Archive for January 2012
I Wouldn’t Miss It For The World!
We’ve all been invited to a lot of family celebrations, parties and church events. In our vast catalogue of responses when being put on the spot, we’ve all given the host or hostess great assurance with our off-handed reply. We say, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”
- We have said that about birthday parties and anniversaries.
- We have said it about school presentations and graduations.
- We have said it about retirement parties and family reunions.
- We have used that line when invited to a special church service.
- We have used that line most of our adult life.
It’s just a common response to a myriad of invitations. You might call the statement overused or hyperbole, and normally you would be right, but not this time. This time it’s for real!
This time I’m talking a Heaven. Isn’t Heaven what I’ve have lived my whole life for? Isn’t Heaven the goal and the conclusion of my Christian walk?
Why then would I miss it for the World? What does the World have to offer that surpasses what Heaven has? Why would I throw away Heaven, for the World? Does anyone really believe that trading Heaven for the World is a good deal?
I cannot remember not loving Jesus. I have no memory of not wanting to see Him and be in Heaven. I want to see Him now more than ever.
The saints of God believe that when we get to Heaven, we shall know one another. I do too.
1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Since the recent passing of my sainted Mother, my thoughts have once again turned Heavenward. She joins my godly Father, and my beloved sister, Beverly Anne in Heaven. They are now part of that ‘great cloud of witnesses’ that awaits our arrival. I rejoice over the fact that my parents and my sister lived glorious and Spirit-filled lives. I can’t wait to see them too!
- All these years, I’ve sung songs about Heaven!
- All these years, I’ve thought about Heaven!
- All these years, I’ve preached about Heaven!
- All these years, I’ve dreamed about Heaven!
I Wouldn’t Miss It For The World!
Many thanks to Pastor Larry Booker for making this audio available. He wanted to make sure that this was upload so it could be listened to online or downloaded.
Click – to download
Memorial Service Program
Click – To view or download
My Mother planned her own funeral service. She even helped design and put together her Memorial Brochure. I know that sounds macabre, but she did.
Quite a few years ago years ago, something was said, during one of my visits, about dying. I brought up the uncomfortable point that as an evangelist, I would no-doubt be preaching somewhere far away when she died. We both knew, that there may not be a lot of time to put together a nice Memorial keepsake she would like for others to remember her by. I suggested maybe we could put together a draft, so there wouldn’t be a lot of work to do later.
I said, “Mom, what picture would you like on the front of your Memorial Brochure? She looked with me through hundred of pictures and finally chose the one she liked. Then we started with planning the ceremony. When we finished, Mom read it and smiled.
The brochure that will be passed out at the funeral, is the one my Mother read first.
Today is our Mother’s (Content Ballestero) viewing. On behalf of our family I thank each of you for the sweet words of affection and love you expressed for our Mother. Your prayers for all of us at this time have been deeply appreciated. Thank You!
For the benefit of family and friends unable to come, I am posting here the PowerPoint with 338 of her pictures that will be shown tonight.
The original Presentation was 1.12 GB. This website limits my upload size, so I had to reduced the resolution of the Mp4 file to post it here. The Original PowerPoint with full resolution is also included here. You may download either, or watch on-line
Thank You For Your Love And Prayers
Mom’s Memorial Presentation
Right Click To Download The PowerPoint Presentation.
Don’t Take Your Ego Trip To Church!
A Bible Study
Take your ego trip on a motorcycle ride, on your boat or in your new luxury sedan. Take it hunting, fishing, or even take it on a softball field with the boys. Just don’t take your ego to church.
When you arrive at church, check your ego at the door. Man’s ego has no place in the work of God. God purpose is never fulfilled by an exercise of man’s self-importance. That applies to us all… preachers, musicians, singers, board members and saints.
To say we don’t have an ego would be to lie. Granted, we all know of some that have grown out of proportion. We all have an ego. Its size, or lack there of, determines our usefulness in God’s Kingdom.
- Concerned with the approval of others.
- Cannot live in the moment, you are always planning for the next level.
- Constantly comparing yourself to others.
- Ego needs to always right.
- Blame others
- Know everything about everything
- Never have a problem, only solutions
- Refuse to ask for help.
- Have a constant need for more.
- Always knows what wrong with everyone else.
- Always judgmental of others.
- Never willing to say I’m sorry.
An Ego Makes Us Believe We Are The Center Of The Universe.
Paul Warned Church Members Against Having An Ego.
- Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
God Is Attracted To Humility. God Blesses The Humble.
- 2 Chron. 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.
Ego And Pride Seem To Be The Building Blocks Of Disaster.
- Ego got him kicked out of Heaven.
- Never had a problem when he was ‘little in his own sight.’ When ego raised it’s head, things changed. It caused Saul to rule for nearly 40 years without God talking to him.
- 1 Sam 15: 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
- Saul’s ego couldn’t stand the songs sung about David. His jealous rage was driven by his ego.
- His ego was so big it attracted God’s attention.
- Dan 4: 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.
- Wouldn’t give God the glory.
- Acts 12: 23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
- Nabal was always right in his own mind. He was so right, that no one could reason with him. That is what got him killed.
- 1 Sam 25:17 Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.
6. John The Baptist
- John the Baptist is honored for saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
- He understood that his ministry was to be in submission to His Ministry.
- The promotion of flesh is not welcomed in the Spirit world.
- David had confidence, but it was God-based. “I come to you in the name of the Lord.”
- There was no ego trip involved when he fought Goliath, only a job that needed doing.
- It is not a sin to be confident in your calling and in your God. But, be careful about being confident in your flesh.
- David, the anointed future King of Israel, waited for the right time. He kept his ego under submission. He even hid in a cave.
- David may have been the best worshipper in Israel, but it wasn’t an ego trip for him.
- He may have been the best fighter in Israel, but he was modest about it.
- Eccl 7: 16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
- Evidently it is possible for some to be so holy, it becomes a problem. Their ego got wrapped up with their righteouness.
- The Pharisee spirit is still alive today.
- Positions such as Trustee or Deacon have caused many egos to rise.
- Preachers, singers and musicians and saints on an Ego Trip in God’s Kingdom, will never arrive at their desired destination in Him.
- Too many young ministers jump the gun. Their ego won’t let them sit under their pastor’s ministry any longer.
- Some times, the ego will tell you to ‘go’ when you are not yet ready to ‘go.’
- Ego interferes with obedience and submission.
- Ego hinders revival.
God Gives Grace To Those That Discard Their Ego To Please Him.
- 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
- James 4: 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Are You On A Spiritual Journey Or Ego Trip?
Don’t Take Your ‘Ego Trip’ To Church!
What Do You Focus On When You Look At People?
What Do You See When You Look At Circumstances?
Do You Always Seem To Find The Bad And Ignore The Good?
(ESV) Philippians 4:8-9
8. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
9. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Murphy’s Law For Pentecostals
A Revival will always cause a Flu epidemic in the church.
The Sister with the biggest hairdo will sit down right in front of you.
The people, who needed the sermon the most, will be absent.
The visitor’s baby will be good and not fussy all service, until the preacher is ready to give the altar call.
If you sit in the front of a new church, you will be called to the nursery because your toddler threw up.
Your cell phone will only ring during one of the quiet moments of the service.
Saying, “Let us pray,” is the signal for some to go to the restroom.
Disruptive and rowdy children will always sit in front of the visitors.
Parents with noisy and disruptive children will appear to be deaf.
People are always available for work that is finished.
If you experience restroom emergency, both stalls will be in use.
When you bring a guest, and the offering plate is passed, you’ll not have any cash.
The passing freight train will always blow it’s whistle louder than the person with the Mic..
Someone will always attempt to shake your hand as they exit the church restroom. Their hand will still be damp.
When you need your privacy the most, some church member will recognize you by looking at your shoes under the restroom stall door, and try to start a conversation with you.
The lady that gets asked to come to the platform and sing will always have to put her shoes on first.
Shouters will get their wildest only when first time visitors are present.
The song that is sung for altar call will have nothing in common with the sermon.
When the pastor says, “In closing,” there is still time for you to read the entire 119th Psalm.
Every child over three, can worship or shout like any one of the saints, upon request.
The noise made by opening the candy wrapper will sound louder in church than anywhere else.
Church members that cheer and yell for their favorite ball team will be among the quietest during the worship service.
The night the pastor would like to impress the visiting minister with his congregation size, will also be the night the crowd is the smallest.
The first that come to the altar to pray after a sobering message will be the ones that probably needed it the least. The ones that should have come first won’t come at all.
The loudest voice in the choir will belong the one who cannot carry a tune.
The older a church member gets, the louder the public address system sounds.
The battery in the cordless microphone will go out during the best part of the sermon.
The only restaurants open after a long service are the ones no one wants to go to.
The preacher that’s the longest-winded in your church will preach on the night you can barely stay awake.
The bat flying in the church auditorium will come closest to the person who is the most afraid of bats, and who also has the loudest voice.
If I Were Your Friend
If I were your friend, I would love you regardless.
If I were your friend, I would stand by you when no one else was brave enough to.
If I were your friend, I might know negative things about you, but I’d still love you.
If I were your friend, I might not approve of all you do, but I would still love you.
If I were your friend, I would never stab you in the back.
If I were your friend, I’d never give up on you.
If I were your friend, I would love you even when it wasn’t popular to do so.
If I were your friend, I would defend you against rumors and lies.
If I were your friend, I would pray for you and with you when you needed help.
If I were your friend, I would celebrate your achievements.
If I were your friend, I wouldn’t try to make you just like me.
If I were your friend, I would only offer criticism or advice, if you asked.
If I were your friend, I might not agree with you, but I would always love you.
If I were your friend, I would never walk away.
If I were your friend, I would accept you like you are.
If I were your friend, I would never say anything to hurt you.
If I were your friend, I wouldn’t let you choose my enemies.
If I were your friend, I would cry when you cried.
If I were your friend, I would laugh when you laughed.
If I were your friend, I would be loyal even if others weren’t.
If I were your friend, I would keep God in the center of our friendship.
If I were your friend, I would still be your friend when I died.
If I were your friend, I would consider it an honor.
If I were your friend, I’d never get in your way, unless you were going down.
If I were your friend, I would love you regardless.
One might ask, “Isn’t that going a little over the top with friendship?” Maybe so, but I don’t know how else to interpret what King Solomon said!
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
My Homemade God
To be perfectly clear, I don’t have a graven image resting on the fireplace mantle. Never would I ever allow one in my home. I didn’t take a hammer and chisel, and carve out some little wooden god to bow down before, either. The homemade God I made cannot be seen by anyone but me. The one I made is in my mind and heart.
Since I created Him, it’s also my job to defend Him. I try to explain Him to my friends. They don’t always understand or agree. Those that don’t agree with the God I made, cease to stay my friend.
No one knows what He allows and doesn’t allow, any better than I do. I made Him. I am comfortable with the things He says. He always assures me that I am thinking right. If everyone else is wrong, He shakes His head and marvels at their stupidity.
I didn’t like the God some preachers told me about. I didn’t like the restrictions of their God, so I made my own. He is much easier to live with than theirs. I am not in bondage anymore. I have never felt more saved.
If I am Pentecostal, so is my God.
If I like the Republican Party the best, that’s how my God votes.
If I believe someone is wrong, that’s how my God feels about him or her too.
If I believe serving wine for communion is the right way, so does my God.
If I believe in a Pre-Tribulation rapture, my God knows when I want Him to come.
If I believe everyone is wrong and I am right, so does my God.
If I don’t think some church standards are necessary, neither does my God.
If I believe everyone should close their eyes when the pray, that’s how my God feels about it too.
If I think the worship music is too loud, it’s because I saw my God stick cotton in His ears.
If I think that speaking in tongues is not necessary for salvation, my God don’t either.
If I say that the Holy Ghost was only for the Day of Pentecost, that’s what my God says too.
If I am tired of being trapped in a boring marriage, my God understands and just wants me to be happy.
If I think I am holier than the other folks at the church, my God agrees.
If I think my wife looks good with short hair, my God likes it that way too.
If I say something is a sin, my God nods His head in agreement.
If I say it’s not a sin, my God smiles and agrees with me.
If I feel that a certain doctrine is unscriptural or unnecessary, that’s how my God feels.
If I think Notre Dame should win all football games, my God wears blue and gold to support me.
If I am comfortable with Hollywood in my house, my God brings me some popcorn from the kitchen.
If I believe Marijuana should be legalized, my God helps me find some.
If I need to use my Tithe to pay a bill this week, my God says it’s OK.
If I believe religious conservatives are all hypocrites, my God says amen.
My God Is Only Interested In My Happiness.
- I am not made in His image.
- I made Him in my image.
- He always agrees with me.
- He supports my every point of view.
- Old friends try to argue with me, but I will not change what I believe.
- I know I’m right.
- God knows I’m right.
- My God and I believe alike on everything.
- I am completely in tune with Him, and He with me.
- My God is willing to align His views with mine.
- That’s why I love Him.
He feels like I do about Abortion.
He feels like I do about same-sex relationships.
He feels like I do about extra-marital affairs.
He feels like I do about the death penalty.
He feels like I do about wine with my meals.
He doesn’t restrict what I do or where I go.
He is not concerned about how I dress.
He believes my race is superior to others.
He confirms my beliefs.
He validates my doctrinal and ethical positions.
He also speaks English as His first language.
Making a God in my own image was pretty easy. Anyone can do it without any guidance. Sure, I had to fine-tune my God once or twice. But I think I’ve got Him like I like Him now!
By The Way, How’s Your God Coming Along?