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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

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

“Who Are You To Judge Me?”

with 3 comments

“Who Are You To Judge Me?”

How many times have we heard someone say that, whether it was directed to us or to someone else? It’s easy for most of us to get offended when others express disapproval of our actions.

gavelBy nature, most of us are very private. We resent outsiders intruding uninvited into our personal lives. We automatically throw up a defensive barrier. Somewhere in all of us there is a storage room that houses cryptic phrases designed for rebuttal and justification. We quickly grab one and use it with the hopes of silencing our accuser. Sometimes, it works.

Most church members and ex-church member alike consider the act of judging a grievous fault. So, since most of us have been judged at one time or another, let us look at the subject of judging others.

As citizens, we are used to being judged every day on our skills, behavior, and performance.

Judgment Is Common In Every Day Society

  • Television shows, such as American Idol, judge contestants on their ability to sing and perform.
  • At the County Fair, someone will judge which pie is the best.
  • There are judges at dog shows, and the dollar value of someone’s beloved pet may be at their mercy.
  • When a prospective new driver turns 16 years old, his or her driving ability is judged. Someone must determine if they should be issued a driver’s license.
  • To be promoted to the next grade and even graduate, a teacher must determine the student’s academic ability.
  • To become a licensed minister in an organization. An applicant’s worthiness is determined when he appears before a licensing board.
  • Every new pastor that is voted on by the church has his qualifications judged by the congregation’s yes or no vote. The same holds true for politicians.
  • The Bank Officer judges the applicants credit rating and payment history before loaning any money.
  • The Miss America beauty pageant uses Judges to determine who should represent the U.S.A.
  • There are multitudes of judges for every Olympic event.
  • The gardener judges whether or not the tree’s branches need pruned, or if the tomatoes need watered.
  • Someone will be a judge over who gets custody of the child, and who gets what, in the divorce settlement.
  • The Traffic Cop judges whether or not you should be pulled over and cited.
  • Every employee knows the meaning of a “Performance Review.” Someone must sit on the other side of the desk and judge the employees worthiness.
  • Actually, everyone that wants the bragging rights of being the best, the fastest, or the most gifted, must first meet the judge.

We seem to be comfortable with the idea of being judged according to our fleshly activities. We understand that no one receives approval without a judgment of some kind. However, it’s man’s judgment of our spiritual pursuits, or lack thereof, that brings the fire into our reactions.

 

Webster Defines The Word, “Judge” As:

Judge

1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? I Understand. Let’s Look At The Subject Of Judging In The Bible.

Is it true that Christians are told not to judge? The surprise answer is no. In fact, according to Scripture those who do not judge are more likely to be led astray by false doctrines and are less than effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.

 

Most People Who Cite The Lord’s “Command” Not To Judge, Use Following Quotation:

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 

To Whom Were These Words Spoken?

This whole passage is addressed to the religious hypocrites of the day. Jesus warned these self-righteous people who criticized others, but were guilty of the same things… or worse.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? As Much As Our Flesh Doesn’t Like It, Church Members Must Make Judgments.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

  • False prophets are to be recognized (judged) by their fruits.

Should Christians Judge Each Other? Absolutely!

The Lord is pleased with those that judge righteously.

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

Some Lukewarm Church Members Feel That A Preacher Should Not Be Their Judge.

I would point them the Lord’s instruction to the Priest Joshua.

Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

 

Remember John The Baptist saying:

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

  • John had guts enough to tell King Herod that he was wrong, that he was living with his brother’s wife. Herod had John thrown in prison and finally beheaded. John was not afraid to make a righteous judgment.

The Prophet Nathan Looked King David In The Eye And Judged Him.

2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

 

There Has Always Been Resentment In The Congregation Against Messages That Judge.

Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

  • Even in the days of Isaiah, men wanted to be left alone by the man of God. They only were willing to hear smooth preaching. Not much has changed. They wanted to do what ever their conscience allowed them to do.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

  • Without accountability, even the people of God sink to this level. The shocking news for our flesh is that what is right in our eyes may not be right in God’s eyes. We all need help. We just need it in different areas.

 

What About Discernment Of Spirits?

1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

  • This is a gift that God provided for His body, whereby Holy Ghost filled people may be able to determine what spirit another is manifesting. In a way, it’s like being able to see what’s on the inside of another person.

 

Try The Spirits. (Judge Them)

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

 

Samuel

The Prophet learned about judging spirits the hard way. He found out quickly that God looked not only on the outside, like humans, but He looked especially at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

(Note: They that are spiritually wayward love to justify their carnal and maybe even sinful outward appearance by saying that God looks on the heart. (As if that were the only place He looks.) This passage strongly makes the point that God did not even like what he saw on the inside. Maybe the self-righteous should not use this verse as their defense.)

 

If You Don’t Want Anyone Judging You, Be Glad You Weren’t There When The Apostle Paul Preached.

 

Paul Judged Situations Publically Without Being Present.

  • Case 1. Immorality

1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

(Called a…)

  • That person’s lifestyle resulted in the church judging them guilty and calling them by the name of their sin.

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

  • Case 2. Church Factions During The Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

  • Paul Openly Judged Sensitive Situations.

 

Judgment Is Required Of All Spiritual People.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

(The Message) 1 Corinthians 2:15 Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.

 

Spirit Filled Saints Are To Judge All Things.

Godly Spirit-filled saints are required to judge all things. Judge spirits? Yes! Judge things as well? Absolutely!

 

We Are To Judge All Things By God’s Standard Of Judgment. Things Such As:

  • Life Situations
  • Events
  • Relationships
  • Friendships
  • Music
  • Internet Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Hollywood Presentations
  • Sports
  • False Doctrines
  • Styles of Dress
  • Compromise
  • Immodesty

Just To Name A Few

 

(Note: EVERYONE that I have seen who re-evaluated their Holiness Standards or Convictions has not grown closer to God or resembled the Old-time Pentecostal lifestyle, but rather moved closer to looking and acting like the present world.)

 

The Apostles Judged A Situation Correctly And The Holy Ghost Confirmed It.

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

Paul Wasn’t Afraid To Have His Brethren Weigh His Words.

1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

 

You Dislike Being Judged? I Understand, But Even Prophets Are Subject To Being Judged.

Prophets Judge Other Prophets.

A Prophet’s reward is not money or fame. It is simply that his prophecy comes true. If the prophecy does not come true he is, by all standards of measurement, a false prophet.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

The Pastor Must Make Judgment Calls.

Some situations a Pastor has to deal with are not mentioned specifically by name in the Bible. So, he must make a judgment call, or a ruling. Hence, they that make good rulings are worthy of double honor.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

There’s No Doubt A Good Reason Why Some Make A Loud Noise About Not Wanting Anyone To Judge Them.

Scenario 1

Maybe They Are In Rebellion And Don’t Want To Change.

  • Because they are not doing right, and they do not want anyone reminding them.
  • They know what they have been taught.
  • They remember how they used to live.
  • They chose to ignore the Word of God and the Pastor.

Scenario 2

Maybe God Has Turned Them Over To A Delusion.

  • They feel they are right and will debate you tirelessly in their attempt to justify themselves.
  • They feel saved and content even though they have never been farther away from Truth.
  • They wouldn’t love Truth, so God handpicked their delusion and gave them something they would love. Error.

Scenario 3

A Humble Heart Will Repent When Judged And Correct The Error.

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Preacher… Preach The Word. It Is God’s Plumb Line.

  • Preach Without Fear or Favor.
  • Be Not Afraid Of Their Faces.
  • You Must Answer To God For What You Preached And Didn’t Preach.
  • Preach It Even if It Affects Your Friends Or Family.
  • Preach it Because It Is Truth.

 

Correction Must Be Given When The Actions Of A Saint Are Judged To Be Wrong.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

If We Willingly Receive Correction and Instruction, We Show Evidence Of Being God’s Son.

Hebrews 12:5 … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

 

If You’re Still Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You…

  • How Then Can Anyone Help You?
  • You Don’t Want A Pastor.
  • You Don’t Even Want A True Friend.
  • You Choose To Do What You Want.
  • No One Can Be Helped Without First Being Judged To Be In Need Of Help.
  • Please Don’t Put Up A Wall Of Defense Any More When Your Life Is Judged To Be Not Pleasing Unto God.

 

Who Are You To Judge Me?

  • A Tender Hearted Person Would Never Speak Those Words.
  • Have You Become Unteachable?
  • Are You Past Help?
  • Have You Become Hard Hearted?
  • Do You Want A Tender Heart?
  • Do You Want To Be Saved?
  • Then Start By Humbling Yourself And Submitting To God’s Word.

Faithfulness

with 3 comments

 

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 22, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Why We Fight

with 2 comments

Why We Fight!

 

The US Military showed films in Basic Training during World War II to explain to all the new recruits the purpose of defending America to keep it free and what would happen to us if we didn’t fight. The old 16mm film was also called “Why We Fight.” The church is at war with the enemy of our soul. There are attacks on every side. Here are some of the reasons why the church must fight sin, worldliness and our own flesh.

 

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Fight Back!!

Fight Back!!

Fight Back!!

 

 

 

You Are A Committee Of One

with 3 comments

You Are A Committee Of One.

Webster’s Definition: Committee Of One

Noun

  1. An individual person designated to function alone as a committee.

 

Society teaches us that we are a committee of one and that each one of us must do the right thing.

 

The US Army

The Army recently scrapped its memorable advertising slogan, ”Be all you can be,” and replaced it with one intended to appeal to the individualism and independence of today’s youth: ”An Army of one.”

 

Smokey Bear

For many years public service announcements on the radio have showcased Smokey Bear saying, “Only You can prevent forest fires.” The meaning is clear. Everyone venturing into the forest is expected to handle fire responsibly.

Some things in life depend on just us. We are the bottom line. There is no one else to blame. We then must strive to be responsible.

 

“The Buck Stops Here”

Last year during a visit to President Harry Truman’s Library, I took note of his signature desktop motto. “The Buck Stops Here.” Seeing that one plaque was one of the more memorial highlights of the tour. The President made it plain, he wasn’t passing the buck, but will to stand up and face the challenge.

 

We Have Biblical Examples

  • Ester Was A Committee Of One When She Went Before The King.
  • Elijah On Mt. Carmel Was A Committee Of One.
  • David Was A Committee Of One Fighting Goliath’s.

 Staying In Church And Being Saved Is Up To You!

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

 

“Save Thyself,” Is Still The Message!!

  • Each one must want to be saved enough to make the effort.
  • The fact is most preachers want to see some folks saved more than they do.
  • If you are no longer saved today, you have no one to blame but yourself.

 You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Staying Saved.

 

Protecting Yourself From False Doctrine is Up To You.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Paul’s advice warned Timothy to:

  • Watch yourself
  • Be careful
  • Pay attention to your personal life
  • Pay attention to your doctrine
  • Your life depends on it
  • Others are looking at you to follow your steps
  • It’s up to you Timothy.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Spiritual Carefulness.

 

Holding On To This Apostolic Message, Is Your Responsibility.

The Apostles spoke to the church warning them to protect themselves from false doctrine.

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

2 Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  • Be careful what holiness and doctrinal arguments you listen to.
  • Smooth talkers will lead you astray from truth if you let them beguile you.
  • Some try to reason the Acts 2:38 truth and holiness standards away.
  • You cannot let them lead you into delusion.
  • False doctrine is just an “amen” away.
  • If you don’t know the truth, your soul is on the line.
  • You are an army of one in protecting your soul.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Resisting Error.

 

Being Ready For The Coming Of the Lord Is Up To You.

Matt. 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

  • The ‘watch ye’ is understood. It’s your job to watch.
  • Watch, Jesus is coming.
  • Watch, you have to get yourself ready, and be ready.
  • Watch, it’s up to you.
  • ‘Preppers’ prepare for potential national and end time disaster.
  • They believe survival is up to them individually.
  • Some are preparing more for government failure and stockpiling for the tribulation than they are preparing their hearts for the coming of the Lord.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Being Ready For The Lord’s Return.

 

Getting Past Grudges And Hurts Is Up To You.

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

  • How long will you let this battle go one?
  • You hold the key to the door of Peace.
  • If you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you.
  • It’s your call.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Forgiving Others.

 

Restoration Is Your Duty.

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.

  • Don’t be foolish and act too holy to love and restore the fallen.
  • Restoration is your duty.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Restoration

 

Worship Is Your Job

Psalms 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

  • Worship Is Everybody’s Business
  • How can anyone be so spiritual clueless as to feel comfortable letting others do the praising for them?
  • Don’t let worship leader or praise team do the worshipping for you. It’s your job to praise the Lord.
  • Worship is everybody’s business
  • Don’t let the same old six or seven lead out in worship. You do it.
  • Let everything that has breath… It’s up to you.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Worship.

 

You Are A Committee Of One In The Prayer Room.

James 5:16 … The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

  • Your prayer is powerful.
  • Your prayer can flip the switch the kills the power of the enemy.
  • Your prayer is the bottom line of spiritual defense.
  • We fight the evil on our knees.
  • The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Prayer.

 

Being A Witness Is Your Job Too.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Soul Winning.

 

Why My English Teacher Wanted To Be Baptized In Jesus Name! (Anniversary Re-post)

with 3 comments

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.

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 10, 2014 at 9:26 am

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