The Ballestero Blog

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Yours or His?

with 8 comments

“They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used Too!”

My Daddy would say that to me with a big grin on his face when as a boy, I was unable to open a jar lid that was too tight for me or when I tried to lift something too heavy and couldn’t. We would both chuckle.

Maybe Grandpa said that to my Daddy when he was a boy too. I said it to my sons and maybe they’ve said to their sons as well.

I was blessed to have lived and enjoyed church worship in simpler and more basic times. The worship in church was directly affected, no doubt, by the tough times we all experienced.

Many songs and choruses were written about heaven and sung by those who lived during the depression and hard times. But what strikes my heart today is the lack of certain types of songs being written and sung in our churches today.

 

Old saints can remember songs like:

 

“Is Your All on the Altar?”

By Elisha A. Hoffman – 1900

  1. You have longed for sweet peace,
    And for faith to increase,
    And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
    But you cannot have rest,
    Or be perfectly blest,
    Until all on the altar is laid.

    • Refrain:
      Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
      Your heart does the Spirit control?
      You can only be blest,
      And have peace and sweet rest,
      As you yield Him your body and soul.
  2. Would you walk with the Lord,
    In the light of His word,
    And have peace and contentment alway?
    You must do His sweet will,
    To be free from all ill,
    On the altar your all you must lay.
  3. Oh, we never can know
    What the Lord will bestow
    Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
    Till our body and soul
    He doth fully control,
    And our all on the altar is laid.
  4. Who can tell all the love
    He will send from above,
    And how happy our hearts will be made;
    Of the fellowship sweet
    We shall share at His feet,
    When our all on the altar is laid.

 

 

Remember this one too?

 

“I Surrender All”

By Judson W. Van DeVenter – 1896

 

  1. All to Jesus I surrender;
    All to Him I freely give;
    I will ever love and trust Him,
    In His presence daily live.

    • Refrain:
      I surrender all,
      I surrender all;
      All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
      I surrender all.
  2. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Humbly at His feet I bow,
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.
  3. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.
  4. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    Fill me with Thy love and power;
    Let Thy blessing fall on me.
  5. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Now I feel the sacred flame.
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!

 

Both of these precious old songs were written many years before my parents were even born.

  • Why is there a shortage and scarcity of heart searching and consecration type songs?
  • Why does it seem like everyone has stopped writing and singing songs of surrender and submission?
  • It simply bothers me.

Yes, we are to sing a new song. I agree. I will sing and worship along with you. But at the same time, I ask, why throw all the consecration songs like those of yesterday away? Is there no longer a need? Have we arrived? Is there not a cause or a concern? Am I alone on this?

I looked online and found this site that shows about 49 songs of heart examination (most of which I’ve never heard sung.) What is very noticeable and glaring to me is the fact that almost every song was written more than a hundred years ago.

http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/_/Examination/?sortby=subject

 

Then it seems like every gospel song writer up and quit. Is there no longer a need for consecration in our singing or in surrendering to His Will? About a good as most of us get to hear lately is something like:

 

“Yes, Lord, Yes”

I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
To your will and to your way
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes

 

But truly we don’t have much to show in the last one hundred years that expresses to God our heart’s surrender. I know that to a younger generation that I am an old man blowing off steam. I will not even defend myself on that point.

I just happen to like and appreciate what those old songs did to my heart and how that in singing them they shaped my thinking and my mindset. I want my grandchildren to have the same experience in God.

They Really Don’t Make Them Like They Use To.

Come on songwriters and singers. Write us some songs that make us want to consecrate. Songs that make our hearts cry. Songs that are what God wants to hear not just what we like to shout to.

 

Today while looking through some old papers, I found a tattered sheet of old paper with a poem written in my Father’s handwriting. Tears came to my eyes as I read the words and felt the meaning and the understanding of why my Father felt that this poem was important enough to him to hand copy it.

Written on the backside were some notes to a sermon he preached called Aids To Navigation. I researched online and found the title of this poem written by Joseph Addison Richards. As for me, I need not say anymore.

 FullSizeRender

Yours or His?

I owned a little boat a while ago
And sailed a Morning Sea without a fear,
And whither any breeze might fairly blow
I’d steer the little craft afar or near

Mine was the boat, and mine the air,
And mine the sea; not mine, a care.

My boat became my place of nightly toil.
I sailed at sunset to the fishing ground.
At morn the boat was freighted with the spoil
that my all-conquering work and skill had found.

Mine was the boat, and mine the net,
And mine the sill, and power to get.

One day there passed along the silent shore,
While I my net was casting in the sea,
A man, who spoke as never man before;
I followed Him–new life begun in me.

Mine was the boat, but His the voice,
And His the call; yet mine, the choice.

Ah, ’twas a fearful night out on the lake,
And all my skill availed not a the helm,
Till Him asleep I waken, crying “Take,
take Thou command, lest waters overwhelm!”

His was the boat, and His the Sea,
And His the Peace o’er all and me.

Once from His boat He taught the curious throng,
then bade me let down nets out in the sea;
I murmured, but obeyed, nor was it long
Before the catch amazed and humbled me.

His was the boat, and His the skill,
And His the catch–and His, my will.

Joseph Addison Richards

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 5, 2015 at 5:35 pm

No Matter What You Say Now, You Will Bow Too!

with 8 comments

At The Name Of Jesus Every Knee Will Bow

 

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

When we bow before an earthly Monarch, like a King or a Queen, we do it because we are showing submission and honor to their authority and position. The one we bow before may not truly know if we are bowing out of politeness, or out of submission. They may never know if they are actually loved or respected by the one bowing before them. No words are actually required from the mouth of the one bending the knee.

But upon a prophesied date, not only will we all bow before Him, but also with our mouth every one of us will confess and acknowledge that He, Jesus, is the Almighty God.

  • Whether those of us who bow before Him go to heaven or hell afterwards or not, we all will most assuredly bow before him!
  • It would be horrible to bow in submission before him, confess and understand who He really is, and then still be lost forever.

 

Why Not Bow Your Knee Before Him Today?

Every One Of Us Will Bow Our Knees Before Him Sooner Or Later.

It Might As Well Be Today!

 

Isaiah Prophesied That We Would All Bow.

Isaiah 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Isaiah 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

 

Recapping What Isaiah Said… “There Is No God But Me”

  1. “Man made idols and gods cannot save anyone.”
  2. “There is no God beside Me.”
  3. “I’m a just God”
  4. “I am a Savior”
  5. “There is no other God but Me.”
  6. “Every knee shall bow before Me.”
  7. “Every tongue shall confess to Me.”
  8. “All that have fought against Me shall be ashamed.”

 

Yet, Jesus Proclaimed That He Was God.

  1. John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
  2. John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
  3. Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
  4. John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

 

The Bible Says God Is The Only Savior

  • Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

The Bible Says Jesus Is The Savior (They are both one and the same.)

  • Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
  • Matt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
  • Matt 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
  • Matt 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

The Bible Says God Is The Creator

  • Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The Bible Says Jesus Is The Creator

  • John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
  • Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
  • Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
  • Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

The Question Was Asked Of Jesus:

Where Is Thy Father?

  • John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father?

 

His Answer

  • John 8:19 …Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
  • John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

 

Every Knee Shall Bow On That Day

  • Every believer shall bow.
  • Every unbeliever shall bow.
  • Every Trinitarian shall bow.
  • Every atheist shall bow.

 

  • People of every Nation shall bow.
  • People of every Culture shall bow.
  • People of every Religion shall bow.
  • People of every Tribe shall bow.

 

  • Every Holy Ghost filled believer shall bow.
  • Every one without the Holy Ghost shall bow.
  • Every one baptized in Jesus name shall bow.
  • Everyone who refused to be baptized in His name shall bow.

 

  • Every liar shall bow.
  • Every thief shall bow.
  • Every Adulterer shall bow.
  • Every fornicator shall bow.

 

  • Every drunk shall bow.
  • Every drug addict shall bow.
  • Every murderer shall bow.
  • Every pervert shall bow.

 

  • Every lesbian shall bow.
  • Every homosexual shall bow.
  • Every transsexual shall bow.
  • Every bi-sexual shall bow.

 

  • Every Dictator shall bow.
  • Every King shall bow.
  • Every Queen shall bow.
  • Every President shall bow.

 

  • Every General shall bow.
  • Every Officer shall bow.
  • Every Soldier shall bow.
  • Every Sailor shall bow.

 

  • Every palm reader shall bow.
  • Every medium shall bow.
  • Every witch doctor shall bow.
  • Every demon-possessed person shall bow.

 

  • Every cult leader shall bow.
  • Every church leader shall bow.
  • Every Sunday School teacher shall bow.
  • Every prophet shall bow.

 

  • Every Amish person shall bow.
  • Every Mennonite shall bow.
  • Every Lutheran shall bow.
  • Every Scientologist shall bow.
  • Every Muslim shall bow.
  • Every Buddhist shall bow.
  • Every Hindu shall bow.
  • Every Jew shall bow.

 

  • Every Catholic shall bow.
  • Every Baptist shall bow.
  • Every Methodist shall bow.
  • Every Church of Christ shall bow.

 

  • Every Jehovah’s Witness shall bow.
  • Every Mormon shall bow.
  • Every Seventh Day Adventist shall bow.
  • Every Pentecostal shall bow.

 

  • Every professor shall bow.
  • Every teacher of evolution shall bow.
  • Every agnostic shall bow.
  • Every heretic shall bow.

 

  • Every proud person shall bow.
  • Every disrespectful person shall bow.
  • Every God hater shall bow.
  • Every hater of the name of Jesus shall bow.

 

  • You will bow!
  • I will bow!

 

The Whole World Will Realize Too Late That He Truly Is:

  • The Almighty God.
  • The Everlasting Father.
  • The Great I Am.
  • Alpha And Omega.
  • The First And The Last.
  • The Beginning And The Ending.
  • The Savior Of The World.
  • The Jehovah of The Old Testament Wrapped In Flesh.

 

All Pride Will Disappear On That Day.

  • Great reverence and awe will prevail.
  • Remorse for sin and unbelief will overwhelm every sinner.
  • Shame because of their sins will make men and women fall to their knees.

 

But, For Most Of Them Will Be Too Little Too Late.

  • Actually, today is the day of Salvation.
  • Now is the accepted time to become humble and repent.

 

The Lost Will Realize Too Late That He Is:

  • More Than A Prophet, He Is The WORD Made Flesh.
  • More Than A King, He Is The King Of Kings.
  • More Than A Priest, He Is The Great High Priest.

 

They Will Realize Then, That He Is Not:

  • Just A Good Prophet
  • Just A Teacher
  • Just A Carpenter’s Son

 

There Are Multitudes Who Will Not Confess, Admit Or Declare Today That Jesus Is The Almighty God.

But They Will Bow Their Knees On That Appointed Day And Confess It Then.

  • They will understand for the first time that he is not the blessed second person of a holy trinity.
  • They will awaken to the truth that they have been lied to through the centuries by proclaimers of false doctrines.
  • They will know that the word they used for cursing was the name of the one they must now bow before.

 

Jesus Asked Peter Whom People Thought He Was.

Matt 16:13 … Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

Matt 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Matt 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Matt 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Matt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

 

The Apostle John Described Jesus Like This:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 

The Apostle Paul Quoted Isaiah

Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

  • Everyone will be required to repent, confess his or her sins and failures.

 

The Four And Twenty Elders Will Bow Down And Cast Their Crowns Before Him.

Rev 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

 

We Will All Confess On That Day That He Is God.

Those who are willing to confess that Jesus is in fact God and His Name is the only name that will take away all sin, and are baptized in Jesus name just like Jesus told His disciples.

 

Those Who Are Baptized In Jesus Name Are The Only Ones Who Truly Believe That Jesus Is The Lord God!

 

This Is What Jesus Said To His Disciples Before He Departed:

Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

 

Peter Repeated The Words of Jesus To Those Who Wanted To Be Saved.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 

Here Is The Crux Of The Matter

They who have been baptized in Jesus name (It’s the only way the disciples ever baptized) are acknowledging and confessing that Jesus Christ is God.

When they are baptized in Jesus name, the gift of the Holy Ghost will be given to them and they will speak in tongues just like everyone in the upper room did on the day of Pentecost.

 

Every Knee Will Bow.

  • Take My Advice And Join Me In Bowing Down To Him Now.
  • You Will Never Be Sorry. Not Now, Not Then.

 

How Utterly Foolish To Know Such A Day Is Coming And Not Do Now What You Know You Need To Do!

It Will Be Too Late If You Wait Until That Day To Bow Before Him Without Repenting And Believing That Jesus Is The Mighty God!

 

Boycott Trashy Gumbo

with 4 comments

“If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand, It’s Trashy Gumbo!”

I love pretty much everything about the South. I’m neither a Southerner nor a Cajun Chef, but I do have taste buds that seldom lie. Before I married at the age of twenty-one, I’d already lived in twenty-two houses and attended twenty-six schools. So, I’ve gotten to see all of America growing up. It feels like I’ve lived everywhere, but most of my life has been spent in Indiana, so that feels most like home. It certainly is a non-gumbo state.

Since the beginning of my ministry, I have preached mainly in the South. Everyone there considers me a Yankee, even though I am a Westerner by birth. That being said, since I know I how to say, ya’ll and you guys, I somehow must be bi-lingual.

For the benefit of my non-southern friends, the folks down in Cajun Country are very particular about their Gumbo. They don’t freely call someone’s chicken and sausage soup, a Gumbo. Family recipes are treasured and protected. The Seafood Restaurants that serve great Gumbo will always have full parking lots.

I’ve eaten Gumbo with light rue, dark rue, and very dark rue. There are some Gumbos so thin that one could almost read a newspaper at the bottom of the bowl. I even eat my Gumbo with a scoop of hot potato salad and a boiled egg in it. My family really loves good Gumbo. Our cupboard always has some Tony’s, Cajun hot sauce and Creole seasoning in it too.

I have often been treated to what in my mind is the World’s finest Gumbo. But I didn’t start out eating good Gumbo. I preached a revival in rural Louisiana in the early sixties and the poor pastor and his wife made me my first taste of what they said was Gumbo. I ate it, not knowing if it was good or bad.

My teaching at home was to eat what was set before me, so I did. They told me after the dishes were done that it was ‘possum gumbo. My stomach had a board meeting that night to decide whether to keep the possum down or let it go free. It stayed, much to my disappointment.

Catching Southerners in candid moments when they are talking about someone else’s cooking is always memorable. I recently heard a dear southern friend confide to me, “If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s trashy gumbo.” They really meant it too.

I’ve eaten ‘good Yankee Gumbo’ and good ‘Cajun Gumbo’ and I love it when I can get it. I’ve eaten stuff passed off as Gumbo and felt the need to pray for strength to get it all down. If gumbo tastes trashy, I may not even get through the first bowl.

Trashy Gumbo? Well, yes! You see, all the cooks have at their disposal the right ingredients, but the way bad cooks put it all together leaves a horrible distaste in the mouth of those who know the difference between good gumbo and trashy.

  • No table guest in the South is prepared to suck his or her gumbo up through a straw because it got watered down so much in the kitchen.
  • There’s some cooks make Gumbo so hot that no one can eat it without getting heartburn.
  • Others use meat so sparingly you wonder why they even bothered.
  • Then there’s some Gumbo that make’s me wonder if my old possum had any kin folks that made it over into my Gumbo again.

When It Comes To Doctrine And The Important Things Of God, Apostolic Preachers Have The Right Ingredients.

 

If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand, It’s Trashy Gumbo.

 

Brother Ballestero, Are You Talking Gumbo Or Church?

I’m Talking Mainly About Church.

Some folks may feel like they are actually being fed when they hear a watered down message, or one with no meat, no doctrine or substance. Then there are some that love it so hot that everyone gets burnt.

But, I still love it when the preacher gets up to preach and pulls out the old Apostolic Family Recipe and feeds the flock as though it was the Lord Himself who prepared the meal. It ‘s always nourishing and tastes just right!

My advice for today is:

Boycott Trashy Gumbo!

 

Boycott2

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

1,000,000 Visitors To The Ballestero Blog!

with 14 comments

1,000,000 Visitors To The Ballestero Blog!

THANK YOU!!

I extend humble and grateful thanks to all of you for your readership. I am amazed that 364,536 readers from 194 countries (every country in the world, except one) have visited my blog.

My dear sister, Nila Marxer has been my tireless proofreader and editor. I will be forever indebted to her. Thank you, my dear!

As some of you might guess, these Blogs have generated much interest:

  • I Don’t Like Facial Hair On Pentecostal Men
  • They’re Everywhere (Knees showing in church)
  • Why My English Teacher Wanted To Be Baptized In Jesus Name
  • The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

I am personally criticized, cursed and trashed almost daily, mainly by worldly seeking Pentecostals who have forsaken the old paths. No matter what their criticism is of the holiness lifestyle, I refuse to change.

I remain as committed as ever to the Apostolic Doctrine.

  • Loving the Acts 2:38 plan of Salvation,
  • Seeking to live holy in an unholy world.
  • Loving the old paths.
  • Attempting to encourage and uplift the body of Christ.
  • Reaching for every lost soul I can.

Thank You Again!

Yours In His Service,

Martyn J. Ballestero Sr.

 

 

Thanks A Million

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 1, 2015 at 9:14 am

Posted in Thankfulness

YES, Is The Answer. Now, What Is The Question?

with 2 comments

 

YES, Is The Answer. Now, What Is The Question?

A fast food chain currently uses this for a slogan. It’s nothing new, really. Actually it’s been around for thousands of years. God’s blessed people have always lived with this mindset.

The willingness to do whatever God requests is a trait that will not only save and bless us, but also keep us saved and blessed. Most Pentecostals are familiar with the words of the song that says, “Yes Lord. Yes Lord. From the bottom of my heart to the depths of my soul, Yes Lord…”

Remember singing that song and feeling the sweet presence of the Lord sweep over you? Remember too the old-timers singing, “Is Your All On The Altar?”

There’s a reason for that. A very good reason. God blesses willingness and submission.

 

Ezra And The Willing People

Neh 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.

  • Notice the spirit of unity. They gathered as one.
  • They requested that the scribe Ezra bring the book of the law and read it to them.
  • They wanted to hear the law.

Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

  • Everyone old enough to understand came.
  • Ezra read from morning until midday

Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

Neh 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

  • Ezra opened the book.
  • The people stood up in reverence.
  • Ezra blessed the Lord
  • The People raised their hands and said, Amen, Amen
  • They said Amen before the law was read.
  • Then the bowed their heads to the ground and worshipped.

 

They Were So Hungry To Hear The Word Of The Lord That They All Said Amen Before They Heard What The Law Told Them To Do.

It’s not uncommon to see new converts who have experienced the joys of repentance, baptism in Jesus Name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues ask the pastor, “Now, tell me what I need to do.”

Remember Praying Like This?

  • I’ll do what you want me to do.
  • I say what you want me to say.
  • I’ll go where you want me to go.
  • I’ll be what you want me to be.

Most young people in my generation never knew it was OK to say no at church. When we were asked to do something like,

  • Teach a Sunday School Class,
  • Sing a special song,
  • Play an instrument,
  • Testify,
  • Go on visitation,
  • Usher,
  • Clean the church
  • Give a sermonette
  • Or whatever,

We just said knew ahead of time that we would say yes.

 

Mary

Mary the mother of Jesus even told the servants at the Wedding in Cana, that whatever Jesus asked them to do, do it.

 

Samuel

Little Samuel had the willingness to do whatever was requested and ran to do the bidding of Eli not knowing that it was the Lord speaking to him.

 

Rebecca

Rebecca was so willing to serve the stranger with camels that she not only offered to water them but also ran to do her duty.

God has always looked for willingness in his people. Those who choose to say no to Him, don’t seem to last long or be used in His Kingdom.

 

How Did The Spirit Of Questioning Everything Get Into The Church?

  • Some read the scripture and say they are not convicted.
  • Some read the scriptures and say they do not apply to us.
  • Some hear preaching and are not receptive at all.
  • Others choose to read only scriptures that speak of blessings and miracles.
  • They reject anything that looks like doctrine
  • They say no to the word holiness.
  • They refuse to separate themselves from the world.

 

God’s First Principle Of Blessing And Growth

Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

 

Israel Wouldn’t Go Over Into The Promised Land

Deut 1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:

  • A whole generation died.

 

Because You Would Not Be Obedient

Deut 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Deut 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

Deut 8:20 As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.

 

Jerusalem Said No To The Messiah

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

 

Israel Said No To The Spiritual Rest

Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

 

What Makes Some Say No?

Before You Say No To Anything God Asks…

  • Ask yourself,
  • How does rebellion start?
  • What is rebellion?
  • Does God view my spirit as rebellious?
  • Am I rebellious?
  • How do I change?

 

Changing From Rebellion To Submission Should Be Easy.

  • It’s a one-word change.
  • What once was a No… change it to a Yes.

 

Are You Brave Enough To Say, “No” To God?

Me either.

You are free to choose how you wish to respond to God’s call, His wishes and His Word.

 

But as for me…

YES, Is My Answer. Now, What Is The Question?

 

Deut 10:12 … what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

If My Grandma Was Your Pastor…

with 7 comments

If My Grandma Was Your Pastor…

I had the best Grandma a boy could ever want. I loved her and cherish her sweet and godly memory. She raised a family of eight children through the depression years. All eight have since died in the faith, full of the Holy Ghost. Our huge family has been left with a rich example and a wonderful heritage. Thanks Grandma!

I can find no fault in my sweet Grandma, nor do I wish you to. In her day and time, she did what she had to do to survive. That being said, I will tell this Grandma story.

(If she could read this I know she would be embarrassed and maybe mortified. I should be ashamed for mentioning it.)

The Bad Apples

“Marty honey, I want you to go downstairs into the basement and on the right side, at the bottom of the stairs, you will see two bushels of apples. One bushel has red apples and the other one has yellow ones. Look through both bushels and find all the apples that have bruises, or soft spots. Get all the rotten ones and bring them all upstairs to me. If we don’t get them out soon, they will make the good ones get rotten too.”

Grandma Gleason said that as she handed me a pan whose size was sufficient for the task. As a Kindergarten student I had never been entrusted with such a huge responsibility as protector of the apples. I went down into the dark cellar and immediately found the bushels and knelt beside them on the floor.

bruised-appleI picked up each apple and looked it over carefully, squeezing just enough to test for any softness. About five minutes later I came upstairs with a couple dozen apples and proudly gave them to Grandma. Parts of the apples somehow disappeared into the evening supper disguised in a salad or a desert.

The downside of this is that while at my Grandma’s house, I never got to eat a fresh ripe apple. Not even once. She seemed only to be focused on taking care of the bad apples. It never occurred to me to pick up a good one and bite into it, and enjoy its succulence. I was programmed to look for the bad and not the good.

Over the years I have wondered why I didn’t just sneak a good apple out of the bushel. Maybe it was the fear of taking something without asking, or knowing there were many mouths to feed. I really don’t know now, but the bottom line is I didn’t ever get a taste of a good one.

Memory Talks To Me About This

This childhood story maybe could have been forgotten and died within me. But, over the years, that memory has walked down the hallway of my mind again and again and sat down beside me for a quiet chat. It happened once more this morning.

When memory quit talking to me today, my mind wandered over to the parenting and minister side of me. Have I spent my life focusing only on culling the bad apples to keep the others from spoiling and done so to my own hurt and the hurt of those around me?

How sad for me if I only fixated on removing sin’s negative things, and missed out on the pleasure of enjoying all of God’s good things.

Absolutely, wrong behavior must be dealt within the home and the House of God. But, in the process of running a good tight ship, it’s an added blessing if all those around you find it easy to smile and laugh and are happy. Worldliness will destroy a church, but so will religious fanaticism.

There Must Always Be Balance, Both In Pastoring And Parenting.

As parents we can stay so long in the corrective mode that our children live without much joy and happiness. It has happened. Some children can’t wait to leave home. My parents were very loving and yet we knew to be careful. When we were corrected, sometimes Mom cried with us. She could then sit down and play table games with us and laugh with us.

Preachers must never stop preaching against sin, compromise or worldliness. When we recognize the spirit of Laodicea or a Charismatic attitude we need to cull that from the bushel. We must readily defend this Apostolic message to our dying day.

In the process of preaching and enforcing holiness, and culling every bad apple of doctrine from the bushel, the saints need to be able to enjoy the taste found only in the bite of a good apple, once in a while. On the other hand, we all know that if we just eat the good ones, and never remove the bad, soon the whole bushel will be garbage. There must be a balance.

As an old former pastor and a preacher that has been put out to pasture, I can only hope that there were times when I let my hearers savor the sweetness of the Gospel. Everyone needs to experience what King David was enjoying when he said, ‘Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!”

If Grandma was your pastor and she ran your church like she did her home, the bad apples would always be culled and dealt with. Yet, in the process, there may not be any fresh ones left out on the table for anyone to enjoy.

As sweet as she was, be glad Grandma was not your pastor!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 12, 2015 at 9:27 am

Posted in Christian Living, Salvation

Tagged with

She Still Calls Me Honey

with 13 comments

She Still Calls Me Honey

She Still Calls Me Honey

 

She Still Calls Me Honey

 

A Tribute To Marcia June Starr Ballestero

Who Has Been My Loving And Romantic Wife For Fifty Years.

 

No man has ever deserved a love so sweet as hers. Fifty years ago, Honey, was the first sweet name she called me when we fell in love, it’s what she still calls me now. I was very thrilled then and today I still am.

It started from the beginning when we both told each other, “I Love You!” Somehow, before the conversation was over, my new name became, Honey. It was just that easy for her!

 

  • It was exhilarating to know I was a Honey to the girl I loved most!
  • I felt cherished. I felt wonderful. I wanted to boast!

 

I’d never been anyone’s Honey before. I started walking around with that new Honeyfeeling and it created a tingling in my heart. I felt different. I acted different. I was different. I was her Honey!

For fifty years or so, whenever I’ve heard that name called in a crowd, I immediately turn because I know it must be me being called. After all, I now am the man named, Honey.

 

  • If I were a cowboy, the name wouldn’t have fit.
  • Had I been a Marine, I would have suffered a bit.

 

How does one become a Honey?

How did I become a Honey in her eyes?

By the way, what is actually the definition of someone who is a Honey?

 

Webster says that a Honey is “a person for whom one feels love or deep affection; a sweetheart, a darling.

Honey is an affectionate term of address to a romantic partner, lover, or sweetheart.”

“Something sweet, delicious, or delightful.”

“An affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or romantic partner.”

“To call someone Honey is to talk flatteringly or endearingly to.”

 

By calling me Honey

  • She is calling me her Sweetheart.
  • She is saying I am her Dear.
  • She is confessing I am her Lover.
  • She is bragging that her Heart belongs only to me.
  • That my Heart belongs only to her.

 

Even though by now she knows how imperfect I really am, she still calls me Honey. There have been days when lemon or persimmon would have described me much better, but she still called me Honey.

 

  • “Honey,” I like that better than… “The Old Man,” or “Dodo.”
  • It sure feels much nicer than… “Quail Head” or “Bozo”

 

Oh yes, when our babies were little, for their sake, she also added the name of Daddy in her vocabulary when they were in the room.

But now, even though our children are grown it is still the same. In our private moments, when she could call me whatever she really thinks of me, she still calls me Honey.

 

  • When I am upset or stressed, my name is still Honey.
  • When I have no money, my name is still Honey.

 

I have no memory of her ever starting a fuss. Yet, even when I was out of sorts, or out of line she still called me Honey.

  • When I’ve embarrassed her and myself, she still called me Honey.
  • When I needed to be put in timeout, she still called me Honey.
  • When I had zits on my face too horrible to kiss, she still called me Honey.
  • When I lost my hair, she still called me Honey.
  • When I didn’t preach well at all, after church she still called me Honey.
  • When some old friends criticized me and walked away, she stood by me and called me Honey.

 

She seldom ever calls me by the name my parents gave me. I’m always Honey to her. What makes her use that word? What have I done to deserve such a sweet name? Even when I’ve wrong, she still calls me Honey.

 

  • How do you get mad a girl who calls you Honey and means it?
  • How do you not respond sweetly to her words of endearment?

 

When I wake up, she says, “Good morning Honey!”

When I walk in the door she welcomes me home with, “Hi Honey.”

The sweetest words I can ever hope hear when answering my phone is, “Hi Honey!”

  • It still fires up my furnace and turns all the lights on in my heart!
  • I can still hear the Love oozing in her voice!
  • I can still see the Love radiating in her eyes!
  • I can still sense Romance as it walks into the room!

 

  • She doesn’t throw that word around like a waitress in some cheap diner.
  • She saved that word for only me, the one she chose to walk beside her.

 

Some say when a wife uses the word Honey that it soon becomes expensive for the man because some time and labor will certainly be involved. But, there have been no HoneyDo-Lists drawn up for me by her. I draw them up myself.

The things I do for her are the things I get to do for her as my way of showing appreciation and saying thank you for calling me Honey.

 

  • She says it like she means it with her voice so soft and sweet.
  • It’s the word romance is made of, there’s nothing that can compete

 

When she says Honey, she means it. She says in a way that:

  • Softens the harshness of life
  • Melts the feeling of pain
  • Creates a spontaneous smile
  • Nurtures the weariness
  • Embraces the hurts
  • And Comforts the soul

 

I have stood on the platform before huge crowds and referred to her publicly as “Sugar Booger.” Some people smile and shake their heads because they are embarrassed for my wife. There are many thousands and more who only know her by that name.

She has never bristled or looked embarrassed in public when I spoke those words. She knows that is not the name I use when we talk. When we are together and I am looking at her it only makes me think of words gentle, loving, soft and sweet, so I try to say them.

  • There is nothing harsh about her.
  • She doesn’t speak unkind words.
  • She doesn’t ever nag.
  • She never starts fights.

 

  • Her touch is soft and gentle; her words are just the same.
  • I am blessed to be around her and hear her call my name.

 

At this major marriage milestone of fifty years and counting, my bragging rights are still securely in place.

My special name is sealed forever in her heart and mine. I am the man she calls Honey… and I absolutely love it! I wouldn’t change it for the world!

She has spent fifty years calling me by the sweetness name she could think of. Her wondrous love for me could never be matched.

 

  • So as your Honey, I thank you from the depths of my soul.
  • Your love has nourished me and made me feel whole.

 

No man could have been made to feel his wife’s love than I.

No man ever deserved a love so sweet as yours.

No man could be happier with his marriage than I am.

 

Thank You, My Darling Marcia June Ballestero, For Loving Me Totally Without Restriction Or Reservation!

You’ve Made Fifty Years Of Loving You And Being Married Seem Like Just A Few Days…

And By God’s Mercy, It’s Not Over Yet. Because…

When We Get To Heaven And Start Looking For Each Other, The First Words I Want To Hear From Another Mortal Is You Saying,

Hi Honey!”

 

I Truly Love You,

Marty, (Your Honey)

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm

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