Encouraging Word to Ponder

The following article is reprinted from the website of Francis Frangipane Ministries. Abundance blog prays that it is a blessing and encouragement to all who read its words. Blessings of God to you. May He fill you until you overflow with Him to all those around.


Love Me Where You're At
By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)
I have discovered that as we seek the Lord, our most difficult periods can be transformed into wonderful breakthroughs into God's love. For me, one such season occurred during the years 1979 to1981. The association of churches with which I was aligned had fallen under spiritual deception. Not only were its core doctrines increasingly seeded with New Age influences, but immorality crept in, and key leaders began leaving their wives for other women. I could no longer remain silent. As a result, in 1979 I left my congregation in Detroit, Michigan, where I had served as pastor, and traveled to the organization's regional headquarters in Iowa. I came to plead for repentance. However, after meeting with the senior leaders, I was asked to leave the group.
So here we were---we had left our church, we had no money, and we had four little children; we couldn't even afford basic housing. Desperate for anything, we finally found an old farmhouse in rural Washington, Iowa. The home was over a hundred years old, but it actually looked much older. After negotiating with the landlord, we were given a year of free rent provided I did basic repairs to the house, such as cleaning and painting.
Even so, the house needed more than I could provide. The furnace did not work well, so we installed a wood burner stove in the kitchen. That first winter, it turned out, was one of the coldest in Iowa's history. Frost formed on the inside walls, spreading a foot or two around each window; wind chills dropped to 60 below, and even colder on several occasions.
To keep warm each night, the whole family cuddled tightly on one large mattress on the dining room floor, about 18 feet from the wood burner in the kitchen. A fan behind the stove nudged warm air in our direction. My nightly project, of course, was to build enough heat in the stove to keep us warm until morning.
While I worked the fire, I also would pray and seek God. The wood burner became a kind of altar to me, for each night as I prayed, I offered to God my unfulfilled dreams and the pain of my spiritual isolation. Yes, I knew the Lord was aware of our situation. Though we had virtually nothing, He showed Himself to us in dozens of little ways. I just didn't know what He wanted of me.
As the seasons came and went, another child was born, and then we fostered a young girl from Vietnam, giving us six children. Still, as the family grew, the little area around the wood burner became a hallowed place to me. Even in the summer, I would sit on the chair next to the stove and pray and worship.
I would like to say I found the joy of the Lord during this time, but in truth, though I gradually adjusted to my situation, I felt an abiding misery in my soul. Our deep poverty was an issue (I barely made $6,000 a year), but more than that, I felt like I had missed the Lord. My continual prayer was, "Lord, what do You want of me?"
Three years of seeking God passed, and I still carried an emptiness inside. What was God's will for me? I had started a couple Bible studies and spoken a few times in churches, but I so identified with being a pastor that, until I was engaged again in full-time ministry, I feared I had lost touch with God's call on my life.
In spite of this inner emptiness concerning ministry, I actually was growing spiritually, especially in areas that were previously untilled. I went through the Gospels, hungry to study and obey the words of Christ. Previously, I had unconsciously defined a successful ministry as something born of my performance. During this time, however, the Lord reduced me to simply being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Indeed, a number of things I thought were biblical I discovered were really just religious traditions. The Lord desired that I take inventory of my heart and examine those few truths for which I would be willing to die. He said the truths for which I would die, for these I should live.
Frankly, things like the timing of the rapture or nuances about worship style or spiritual gifts dropped in their priority, though I still considered them important. Rising to the top of my focus was a passion to be a true follower of Jesus Christ---to obey His teachings and approach life not merely as a critic but more as an encourager. I also found myself increasingly free to enjoy and learn from Christians from other streams and perspectives.
Yet, these changes, though deep and lasting, occurred slowly, almost imperceptibly. They were happening quietly in my heart, and only in hindsight did I see what the Lord had done. Throughout this time, I was preoccupied with feelings of detachment from God's will. My prayer to know the Lord's plan for me continued daily.
The Breakthrough
One day, as I stood in the kitchen pantry, I repeated again my abiding prayer: "Lord, what do You want of me?" In a sudden flash of illumination, the Lord answered. Speaking directly to my heart, He said, "Love Me where you're at."

In this time and season, remember, I was not a pastor or minister. I was a television repairman doing odd jobs on the side to provide for my family. I hated what I was doing. In my previous church I taught against TV, and now I was "laying hands" on television sets and raising them from the dead! The Lord's answer cut straight to my heart. I was awed at its simplicity! I asked, "Love You where I am at? Lord, is that all You want of me?" To this He responded, "This is all I will ever require of you."
In that eternal moment, peace flooded my soul and I was released from the false expectation of ministry-driven service. God was not looking at what I did for Him, but who I became to Him in love. The issue in His heart was not whether I pastored but whether I loved Him. To love the Lord in whatever station I found myself---even as a television repairman---this I could do!
A deep and remarkable transformation occurred in me. My identity was no longer in being a pastor but rather in becoming a true lover of God. Having settled my priorities, amazingly, just a couple days later I was invited to pastor a church in Marion, Iowa. In spite of all my previous anxiety about returning to ministry, I did not jump at the opportunity. For I had found what the Lord truly desired of me. Though I eventually accepted this call, my focus was not merely on leading a church but on loving God.
What God Seeks
More than one's ministry, God seeks our love. His great commandment is that we love Him, ultimately, with all our mind, all our heart, and all our soul and strength. If we love Him, we will fulfill all He requires of us (John 14:15). And it is as we love Him that He orchestrates all things to work together for our good (Rom. 8:28).

Beloved, loving God is not hard. We can fulfill any assignment---auto mechanic or housewife, doctor or college student---and still give great pleasure to our heavenly Father. We do not need ministry titles to love the Lord. Indeed, God measures the value of our lives by the depth of our love. This is what He requires of all true God-seekers: to love Him where we are at.
Lord Jesus, the revelation of Your love has swept me off my feet. Lord, You have drawn me and I run after You. Master, even in the mundane things of life, I shall express my love for You. Consume me in Your love.
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The preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis' book, And I Will Be Found By You Published by Arrow Publications and available at www.arrowbookstore.com

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It Snowed!!!

IChildren in snowIt snowed, it snowed, oh yeah, it snowed!!! Thankful for the sparkling white moisture melting into the dry, parched ground. Join me in sending up a shout of praise and maybe even do a happy dance of joy? Thanksgiving is coming, less than a month now, why don't we practice giving thanks early? Try all year long? Yes, let's do.



Quotes for Thought, I've Been Reading

Thanks to a respiratory yuck of some sort going through our family for the past three weeks, or so, my voice was missing for approx. two of the three weeks. As a result, I've been reading more and talking less. As I read through a short book by Francis Frangipane titled The Three Battlegrounds, several quotes seemed to catch at me and not let go. I felt impressed to share what is on my heart with you. There were many other passages that could have been shared, but these are the ones that grabbed at my heart most forcibly. The underlining in the second quote is from me. This statement is so powerful. As you read, may the Spirit of God move within your heart drawing you closer still to Himself as together we desire the very nature of Jesus to completely possess and permeate our hearts.

"Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts."

"Is your love growing and becoming softer, brighter, more daring and more visible? Or is it becoming more discriminating, more calculating, less vulnerable and less available? This is a very important issue, for your Christianity is only as real as your love is. A measurable decrease in your ability to love is evidence that a stronghold of cold love is developing within you."

"There is a tension underlying false discernment, an anxiety that pressures the mind to make a judgment. True discernment emerges out of a tranquil and pure heart, on that is almost surprised by the wisdom and grace in the voice of God."



"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11


“Words are very powerful, especially when they are spoken by someone in authority over you. They can either be words of praise that breathe life into your life or words of criticism and judgment that erode away your sense of well-being. "The tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21).”


"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18


“Our mouth is a very powerful weapon and we can either use it to bring a blessing or a curse onto others. When we speak negative words about people, those words act as a curse over them. Even if people never actually hear the words we speak about them, our words still have power and can cause them to experience oppressive heaviness. However, words of blessing can lift them up spiritually.


One of our greatest weapons against the enemy is the words we speak. There is no question, then, as to why the enemy seeks to gain access to our words. He wants to use our mouths to destroy our own lives and the lives of others.

"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by Hell" (James 3:6). We can either use our mouths as a passageway for the fires of Hell to gain access to earth, or use them to put out the fires of Hell the enemy has lit in the hearts and minds of others.

You can be God's fire extinguisher. You can put out the flames of Hell with the blessings of Heaven. And wherever you go, you will be like a fountain of blessing that brings healing and life to the nations.

Instead of giving Hell's fires access to the earth, you will bring to earth the very river of life that flows from the throne of God. People will be drawn to you like magnets because of the great power of grace and mercy that radiates from your spirit. And with only a few words you will destroy the curses of generations. This is the power of blessing. This is your destiny in God.” Victoria Boyson: The Elijah List

Words, so powerful, both for evil and for good. May each of us weigh the words we speak carefully. May we measure them according to the Words of God. May we pray as David did in the Psalm “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord.”