began watching this show in the very home that I currently sit in. I watched the pilot and was riveted. During that first year, I was unable to watch consistently and just gave up because when I did get the chance to watch, ABC kept playing "The House Of The Rising Sun" (The first Sun and Jin episode, complete with Korean dialogue and English subtitles) over and over again! It was disappointing to not be able to progress with the show.

Then, I was about to move to Spain and figured that there would be no way to follow the show. This is when my trusty friend, Attila Juhas, shared some great news with me: iTunes would be carrying each episode the following day for 99 cents! I was stoked! But that meant that I was going to have to catch up with the whole first season and I was leaving just after the first show of season 2 had aired. Attila recorded it for me and I began watching the DVD's from season 1.

Here's the catch: I was in the middle of moving out of my house! I was literally watching Lost while I was feverishly packing clothes and moving furniture. At one point, I was so enthralled that I was driving to a from the dump, while watching an episode on my laptop WHILE DRIVING!!! Kids, don't try this in your car!

Little did I know that our family would move several more times in the course of the next 5 years of our life. In every place we went, "my constant" companion was this show. Whether it was Spain, the Lowry house, or Ladera Ranch, Lost was part of each season of time.

Fast forward to the end, and I am indebted to the show for such great storytelling and character development. I applaud the cinematography and the haunting soundscapes. I loved that and them (the characters) more than I cared about the elusive answers!

The actual finale event, called "The End" really left me with a few poignant thoughts. I do not and have never endorsed any spiritual or theological information that emanates from this program. The shows writers claim no Christian framework and while they borrow from biblical themes, it is only done so to serve their relativistic "spiritual" viewpoint.

The end of Lost is the discovery that the "Flash Sideways" was in fact the relativistic view of the afterlife. In the final season, each character awakened to the reality that they were in fact dead. The joy that they found was in rediscovering each other and in effect, moving on from their temporal nexus into enlightenment. This is not the official statement from the writers. It is simply my deduction of their intention. It may not be spot on, but I feel it's fairly close.

I don't think that I need to tell you how much I disagree with this spiritually. Our lives and the afterlife does not hinge upon what happens between me and a bunch of friends. That is not the defining moment of any person's life. What a person does with Jesus, how He or she answers the call of Christ, whether or not a person believes in, trusts in Christ for their salvation is the true hinge point! In the afterlife, men and women are either embraced in heaven by their Savior Jesus Christ, or continue their rejection of Him in hell. That is the biblical truth and the authoritative statement given to us from the Word of God.

Additionally, we know and are known in heaven. I won't be walking around trying to figure out whether I am alive or dead. I will be more alive then than I am now and each sense will be fully aware. I will knowingly enter the joy of heaven and the fullness of a relationship with Christ that will be a continuation of what I have experienced here on earth. Those who reject Christ will knowingly enter the torment of hell. I say these things to affirm that Lost, while a welcome diversion and a well produced drama, is no authority on things relating to the afterlife, nor are they claiming to be. Their world view is from a world that is anti-God, and anti-Christ. I did not expect anything else from them.

THAT BEING SAID, the writers told a story that remains moving and beautifully poetic, regarding our effect upon one another and how meaningful and wonderful that is. These survivors impacted each others lives in a profound way that changed their characters and maybe even affected their destiny.

I thought at the end of this of so many friends and epochs of time. I looked back and thought about "surviving" through major events and musical journeys that changed me and made me what I am today. For example, one of the best musical experiences of my life happened when I played for the Saturday Night Life worship band. That was the best music and the best fun as a drummer that I ever had. As a worship leader, I will never forget Brad San Nieves and the Packinghouse, which was a significant period of growth for me as a leader. My time on staff at the Packinghouse will also go down as a giant step in my progression as a Pastor. My time on staff at Kingsfield, produced a giant step in my development as a teacher. My time on staff in Jerez, albeit short and duty reduced, was a giant step for me as a Christian.

The end of Lost made me thankful for my friends that have made a tremendous impact upon my life. I will caution us all to look around today, as this may be the best time of each of our lives to date. Unlike Lost and more like Christ, I will say truthfully, that even though we leave our friends and have to move on, the adventure continues and He always brings new brothers and sisters, born from adversity, that fill out the adventure that lead us to Him.

The end of Lost reminds me that the relativistic, humanistic, "Coexist" viewpoint, can only look back and be as thankful as possible for what happens in that moment of time called the Past. Christ calls us ever forward, being thankful for our past, but just as hopeful and excited for our future together, and with Him.

"That's my crackpot theory and I'm sticking to it!"

Blessings... To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Caleb #7

Hello All,

Please forgive what I am about to do. It's the self-indulgent proud Father coming out! Caleb, our middle child, has turned 7 this past Friday. He has been a tremendous joy to our hearts, as have our other children. As we turn the calendar page on Caleb's chronology, we thought that we might share some of our favorite "Caleb Centric" photos that reveal just a little of the great joy that we have in him. Happy Birthday Bwudda!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Follow Me"

Hello All,

This past weekend was different on so many levels. First, it was Mother's Day weekend and our first Mother's Day Sunday at our church plant in Colton. It was also the first weekend that we were unable to meet in the Hutton Center, which we learned about two days before, on Friday! With no time to find an alternative meeting location, we decided to meet outside in the adjacent park. I'm told that this particular park, right next to the Hutton Center, has been dubbed "Homicide Park" in the past by local police.

"Impromptu Sunday Morning Mother's Day Service In Homicide Park." You're gonna love the graphic on that flyer!

Frankly, most of the names and the hype surrounding Colton just have not turned out to be anything. Besides, when the Lord is on your side and it's His church, there is nothing that can come against it!

All of this provides the context for what was really different for me personally. My text for Sunday morning was Matthew 4:12-25. Within those verses is the recorded call of Christ of the first disciples. It's a simple sentence: "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." I focused in on those words "Follow me." My message continued, even though my mind hung onto those words. Still preaching, my mind rabbit trailed a bit, as if another message was attempting to break through. It was a powerful time which left me indelibly impressed.

What caught me was the simplicity of following Jesus, but the complexities that keep me, or anyone else from actually doing that. I was fascinated by what the Lord began to reveal to me.

What keeps any of us from following Jesus? I'd begin simply with a genuine lack of concern for what He actually wants from us. If concern is present, the desire to sit patiently and listen is often not. In order to follow Jesus, we must want to and we must listen to discern where He might be leading.

Often, we plot our own courses based on what we desire or what we desire to imitate. Christian sub-culture demands a certain level of conformity, and Christian men and women can often be swayed by this. In my prayer life, I'll freely admit, that I need to spend more time listening to the walking orders.

This might be the #1 issue in following Jesus, but there is a deeper issue, at least in my life. As many of you are aware, I have been on Facebook for quite some time now. I enjoy the interaction and the repartee, as well as the nearly instantaneous ability to reply with one another. However, over the last several weeks, I have noticed some deleterious side effects that have plagued me personally. Before I delve, I feel that I must say that this is more than likely due to me spending more time than I should on Facebook, and thus the answer is likely found in the balance that others have achieved.

That being said, for me, I find that my following eyes get caught on just about everyone else. This expresses itself in envy, both in good and bad ways. For example, I envy my missionary friends, who give of themselves in ways that other Christians cannot comprehend. I envy their work and their consecration. On the other hand, I envy those with the blessings to do things that I pray to one day enjoy.

Along with my envy, there is a good deal of grief. This grief is both for my friends, as well as on account of my friends. I am grieved for my friends who have been hurt by churches or Pastors, usually unintentionally, but hurt nonetheless. I am grieved for the pain that some friends suffer as I write, either through the pain of loss, disease, or divorce, which is a living loss. I grieve for them. Then there are the friends who have decided to walk away from Christ, either to atheism, homosexuality, etc. Some have just grown cold to Christ, and it would seem that they would not care if I told them that Christ's return would occur today! These are the ones who at one time shone brightly for Christ and my heart aches for, on account of them.

All this flashed through my mind as I considered the words of Christ: Follow me! But then, I remembered another set of verses that took place at the same location, just three years removed from the first call. It's Peter and Jesus on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and they have a lot to say to each other. Peter has failed miserably and Jesus has triumphed victoriously! He is calling Peter to live in His victory and live in His calling. This is when Peter asks Jesus an honest question.

"Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, 'Lord, who is the one who betrays You?' Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, 'But Lord, what about this man?' Jesus said to him, 'If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.'"
John 21:20-22

"What is that to you? YOU FOLLOW ME!" Jesus never asked me to look around, look over at, or look in upon anyone! He asked me to follow Him. It intrigues me that it all came back to what Christ had initially said to Peter. How true is that? How many of us need to return to following Jesus? How complicated have we made it? How difficult has it become? It hasn't! We have complicated it and made it difficult in our attempt to homogenize and standardize Christianity!

Whatever it is that you are doing, whoever it is that you are, as for me, I do not stand in a place to judge. I would stand and call you to your own self-reflection. Ask yourself: Are you truly following Christ? If the "you" of yesterday met the "you" of today, would that "you" slap "you" in the face? That is for your blog, not mine!

As for me, I cannot spend any more time asking about you. I need to get about the business of following Christ.

Though none go with, still I will...

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, April 26, 2010

We Interrupt This Program...

Hello All,

Lately, I have noted that this blog has been the target of spam comments. It hasn't been a problem on my other blogs, but this one has had a few target the comments. Usually, I'll check the newest entry for comments, but rarely look for comments on older posts. I thought I'd just check through a few and found a couple at a few locations. Sadly, these links predominantly lead to pornographic material, which we obviously do not want people to be exposed to in any way. This has led me to take a full moderation status with our comments, which means that each comment this blog receives will go to an email, which I will have to approve. It's a step of administration that I have wanted to avoid, but is now necessary.

If I have missed any of these "comments," please bring them to my attention and I'll delete them immediately. For those wanting more direct contact with me, please join me over at Facebook.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our First Sunday

Hello All,

Our first Sunday is in the books and it was a great start to what I pray will be a long succession of great Sundays. This entire adventure is a brand new experience for me. I have never been on the ground floor of anything. To be doing that now, in my hometown of Colton, is surreal. In many ways, I am thoroughly familiar with Colton and in other ways, I feel as though I never lived there. I know how to get around and have been in many of it's places, but to feel at home in Colton has alluded me.

Ironically, that is a little of what I felt personally on Sunday. I have been in church every Sunday for what feels like a thousand years. Yet, it feels so different when it's a little baby just learning how to be! To exacerbate the feeling, we were meeting in a new place, with a new set-up routine. It was familiar and completely foreign at the same time.

Thankfully, the group that has gathered around this ministry is gifted with a servant's heart. Each member just got to it like they have been doing it for years! I was amazed at the chemistry and the ease that seemed to carry us. It blesses me to know that God has brought such likeminded souls together.

Things were up and running and it was time to pray. We stood together and dedicated the morning to the Lord who has called us. This was all for Him, in order to bring an offering of praise and honor to Him.

After prayer, the people trickled in, including some dear friends from Orange County who made the hour plus drive to join us! I was floored by their gesture of love. It meant so much to me personally to see these people that have been a huge part of my life over the last few years, come and join in this inaugural moment of this church. I will never be able to convey my appreciation to them fully, but I will say from the bottom of my heart: Thank you!

From there, we did what you are supposed to do. We read, prayed, worshipped, and studied the Word of God. Our first Sunday saw 45 adults come, 10 children, and 2 captive audience center workers! The number that made it all worth it was the number 1. That's the number of people who received Christ as their Savior! What a joy it was to get a party going in heaven! As the Pastor, I pray that this is simply one of a horde of people that will give their lives to Christ over these next years.

The best part about Sunday is that I can't wait to do it again! To those who have been in on this from the beginning, who have made Thursday night what it is, I am so grateful that the Lord has joined us together. I pray that we will see greater things than we can ask or imagine!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, April 09, 2010

F.A.Q. Regarding Sundays

Hello All,

I am sure that most of you are familiar with the above acronym. For those who are not, it stands for "Frequently Asked Questions." In this case, with our first Sunday right around the corner, just hours from now, these questions are rightly being asked of me. I hope that I cover them all and even manage to preemptively deal with those that might be on your mind. These are the top 6 frequently asked questions regarding Sundays:

Where and when will it be?

We will be meeting at the Lawrence A. Hutton Center in Colton at 10AM on Sundays. The physical address for those wanting to Mapquest this is

660 Colton Ave.
Colton, Ca. 92324

2) How long will the service last?

90 minutes max. I usually want to speak for an hour, you want me to speak for 30 minutes, so I try to split the difference!

3) What can I expect when I come?

I grew up in Calvary Chapel. Contemporary worship, congregational prayer, section by section study of the Word and fellowship. The Gospel will always be presented and an invitation to receive Christ will always be given! Even if I know everyone and they are all believers, I will be giving an invitation! Come comfortably, casually dressed, but with a heart ready to offer worship, praise, devotion and honor to the Lord!

4) How can I give?

Currently, checks can be made out to "The Packinghouse," with the words "Colton Outreach" in the memo line. These gifts and offerings are tax deductible. If you choose to give cash, please give this in an envelope that indicates from whom the offering comes. At present, we are asking that all offerings come directly to us, either on Sunday or on Thursday. At either service, there will be a box on a table that you can put your offering in.

5) Will there be childcare/youth services?

We have limited childcare available for infants and young children through 6th grade presently. In time, this will be expanded.

6) Who is welcome to come?

Anyone! If you are a Christian without a home church, come! If you are not a Christian and you wonder what all this "Christian stuff" is about, come! If you have a desire to see God move in Colton and participate with Him in what He is doing in all Bible believing churches, COME!

"But I don't have anything to give!" COME!

"I don't have anything to wear!" Wear what you have and COME!

"I don't know where and when the service is or what to expect or how to give or if there is childcare available!" Read 1-5 and then COME!

For those about to join us in this venture, for those who have already begun the journey on Thursday nights: Let us pray that God would do exceedingly abundantly beyond that which we can ask or imagine, according to His power and glory!

Come Sunday and say "Amen" with us!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sunday #1 April 11th, 2010

Hello All,

A belated "Happy Resurrection Day" to each of you. This last weekend left me with little time to blog my feelings and discoveries regarding the resurrection of Christ. Perhaps I will get to that soon. Suffice it to say: I am grateful to God for His obedient, courageous and unique Son, Jesus Christ, who willingly laid down His perfect life for the totality of human injustice in history, in order that sinners like me and you can have life and that more abundantly in Him! Thank you God for Your wisdom, Your mercy and Your grace toward us.

As resurrection Sunday draws to a close, I am keenly aware that this is the last resurrection weekend that I will be outside of a pulpit. Beginning next Sunday, our Thursday Night group will begin to meet on Sunday mornings at the Hutton Center in Colton. Our service will begin at 10AM. For the near future, the Hutton Center will be our Sunday home, the Gospel of Matthew, our first book to study.

Thursday Nights will continue at the Gonzalez Center. We'll continue to meet and study the book of Genesis each Thursday night at 7PM.

Perhaps a little explanation is needed...7 months ago, we began meeting on Thursday nights. That first night saw about 16 people attend, 5 of which were my immediate family, 4 being my parental units, 1 being an Uncle! It was a good night, but who knew at the time that any not related to me, would return for more! As weeks went by, we added a few people here and there, had visitors come by to see what was happening. Today, we have grown incrementally to over 20 people, and a fellowship and love has grown to the point where going to Sundays is the only thing left to do! I look forward and want to spend Sundays with this group of people for as long as they will tolerate me! The Lord has given me a zealous and Pastoral heart for this local expression of God's body. I look forward to spending the next few decades of life taking in the Word of God, and watching the Lord's movement in and around the city of Colton.

I tell you this first to solicit your prayers. We are beginning a spiritual work in the city of Colton, alongside the other Bible teaching churches that are currently there. Consequently, there will be attack, stress, and difficult decisions. I have always been blessed knowing that many of you that read here, are wonderful at prayer intervention! Many of you have prayed us to Spain and back again! How shall you pray? Pray for wisdom, a natural open door into the community for evangelism, and fervent love among the body for Christ and those who might enter into the doors. More than anything, pray that Christ is exalted, God's Word is honored and His Spirit is freed to minister through His church.

Second, I am asking you to share with friends or family members who might live near Colton, who do not already have a home church, and would appreciate a Calvary Chapel style service. We would love to have the honor of ministering to them. Perhaps you might forward or send them a link to this blog post. Perhaps they might even want to investigate our church's blogspot over at They can find directions, devotions, notes and audio there from recent Thursday night studies.

Finally, to my good friends that are not connected anywhere for one reason or another, my heart and desire would be to see you come and see if this might be a place for you. I, along with those who are apart of this body, would welcome you in the name of the Lord. Finding a church home can be difficult. Perhaps it's easier when you know that the Pastor is a guy you've known for a long time, not as a Pastor, but as just a regular guy/Laker fan/drummer dude!

Whichever "category" you fit in, Sunday April 11th will be a great day for our family. I thank you in advance for however the Lord might move you to be involved.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

30,000 Visitors?

Hello All,

I just wanted to commemorate this moment. As of today, we had our 30,000th visitor to our little space on the web. That is pretty cool considering we have lived in several different places and have gone long periods of time without updating the site. Additionally, we have only had the counter about a year and half out of the last 4 years that we have been doing this.

On the other side of the coin, the numbers might be a little skewed, in that we discovered not too long ago that the counter was also counting when we visited ourselves! So every time I came to post, then re-post or edit a post, it counted me. Whenever Lela came by to check for comments it counted her. And whenever I got a few comments going, like the infamous El Burrito discussion, I was counted each time I commented back. Basically, what I am saying is, that Lela and I might be responsible for 29,000 of those visits!

The good news is that we have isolated our ip addresses (we had 5 or 6 different addresses assigned to us!) and the counter no longer counts us ("Are you saying we don't count!? Yes!" The conversation in my mind...). From here on out, we have a pure system that only counts you!

So what do you have to look forward to seeing in the next several months? All I will say is "more of the same!" Of course, I'd love to expand to whole other areas of weblife and am thinking about a podcast...we'll see what develops. In any event, I hope that you will continue to drop by from time to time. Whoever all of you are, thanks for stopping by and caring about what might be happening with the Sanchez Family!

Here's to the next 30,000!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Recurring Top 6 Embarassing Moments

Hello All,

Since several of these have often plagued me throughout my years on earth and since many have occurred in the last several days, I thought that I might share them with you. Perhaps you will find them somewhat ridiculous or have a better stable than mine, but these rank pretty high for me.

#6 The Wrong Phone Number. Yeah, it seems that this would not be so bad, as the person on the other end cannot see your face, but I always am embarrassed by getting the wrong number. On a few occasions, I make this worse by thinking that I mis-dialed, only to discover that I was initially accurate. The only thing worse than hearing, "Wrong number" is to hear the words,"Wrong number again." And the only thing worse than that is hearing the words "What number are you trying to dial?" as in "You are too stupid to be using the phone!"

#5 Calling Someone The Wrong Name. I remember when I first met our good friends, Gregg and Shannan several years ago. For the first several times that we met, I had it in my head that his name was Steve. I kept saying, "So Steve..." Finally, Gregg, in his usual polite manner said, "My name is Gregg." I wish that this was the only time that this has happened. On this particular occasion, I might have also added the words, "Are you sure?," as in, "Are you sure that that's your name?"

#4 Saying Goodbye Only To Run Into Them Seconds Later. So, you have this deep spiritual conversation. Both of you are spent. You've prayed, said that you would keep praying and that you'd catch up with each other in another day, week, whatever. You go your separate ways, only to find that you are both going to the same spot on the grounds that the other person is going to! In some cases, it's the parking spot next to the other person! Somehow, that's embarrassing to me.

#3 Completely Forgetting What It Is That We Committed To Pray About! That person that you had a great spiritual conversation with comes back the next week to tell you about the great victory that they achieved and by the looks on your face, they know that you haven't thought about them at all! Being completely caught off guard, you call them by their wrong name!

#2 Is It A Handshake Or A Hug!? You've got the right name, you're on the same page and you're about to greet one another. In your mind, a handshake is in order, but in their mind it's time for a hug. Of course, when you see the "hug sign," you immediately rethink your position and go for the hug. Just then, the other person has seen that you threw the handshake sign, and put out the right hand of fellowship! In the meantime, you are both moving at a rapid pace toward one another, one with hands out, the other with a hand between you. The worst is when you both make a third adjustment! I'm surprised that I haven't been injured!

#1 Responding To Someone Else's Wave. You walk into the gym and across the room, there is that person waving toward the door that you just came through. They are waving enthusiastically, so glad to see you. Of course, in your mind, their excitement is justified. You are, in fact a pretty cool dude! Frankly, you really can't place this person. They look somewhat familiar, but the memory is illusive, but no matter: They are happy to see me. I can hardly hide my satisfaction, as I smile in return and then return the wave. It's at this point when their eyes meet yours and they wave you off, letting you know that their excitement was not for you, it's for that person who you did not even notice was behind you. The pride you felt a second ago has turned to the embarrassment that only crawling under a rock can dilute!

So there you go my friends. Wanna embarrass me? There's how you do it! I'm grateful, as I consider this list, to have such gracious friends, who know how to laugh when we are caught in these moments. It makes them much less painful.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Ready Or Not..."

World Recent Earthquake Map

"Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?' And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
Matthew 24:1-8

Hello All,

Not trying to start a eschatological debate, but it sure seems like there are a lot of earthquakes lately! What if He did come sooner than later? At the least, let's be reminded of what we are living for today! Is it worth it?

Just a friendly reminder!

Frank Sanchez

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Bwudding Soccer Star

All I'm saying is that David Beckham better watch out!

Like Father, Like Son

Hello All,

There are several brands that I am loyal to. I am a company's dream customer if I dig on their product. I plan to have the newest Apple gadget with every new iteration. When I play my Yamaha Maple Custom drums, I'll be using my Vater Recording sticks. Going into the fridge and you'll will see a Henry Weinhard's six pack of root beer...unless I have had one, then there will only be 5! There are several other companies that have my lifetime, theirs or mine, loyalty.

I'm the same with food. One fast food restaurant that will always keep me coming back is Subway. Somewhere in the last several years, I became a life long lover of Subway. Something about the "choose your own adventure" sandwich compilation just made me giddy! Then, Subway combined three words that hooked me like a starving fish: Chicken Bacon Ranch! I think that it's fair to say that anything with any of these three words, rank among my most favored foods. But put them together and you have heaven on a plate!

Not too long ago, Caleb witnessed my euphoric celebration as I took my first bite into my latest sandwich. He was so impressed by the sandwich and his Father's enthusiasm, that he immediately asked if he could take a bite. Of course, being the good Father that I am, I denied him the privilege in order that he might have his own Chicken Bacon Ranch Signature sandwich.

So, today, March 14th, 2010, Caleb got to enjoy his first CBR. Here are a few pics to commemorate the moment.

This was Caleb's first bite. It brings a tear to my eye, just reporting that! He was excited about telling the young lady what he wanted on his sandwich. She was a little disappointed that all he wanted was chicken, bacon, ranch, olives and salt and pepper, but the Bwudd was not!
Here was his initial assessment: Two thumbs up! You cannot beat that high praise! You might notice that there is a lack of smiling. That's just so he doesn't lose any of that Subway tastiness!

This picture will be a great pic for later when Caleb is an Iron Chef! People might just point to this moment when the epiphany demanded a response, naturally, that a person can find the best flavor combinations when they add bacon to the mix!

Yep, a fine Father/Son bonding experience! Thanks Subway for making this moment possible!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Why We're All So Tired All The Time!

Hello All,

7PM is not one of my favorite hours. Getting kids ready for bed is notoriously "unfun." Oh, wait, I can hear it now: "These are the best years!" Do you ever notice that when a fellow parent says that, they are, to a person, referring to years long past!? Funny how the "now" is never spoken of as "the best years!" Now, I will break the rule: These are the best years, but 7PM is the worst of the hours! I can't wait until they are just a little older and bedtime means they are tired and they get themselves showered and readied to sleep. Anyway, I digress: 8PM is better. Kids are in bed reading and the operative word for Daddy, "quietly!" 9PM is just awesome! A little after 9PM, 2/3 of the kids are out...a little like this picture here, with Caleb and Lizzie unconsciously imitating Michelangelo's famous
fresco "The Creation Of Adam."

Most of the time, Caleb or Lizzy are out first. Caleb, like his Mother, is a notorious sleeper. He just lays down and is gone pretty quick. Lizzy is
usually next, slowly drifting toward unconsciousness. Once she is out, she pretty much stays right where she is. Caleb on the other hand will move all over the bed, in and out of 20 or 30 positions per night! And, it's not rare for him, at the slightest movement in the room, to dialogue clearly in his sleep! In this picture, he did start on the couch with Renae...

And speaking of version 1.0, she is never asleep earlier than 10PM. That's right: Sometimes 2 hours after getting into bed! She is just not easy to turn off. She reads voraciously in bed and seems to spend her time thinking about all sorts of insane thoughts. When she was a little kid, I would come home from Sunday night service and she would be obsessing about her strange fear of lions, that I promised to spank if they ever came near our house. That seemed to comfort her.

Renae, when it comes to sleep, is to much like her Father, who loathes to miss any opportunity that resembles the solitude that late nights afford him and that one day, will be the norm of his existence. ("Oh how I long for a sparcely lit, quiet's coming...I believe it!) What's that? Oh yeah, I know: Best days...

Then, there's Mommy, who is known to sleep just about anywhere, at any time. Having moved more than 10 times in 5 years, as well as bearing three children in 8 years, and being married to a guy who loves late nights for over 12 years, has made her quite ready for a few years of sleep! But, the "when's and where's" of a young Mom?

The old rule was, "sleep when the kids sleep" and this worked, when the kids slept! Nap time used to be such a great thing for Lela. Ah, and then there was the Spanish siesta! All of Jerez used to shut down daily at 2PM and when in
Rome...or as the Spaniards do! That worked for a while and then we moved back. Today, Lela steals a nap here and there whenever she can, but as you can see from the picture, she rarely sleeps alone!

And then there's me. You'll note that there are no pictures of me. That's simply because I do not sleep...or, more accurately, nobody is awake when I go to bed. I spend those precious late hours studying, blogging, reading (current book: "Paul's Metaphors") doing laundry ("I am not ashamed!") and catching up on my Hulu cache! Plus, if I slept more, I might have missed these pics and not been able to remember these great times!

Blessings To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, February 26, 2010


Hello All,

Each week, I will be adapting an excerpt from our Thursday Night Bible Study and making a devotional out of it. They will be available at the official blog for the Bible Study. You can find it weekly at This one is called "YET!"

"Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, 'See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.' And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai."
Genesis 16:1,2

Sarai’s plan to obtain Abram's descendant was logical, but it fails in two areas. First, it was presumptuous.
The word "presumption" has interesting origins. In the 13th century, it was used to describe "seizure and occupation without right." It also meant "taking upon oneself more than is warranted." Does that sound about right? Sarai has taken something that was not hers to take, namely the responsibility of bringing the miraculous Messianic child of promise into the world.

When last we checked, bringing this child into the world was something that God was going to accomplish. Here, Sarai presumes that it is hers to decide. After all, it's been at least a decade and there has been no child! It would seem that God needs a little help here, so why not go with a time tested, natural, solution from the World. Surrogacy seemed to make all the sense in the world to her.

What is missing in Sarai's methods is a clear reverance of the Lord.

"The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression."

Psalm 19:9-13

I was listening to a Pastor reminisce about hearing a televangelist say, "God needs you now like He has never needed you before!" That's true: He needs You and I like He has never needed you! He has indeed NEVER NEEDED YOU! For that matter, He has NEVER NEEDED ME! I completely agree: God does not need our help to bring about His plan for our lives.

Sarai's second flaw in logic was her assumption that because God has not acted, that He would not do so. When we wait, we all have the tendency to believe that God is unable or unwilling. Neither of which is true. I wish that Sarai would have employed just one word that would have helped her immensely: YET!
The truth is that if He has promised, there is always a "yet" to add to each sentence.

Here is Sarai's sentence, with the "yet" added: God has not opened my womb...yet! See how helpful that is!? Yes, it's painful, because that "yet" means more waiting. That "yet" means that the fulfillment is still not here. But that "yet" also keeps your perspective in the right place. He has not failed you; He is making you wait, but that is not failure on His part.

So, try it with your sentence. Let me give you a few examples to get those creative juices going:

"I trusted God and my marriage has not been healed...yet!"

"I trusted God with my singleness and He has not brought a proper mate...yet!"

Doesn't that help!? Try one more:

"I have been waiting for the right job and He has not brought it...yet!"

Sarai's logic is desperate and fatalistic. With the Lord, we never need to get there. His power and wisdom is available and who knows if the change you seek is not just around the proverbial corner! It's coming, it's just not here...


Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Sunday, February 21, 2010

So So Many Thoughts...

Hello All,

"What a week it's been here in the Sanchez house!" That was going to be my opening line, but I felt that it betrayed a feeling of being overwhelmed. That doesn't quite describe it. Suffice it to say, it felt busier than usual, but as I look back, it was just another week, with a lot of little things taking place. Sometimes, that is worse than a few big things occurring, right?

Two things happened at the YMCA this week that created memories for me. The first involves Tiger Woods. As many of you are likely aware, most gyms are now equipped with wall televisions, as well as personal televisions which are attached to all of the cardio equipment. I love this feature. It makes that 37 minute exercise of brutality go by so quickly! Add to this, the fact that these machines are iPod classic compatible...I digress...

Usually, these machines reveal a wide variety of tastes. Men watch sports, women watch talk shows and then there are those with an "international" taste. On this particular day, every single machine and wall television, focused on Tiger Woods' face. There must have been 40 Tiger Woods staring back at all of us.

I admit: I had it on as well. I was fascinated just like everyone else. I applaud Tiger for having the guts to stand before the watching world. For whatever reason, and for whatever motive, he is doing the right thing for himself, and for his family, as much as it's possible for him to discern that. I pray that in the midst of this difficult time, that he might find true solace in Christ, where there is true and complete healing that can be had.

What surprises me is the hypocrisy of the media, as well as the unrealistic expectations of people who might call themselves fans. For the media's part, you cannot fault them. They live by the almighty dollar and answer the call of the consumer. It's simple supply and demand. What amazes me is that the media, a representative of the world system, on the one hand laughs and applauds when somebody lives a lascivious life, only to pick up stones to throw when there has been a moral failure. Doesn't the world through movies and it's value system, promote and encourage such behavior?

Let me be clear: I in no way endorse what Tiger did or what is alleged about him. I am saying that what he did is the natural outflow of a life that is outside of a covenant relationship with God. It's the natural step, especially for athletes and superstars, who live with an exaggerated sense of entitlement. Tiger admitted as much, saying that he did not feel the rules applied to him. The world applauds on the one hand and then comes in and uses the same tragic behavior as the fodder for it's media outlets.

Isn't that just like the enemy? Your natural fleshly desires are enticed by your own flesh. The enemy encourages you to fulfill them and you want to fulfill them because that is the nature that we are born in slavery to. The Satanic lie is believed, the act accomplished and then the enemy just turns around and uses that to accuse you in your heart and then before God! No wonder the World system is the way that it is, as it reflects a Satanic heart for the World, in that he seeks to steal, kill and destroy.

Maybe I am being too naive. Why should I have any expectations of the media? Yeah, you are probably right. This leads me to my second thought. When Tiger returns to golf, I will look forward to watching him because I never saw him as anything more than a golfer. He is not a role model to me. I do not take moral cues from him. He did not disappoint me because I did not expect much, in fact, anything from him.

I can say the same for any super athlete. I appreciate their skills. I love to watch them and the mastery that they display. I also know that their lives are often lived above the rules of this world and much more, above the rules that God lays out for the life of a Christian. But these people, to my knowledge, are for the most part, not professing or possessing Christians! Why should I look to them for or expect any moral inspiration from anyone in the World who is currently unredeemed?

In fact, if the Bible teaches us anything, each of the heroes of the faith were radical failures. Abram was a liar. David, an adulterer and accessory to murder. Peter was a coward. Only Jesus stands up to any and all scrutiny and only He is worthy of our imitation.

The second thing that happened was much less visible, but much more powerful. It happened in the middle of my routine, when a brother in the Lord came out to begin his workout. He came over and as usual, we shared some of what has been going on in our lives lately. He asked me to give him a little counsel on a "call" that was beginning to percolate in his heart.

By the way, this is my kind of conversation. I LOVE to hear the Church (By "church" I mean the group of individual believers that assembles itself in local fellowships...) speak about what God is calling them to do personally! I want to have this conversation every single day!

This particular brother has a call to youth ministry, but like all of us considering a call, there is a natural fear of what might happen. Most of the time, our fears are alleviated as we move toward God's call. In fact, most of the fear scenarios never even take place!

I was explaining this and noticed that the lady who was working on the hack press was agreeing with what I was saying. She apologized for listening in and then added her two cents into the conversation. She gave out some great principles of ministry, which had me in agreement. To her volley, I added another, and then she added another. The brother in the middle was literally getting it from both barrels! It was incredible.

Before we broke up this mini-conference, we agreed to end our time in prayer. I asked the lady to pray for our brother in the Lord. She proceeded to pray "earnestly" and charismatically for a several minutes! The power in her prayer was palatable...and quite noticeable!

I looked up several times to note the stares and quizzical looks on the surrounding members. Most seemed to know what was going on and none let on that there was disapproval. In fact, at one point, an older gentlemen came up, having just got a drink from the drinking fountain, sweating, but sensing what God was doing. He silently came up and joined in with the praying that was going on!

At the end, we all rejoiced in what the Lord had done. The older man just acknowledged the cool thing that had happened with a nod that said, "Yeah, if you need me, I'll be on treadmill 7..." and we all exchanged handshakes and greetings. I asked the woman where she attended and she volunteered that she was the head of their prayer team. I remarked that if she hadn't been, she should have been!

I left with the distinct impression that God had been honored by our lack of interest in denominational lines and with our hearts uniquely joined in His Spirit to encourage a man in his journey with Christ. That my friends, is ministry at it's best!

Final Tidbits:
• Remember that I said I wanted to have a dedicated blogspot for the Thursday Night Bible Study? Here it is. You can listen to messages that we have been doing, read notes, eventually look at pictures, etc. When you go look, remember to say a prayer for the fellowship that is growing there.

• There are people who are just learning of my sister's passing over the summer. It amazes me that in a world where we are so connected, we can obviously miss news that affects us. This last week we noticed that we had unusually heavy traffic and that our posts related to Leah were being accessed. I suspected that we might have an email or two from one of Leah's friends and we did. This part of the email from a co-worker of my sister's, really blessed me and honored the memory of my sister:

She did not preach to me or push me, but she did provide me with knowledge I needed to find Jesus. By treating with such kindness and love, she showed me what a life of salvation could be."

• We had new double paned windows installed this week. They really work at trapping the heat in. I'm looking forward to how they do with cool air once the summer comes. Here are a few pictures of the demo, as well as our house.

• I am speaking Tuesday morning at the Packinghouse Christian Academy's Chapel, as well as at Wildwood Calvary Chapel on Tuesday evening for those who are in the I.E. It'd be great to see you at Wildwood, but you'd probably be thrown off campus at the Packinghouse!

• Our family got to see little Karis dedicated at Calvary Chapel Murrieta today. She is such a cute little girl. Pastor Brian Bell does a great dedication. Afterward, he shared a few stories with me from his recent trip to Haiti. The devastation is heartbreaking, considering there are still children with broken legs who are waiting for a week or more for simple medical treatment. And these are the lucky ones! Please pray and consider partnering, at the least, in prayer for all efforts that bring aid to Haiti. Maybe the Lord would give you both a desire and resource to help in a hands on way.

• One other thing that blessed me about Pastor Brian's service today, was the call of attention to Freedom Sunday, which is a call for the church at large to be aware of the problem of human trafficking around the world. Slavery is not over. It is alive and well in many parts of the world. Check out the website here. What I liked especially is that he announced it to the church and added that the information should lead to compassion and then their responsibility personally to appropriate action. This is social justice platforming that I can get behind. No pressure, no guilt. As our friends say, "All information and no solicitation!"

• Don't miss my son's great lip-syncing Valentine's Day tribute. It's the post beneath this one. Just so you know: It's banned in Germany! Turns out that there is a copyright issue with the song...I'm pretty sure Weird Al doesn't mind, but if you live in Germany, you will!

• AND FINALLY, I am available on a limited basis, to take on some drum students. If you or somebody that you know is interested, and lives in the Inland Empire, feel free to contact me. Here's a little sample of what I'm talking about:

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day 2010

Hello All,

This is for all of you hopeless romantics!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Friday, February 05, 2010

Moving Day Reflections

Hello All,

It's late...well, not really. It's just that we moved today and it feels like several days have been crammed into one. Those who have moved before know what I mean. The packing, the lifting, the tie-downs, the plastic for rain coverage and the slow drive between houses are all par for the course. Then, just when you think it's all done, you go back and find 20 things that you forgot to take with you! You swear that you have no idea where all this stuff came from, but without a doubt, it is in fact your stuff and it must go to the new place.

When you settle into a home, you imagine that you'll be there as long as you possibly can, especially on the day of your move. On that day, there is nobody on Earth that could convince you to move again! For us, this is our second household move in 2 months! (For those just joining us, check out this post for our reasoning...) And as this is our 2nd move in as many months, I am here to tell you tonight that it just never gets old! :-) But that feeling of being done and looking forward to your first "whatever" is a great one, thus, this is my first transmission in the new "old house" era! Here are a few appreciative thoughts. I really appreciate:

• My family. Grandpa and Grandma Finfrock took our little ones for an overnighter last night so that we could pack and ready ourselves for the move. Then, tonight, Grandma Sanchez watched them while we cleaned up just a little more. Add in that my Dad and brother Mike lent their backs today and my Aunt April lent her cleaning skills and surprise paintbrush just two days ago. I cannot overstate how thankful I am to be near our families again! I just love it!

• Every Lopez that joined us today. 3 Lopez', 2 families! A big thank you to Mike Lopez for his awesome skills and for literally saving our entertainment center after I nearly crushed my own finger! And a huge "thank you" to Steve and Mary Jane, who blessed us immensely with their attention to detail and incredible thoughtfulness in ridding our home of any allergen that might have traveled over with us or hid out in places we would have neglected to look!

• Friends that stood at the ready to lend a hand if needed. I was happy to be able to let some people off the hook, but it blessed me that they were standing by! Thank you guys and gals!

• The hot flowing lava shower with appropriate, tall person shower height! I think I said it all there!

• My amazing wife, whose strength is only superceded by her great beauty! A move is difficult for anyone. For a Mom, a move is a nightmare of details that cannot be understood by just anyone. Lela manages to handle each move with grace and a good deal of humor! Tonight, I really appreciate her. I don't think I could have married anyone else with the same fortitude and I'm sure that I would not have found one that could have handled what we have in the last 5 years of our lives!

• An allergy free environment. Renae has reported that she is currently free of stomach aches, dizziness and running nose! Elizabeth also seems to be free! Thank you Lord!

• The warm bed that now beckons me come and sleep!

Thank you everyone for your prayers and well-wishes over this current move. As always, we sincerely appreciate each of you.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

Monday, February 01, 2010

It Can't Mean That...Can It!?

Hello All,

I had the opportunity to play drums last night at Seabreeze church in Huntington Beach with my brother-in-law Nathan. We had a great night of worship. It's always funny to me that in each church, the scenario is essentially the same. The worship personnel arrives a few hours before the service, runs through the tunes and then gets some time to hang out in the back. Every place I've been, the story is virtually the same, as the musicians spend the next period of time sharing stories, resources and most importantly, laughs.

On this particular occasion, the worship team was filled with Laker fans. And, on this day, the Lakers had vanquished the Celtics. It had been a closely contested game, but the end result was victory for us and humiliating defeat for them, which put all of us in a much more jovial mood. (I wonder what the evening services in Boston were like! "Ah, those Lakuhs! Go pahk the cah!") As we discussed the game, we were rather open about our feelings about the Celtics. Frankly, we all confessed openly just how much we hated the Celtics and why. We all had our reasons. Mine include, but are certainly not limited to, Kevin McHale's clothesline on Kurt Rambis (Ironically, Rambis now works under him!), M.L. Carr's towel waving, the big mouth of Cornbread Maxwell, and of course, the pasting that we received just two years ago in the finals. We were getting all worked up about games and players from the 80's as well as the current Celtic roster.

In the midst of these moments, someone said, we should pray. Now, I thought that it was funny, because here we are HATING on the Celtics, and at the same time, calling on God to show His love for His people through the music we are about to present!! "God, we love you and want you to be glorified through our lips..." It brought these verses to mind:

"But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."
James 3:8-10

Of course, this is not the meaning of these verses. This refers to people in your life, not a franchise of hated green men! Now, if I said that I would refuse to lead Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to salvation, THEN I might have a problem! (Would I? I can't answer that right now!! :-)

The point that James makes is that our mouth should be an accurate reflection of our hearts and that our words should always be consistent with what we believe. At the same time, our mouths provide an accurate measurement of what is in our hearts. If there is cursing along with blessing with regard to people in our lives, we need to be concerned and rectify that with the Lord. I might also say that this might have reference to what we call "speaking out of both sides of our mouth." That is to say, in front of a person, we may speak in flattering tones, but then, as their back is turned, our speech turns in another direction. This is an area that we all need to be exhorted in.

However, when it comes to professional basketball teams, it seems to be wide open! I think that I am clear on all accounts: I ONLY curse the Celtics! There is no double speech here! Whew! I feel so relieved! :-)

Now, I am sure that the bigger sin would be pride...but I'm gonna show THE moment from the game anyway!! Hopefully, this won't come before the fall right!?

Now, if we can just do this 4 out of 7 times in June...

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez