The Ballestero Blog

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Archive for March 2010

The Progression Of Sin

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The Progression Of Sin

We can’t talk about Holiness without talking about sin. Holiness desires to live a life separate from sin.

  • Appearance doesn’t matter? Some act like it doesn’t. They’re wrong.
  • They say they’re “Enlightened?
  • We had an Old fashioned Pentecostal term for them… they’re Backslid!
  • Leprosy is a Type of Sin

Watch the progression of sin in these 4 example of Leprosy in Leviticus 13, 14.

  1. These all brought their concerns to the priest.
  2. Today we wait for the preacher to say something.
  3. We figure, if he doesn’t say anything, we must be all right.
  4. They seemed to know, without being told, that something was wrong.
  5. The good news is they wanted it fixed.


Leviticus 13:1-9 (KJV)
2 When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:
3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.

  • Makeup
  • Eye shadow
  • Eye liner
  • Blush
  • Cover girl
  • Tattoos

What what ever happened to Shamefacedness? It’s far to common to see makeup around Pentecostal Churches.


Leviticus 13:20-25 (KJV)
20 And if, when the priest seeth it, behold, it be in sight lower than the skin, and the hair thereof be turned white; the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the boil.
Leviticus 13:30-33 (KJV)
30 Then the priest shall see the plague: and, behold, if it be in sight deeper than the skin; and there be in it a yellow thin hair; then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a dry scall, even a leprosy upon the head or beard.
31 And if the priest look on the plague of the scall, and, behold, it be not in sight deeper than the skin, and that there is no black hair in it; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague of the scall seven days:
32 And in the seventh day the priest shall look on the plague: and, behold, if the scall spread not, and there be in it no yellow hair, and the scall be not in sight deeper than the skin;

  • Hair Styles
  • Cut hair on girls
  • Long hair boys

3. GARMENT (Clothes)

Leviticus 13:47-59 (KJV)
47 The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it be a woollen garment, or a linen garment;
48 Whether it be in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of woollen; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin;

  • Immodest
  • Slits that should never be
  • When you try the skirt on and ¾ of your leg comes through the slit, aren’t there alarms that go off in your head or your heart?
  • (Who are you dressing like that for?
  • Sleeves – sleeveless and cap sleeves are too common. (I’m old school.)
  • I know I can be saved dressing like I do, why gamble?
  • Tight clothes
  • Revealing and sheer clothes
  • Israel couldn’t Blush.
  • God, don’t let us lose our ability to blush!

4. House

Leviticus 14:34-45 (KJV)
34 When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession;
35 And he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house:

What’s in your house that God might consider Leprosy?

  • TV?
  • All kinds of Videos?
  • Improper Music?
  1. Empty the house – Repent
  2. Scrape the walls – Heart searching
  3. Replace Stones and Morter – pray through to a renewal is always in order!

There’s no stopping place for sin. It gets everywhere. The Bible illustrated sin starting in the Skin, showing up in the Hair, displaying itself in how we Dress and then getting in our Home.

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


Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

Why My English Teacher Wanted To Be Baptized In Jesus Name!

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Why My English Teacher Wanted To Be Baptized In Jesus Name!

Ms. DeGroote, as she wished to be called, was from France and she taught my senior year English class at South Bend Central High. She was 63 and referred to herself as a spinster. We had more creative names for her. Most of the students dreaded her classes. We were taught diction and enunciation with a heavy French accent. It seemed to make learning to speak proper English an impossibility with her as the instructor. By much effort I received the only A in her class both semesters.

My class was filled with Catholic students. South Bend, Indiana still is a predominately Catholic town. Its claim to fame is the University of Notre Dame. I was the only non-Catholic in the class.

Ms. DeGroote was a stern woman who tolerated no-nonsense in any of her classes. I was highly confined in her restrictive and controlled environment.

During the course, we had many weeks of conjugation and diagramming sentences. Somehow the nerd in me found those subjects easy and interesting. No, that is not normal, but it happened nevertheless.  (I knew I was a nerd and not a geek, because geeks make more money than nerds.)

One day Ms. DeGroote said, “Now students, tomorrow I want you to bring to class a sentence or sentences that you have diagrammed. You may go to the board and diagram your sentence, and I will correct your paper. Or, I will go to the board and diagram your sentence while you correct the paper.

For the life of me, I could not think of a sentence to diagram. Especially since the whole class would see. Then it dawned on me. What better sentence in the world to diagram! I went home, picked up my Bible, and copied Mt. 28:19 down. I proceeded to diagram the verse. This just had to be right.

The next day couldn’t come soon enough. I was ready for class. When 3rd period English finally arrived I knew I would be the second one called on. Everything in the class was by alphabet. Even our seating was arranged that way. I set behind Adams. We were all called by our last names.

When Adams was called on, he went to the chalkboard and almost got his correct. Ms. DeGroote sat at his empty desk and corrected his paper while he was at the board. When he finished, I heard “Ballestero!”

“I would like you to go to the board and diagram my sentence, and I will correct my own paper,” I said to Ms. DeGroote.

She said, “Read me your sentence.”

“It’s a Bible verse, if that’s OK,” I ventured.

She nodded and I read my Scripture.

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

“Go ye therefore (comma)” I said.

Ms. DeGroote prefaced her work with a (you) in front of the word “Go”.

When I read the verse aloud, I paused on the word “name,” while I waited for her to catch up.

“Of the Father,” I said.

“Now, here we have a prepositional phrase modifying the word name. At this point we do not know yet what the name of the person is, but we do know by this prepositional phrase, that whoever this person is, they are a Father,” she said.

She then drew the appropriate lines on her diagram.

“Of the Son,” I continued.

“Now we know, that this person is both a Father and a Son, but we still don’t have a name.”

“Ms. DeGroote,” a girl named Williams called out with her hand in the air. “Aren’t Father and Son names?”

“They’re just descriptive titles. They tell us something about the name, but they don’t tell us His name, they are only titles.” was her answer.

She again drew the second prepositional phrase on the board.

“Of the Holy Ghost.” I continued.

After the 3rd prepositional phrase was in place, my teacher looked carefully at the diagram on the board from end to end. She shook her head. “All we know here is that whoever this person is, they are a Father, a Son, and they are the Holy Ghost! But we still don’t know what the name is.”

“Martyn,” she said looking at me carefully, “What is the name?”

I had been waiting for this moment. I stood, and gently said, “Jesus is the name!”

Ms DeGroote looked at her writing on the board. Then she turned back to me with her arms wide in surrender. With a heavy French accent, my Catholic English teacher said, “I guess I need to be baptized in Jesus name!”

“Yes!” I said as I pulled my upraised clinched fist down from my chin area. The other 30 students in the class clapped. I did a modest jig in the class aisle myself.

Have you been baptized in Jesus name?

Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 4:12 (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 12, 2010 at 7:08 am

When a Husband Offends His Wife

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When a Husband Offends His Wife


Dr. Gary Smalley

When a husband recognizes that he has offended his wife in any of these ways, he needs to clear it up in order to restore the relationship. Why not ask your wife to check these that are true of you.

1. Ignoring her.

2. Not valuing her opinions

3. Showing more attention to other people than her.

4. Not listening to her or not understanding what she feels is important.

5. Closing her out by not talking or listening to her (the silent treatment).

6. Being easily distracted when she is trying to talk.

7. Not scheduling special time to be with her.

8. Not being open to talk about things you do not understand.

9. Not being open to talk about things she does not understand.

10. Not giving her a chance to voice her opinion on decisions that affect the whole family.

11. Disciplining her by being silent or angry.

12. Making jokes about her life.

13. Making sarcastic statements about her.

14. Insulting her in front of others.

15. Coming back with quick retorts.

16. Giving harsh admonitions.

17. Using careless words before you think through how they will affect her.

18. Nagging her in harshness.

19. Rebuking her before giving her a chance to explain a situation.

20. Raising your voice at her.

21. Making critical comments with no logical basis

22. Swearing or using foul language in her presence.

23. Correcting her in public.

24. Being tactless when pointing out her weaknesses or blind spots.

25. Reminding her angrily that you warned her not to do something.

26. Having a disgusted or judgmental attitude.

27. Pressuring her when she is already feeling low or offended.

28. Lecturing her when she needs to be comforted, encouraged or treated gently.

29. Breaking promises without any explanation or without being asked to be released from the promise.

30.Telling her how wonderful other women are and comparing her to other women.

31. Holding resentment about something she did and tried to make right.

32. Being disrespectful to her family and relatives

33. Coercing her into an argument.

34. Correcting or punishing her in anger for something for which she is not guilty.

35. Not praising her for something she did well even if she did it for you.

36. Treating her like a little child.

37. Being rude to her or to other people in public, like restaurant personnel or clerks.

38. Being unaware of her needs

39. Being ungrateful.

40. Not trusting her.

41. Not approving of what she does or how she does it.

42. Not being interested in her own personal growth.

43. Being inconsistent or having double standards (doing things you won’t allow her to do.)

44. Not giving her advice when she really needs it and asks for it.

45. Not telling her you love her.

46. Having prideful and arrogant attitudes in general.

47. Not giving daily encouragement.

48. Failing to include her in a conversation when you are with other people.

49. Failing to spend quality time with her when you’re at a party.

50. “Talking her down” – continuing to discuss or argue a point just to prove you’re right.

51. Ignoring her around the house as if she weren’t a member of the family.

52. Not taking time to listen to what she believes is important as soon as you come home from work.

53. Ignoring her at social gatherings.

54. Not attending church as a family.

55. Failure to express honestly what you think her innermost feelings are.

56. Showing more excitement for work or other activities than her.

57. Being impolite at mealtime.

58. Having sloppy manners around the house and in front of others.

59. Not inviting her out on romantic dates from time  to time (just the two of you).

60. Not helping her with the children just before mealtime or during times of extra stress.

61. Not volunteering to help her with the dishes occasionally, or with cleaning the house.

62. Making her feel stupid when she shares an idea about your work or decisions that need to be made.

63. Making her feel unworthy for desiring certain furniture or insurance or other material needs for herself and the family.

64. Not being consistent with the children; not taking an interest in playing with them or spending quality and quantity time with them.

65. Not showing public affection for her, like holding her hand or putting your arm around her. (You seem to be embarrassed to be with her.)

66. Not sharing your life with her, like your ideas or your feelings (e.g. what’s going on at work).

67. Not being the spiritual leader of your home.

68. Demanding that she submit to you.

69. Demanding that she be involved with you sexually when you are not in harmony.

70. Being unwilling to admit you’re wrong.

71. Resisting whenever she shares on of your blind spots.

72. Being too busy with work and activities.

73. Not showing compassion and understanding for her and the children when there is a real need.

74. Not planning for the future, making her vary insecure.

75. Being stingy with money, making her feel like she is being paid a salary – and not much at all.

76. Wanting to do things to embarrass her sexually.

77. Reading sexual magazines in front of her or the children.

78. Forcing her to make many of the decisions regarding the checkbook and bills.

79. Forcing her to handle bill collectors and overdue bills.

80. Not letting her lean on your gentleness and strength from time to time.

81. Not allowing her to fail – always feeling like you have to lecture her.

82. Refusing to let her be a woman.

83. Criticizing her womanly characteristics or sensitivity as being weak.

84. Spending too much money and getting the family too far into debt.

85. Not having a sense of humor and not joking about things together.

86. Not telling her how important she is to you.

87. Not sending her love letters from time to time.

88. Forgetting special dates like anniversaries or birthdays.

89. Not defending her when someone else is complaining or tearing her down.

90. Not putting your arm around her and hugging her when she’s in need of comfort.

91. Not bragging to other people about her.

92. Being dishonest

93. Discouraging her for trying to better herself either through education or physical fitness.

94. Continuing distasteful habits.

95. Not treating her as if “Handle With Care” was stamped on her forehead.

96. Ignoring her relatives and the people that are important to her.

97. Taking her for granted, assuming that ‘a woman’s work is never done” around the house.

98. Not including her in the future plans until the very last minute.

99. Never doing little unexpected things for her.

100. Not treating her like an intellectual equal.

101. Looking at her as a weaker individual in general.

102. Being preoccupied with your own goals and needs making her feel like she and the children do not count.

103. Threatening never to let her do something again because she made a mistake in the past.

104. Criticizing her behind her back. (This is really painful for her to hear about your criticisms from someone else.

105. Blaming her for the things in your relationship that are clearly your failure.

106. Not being aware of her physical limitations, treating her like a man by roughhousing with her or making her carry heaving objects.

107. Losing patience or getting angry with her when she can’t keep up with your schedule or physical stamina.

108. Acting like you’re a martyr if you go along with her opinions.

109. Sulking when she challenges your comments.

110. Joining too many organizations which exclude her and the children.

111. Failing to repair items around the house.

112. Watching too much TV or playing video games and therefore neglecting her and the children.

113. Demanding that she sit and listen to your point of view when she needs to be taking care of the children’s needs.

114. Insisting on lecturing her in order to convey what you believe are important things.

115. Humiliating her with words and actions, saying things like, “I can’t stand living in a pig pen.”

116. Not taking time to prepare her for enjoy sexual intimacy.

117. Spending money extravagantly without helping those less fortunate.

118. Avoiding family activities that the children enjoy.

119. Taking vacations that are primarily for your pleasure, like fishing or hunting while preventing her from shopping or doing things she enjoys.

120. Not letting her get away from the children just to be with friends, go shopping for special items, or have a trip away with her friends.

121. Being unwilling to join her in things she enjoys like shopping, going out for coffee and desert at a restaurant.

122. Not understanding the boring chores a housewife does: like picking up clothes and toys all day long, wiping runny noses, putting on and taking off muddy work boots and jackets, washing and ironing, etc. etc.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

100 Ways You Can Love Your Wife Her Way

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I am reading a book by Gary Smalley. “Hidden Keys of a Loving Lasting Marriage.Mr. Smalley has several lists in this book that may prove important to your marriage.

(My experience as a former pastor is that those that have problems at home, wind up having problems at church.)

100 Ways You Can Love Your Wife Her Way.

Discuss this list with your wife.

  • Ask her to check the ones that are meaningful to her
  • Arrange them in order of importance to her.
  • Use the list as a basis for learning her views.

I know your relationship will be greatly strengthened as you learn how to use these suggestions.

100 Ways

1.Communicate with her; never close her out.

2. Regard her as important.

3. Do everything you can to understand her feelings.

4. Be interested in her family.

5. Ask her opinion frequently.

6. Value what she says.

7. Let her feel your approval and affection.

8. Protect her on a daily basis.

9. Be gentle and tender with her.

10. Develop a sense of humor.

11. Avoid sudden major changes without discussion or giving her time to adjust.

12. Learn to respond openly and verbally when she wants to communicate.

13. Comfort her when she is down emotionally. For instance put your arms around her and silently hold her for a few seconds without lectures or putdowns.

14. Be interested in what she feels is important in life.

15. Correct her gently and tenderly.

16. Allow her to teach you without putting up your defenses.

17. Make special time available to her and your children.

18. Be trustworthy.

19. Compliment her often.

20. Be creative when you express your love, either in words or in actions.

21. Have specific family goals for each year.

22. Let her buy things she considers necessary.

23. Be forgiving when she offends you.

24. Show her you need her.

25. Accept her the way she is; discover her uniqueness as special.

26. Admit your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to be humble.

27. Lead your family in a spiritual relationship with God.

28.Allow your wife to fail; discuss what went wrong after you have comforted her.

29. Rub her feet or neck after a hard day.

30. Take time for the two of you to sit and talk calmly.

31. Go on romantic outings,

32. Write her a letter occasionally, telling her how much you love her.

33. Surprise her with a card or flowers.

34. Express how much you appreciate her.

35. Tell her how proud you are of her.

36. Give advice in a loving way when she asks for it.

37. Defend her to others.

38. Prefer her over others.

39. Do not expect her to do activities beyond her emotional or physical capabilities.

40. Pray for her to enjoy God’s best in life.

41. Take time to notice what she has done for you and the family.

42. Brag about her to other people behind her back.

43. Tell her about your job if she is interested.

44. Share your thoughts and feelings with her.

45. Take time to know how she spends her day at work or at home.

46. Learn to enjoy what she enjoys.

47. Take care of the kids before dinner.

48. Help straighten up the house before mealtime.

49. Let her take a bubble bath while you do the dishes.

50. Understand her physical limitations if you have several children.

51. Discipline the children in love, not in anger.

52. Help her finish her goals — hobbies or education.

53. Treat her as if God hand stamped on her forehead, “Handle with care.”

54. Get rid of habits that annoy her.

55. Be gentle and thoughtful of her relatives.

56. Do not compare her relatives with yours in a negative way.

57. Thank her for things she has done without expecting anything in return.

58. Do not expect the band to play when you help with house cleaning.

59. Make sure she understands everything you are planning to do.

60. Do little things for her – An unexpected kiss, coffee in bed.

61. Treat her as an intellectual equal.

62. Find out if she wants to be treated as physically weaker.

63. Discover her fears in life.

64. See what you can do to eliminate her fears.

65. Discover her intimate needs.

66. Ask if she wants to discuss how you can meet her intimate needs.

67.Find out what makes her insecure.

68. Plan your future together.

69. Do not quarrel over words, but try to find hidden meanings.

70. Practice common courtesies like holding the door open for her or pouring her coffee.

71. Ask if you offend her in any way when being intimate with her.

72. Ask if she is jealous of anyone.

73. She if she is uncomfortable about the way money is spent.

74. Take her on dates now and then.

75. Hold her hand in public.

76. Put your arm around her in front of friends.

77. Tell her you love her — often.

78. Remember anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions.

79. Learn to enjoy shopping.

80. Teach her to hunt and fish or whatever you enjoy doing.

81. Give her a special gift from time to time.

82. Share the responsibilities around the house.

83. Do not belittle her feminine characteristics.

84. Let her express herself freely, without fear of being called stupid, or illogical.

85. Carefully choose your words, especially when angry.

86. Do not criticize her in front of others.

87. Do not let her see you become excited about the physical features of another woman.

88. Be sensitive to other people.

89. Let your family know that you want to spend special time with them.

90. Fix dinner for her from time to time.

91. Be sympathetic when she is sick.

92. Call her when you are going to be late.

93. Do not disagree with her in front of the children.

94. Take her out to dinner and for little getaways.

95. Do the “little things” she needs from time to time.

96. Give her special time to be alone or with her friends.

97. Buy her what she considers an intimate gift.

98. Read a book she recommends to you.

99. Give her an engraved plaque assuring her of your lasting love.

100. Write a poem about how special she is.

If your wife persistently reacts negatively to you, it may be because she perceives a threat to one or both of two important areas: 1) her security 2) her established relationships.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 10, 2010 at 9:24 am

Posted in Family, Love, Romance

What Was In Heart Of Judah?

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What Was In Heart Of Judah?

Just a Thought. You have to put the meat on the bones.

We Know that Judah, represents Worship and Praise. They have been called the Tribe of the Praisers.

Notice where Simeon is located (taken from my Mac Bible program). It’s in the heart of Judah. Some of Simeon’s definitions are, Submission and Obedience. Typifying to me that Worship and Submission should be in the very heart of our Worship! My Worship to Him won’t mean very much if I am not submitted to Him and His Word. What’s in your heart?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 10, 2010 at 5:10 am

I prefer writing “Bible” to bible, “God” to god, and “Jesus” to jesus!

with 5 comments

I prefer writing  “Bible” to bible, “God” to god, and “Jesus” to jesus!

In today’s world of fast communication with blogs, forums and social networks, it’s easy to become a little careless when quickly writing about God and church.

The good Lord knows that none of us are perfect nor do we have the right to go around admonishing others.

Forgive me then for treading where normal people would may not. (My friends have never called me normal.)

It does seem from this old man’s point of view, that my generation has gone from carefulness to carelessness in a number of areas.

Remember the stories we all heard about the Scribes copying Scriptures? Remember Bible teachers saying the scribes were fearful to even spell out the name of Jehovah?  I am told they wrote the abbreviation Jah instead.

When they came to that word, they would stop, get a new “pen” (Some say they even changed their garments as well) and then write the name, Jah (Jehovah)

Even comments on Wikipedia show the additional carefulness of men in the Old Testament:

“Laws of writing divine names:

  • “According to Jewish tradition, the sacredness of the divine names must be recognized by the professional scribe who writes the Scriptures, or the chapters for the tefillin and the mezuzah. Before transcribing any of the divine names he prepares mentally to sanctify them. Once he begins a name he does not stop until it is finished, and he must not be interrupted while writing it, even to greet a king. If an error is made in writing it, it may not be erased, but a line must be drawn round it to show that it is canceled, and the whole page must be put in a genizah (burial place for scripture) and a new page begun.
  • “According to Jewish tradition, the number of divine names that require the scribe’s special care is seven: El, Elohim, Adonai, YHWH, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, Shaddai, and Tzevaot.”

We all understand that was in Israel, and that was a long time ago. I’m sure I’m “old school,” but  I prefer writing  “Bible” to bible, “God” to god, and “Jesus” to jesus!

In your opinion, I may have OCD, or I may be sticking my long nose where it don’t belong. I may be a picky old English major who likes proper nouns with caps. Or, I may be making an appeal for carefulness. You decide.

I was raised to take my hat off when I came into the Church Sanctuary because it was God’s House. I am grateful for a Dad and Pastor who taught me respect by example.

I was reminded to be careful concerning the things of God and His church. I had my early articles edited by my Pastor/Father. He changed all my god’s into God’s, and my jesus into Jesus. I also had my he changed to He and my him changed to Him.

Write like you want, because I’m not the Capitalization Sheriff.

But this is how I choose to write concerning things worthy of the highest honor.

Thank you for reading.

God Bless You.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 9, 2010 at 9:06 am

“Well, Let’s Suppose You Starve To Death And Die Down There.”

with 11 comments

“Well, let’s suppose you starve to death and die down there.

If you do, I will build you a monument bigger that George Washington’s

The ugly, Salmon colored 1955 Ford pushed it’s way southward into the cool October breeze. The clutch slipped a little and the 6 cylinder engine wasn’t making happy noises. That was normal for it though. This was only my third day as a full-time evangelist.

Now, it really is kind of funny that I would have considered myself full-time, because I did not have any revivals scheduled, or any invitations. I did not have an exact destination either. I was driving not knowing literally where I was going. I was having an “Abraham” type moment.

Several weeks prior, I had sat in our living room talking with my parents. My Father, Carl Ballestero pastored Christ Temple Apostolic Church in South Bend, IN. He had given me permission to go “on the evangelist field” and I was thrilled with the open door.

Mother asked, when I had thought about leaving? I was sure I would be ready to go in two weeks.

“Where are you going?” she had asked.

“Louisiana!” I had responded, not knowing really why.

“Do you have any revivals scheduled?” she pushed.

I shook my head no.

“And I won’t ask for one either.” I said.

“Then how are you going to get a revival?”

“The same God that helped you and Daddy when you evangelized, will help me too.” There, I had said what I felt. It had just felt good to say that. I could only hope He would.

The year was 1963. I had just quit my job making $1.25 an hour. I had only saved $85.00. That took several weeks for me. But I was confident I could last a while on that. Dad had offered me the use of a gas credit card. I turned him down. He got very serious and said, “Here is one we don’t use. It’s a DX card. Whatever you charge, you’ll have one month to pay for it.” I took it because I saw he really thought I should.

I was 19 and had only preached one revival. It had been a one-week Youth Revival in a Buchanan, MI, a neighboring church.

I had been invited to preach Youth Services occasionally at other churches since I was 16.

Dad and Mom had prayed for me as I was preparing to go, we all had hugged necks and kissed and then I left. Momma cried.

Now I sat watching the road while my heart kept sinking lower and lower. I had used Dad’s DX card for gas. The last two nights I had slept in my car and washed up in the truck stops. It had been easy to blow $5.00 on Dr. Peppers, Moon Pies and Frito’s. They had been my main food source for two days.

The muffler and tailpipe had fallen off at Eldorado, AR. By the time I pulled into Leesville, LA, my alternator and generator had quit, the distributor cap was cracked and the carburetor needed a kit installed. I could not go on.

The service station guy said he would install used parts for me if I got them. I went to the junkyard and bought what I needed. The parts and the labor came to $75.00.

I now had a grand total of $5.00 to my name and I was over a 1,000 miles from home.

A nearby Bank caught my eye. I walked inside and laid my last bill down. “I would like $4.00 in quarters and the rest in nickels and dimes.” I told the teller. With my handful of change, I went to the closest phone booth.

Too proud to ask for help or call collect, I was determined to pay for this call. “Please deposit $3.50,” the operator’s voice instructed me. I did, counting carefully under my breath.

When my Father answered, words hurriedly rolled from my lips. “Daddy, I don’t want you to know where I’m at because I don’t want you to send me any money. I just have a question for you.

I told him of my mechanical misfortunes and that as of right now, I only had $1.50, I didn’t know what I was going to do about supper, where I was going to sleep tonight, or how I was going to get a revival.

“All I want to know is what do you do now?” that was my question.

My ears heard laughter. I listened in disbelief. I couldn’t see any humor in the situation.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t see much humor here Daddy,” was about all I could manage to say.

“Well, let’s suppose you starve to death and die down there. If you do, I will build you a monument bigger that George Washington’s,” was his reply.

Then he laughed some more.

Still held in a serious mood, I could not see anything funny in our conversation.

“Why would you build me a monument bigger than George Washington’s if I starve to death and die,” I wanted to know.

“The reason I’ll build you a monument bigger than George Washington’s if you starve to death and die, will be because you will have been the first man God ever let down.” he said.

“Oh Daddy! Thank You!! I love and I’m so sorry to have called and bothered you! Good bye!” And with that, I hurriedly hung up the phone.

I knelt on the floor in that old phone booth. It was located on the south side of town beside highway US-171 that runs southward towards Lake Charles.

“Lord, if you’ll forgive me for doubting you, I’ll not do that any more.” I said the words with tears running down my cheeks.

To this day I can smell the pine from the logging trucks and hear their engines in my ears as one after another they vibrated my phone booth during my prayer.

When I walked out, I was shocked to run into a familiar face. Pastor Cranford from Sulphur, LA. He had attended my Dad’s Open Bible Conference in March.

“What are you doing here?” he wanted to know.

“I’m starting out evangelizing,” was all I could say.

“Have you had supper?” was his next question.

“No sir.”

“Do you like Cajun Seafood?”

I didn’t know if I did or not because I had never had any Cajun Cooking before. But my hunger pushed me to say, “Oh, Yes sir!”

“Mama’s got a big pot of gumbo on, come home with me.” He invited.

While I ate, what just happened to be, one of the best meals of my life, Bro. Cranford asked if I could preach at the Youth Service that night.

There was no need to check my Calendar. I knew it was empty. I preached that night and He gave me an offering of $14.50. (I didn’t know for sure if there was that much money left in the world.)

After church he called Bro. A.L. O’Brien in Starks. Bro. O’Brien invited me to come to his church. I preached to the youth before church every night before their revival service. The church was in a revival with C.R. Free. I lived in the O’Brien’s home for almost 9 weeks of that revival.

Bro. O’Brien told me that there was a little place down the road called Lunita. A Bro. Kirkland was the pastor and he wanted me to come. I preached 9 nights there, and 16 backsliders prayed through.

Bro. C.W. Shew sent a message to Bro. O’Brien inviting me to come to Ft. Worth, TX. for a revival.

In all, I was gone 9 months before I returned home. Then it was just long enough to trade cars and go back to the next revival.

This year marks my 50th year of preaching. In that time I have been blessed to have preached over 900 revivals or series of services, besides conferences, camps and anniversaries.

The first thing God had to teach me, was actually the first thing he had to teach Israel when then came out of Egypt.

To Trust Him!

My Father taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. Thanks Dad!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 8, 2010 at 12:36 am

Thirteen Days From Eternity

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Thirteen Days From Eternity

At 3:00pm today, the nurse at the nursing home called Phyllis Crandall’s daughter and told her that her mother had just died. They had last checked her vitals and her oxygen mask at 2:15. She was 65.

Phyllis had been in failing health for a while. She was also a backslider. No one seems to remember for sure how many years she had been away from God, but she hasn’t attended church in over 20 years. That much everyone agreed on.

She had been a member at several Pentecostal churches in the area. For one reason or another, her and her husband had changed churches several times over the years. When he died, Phyllis somehow became unconnected with church and stayed that way.

Then to make matters worse, her health began to deteriorate. After stays in the hospitals, she was sent to a nursing home for her final days.

She lived with an oxygen mask on her face. Her weight problems no doubt worked against her too.

She had called her daughter almost two weeks ago and said, “I feel like I need to pray.”

Her condition was not good. Pastor Kenneth Bow was called to come and pray for her.

When he came into the room Phyllis said, “Bro. Bow, I just don’t know if I could ever speak in Tongues again.”

(Besides her health limitations, she was fearful that God wouldn’t let her because of lack of faithfulness to Him.)

“Yes you can speak in Tongues again, you’re still God’s child!” Pastor Bow said to encourage her.

He laid his hands on her, and then like he’d used Paddles that restart a stopped heart, Phyllis physically jerked and sat up in her hospital bed. Her hands in the air. In 10 seconds she was clearing speaking in Tongues. They pulled the mask aside as she prayed. She continued to speak in Tongues.

That was 13 days ago.

Death walked the corridors of her nursing home today. But 13 days ago, Mercy got there first.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 6, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Gold Mining For Dummies!

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Uncle Milo And The Gold Mine

In the 1940’s my Uncle Milo and his brother Bill bought a California Gold Mine. I cannot tell you how excited they were to own a real gold mine. They were thrilled even more when gold nuggets were found scattered on the ground in one of the shafts.

Bill Smith, Milo Smith

The temporary rush of finding gold was the thrill that made them work even more feverishly. Most of the gold was found in an area littered with small pools of water. The constant dripping and seepage of water from the roof of the cave made panning and searching for gold an uncomfortable task. Nevertheless, the gold was on the ground and that’s all that mattered.

As a relief from the water dripping overhead, Uncle Milo and his brother wore rain coats. They  looked funny and laughed at each other because they didn’t look like gold miners with their yellow rain coats on. It wasn’t the easiest thing to wear either.

After months of searching, panning, and digging, they finally admitted there was no more gold to be found in their mine. They took off their rain coats, and pocketed a modest but nice amount of cash. The next thing they did was put the mine up for sale after owning it for only a few months. An unsuspecting buyer was soon found, and the mine ownership switched hands.

The new mine owner walked through the mine to have a look at what he’d purchased. When he got to the area where the water was dripping steadily from above into the pools below, he shined his flash up on the ceiling to see where the water was coming from.

What he saw changed his life and made him fabulously wealthy. He had found the ‘mother lode’ just by looking up!

Uncle Milo settled for thousands and later died a pauper. The new owner died a millionaire.  Milo could have died wealthy if he’d just looked up.

What are you robbing yourself of by not looking up?

Uncle Milo Smith

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm

How To Have The Best Wife In The World!

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How To Have The Best Wife In The World!

It’s true! It’s easy! It works!

Before I can explain how and you gentlemen are allowed to know the secret and get all excited, I have to talk to you about God first. That’s exactly right. I have to talk about God and You. Listen up.

There are seven basic Hebrew words that describe how we are to worship and praise the Lord. Below is a part of a handout from one of my sermons.

The Seven Words Of Praise

1. BARAK Judg 5:2  Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.

2. HALAL 2Chrn. 5:13-14; 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;

3.  ZAMAR Psa. 21:13; Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

4.  TEHILLAH Psa. 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

5.  YADAH Psa. 7:17  I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

6.  SHABACH Psa. 117:1  O Praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

7.  TOWDAH Psa 50:23  Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.

The second one listed here is the one we want to really need to understand better. It’s the Hebrew word Halal.

HALAL – haw-lal’; to shine; hence

  1. to make a show, (let every one know)
  2. to be (clamorously) foolish; (enjoy with enthusiasm)
  3. to rave;  (to go on and on with excited appreciation)
  4. to boast, (brag in public)
  5. celebrate, (honor every achievement)
  6. foolishly glory, (go overboard in expressing praise)
  7. sing, (to express your emotion as deeply as possible, sing His praises.)
  8. praise, (to say every nice thing you can)
  9. rage,  (to be wild about)
  • When joined with abbreviated form of God’s name “Yahweh” = Hallelujah. That’s where the word Hallelujah comes from.

(Saying Hallelujah is like saying 10,000 praises to Jehovah)

Something special happened to Israel when they began to Halal!

2 Chr 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 music, 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;

2 Chr 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.

  • God wants Exuberant, Joyful and Clamorous Praise!

  • Halal touches the heart of God so deeply that in the midst of praise… the Glory Cloud fills the place and all the priests are overwhelmed by the response.

If we want the Glory Cloud to enter our church services. Then we must never forget to importance of Halal praise. Not dead church. Not quiet church. Not reserved worship. Not “still waters run deep” kind of singing. But Exuberant, Joyful and Clamorous Praise!

OK! So what does all this Bible Study have to do with having The Best Wife In The World? Why, Everything!!

I Know This Is Lengthy, But At Least Notice The Bold Words!

Prov. 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Prov. 31:11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Prov. 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Prov. 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

Prov. 31:14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

Prov. 31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Prov. 31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

Prov. 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

Prov. 31:18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

Prov. 31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

Prov. 31:20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Prov. 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

Prov. 31:22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

Prov. 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

Prov. 31:24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

Prov. 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Prov. 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Prov. 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Prov. 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Prov. 31:29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

Prov. 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

  • This woman was amazing!
  • She is the one held up to all Christian women as THE role model.
  • Some men may read about her and marvel. They may even feel cheated.

We often quote the phrase, ‘Her children shall call her blessed.’ That really is wonderful.

But What Every Man Should Focus On Is Verse 28!

  • Her husband praiseth her! (Progressive verb ending, eth, meaning he keeps on praising her.)
  • The word praiseth, here is… you guessed it, Halal.

(I will always be indebted to my friend, Bro. Kenneth Bow, in his research he discovered the Hebrew verb Halal in Proverbs 31 and shared that with me.)

  • How Did The ‘Proverbs 31’ Wife Become So Awesome?
  • Was She Some Rarity That Only Happens Once Every 1,000 Years? I Don’t Believe So.
  • Could It Be That The Constant Praising (Halal) Of Her Husband Brought Out The Best In Her? I Believe It Did!

  • He Invested His Best Praise (Halal) In Her And She Gave Him Her Best!

HALAL – haw-lal’; to shine; hence

  1. to make a show, (let every one know)
  2. to be (clamorously) foolish; (enjoy with enthusiasm)
  3. to rave; (to go on and on with excited appreciation)
  4. to boast, (brag in public)
  5. celebrate, (honor every achievement)
  6. foolishly glory, (go overboard in expressing praise)
  7. sing, (to express your emotion as deeply as possible, sing Her praises.)
  8. praise, (to say every nice thing you can)
  9. rage, (to be wild about)

If you think God’s response of filling the house with his Glory so that the men couldn’t stand because their Halal was great, then sir you just wait till the ‘glory of your wife’ fills your house when you Halal her!

Do it! Do all 9 of them! You’ll never be sorry! It’s never too late to start!

Put some Halal in your marriage and you will have The Best Wife In The World. I promise!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 4, 2010 at 5:59 am

Posted in Life, Love, Romance, Worship