How to Praise God in the Wilderness

Do you long to see the power and glory of God in your wilderness? Do you wonder if it’s even possible to praise Him when you are facing such pain? Don’t miss Frank’s hope-filled video today, as he teaches us what God’s lovingkindness is all about, and shares how it is possible to praise God, even in the wilderness.

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How to Praise God in the Wilderness

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David says his hope is to see the glory and power of God in the wilderness, just as surely as he sees it in the temple in Jerusalem. He's saying that he doesn't need a building to find God, he doesn't need priests to find God, he doesn’t need sacrifices to find God, and here it comes - he doesn’t need a pastor to find God! You see friends, God wants to have a relationship with you, with no mediator other than God Himself named Jesus. Isn't that cool?!

Look what David says in verse 4, “Your lovingkindness is better than life.” You might want to circle the word lovingkindness; it's the Hebrew word “hesed.” It is the word for unconditional love in the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant word for “agape.”

We need to stop right there friends and really think about what he’s saying here, “Your lovingkindness is better than life.” Let’s talk about life; aren’t our lives our most precious possessions, the thing we hang on to at all costs? If a robber came up and pointed a gun at you, what would you do? You'd give him your wallet! Why? Because your life is more important than your money. If you get the dreaded word, “cancer,” what are you going to do? You're going to go through drastic surgery, you’ll take hideous chemicals into your body, why? To save your life! We fight for life with all we have. The Old Testament book of Job says exactly that in chapter 2, verse 4, “All that a man has, he will give for his life.” And it’s true.

What David says is radical, “Your love is even better than the choicest thing in my life called life itself. How can he say that? Well, let's think about it, what good is life without the love of God?

One of the things that brought me to Christ almost forty years ago now, was a little gospel tract that I received from a church I visited. It was called, “Is this all there is to life?” I opened it up after I had visited, I wasn't a Christian yet, but this is what it said on the first page, “A man is born, goes to school, gets married, gets a job, has kids, retires, and then dies; is that all there is to life?” That got me thinking, what is man really? Is he really just a bunch of protoplasm waiting to become manure? Or is there more to this thing? And that sent me on my search to find God.

What David finds, and his son Solomon wrote these words, “All of life is a vanity unless God is a part of it.” And so David, who knows the love of God, says, “My Lips are going to praise you.” And don't forget where he is when he says this, he's in the wilderness! His circumstances have not changed, all that has changed is his mindset - he's gone vertical.


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A Life or Death Choice

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It is so very easy to be a critic; all you have to do is open your mouth and speak negatively about someone. But have you ever pondered what the Bible has to say about it?

The Bible says that when we slander or gossip about someone that we are actually “Satanizing.” That’s right, we are in partnership with the enemy and joining him in his work to steal, kill, and destroy!

In 1 Timothy 3 the actual translation of a gossip is a “she-devil." Why would we want to do that? Why would we choose to live so contrary to who we are - a vessel of life, and instead choose to live as someone that we are not – a vessel of death? It is not only evil but foolish to do so.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that every time we open our mouth, we are either going to be extending words of life or words of death. So, what do you want to be my friend? Do you want to be a minister of life or a minister of death? The choice is yours.

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The Secret to Being Truly Satisfied (video blog)

You've experienced it, haven't you? You're in deep turmoil, and you have a physical need, but the Holy Spirit provides the presence of God to you so richly, that you lose sight of the need you had. May Frank's words in this short video bring light into the darkness you are facing, as you are reminded that Father can satisfy your deepest thirsts.

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The Secret to Being Truly Satisfied

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Do you remember the story of John Chapter 4? The disciples were hungry so they go to the village of Sychar and Jesus stays behind. Why did Jesus stay behind? So he could meet with a lady called the Samaritan woman, who's had five husbands and is living with a man, and she comes to the well to draw water.

Why does the woman go to Jacobs well to draw water when Sychar had it’s own natural springs? She chose to travel a mile outside of town to the well because of the way she had lived. You see, she knew that if she went to those springs the other women would talk about her saying, “Oh there she is, the adulterer.” So she chooses instead to go a mile each way, twice a day, carrying heavy water pots just so she can avoid people.

And Jesus sees her and says, “Give me a little water to drink.”

Wait a minute, what is He doing? A Jewish man, talking to a Samaritan woman?! Oh, but if she only knew who was talking to her! If she did she’d be asking HIM for water because He’d give her a water that would satisfy her thirst forever!

So they have a little conversation about who He is, and who she is, and who He can be to her, and she leaves her water pot and runs to the village. Wait a minute... put the car in park! What does she do? She leaves her water pot, the water pot she was using to collect water in, the one she’d carried a mile out of town just so she could avoid people, and now she’s going back to the very people she was trying to avoid! Why would she do that? She did it so she could tell them about the Messiah she'd just found because you see, getting water didn't matter any longer because her soul was so satisfied that she didn't even recognize her thirst anymore.

The story continues and the disciples return with the food, saying “Master, we're here with the food.” Jesus replies telling them that He has food that they don't even know about, and they wonder who fed the Master! What does Jesus tell them? He tells them, “No, you don't understand, my food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and I've just done it. I've led a woman into Life and now I'm just not hungry anymore.” Isn’t that amazing? You've experienced it, haven't you, when you're in a deep turmoil perhaps, and you do have a physical need, but the Holy Spirit of God so provides the presence of God to you, that you lose sight of the need around you. It's exactly like what happened to David; Father infused his soul with His presence and it satisfied not only his soul but his fleshly need as well.

Thank you, Father, that you can satisfy our deepest thirsts.


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God Commends the Weak

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Did you know that in the book of Revelation, the church in Philadelphia was commended because it had “little strength"?

In our modern world that is a very strange basis for being commended. Modern society values strength. Our media driven culture beckons us to be men of steel and women of iron. The city in which I live heralds, for example, that we are “Baton Rouge Strong” and “Baton Rouge Proud.” God, however, says that it is the weak, those that have recognized their minimal strength who are to be commended. Why is that?

Let’s ponder Moses for example; he was a man of great strength. Raised in the court of Pharaoh to be a leader in the nation, he was trained to be a warrior. When he thought the time had come for him to deliver his people, he mustered all the strength he could and killed an Egyptian, but failed to rally the people around him and ran like a scared rabbit into the desert.

There, he spent the next 40 years tending sheep and growing weak. How do we know that? Because when God appeared to Him, to call Him to lead Israel into freedom, he bemoaned that he was not the kind of man God was looking for. Early in his life, Moses thought he was that man because he was strong, but now that he was weak he could not dream of being a leader. He thought himself a nothing and informed God that he could not speak very well. Ironically, the book of Acts tells us that Moses was the most eloquent man in all the earth!

So how are we to explain that? Some say that after spending 40 years with a bunch of sheep, any of us would speak b-a-a-a-a-d too! I don’t buy that. I believe that after his failure, Moses no longer trusted in his natural resources, he recognized that he was not up to the demand, which forced him to depend on God in a way he would never have without his failure. His failure opened his eyes to his true state of weakness so that he could then see the greatness of God that would be exercised by God on his behalf; transforming him into a man who received the strength of God!

Though this is a hard lesson for most of us to learn, it is one that we desperately need to understand. The Holy Spirit told Paul that when he was weak, then he would truly be strong because he would no longer be trusting in himself, but in God. This is why God would offer that “not so strange” commendation for those who have little strength. I want to hear that commendation, and I hope you do too, for it is the true path to the strength we desperately need to secure to live victoriously in this fallen world.

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Video Blog: What Every Hurting Person Needs to Know

We face many adversities in this life, and in those dark times, we can feel so alone. May Frank’s words in this short video fill you with hope. Remember - our God always holds on to us!

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What Every Hurting Person Needs to Know

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There was a great onslaught against David, and he could have easily remained living horizontal and kept his eyes fixed on all the obstacles and pain around him. He could have stayed living horizontal, and looked at the wilderness he was living in instead of the throne room, but David says, “Oh no, I'm going vertical! You are my God!”

You see beloved when we encounter the adversities of life, one of the facts that we must remember is that God always holds on to us; whether we hold on to God or not though, that’s the choice we must make. And if we choose to stay horizontal, we will lose sight of God.

We must make the choice of the will to see past what is coming against us, to the God who is sitting on His throne. That is what David does, he says, “I am alone in this desert. Yet I am not alone!”

You see, in those trauma times of life, we can feel so alone, can’t we? We can feel like there's no one out there who gets us; even the one we're married to sometimes. When we're going through a traumatic time, we get the feeling that they really don't get us, and then we start to cry out, “Is there anyone out there who gets us?!” The answer is yes! Psalm 73 says, “Who do I have in heaven but you?” And then what did he say? “Who Do I have on earth but you?” Oh God, you get me.

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Exchanging Our Strength

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I have found over the years, that so many people have been comforted by the words of Isaiah 40. There we are told that, "young men stumble and fall" and that even "the vigorous young men grow weary and stumble." BUT – "those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, mounting up with wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary!" That is glorious, but it is even more glorious than it sounds. Let’s dig deep into some of the individual words and watch this glory be magnified.

"Young men stumble and fall," that is true for all of us. I take this to be a reference to the average guy. We live in a tough world and for most of us, our strength is very often, not up to the demands of life. There are, however, living among us, the elite ones; the strong and the mighty who seemingly have the fortitude of personal resources that enables them to conquer this world we live in. Uh-oh, this text tells us that they too grow weary and stumble.

This world can stand ominously against us with the demands that it places on our lives, and when even the strong and mighty are not up to the task, we could easily find ourselves overwhelmed and frustrated. Fortunately, we find one of the great words of the Bible intervening in our desperate situation… "BUT!"

"But those who wait upon the Lord." Now, if we take an honest look at that phrase, it is really not all that encouraging. We are stumbling and falling, so we need to “WAIT”… WHAT?! For how long must we wait? When will the Lord show up? Will He show up? It is an encouraging phrase, but not encouraging enough! Wonderfully, that word does not mean “wait” at all. It really means “to braid.” Think of a girl braiding her hair, intertwining, placing individual hairs into “one” – DO YOU SEE THE GLORY? It is not calling us to "wait" for God to show up, but in the moment to recognize our “oneness” with Him. It is really the Old Testament word for abiding. So as we are growing weary, and as we are stumbling, as we are in great need, in that very moment we can recognize our “oneness” with God, and “renew” our strength.

That is so awesome, but it gets even better!

The Hebrew word for “renew,” can actually be translated “exchange”. So, as we recognize our “oneness” with God, we can go way beyond having our strength "renewed," we can "exchange" our strength, for the strength of God. That is the reason we will be able to mount up with wings like eagles and run and not go weary because through faith we can experience the very life of God being lived out and expressed through our lives.

My prayer is that if these verses comforted you before, they will now comfort you more than ever as you realize how much God wants to offer Himself to you, and for you, as you walk in faith with Him in this dark and desperate world.

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Never Read the Bible Casually

We’ve heard that God is love, but what does that really mean? May you experience freedom as you hear Frank’s words in this short video; “You are loved, not because of who you are or what you do but because of who He is!” Wow!

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Glorious News for Mankind

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In the final analysis, there are really only two “religions” in the world. First, there is the religion of Human Achievement; this is the religion that all mankind was placed into the moment Adam ate from the wrong tree, the tree of good and evil, or the tree of right and wrong. This tree says "Tell me what to do and I will do it. Tell me what not to do and I will not do it." Of course, the huge assumption is that we will be able to pull it off, and of course, there isn't, and never has been, a man who can do that.

Romans 3:23 tells us that, "ALL of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." So the religion of Human Achievement, no matter what emblem it falls under or what name it is known by, emphasizes what man does in order to merit life and acceptance from God. 

There is, however, another “religion” – the religion of Divine Accomplishment. Here the emphasis is not on what man must do for God, but what God “has done” for man – hence the name Divine Accomplishment. God has done it! It is finished! This is the most glorious news available to man! God offers what He has done for man, to man as a gift; the only “requirement” for man is simply to humble himself and open up his arms and receive the gift by faith. A gift given is not necessarily a gift that has been received. That is where faith comes in, and that is in Hebrews it says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God!”

What is your religion? Is your religion the religion of Human Achievement, a religion that is all about you, and all that you have done and are doing in order to try and achieve merit before God? Or have you entered into the religion of Divine Accomplishment, where God loves you so much that He has done it all for you! The choice is yours!

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Union With God

Would others describe time spent with you, as time spent in the presence of God? God wants our lives to bear fruit, and in this video Pastor Frank reminds us that the fruit we bear is not only for ourselves; God wants His life to be poured out to everyone we meet.

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Never Alone

In this short video, Frank shares a very personal story detailing the worst test he has ever faced. Whatever you are facing today friend, you don't have to go through it alone. None of us are up to the demand of this life, but the wonderful news is, Jesus is!

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Receivers Instead of Achievers

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A paradox is defined as something that sounds contradictory but is actually true. We find such a paradox in the first letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. There he told them to make it their ambition, to be zealous and to strive eagerly - but let’s not complete that sentence just yet...

When I see a phrase that calls me to STRIVE or to be AMBITIOUS, I instantly think of the culture of the world we live in, and conclude that I need to "strive" to be a “mover-and-a-shaker,” or have "ambitions" to become an influencer or motivator; a heart charger who yearns for impact in this world. That is what I would expect would follow a call to "strive" or "be ambitious."

Paul, however, had no such conclusion to that phrase. Instead, he said that we should strive to be quiet; that we should be ambitious to mind our own business and take care of our own work. Pretty strange command, isn’t it? Not really though, when you think about it. We are made by God as human beings, called on the first full day of our existence in Genesis 2 to REST! Oh, we went out to work on the 8th day, but we worked from a position of rest. We labored, but not to achieve, because we had already been given everything by God. WONDERFUL!

Man sinned, however, and we bought the lie that we should eat from the tree of right and wrong, and in that instant we went from a human being who received all that they needed from the hand of God, to become human doings, achieving for themselves. This became our new normal, our default mode – to perform. To do.

The glory of the New Covenant placed us back into relationship with God and provided the potential for us to once again become receivers instead of achievers. To rest instead of LABOR. To simply be significant in Christ instead of trying to achieve significance. This is not easy for anyone, because we have been conditioned to achieve instead of receive. That is why the author of Hebrews said, “Labor to enter into the rest.” In other words, it is hard work to rest. And that is why Paul here in Thessalonians said that we should make it our ambition to lead quiet lives.

We have been made some kind of special in God’s eyes. It is time for us to really believe that and let it dramatically influence the way we live.

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Is the Truth on Your Lips Lived Out in Your Life?

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Sometimes I hear people say that they don’t care what others think. Though I agree that it is the Word of God that is to be the main source by which we order our lives, we should lend some consideration to what others think about us – especially the unbelieving world.

The Apostle Paul told the Thessalonian believers that they should be quiet, work hard, and mind their own business; that they should strive to do so. It is pretty clear from what Jesus said that there is more than enough on our plate every day to concern us. In fact, there is so much on our plate, that we should not even worry about tomorrow. This also means that there is so much on our plate each day that we should not have occasion to worry about what is on the plates of others. As it has been well said, “If you are not busy, you are in danger of being a busybody.” A point well taken, and it is this diligent pursuit of our own responsibilities in daily living, that will have such a great influence on what the outside world thinks of us.

Paul told the Thessalonians that when they follow his counsel to work hard, be quiet, and mind their own business, they will not be lacking. What he meant by this, is that we will be working, and barring some calamity, will be able to provide for the needs of our own lives. In other words, we will not have to go on the rolls of some charity in order to meet our needs.

It is at that point that Paul added that this hard-working lifestyle will have a dramatic effect on the unbelieving world, and we will win their respect because of it. The truth is that we are performing on the stage of life, and the unbelieving world is the audience. They are watching to see if the truth that is on our lips is also in our lives.

One anonymous saint put it this way, “Before we tell others about Jesus with our lips, we need to make sure they can see Jesus in our lives!” Perhaps Francis of Assisi said it best, “Preach Christ always, and sometimes use words!” I love that! Don’t you? Let’s preach Jesus with our lives!

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The Way of Escape: His Life Inside Us

In scripture, we are told that God will not tempt us beyond what we are able and that with the temptation He will make a way of escape for us. In this exciting short video, full of good news, Frank shares with us that the way of escape is Jesus, and His life is inside of us!

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How Far Will You Go With Your God?

In this short video, Frank shares the story of a man named Nick and his courageous journey of faith as he risked everything, including his own life, to share Jesus in Communist Romania. We are challenged today with the question, “How far will we go with our God?”

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God Will Provide

When we see ourselves as too big and God as too small, we will trust ourselves instead of Him. In this short video, Frank reminds us that it is God who carries us through this life and it is God who always provides.

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The One-Two Punch

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In boxing, there is what is called a combination; a left and then a right. It's a one-two punch that hopefully delivers a knockout blow and ends the fight. I find such a one-two punch in the book of 1 Thessalonians 2, where it tells us that God has called us into His kingdom and glory.

First of all, let’s take note of the word “called,” which is better translated, “calls” since it is in the present tense. This means God calls you, and calls you, and calls you, and never stops calling you even when you have already answered the call and have come to Him and received Him and the abundant Life He offers. Why is that?

I believe that God is so infinitely good and wonderful that we will never exhaust the glory of His being – hence we are ALWAYS going to be coming to Him to draw from Him. A second thought I had is that we are continually being drawn to things other than God in this world and therefore are ALWAYS in need of being called back to Him as our only true source of Life.

The rest of the passage tells us what He is calling us to, and this is wonderful!

First, He is calling us to His kingdom. He, of course, is the King of this kingdom, but we are not called to be His subjects. Oh no! We are called to be His children (John 1:11-12.) We are called to be the sons and daughters of the King, which of course makes us princes and princesses.

I believe, with all my heart, that this is why He added that the second thing He is calling us to is His glory! We, as His sons and daughters, share in the inheritance of His glory. This is an amazing thought because throughout the Old and New Testaments God is revealed as a jealous God, who has a rightful zeal for that which is His own. He will not allow anyone or anything to rob Him of His glory; but He will, however, freely share His glory with His kids!

What an amazing Father we have been called to. We are very privileged kids!

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God is Good and Does Only Good

What do we do when the path that God has us on doesn't line up with what we know of God? May you be encouraged through this short video as Frank reminds us of the amazing truth that our God who has provided in the past, will provide again.

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