Happy Mother’s Day To My Wife, Marcia June Starr Ballestero
From the first moment we knew you would be a Mother, you began to blossom into all that a wonderful mother should be.
You and your lovely sisters brag on you Mother and hold her up as the ultimate yardstick of measurement, and rightly so. No one would dream of disagreeing. Your Mother’s memory is hollowed in all of our hearts and thoughts.
She freely gifted you with her beauty, her wisdom, her ways, and her warmth. I am so saddened that she is not here for us to enjoy today.
Yet, I fear my darling that you may not have looked at yourself as your husband, your children and all their families have looked at you. I’m not sure at all that you even know how wonderful you really are.
You have received the ultimate of motherhood guidance from your Mom, and then you have continued on, taking everything to a higher level.
No one can measure up to you. I want you to know that I think that you are the best Mother in the world.
And, I love you with all my heart!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Happy Birthday Marisa Ballestero – Hartzell
From the very first moment I laid eyes on you and held you in my arms, I was smitten! A daddy will cherish baby moments like those forever. I have.
I enjoyed holding you in my arms, and selfishly wanted those baby moments to never end. You were absolutely gorgeous then, and if possible, even more now!
No father could be more proud of his daughter than I am of mine. Your beauty and grace became legendary in your youth. You are the word ‘Hospitality’ wrapped up in a lovely dress.
Your creative talents and abilities never cease to amaze everyone that knows you. Especially me! You excel at everything you attempt. You have never stopped making your old dad proud!
I know for a fact too, that you are the Second Best Cook in the world. (You already know about your Mom. J)
How blessed your husband and children are! How blessed your Mom and I are!
- I watch you sing and worship in church with all your heart and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I look at you living modestly in an immodest world, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I see how tender and loving you are with your family and friends, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I see the wonderful things you do as a mother and homemaker, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- When there is fun and laughter in the building, I hear your voice in the middle of the festivities, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I know how loving, faithful, supportive, and complimentary you are to your husband, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- Every time I pick up the phone and hear your sweet voice saying, “I love you Daddy!” I thank God you’re my girl!
I love You Marisa!
Have The Happiest Of Birthdays
I recently received several comments on my blog from a careful and God-fearing Ultra Orthodox Jew. I was immediately moved with great respect for someone trying to please the Lord in a careless generation. I have many precious friends and acquaintances that strive to live as careful as this dear man. I only wish more did.
As a Charedi ( Ultra Orthodox) Jew I really enjoy reading your blog. Our parents and grandparents fought hard against TV and VCR and worldly customs of dress. It takes men with a burden and a love for the next generation to fight these things. We have taken a pretty strict stand on Internet I will present it here maybe some of you could benefit from it or add to it.
1. Parents with children attending our schools must sign a paper stating they have no Internet in the home.
2. In the office it must have an approved filter and it must be in public view.
3. Cell phone have no Internet or picture or video capacity.
I would enjoy your feedback on these topics.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment. I am thrilled to find others who unashamedly stand against the worldliness and sinfulness of our day. I appreciate your post very much.
Thank you for sharing these student requirements. I know longer pastor, but my pastor friends have conservative schools with similar requirements for their students and members. I think this is excellent.
Thank you for having a conscience that strives to be holy in an unholy world.
“I have never seen The Righteous forsaken nor His Seed begging for bread”. WE need to cry out against worldliness. Weep with me for the sin of the nation in which we reside. My heart breaks for the people. We are in the same situation as the Prophet Noah. We must stand against the evil of this time…. my heart bleeds.
Amen. I will weep with you and cry out aloud.
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
The long blue Pontiac sedan rolled smoothly down Highway 30 through the Indiana countryside. My father, Pastor Carl Ballestero was driving. I was his unofficial assistant and the two of us were going to a church anniversary service.
Most trips Daddy was known to be talkative, but sometimes, he was content to ride in silence. Today was one of those days that he chose not to talk much, if at all.
Knowing that he had to preach at this special service, I chose not to interrupt his thoughts, in case he was thinking about his sermon. I only spoke if I saw he was interested in talking.
I contented myself by looking out of the passenger’s side window at the farms and passing landscape. The silence was comfortable.
The car ride had been without a spoken word for more than a half hour. Then, as if from nowhere I heard Daddy say in a soft voice, “Lord, have I told you lately that I love you?”
Tears immediately sprang into my eyes, and the scenery became blurred. I never turned to looked at him. I didn’t want to interrupt or interfere with this sweet moment between him and the true love of his life.
I knew I was in the presence of godly man who truly loved The Lord with all of his heart. The Holy Ghost immediately filled that car, and I wept freely. I thanked God for His presence and His love, but I also thanked him for giving me a father who truly loved Him!
That moment nearly forty years ago has forever impacted my personal devotions. Every now and then I find myself riding along in the car or just setting at home and then seemingly out of nowhere, I will find myself saying… “Lord, have I told you lately that I love you?”
You know what? It still works! I always seem to feel God’s presence anew while tears flow down my cheeks just like they did that day.
Thank you Lord, for a Dad who set such a wonderful example before me. He unashamedly let me see how wonderful it was to fully love The Lord and openly show it!
What Are You Using For Bait?
What Are You Using For Bait? That’s the common question Fishermen ask of each other. They know that what you use for bait most of the time will determine what you catch.
If someone is fishing for Bass, their bait is normally different from someone who is fishing for catfish. What is used for bait will determine what is caught.
Corn Feeders or corn placed near deer stands are common in many states. However, no one has ever heard of a deer hunter using Jalapeno Peppers for deer bait. Corn attracts the deer not the chili peppers.
Every successful Trapper must know what baits attract which animals and bait their traps accordingly. What is used for bait will determine what is caught.
It is common knowledge among us, that cheese is a favorite bait to use in a mousetrap. When cheese is used, mice are caught. No one uses a carrot to bait a mouse trap.
Boys And Girls
If you don’t like the type of people you keep attracting, then maybe you need to check what you are using for bait.
What type of person are these guys trying to attract?
Do You Need To Change Your Bait To Catch Something Different, Or Better?
- Carnal people attract carnal people
- Worshippers attract worshippers
- Critical spirits find one another
- Godly people attract other godly people.
Preacher, You Get What You Preach
- If you preach Faith, you attract believers.
- If you preach the New Birth according to Acts 2:38 you attract those who want deliverance.
- If you preach Holiness… Holiness preaching attracts those who want to leave the world behind.
- If you preach Doctrine… you attract those who love the Word.
- If you preach Pop Psychology type sermons… you will attract those that only want to hear smooth things, while continuing to live like they always have.
- What is used for bait will determine what is caught.
Contemporary style worship attracts contemporary minds that, as a rule, resist older traditional Pentecostal style worship music. (Besides, there is little to no mention of sin or doctrine in most of the new songs.)
What Does Satan Use For Bait?
- The Desire To Get ‘High’?
- Half Truths?
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
The devil sets traps.
Now the big question! This is the most important one of all!
If You Wanted To Attract God, What Would You Use For Bait?
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
- He attracted the attention of God.
Acts 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
Ask The Prodigal Son
- He was humble and repentant.
- He cried out for mercy.
- He desired to see Jesus and got above the crowd.
- God told them what to do to attract His Favor.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
She Wouldn’t Stop Talking About Her Old Love.
All she could talk about was her former love. She dreamed of him in heart every day and spoke aloud of her deep passion for him to the amazement of her startled listeners. After all she was a married woman. If she was so in love with a memory, then why get married to another?
Like an air-headed bride who was clueless that her remarks about her past love life would ever ruin her present relationship, she couldn’t stop talking, she just wouldn’t quit. Her husband’s heart hurt knowing that although she was married to him, she was still in love with her old love.
Some around her remembered her former lover and agreed, that he was all that she remembered. Yet others felt deeply saddened that the one she now lived with, and who loved her very much, had heard her thoughtless comments. They knew he would spend the rest of his life competing with her old flame.
Why would a bride openly talk of a past love? Was she trying to sabotage her marriage? Didn’t she know anything about how to behave in a relationship? Couldn’t she brag on her current her husband? Why did she only say sweet things about her former love, and nothing about her current husband? Something was horribly wrong with this picture. Everyone could see where things were headed.
Strangers shook their heads and wondered that she could be so bold as to publicly proclaim that she still carried a torch for her man of yesterday and brag on him in her new husband’s face.
Hers may not be a married relationship much longer if the groom grows weary of hearing her old lover’s name.
Many that heard her remarks, formed the opinion that she truly wasn’t in love with the one she was married to, or that she was so disappointed in her new marriage that she didn’t care what happened.
How could a bride be so stupid? Why would she tear down her own marriage? Why couldn’t she keep some of her pleasant memories buried in her heart and savor them privately, if she must. Why wasn’t she discreet? Why wasn’t she in love with the one who now loved her?
She was a married woman! If she couldn’t give all of her love to her husband, why did she bother to even get married?
Shamed husbands aren’t alone in their embarrassment and hurt. The Lord God also knows the pain of playing second fiddle to an air-headed love.
The Story Of Hosea- Gomer.
The Lord told the prophet Hosea to marry a woman who was a common prostitute. He wanted Him to marry a woman who would be unfaithful. He wanted Hosea to understand His heartache and pain in loving Israel, while they were still in love with Egypt.
Israel – Egypt
God loved Israel, yet Israel had other lovers. Not only did she remember her past loves, she too, like an air-headed bride wouldn’t quit talking about them, and God heard her.
He knew that no matter what He did for her, she would always be in love with another.
It was stupid of her to forget who was feeding her, fighting her battles and blessing her every day. She wasn’t interested in a relationship with Jehovah. She just wanted to be kept, while she remembered what she considered to be the good things about her past.
Israel had complained about Egypt while she lived there, but although Egypt was now ancient history, Israel seemed to forever talk about her memories.
Those memories caused her taste buds to drool over the most mundane of things. Israel actually cried real tears.
Numbers 11:4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
Numbers 11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
It was like Israel regularly kept visiting the grave of her dead husband, decorating the site with fresh flowers and spending hours everyday weeping over what no longer was.
Israel Lusted After The Things Of Egypt.
She Quickly Forgot What Jehovah Was Doing for Her.
Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
Psalm 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
Israel tempted the Lord ten times in the wilderness by lusting after the things in her past, and complaining about what she now had and didn’t have, until God sent fiery serpents among them.
They Were Too Clueless To Realize They Were Tempting God!
Today’s Generation Loves Pleasure More Than God
This is a pleasure driven society. The good news is that all pleasure is not bad. The bad news is, that one of the warning signs of the last days would be that men would love pleasure more than they loved God. We’re here!
2 Timothy 3:4 …lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
What do we speak of the most? Is it sports, recreation, entertainment, fine dining, video games, travel, or the Lord?
As the Bride of Christ, shouldn’t we understand about relationships? Shouldn’t we wake up to the realization that if we really want a relationship with the Jesus Christ…
- Maybe, just maybe He should be on our minds, and not the lusts of our flesh.
- Maybe, just maybe we should talk about Him more often, and not the world.
- Maybe, just maybe, we should be in love with Him, not the world.
- Maybe, just maybe we should talk about our love for Him and not about our love for the things of this world.
Do You Feel That You And Jesus Have A Good Relationship?
Then Why Mess Up?
There Is Nothing Worth Losing Your Soul Over!
If others hear you talk about the things of the world more than the things of God, your relationship with the Lord is certainly in trouble.
Take another look at what you have now. Don’t lose it. No one can go back to a memory, not ever.
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Your Husband Might Be Somewhat Understanding, But God Will Not Be.
He’s A Jealous God.
He Pulled Her In
It hadn’t rained for weeks. The horrible and devastating storm was now over. All day the dove had flown back and forth looking for food, looking for a place to land, looking for any sign of life.
She hadn’t found a thing that she could humble herself to come down to. And, she really wasn’t prepared to fly all day without landing on something somewhere.
She was weary. It was all she could do to fly the long trip back to the Ark. With labored effort she struggled toward the open window at the top of the giant boat. Her wings labored harder with every flap. She was very conscious of how tired and weary she was. She felt like she couldn’t go much farther.
Noah knew her nature. He knew she would never be happy to live in a world of filth or decay. She would never be comfortable around anything unclean. She was a dove, not a scavenger.
She had left earlier that day with a raven, but they soon went their separate ways. He happily sought out the rotten and decaying carcasses among the flood-strewn debris. She had no interest in such things.
There had been no place on earth she would allow herself to go to. Returning to the Ark was her only option. But it was almost too late. She was completely exhausted.
Then she saw a hand stretched out towards her. She focused on the hand. This was the same hand fed her every day and cared for her. She knew all would be well if she could but make it to his outstretched hand.
The hand reached out of the Ark as far as it could; caught her and pulled her safely inside.
She was home now!
She hadn’t been strong enough to make it all the way back inside on her own, she had done what she could, but that wasn’t quite enough.
But, when she was willing to make the effort to come back to the Ark, there was an outstretched hand ready to pull her back inside!
Gen 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Gen 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
Gen 8:9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Do you find yourself weary of a life filled with sin? There’s hope. If you will make the effort to get to the Ark of safety, I promise you, there will be an outstretched hand ready to pull you safely inside.
He’s waiting on you.