December 2014 celebrates the fifth birthday of The Ballestero Blog. I personally wish to thank each one of my readers. In memory of this anniversary, popular posts will be showcased from each year. This one is from March 2010:
Why My English Teacher Wanted To Be Baptized In Jesus Name!
Ms. DeGroote, as she wished to be called, was from France and she taught my senior year English class at South Bend Central High. She was 63 and referred to herself as a spinster. We had more creative names for her. Most of the students dreaded her classes. We were taught diction and enunciation with a heavy French accent. It seemed to make learning to speak proper English an impossibility with her as the instructor. By much effort I received the only A in her class both semesters.
My class was filled with Catholic students. South Bend, Indiana still is a predominately Catholic town. Its claim to fame is the University of Notre Dame. I was the only non-Catholic in the class.
Ms. DeGroote was a stern woman who tolerated no-nonsense in any of her classes. I was highly confined in her restrictive and controlled environment.
During the course, we had many weeks of conjugation and diagramming sentences. Somehow the nerd in me found those subjects easy and interesting. No, that is not normal, but it happened nevertheless. (I knew I was a nerd and not a geek, because geeks make more money than nerds.)
One day Ms. DeGroote said, “Now students, tomorrow I want you to bring to class a sentence or sentences that you have diagrammed. You may go to the board and diagram your sentence, and I will correct your paper. Or, I will go to the board and diagram your sentence while you correct the paper.
For the life of me, I could not think of a sentence to diagram. Especially since the whole class would see. Then it dawned on me. What better sentence in the world to diagram! I went home, picked up my Bible, and copied Mt. 28:19 down. I proceeded to diagram the verse. This just had to be right.
The next day couldn’t come soon enough. I was ready for class. When 3rd period English finally arrived I knew I would be the second one called on. Everything in the class was by alphabet. Even our seating was arranged that way. I set behind Adams. We were all called by our last names.
When Adams was called on, he went to the chalkboard and almost got his correct. Ms. DeGroote sat at his empty desk and corrected his paper while he was at the board. When he finished, I heard “Ballestero!”
“I would like you to go to the board and diagram my sentence, and I will correct my own paper,” I said to Ms. DeGroote.
She said, “Read me your sentence.”
“It’s a Bible verse, if that’s OK,” I ventured.
She nodded and I read my Scripture.
Matthew 28:19 (KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
“Go ye therefore (comma)” I said.
Ms. DeGroote prefaced her work with a (you) in front of the word “Go”.
When I read the verse aloud, I paused on the word “name,” while I waited for her to catch up.
“Of the Father,” I said.
“Now, here we have a prepositional phrase modifying the word name. At this point we do not know yet what the name of the person is, but we do know by this prepositional phrase, that whoever this person is, they are a Father,” she said.
She then drew the appropriate lines on her diagram.
“Of the Son,” I continued.
“Now we know, that this person is both a Father and a Son, but we still don’t have a name.”
“Ms. DeGroote,” a girl named Williams called out with her hand in the air. “Aren’t Father and Son names?”
“They’re just descriptive titles. They tell us something about the name, but they don’t tell us His name, they are only titles.” was her answer.
She again drew the second prepositional phrase on the board.
“Of the Holy Ghost.” I continued.
After the 3rd prepositional phrase was in place, my teacher looked carefully at the diagram on the board from end to end. She shook her head. “All we know here is that whoever this person is, they are a Father, a Son, and they are the Holy Ghost! But we still don’t know what the name is.”
“Martyn,” she said looking at me carefully, “What is the name?”
I had been waiting for this moment. I stood, and gently said, “Jesus is the name!”
Ms DeGroote looked at her writing on the board. Then she turned back to me with her arms wide in surrender. With a heavy French accent, my Catholic English teacher said, “I guess I need to be baptized in Jesus name!”
“Yes!” I said as I pulled my upraised clenched fist down from my chin area. The other 30 students in the class clapped. I did a modest jig in the class aisle myself.
Have you been baptized in Jesus name?
Acts 2:38 (KJV) 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 4:12 (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
December 2014 celebrates the fifth birthday of The Ballestero Blog. I personally wish to thank each one of my readers. In memory of this anniversary, popular posts will be showcased from each year. This one is from February 2010:
Intercessory Prayer, We Miss You!
This is just a line to let you know how things are since you’ve gone. It’s not the same without you, nor will it ever be. Although our lives seem shallow and empty when you’re not here, we’ve learned to make up for you in other ways. We’ve learned to live without you.
We now run the aisles, leap for joy, jig to the music, sing catchy choruses, and tap our feet in time to the rhythm of the drums. We use sticks, banners, black lights and our sign teams do a tremendous job acting out recorded music. We’ve learned to worship without you.
The prayer rooms are mostly silent now. Those that do go there, for the most part, come away dry-eyed. A lot of praying now is chanting and sing-song style. That’s how we know we’re in the groove. We pray memorized phrases that come automatically. We love what we call Prayer Walks. Most of us don’t even close our eyes anymore during prayer. We just walk and pray while we look around. We pray because it is required. No one prays till they break through anymore. We just pray till our ten minutes are up.
Family altars are almost unheard of now. You can’t imagine how busy we are and how hectic our schedules have been. It’s unbelievable. We get up in the morning and never stop till we go to bed at night. We do try to make it to church most services and get some praying in there during the service, but prayer at home is kind of out of the question. That may be another reason you haven’t heard much from us.
Oh sure, we still believe in prayer, as such. But not very many of us are anxious for you to come back. (You were always the polite type, you know, never forcing yourself on anyone. You never came uninvited. You only left because you were ignored.)
The sad truth is you’re not really needed anymore. You see, most of us have hospitalization insurance now. (It sure takes away that old desperate feeling we used to have.) So now, there’s no need to pray more than the few minutes it takes to drive to the Emergency Room. Also, we don’t have to ask for our daily bread like we used to. We now have better jobs with good benefits and government programs to fall back on.
If we lose our jobs, there is always Unemployment or Welfare. If we retire or become disabled, Social Security now supplies our needs. So, you can see, we’re doing OK. Other things have filled the void in your absence. Sure we miss you. But we’re getting over it some how. Actually, we’re too busy to entertain you right now, even if you tried to come back. I hope you understand.
We are having revivals now without you. It’s not hard. The pastor fasts and prays, along with a couple of others. The evangelist preaches mostly just to sinners now. Most of us try to get to church in time for the first song or two. We justify the fact that the number of new converts is down. Yes, there seems to be diminished conviction, less lasting victory, fewer miracles and many young people are backsliding. We agree, however, that it’s not us that are at fault here; it’s just the times we’re living in. It’s like this everywhere.
As your friend, I’m writing this to you, knowing how much it must hurt you to have folks say they miss you… and yet in their material and intellectual progress, they’ve weaned themselves away from the haunting memory of you.
What hurts, I know, is that we were children you personally raised. You were always there when we needed you. (But now… we don’t.) You taught us about faith. You taught us about miracles. You taught us about a move of God. You taught us about revival. You taught us about how to touch God. Thank you for that, but you see, this is a new day and we are trying to go to the next level. Our services are structured differently now.
Do you know… can you believe, that now when you are ever mentioned in church, everyone gets real quite? They all feel guilty I’m sure. It’s like they experience a momentary twinge of guilt while they consider their part in your disappearance. Once in a while some even get misty eyed when we talk about the old times you shared with us. But all that feeling vanishes along with the pizza right after church.
No, Intercessory Prayer, your coming back really wouldn’t work right now. We’re too blessed. We’re doing too well. We’re comfortable. In your day, you served your purpose, but the sentiment of most today is that we can manage OK without you now. We’ve got better clothes, cars, homes and prettier and bigger churches than ever.
By the way, do you remember all the folks of yesteryear coming into the sanctuary with red-rimmed eyes? Remember the baggy looking knees in the men’s suits? Remember all night prayer meetings? Remember the depth that was in worship? Remember when sinners couldn’t sit in their pews any longer, and would run to the altar? Remember when you could feel unity and brotherly love? When folks helped bear one another’s burdens? When the saints didn’t watch the clock? When they could hardly wait to enjoy the after service atmosphere, praying around the altar until the wee hours of the morning? Boy, those were the good old days. We call that “Old School.”
Well, it’s pretty much all gone now. But you ought to see our new Hammond C-3, our new drum set with a cage and everything. Electric bass guitars are just awesome and the electric guitars too. We use Praise Singers to help cover up the fact that our congregations don’t sing like they should or used to. We let them do most of our worship for us. Our Choirs just do terrific on the new style songs. Old saints don’t like the new songs much, but the younger crowd seems to like them. Many music directors don’t even know some of your old favorite songs, so they don’t get played much anywhere.
You would be proud of our church buildings. Carpet on the floors, there are pews now instead of benches and they are padded too, besides. The arched beams are beautiful, we also have the loveliest of imported chandeliers. Our pastor has polish too. He doesn’t preach long. We are more concerned about sermon length now, than content. Our pastor spices up his sermons with cute sayings… but I guess that’s progress for you. “Win some, lose some.”
Speaking of “lose some”, we’re losing a surprising percentage of our young people. An unbelievable number of marriages have gone on the rocks. Many lives have been in jeopardy. But that’s to be expected I guess. Teenagers seem to be at war with their parents and want to dress more and more like the kids at the public school. Our youth meetings may not have much in the way of prayer, but we have great icebreakers, skits and games.
We have plenty of medicines nowadays to help our aches and pains. What more could we ask for? Sure we miss you, but I guess we really don’t NEED you right now.
I hope you’re not offended. I don’t mean for you to be. You’ll always have a special place in my memory. You were very kind and generous to me. You sure got me out of some hard times. I can’t thank you enough! Still, this is a generation now that doesn’t know you at all. Your coming would probably scare them.
Remember the night when my mother sat at the piano bench and you joined her there? Remember how she wept and groaned in the Spirit and slumped to the floor during the revival service and how some tried to call the ambulance because they thought she was sick? They never knew you and her were talking.
That’s what I mean. A good many never got to know you well. And most never knew you at all. Those that knew you personally have waited so long to talk to you that they are now, to say the least, embarrassed.
So while we are trying to work out our feelings about you, and see where you might fit into our plans in the future, you might try your luck someplace else. Try Brazil, Ethiopia, or how about the Philippines? You might have better luck in Third World Countries, or behind the iron Curtain. You might even luck out and find someone to talk to you in some little storefront on the other side of the tracks. Surely someone somewhere needs you.
We’re terribly sorry, Intercessory Prayer, we miss you, but we really don’t NEED you… right now!
(This is a portion of a letter I wrote to Dad when I was in my early 40’s. I left out the personal part at the beginning, but wanted to share the memories with you.)
Please allow me the privilege of thinking back… with my pen helping me… to a few of the times that you took me by the hand and walked with me, your only son, down “Memory’s Lane”. I’ll not attempt to display all of memory’s treasured trophies; maybe I’ll even forget to point at the biggest and best. It’s not that the unmentioned aren’t important – to the contrary! It just proves, one more time, that no child could ever fully tell how much his parent(s) mean to him!! What is important is that we share memories with those we love.
- When Mom made that wire recording we sent to you while you were gone evangelizing. Mom told me to talk to you and then sing. I told you I loved you, I missed you and that I was praying for you. I then sang two songs, mixed up both up into one somehow! Ha! (Portland – age 4)
- The time you took me “out” to whip me because I’d misbehaved in church. But I talked you out of it by saying, “Daddy, I love you!”
- The day you stopped the car in the “middle of nowhere”, and with a knowing look to mom said, “I’m going to see a man about a dog”. I, in innocent eagerness, called to you out the window … “Daddy, I want a St. Bernard!”
- My first “Bike”! You brought it home in a big box, took it into the back yard of our home in Riverside and put it together. It was red and pretty! I sure was proud!
- When you’d call me over to you, and you sat in a comfortable chair, and then have me hold up your leg. Sometimes in my hands. (But when they got too heavy, sometimes the shoulders always were the right height!)
- Riding in that Old Auburn antique car!
- Mom riding around and around the house on your motorcycle.(She didn’t know how to stop it!) And you and Uncle Stan laughing and trying to tell her how to stop.) Mom just said Uncle Stan showed her how to make it go… but she never waited to finish the lesson. She wound up running into a fence to stop it!
- My first motorcycle ride. I rode behind you on the luggage rack. You had folded up your sweater to make it more comfortable. I sure enjoyed the ride, but did I ever have a sore bottom!
- Your coming back to 711 Polk, Oregon City. (from Yakima?) Seems like it was near Christmas, or some holiday. Anyway, I recall you opening the car door and carrying in bunches of apples – with everybody excited, talking and helping you carry them in.
- Packing the back seat level in the old blue Nash, so all of us kids could sleep while we drove.
- Walking with you through Anaheim High School as you made the rounds as a night watchman. You even let me punch the clock. In one room, you let me sit in a desk – my feet never touched the floor. I couldn’t imagine ever being big enough to go to high school.
- You working on the Plymouth in front of the house in Baytown, Texas and me hanging over the side, watching you. Then, our several trips, afoot, to buy more parts at the Western Auto. You told folks your car was a 1941 Western Auto.
- The first house we lived in, in Columbus, Indiana. It was an apartment. You told us that the landlord counted how many times we flushed the toilet. We were to flush only when necessary!
- In Anaheim, the night Eisenhower was voted in. You sat by the radio, with pen and paper and added up the votes. That was before computers. Seems like you stayed up till 2 or 3 am.
- The day you bought your first new car, a Hudson, and took us all for a ride. (Riverside)
- The day you gave me my first gun – a .22! –Brother! – was I ever happy and proud!
- Going fishing with you and Brother Bennett…(we lived in Hope, IN) at a catfish pond. I caught my first fish on Brother Bennett’s pole, while he was at the concession stand!
- When I’d been sick and you made me a big kite – 6’x 4’ – made out of a light crepe paper, with real heavy fishing line for string. When we took it out to fly it, the wind really picked me up on my tip-toes. Boy! that was the biggest kite a kid could have. I don’t recall ever again, seeing one that big! “They don’t make ‘em like they used to!”
- In Columbus, one Christmas you asked me if I’d give my bicycle to my sister. (You bought me a new 3-speed). We went to the basement, and sawed off the top cross bar, lowered it, and painted it red.
- In Richmond – getting a train for Christmas. You played with it for the longest. (To make sure it was working right!)
- Also in Richmond, after a return from a trip, giving me a book, and censoring it page by page – scribbling out any slang words with a black crayon.
- During Columbus days- Shooting your gun (.250-3000 was it?) or 300 savage? – anyway, I leaned up against a tree. The gun butt and my little shoulder got acquainted in a hurry.
- The time in Albany, Oregon when I went up with Turney on my first piper cub ride. You looked at us in the plane, and then said to Uncle Orion, “Well, he was a good boy”.
- The drunk in the Yakima church.
- Picking apples together, all day one day on a ‘Migrant Farm Workers’ farm.
- Bringing me an apple home from Libby’s cannery that was as big as a grapefruit.
- The time in Yakima, when you hugged mom real big in front of us kids, and held her while you sang to her the popular song of the year, “Sugar Time”. (Sugar in the mornin’, sugar in the evenin’, sugar at supper time…)
- The times you used to ask me if I wanted to hear a funny noise. (If the answer was yes, a playful pinch or knuckle squeezin’ warranted a good loud “funny noise”.)
- Hearing you (and mom) pray for God to save your boy!
- National City! When we had no money for gas, nor anything to eat but beans. When we walked several miles to that P.A.W. church, only to find no service that night. On the way back, stopping by that bakery’s exhaust fan and inhaling that wonderful smell. We just grinned at each other until our eyes watered. You said, “I believe I could gain 5 pounds just standing here!”
- Your remarks and expressions of happiness when I told you I had just received the Holy Ghost.
- When we were pulling that 35’ trailer with a 66 Ford, 6 cycle, no electric brakes, going down the Rocky Mountains. You had me hold the car in 2nd gear, so it wouldn’t jump out into neutral!
- Overhauling that Nash Metropolitan. We had a whole bunch of bolts and nuts left over, in a coffee can!
- You taking me to get my California’s “Permit”, and me actually driving home – in that Metro- with you beside me.
- The night in Vista I got my thumb stuck in that drum you’d bought me. You put liquid soap on my thumb. It never came loose until the choir sang, when I stood up in the back row, after about a minute or two. then it fell off and rolled down off the platform!
- Our last night in Vista, building the sides on the utility trailer, and painting it silver.
- The last time we had a foot race, and you beat me?
- Our last arm wrestling match, when you “retired” undefeated!
- The day you gave me my first set of shaving needs- safety razor, blades, and shaving cream- Boy!- was I ever “growed” up!
- The way you beamed proudly at me on my graduation day – even though you’d braved the emotion packed day – Beverly’s funeral, mom sick in bed, and a special church service in progress at our church, you still came. Thank-you!
- The time I called you and told you that I was in jail in Nebraska! You later said that you didn’t know if you should laugh, cry, or horse-whip me!
- The day you put X’s and O’s on the back of a girl friend’s letter… as a practical joke (and, to find out my reaction- ha!)
- You gave me my first camera – an Argos C-3.
- When I called from Louisiana, broke and spending part of my last $5.00 in a phone booth, and you said if I starved to death and died, you’d build me a monument bigger than George Washington’s… because I’d be the first man that God ever let down!
- Oh, yah! The day when you asked me if I felt the call to preach. When I said, “Yes”, you took me to the church, had me get up behind the pulpit, open my Bible (without looking) point to a passage, read, then you said, “Okay, now preach”. When I couldn’t, you had me sit down, then you showed me “how” – ha!
- In Fort Worth, when we talked about Marcia. I’d asked you to talk to me, not only as my father, but as my best friend. I wanted to know your opinion of my marrying her. We prayed together, hugged each other’s necks, then I made a long telephone call and a long drive to see her!
- My wedding day! The Father and Son talks. The look in your eye as you pronounced us man and wife!
- Laughing at mom trying to walk (purple coat and all) on our U.P. hunting trip. Mom said she had a scarf on her head, a long purple coat, an orange hunting vest, brown boots, and gloves! She said you guys laughed so hard at her, that you fell on your knees in the snow!
- The time we got lost for 2 hours in the snow storm and couldn’t find mom on her mountain deer stand– and promised each other not to tell her. (and didn’t for several years)
- Your letting me drive for you to your speaking engagements. Was I ever proud!
- The way you put your arm around me and with a beam of pride, we looked together at your first grandchild, (grandson), and your name sake.
- Our hunting trips – Wyoming and Canada.
- The night of the bear attack!
- My first antelope, shot with your gun!
- The times you told me you were proud of me!
- The first time you “slipped” and called me “Doc” – I realized you no longer subconsciously regarded me as a boy, but as a fellow laborer!
- Going down the road in the car, and you asked my advice about an important church problem. That you had asked me, overwhelmed me. And then I thought you probably already knew what you’d do, but you wanted to know how I would react!
- The night you ordained me and gave me Your Bible!
- The famous hunting trip with you, mom, Cavaness, Jordan, Buie and me. What a time!
- The times of correction, and later the hugs of love and forgiveness.
- Your way of talking to me when I needed it, had a way of melting me, even when I was filled with polite stubbornness, and didn’t want to cry. It was no use, the tears came anyway. Thank-you for being able to reach ‘thru’ to me!!
- Your washing my feet during “Communion and Foot-washing”.
- Your telling me that you loved me.
- In Utah, when you were throwing away some books, and I picked them up. You told mom, “Marty’s a Junker!” ha!
- Your taking your son to Disney World for a thrill of his young life (ha!) – age 30
- The Bahamas voyage!
- The first time I preached in your new church in Sulphur, LA.
- Visiting your new home there.
- Our first Christmas together as a family, since I had been married.
If we look in the right direction, Dad, there’s no end to Memory’s Lane!
I may not have always been good company, but I’ve sure enjoyed the walk!!!
Love, your son,
I Am The Church
- I am a Divine experience, built upon a Divine revelation
- I am built upon the Rock. That Rock is Jesus.
- I was born in obscurity, in an upper room.
- I have lived in palaces and poverty
- I am no stranger to the poor. I was raised on the wrong side of the tracks.
Some have called me:
- Saul of Tarsus
- Simon Peter
Of late, you have called me:
- Andrew Urshan
- G.T. Haywood
- Robert Tobin
- Verbal Bean
- Carl Ballestero
- Robert C. Cavaness
- Paul Jordan
- William R. Starr
- Jimmy Davis
- Bill Dross
- Morris E. Golder
I am the church
I was chosen from a life called:
That I should not glory in His presence!
- I am College Students and High School Drop outs,
- Factory workers and Housewives,
- Store owners and clock punchers,
- I am all ages and all sizes,
- I am teens with braces and Grandma’s with canes
- I am Sunday School kids whose parents are still asleep.
- I’ve lived on welfare, stood in soup lines,
- I used to be addicted to drugs, push dope, and belong to a gang.
- I was a streetwalker, alcoholic, liar and thief.
- But now I am washed, Now I am sanctified, Now I am justified, by the blood of Jesus.
I am the church
- I have lived in the “guttermost”, but have been raised to the “uttermost.”
- I have been lifted from the deep miry clay. My feet set upon a solid rock, He has established by goings.
- Angels attend me daily. I am guided by Divine Direction.
- Heaven protects my every move.
- I am an army, I have never lost a battle. I am predestined to win.
- I am victorious.
I have been given authority in His Name, over:
- Every evil spirit
- Every disease known to man
- I have the power of the Name of Jesus at my command.
- I speak unto mountains and they are cast aside, In His name
- I walk by faith and live in the Spirit.
I am the church
Throughout history, I have been:
- Persecuted and Ostracized, I still prevail.
- I’ve been Lied on,
- Talked about
- Laughed at
But Death still can’t stop me.
I shall not be defeated.
By Divine Help,
- There’s no mountain I haven’t climbed,
- No river I haven’t crossed
- No valley too deep.
- There’s no problem too big!
- I have been made to survive and flourish.
I am the church
- I have been hindered, but never stopped.
- Knocked down, but never defeated.
- Cast down, but never destroyed.
- Dictators can’t stop me
- Kings can’t stop me
- Presidents can’t
- Generals with cruel armies can’t
- Even Communism can’t.
- The Iron curtain, Bamboo Curtain, The Berlin wall couldn’t stop me.
Even the gates of hell shall not prevail against me.
- God is with me
- He is on my side.
Why do I not live in fear? I have been given precious promises:
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
I am predestined.
I am the church.
- I have lived in prisons, in castles, in cities and in desert places,
- I have lived in villages and barrios, in every continent and every nation under heaven.
- I am more colors than the rainbow.
- I speak the languages of many tongues.
- Tongues of men and of angels.
- I entertain no prejudices
- I am one body
I am the church
- I am commissioned to the Great Commission
- I live for the Word.
- I shout Amen,
- I run the aisles
- I dance in the spirit
- I love praise and worship
- I speak with tongues and prophesy.
- I baptize in Jesus Name
- I clap my hands and sing.
- I raise my hands in prayer and worship.
- I leap for joy.
- I exist to given Him praise.
Psa. 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
I will bless the LORD at all times
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I am the church
Holiness is my trademark
Worship is my hallmark.
Prayer is my secret.
- I am a tired missionary
- An exhausted parent of small children,
- I am a tear-stained altar worker,
- A tired visitation team
- A Sunday School teacher with children that won’t be quiet
- A Home Bible Study teacher, burning the midnight oil
- I am a weary all-night prayer meeting
- I am an evangelist with a hoarse throat.
- I am an exhausted musician in a lengthy altar service,
- I am a King’s son wearing clothes from Goodwill,
- I know what it’s like to shout my hair down,
- I know what it’s like to get Holy laughter,
- I know what it’s like to shout during the preaching,
- I know what it’s like to travail in the spirit,
- I know what it’s like to make intercession.
- I know what the Pentecostal croup is
- I know what it’s like to see someone go home drunk in the Holy Ghost,
- I know what it’s like to be lost in the Spirit,
- I know where the prayer room is,
I am the church
- I’ve seen lives changed
- Families restored
- Marriages put back together
- Gays and Lesbians delivered
- Bodies healed
- Minds restored
- Drug Addicts delivered
- Smokers set free
- Alcoholics dried out
- Hard hearts softened
- Bitterness erased
- Anger dissipate
- Mistakes forgiven and wrongs righted.
- Unity restored
- All by the Han of God
- Some, in moment’s time
- I am the sole possessor of Truth
- I possess the secret of eternal life and of peace with God
I am the church
- I am preaching that changes that touches the heart
- I am an experience that changes the lives
- I am testimonies that ring that Jerusalem ring
- I am singing, that stirs the soul,
- I am prayers that reach heaven’s throne,
I am the church
- I am faces without make-up
- I am long dresses and uncut hair.
- I am modesty on a pedestal,
- I am virtue and purity on parade with heads held high.
- I am holiness without an apology
- I am dedicated to separation from the world.
- I refused to be influenced by immoral thinking
- I shun immodest apparel
- I hate every false way
- I deplore the works of the flesh
- Carnal thinking is not for me
- I keep myself unspotted from the world.
- I proudly represent the King of Glory
- He is Holy, therefore, I must be holy
- My adornment is spiritual and precious, rather than worldly and cheap.
- My men look like real men
- My women are my glory
- I am not a slave to fashion, but rather a servant of Jesus Christ.
- I am clothed rather in garments of Salvation.
- Immodesty does not become me,
- Impurity has no place in my world,
- I live a separated life.
- I don’t look like Satan’s children, talk like them, neither do I act like them.
- I do not feel comfortable in their environment.
- I hate all the works of the flesh
- I am not comfortable in Satan’s realm
- The world is not my home
- I walk ONLY on the OLD paths.
I am the church
My worship, my music and singing have been copied, mimicked, and duplicated.
But like the magicians, who cast down their rods before Moses, they still didn’t have the message. Moses had the only message of deliverance.
- I alone have the message of deliverance for a lost and dying world.
- I alone have the keys to eternal life.
- I alone have the message that sets men free
- I alone have the truth
- I alone have the revelation of who Jesus is
- I alone am the bride of Christ
- I alone known the truth of being born again of water and spirit
- I alone baptize in the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved
- I alone have a world to reach
I am described as:
- Not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
- Holy and without blemish.
- As terrible as an army with banners
- The salt of the world
- The light of the world
- A Great House
- The general assembly
- Mount Zion
- The city of the Living God
- The church of the first born
- An heir of righteousness
- A chosen generation
- A royal priesthood
- The Family of God
- The Habitation of God
- The Temple of God
- The Bride of Christ
I AM NOT:
- A social center
- A board run entity or a clever tax shelter
- I am not Political or politically correct
- Or Socially acceptable
- This Secular world was not created with me in mind.
- I don’t fit in to their societies or programs, their sports or their entertainment.
I AM A REDEMPTION CENTER
- A Hospital for the hurting
- An oasis for the weary
- A home for every one.
- Give me your weary, your homeless, your outcast, your oppressed, your needy and your distressed.
I am the church
- I am called to show forth the praises of Him who hath called my out of darkness in to this glorious light
- I am the sole possessor of the name of Jesus in redemption.
- I alone have taken His name.
- I am His bride. I love His Name.
Revival is my heartbeat,
Calvary is my song,
The blood of Jesus is my hope,
The name of Jesus is my love,
Deliverance is my message,
The coming of Jesus is my prayer
I live only to:
- Worship Him
- Witness to others
- Love one another
- Praise His Holy Name
- Pray unto Him
- Help my brother
- Obey His Word and His will
I am sanctified
- Blood washed
- Blood bought
- Spirit filled
- Water baptized in Jesus name
- Tongue talking
- Endued with power from on high
- My name is written in the Lambs book of life
- I am the reason for Bethlehem,
- I am the reason for Calvary
- I am Pentecost in action
- I grow with tears
- I become stronger when I decrease
- I am love with a sword in its hand
- I am a soldier with compassion
- A rich man with no money,
- Royalty with no recognition
- I am an heir with no earthly home.
- I am a burden in shoe leather
- I am joyful when there is repentance
- I celebrate the death and Home-going of my own,
- Knowing that to absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
- But I grieve for all others.
- I have prayed teeming thousands out of sick beds,
- Seen countless others raised up from their death beds,
- Watched blinded eyes open, and seen the lame walk.
- Yet I still reach out to help others who have never heard of Jesus.
- While hope and time remain, I am dedicated to helping others find Christ.
- I live in the Supernatural, I walk in the Spirit, and I enjoy the benefits of eternity right here on earth.
I am the church
- I love the unlovable,
- I reach out to the rejected and outcasts of society while giving hope to the discouraged and depressed.
- I am a refuge in troublesome times.
- I am a comfort from despair, and a shelter in life’s storms.
- I give hope to the hopeless and help o the helpless.
- I minister to the needs of both the body and soul
- I am blessed most, when I am being a blessing.
- I bear my brother’s burdens
- I am an encourager to all
- I am an edifier and a giver of strength
- I point all men to Calvary
- I lead the hungry to Heaven’s banqueting table
- I take no glory for myself
I am recognized by the fruit that I manifest.
- Temperance: against such there is no law.
I am the church
- I am betrothed to the King of Kings,
- To The Lord God Almighty
- The Alpha and Omega
- The Beginning and The End
- The First and The Last
- The Prince of Peace
- The Rose of Sharon
- The Chief Cornerstone
- The Captain of Salvation
- The Desire of All nations
- The Great High Priest
- The Good Shepherd
- The Lamb of God
- The Lord of Glory
- The Most High God
He who is called:
- The mighty God,
- The everlasting Father,
- The Prince of Peace, This is my beloved.
- He is altogether lovely.
- I get excited about the Name of Jesus.
- His Name is above every other.
- I am the apple of His eye.
- I am my beloved’s and He is mine.
- I love the sound of His voice. His words to me are life and strength.
- I delight in them. I am excited when He speaks to me.
- I long for His touch.
- I live to be in His presence.
- I have no other joy.
- For all that thrills my soul is Jesus, He is more than life to me, and the fairest of 10,000 in His blessed face I see.
My days are limited, my time is short.
- I am redeeming the time.
- I am going to be caught away very soon.
- The Lord Jesus is coming to take me to a place He has prepared for me.
I must work while I still have the time.
- My light is lit
- There is oil in my lamp
- It is trimmed and burning
- I am watching and praying
- I am looking for His soon return
- I am on fire with Pentecostal fire
- The vision is great
- The harvest is great
- My garments are without spot or wrinkle
- I am ready for the 1st resurrection
I am the church
- My job is never done, nor my task finished till all have come to the knowledge of the truth.
- My focus must not be upon myself, but upon others.
- I cannot rest while one lost sheep is astray.
- I am called to rescue the perishing
- I am charged the responsibility of lost souls
Heaven is watching
Hell is watching
The world is watching
- I must not falter
- I must not fail
- I must not weaken or tire
- I shall not fail
- I shall be triumphant over all
- I will pray on
- I will sing on
- I will preach on
- I will go on
- I will keep on keeping on
- I will reach out to all that need Him
- I am determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
- The challenge before me is great, but He is greater.
- I shall be victorious over all, because of Him
- I am triumphant because of Him.
I am Called
I am Chosen
I will be Faithful
I am the church
“Are you in the Church Triumphant?
Are you in the Saviour’s Bride?
Come and be baptized into the body,
And for evermore abide.”
“I’m talking about the church
In the book of Revelation
It’s built on the Rock
Got a firm foundation
It’s been through the storm
It’s been through the fire
And one of these days,
This church is gonna move up higher
It’s the church, triumphant, Oh Lord,
And it’s built by the hand of the Lord.”
Are you in the Church today?
If not, then GET in it.
If you are IN it, then STAY in it
December 2014 celebrates the fifth birthday of The Ballestero Blog. In memory of this anniversary, a popular post will be showcased from each year. From December 2009:
“I Am Your Brother”
Psa 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
(An open letter dedicated to promoting better understanding among brethren in the local church. In the following list are some things that your “brother” has often, no doubt, wanted to tell you…. but was afraid!)
We really didn’t have any choice. God somehow in His wise providence, has chosen to put us together, for our mutual benefit. I am your brother. Here is a list of things that have been bothering me. I plead for your understanding.
1. I have problems within myself. I know it and I don’t like it either. Be patient please. I am your brother. I am still working on myself. Thanks for your tolerance.
2. In recognizing my own problems, and knowing how much I loathe them, I know they must bother you and others too. Please bear with me while I’m trying to get the victory over myself. Just like I am bearing with you.
3. It frustrates me too that I’m not perfect. I want to be. That’s my prayer.
4. Sometimes it frustrates me that you’re not perfect…. but that’s when I remember, I’m still your brother!
5. There are so many good qualities in you. I gain strength from them all. I just hope that some of my good qualities can also be seen.
6. I hate the fact that Satan tries to capitalize on our shortcomings and magnify them in the eyes of others. My hope is that you’ll be able to see the good in me and not just my faults.
7. Thank you for respecting my feelings even when you didn’t understand them. (Sometimes I don’t understand my own feelings either.) I wish to make every effort to respect yours too. I am your brother.
8. I guess I’ve wanted to put you into my mold and make you exactly like I wanted you to be. That just doesn’t work. Neither can I fit into your mold.
9. As my brother, I allow you the liberty to pick friends of your own choosing, and have good times with them, (even without me), and not be resentful or jealous.
10. Likewise, I may choose some friends and occasionally be with them. From time to time I’d like to have fun and fellowship with them and not worry about slighting you.
11. However, you are welcome wherever I am. Don’t ever feel you are ever intruding. And please don’t “hang back” if you weren’t personally invited by me to join the crowd. You belong also. You’re my brother. Your friendship is highly valued and enjoyed. There will always be room for you in my world.
12. Thank you for the security I feel between us. Even if we haven’t talked for a while, when we do, it is a comfortable conversation and picks right back up where we left off. I like that.
13. Those you love can hurt you the most. Let’s be careful in our treatment of each other, lest we do irreparable damage to ourselves. We must never grieve the Holy Ghost to the point that we’re both damaged, bitter or lost.
14. Let’s not have a “hot and cold” relationship that changes with the weather. We need to be able to count on each other. Brethren are supposed to have the next-to-the-closest relationship in the world. Only Jesus is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I am going to stick by you. I am your brother.
15. I pledge to defend your name and honor during your absence. I am your brother.
16. Likewise, I know that I can depend on you to do the same for me.
17. As long as there are people, there will be rumors, criticisms, remarks, opinions and second-guessing. When my back is turned, you are my only defense. I need you to watch my back, as I will watch and guard yours. You can trust me. I am your brother.
18. I love you brother! Not just because I must love you, but I really want to love you!! (If I say I love God and don’t love you, I am called a liar)
1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
19. Brother, if you see me and can tell that I have a problem, don’t go tell the world, help me. Don’t be afraid. God put you in my life to help me make it.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness: considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
20. Brother, I “prefer you”. I pray for your success and blessing. I pray that all your efforts receive due honor. (Without my harboring any jealousy or envy.)
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love: In honor preferring one another.
Please!! Should I ever be blessed or promoted above my fellows, it would kill me to think my brother was jealous. I want to prefer you. I want to be happy at your successes. So please be happy at mine. I am your brother. We’re on the same team.
21. It is God’s will that the law of kindness guide us in our relationship. He wills that we be kind to each other.
2 Peter 1:5-8 And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to your virtue brotherly kindness, for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I can’t thank you enough for your kindnesses, nor can I tell you how much I truly appreciate them.
22. Brother, God won’t hear my prayer if I’ve got something in my heart against you! If I ever need to ask forgiveness or apologize, please forgive me. And then don’t crucify me and alienate me because I was conscientious. Realize we’re both just two brothers trying to be saved.
I Love You Man!!
(Now let’s have revival!)
At What Level Do You Wish To Play?
In the 1980’s electronic chess games became the rage in certain cerebral circles. One particular model would ask its user, as soon as the power button was switched on, “At what level do you wish to play?”
Everyone knew it was just a game. The unit was a cheap handheld device that anyone could play. The user could play in the beginner mode, or even play at the expert level. No one would criticize the level he or she played. It was just a game, and it was only played for fun.
But The Question It Asked Is Still Valid In Real Life Today. At What Level Do You Wish To Play (Or Participate)?
‘Live Like You Were Dying’ is the title of a popular song made somewhat famous a few years ago. The message from just the title of the song is enough to make one think about prioritizing their life.
Like the electronic chess game, some things are just for entertainment, and some things are mainly used to pass the time. Then there are other things that have life and death importance attached. Our souls get intertwined in the process. You have to know which ones are which.
Your God-fearing friends tell the world the level at which you wish to play.
Your worldly friendships probably display the level you really wish to play. If that is the level you wish to play, so be it.
Friends are more than just pals. Your friends matter to God.
- They Influence you.
- They generate peer pressure that will change you.
- They can take you away from God.
- They can bring you closer to God.
- Chose your friends carefully. You will soon become what they are.
- What do your friendships today say about the level you have chosen to play?
- In Your Friendships, At What Level Do You Wish To Play?
The way you cherish your spouse and give yourself to your marriage tells your family, friends and the whole wide world the level you have chosen to play.
- God becomes deeply interested and involved in your relationship with your spouse.
- His Word even directs you how to love and express your love to each other.
- Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
- Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
- He pays attention to your mistreatment and neglect.
- 1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
- 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
- Those who have trouble at home soon have trouble in church. The Lord knows that, you should too.
In Your Marriage, At What Level Do You Wish To Play?
Your Response And Involvement:
- In the Worship service says volumes about the level you wish to play.
- In the Prayer room shows the level you are playing.
- In the Altar service shows the level you are playing.
- In Outreach shows the level you are playing.
- In Giving To Missions shows the level you are playing.
- In Giving Your Tithes shows the level you are playing.
- In the way you argue about Standards shows the level you are playing.
- In Obeying God’s Word shows the level you are playing.
Your Reaction to the Preaching even when it corrects you makes clear the level you wish to play.
Saying Amen to the Word tells God, the devil, the Pastor and the Church family the level you wish to play.
Pictures and Posts on Social media sites tell everyone the level at which you are probably really playing.
Old timers used the phrase, Playing Church. Never let that be said about you.
Living For God Is Not A Game.
At Church, What Level Do You Wish To Play?