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Attending My First Jesus Conference – Review

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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

Tagged with

“What If a Few Weddings In The Bible Didn’t Turn Out Like God Wanted Them To?”

with one comment

 

Guest Editorial.

Bill Davidson Gives Marriage Advice To People Who Aren’t Sure!

 

“What If a Few Weddings In The Bible Didn’t Turn Out Like God Wanted Them To?”

 

  1. What If Rachel Didn’t Want To Leave Her Mama?

Gen 24:14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also:

Abraham’s servant prayed for the will of God in choosing a wife for his master’s son.

He Didn’t Pray:

  • For The girl to be beautiful.
  • For Her to be talented.
  • For her to be the smartest girl in town.

He only prayed for her to be willing to give him and his camels a drink. That’s it. But what would have happened if she had chosen to stay in her village with her mom and ‘em?

  • After all, she hadn’t even seen a picture of this Isaac dude she would have to marry.
  • (He might have a few head of cows, but he might be ugly too.)
  • Besides, she may never get to see any of her family again.
  • Was this guy worth all of that?

If Rachael, even after passing the ‘will of God’ test that the servant had made, had still said no to leaving her mama… What would she have missed out on?

  1. Being the wife of a man who was in a covenant relationship with God!
  2. Being in the bloodline of the coming Messiah!
  3. Being one of the richest women in the world.
  4. Becoming one history’s most beloved mothers!

 

Bill Davidson’s Advice To Every Rebecca?

  • Pack your suitcase girlfriend, and kiss yer mama goodbye!
  • Pack yer little pink suitcase.
  • Don’t wait,
  • Grab the opportunity. It’s a once in a lifetime.
  • (Besides, even though you’re sweet, you may need to cover your face when you first see him.)

 

  1. What If Boaz Had Never Married His Ruth?

Boaz felt pretty much like a cool dude. He was doing pretty well for a single guy. He had a big farm and some hired hands working for him. He had everything a man could want… except the most important thing. A wife!

During the harvest, this beautiful woman shows up in his field and works like a slave girl. She sure wasn’t afraid to work. Sure, you might could guess she wasn’t rich and had come through hard times, but she wasn’t asking for a handout either. That was in her favor.

Boaz was smitten by her beauty. When he looked at her he was more influenced by his hormones than by the Holy Ghost. He like what he saw. Yet, there was a few hurdles he had to get past.

There were some details that had to be ironed out and quite a few people to reckon with and please. Public opinion had to be faced.

Boaz then struggled a bit with going forward with wedding plans and even tried to let one of his cousins have first chance at marrying her if he wanted her.

Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

 

So, What If Boaz Had Never Married His Ruth?

  • He would have been out he will of God
  • Obed, his son would have never been born.
  • (His name means worshiper. There would’ve been no worship in his life.)
  • Jesus would not have been born.
  • There would have been no cross, nor an empty tomb.
  • There would have been no salvation for sin.
  • Boaz would have had to go to hell.
  • Boaz did not know there would be a messiah in his blood line.
  • He never asked for or sought the will of God.
  • He had no clue that the will of God was staring him in the face.
  • He might have died a bachelor if he let Ruth get away.

 

Bill Davidson’s Advice To Every Boaz?

  • Dude, don’t pass up this opportunity and let this Ruth chick slip away.
  • If you don’t marry her, you will go to hell.
  • You are an idiot man, if you let anyone else have a chance to marry her.
  • My God man, Tell her you love her now, and get the ball rolling!

 

  1. What If Jacob Had Let Rachel Slip Through His Fingers Because He Was Broke?

Jacob the con artist ran away from home to keep from being killed. He hasn’t been gone but a few days and he meets the prettiest girl in the world. It would cost a lot of money to marry a girl that pretty. What’s a man to do?

  • He didn’t have two shekels to rub together.
  • He didn’t even have his own tent.
  • He didn’t even own a camel to ride on.
  • He didn’t have enough money to go on a nice date.
  • He was broke.

So, how do you face a girl’s dad and act like you are interested in his daughter and you don’t have any money? How will you support her? Will you have to live with her folks? You have no place to take her. Can you live on love alone?

Bill Davidson’s Advice To Every Jacob?

  • Hey Jake! She loves you even though you’re broker than the ten commandments.
  • It will work out. I promise.
  • Man Up Dude!
  • Be willing to give yourself when you don’t have any money.
  • Tell her you love her. Even though you’re broke, it’s still God’s will.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 26, 2017 at 9:33 am

Posted in Life, Love, Marriage

Happy 70th Birthday Marcia Starr Ballestero

with 5 comments

 

 

Happy 70th Birthday Marcia Starr Ballestero

 

My Darling Marcia!

What joy you’ve brought into my life, Baby. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, besides the Holy Ghost! Your saying yes to me has been very expensive for you, and absolutely wonderful for me! Thank You! You are heaven’s gift to me!

I want to thank you for your love!

Thank you for giving me your heart!

Thank you for giving yourself to me!

Seventy years! It’s quite the journey! You had already walked seventeen of those before I caught up with you!

Once my eyes laid hold on you, my heart became committed to keep me close to your side for however long the journey!

I have been honored above all men to hold your hand every step of the way!

Your stride was a steady and peaceful pace! With sweet calmness and grace you’ve faced life and all its uncertainties!

You took my heart and treated it like gold, you gave me yours to have and to hold!

You laid down by death’s door five times to make our home complete.

Thank you for always trying to serve me first at meal times, even though you should have been the first. Thank You!

I am overwhelmed at the staggering sacrifices you have made in expressing your love to me. Thank You My Darling.

  • You gave of your time and energy, caring for your family.
  • You’re completely selfless.
  • You’ve constantly sacrificed so that our family could enjoy comforts of life.
  • You are supportive of our children’s dreams.
  • You are supportive of my dreams.
  • You’ve always been a perfect picture of modesty and grace.
  • You’ve been feminine and nurturing.
  • You’ve been tender and kind.
  • You’ve always been peaceable and sweet.
  • You’ve been Godly and righteous.
  • You’ve been honest and true.
  • You’ve been real and consistent.
  • You’ve been a wonderful helpmate and friend!
  • You’ve been a loving and affectionate wife!
  • You’ve been all that a lover could be.

I have learned over the years that your primary love language is Acts Of Service.

Your Love Language everyday says to me, “I Love You!!” I Thank You For That!

I feel very appreciative and undeserving of your love. You, my dear, make all my dreams come true. Thank You!

With All My Heart, I Love You!!

Marty

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 15, 2017 at 11:17 pm

Posted in Love, Marriage, Romance

Tagged with

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

with 4 comments

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

 

I am not talking about the kind of pain that takes one to the Doctor’s office or the Emergency Room. There are some pains and hurts so bad that they cannot be medicated or cured by science. Those pains need our focus.

 

There’s A Kind Of Pain That Doesn’t Always Lead Its Companions To The ER.

  • This Pain will lead you in one of two directions.
  • This Pain may lead you to God.
  • This Pain may lead you away from God.

 

Pain will take you to countries you never knew existed.

Pain will give you citizenship in a foreign land that speaks a language known only to the locals.

Pain can pass itself off as a congenial tour guide while leading you down paths from which from which few ever return.

 

Pain will isolate you from family and friends.

Pain will tell you that you are alone and no one cares.

Pain will turn on you like a vampire and eat pieces of your heart out every day.

Pain will demand that you let it do your thinking for you.

 

Pain desires to control your actions and your feelings.

Pain plots to become your master.

Pain will dominate you.

Pain will control you for the rest of your life.

 

You Don’t Have To Go Looking For Pain. Pain Will Come Look For You!

 

Oh, Wounded Spirit!

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

 

Don’t Let The Thorn (Pain) In Your Side Become A Thorn (Pain) In Your Spirit.

 

Pain will try to make you question God.

Pain will tell you God doesn’t know where you are at.

Pain will tell you that you are wasting your time at church.

Pain will tell you that you have more friends outside of church than you do inside.

Pain will tell you to turn your back on God because He let your family member die.

 

Pain will lead you to bitterness.

Pain will lead you to vengeance.

Pain will make you hateful.

Pain will make you unapproachable by God or man.

 

Pain will control your attitude.

Pain will control your reaction.

Pain will control your walk with God.

Pain will control your relationship with everyone.

Pain will control your attitude.

 

Pain will control your level of worship.

Pain will control your prayer life.

Pain will control your trust in people.

Pain will control your church attendance.

 

Pain is toxic.

Pain is demanding of your time.

Pain tends to take you away from God rather than to Him.

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Person.

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Saint.

 

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Soul-winner

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Spouse

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Parent

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Friend

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Preacher

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

To God, or away from God?

 

Pain Will Point At Your Cancer.

Pain Will Point At Your Divorce.

Pain Will Point At Your Lost Job.

Pain Will Point At Your Unfaithful Spouse.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Rejection.

Pain Will Point At Your Abuse.

Pain Will Point At Your Disappointments.

Pain Will Point At Your Failures.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Discouragements.

Pain Will Point At Your Sickness.

Pain Will Point At Your Neglect.

Pain Will Point At Your Injuries.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Loneliness.

Pain Will Point At Your Shame.

Pain Will Point At Your Addiction.

Pain Will Point At Your Condemnation.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Scars.

Pain Will Point At Your Enemy’s Success.

Pain Will Point At Your Abused Past.

Pain Will Point At Your Fear.

 

Don’t let Pain determine your eternity.

Don’t let Pain choose your eternity.

Don’t let Pain control your destiny.

 

Pain makes injured animals go into hiding to recover or die.

Pain makes injured lambs go to the shepherd for help.

 

Pain made David seek comfort in the Cave of Adullam.

Pain made Elijah hide in a cave too.

Pain made the Woman with the issue of blood touch Jesus.

Pain made the Syrophoenician mother ask Jesus for a miracle.

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

Has It Taken You Into Hiding From God And Man?

 

How Will You Respond To Pain?

What will you do now?

What will be your reaction?

 

Job’s Attitude Refused To Let Pain Lead Him Away From God!

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

 

When The Prodigal Came To Himself, He Came Home To The Father And Was Restored!

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

To God, or away from God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 24, 2017 at 6:46 am

“Grace Spoken Here”

with 4 comments

“Grace Spoken Here”

 

Click Here

Did you ever discover a gold mine? Well, someone told me where it was and I looked and found it to be even better than the glowing descriptions I’d heard. I was thrilled to find a young mother who is a natural writer and may not truly admit that to herself.

I am blown away by the easy ‘Grace’ with which she writes! It’s like you can hear her talking! It just oozes from her heart! For me, if a writer can write like she talks in a conversation, it doesn’t get any better or smoother than that!

Brittany Holt Morgan does just that and is sitting on a gold mine.

  • She is real.
  • She is honest.
  • She is transparent.

Her posts are lovable and helpful at the same time. She has experienced pain, but hasn’t wasted her pain, she has used it to help others! If I was her Grandpa, I would be stinking proud of her. I am smitten by what I read!

Her blog is brand new. With her permission, I am linking her new blog to mine and help introduce her to my readers!

“Grace Spoken Here” is the name of her blog. I started reading her first post and made the sweet journey with her as my guide. That is my suggestion for you too! She will help and bless all who read her words! I subscribed and I hope you do.

 

I Love how Brittany Holt Morgan writes and you will too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 3, 2017 at 11:53 am

Saying, “Thank You” And Responding In Kind… For Husbands And Wives.

with 4 comments

Saying, “Thank You” And Responding In Kind… For Husbands And Wives.

By Marcia And Martyn Ballestero

 

What is your response when someone you love says, “I love you”?

  • (“I love you too!” is the expected and best reaction.)

 

What is your response when he tells you that you are beautiful?

  • (“Ok,” is not acceptable.)
  • (“Don’t disqualify his compliment.)
  • (Don’t roll your eyes.)

Respond with something like,

  • “You’re so sweet!”
  • “Thank you Babe!”

 

What is your response when he comes up from behind, while you are washing dishes and he gives you a quick smooch on the cheek?

  • (“What was that for?” is the wrong response!)
  • (“What do you want now?” is a bad reaction, that will hurt!)
  • (These are responses that stop affection in marriage.)
  • (Why couldn’t you have turned to him and kissed him back? He was trying to be sweet.)

 

What is your response when he gives you a little pat?

  • (Acting too bothered to appreciate the attention or pulling away will stop his affection.)
  • (The least you could do is smile!)
  • (For a bonus, say ,“I love you!”)
  • (Pat him back sometime.)

 

What is your response when you are sitting in your lazy-boy chair reading, and she brings you a snack without you asking?

  • (Grunting is an uncouth caveman’s response! Never do that.)
  • (“Thanks Baby, you’re just the best!” is always good.)
  • (Surprise her with an unexpected act of service.)

 

What is your response when your spouse washes your clothes and folds them and puts them in the drawer and you just now noticed?)

  • (Ignoring an act of love would be taking your partner for granted)
  • (“Thank You very much.” Will go a long ways)
  • (Think of something nice to do back to them)

 

What is your response when you receive a compliment you don’t feel you really deserve?”

  • (Ignoring it is a slap in the face.)
  • (Wrinkling your nose, and shaking your head no is ignorant and immature.)
  • (Realize they are saying it to you because that’s how they feel, so say “Thank you!”)
  • (Smile and be humble.)
  • (Find something to compliment them on… try hard if necessary.)

 

What is your response when you are sitting on the couch working on something you think is important and your wife chooses that moments to sit beside you, touch you and kind of snuggles up close?

  • (Acting irritated or ignoring her is a sign of stupidity.)
  • (Saying you can’t be bothered right now will turn off more switches than you have the power to turn back on.)
  • (Whatever you are working on can wait. I’m very serious.)
  • (Nothing in the world is more important to you than she is.)
  • (PUT IT DOWN NOW!)
  • (You will thank us later.)

 

What is your response when your wife needs to talk about something she feels is important?

  • (Not stopping what you’re doing and looking into her eyes will not lead to a happy day.)
  • (Always listen without seeming to be bored or aggravated.)
  • (Don’t shut down and give the silent treatment.)
  • (If the subject is heated, remember a soft answer turneth away wrath, and where there is no wood the fire goes out.)
  • (If you’re guilty or have done something wrong. Humbly apologize.)
  • (Use your inside voice when you speak.)

 

What is your response when you are kissed fully on the lips?

  • (For crying out loud… If I have to answer that for you, you don’t deserve a spouse or to be kissed on the lips!)

 

Now Go Have A Blessed (Romantic) Day ❤️

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 26, 2017 at 11:15 am

Posted in Love, Marriage

Tagged with ,

I Watched An Angel Grow Up!

with 2 comments

 

I Watched An Angel Grow Up!

 

 

It’s true! I actually watched an Angel grow up! She will deny that she is an angel, but I know angels when I see one. The first time I ever saw her was on May 2, (a few years ago). She was very tiny and I was the first man to ever hold her, kiss her baby forehead, and tell her I loved her. She didn’t respond much at the time, but I wanted her to get used to hearing the words… “I Love You” Because, Angels love with their ears and wise men know that.

She wrapped her baby hands around my finger and when she did that, she wrapped my heart around her little finger. We decided to name our little Angel, Marisa June Ballestero.

I was most honored of all men to watch her grow, play, sing, express joy, and have fun. She was so sweet and affectionate with her Mom and I. Even though we knew she was really an Angel, she even took on the human role of Daddy’s girl!

I watched her grow up. I watched her fall in love. I watched her marry and raise a family. I watched her blossom into a beautiful Angel who is drop-dead gorgeous , talented, loving, and more astounding to me than any Wonder Woman!

One of life’s greatest honors is for me to say, that I watched an angel grow up in my own home. Her birth certificate says that she is the daughter of Marcia and Martyn Ballestero. But her Mom and I know who she really is. She is actually an Angel, a real Angel sent from above!

S0, today is the day I get to say Happy Birthday to my Angel, Marisa June Ballestero Hartzell!

I Will Always Love You!

 

Your Old Dad 

(Life President Of The Marisa Hartzell Fan Club)

 

I Held An Angel In My Arms

 

 

I Watched Her Grow Up

 

 

I Watched Her Choose Friends

 

 

I Watched Her Fall In Love

 

 

I Watched Her Have Fun

 

I Watched Her Raise A Family

 

I Was Happy When She Made Another Little Angel That Looked Just Like Her

 

 

Happy Birthday Marisa!

XOXOXO

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 2, 2017 at 8:07 am

Posted in Family, Life, Love, Uncategorized

Tagged with