Archive for the ‘Old-Time Pentecost’ Category
“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!
“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.
By 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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Internet Activities
- Hollywood Presentations
- False Doctrines
- Styles of Dress
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You Are A Committee Of One.
Webster’s Definition: Committee Of One
- 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.”
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.
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
I just finished reading Anthology the biography of Bishop Thomas L. Craft and loved it. I would encourage every one of my readers to do the same.
The Ballestero family has loved and cherished the friendship of Bro. Craft since I was a small child. My father referred to him as his 5th Friend. (It’s in the book.)
Once in a lifetime God may allow you to meet a man like Bishop Thomas L Craft. No one ever met him or heard him and walked away the same. He is truly a Pentecostal treasure and an unchanging landmark on the Gospel Highway.
- What a Burden for souls!
- What a Vision!
- What a Passion!
- What an Accomplishment for the Kingdom!
- What an anointing!
- What a Godly man!
- What a Preacher!
- What a Friend!
It’s a Life Honor to call him Friend!
Click This Picture To Go To His Website.
The Champ was hit hard with a flourish of jabs from the Contender. A quick 1-2 punch to the body with a solid left uppercut staggered him and he fell backwards into the ropes.
He was saved by the sound of the bell and happily retired to his corner. He was tended to by his trainer and cut man. When the bell rang again, the Champ came out of his corner, dancing and doing his best not to let the Contender know that he had been hurt. He was pretending that he was OK.
The Card Player
The card player’s cards are not very good. But he can’t let anyone know that. He has to act like he has the best hand in the game. He bets that he does. The other players study his face and do mental math to see if they think he’s lying.
He knows his hand is bad, but by bluffing, he’s pretending he’s OK.
The Lost Husband
He looks out the window secretly hoping to find a familiar landmark. He may not know where he’s at, but he’s not lost in his own mind. He feels that he can still get you to your destination, even if it takes him an extra hour. His ‘man-hood’ is at stake. He won’t ask for help, he’s pretending he’s still OK.
- You always say, “Fine, thank you.”
- Don’t you?
- You too are pretending you’re OK.
Sinners / Backsliders
They especially pretend that they’re OK. It keeps them from admitting they need help; that they are in need of God. To admit that would be to confess they are wrong. They would have to stop sinning.
If you are not living for God and going to church like you should, then you are just pretending you are OK.
- If you have left the highway of holiness. If you have re-considered all your holiness standards and changed. If you defend your decision to look like the world while still claiming to have the Holy Ghost, then you are just pretending you are OK.
- If you have rejected the life of separation from the world. If you now justify looking and dressing like the rest of the world. If you now claim to have more freedom and to be happier than ever before, then you are just pretending you are OK.
- If you now make fun of holiness minded men and women and mock the way they dress. If you try to act superior in your new revelation and lifestyle. If you have a need to flaunt your disdain of holiness. Then you are just pretending you are OK.
- (No one would even admit to Pretending.)
The hardest thing in the world for some folks is to admit they are wrong.
To admit they’re not OK is to admit they were wrong. They would rather pretend they are OK here on earth and take their chances with God in the Judgment. How insane.
Paul said to Timothy:
2 Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
- We humans are our own problems (oppose themselves)
- If God peradventure (there’s a chance He will)
- Will give them repentance. (The opportunity to repent is a gift from God)
- To the acknowledging of the truth. (Truth about what? The truth about themselves and the error of their ways)
It’s not God’s will that you have to pretend that you are OK. No one has to pretend when they are obedient to all of His Word. It’s those that are trying to cut corners with God that feel a need to pretend. Admit it!