The Ballestero Blog

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Gifts Of The Spirit Gone Awry

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Gifts Of The Spirit Gone Awry

 

I believe God still uses the gifts of the Spirit in His church today. Most Apostolic Pentecostals are familiar with those precious moments. Sadly, a few eager and Biblically uneducated have exerted more of their flesh than His Spirit in such moments.

That being said, it does not take away from the fact that God does speak to His church in very real and powerful manner.

Good pastors teach the importance of not saying ‘Thus saith the Lord,” unless they are certain that the Lord truly did speak to them. Punishment is upon those who use His name falsely and in vain.

 

Out Of Order

Almost every night of the revival the modest sized Southern church, a middle-aged woman gave a message in tongues after the sermon. She especially seemed to bring forth a message if there was conviction in the message.

After several weeks of nightly services one of the members brought their neighbor, an elderly woman of foreign descent. The visitor sat quietly with her hosts and seemed unemotional during the service and the sermon.

Everyone was standing while the invitation was being given, when the spiritual lady found a moment to give her message in tongues. While the message was being given, the old lady started to chuckle and covered her mouth to stifle her laughter. Her hosts were embarrassed that their guest would laugh at a time like this.

“Why are you laughing,” they inquired?

“Because I understand what she is saying.” She said with a knowing look.

“What is she saying?” They asked.

“She is saying, ‘I’m out of order and I need to sit down.’ Was her reply.”

 

Misinterpretations

Unverified stories such as these are told about messages being interpreted erroneously and have been heard by most of us:

  1. “Repent, or I will write Michelob over the door.”
  2. “Times are hard sayeth the Lord. Times are so hard I can barely make it myself, saith God.”
  3. “Thus saith the Lord unto Sister… ah, Sister… ah, I forgeteth thy name at the moment saith the Lord.”
  4. “Yeah, thus saith the Lord, Nay!”

 

God Lied?

The tall young West Virginia father actually stood up in the testimony service and spoke with great fervor about God speaking to him.

“I was at work today and the Lord spoke to me and told me that my little boy was choking to death. I ran out of the shop. I didn’t even take time to punch out from work.

“I jumped in my pickup and drove to my trailer as fast as I could. I ran up on the porch and nearly ripped the door off. There on the living room floor was my little boy playing happily with his toys.

“I looked at him and said, ‘Boy I’d rather have you dead than to have God lie to me like that!”

 

Good people can be zealous and sincere, yet be totally in the flesh and not the Spirit. Sometimes, their exhibitions can be injurious to the work of God.

 

Twenty-Six Messages In Tongues

While visiting a medium-sized church for the first time, I was amazed at the number of messages in tongues and interpretations. There were twenty-six messages in all in one service. More than a dozen of the messages that were interpreted appeared to be some church folks correcting other church folks. Several interpretations were even so bold as to criticize the pastor by name. All of this, plus several prophecies were included.

The guest evangelist wasn’t spiritual enough for them, because all he did was preach the Word. They closed the revival after the first night.

 

(Yes, even though some people are over-zealous, or unlearned, or even purposely misleading others, there is still the real Gift of Tongues. That is not even debatable. You will know and feel the difference when you hear it.)

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 24, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Posted in Holy Ghost, Prophecy

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God Is Voice Activated

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God Is Voice Activated

God Is Voice Activated

 

Everyday tech life is somewhat new to the concept. But it has certainly caught on. Siri can make my phone do many things. Some of which I have to immediately correct. But she is voice activated.

Google even got on the bandwagon with a list of at least 70 commands you may give to “Okay Google.”

Everyday things in your home , you car or on your person can be voice activated.

  • Light switches
  • Thermostats
  • Your car’s guidance system.
  • Cell phones
  • Recorders
  • Watches
  • Bluetooth’s

 

I Grew Up Being Voice Activated. Some Words That Put Me In Motion Were:

  • Time to get up.
  • Time to go to bed.
  • Come here.
  • Turn off the light.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Sit down.
  • Quit that
  • Be quiet.
  • Wash the dishes.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Pick that up.
  • Go to the store.

But, you already knew all of that because you too grew up being voice activated. Even your new puppy is voice activated.

 

Prayer Activates God – Just Ask

Can you comprehend the fact that we can activate the most Powerful, Holy, Glorious, Purest, and Loving Force in the world? Yes, you can! Your voice can activate God. He is ready at a moment’s notice to assist you. He is literally at your beck and call.

Imagine a day when people did not understand that. To them He was one they feared and hid from. Then He came and dwelt among His people and told them that He was willing to do for them whatever they asked. You heard me right. He said things like:

 

Matt. 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Matt. 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

Matt. 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Jas. 4:2 …yet ye have not, because ye ask not

 

Jairus Asked

Luke 8:41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:

 

The Syrophoenician Woman Asked

Mark 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

 

A Leper Asked

Mark 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Mark 1:41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean

 

Ten Lepers Asked

Luke 17:12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

Luke 17:13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

 

The Blind Man Asked

Luke 18:38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Why Don’t You Ask?

 

Praise Activates God

The Singers Praised Him And The Glory Fell

2Chron. 5:13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;

2Chron. 5:14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.

 

The Army Praised Him And The Enemy Was Defeated

2Chron. 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

 2Chron. 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

 

Paul & Silas Praised Him And Everyone Was Set Free

Act 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

 Act 16:26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Why don’t You Praise Him?

 

Prayer And Praise Always Activates God.

If you feel God is not responding to your needs like you would like Him to…

 

Activate Him!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 17, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Praise, Prayer, Worship

Tagged with ,

When Jesus “Sleeps” Through Your Storm

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When Jesus “Sleeps” Through Your Storm

Mark 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

Mark 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

Mark 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

 

The twelve men hung on to the sides of the boat for dear life. None of them could remember being in a storm this bad. They all knew horror stories of boats sinking and sailors dying in storms that weren’t as bad as this one. If they lived through it, this would be the storm they would talk about to their grandchildren.

The small craft was taking on lots of water. Spray from the sea had made sure they were all wet and soaked to the skin. Each wave bounced them like a bucking horse. Their chances of surviving this storm didn’t look good.

Their eyes made fearful and furtive glances at the man asleep on a pillow in the back of the boat. They looked at Him in disbelief. How in the world could anyone sleep at a time like this?

If they ever needed anyone to wake up and help them, it was now! They had never been so desperate. No one aboard ship could help them like Him and yet He, of all people, is comfortably asleep while their ship is ready to go down and their lives are on the line. Their boat was full of water.

  • Can’t He feel the reeling and rocking of the boat?
  • Can’t He feel the wet spray on His face and body?
  • Can’t He feel the sloshing of the water in the boat?
  • Can’t He hear them yelling emergency orders to one another?
  • Why won’t He wake up?
  • How can He sleep during a time like this?

They caught each other’s eyes in disbelief while shaking their heads. Their mouths were too fearful to utter what their minds were thinking. They knew that if He would only wake up, He could help. The problem was that Jesus was sleeping through their storm. Jesus, the greatest miracle worker they had ever known was asleep, as far as they could tell.

He was their Master. He was their leader. They were even in this boat right now because of Him. He had told them to take Him to the other side. No one wanted to be disrespectful to Him and wake Him up if He wanted to sleep.

The journey to the other side could cost them their very lives. The trip to the other side may well sink their boat. They had been safe where they had been. They had been without fear on the shore they just left. This journey to the other side was more than they could endure or survive.

They had rejoiced in amazement when Jesus raised the dead. They were astonished and joyful when they saw the leprous man healed by Him. He had even turned water into wine. Why wasn’t He turning this terrible storm into some kind of a miracle for them?

They were His disciples. Jesus was always busy healing and helping everyone else. They had left their homes for Him. They had not slept in their own beds in a long time for Him. He surely wouldn’t neglect or ignore the needs of His own disciples.

No one seemed sure of the proper way to wake Him. They had never had to do that before. He always seemed to be awake, aware and in control. But not now, when the needed Him the most.

The boat wrenched violently and shook them into action. Someone cried out, “Master! Carest Thou not that we perish?”

He immediately arose and rebuked the storm and there was a great calm. When He said, “Peace, be still.” The wind immediately stopped blowing. The waves stopped heaving and churning. The eyes of the twelve opened wide in disbelief at the amazing turn of events. It wasn’t just a calm, but a great calm. They knew He had worked miracles, but the fact the wind and the sea obeyed His voice, astounded them beyond words.

Jesus then turned to them and said simply, “How come you didn’t trust Me?” (“Oh ye of little faith!”)

 

Bro. Verbal Bean made the statement to our church while teaching on faith, which shocked me at first. He said, “God don’t care till you care.” I wasn’t ready to agree with him until he explained it, and to the best of my memory it went something like this…

“Think of all the trials you’ve been through and all of the difficulties you have faced, and nothing happened to change it for the better. God never just came and fixed the problem for you. Nothing happened until you got involved and you prayed and you asked for help. That’s when you got your miracle. When you got involved, God got involved.”

 

Maybe Your Storm Is A Bad Report From The Doctor.

Maybe Your Storm Is A Financial One.

Maybe Your Storm Is A Spiritual One.

Maybe Your Storm Involves Your Spouse.

Maybe Your Storm Involves A Wayward Child.

Maybe Your Storm Is Cause By The Overwhelming Grief Of The Loss Of Your Child.

 

To you, right now, it may appear that He is unconcerned about your storm. But, that is absolutely not true. “He careth for you.”

1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

  • Do what the disciples did.
  • Do what they did when they realized there was nothing else they could do.
  • They called out to Him, and He immediately responded.
  • When you get involved, He gets involved. It’s true!

 

Remember: Psa 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

He didn’t sleep through Daniel’s storm. He didn’t sleep through the Hebrew Children’s storm. And, He won’t sleep through yours. He, who is control of everything, is not really asleep when you need him.

Call Out To Him Now!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Faith, Peace, Prayer, Trust

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My Hero Wears A Dress!

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My Hero Wears A Dress

 

Marcia crop

 

She can’t fly, except into my arms.

She can see right through impossible situations.

She can hear you if you need help and can’t ask for it.

She amazes everyone with her powers of love, nurturing and care.

She is a ministering servant to those who love her.

She is always willing to help, to love and to forgive.

She can make the world’s most wonderful food magically appear before her guests.

She always creates a home atmosphere where people want to come and relax.

She denies having super powers, yet her family and friends marvel that she accomplishes the impossible with apparent grace and ease.

She does things no one else in the family is able to do.

I’m telling you. She may wear a dress, but that doesn’t stop her from being my Hero!

She doesn’t even know how awesome she really is and denies being an angel and passes off the compliments with smile and a thank you. But, we are not sure she actually believes the nice things we say about her or to her. She is a Humble Hero.

 

She Is My Hero, My Angel, My Wife

(As a mere mortal, I have always believed that she is an angel in disguise. Well… Her kisses make the think she’s an angel.)

 

Her Birthday Is The 16th Of July

 

Some Important World Events That Happened On July 16th:

1439 Kissing is banned in England (to stop germs from spreading)

1790 US Congress establishes District of Columbia

1798 US Public Health Service authorized

1845 NY Yacht Club holds its 1st regatta

1857 Confederate general Stonewall Thomas Jackson (33) weds Mary Anna Morrison in Lincoln County

1861 Battle of Bull Run, the 1st major battle of the Civil War, is fought

1862 David Farragut is 1st Rear Admiral in US Navy

1880 Dr. Emily Stowe becomes the first woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada.

1907 Orville Redenbacher, American popcorn king

1920 China joins the League of Nations

1920 Babe Ruth sets season home run record with 30 en route to 54

1926 National Geographic takes 1st natural-color undersea photos

1935 1st automatic parking meter in US installed (Oklahoma City, Ok)

1941 100°F (38°C) highest temperature ever recorded in Seattle Wash

1945 The world’s first atomic bomb was detonated near Alamogordo, New Mexico

1957 A new transcontinental record was set travelling across the United States in 3 hours, 23 minutes in a Navy jet plane by Major John Glenn Jr.

1969 Apollo 11, carrying 1st men to land on Moon, launched

1980 Ronald Reagan nominated for US President by Republicans in Detroit

 

But The Event That Has Blessed My Life Forever, Happened July 16, 1947.

Marcia June Starr was the first of five daughters born To William R. Starr and Marian June Anderson Starr.

She accepted me as her human companion and I’ve loved her with all my heart for over fifty-one years. I will never stop loving her or needing her.

As the mere mortal who loves her more than any man is normally allowed to love an angel, I want to wish her a very Happy Birthday. (Angels don’t really have actual ages.)

 

Marcia?

I Love You Darling! You Are My Hero. You Are My Angel. I Thank God For You! Happy Birthday!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 13, 2016 at 12:59 pm

My Name Is Leah

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leah-wface

My Name Is Leah

My name is Leah and I am the oldest daughter of Laban. My sister, Rachel, is younger than I and everyone says she is very beautiful. She was the village favorite. (Gen 29:17) When visitors first meet us, they seem to be smitten by her beauty and repulsed when they look at me. I’m not beautiful and I’ve had to live with that all my life.

The lives of our whole family changed however, when Jacob arrived in our village. He looked travel worn and he was penniless. My father told us that his family was originally from our village and was well respected.

I saw immediately that Jacob was smitten by the looks of Rachel. I had expected that. Everyone noticed how he looked in her direction and tried to catch her eye if he could. He immediately asked my dad for a job and worked tending to our cattle.

I was crushed when I realized he wanted to marry my sister. I cried sometimes when I could be alone. It seemed like romance was for everyone but me. Jacob bargained with dad to work seven years for Rachel to be his bride. Jacob courted her and I tried to mind my own business and stay out of their way. They were so much in love. Love for me was always a one-way street. No one loved me back.

The wedding was a big celebration! All our relatives and the whole village came. My father sat Rachel and me down for a very private talk prior to the wedding. He informed Rachel that he had a plan. He said that adhering to the village custom of marrying off the oldest daughter first was a custom to be honored, and that rightly I should be the bride. (Gen 29:26) Dad said that he didn’t think Jacob would leave anyway and that he felt he would hang around long enough to marry the both of us. Rachel was crestfallen. I was surprised and happy. We were all unsure of Jacob’s reaction to me when he found out the truth, but planned to go ahead with the switch.

We pulled it off too. At the wedding, I was ecstatic and scared at the same time and afraid to look at Rachel because I felt her disappointment. It was evident to me that my sister truly began to hate and despise me. I stole her man. Although she was beautiful, she was bitter, and envious. I felt the full force of her hatred. Our bond of sisterhood stood on rocky ground.

The next morning Jacob woke up and looked at my face for the first time in the light of day. I cannot describe the shock and utter disappointment in his eyes. Maybe it was more akin to disgust. I can never fully explain the feeling of being married to a man who doesn’t love you. All you can think about is him and all he can think about is another woman.

Jacob made a covenant with my father to work seven more years for Rachel. He intended to marry us both.

I named my children according to the conditions of my marital status at the times of their births.

 

Rueben

I named my first son, Reuben. His name means, “Behold a son. The Lord has seen (in Hebrew ra’ah) my affliction” and “now my husband will love me (ye’ehabani)”(Genesis 29:32). I praised God for showing me this favor. I could hold my head up in the village. All would know that I had given my husband a son. I was now considered a worthy wife. It was as though God had seen that I was unloved and He opened my womb.

Rachel showed her true self again. I thought surely now Jacob will love me. But no, it didn’t change a thing. Rachel’s love toward me seemed to be gone. Jacob saved all his sweet words for her. They were lost in each other’s worlds.

All I did was cook, clean, take care of the baby and look after my husbands needs. I certainly never felt loved or cherished. I was only there for the needs of the man. My own needs were not to be considered. Ever.

 

Simeon

When my second child was born, it was a boy. I named him, Simeon because “the Lord heard (shama) that I was unloved”(Genesis 29:33). It was no secret that my husband didn’t love me. I guess my only purpose was to provide him with sons.

God knew my sorrow and tried to comfort me. I cried much and kept to myself. There was little benefit for me to make myself available to Jacob in social settings. I was not his trophy wife. I was treated as a second-class wife. He would not walk me around the village and show me off. I felt like a second-class wife because I wasn’t beautiful. Jacob was evidently too foolish to see beyond the face. I stayed in the tent and cared for the babies.

 

Levi

In the process of time I realized I was to have another child. My third baby was also a boy. I named him Levi thinking “this time my husband will become attached (yillaweh) to me”(Genesis 29:34).

All I ever wanted was for him to love me and to show it by saying something sweet or doing something nice. It never happened.

I knew that feeling sorry for myself was not doing me any good. I started thinking and realized that God had been gracious to me through it all. Was my world perfect? No. Not that I could see or feel, yet I believed God was good. He had blessed me and given me sons. I may not have the beauty of my sister, but I made up my mind to be a good wife and a good mother of our children and to be beautiful on the inside.

I learned to turn my face toward Jehovah and thank Him for what I did have instead of focusing on what I didn’t.

 

Judah

My fourth son’s name had nothing to do with my relationship with my husband. I named him Judah because I had made up my mind, “this time I will praise (odeh) the Lord”(Genesis 29:35).

After I had our four children, Jacob’s next two sons were born to Rachel’s maid Bilhah. She had given her handmaid to Jacob out of desperation. I felt sorry for her, so I then gave Jacob my own maid, Zilpah, as a concubine. Zilpah gave him two sons, Gad and Asher.

 

Issachar

One time, during a harvest, Reuben brought me some mandrakes. Rachel wanted them and said that if I gave them to her she would let me have her night to sleep with Jacob in exchange. After that, my fifth son was born. I named him Issachar. It means, “He will bring a reward.” (Genesis 30:14-18)

As a mother I can tell that although Jacob is kind to my children, he doesn’t dote on them. It makes my heart hurt. Maybe when he looks on them, they remind him of me. If he can’t love me, then my prayer is that he would love our sons.

 

The Stolen Idols

The relationship between my husband and my father turned really sour. Jacob told me that the last time he looked at my dad, he could tell that things between them had drastically changed by the expression on his face, (Gen 31:2) and that the Lord had spoken to him and told him we must leave here immediately.

When Rachel heard the news, and knowing that father just left with the sheep, she went into his tent and stole his gods. We left in the middle of the night and we were gone three days before my dad found out. But when he found out he was very angry and chased hard after us. It took him almost week to finally catch up.

He hollered and yelled loud at Jacob accusing him of everything he could think of. He wanted to know why we had left and when he found out that it was because we didn’t trust him and that he was dishonest, he really got mad.

Jacob told dad, “Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.” (Gen 31:41)

Dad said we had stolen his gods. Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had hidden them in her tent. He gave dad permission to search everyone’s tent and all their possessions and look for his gods. He never found them because his little pet, the baby of the family was sly. Rachel sat on a pile of carpets that hid the idols and told Dad she couldn’t get up because she was “after the manner of women.” She just batted her big brown eyes at him and he smiled back and never made her move.

The idols were not found, so my father and my husband piled up a heap of stones and made a covenant of friendship, and then he kissed us girls and the grandchildren a final goodbye and departed, leaving us to live in peace.

 

The Coming Of Esau

Jacob shared many stories about his boyhood. Evidently, he and his brother, Esau were total opposites. He told us about his father becoming old and going blind. Custom was that the oldest son inherited two thirds of the father’s goods and the rest of the children equally divided up the remaining third.

Jacob said that one day he caught Esau at a weak moment and bartered with him for his birthright. The problem was in getting the birthright blessing from the father. His father doted on Esau because of his prowess as a hunter and outdoorsman. But, Jacob was his mother’s pet. When it was time to receive the blessing, she helped him deceive his father and obtain the birthright blessing prayer.

He had to leave home immediately because when Esau found out that his birthright had been stolen, Esau wanted to kill Jacob. Now, word just arrived after all these years that Esau was indeed coming for him with a mighty army of soldiers threatening to kill him.

Jacob said that we were all to cross over the ford Jabbok and wait while he stayed there to pray. He fervently prayed and an Angel came and began to wrestle with him. They wrestled all night long. Finally the Angel begged to be let go but Jacob said that he wouldn’t let him go until he got a blessing from him.

The angel said that he was changing his name. He would now be called, Israel, because he would now have power with God and with men. (Gen. 32:28)

The Angel smote Jacob on the thigh to break his hold. It forever affected how he walked from then on. He limped for the rest of his life.

In the morning when we arose, we saw Jacob hurriedly limping towards us. He said that Esau was coming and there would no doubt be bloodshed. He divided up the children putting the animals, the servants and their children first.

He then put my children and me next, because we too were more expendable. But, he kept Rachel and her son at the back with him. He may lose the rest of us but he wanted to keep her alive. It was very plain where I stood with him even after all these years. (Gen 33:2)

When Esau came and confronted us, Jacob humbled himself and sent him large gifts. Before long the two ran towards each other, fell on each other’s necks and kissed. I took my children toward Esau and we bowed down before him in respect. All ended peaceable. We were certainly relieved and after the meeting and we all gave thanks unto God.

 

Zebulun

My next son, I named Zebulun. He was to be my last boy. His name means to dwell. He was Jacob’s tenth son and my sixth. I later had a daughter, whom I named Dinah, before Rachel gave birth to her first child.

 

Joseph

When Rachel gave birth to her little Joseph, Jacob was beside himself with joy. He showed that baby more attention than he ever had to all of the others. The children could all tell that Joseph was his favorite.

All we heard around the tent from Jacob was news about Joseph. He doted on him. The other children watched wistfully knowing that they were not loved like that. He made special clothes for him and gave him gifts that were better than he gave to my sons.

Rachel seemed to feel like nothing was wrong with Jacob giving so much attention to her son and very little to his other ten sons.

 

The Trip To Bethel

Jacob said that God had told him that we were all to return to the Bethel. Jacob said that we were to wash and be clean, change our clothes, and put away our idols. So, all of our family and our servants did as he asked. We knew the worship of our gods required the wearing of earrings, so we gave them to Jacob along with our gods. (Gen 35:1-4; Hosea 2:13) He took what we gave him and buried all of it under the big oak tree in Shechem.

We traveled on to Bethel, the place where God first met with our husband. The first thing Jacob did was to build an altar and offer up a sacrifice of repentance. God accepted his prayers and blessed him. It was there that his mother’s nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried at Bethel. Jacob grieved hard because she was his last living connection with his mother and father.

 

Benjamin

When we left Bethel, Rachel went into labor. She died giving birth to her second son. It was so tragic. We were in shock. Before she died, Rachel named her son Benoni (“son of my mourning”), but Jacob called him Benjamin. (Gen. 35:18)

Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children, she died!

Jacob made no attempt to bury Rachel with his family like I thought he would do since he loved her so much. He just buried her beside the highway and placed a marker on her lonely grave. If he would bury his favorite wife beside the road at the first available spot, where would he bury me? Would I too be given a roadside burial?

After Rachel died, Jacob replaced her bed, which was beside his, with her handmaiden Bilhah’s bed. It so infuriated my son Rueben that he overturned Bilhah’s bed and rebuked his father. Jacob never forgot that moment and mentioned it on the day he pronounced blessings and prayers upon his sons. (Gen. 49:3-4)

 

Epilogue

Leah’s outward appearance may have been unattractive to others, but God was attracted to her because of her inward beauty. He chose her. It was Leah, not Rachel, who bore Judah, and it was through his bloodline that the Savior was born.

After Rachel’s death, Leah carried on as the wife of Jacob, and the mother of his many children, living in Canaan. The Bible does not say when she died, but Leah is buried in the family burial tomb of Machpelah, beside her husband Jacob with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 49:29-31). Leah was loved too late. Her real beauty unnoticed most of her life. Yet, in her death and burial she was shown great honor and respect.

 

The Life Lesson Of Leah

Sometimes in life we wake up to the very thing we don’t want. Life doesn’t always give you a Rachel. Although you find it difficult to love the “Ugly Leah Situation” that is forever connected to you, it just may wind up being your greatest life blessing. Surprisingly, you may find yourself saying the words, “I love you” to the very thing you once hated.

The Leah in your life never changed, you did. Her beauty wasn’t on the outside, so no one took the time to see what God could see all along. Leah was beautiful where it counted the most. She was beautiful on the inside. Don’t hate your “Leah”; she is God’s gift to you. Do not despise the ugly thing in life that you suddenly have to wake up to. Your “Leah” may be a bad Doctor’s Report, a Financial Disaster, a Broken Marriage, a Physical Disability or even Heartache. Embrace it. It just may be a gift from God to you!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

Death By Misadventure

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Death By Misadventure

 

Amy Jade Winehouse

“Amy Winehouse’s death was the result of the singer drinking too much alcohol, a coroner has said. A verdict of misadventure was recorded into the 27-year-old’s death after an inquest heard she was more than five times the drink-drive limit.

Winehouse was found dead at her home in Camden, north London, on 23 July. St Pancras coroner Suzanne Greenway said the “unintended consequence” of Winehouse drinking so much alcohol was her “sudden and unexpected death”.

Three empty vodka bottles, two large and one small, were found at her flat, St Pancras Coroners Court heard.

‘No pulse found’

The inquest heard the singer, who won five Grammy awards in 2008, had 416mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg.

The pathologist who conducted her post-mortem examination said 350mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood was considered a fatal level.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-15453517

 

Brian Jones

“Brian Jones was a founding member of the Rolling Stones, and contributed heavily to their early success. But, as time went on, he felt pushed aside by the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and his growing drug problem also helped alienate him from his bandmates, who fired him in June of 1969.

Jones was discovered dead in his swimming pool on July 3, 1969. Coroners ruled his death an accident. Noting his alcohol and substance abuse played a role, they called it “death by misadventure.” Theories and rumors have swirled for decades that Jones was murdered, though despite a new investigation in 2008, nothing has ever been proven.”

Read More: Brian Jones – Death by Misadventure | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/brian-jones-strange-rock-deaths/?trackback=tsmclip

 

Death by Misadventure – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“A death by misadventure, as recorded by coroners and on death certificates and associated documents, is one that is primarily attributed to an accident which occurred due to a dangerous risk which was taken voluntarily.

In contrast, when a cause of death is listed as an accident rather than a misadventure, this implies no unreasonable willful risk. [1] Misadventure is a legally-defined manner of death: a way by which an actual cause of death (trauma, exposure, etc.) was allowed to occur. For example, a death caused by an illicit drug overdose may be ruled a death by misadventure as the user ignored the risks of the drugs. Misadventure is a form of unnatural death like accident, suicide, or homicide.”

 

Death By GPS

“People are renting vehicles with GPS and they have no idea how it works — and they are willing to trust the GPS to lead them into the middle of nowhere.” – Fox News

Over the past 15 years, at least a dozen people have died in Death Valley from heat-related illnesses.

 

Rita Chretien

“Rita Chretien was found Friday by a trio of hunters after spending seven weeks in the couple’s van stuck in mud, surviving off trail mix, hard candy and water from a nearby stream. Her husband set out on foot to find help, hoping to make it to Mountain City. He hasn’t been seen since.

The B.C. woman who survived seven weeks alone in the Nevada mountains told her pastor that her new global positioning device caused her and her husband to become lost.”

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/b-c-woman-blames-gps-for-getting-couple-lost-1.1007231

 

Most Backsliders Are Victims Of “Death By Misadventure.”

Every death by misadventure is tragic. It is an avoidable death. The victim didn’t mean to die. Their poor judgment at the moment or the misinformation (faulty GPS directions) led to their demise. Sadly the same thing can happen spiritually.

  • They got a job that kept them out of church. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They moved from their church out of the will of God. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They married the wrong person. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They chose friends who led them down wrong paths. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They compromised and argued over standards. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They didn’t feel convicted about some holiness issues. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They had marriage problems that caused many to go astray from God. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They accepted false teachings, which led them astray. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They got offended or hurt, so they stayed home and sulked. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They wanted their gift to be used of God, but they took matters into their own hands. They didn’t mean to backslide.

 

Abner

It could be said that Abner died by misadventure. He found safety in a City of Refuge, but came outside to talk. It was there that he was killed, just outside safety. He didn’t mean to die. King David grieved over Abner’s foolish thinking.

2Sam. 3:33 And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth?

 

Samson

Thought to be invincible, yet he laid his head in a woman’s lap, not knowing he had opened the door to death by misadventure. He didn’t mean to die.

 

Reader: What About You?

There are decisions you must make in everyday life that influence your direction towards eternity. Wrong choices and carnal influences constantly make themselves available to us all.

I pray that you make righteous decisions and surround yourself with godly influence. Make sure you obey God’s Word and submit yourself totally to Him. Stay connected to your Apostolic pastor. All it takes is for you to make one bad mistake.

 

If We Look To Him For Guidance, He Will Never Let Us Make A Bad Decision.

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.

Prov. 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Prov. 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Prov. 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

Prov. 3:10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

 

May God Help Us All!

 

 

Old Grandfathers Are A Very Odd Breed.

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Old grandfathers are a very odd breed. They are, for the most part, more tolerant in their judgment of others because of their years. Yet, they are fixated with the age-old belief that, “They don’t make them like they used to.” Therefore, when an old dad looks a younger dad, he looks at him through the eyes of experience and with critical understanding. As a result, the old guys often shake their heads at the newer generation of dads.

But there are six younger dads that this old man doesn’t shake his head at. He only beams with grateful admiration as he observers the wonderful outpouring of love and guidance each of them in their own way provide for their families. He has to thank God everyday that his grandchildren have a loving father like them in their home.

I am talking about some men who deserve every honor a Father’s Day can provide. It would be an impossibility to show them too much thanks for the way they give of themselves and their time to their children. In a generation when many dads may be doing everything wrong, there are those who are doing everything right! They are loving, affectionate and take time for their children.

These men just happen to be related to me. My son (in-law): Brandon Hartzell, and my four sons: Anthony Ballestero, Bryan Ballestero, Martyn Ballestero II, and Andrew Ballestero. These men all make me so very proud and thankful to God. I fiercely love them all!

 

 

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Bryan Ballestero

 

 

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Anthony Ballestero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andrew Ballestero

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Martyn Ballestero II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Hartzell

Brandon Hartzell

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Jeremy Branham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I must mention my wonderful nephew, (son of my sister Carlene.), Jeremy Branham who without a father in his life to guide him became everything a model father should be. He makes me proud too!)

Thank you my Sons, for fifteen wonderful grandchildren!! I wish you a very Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Family, Father's Day

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