joy

The Gift God Only Gives His Children

As parents we do very special things for our children because we love them so much - and God is no different with us! In today’s short clip, Frank shares the beautiful gift that God promises His children. May you experience His joy today!


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Faith Doesn’t Change Anything - The Surprising Truth

In this short video, we get a quick peek into the lives of two men changed by their darkest days. May you find freedom as Frank reveals the truth about what having faith really accomplishes.

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Faith Doesn’t Change Anything - The Surprising Truth

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David said that because God was for him, those who sought to destroy his life were going to go into the depths of Sheol and they would be delivered over to the power of the sword and would become prey for jackals. He said the mouths of those who spoke lies would be stopped. And it all happened. Absalom fled from the army of Israel, his wild hair getting caught in a tree, and Joab came and delivered the death blow with his sword. We can’t read this casually; we can’t forget that this is a dad we’re talking about - David just lost his boy. And let me tell you, I'm a dad, and no matter how much that boy rebels, he will always be my boy, right? So David is going to grieve, and if we go back and read what the passage says, he grieved heavily, but he also rejoiced that the will of God ended the rebellion and restored the nation of Israel.

I've said this many times, and I’m going to say it again, believers are the only ones that can have tears of sorrow AND joyful hearts at the same time.  And when the world sees that, they don't know what to do with us! It’s one of the greatest times we have to testify for the faithfulness and truth of who God is. The world can't relate to a foolish plastic facade of the Prosperity Gospel, they don't relate to that! But they do relate to your tears, and they'll see your faith and that will give you a bridge to introduce them to who God really is.

In David, we see a man in the wilderness. Did you notice in this passage he didn't get delivered from the wilderness right away? The world is still the world and that's not going to change. We're not going to get restored to a playground until Jesus Christ comes back, this world is going to remain a wilderness. The key here is that not only does the wilderness never change, our God never changes! He will be all that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith and that will allow one thing to change, and that's us. We will be the ones who change.

Like David, Jeremiah too became a changed man. The book of Lamentations reveals to us Jeremiah's heartache; he was a man of affliction.

While sitting in the ashes of destruction, with murder babies and slaughtered people all around him; miserable, hopeless and dying, he recalled to his mind that he had a hope greater than the death around him. He had the mercies of God. He knew that it was only by God’s mercy that they weren't destroyed. He knew this was not the end of the story.

Nothing had changed; the ashes and the slaughter, the murdered babies, Jerusalem, nothing had changed. The wilderness had not changed but Jeremiah had. This might tempt you to say, “That is what faith will do.” But that would be a lie! Faith doesn't change anything; all faith does is connect you to to the One who brings the change. That's the key beloved, and when you have faith in Him, He will be all that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith.


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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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Suicide as a Counterfeit Gospel.

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Suicide is the counterfeit gospel: Die! Kill yourself and you will be free!

The true Gospel is "Die and you will be free". This refers of course to how we have been crucified and resurrected with Jesus.

Satan's message is similar, but destructive - and must be rejected. Further, know that those thoughts DO NOT COME FROM YOU! I Corinthians 2:16 says we have the mind of Christ".

The mind of Christ does not say 'kill yourself'. Those thoughts are the enemy's, put into your mind to destroy you. 

Sadness is understandable. Jesus was described as a man of sorrows... this is a sad world! It is ok to be sad, but as we look to Christ in the midst of our sadness, we will discover Joy that operates AT THE SAME TIME as our sorrow.  Christians are the only ones in the world who can have tears of sorrow streaming down their cheeks while singing praise with joy at the same time.

When we fix our eyes on our sorrow, we stay focused on the horizontal. Don't do that. Rather, go vertical: fix your eyes on Father, and discover how well He meets you in your sorrow with His peace and joy.

I know this from personal experience.

You are loved,

Frank.

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Placed Into His Being

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We must have a proper view of God. How we view God is ultimately how we will view ourselves in relationship to Him, so it is very important to study Who God is. In I Timothy 6, we are told that God is blessed. That is a strange thought, isn’t it? Most times as believers, our focus is on how blessed we are because we know Him. But here, Paul states that God Himself is blessed. The word is makairos and it means happy, content or fulfilled. Think about that! Our God is a happy God, a content God, a fulfilled God. He does not know unhappiness, frustration anxiousness or fear.

Now certainly there are “things” that please Him, and there are absolutely “things” that displease and even grieve Him, like when we sin! However, NOTHING ever alters His deep sense of inner contentment. He doesn’t have a bad day when we sin. In fact, God NEVER has a bad day! Every moment of every day is a good day for God!

Why is it so important that we understand that? Because in the New Testament, when we place our faith in Jesus, we are told that we are placed “in Him, and He in us.” Therefore, that means that when we got placed in Him, we also got placed into Who He is!

We got placed into His contentment,
His rest, His fulfillment, His calm.

Jesus stated this plainly in Mt. 11 when He said for us to come to Him, that we might find His yoke which is easy and experience His rest! I love how the Psalmist put this, “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Ps. 2:12) Take refuge from all the calamity, anxiety, fear, and unrest this world offers by resting by faith in Him, Who is blessed – so that – you too will experience His blessed rest and calm!

Wow!!!

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Only Goodness and Mercy Have Followed Me

As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him.

As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him.

Psalm 23.

Everyone knows this beloved psalm. He leads me through the valley of the shadow of death. He is my shepherd.

Interesting insight: Remember, David wrote this as an old man. As he reflects on his life and the faithfulness of God to him, he closes the psalm with these words--- "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life."

Why did I highlight the word "surely"?

Because it can also be translated "only". As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him. What does that mean? That even the pain and sorrow and tears have led to and been overwhelmed by the goodness and mercy of God.

Wow. I think of Rev 7:17 and 21:4 - He shall wipe away every tear and THERE SHALL BE NO MORE PAIN.

May this be the reality for all his saints who journey through this valley of the shadow of death, which is life in a fallen world.

May you see the goodness and mercy in your life so fully that you no longer see the pain and sorrow....

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Triumph Through Tears

...we can be found in tears over a great loss, while at the same time experiencing triumph in those tears because God is meeting us in that moment with all that He is!

...we can be found in tears over a great loss, while at the same time experiencing triumph in those tears because God is meeting us in that moment with all that He is!

David was NOT bipolar, nor was he schizophrenic! I share that because a lot of people sincerely believe he was. He can be found in one Psalm living in awe, wonder, and joy at the love and care of God, and then in the very next Psalm claiming that God had deserted him and heralding that he longs to die! This diametrically opposed behavior continues throughout the Psalms, but I would hesitate greatly to say he was bipolar.

No, I believe he was the “total man” – after all, he was the man after God’s own heart.

Allow me to explain. There are two kinds of life given in the New Testament. There is "biaos", from which we get "biography". It is a word used for "life as man lives it!" I would define it as experiencing and expressing the life of man with the resources of man. Then, there is "zoe", meaning "life as God lives it", Life lived out of the resources of God.

My personal conviction is that David lived genuinely in both those lives and very often did so at the same time, just as we often do! The "biaos" life, though it can be good, can also be very hurtful, and full of loss and suffering because of the existence of sin and the enemy.

On the other hand, there is "Zoe" life made available to us at the moment of faith, where we can experience life as God lives it while at the same time experience life as man lives it in a fallen world.

In other words, we can be found in tears over a great loss, while at the same time experiencing triumph in those tears because God is meeting us in that moment with all that He is!

Oh, and by the way, David is not alone. The charge could also go against Paul, who was in such trouble that he despaired of life in II Cor 1, yet he could also say to the Philippians, "rejoice always, and again I say rejoice!"

And please don’t forget our Jesus, Who was experiencing such trouble he sweated blood in the garden, while at the same time experiencing the Father’s will and approval of Who He was and where He was going.

The world needs such real men, who do not offer plastic façades that everything is ALWAYS going great. The world needs men who will be honest about their pain, and their genuine experience of resurrection power.

I would describe the true Christian Life as the experience and
expression of the agony, and the ecstasy, simultaneously being lived out.

Dealing With Pain

It hurts to hurt! We were not designed to hurt! When we hurt, we want to stop hurting! There is NOTHING wrong with that at all. The great Apostle Paul hurt often. In II Cor 1, he hurt so bad he says that he was despairing of life! Did you hear that? He wanted to die! It is sad that people miss this passage and the honesty that we should all have in the body of Christ to share our struggles.

It is sad that the body of Christ all too often does not allow us to struggle. I wonder how many in the modern church would have hushed Paul and told him he was not offering a “positive confession” or that he was being a bad example of faith to others. I love his honesty.

He declared another time in II Cor 12 that he had a thorn in the flesh, and it hurt so bad he begged God to take it away. Again, an honest testimony. Obviously, Paul did not believe in “triumphalism” – the belief that we are able to live above our circumstances. That is something God never promised. Even the Lord Jesus Himself, was in such torment in the garden of Eden, that he was sweating blood and begging the Father that there might be another way available to Him besides the way of the cross. 

The key is that neither of their desperate situations ended in despair. In Jesus life, the Father strengthened Him as He resolved to live according to the Father’s will. Paul in II Cor 1 remembered the resurrection life and power of Jesus, that life rose up within him to empower him through the experience of death that had come upon him. And in II Cor 12, God’s power showed up in Paul’s weakness enabling him to endure the thorn in his life. Did you see the common ground in each of these issues? They did not experience “triumphalism” – living “above” their circumstances.

Rather, they experienced God in and through the midst of their experiences. They encountered death and life at the same time! They experienced sorrow and joy at the same time! They experienced weakness and strength at the same time! This is the reality that only we as believers can experience. We are the only ones on the planet who can weep sorrowful and joy filled tears at the same time and here is what I want you to take away. 

This opportunity to suffer in faith, is only provided for us in this life. Years from now, in eternity future, we may have the desire to love our heavenly Father and come to Him and tell Him, “Oh Father. I love you so much I am willing to suffer for you!” That is a noble declaration on our parts, but do you realize the folly of that desire? He will say to us in return, “Oh my child. Thank you for your heart. But that opportunity was already provided for you during your life on earth. You can never, ever have the opportunity to suffer for me again for all eternity!”

The Bible says there is a crown reserved for those who suffer in faith. I must admit, I do not understand what that really means, but I do realize that I only have one shot at “earning” that crown, and then that opportunity will be gone forever. That reality has changed my perspective on the wounds that come in to my life in this world. I still don’t want to hurt! It hurts to hurt! But, those hurts provide me with an opportunity to trust God in a way that is beyond the scope of normal faith – and the opportunity to do so is a fleeting one, only available “in the moment!”

Hmmmmmmmm….

Shall We Dance?

There are a lot of things about us as humans that make us unique. We have a spine structure that allows us to stand on our two feet as opposed to most other mammals. We have the ability to think and communicate thought in language. We have the ability to use utensils. And how about this one.... we have the ability to dance.

I believe that dancing is part of what makes us unique as man made in the image of God, and that we got that "ability" from God. Early theologians, talking about the love of God, called His love the "perichoresis".... a compound word meaning to dance around.

And so we, made in the image of God Who was motivated to create us in love, dance as God Himself dances... This is what makes us unique among creation... Dogs don't dance. Cats don't dance. And our "evolutionary" grandfathers (as some people believe) the monkeys don't dance.

But we dance, because we were made to celebrate the love of God... (remember David?)

So we really should be "dancing in the aisles as we celebrate His love... The only problem is I DO NOT HAVE VERY MUCH RHYTHM!!! HA!