The Ballestero Blog

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Why Pastor Robert Cavaness Sr. Wouldn’t Come To The Phone.

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Why Pastor Robert Cavaness Sr. Wouldn’t Come To The Phone.

 

 

If Robert C. Cavaness was anything, he was a Christian Gentleman. He always seemed to be thoughtful of others and would often go out of his way to help someone. Even if it meant emptying his own pockets. He was a man who never ignored, or slighted anyone.

Friendship was something he never took lightly. If he ever called you his friend, you knew you were blessed for life because of his friendship. When he was needed, he came, never even expecting to be reimbursed. He was big-hearted and generous to a fault.

My father, Carl J. Ballestero, was blessed to be a close friend of dear Brother Cavaness. They stayed in each other’s homes, preached in each other’s churches, preached conferences together, traveled across the country together, and even went on missions’ trips together. They regularly talked on the phone, as well.

Brother Cavaness was a praying man whose personal devotions with God became a subject that caused great awe and respect among all those who knew him. I personally have walked into his living room at five am and seen him sitting in a chair with his open Bible in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. That’s how he started his day.

If you were ever honored to be in service with him in Shelbyville, Indiana and you got there early enough for pre-service prayer, then you’ve heard him pray. Once you’ve heard him pray, you never forgot it either. The man could talk to God.

Then came that fateful night. The night when Pastor Robert Cavaness Sr. wouldn’t come to the phone. It was a Sunday night and about twenty minutes before service time. The phone rang in his office. Bro. Cavaness had asked one of the men to sit at his desk and take calls while he went into the sanctuary to pray before church.

 

“This is the Apostolic Tabernacle.” The baritone voice said as it greeted the caller.

“Praise the Lord, Is Bro. Cavaness there?” the caller inquired.

 

“Yes, he is, but he can’t be bothered right now.”

“Well, I need to talk to him and I need to talk to him now, if at all possible. It’s very urgent!”

 

“I’m very sorry, but it is not possible to disturb him right now.”

“This is Brother Ballestero, tell him it’s me, and that I need to speak to him now. He will come to the phone if he knows it’s me calling. Tell him I said it’s important.”

 

“I am very sorry Brother Ballestero, but he will not be able to speak to you now.

“Why not?” he asked.

 

He will not speak to anyone right now.”

“Why not?” he asked again.

 

“Pastor told me to tell all the callers that he cannot come to the phone right now, but for me to write down the names and the numbers of each caller. He said the reason he couldn’t talk to anyone on the phone now is that he is currently talking to the most important person in the whole world. He’s praying.  And, he gave me specific orders to never disturb him while he was praying. He refuses to be interrupted when he’s talking to God. He said he would return all his calls after service.”

 

“I see.” Said the stunned and deflated voice of the caller.

“Thank you for calling, Brother Ballestero. Bro. Cavaness will be happy to return your call as soon as he can. I’ll tell him you called.”

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 19, 2017 at 8:22 am

Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf

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“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf”

 

The farmer looked closely at his cows and little calves. He felt blessed this year to have some good ones to choose from. He finally settled on the one he thought would be the best.  Pointing his finger at one, he yelled loud enough to be heard above the lowing cattle. He gave a command to his hired hand that would forever change the daily operation of his farm.

“Put that one in the main stall. Keep it separate from the others. And, feed it extra good feed every day. Do you hear me?”

“Yes sir,” came the reply as the man took a rope, then looped the calf’s little neck and began leading it toward the barn.

Every day after that the farmer went by the stall to check on his chosen calf. This calf would fare better than any of the others he had ever raised. He would fatten this one up on purpose. The amount of grain and hay given to it would be much more than the others received. Its stall was separate because the farmer knew if the other calves got in there, they would eat up all the feed.

Work on the farm started when the sun came up. The chickens were fed, and their eggs gathered. The donkeys were fed too. The cows got milked and were able to eat during the process. Nursing calves nudged their mothers seeking more milk. Even the dog was near his bowl waiting for his daily portion. The rooster officially started the morning’s business by announcing it was time to begin the day.

The smell of breakfast oozed from the kitchen into the rest of the house and yard. Everyone seemed busy doing something, but then one by one they washed up came inside and sat down to eat. The farmer prayed and gave thanks over the food, and then he, his son and the workers begin to eat and make small table talk. About the time they were finishing up, the farmer gave out his daily work orders to the crew. He finished by pointing to one of his men and said, “And, don’t forget to feed that calf.”

The man nodded and they all arose to finish the rest of their chores. In a couple of hours, the farmer went to the calf’s stall to check on things again. Yes, the calf had been fed and fed extra. The feed box still had grain in it. Several bats of hay lay on the ground as a backup supply. The little calf sure looked like it was thriving on the new diet.

The farmer leaned on the wooden gate and looked at the calf. His mind went back to the image of his baby boy carrying all his belongings and walking down the road away from the house not even looking back. Tears moistened his cheeks and ran down past his chin. His baby boy was gone! Oh, how he missed him! He had looked down the road every day hoping for a glimpse of him.

But something in his father’s gut told him that there would be a day when his boy would come back home. He didn’t know when, but he believed he eventually would. He knew his son would be very ashamed of what he had done when he did come home. He would never hold it over his son’s head and say, “I told you so!” Absolutely not! When he did return home, the father had no plans of going back to business as usual. No sir. He would do everything he could to let his boy know that he was loved and forgiven. He would throw a great big party for him. A party with lots of music, dancing, steaks, some barbecue, and festivities. Yes sir, he would make this calf get fat. Real fat.

  • This calf was dedicated to his son’s home-coming.
  • This calf represented the substance of things hoped for.
  • This calf was just waiting for the son’s day of restoration.
  • This calf was the party calf!

He wiped the tears from his face and turned around slowly, catching the eyes of some of his men, and said loudly for all of them to hear…

 

“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf.”

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

Luke 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 

Luke 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Death By Misadventure

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Death By Misadventure

 

The Coroner has only so many options to describe the cause of death on the certificate. They are as listed

  • Murder
  • Suicide
  • Self-Defense
  • Accidental Death
  • Lawful Killing
  • Unlawful Killing
  • Natural Causes
  • Still Birth
  • Self-Neglect
  • Lack Of Care
  • Death By Misadventure

 

The Death By Misadventure option has nagged at me for many years. Wikipedia gives this definition:

“A death by misadventure, as recorded by coroners and on death certificates and associated documents, is one that is primarily attributed to an accident that occurred due to a dangerous risk that was taken voluntarily.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_by_misadventure

With that definition and description in mind, the old pastor part of me remembers precious people who once made what seemed like a harmless decision, but the end result was their spiritual demise. They didn’t mean to backslide; but they did.

For one young lady, it was just choosing a boyfriend who sat on the front row at church. He had good looks, a great personality, a good paying job and a nice car. He was a real charmer. He just wasn’t committed and fully in love with Jesus. She was desperate not to be an old maid. He lost out because he loved the world. She lost out because she chose to love him and be with him. He pulled her out of church. She didn’t mean to backslide; she just made a choice that she never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

A young man desperately needing a job took one that kept him out of church. Not only did it make him miss being in service, there were negative influences from people at work that he was not strong enough to handle. When he did find time to come to church, he didn’t even try to make up for lost time. He just sat there and dried up in his soul. In time, he no longer came back. He didn’t mean to quit church. He just chose a job that paid well, but lost his soul in the process. He didn’t mean to backslide; he just made a choice that he never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

A newlywed couple chose friends who they thought were fun to be around. They often visited each other’s homes and often dined together. They even took a vacation together once. The other couple influenced them to question authority and standards. Both couples quit church. The newlyweds only wanted to find friends to have fun with. They didn’t mean to walk away from God. They didn’t mean to backslide; they just made a choice that they never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

A man got offended and disagreed when the pastor showed mercy to a person with a horrible past and allowed the backslider to come back to church. Like the elder brother in the Bible, he got angry. He also quit church. He had his own opinion about to whom God should and should not extend mercy. He wanted the pastor to send them to another church and not the one he attended. He refused to go to the same church with the man who had such a horrible past. So, he quit, stayed home and read his Bible, prayed and justified himself in so doing. He didn’t mean to backslide; he just made a choice that he never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

He sat by his good friend in church. The friend never worshipped nor went up to the altar very much to pray. Sitting by him in church was intimidating in a way. It felt odd saying amen, clapping hands and standing up during the singing or preaching when your friend didn’t. So, in time, he joined his friend in being unresponsive. He was intimidated to not worship. He didn’t mean to backslide; he just made a choice that he never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

She found an old friend from high school on social media, and only wanted to say hello. She never dreamed that reconnecting with that person would lead her right out of church and back into sin and break up her marriage. She didn’t mean to backslide; she just made a choice that she never dreamed would be fatal. It Was A Spiritual Death By Misadventure.

 

The Scriptures Tell Of Others Who Suffered The Same Fate:

  • The Unknown Prophet didn’t mean to get eaten by a lion. He just chose to listen to a backslider.
  • Balaam didn’t mean to die with the Moabites on the battlefield. He just chose to make extra money.
  • Demas did mean to backslide and lose out. He just made a bad choice.
  • Samson didn’t mean to get his eyes put out and die. He chose the wrong woman.
  • The 200 Princes Who Stood By Korah didn’t mean to have the ground open up and swallow them. They just chose to stand by the wrong friend.

 

Today…

The least we can do, is ask for God to lead us and guide us in every decision we make. It is wisdom to ask the Lord to close every door that is not His will for our life.  Just because we like the idea doesn’t mean it will be a good choice for us. Never think that because it seems good to you that it is the will of God.

Why not include God’s man in your important decision making? It’s a major safety factor you surely need to include in your choosing. When God fearing kings in the Old Testament had to make a serious decision, they counseled with the man of God and asked his advice. They asked him to seek the Lord on their behalf. That action never lowered anyone’s respect for the king, but rather raised it higher. Likewise, you will be more respected by God fearing people when you become willing to include God in all of your choices.

 

Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Prov. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

Acknowledge Him. Recognize His Divine ability to guide you flawlessly through all life choices.

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 12, 2017 at 12:26 am

Visiting A Pentecostal Cracker Barrel

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Visiting A Pentecostal Cracker Barrel

 

I constantly travel, and stopping at a Cracker Barrel is always a good choice for me. I know the menu by heart and can count on getting good food without taking any chances on some unknown greasy spoon.

That being said, I always seem to find myself looking at the artifacts on the walls, and those suspended from the ceiling. They are now, just old relics. They’re just yesterday’s memories on display. As a senior citizen, I find myself looking at what used to be a common everyday commodity or possession for most of my generation and my parents too. Now, they are unneeded, unwanted and only found in museum-type settings as something we now smile about in amusement. We have moved on from those days would be repulsed to go back to that era. Even though we dreamily brag about the good old days, we have no desire to go back in time.

Cracker Barrel isn’t the only place where yesterday is a memory. Some Pentecostal Churches might fit that description as well. Quite often our guests can pick up on the fact that there is even a church inside of a church. Inserted in the midst of a progressive and more liberal-minded membership, is often a smaller group of the old saints who refuse to change.

The old ones, don’t wear the skinny jeans or the short tight skirts. Their hairstyle hasn’t changed much in the last 60 years. But they sure know how to live for God and have church. Those old fogeys might not do well on computers or a smart phone. Texting may also be something they’ve never done.

 

But, What They Have Done, Is:

  • Attend all night prayer meetings.
  • Stayed in prayer beside a sickbed until something miraculous happened.
  • Been carried home from church, too drunk in the Holy Ghost to walk.
  • Never owned a TV.

 

  • Never cut her long hair or worn anything in public that looked like man’s apparel.
  • Sang out of the old songbook, and still shouted.
  • Came early for pre-service prayer.
  • Stayed late after church, and fellowshipped.

 

  • Never questioned or crossed their man of God.
  • Said “Amen” during the preaching.
  • Faithfully paid their tithes.
  • Did everything they could think of to bless their pastor and his family.

 

  • Loved holiness and never questioned standards.
  • Never posted their favorite movies or TV shows on social media.
  • Had no desire to look like, dress like or act like the world.
  • Their old Bible was heavily marked from daily reading.

 

  • They were used in travail and intercessory prayer for others.
  • Their testimonies had that “New Jerusalem” ring to it.
  • There was a tenderness in their praise and worship.
  • There was strong faith in their hearts that God could do anything.

 

  • They had no hospital insurance.
  • They had no food stamps nor received unemployment.
  • They actually prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
  • They didn’t try to fit-in to the worldly crowd.
  • Their godly style of dress made them stand out from the world.

 

And, those are just a few identifying things about them!

 

The new generation has church their way. The older saints watch them sing songs that don’t touch the soul, produce joy or bring comfort. The only way to even know all the words to the song is to look up on the screen. The 24 repeats of the seven-word chorus often make them wince.

Their eyes see the younger people rejoice or lift their hands and cry. Some older folks think about the words of the song and somehow don’t always feel the same response or heart reaction. They might even ask themselves, “How come I don’t feel what they’re feeling?” All older saints know that the Scriptures commanded us to sing a new song. Yet it never commanded anyone to quit singing the old ones.

 

Ezra 3:11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 

Ezra 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

Ezra 3:13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

 

Everyone rejoiced that there was a Temple! The young men rejoiced loudly, but the old men cried loudly because they remembered what the first temple was like. They realized this wasn’t exactly like it used to be and that day seemed forever gone. If the truth were known, it is.

When holiness is scoffed at and called names. When godly dressed young ladies are still called grandma by church folk. When virginity is mocked, and modesty disrespected by the fashion-conscious crowd. It would seem that some churches have become a Pentecostal Cracker Barrel.

 

Many Of Our Churches Now Have A Heritage Sunday:

 

  • Why?
  • What’s that for?
  • Do they truly want to go back to the old-fashioned Pentecostal ways?
  • Are they all serious about changing about renouncing their make-up, jewelry and immodest clothing?

 

  • Are they actually seeking out the old paths?
  • Is that when the old preachers get invited to preach in his old-school style so they can all look at how it used to be preached?
  • Are we interested in maintaining this Apostolic Message like was handed to us?

 

So, when old visiting saints come into our sanctuaries, do they feel like they are in some sort of religious Cracker Barrel where the food tastes good but the service only reminds them what Pentecost used to be?

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 10, 2017 at 8:53 pm

“That’s Such An Easy Thing For God!” – Connie Ballestero

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“That’s Such An Easy Thing For God!” – Connie Ballestero

 

 

Carl and Connie Ballestero walked the mile home from the hospital with their day-old daughter, Nila Rose in the cool October weather. The hospital would only let them stay one day because they didn’t have hospitalization insurance.

The church board in the Columbus, Indiana where they had pastored for three years had recently moved all of their belongings out of the parsonage and thrown everything on the front yard for them to find when they came home from vacation. The Ballestero family moved down the road to a little town called, Hope.

The house they had rented had no running water or indoor restroom. The phone was Ma Bell’s old wall mounted hand crank-up phone with a party-line included. (During this time their income averaged about twenty to twenty-five dollars a week.)

Connie got little baby Nila settled in and crawled into her own bed. She was tired after the long walk home with a newborn. Her body was very weak.

Picking up some stationary and a pen, she began to write a letter to her mother, Flora Gleason in Oregon City, OR.

“When we walked into the house, it felt cool and Carl checked the furnace and saw that we were out of fuel oil. He walked down to the fuel oil company to buy a load of fuel. When he came back home, he sat on the edge of the bed and his countenance was fallen.

‘What’s the matter, Carl,’ I asked.

‘When I finished paying for the fuel, I only had one dollar left. It will be two weeks before I preach my next revival, and then it will be a week before they pay me. I only have one dollar to feed a family of seven for three weeks!’

I looked at Carl and said, ‘That’s such an easy thing for God!’

(The color of the ink changed in the letter, letting the reader to suppose time had passed before the letter writing resumed.)

Brother and Sister Lester McFarland just stopped by on their way home from General Conference. They didn’t know that baby Nila had been born yet. She gave me ten dollars to buy her something nice.

The men stayed in the living room talking a long time. When the McFarlands left, Carl came into the room holding a fifty dollar bill in his hand. He said Brother McFarland told me that the Lord told him to give it to us!”

 

 

Gentle Reader? The crisis you face right now seems to deplete your hopes and crush your dreams. Your situation is such an easy thing for God to fix. As in, fix it right now!!

Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Posted in Faith, Trust

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Doing The Will Of God Without The Honor Of Man.

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Doing The Will Of God Without The Honor Of Man.

There is nothing greater in life than completing the work God has chosen for us to do. He has no stage built on earth for us to stand on and receive accolades. God’s champion’s, His heroes, and faithful followers mostly seem to pass through this life unknown by the world.

Humans expect validation, recognition and honor from each other. We have ceremonies awarding trophies, and ribbons. We have newspaper articles, halls of fame, museums, and statutes. We’ve named some cities after their original founders. Streets are often named after those whom we honor. We bow before kings and queens.

We create crowns for those whom we call royalty. We have yearly contests to see who is the fastest, the prettiest, the best speller, and give scholarships to the smartest.

Life seems to focus on being rewarded for every achievement. Even the Pharisees wanted everyone to notice the amount of their offerings, so they made an obvious display of their giving. They made sure all their fellows noticed when they fasted, and they also prayed loudly to gain attention.

But, in God’s world, some of His most beloved children exist almost unknown by the public. Their time for honor has not yet come. Earth is not a spectacular enough stage for God to showcase His heroes. He has a better place in mind.

God’s Bookkeepers make no mistakes!

 

Remember Noah?

The generation of Noah was so full of sin and evil that God had no choice but to start all over. Only Noah found grace and favor in God’s eyes. So, he was chosen to build an ark to save all believers from the coming judgment.

 

  • For one hundred years Noah and his sons worked on building a huge ark.
  • For one hundred years Noah preached righteousness to a corrupt world.
  • For one hundred years Noah preached about the world being destroyed by water.

 

  • Did anyone else help them? No.
  • Did anyone encourage them? No.
  • Did anyone compliment them? No.
  • Did anyone believe them? No.

 

  • Did everyone mock them? Yes.
  • Did everyone ignore the preaching? Yes.
  • Did everyone look down on them? Yes.
  • Did everyone think they were weird? Yes.

 

  • Did God come by occasionally and offer any encouragement? No.
  • Did God even speak to Noah for one hundred years? No.

 

Noah’s efforts in fulfilling the Will of God brought him no earthly honor. Only pain and the disrespect of his fellows. If he had focused on man’s opinion and honor, he would have quit. Unbeknown to him, the whole future of mankind depended on his willingness to do the Will of God, while being dishonored by man. Can the same be said of you? God’s Bookkeepers make no mistakes!

 

There’s The Potters.

1 Chronicles 4:23 These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.

The potters were unnamed craftsmen who created beautiful vessels for the Temple of God in Jerusalem. They were conscripted to make vessels that were to last for centuries. Vessels made for service in God’s House.

 

  • The potters were not even allowed to go home at night.
  • They were not allowed to kiss their babies goodnight.
  • They were not permitted to sleep in their own beds.
  • They slept on the ground in the bushes.

 

  • They had no roof over their heads.
  • They were denied the company of their family.
  • They did not get to eat their wife’s cooking.
  • They did not get to see nor hear from them.

 

  • They were to focus on doing what they were chosen to do.
  • They made goblets from which they would never be allowed to drink.
  • They made platters from which they would never be allowed to eat.
  • They made utensils they would never be allowed to use.
  • They made beautiful things they could never show their family or friends.

 

Their only comfort and consolation seems to be found in the one phrase that says, ‘with the king for his work.’ They slept on the ground in the bushes but the King stayed there with them the whole time. The very knowledge that they may be sacrificing a bit was overshadowed by the fact that the King noticed their work. The King was there with them the whole time. He’s there with you the whole time while you sacrifice and work for Him!

God’s Bookkeepers make no mistakes!

 

Then There’s The Calkers.

Ezekiel 27:9 The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise.

Calkers? Yes. They were the unnamed crew members.

 

  • The Calkers never became the captain of the ship
  • The Calkers never became the first mate.
  • The Calkers never learned to read a sextant.
  • The Calkers never learned how to chart their course by the stars.

 

  • The Calkers never got to say, ‘Land Ho’.
  • The Calkers never got to get tanned by the sun.
  • The Calkers never felt the wind in their face.
  • The Calkers never got to see the whales surface and blow.

 

  • They stayed below deck the whole time.
  • They had the dirtiest job of all.
  • They had pitch and tar covering their hands.
  • They had no solvent to take the tar and pitch off of their fingers.

 

  • No one wanted to shake their hands.
  • No one wanted their job.
  • No one saluted them or gave them honor.
  • No one considered them skilled or highly educated.

 

  • They were the ones who found the leaks below the water line.
  • They were the ones who dipped hemp in tar and pitch.
  • They were the ones who with a wedge drove it into the hole to stop the leak.
  • They were the ones who kept the boat afloat.

 

  • Your job in the Kingdom may not gain you national recognition.
  • Your job in the church may not seem important to those in the limelight.
  • Your job in the church may not place you in the spotlight.
  • Your job however, is keeping the boat afloat.

God’s Bookkeepers make no mistakes!

 

And Then There’s The Ditch Diggers.

Three kings journeyed through the desert to fight against the king of Moab. But they ran out of water and thought they were going to die. In desperation they sought out the Prophet Elisha for help. He asked for a musician to play and then God spoke to him.

2 Kings 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

2 Kings 3:16 And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches

2 Kings 3: 17 For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts

Make this valley full of ditches? What was Elisha thinking when he gave that order? The men were without water. And, he wanted them the dig ditches everywhere! That would make them sweat and become more thirsty.

These were all officers and soldiers. These were highly trained warriors. They weren’t ditch diggers. Ditch digging was beneath them. They were seasoned and decorated soldiers. How dare the preacher require that of them!

The only shovels they had to dig ditches with, were their own personal paddles. The paddles were only used for hygienic purposes. They were ordered by God to cover up their personal excrement using the paddle. Now, they were asked to dig ditches with the same paddle. (God will never ask you to do anything, unless He has already equipped you to do the job.)

  • ’’How many ditches do I have to dig?”
  • “How deep is a ditch?”

 

Those questions had to be asked in their minds. Little did they know that the amount of their blessings would be in direct relationship to the number of ditches they dug.

They only desired temporary refreshment. God desired not only to refresh them but to give them total victory over their enemy. He wanted them to have complete dominion over their enemy.

 

2 Kings 3:18 And this is but a light thing in the sight of the LORD: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand.

2 Kings 3:19 And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.

2 Kings 3:20 And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

2 Kings 3:21 And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and upward, and stood in the border.

2 Kings 3:22 And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood:

2 Kings 3:23 And they said, This is blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.

2 Kings 3:24 And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country.

2 Kings 3:25 And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it.

2 Kings 3:26 And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through even unto the king of Edom: but they could not.

Little did Israel know, that although they didn’t see the rain nor feel the wind, that somewhere off in the mountains, it would storm and the water would flow down the mountainside bringing a wall of water through the valley, filling up their ditches.

You may feel that you are skilled, yet your abilities are not utilized. You are asked to do things beneath your station in life. Things you even find embarrassing. Things like cutting up sandwiches for serving after church. Things like teaching the Three year olds. Things like going on a Sunday School bus route. Things like teaching a Home Bible Study to the impoverished. Yet know this, the water will come. The blessings will come. The dominion will come. Just be faithful in doing the mundane things.

God’s Bookkeepers makes no mistakes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Posted in Christian Living

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Attending My First Jesus Conference – Review

with 4 comments

Attending My First Jesus Conference – Review

 

We all sat down on the ground. About five thousand of us men, plus the women and children.

The hill faced the Sea of Galilee, sloping gently downward. People were busy chatting with their neighbors and acquaintances. Expectations ran high. We had all come to hear Jesus teach and hoped to see a miracle or two.

It had been a deal though, because of all the expenses. When I first arrived, I was required to stable my mule in their facilities. If I didn’t, my mule would be moved and I would be fined. The stable fee was 4 shekels per hour.

Security searched us all for weapons or anything else they thought might be dangerous. Some kid in the line ahead of me had a slingshot and five smooth stones in his pouch. He was told that those items would be taken from him in the name of the King Herod.

Outside the gate, some boys were selling Palm Branches for 60 pence each or two for 100 pence. I bought two.

At the main gate, some guy sat at a table and collected the entrance fee of thirty pieces of silver per service. His name tag said, Matthew.  Many speculated that the cost was to offset the rental of the conference space. No money was ever given to any of the speakers, so was just to cover the cost of promotion, advertising and operating expenses, I guess.

Everyone who was pre-registered was given a small piece of parchment with their personal information written on it which was to be to hung around the neck. Mine simply said:

 

Benjamin

Thomas’ son

Tribe of Judah

 

The headquarters hotel for this event was, The Inn. The prices there were about double the normal rate. I paid one hundred and ninety pieces of silver a night for mine, plus tax. I wasn’t sure how long the conference was going to last but I could only stay two nights. The man at the counter told the people in the line behind me that they had no more rooms available and recommended they go down the street to see if Stable 6 had anything available.

Big signs were everywhere warning potential vendors against setting up tables or the selling of any wares. Rumor was that at the last Jesus Conference, Jesus had overturned some tables and drove the merchants away with a whip. The Scribes Division was unhappy because they couldn’t sell their books, papers or novelties at the Jesus Conference.

Friends told me to come about two hours early to make sure I could get a good seat. I did and sat there on the ground in the VIP Section, which cost extra, beside my best friend Nick. Everyone else called him by his full name, Nick O’Demus. He was my neighbor. The pre-service was about to start. Nick said he hoped to see some water turned into wine or something because he was really thirsty.

The service opened with Sabbath School Division in charge and they introduced a young man as a former Prodigal whose testimony was that he used to attend Sabbath School every week, but then one day he ran away from home and lost everything he owned. He said he wound up slopping hogs for a living and had nothing to eat. But, then he remembered his Sabbath School teacher telling him about some other kid who had also ran away and then changed his mind and came back home, and when he did his father was very happy to see him.

The former Prodigal said that the story so inspired him he just had to come back home to thank his Sabbath School Teacher for the good story. Everyone clapped and they took up an offering of 789,000 pieces of silver to help finance the Departmental expenses.

Then unexpectedly, a woman named Miriam, ran to the center of the crowd and began shaking her tambourine and several hundred women joined her. They all played their tambourines, while they swirled and danced for about a half an hour or so. Everyone stood, clapped their hands and shouted praise to Jehovah.

 

Enough for all

Illustrated by Paul Mann

 

Next was the Reach The Gentiles Division and their promotion. The Director began to talk about a man who was a Samaritan that found some guy on the ground who was bleeding and unconscious. He was a victim of terrorism and nobody would help him. But, this missionary bound up the man’s head and arms and put him on a mule and took him to a boarding house of some kind.

Then the Director told about a Roman Soldier who prayed and fasted a lot but didn’t know about Jesus, so some guy named Pete heard about him and went and preached to him and his whole family and they joined the local Synagogue.

The story was so compelling that people starting getting up off the ground and ran toward the speaker and began to throw money at his feet. 2,490,000 pieces of silver was gathered up and the people rejoiced.

I looked around to see if Jesus was there yet. He might have been but I couldn’t see anyone that matched His description.

We all started getting hungry, so it was a good thing that a local catering service called Small Lad’s Fish Sandwiches was there! The sandwiches were quite good and then the Janitorial Crew just got up and started walking around through the crowd picking up our leftovers. There were signs everywhere warning us about the huge fine for littering. They picked up 12 huge baskets full.

People off the right started cheering and I strained my neck to see better. It was Jesus walking slowing toward Speakers area. A woman on the ground crawled up and touched the hem of His garment and got a healing miracle. Everyone clapped and rejoiced. People started lining up and the next thing you knew people were getting healed left and right. This went on for several hours.

Nick said that he was starting to believe that this Jesus man was actually a prophet of God or maybe even the Messiah. I said, “He’s amazing!”

The service eventually ended about sunset so Nick and I hurried out of the service to beat the crowd to The Two Sisters Restaurant, run by Mary and Martha. The food there is really great. Go there if you ever get a chance!

As for going to another Jesus Conference? I really do want to go again, but oh my, It sure does cost a lot of money to go to a big Jesus Conference now days. Maybe next year, I need to save up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Posted in God's House

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