In Christ's Image Weekly Message
Pastor Francis Frangipane
July 19th, 2001
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Note: this message was written by Francis' daughter,
Joy, a few years ago. We felt that this would be a
special blessing to some of you right now.
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     No one can tell me that fathers and daughters can't have close
relationships, or even become best friends. People are almost envious of
the love my dad and I share. The only time we argue is about who loves who
the most. But our relationship was not always this warm. There was a time
when I felt I had lost my ability to love my father. I was a teenage
Christian in a public high school. My Christian background made me
different. I was new, craving acceptance. My father's rules seemed to be
the source of my rejections.
     Fueled by my insecurities, in my eyes my dad became the root of my
problems. While I set an adequate standard and struggled to live by it, he
was strict. I was angry because he refused to back down from the standard
he knew was right. He refused to appeal to my ignorance in order to keep
my acceptance.
     Things were going from bad to worse during those years. We hit
bottom the day I looked him square in the eyes and told him that I hated
him. They were harsh words, but it was a hard time. I didn't really hate
him. I hated me. I felt I wasn't bad enough to be accepted by my friends
and not good enough to be accepted at home. When these feelings take over
your life, you search for something--anything--to blame. I chose my
father. He carried the blunt of my pain. He even became my enemy.
     In my heart I knew I didn't hate him. I was angry and confused. I
felt he wasn't concerned with how I felt. It seemed he had made no room
for compromise with my situation. He risked losing my love to save my
     It was a hard time for us both. He suffered the pain of rejection as
I did. He suffered the hurt and the loss, but from a different angle. His
fear of the Lord withstood his fear of pain. He loved me, but he had a
higher obligation than my favor and my approval. I'm sure at times he
wondered if he was doing the right thing. There must of been times when he
felt like his prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing back at his
     At times I'm sure he considered lowering his standards. It would
have made things so much easier than wrestling with the power of an
independent, strong-willed child. These considerations may have come, but
he never gave in to them. He stood firm and prayed harder.
     The prayers of a righteous man availeth much. Many times he cried
out to the Lord in anguish and in frustration. "What have I done wrong?"
My father has a wonderful ministry to God in prayer. I think I had
something to do with the character God worked in him during those days.
Before he ever prayed for cities and nations he was on his face praying
for me.
     Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will
not depart from it. That verse was a promise that he would hold on to.
"Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" was another promise he stood
upon. He had given me to the Lord, set a godly standard and held God to
His word.
     At the same time I was wrestling with my salvation. My desire to be
accepted by my non-Christian friends at school warred against my desire to
be with the Lord. James speaks of a double minded person being unstable in
all of their ways. I was completely unstable. I walked on a line between
heaven and hell. I wanted the best of both worlds and was satisfied in
     Although I had been brought up in the church, the world had taken
its toll on me. My eyes had been blinded to the sin in my own life,
further separating me from God and parents. It was so hard for me to see
my way out.
     When a child is brought up in a Christian home regardless of what
may happen there is a seed that has been planted in their hearts that
continues to grow. It's an amazing seed because it can grow in the dark
without water; it can even bloom in adversity. The reason we can never out
run God is because He is that seed growing within us. Once you have tasted
the presence of the Lord, nothing satisfies you like He can. Sometimes
those who seem to be running the hardest from God are doing so because He
is so close to them.
     On the outside my witness was weak and I was in bondage to my
unsaved friends. But inside my heart cried for oneness with the Lord. I
hated my double-mindedness as much as my father did. My whole life I
wanted strong Christian friends to save the world with me. I wanted the
support, I just never had it. I did the best with what I could but I lost
my sensitivity to sin and the more I was with non-Christian people the
more deceived I became.
     Paul warns, "Do not be deceived. What fellowship has righteousness
with unrighteousness." I didn't realize the impact my unsaved friends had
on me. The more I was with them the more I conformed to them. When I look
back, I know, unless my parents had been praying for me, I would have been
on my way to hell.
     Sin has a way of moving in and taking control. But love is as strong
as death and many waters cannot quench love; love never fails. And prayer
is the highest power through which love is released. I had to relearn how
to love. My love had become completely self-centered and conditional. I
had failed to realize that my father and my Lord loved me unconditionally.
I had only to try. I had only to bridge the communication gap to
understand that God had loved me before I was even aware of His standards.
And my dad loved me for me alone, not for something I had to become.
     My relationship with my father is wonderful, and that's the truth.
God has proven faithful in the working of both our lives. The Lord has
bridged the gap and filled it with love. It took me leaving my environment
and being planted with Christian people who faithfully loved me. It also
took my will to change, but it did happen.
     Listen, please don't give up on your teenagers. Don't sacrifice
God's standards of righteousness to appeal to their carnal nature. They
can't respect you for it and God won't honor it. Your children were not
consecrated to Satan; they were dedicated to the Lord. He has had His hand
on them and He will not forget them. He has heard your prayers and He is
faithful to your cries. He is God.
     Prayer works. I'm living proof of it. I look back now and see how
many times nothing but the miraculous dedication of loving parents took me
out of hopeless situations. The Lord will not forsake His children. He
will not turn His back on them. We are never too far from His reach.
Believe the promises of the Lord. He is not a liar. He honors a steadfast
heart. Hold on. Your children will come back to the Lord.