topical study

Finding shelter in God

The book of Psalms tells us that we will dwell in Him, and He will be our home. Using incredible imagery from a recent movie, Frank reveals the breathtaking words of our Father who tells us “I will be your host, I will protect you, and am so much for you that I will lay down my life for you.” In all that you face today Beloved, may you find shelter in your God who loves you and gave Himself up for you.


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Finding Shelter in God

The book of Psalms tells us that we will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”(23:6). We will live with Him, in Him. He's going to be our address, our home. 

How many of you saw the movie The Lone Survivor with Mark Wahlberg? In that movie, Marcus Luttrel is hurt, and a Pakistani Muslim takes him into his own home and then defends him with his own life. They call this custom the Pashtunwali Code and the idea is when I'm your host I'm willing to lay down my life for you. 

There is amazing archeological evidence, which you can Google yourself, which shows that some of the tribes of Israel went into Afghanistan and that the Pashtunwali Code may have originated from Hebrew custom and culture. But regardless of where the code comes from this is exactly what God does for us. He invites us into Himself, to dwell in Him, and then he defends us with His Life.  Let's think about that. God says, “I will be your host, and I will protect you so much and I am so much for you that I will lay down my life for you.” Amazing!


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Most Important Thing God Wants You To Know About Death

Death is often a topic not spoken of, and when it is it’s often misspoken of. This had brought, fear, sadness and confusion to many people; and God does not want His children to live that way. May Frank’s words in this short video fill you with hope and peace as he uncovers the truths God wants you to know about “falling asleep.” Beloved, may you never forget that for believers, the grave is not the end of the story.


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Who God Really Wants to Be to You

What would our lives look like if we truly understood the depths of all God wanted to be to us? In this short video, Frank reveals how His faithfulness will be our shield and reminds us that our Father who loves us, doesn't just put a shield up around us, He IS the shield around us! Will you let Him be all that He wants to be to you?


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Most Important Thing God Wants You to Know About Death

photo-1467931701857-c66e9e144633.jpeg

Remember that passage in 2 Thessalonians where Paul says, Beloved ones, I want you to be in the know concerning the return of Jesus, and concerning those people who have died before Christ has come back? Wait now! Is that what he said, “Those who have died?” Let’s look at the verse: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do those who have no hope” (2 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Does verse 13 say, “They have died?” No, it does not! It says they have “fallen asleep.” 

When it comes to a believer dying, we no longer die, we go to sleep. Think about that! The word sleep isn’t used in the New Testament to refer to the soul or spirit of a person, it's used to refer to the body. So, our soul or spirit ejects out of that body and goes to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the body that's left behind and it doesn't really die, at least not from a Christian perspective. It's called sleep. Look at these verses: 2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” And Philippians 1:23 says, “having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is much better.”

And so in the early church, the teaching from the spirit of God was, it's no longer death, it's just sleep. Fascinating! So let’s dive into that a little further and circle the word sleep in your Bible. It’s the word koimaomai, and it means to sleep. And as I studied that word, it led to another word, called koimeterion, which means a dormitory, or a sleeping place, and from that word we get our word “cemetery”. 

The whole world uses the word cemetery today, but Christians started to use it for the place we bury those who have gone to sleep. A cemetery is a place where you put people whose bodies have gone to sleep and the word was later used to refer to a hotel. Isn't that cool? 

How many of you have ever checked into a hotel thinking you're going to stay there forever?! No way baby! You're checking in, because you're checking out, and that's what the Holy Spirit of God says to a believer who has died. They're checking into that cemetery, but they're checking out very, very soon. Isn't that cool? I love that. For the believer, the grave is not the end of the story.

Take your pen now, and circle that other little phrase “having fallen asleep.” That's an incorrect translation. It's actually a passive tense, an action that has been done upon them. It should have been translated “having been put to sleep.” Think about that, who “puts people to sleep?” Parents! And who do we as parents put to sleep? Our little children. Do you get the word picture, friends? The Holy Spirit's trying to communicate Father's perspective, and that is that He took that child and put them to bed. Now here's the key, as a parent have you ever put your child to sleep thinking they were going to sleep forever? No, you knew they were getting up soon and we're getting up out of that grave real, real soon! 

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Who God Really Wants to Be to You

photo-1522367711107-bf0b2552c731.jpeg

The book of Psalm shares this amazing promise with us: “He will cover us with His feathers and under His wings, we will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4). 

Of course, we instantly think of Jesus in Matthew 23:37 where He’s on the hill overlooking the city of Jerusalem and He's crying, He's weeping, “Oh, Jerusalem! How often would I have gathered you under my wings like a hen gathers her chicks?” What's He saying? That He wanted to protect them and shepherd them but they wouldn't let Him. They wouldn't come to Him, they followed that false theologian Frank Sinatra and said, “I’ll do it my way!” 

When we come to Him, “His faithfulness will be our shield and our bulwark.” (Psalm 91:4). Meaning that He literally puts a fortress around us. And it’s important to remember that, He doesn't just put a shield up around us, He IS the shield around us! 

At this point in the verses the Psalmist almost cries out, I almost picture him grabbing the person he's talking to and going, “Do you hear me?! Do you see what I'm trying to tell you that God is offering to be to you?”

Loved one, when you come to know Him and experience Him, you will not fear!


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

How to avoid the greatest danger of trials

When trials come it can be very easy, for our eyes to become fixed on the trial, which robs us of our joy, peace and faith. In this clip, Frank reminds us of the One who delivers us. Beloved,  the trial may remain, but with God, it's not the end of the story!



Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Knowing This Habit of God Will Change Your Life

photo-1527333656061-ca7adf608ae1.jpeg

It says in the verses of Psalms that there are snares out there; there are traps. Let’s look at one of those verses: “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:3).There’s a feeling of very real danger here of capture and binding and the verses say that there's deadly pestilence, but did you notice that he didn't define it? He left it open. There are lots of pestilences on any given day of our lives. Do you realize that one little germ, one little virus can rob us of our health and even kill us? Do we really understand what James said, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away”(James 4:14)? 

What's the instantaneous promise though that we are given? “He delivers you!” And we need to park there for a minute and really look at what this means. This does not mean that those who trust God are never going to succumb to the enemy or die by disease. We must interpret these verses in light of the rest of the Bible. Hebrews 11 gives us a list of lots of people who put their faith in God but didn't get delivered from their struggle but instead were delivered to God personally in heaven. That was faith too: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us” (Hebrews 11:39).

So what is the psalmist saying? I think what he's saying is this, if you will look at God in His recorded history, if you will look at God over the history of your own personal walk with Him, you will find that God is in the habit of delivering His kids. He does it all the time! 

We could go to 2 Corinthians 11:26 and look at Paul's personal testimony. He tells us that he endured shipwreck, and robbers, and disease, and famine—and through it all, God preserved him. We could go to Philippians 4:13, and the promise for us is, “I can do all things through Christ.” I can have a lot, I can have a little, I can be healthy, I can be sick, but no matter what the circumstance I have found that He is sufficient. 

Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me.” He doesn't say, “He'll get me out of the valley,” he says “He will walk with me through it. 

I think the message is clear, and one writer (George Whitefield) put it this way, that we who abide in Him are immortal until our work is done. Let that one sink in for a little bit! Until God is finished with you laboring on His behalf in this world, nothing can take you home until He says it’s time.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

It's not you, it's Him

If you know anything about this world we live in, you know that it's incredibly hard to hold onto God when the storms of life come our way. In this short video, Frank reveals the glorious promise that we have in God, that frees us with the truth that it’s actually not about us and how much we hold onto God, but about God and how much He holds onto us.


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

How to Avoid the Greatest Danger of Trials

photo-1447350152302-65042359f14f.jpeg

Take a look at these verses from Psalms: “The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; They have spread a net by the wayside” (Psalm 140:5). “The wicked have laid a snare for me; Yet have I not gone astray from thy precepts” (Psalm 119:110). “Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, And from the snares of those who do iniquity” (Psalm 141:9). “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:3).The psalmist presents danger in every verse. He presents the danger, but then instantaneously, he presents the Deliverer! I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded of the One who delivers. I’ve experienced, in my own judgment, more than my fair share of struggle and trial, and it is so important for me to be reminded of my Deliverer.

When those trials come it is very easy, and it is, in fact, the great danger of trial, for our eyes to become fixed on the trial. If we stay focused on the horizontal it allows the trials to grow even bigger than they really are, and it robs us of our joy, peace and faith. What the Psalmist does is every time he presents the danger, he tells us not to only look horizontal but to go vertical! He tells us to get our eyes off the trial. Oh, the trial and travail remain there, but it's not the end of the story—here is One who can deliver us from the trial!

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Heart of God and How it Changes Everything

God tells us that He will be the strong one, the exalted one; our protector, and our provider. In this clip, Frank highlights the heart of our Father and gives us the important reminder that although God doesn’t always deliver us FROM our trouble, He is always with us IN our trouble. May your life be changed as you discover the heart of your Father.


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

It’s Not You, It’s Him

photo-1484041090416-a61f59d42eef.jpeg

If myself and another person were going to enter into a contract in the Old Testament days, we would take an animal, we'd cut the animal in half and put it on two separate sides. Then I would walk through those animals and the other person would walk through those animals. 

What's the point we'd be trying to make? 

If either one of us breaks this covenant, then let this happen to us. You see, people's word meant something in those days. 

Here's the key that I want you to see—God made a covenant with Abraham. They cut the animals in two, God walked through the animals, and then what did God do? He put Abraham to sleep and God walked through a second time. 

Do you get it? This glorious New Covenant that we have with God is not about you and how much you hold onto God; it's about God and how much He holds onto you. And if you know anything about this world we live in, it's awfully hard to hold onto Him when the storms of life come our way, but it’s not hard at all for Him to hold on to us. 

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

4 Powerful things that will change the way you see God

What does God tell us about Himself in His Word? Who does He really want to be to us? In this clip, Frank quickly reveals four incredible metaphors to describe who our Father really is. Fear wants to take hold of us each day as we face uncertainty and trials, may you take refuge in the God who longs to be your shelter from the storm.



Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Heart of God and How It Changes Our Lives

When you're a little kid, and you’re living in a very dangerous world and your heart gets filled with fear, what do you do? I had four kids, and I can tell you what they do; they put a death grip around your neck! And what does a parent do when a child puts a death grip around their neck because they're afraid? Oh, we throw them down and say, “Grow up!” Right? Is that what we do? That's not what I did. I’ll tell you what I did, I put a death grip right back on them, and I’d say, "It’s ok baby, your daddy's got you. Your daddy's got you and because your daddy's got you, it's okay, and that's the only reason it's okay.” 

The book of Psalms tells us that He will rescue us. It says, “I will protect you because you know my name” (Psalm 91:14). I think that's a reference to all the names He’s given us for Himself: Yahweh, El Shaddai, Elyon, all references to His character. I'll be the strong one. I'll be the exalted one. I'll be your protector. I'll be your provider. I think it's supremely the name that Jesus revealed to us in John 17: Father.

And Psalms doesn’t say, “When we call on Him,” that's the wrong word! When you're in trouble as a little kid, do you call for your mom or dad? “Excuse me, Mother? Father?” That's not what a little kid does! They cry, and they say, “Will you help me? I'm hurting!” And what does God say? “I will hear him?” No! He says, “I will answer him!” You see, loved one, He doesn’t just hear us, He answers us. 

And even more than that, He tells us that He will be with us in the trouble. This is so important for us to know—God does not always deliver us from trouble. In fact, I have found that in my own experience, rarely does He deliver us from trouble. Being delivered from the trouble, that's Plan A, that's what we all want, but it's not what we get. We usually get Plan B, He'll walk with us in the trouble until we’re out of the trouble.


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Did Paul Really Tell us Not to Grieve?

Losing a loved one causes unbearable grief. But have you ever been made to feel that if you really trusted God, your loss wouldn’t be causing you so many tears and so much pain?  Did Paul really tell us not to grieve? In this clip Frank uncovers the truth of what the Bible really tells us about grief, and prompts a question that can’t be ignored: If Jesus felt the freedom to grieve the loss of a loved one, even though He knew it was temporary, shouldn’t we feel the same freedom?


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

How to live free in the midst of hardship

We’re all thirsting for something. Jesus tells us that whatever need we have, no matter what we are facing, we can come to Him. In this clip, Frank points us back to the One who quenches every thirst we have, the One alone who satisfies, the One who brings freedom to the captives. You can be free, Beloved.


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

Did Paul Really Tell us Not to Grieve?

pexels-photo-734479.jpeg

In 1 Corinthians 15:55 Paul says “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” and in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 he writes, “so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.” Please hear this beloved, it’s so very important. Paul is not saying, do not grieve. The Christian community has taken this passage and twisted it many, many times to do something ridiculously wrong, and imply that we're not supposed to grieve. 

When I was pastoring in Delaware, there was a sweet young woman who was thirty-four years old with four babies. She was in the ICU and was dying, and did die. We held a round the clock vigil for that young lady, and people were there with her praying the whole two weeks she was there. I showed up one day just in time to see one of our dear ladies come out of that ICU with tears streaming down her cheeks, and the next lady ready to go in stuck her finger in that woman’s face and said, “Stop crying! That doesn't manifest victory.” If ever I wanted to slap somebody in Jesus' name! You know what, maybe it didn't manifest victory, but it manifested compassion, which is, in my understanding of the New Testament, what Jesus Christ is all about!

We grieve. Paul said in Romans 12:15 through the spirit, “Weep with those who weep.” Jesus himself wept at the death of Lazarus. And this is so important, it doesn't say He cried a few tears, it says He wept. Weeping is full-fledged, heartfelt crying. That's an important distinction. If Jesus felt the freedom to openly grieve the loss of a loved one, even though it's temporary, we should feel the same freedom. 

What Paul is speaking to us in these verses, is that he wants us to grieve with hope, to grieve with confidence that ours is never a permanent goodbye. I challenge every one of you, because until the Lord returns there will be death in your family and friends, when you're at that graveside, don't say goodbye, say until we meet again. Until we meet again.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

4 Powerful Things That Will Change the Way You See God

photo-1456242773111-bfbc1bc54e7e.jpeg

Let’s take a look at these beginning lines from Psalm 91:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper

And from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

You're going to find that the Psalmist, in his exuberance, gives us four different metaphors to describe who God is to him through his proven experience. 

  1. “He is my shelter.” If anybody knows about needing shelter, it’s us in South Louisiana! When the storms come rolling in, baby you go looking for shelter!

  2. “He is my shadow.” When you live in a desert, it will beat you down and zap every little bit of your life and strength out of you. You need a shadow to cool you off. 

  3. “He is my refuge.” He's the one place where I can run to. He's my fortress. I love that. 

  4. “He is my protection.” He's the one place of safety I have in this life.

If I could have my own translation of the Bible, this is how I'd summarize these verses, “If anyone is going to try and get to me, they’re going to have to go through my Father first!” 

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

How to Live Free in the Midst of Hardship

woman-girl-freedom-happy-39853.jpeg

In John 7:37, Jesus made a remarkable statement. He said, “If anyone is thirsty let [them] come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me…from [their] innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” He tells us, I will satisfy that thirst, and I will satisfy it so fully that rivers of living water will flow out of you.”

“If anyone,” let’s stop there. It doesn't matter who you are, where you’ve been, where you find yourself any person anywhere, anytime, this is for you—Do you thirst? And then what does He say? Amazingly, He leaves it blank! He doesn’t say, “If you thirst after righteousness.” That's what we would have expected to see, right? He just says, “If you thirst.” In other words, “Whatever thirst you have, you can come to Me.” 

You see, we might think we're thirsting for something, but that's really not what we're thirsting for; we're actually thirsting for Him, we just don't always recognize it. You might be thirsting for money; but you're not really thirsting for money, you’re thirsting for security. And where can you get security from? From the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, darling! 

You might think you're thirsting for fame; you long to be recognized. What are you really thirsting for? Significance—and you can't get any more significant than being the child of the King of Kings of this universe!

You might think you're thirsting for sex. What are you really thirsting for? Sex! No, I'm just kidding. You’re thirsting for intimacy and you can get that from God. He's the One who knows your thoughts, not even your spouse knows your thoughts. He knows your thoughts and says, “I love you unconditionally.”

Are you thirsting for deliverance? No. What you're really thirsting for, is His freedom and did you know that you can be free even in the middle of a conflict? Oh yes, you can be free in the middle of a desert, you can be free even in a prison.  You can be free!


----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Freeing Truth that Can Radically Change Your New Year

Many of us have recently determined all that we’ll be and do differently in this coming year. We try, we fail, and we try harder, all while getting more discouraged. In this clip Frank shares the simple good news that can change this coming year for you: The moment you say yes to Jesus, God says, “You are now right.” May you be delivered from resolutions as you revel in His saving Life.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.