glory

The Encouragement You Need to Run the Race

The race can be long, and the heartaches we face cause us to cry out for Christ's return. In this short video, Frank tells us to get excited! The Lamb who laid down His life is coming back as a Lion with a mighty roar, to slay His enemies and make this place right.

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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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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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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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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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Heavy Upon Us

He oppresses us with His glory, forces His glory upon us so we can bathe in and share it with Him.

He oppresses us with His glory, forces His glory upon us so we can bathe in and share it with Him.

God will not let anyone compete with His glory, He is jealous of what is rightfully His. This is fact! Remember the "god" Dagon? It had to bow before the ark of the covenant every day. God will not let anyone or anything rob Him of His glory. However, He gladly and willingly shares His glory with his kids...

In II Cor 4:17, God calls this phenomenon an eternal WEIGHT of glory. Amazing choice of words. IT IS HEAVY UPON US! Dare I put it this way: He oppresses us with His glory, forces His glory upon us so we can bathe in and share it with Him.

WOW!!! Bring on the oppression!!!

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What Can Fill The Human Spirit?

As an old saint said so well...  "The human spirit, created by God, will only rest when it rests in God."

As an old saint said so well... "The human spirit, created by God, will only rest when it rests in God."

WE KNOW THIS!!! We really do...
But oh if we could only live it out on a consistent basis!

A spiritual hunger CANNOT be met by a physical entity!

or...

As an old saint said so well...
"The human spirit, created by God, will only rest
when it rests in God."

There is much in this world that will satisfy the human soul and there is nothing wrong with that; time with a good friend, romping with a puppy, sitting on the shore of a beautiful lake. But sadly, there is much in this world that can empty a human soul.

HOWEVER,

And here lies the glory --> there is nothing, NOTHING, that can fill the human spirit but the Spirit of God Himself.

... and there is nothing in this world that can empty what He has filled!!!

GLORY~~~

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Father Is A Name of Summation

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent that no one name can adequately describe Him.

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent that no one name can adequately describe Him.

On the final night of His life, Jesus prayed what has been called His “High Priestly Prayer” in John 17. It is one of the most incredible possessions we have because it takes us into the “dialogue of God”. In it, we are afforded the privilege of listening in to “God talk” between the Father and the Son. Amazing! 

In that prayer, Jesus declares that He has finished the work that He was sent to do. He states that “Father, I gave unto them (us) your name!” Now think about that! Throughout the Old Testament God manifested Himself through a multiplicity of names. El Shaddai, Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah Rapha and so on. This is as it should be, because really, how do you describe God?

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent
that no one name can adequately describe Him.

There was one name however, that was not used in the Old Testament that Jesus used throughout the Gospels. In fact, in His communication with God, the religious world was scandalized at how freely and intimately Jesus used this name - - - Father! I believe with all my heart that this is the name that Jesus was referring to in John 17.

All those other names, though they contain wonderful truth about the nature of the Father, are limited in their scope. Father is a name of summation. It wraps up in one word all that He is and longs to be to us. A father is strong, a father is a provider, a father is a protector, a father loves his children and desires and implements the best for his children, and we could go on and on. It really is, the name above all the other names for God, the name that He desperately wanted us to know, the name He sent Jesus to herald to us.

This is so important to understand because most people get their view of the Father from distorted sources. They view our heavenly Father through the lens of their own earthly father. That is so potentially destructive because so many earthly fathers are horrible fathers. Please understand, even the best earthly father is a hideous distortion of what our heavenly Father is really like. Others get their understanding of the Father from religious leaders, renaissance art, and a faulty understanding of the Scriptures and end up with a heavenly Father that they are desperately afraid of in His awesome glory. No, my friends. The Father is love. That is what it says in I John. And our Father wants to be known for who and what He is really like. Maybe I could put it this way if I could be so bold? He is tired of so many others telling what He is like in their own distorted views, so He sent His Son to herald once and for all what He is all about. “I am your heavenly Father, and so you could know Me and how much I love and care for you, I sent you My Son to provide you with a visual so that once and for all you would know what I am really like!"

Who is God? Oh, He is omnipotent and omnipresent, and sovereign, and omniscient and all those other glorious attributes. But He is above all else, My Father, which means that He is omnipotent and omnipresent, and sovereign, and omniscient and all those other glorious attributes to me personally as my Abba (Papa) God!

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Eternity of Relationship

The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God.

The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God.

Heaven! What will it be like? Though no one knows for sure but the people who are there, we get many glimpses throughout the Bible as the Spirit describes what really cannot be described.

One thing I am convinced of is that it will certainly NOT BE THE ETERNAL CHURCH SERVICE IN THE SKY! Hallelujah for that!

I would describe it as THE GREAT ADVENTURE! The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God. A bucket list that grows ever longer no matter how many things on that list we fulfill, experience, and enjoy! WOW!

One of the supreme things I believe that will bring us ECSTACY is simply the awe and wonder and sharing heaven in relationship with other people. What?

I know, when I think of relationships on planet earth, I think of hard work, masks, social niceties, --- I also think of AVOID! Yes, there are people that are hard to have a relationship with and we all know that we try and avoid such people. BE HONEST!

But in the kingdom, we will be enjoying the company of a glorified human being, one that if they showed up on this planet right now, we would be in danger of worshiping them, because they are so glorious. They will also be experiencing and expressing through their glorified person the VERY LIFE OF THE PERSON OF GOD flowing through them in unhindered fashion!

In them, I will be experiencing God Himself expressing Himself through their unique personhood like light flows through a prism! WOW!

In heaven, just sitting down for a cup of tea with another glorified human being is going to be SHEER ECSTACY!

What does the song say, "I can only imagine?"

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What's In A Name?

My favorite name is from Exodus 34 where God heralds His own name.

My favorite name is from Exodus 34 where God heralds His own name.

There are many names of God. I believe they are there to show us that God is soooo big and so multi-faceted. Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Tsidkenu, Yahweh, Adonai, El Shaddai, Jesus, and of course, Abba Father and the list goes on.

My favorite name is from Exodus 34 where God heralds His own name. "You want to know my name? Here it is..."

"The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin."  
ISN'T THAT AN AWESOME NAME???

CAN YOU IMAGINE PRAYING TO HIM WITH THAT NAME? TRY IT!!!!!

Dear Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin... WOW. You are so awesome.... I forgot what I was going to talk to you about...

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Clay Pots Full Of Greatness!

There are no earthly heroes, my friend, there are only clay pots that the  Hero of all Heroes  expresses Himself through.

There are no earthly heroes, my friend, there are only clay pots that the Hero of all Heroes expresses Himself through.

I Corinthians 1:29 says, "no man should boast before God." Two verses later Paul writes "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord." One says it negatively, the other positively. I think Paul did that purposely so we would hear it. Later, he will write that we have no adequacy in ourselves, but that our adequacy comes from God.

We must guard against the adoration of man. It is true that men are able to say great things and do great things in the kingdom of God, but we must never forget that they are able to do those things because of the "greatness" of the Person that dwells in and through them.

There are no earthly heroes, my friend, there are only clay pots that the Hero of all Heroes expresses Himself through.

My Name is Branch Frank.

Ours is a multi-faceted identity.

We are not only called saints, we are called slaves of righteousness. Did you know that when we were born again and freed from sin, that we really just exchanged Masters? Then, where is our freedom? The glory is that now, finally, we can be what we were created to be – vessels of righteousness, the very slaves of righteousness. GLORY!

We are also called “children of God” and that is glorious because it provides us with a family and especially a real Father instead of our former father the devil.

We are called soldiers because we must never forget that we are in a war. If we are not prepared for and ready to fight at any moment, there is a very real danger that we will become a casualty and fall into a sin that might have devastating consequences.

We are called the light of the world, we are called vessels of mercy, we are called living letters and on and on it goes.  Father wants us to understand the full glory of Who He is, who we are in Him and ALL that He longs to do in and through us as we trust Him by faith. I will say it again as I have said it so often,

“God wants to be ALL that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith.”

That is why I would share with you today, one of our identities that I don’t believe we hear enough about. We are “BRANCHES!” John 15 records how important this aspect of our identity truly is. Jesus told us in that passage, that we are branches, and that He and HE ALONE is the true vine. Please understand that a branch does not produce fruit because it cannot produce fruit. A branch is just a branch, something that really is worthless without being connected to the vine.

This reality should put a lot of preachers out of business. Can you hear them? “You wicked branch! Look at you! You haven’t produced any fruit! You are lazy and slothful, are you even born again?” And the poor little branch speaks in a muffled voice, “But I tried!” And the preacher screams back, “You need to re-dedicate your life to God and try harder!!!” And now, with tears streaming down his/her cheeks, the little branch “rededicates” his/her life to go back out into the world and try harder to produce fruit, which of course, they will NEVER be able to do on their own. Their Christian life will be lived in perpetual frustration and failure. They may even reject the faith and claim that Christianity does not work.

That is so very sad. They are trying to do what they can never do because they do not understand who they are. They are a BRANCH! End of discussion! God said it is so. A branch does not produce fruit. The only responsibility a branch has is to connect to the Vine. When connected to the Vine, the LIFE that is in the Vine will flow through the branch and that Vine LIFE flowing through the branch will produce the fruit that the branch will now bear!

Please hear the words of Jesus. It is not your job to produce fruit. It is your job to bear fruit, but that will only occur when you are intimately connected to and dependent on our Vine Jesus, to express His life through you as you trust Him by faith. I don’t believe Jesus could have made it more clear than when He said in John 15, “Without Me you can do nothing!”

I believe that we have a two-fold problem. Far too many people just don’t believe or appropriate what He said, and then off they go to try and do what they cannot do because they don’t understand who they really are. You are a weak, frail, branch! End of discussion! But, when you connect to the Vine and His LIFE is flowing through, you are strong, complete, and so full of life bearing fruit that others can come to you and experience God Himself living His Life in and through you.

My name is Branch Frank, and I hope that I have encouraged you in our own “branchness” to abide in Him that you might bear much fruit.