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So Thankful!

My dad used to say whatever doesn’t kill ya will make you stronger.  Well, I guess that’s another way of putting it, and so I guess I must be pretty strong!  I am thankful for all the amazing people God has put in my life and for the best possible upbringing a kid could have.  I’m putting a picture up today that would make my mother faint if she could see it.  But actually I think she’s up in heaven smiling down.  These were such fun days.  Our playground was a farm and make believe.  Every day we were outside or in the basement putting on plays or outside being indians, cowboys or just being wild and free.  I had no idea we didn’t have any money.  All I knew was that mom was in the kitchen makin good stuff to eat from the garden and dad was up with the cows and horses taking care of the farm.  At any moment I could hike up the hill (which was huge when I was 5) and now only a half a block as an adult.  I had no fear, and lived a life of freedom and safety.

My sisters and I were so close because we had no neighbors to play with and we had no idea what anyone else wore or drove.  We just thought our world was wonderful.  If we needed a little excitment and were driving mom crazy, she would suddenly find an assignement for us to pack a lunch “for dad” and one for ourselves and take a pilgrimage up the hill to find our dad.  At least a two hour adventure, as we’d get sidetracked by chickens, bugs, cows, calves, birds, you name it, we got distracted.   Finally, if it was milking time, we’d find dad down in the pit in the milking barn and he was always thrilled to see us.  His face would light up and he’d give us a giant wave and we’d shout greetings over the swishing and sloshing of the milking machines, surging the new milk into the giant metal tank in the next room.

Many days we’d follow him into the calf barn and hold the metal buckets full of milk for the calves.  Dad taught us how to put our hands in their mouths of those little calves to get them to begin sucking and then we’d slip the rubber nipple that stuck out of the bucket into their mouths and they’d suck away happily.  What an exciting life we led!

I guess I’m sad that the world I’ve grown into seems to think that this kind of life would now be considered poverty and we’d be looked on with pity for the way we lived.  But I have to tell you I look back at those years as precious freedom and life and am so grateful my parents gave away their lives so we could have ours.

Well, as all of you can imagine that were at the baptism at our house 2 weeks ago, it was the highlight of my year.  We are so thankful for God and the hope that He brings to our hearts.  When I remember Friday is our daughter Lexie’s birthday I can know that because of her life, we are where we are today.  14 years ago, she came into the world so broken but so loved.  I know this following verse well, and have lived it and carry it with me wherever I go, to remind me this is true.  Romans 5:3 we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint!  But when we get to tell someone about Jesus and how He saved us, and then get to baptize them, I know Lexie’s life here on earth mattered.  That she changed our lives forever.  I know mom and dad would be happy to know the gift they gave us as children, helped us to be strong and courageous.

So I end this note, just saying I’m so thankful for all I’ve had in my life.  My parents, my husband, my sisters, my children, and my extended family.  I’m thankful that God has made Himself known to me, and given me hope for my future.

As you all are probably not worried about, we won’t be at the office for prayer on Friday, but I’m hoping you’ll join us in being thankful for what we do have, and for the gift of life we now have.

 

Blessings,

Robbie

Burn the Ships

Burn the ships!

What does burning the ships really mean?  A few weeks ago, our pastor talked about it being time for our church to move forward and do it with the concept of needing to burn the ships that brought us here.  It really made me think about my own life and why this concept is a difficult one for me.

You see, I’ve spent most of my life operating with a Plan A and a Plan B.  Plan A was what I hope to accomplish, but Plan B was my escape route.  Meaning that, if things went wrong with plan A or times got tough, or I got offended, or  a change happened that I wasn’t happy with in my Plan A, I’ve operated my life on the premise that if that doesn’t work I can always bail out and move to Plan B.

The danger of this kind of thinking is that you don’t really commit and you hold back, you hedge, because you’re afraid of getting hurt, losing money, your reputation.  So this really led into another  thought for me which is “The reason I have a plan B is that I have fear.”  This fear goes really deep.  I have a fear that I’m not going to have enough money.  I have a fear that if Plan A doesn’t work that I’ll lose my good reputaton.  I have a fear that there’s going to be some major changes to the lifestyle I’ve so carefully crafted.  I have a fear that I’ll lose my voice and my authority in the spheres in which I operate.  And finally I have a fear that I’m going to lose my creature comforts, my things.

As I was writing this, I thought about a song that Misty Edwards put on her first album that kept repeating the chorus “Lay it all down”.  The song was really all about don’t be afraid of where this journey is taking you.  We need to surrender everything and lay it all down.  Fear is a powerful thing when it comes to burning ships.  The opposite of fear is trust.  This whole idea of burning ships is about trusting God and where He’s taking us and not being ruled by fear and not always counting on your Plan B, your escape route.

Burning the Ships, means it’s the point of no return.  It can be a very very scary thought or it can be a very motivating thought, depending on how you look at it.

The motivating thought is, “Hey, I’m all in.  I don’t have a choice.  I have to keep moving forward and there’s no turning back.”  This can apply to both your personal life, and or your business or organization that you’re involved in.  The place that we need to get to is to not let our thoughts and our energy get consumed by what we’re leaving behind but letting our thoughts being consumed by what’s ahead.

You could get stuck if you don’t embrace the good that could come out of this.  Imagine the men who have landed and the captain shouts “Burn the ships!”  Maybe some of the men froze.   They agonized over the fact that they were never going to be able to run back on that ship and head home if things didn’t go right.  Maybe some of the men were suddenly filled with bravery and this helped them to say “I’m all in!  Let’s conquer this land!”

Where have your thoughts taken you lately?  Do you have a Plan B?  Do you think about it often?  Or are you all in? Is this the time to burn your ships?

Mike

Note from Robbie:

Last Friday we held a baptism in our home for Michael and Melody Hickerson!  What a time of celebration and joy.  They took the dip in our pool, then Brian and Coleen Garcia’s daughter came to receive her baptism as well.  Then came another of their family member and then the Garcias’ decided to do a family baptism!  What a lot of joy we had and I know the angels were celebrating along with the Lord.  I’m afraid I was so excited I totally forgot to take pictures, but I’m calling all friends, to please send in any that they might have to add to the collage!

Hope to see you Friday at the office, as we pray for the marketplace and tell stories of burning ships and baptisms!  Isn’t this the most exciting adventure?

 

Vineyard beauty

It’s harvest time!

Greetings friends.

As I’ve mentioned before, Mike and I were blessed to be able to visit Napa Valley and see so many portions of the grape harvest.  We saw the thick shiny grapes sparkling in the sun hanging plumply from the vines…perfection!  and then the workers coming to slice each cluster off and toss them into a large green plastic box with grates in the bottom.  Each box was stacked up into a truck and driven away to large electronic equipment which destemmed them and then crushed them in a gigantic silver tub.  Mike even got to scrape out some of the grape skins from the bottom of the vat, which were then carted off to be used for something else!  We loved it!  and even made a visit the Frank Family Vineyard and “imagined” what it would be like to own a vineyard.  No worries here, we’ve met too many vineyard owners who gave us the “real” story behind the romance.  Then off to visit a castle Castello Di Amorosa that had been built with bricks from Europe with 4 floors underground to store tubs of wine everywhere!  Did I hear $43,000,000 to build?

Made us wonder about the coming harvest in the world.  We’re believing that much fruit is to be harvested in the coming days, and we get to harvest some things that we didn’t plant, water or tend, and there will be others harvesting the seeds that we planted.  The amazing part of all this growth is the fact that cutting off branches on the vine actually produce a better fruit.  And Jesus reminds us many times about how this pruning will affect the coming harvest.  “That it may bear more fruit”.  There are many here in Redding that have gone through some serious pruning and they are still here to say “God is good!  and His love endures forever!  Nothing is impossible with God!”  and so we stand together in faith, believing that miracles are coming, the small beginnings just starting to show.

We received this scripture from our friend John Dawson, President of YWAM, who is going through some very difficult times with his wife Julie who was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010.  I think it’s good to meditate on them, and hope that there will be those that lift them up in prayer.

Do not be anxious:

Jeremiah 17:7, 8 - “Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.’”

John 15:1-11 – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

 

So this is what is in my spirit for you. May your bewildered mind be replaced by a comforted heart. You will rise. What is shattering to the self-sufficient person is mere pruning to the child of the Father. You will rise, seven times if necessary. You will be fruitful again in this life and eventually you will rise again with Jesus. Meditate on these passages with me. Let us strengthen one another in prayer and turn our hearts toward others who are suffering and discouraged in any way…john dawson.

I want to be the person that rises every day, full of thankfulness and praise, and is aware of others around me that might need an extra encouragement.  To help them know this amazing God that loves them and is for them.  Hope you have an amazing fruitful week and enjoy the harvest!!!!  Hope to see you Friday, at noon to pray for the marketplace and the coming harvest!

 

Blessings!

 

Robbie

Frank consulting marketplace miracles

Our Story Behind Marketplace Miracles

Many people have asked us why we do what we do. Here is Mike’s explanation of what we think it is:

My wife Robbie and I were visiting my daughter and son-in-law in Incline Village on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Nevada, one of my favorite places to vacation.  Our daughter Amber and her husband had just moved into their new condo and they had a spare bedroom that we could stay in.  I’m always very tired when I go to the mountains because of the skiing and the altitude difference.  So that night I was sleeping hard.

On the way down to Tahoe, Robbie read out loud to our son Christian and I, the story of Amy Simple McPherson and the miracles that happened in their lives.  Robbie was just finishing ministry school and I was very actively pursuing a company I had started called Vy.   We were starting to come to grips with the reality that there really are miracles today and wondered what our contribution would be to that.

When I went to sleep that night I wasn’t focused on anything other than my family and skiing and having a vacation home in Tahoe!  When I’m skiing I go to another place, where it’s physical, fresh air, and I can make choices that don’t affect anyone but me.  A lot of times God wakes me up in the night to speak to me, but this time He was using that period just before you wake up where you are semi conscious, it’s quiet, no sound or distractions, and I was wanting to sleep a little longer and not wake up. But, I knew His familiar voice, and because of the topic I knew it must be God wanting to get my attention on something.  I tried to stay focused and just relax.  I didn’t know where it was going so I didn’t get excited, I just kind of flowed with it.

There were 3 distinct things that He was impressing upon me.

  1. The first and probably most important was that He said, “I’m about to release some miracles in the marketplace for people that are looking for them.  And I want you to create a receptacle or a repository of all the miracle stories that are going to happen.  The mental image I had was that it was like a giant bowl, and  as God released miracles in businesses, we were supposed to capture, record and place them in this receptacle, so that there was history and evidence of how He’s currently moving in the marketplace.
  2. The second one was that there was supposed to be a book about this phenomena and the book was going to be targeted mainly about the marketplace people and it was talking about how the supernatural came, the miracles that resulted and the testimonies that were on the receiving end.  I really felt like it had to come from Bethel Church in Redding because:
    1. They’ve taken so much ground and have been the forerunners on modern day supernatural signs and wonders.
    2. God really wanted to use the megaphone that he had created at Bethel Church because of their following and their network of churches that are fellowshipping with them.
  3. The third one was that He had uniquely qualified me and raised me to help develop content that would be taught and used to engage, empower and release marketplace ministers.  It didn’t really feel like it was to start a school, it was more to take the existing people in the marketplace and help them with content.  It could be in any medium; it could be writing, dvds, cds, workbooks, conference related and live.   I didn’t argue with the Lord on this one, because I always felt like I had something to contribute there.  Out of the three this one made the most sense, but still I was super reluctant to  just say yes in my spirit because I was spending full time running Vy and I hadn’t really established any relationships with anyone at Bethel.  It almost felt like I was supposed to carry this and maybe discuss it with other guys and maybe let someone else run this whole thing and I would be a contributor.  That’s what I wanted in my mind, but God just wouldn’t let me shake it.  I tried to shake it off and I remember kind of being anxious as I was becoming more and more conscious…realizing this wasn’t a dream. I had just been given a download from God that was very real and I knew I had to take it seriously.

I remembered thinking at that point that “I don’t want to do this”  because of what it would mean.  If the miracles were captured and the book was written, there would be a speaking role, and someone (me?) was going to have to travel and talk about what happened and I didn’t want it.   I remember distinctively arguing with God at that moment saying, “Lord, I’ll help, but let it be a younger man.  Is there somebody that I can take under my wing?  Someone that has the energy and desire to do this?”   But God wasn’t letting me off the hook.  I don’t think He was saying it absolutely had to be me, but He didn’t give me permission to delegate it.

This caused me a lot of sadness or disappointment because I really didn’t have a passion for this but it was almost like God was saying, “I want this to be done.”

I thought, “Well, I’ll just get up, get some coffee and try to sort this out and see if I feel any different or better about what this is all about.”  I’d kind of made my mind up I wasn’t going to tell Robbie because she puts more weight in this stuff than I do.   I knew she would not only want me to record it but also to pursue it, and I just didn’t have the passion or the energy to really go after this.  I kind of went over in my mind …should I tell her?  Or not?  Finally I was convicted to at least tell her.

At first I cautioned her that she wasn’t supposed to read too much into this and I really wasn’t sure what it meant, as in “don’t overreact!”   I finally walked her through it and true to form, she wanted more details than I wanted to give!   I kind of remember saying to God, “If you want this then I’ll do it, but it feels outside my reach right now.”   And “why me?”  I was not plugged into Bethel at all so how could I be on the receiving end of these miracles?  And besides, I’m not seeing evidence that You’re actually releasing miracles in the marketplace right now.

I felt like Noah when God said “Hey, I’m going to do something crazy here, and you are a player in this thing and I want you to do something that’s really unnatural and almost impossible but I want you to do it.”   Noah had to withstand some of the scrutiny and probably ridicule in terms of “why are you building this boat and why are you getting these animals and what are you going to do when there’s no sign of rain?”   That’s how I felt at this moment. I knew I was going to have to face some of that scrutiny.

And that was that.  I’d kind of tucked this dream away to think about later.

Fast forward to July of 2011.   Robbie and I started Frank Consulting last fall, and have met many people from Bethel and the city of Redding.  We started Entrepreneur Bootcamps in April of 2011 and believe we are to try and help create jobs in Redding and bootcamps is one of the ways we can help.

We started to hear rumors and threads of potential miracle stories and Robbie started getting excited about interviewing entrepreneurs and finding out how they got started and what their secret to success was and one of the questions she started asking was “Where have you seen miracles?”  So Robbie was the first one to say, “You know we really should get a video recording of these things and post them on our website and when she said that it became obvious this was to be the fullfilment of our assignment that God gave me in that dream.  This summer we bought a video camera and we started interviewing, recording and posting marketplace miracle stories, check out all the ones we have completed to date here.  I think there’s plenty of evidence starting to emerge that God is doing what He said He would do; which is to release more miracles in the marketplace and we’re doing our part in capturing them on the website.

We’ve just learned over the years that when God gives us an assignment, we don’t always get to know how it’s going to happen, but we do know that when we are obedient, great things happen and He gets glorified.

So, that’s the story behind why we do what we do.

Hope you enjoy this explanation and hope you enjoy the videos.

Whiskeytown lake

Something Has Shifted In The Atmosphere!

Mike and I attended a luncheon at the business forum at Simpson University on Monday and heard Pat Williams give a very motivational speech on leadership excellence.   Mike also had a chance to meet our current mayor, Missey MacArthur.  She told Mike that she was so inspired by what we are doing with the bootcamp and the angel investment fund, etc. that she wants to know how she can personally help; and she’s telling everyone she knows about what we are doing.

Mike also met the editor of the Record Searchlight, the local Redding Newspaper, Silas Lyons.  He mentioned he had heard Mike speak at a function a couple of weeks ago.  He told us that he his job is to watch and scan everything that is going on in the Northstate area and one of his key areas of interest is in the area of innovation.  He actually sits on a committee of the newspaper’s parent company, Scrips Communication.  He then went on to tell us that “SOMETHING HAS SHIFTED” in the atmosphere around Redding this summer in regards to innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and business development in the Redding area.  It sounded like he couldn’t quite put his finger on what had happened, or who made it happen, but there is some shift that he was excited about.

That may not seem like a big deal to some, but to us major excitement!

For all of us who are involved in job creation and transforming the economics of Redding, we all know why it’s going on and whose hand is behind this and we just want to Praise God for doing the impossible!

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Rebuilding Redding and thinking of Nehemiah

Click on the link to watch a Prophesy over Redding read by Bill Johnson in 2009.

We’re running into a little opposition, but we can take encouragement from Nehemiah

Nehemiah 4

Opposition to the Rebuilding

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed.  He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said “What are those feeble Jews (Christian people) doing?  Will they restore their wall?  Will they offer sacrifices?  Will they finish in a day?  Can they bring stones back to life from those heaps of rubble? (welfare) – burned as they are?…

Nehemiah prayed:
Hear us O our God for we are despised
Turn their insults back on their own heads
Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity
Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight
They have thrown insults in the face of the builders

So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height for the people worked with all their heart.

When Sanballat, Tobiah the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard they were continuing they got very angry and plotted to come and fight.

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

Then the people of Judah became discouraged and afraid.  Even the neighboring Jews were afraid and said fearful things to them.

Response:
Nehemiah stationed people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords spears and bows.

He reminded them:
Don’t be afraid of them
Remember the Lord who is great and awesome
Fight for your brothers, your sons, and your daughters, your wives and your homes

Fight for those that come after us

When the enemies heard that God had frustrated their plan, everyone returned to work.

From that day on:

  • Half of the men did the work
  • Half of the men were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor (All builders need to be equipped with the word of God)
  • Officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall (Maybe a prayer warrior behind each man)
  • Those that carried materials did so with one hand and held a weapon in the other (They did the work with one hand!)
  • Each builder wore his sword at his side as he worked (The word of God:)
  • The man who sounded the trumpet stayed with Nehemiah.

They were very spread out and Nehemiah told them when they heard the sound of the trumpet they were to all gather and fight in that spot.

They carried their weapons everywhere.  They worked by day and guarded by night.  Working from sunup to sundown (no lights!)

Please join us in prayer as we help to bring the Kingdom of God to the marketplace in Redding.