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

2 comments:

Adrienne Hadaway said...

I think you're right to say that Tiger is a golfer, not a moral guide and should be treated as such. I needed to be reminded not to judge, thanks.

I was just thinking about Leah this past weekend (we were watching Alias). Miss her.

Inspirational post. Always a treat to read!

Keep me in your prayers as I enter the Peace Corps this upcoming May. I feel this is where God is sending me, actually feel as though I had little choice in the matter and I'm not really sure the reason but I pray I can remained focused, continue to grow in my walk with Him, and possibly work in the lives of those I meet (Eastern Europe). I'm going to really have to prepare my heart for this. Your prayers would be most appreciated (something tells me God kinda likes you). Thanks!

Frank And Lela said...

Adrienne,

It will be an honor to pray for you. You have a great attitude about it. I'll pray that you keep your heart right there.

Keep us updated as you get closer to departure.