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Archive for May 2010

Catastrophic Bonding

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Catastrophic Bonding

A catastrophe is something everyone wants to avoid. It sounds like the end of the world. For some, it no doubt seemed that way.

What do the following have in common? Most of them have reunions.

  1. Holocaust survivors
  2. 9-11 survivors and their families
  3. Sailors that spent WWII on a the same battleship
  4. Plane crash survivors

What they have in common is that their lives were in jeopardy and they survived. They came close to dying but together they survived. The only thing that bonds them together is what they have been through. It is not unusual for them to hold reunions from time to time.

Even High School and College Graduates have reunions and talk about past experiences.

Have you ever heard of the VFW?  They have a meeting hall, a bar, and a club to talk about the days when they were in uniform. They relive the memory. They exchange war stories.

It’s what Psychologists call ‘Catastrophic Bonding.’ The glue that holds them together is the thing they survived together.

1. The Apostle Paul

His brethren abandoned him when he had to go on trial. He then gives God all the credit for helping him survive.

  • 2Tim. 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
  • 2Tim. 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
  • 2Tim. 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


  • All men forsook me
  • (But) The Lord stood with me
  • (He) Strengthened me
  • (He) Delivered me
  • The Lord shall deliver me (in the future)
  • (He) will preserve me

“To whom be glory for ever and ever”… Paul was bonded to Him.

King David

Psa. 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

David experienced affliction. It didn’t drive him from God it drove him to God. David was bonded to Him too.

My son Martyn II, was a tenderhearted child. From his toddler years on, he wanted to please me. If he heard correction in my voice or saw it in my body language, he would run to me and hug me. He never ran from me. (It’s hard to correct a child that’s loving on you and hold you tight.) Why don’t we do that with God. Run to Him, not from Him.

Sis. Bobbie Shoemake sings a song that still makes me tear up nearly every time I hear it. “I’ve Been Through Enough To Know He’ll Be Enough For Me.”


When I first began to walk with the Lord,
I did not really trust Him,
How He longed for me to understand that I could
So thru the valley, He lead me, afraid as I could be,
Until I felt His loving arms, embracing me

I’ve been through enough to know, He’ll be enough for me
He’s come through too many times
That puts my mind at ease, for good
I’ll stake my very life, He’s gonna take care of me,
Cause I’ve been through enough to know, He’ll be enough for me

How could I ever doubt a God whose hands hold the universe,
Why would I ever question His ability,
There’s no place that I can go, where He doesn’t know,
The things that trouble me
He’s always aware of where I am and what I need

I believe Him now, after all these years,
He’s been so faithful He’s proven to be true,
Nevermore will I doubt or question why
Cause I’ve seen them all before and I know what God can do

I’ve been through enough to know, He’ll be enough for me
He’s come through too many times
That puts my mind at ease, for good
I’ll stake my very life He’s gonna take care of me,
Cause I’ve been through enough to know, He’ll be enough for me.

Financial problems? Health issues? Relationship problems? Spiritual warfare? Depression? Heartache? Disappointment? Failure?

Don’t waste your trial. Let your pain and tears draw you closer. Maybe, just maybe, He’s using your catastrophe to draw you closer and bond you securely to Him.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

Posted in Comfort, Grief, Love, Trust

Courtney Ballestero’s CD Release Concert May 30th

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Visit Courtney’s Website:

Come hear her in Concert this Sunday Night!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 29, 2010 at 1:14 am

Posted in Worship

The Obed-Edom Interview

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Several years ago, I heard one of the most amazing sermons I will ever hear in my life. It was Bro. Kenneth Bow’s sermon about Obed-Edom. It was anointed and unforgettable.  His love for research and attention to historical facts makes this outstanding.

Please go to his blog and find the link or go to and get it for yourself. It will change your life.



The Obed-Edom Interview

TBB: Welcome Obed-Edom, to The Ballestero Blog. I’m so glad you agreed to grant me a short interview today. I’m very honored to have you here. I know that you are a very busy man.

OE: I am pleased to be here. Thank you for the opportunity.

TBB: For the record, you are of the tribe of Levi, and of the family of Korhite. You’re also from Gath-Rimmon if I remember. That makes you a Gittite?

OE: That’s true.

TBB: And let’s see here…you and your wife have 8 sons?

OE: That we do, counting my sons and grandsons, there are 62 men in my family. It’s never quiet at my house.

TBB: Whew. I can imagine. Tell me, what’s a day like in the life of Obed-Edom?

OE: Well, the first thing every morning after daybreak, I get a report from my Gate Security Office concerning the activities of the past night. I report then to the King. At 9 am I go to Prayers every morning, then later in the day I have either choir practice or orchestra practice. I check on the Storehouse during the day also.

TBB: The Gate Security Office. That’s right, you are in charge of keeping the gates of the city of Jerusalem secure. Let’s talk about that first. So then, is Captain Obed-Edom your official title?

OE: (Nodding modestly) Don’t call me captain. My guards do that out of respect. My friends just call me by my name.

TBB: How many men do you command as the Keeper of the Gate?

OE: Right now, about 1,000. My sons and grandsons included. I might add that we also are in charge of the storehouse as well.

TBB: Wow. The King must really trust you to commission you to this post.

OE: We’ve been friends for quite a while now. I’m honored to do everything I can for My God, my King and for Israel.

TBB: How long have you known King David?

OE: A long time. Remember when the King was transporting the Ark to the Tabernacle and there was a problem and Uzzah touched the Ark and he died because the Lord smote him?

TBB: Yes.

OE: I know it was the Lord that my house was close by, but it didn’t hurt that out of all the houses in the area, the King chose mine as the place to put the Ark. Our friendship, no doubt, helped make that choice easier. It may have made a few of my neighbors a little jealous though.

TBB: I’m sure. How long was the Ark in your home?

OE: About 3 months.

TBB: What was it like to have the Ark in your home?

OE: It was THE biggest Blessings of my life. When I say my home was Blessed, I mean Blessed with a capital B. My finances were blessed, my herds multiplied from that time on. Our health mysteriously improved over night. Everything I touched seemed to turn to gold. It’s never stopped.

TBB: How wonderful. You’re the only man in Israel that has had that honor.

OE: I know. I am thrilled that my house was home for the Ark of God, even for a brief time.

TBB: What was it like after the Ark was moved from your house to where it is now?

OE: I don’t know. I couldn’t bear the thoughts of staying in that house without the Ark in it. So I moved too.

TBB: You moved?

OE: Yes I did. After our home was blessed like it had been because of the Ark., my wife and I decided that wherever the Ark was, that’s where we wanted to be. So we moved here and bought a house just to be close by. Here, I can look in the direction of where the Ark sits and know I am close to His presence. There’s nothing like being in the presence of Jehovah. I wish everyone could have experienced that.

TBB: I do too. That’s amazing. You mentioned about choir practice and orchestra earlier. That’s because you are the worship leader?

OE: Actually Asaph is the Chief Musician and there are 68 others that do what I do. I’m just honored to be part of the worship. We all take turns. You might laugh at me, but after my experience with the Ark, I volunteer for every opening that Asaph has. I’m willing to be a singer or a musician. Sometimes I get the job, sometimes I don’t, but they can count on my name being on the list. I do my best to stay involved.

TBB: You have one of Israel’s greatest hero’s in your lineage. Samuel, the Prophet and Judge, is one of your ancestors!

OE: That’s true!

TBB: He’d sure be proud of you if he was alive today.

OE: That’s kind, thank you. I hope he would.

TBB: It’s common knowledge that King David is proud of you too and wrote Psalm 24 in your honor. That’s a very high honor.

OE: Yes it is. It is the highest of honors the King can bestow me. It is worth more to me than great riches. I am greatly honored by that and yet humbled as well.

TBB: Can you remember any of that Psalm offhand?

OE: I sure can:

“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

“For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

“He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

“This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

“Lift up your head, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

“Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

“Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

TBB: That’s a beautiful Psalm. Every family has a skeleton in the closet or some dark family secret. I know you’re probably wishing I wouldn’t bring up yours, because I imagine it’s uncomfortable for you.

OE: No, actually I’m glad you did. It’s really Okay; I want to talk about it. I believe that event was what reshaped the future of our whole family.

TBB: We’re talking about Korah, your ancestor and what happened to him, Is that correct?

OE: Yes.

TBB: In respect of where you are now and the high stations your family now holds, how did you tell your sons about your family’s dark days?

OE: Well Korah, as you know, was a very prominent leader in our tribe when Israel was in the wilderness. He was quite influential as well. I just hate it that he let pride and ambition get in his heart and got crossed up with Moses and Aaron. He was wrong. His thinking led him into rebellion. His actions invited the wrath of Jehovah.

TBB: I remember the Rabbi reading about the ground opening up and swallowing the rebellious men, and fire coming out of heaven. Then there was that plague that came because some sympathizers accused Moses of getting the people of God killed. 14,000 of them died in that plague. When I first heard the story, I thought the sons on Korah perished along with their father.

OE: Those living a home did, but not all. Some of Korah’s sons were married and living in their own homes when judgment fell. They loved their father, but they did not join him in his rebellion. Our family has handed down the story that when they saw they’re lives were spared; they fell on their faces and prayed. From that time on, all the sons of Korah have been extremely careful about our attitude concerning the House of God and the man of God. We have all been very respectful of our leader and submit ourselves to him. We refuse to let God have a problem with us again. We are thankful God doesn’t hold the sins for our father’s against us. I stress the importance of the fear of God and respect for God’s man to my sons lest history should repeat itself.

TBB: An amazing story. Your life lessons to your sons are extremely powerful as well. You mentioned the sons of Korah. Word on the street is that when King David fled from Absalom and went into hiding, the sons of Korah went with him to protect him. Do you know anything about that?

OE: I’ve heard that too.

TBB: There are a number of Psalms that are written just for your family to sing.  That’s a very special honor. Since that includes you, maybe you could share your thoughts on a few of them or at least tell us about them.

OE: Thank you, it would be my pleasure. Well, the first one that comes to mind is the one that starts out… “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”

That’s from Psalms 42. I love that one. That’s how I feel. I cry sometimes when we sing Psalms 43 and it gets to the part where it says: “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

When I sing those words, the memory of my family’s dark past comes to mind. Then I see that God has blessed me more than anyone. I just can’t keep quiet about it.

TBB: That’s beautiful.

OE: Psalm 46 starts out with: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

I need to sing that song some days. Then there are other days we feel like dancing while we’re singing. See if you remember this one from Psalm 47. “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.”

I really love that one. The last one I’m going to talk about is one I can’t just quote. Would you mind if I sing a few lines?

TBB: Please do. I would love it.

OE: If you know what’s happened to my family, then maybe you can understand why I love to sing Psalms 84.

TBB: Sing it.

OE“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

“Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

“Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”

TBB: Thank you for that. You have a beautiful voice.

OE: Every time I sing that last line, I am reminded how blessed I am to be close to the House of God. I thank Him everyday.

TBB: I’m about out of time.  What word of wisdom or advice can you give me before you go?

OE: I’ve been honored to be here. Thank you for giving me a chance to speak about my passion. As far as imparting any wisdom to you, I can’t do much better than this. This one is from the 88th Psalm, which is another one written just for the sons of Korah to sing.

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

“I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

“For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”

We must walk in truth, fear God, praise Him with all of our hearts, and then God will find a way to deliver us and to bless us. That about sums it up for me.

TBB: That it does. It sums it up for me too. Thank you for coming and God bless you.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I Am An Idea

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A very old article by Jack Hyles, a renowned Baptist pastor and college president from Hammond, IN. I found this nearly 20 years ago. Enjoy.

I Am an Idea

by Dr. Jack Hyles

I am an idea. I came to visit your mind. You held me for a moment and planned to capture me. You told me to wait for awhile while you did something else. I tired of waiting and took my flight. It is too bad, for I perhaps could have even changed your life or maybe I could have even changed the world or your family or your church. Maybe I was important or maybe I was unimportant, but you will never know, for you are too busy to lodge me.

I do not ask for a large place to reside– a three-by-five card is ample space for me, but I refuse to wait in the vestibule of your mind while you care for lesser things.

I am an idea. I came once to Edison, and I found lodging for me, and the Wright brothers housed me; so did Jonas Salk. I do not need to dwell on a scroll; I am not usually housed on stationery. I need no library for my walls or publication for my dwelling place. I simply ask for a three-by-five card or even a scratch paper.

I did not flee to another, for I was meant for you. God sent me, designed to be used by you, to help others, but you never stopped long enough to let me in. I knocked at the door of meditation, but it was locked. I sought entrance at the door of prayer, but it never opened. Just the slightest opening and I would have entered, but you never stopped to think, so I could not enter your mind.

I am an idea. Oh, after I left, you sought me diligently, but I was gone forever, for you placed me in your memory instead of on a three-by-five card. I cost you nothing; in fact, I will pay you rent if you will lodge me, and I will even move in with others like me on the same card, and you need not pay attention to me until you are ready, but I WILL NOT live in your memory. I will flee unless you lodge me on any kind of paper or on a three-by-five card.

If I leave, I will not come again to you or to another, and the world will never know me or the contribution I could have made. I did not ask for a home with gilded edges or leather binding or fancy parchment or gold lettering. I did not ask to be typed or printed or engraved– just to be scribbled was all that was necessary.

I do not ask that my landlord be a typist or typesetter or a commercial artist– just a doodler would have sufficed.

I sought not to be filed or be placed in an attache or a briefcase; I sought only to live and be scribbled on a three-by-five card and placed in your pocket.

Dwelling on such a card I was able to make Russell Andersons out of common men, John Beilers from normal people, Jack DeCosters from the bourgeois and Wendell Evanses from average folk.

I am an idea. My neglectors dwell in prisons, stand in soup lines and live off welfare, and many of them work for those who housed me on a three-by-five card. I have made many wealthy and many famous, and those who housed me are called leaders while many neglectors call my landlords “lucky” and those who neglect me eat from the taxes of those who house me.

I am an idea. I dwell in the pockets of architects and surgeons and businessmen and authors and poets and successful pastors. In fact, I am near the heart of all successful people.

I am an idea. I am the difference between success and failure, an A and a B, a B and a C, a C and a D, and a D and an F. I am the difference between quitting and graduating, standing and falling, passing and failing.

I am an idea. Eventually I dwell in the pockets of better shirts. I am how they are afforded, though I do not ask for silk or satin or linen. I sought not Van Heusen or Arrow or Christian Dior. Any old card in any old pocket in any old shirt would have done.

I am an idea. I did not ask for transportation by a quill or typewriter or computer or even a pen– an old pencil would have sufficed. I want only a place to dwell on a simple three-by-five card.

You know many of my keepers: Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Louis Pasteur, John Rice, Lee Roberson, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Isaac Watts, George Washington, Bob Jones, and many more. My neglectors are named… I seem to have forgotten… so have you.

I am an idea. You need not be talented to keep me. I seem unimportant to talented people, and those who trust their good memories have forgotten me forever. I am born miraculously and quickly and die very soon unless placed immediately in the incubator of a three-by-five card. When I am so kept, I recommend others to you and they run to you for lodging. I never do it alone; I share my card with many like me and share my pocket with many other cards, and those who house me never seem to have pocket space for rent.

I am an idea. I pass by those who sleep in chapel and those who lie on activity reports and quitters and rule-breakers and gossips and critics and gluttons and sluggards and the unscheduled and the undisciplined.

In fact, this article is one like me. It was scribbled on a three-by-five card and placed in an Arrow shirt pocket worn by one who is not brilliant but who houses many like me. While I was in his pocket, I dwelt where this College once dwelt, where this building once lived, where this campus was once housed. I saw signs that said, “Books once lived here,” like BLUE DENIM AND LACE, HOW TO REAR CHILDREN, MEET THE HOLY SPIRIT and PLEASE PARDON MY POETRY.

I am an idea. Probably you did not hear me knock; I knock so softly that you did not hear me. I DO knock all day just in case you come to the door of meditation or to the window of thought and study. I did not force my way in, for those who are too busy to greet me are too busy to use me.

It would not have taken long; just let me be on a three-by-five card and forget me. I will stay there until you call, but I WILL NOT stay in your memory.

I am an idea. I wanted you; I needed you. I will soon die for lack of my natural habitat, and the world will never know me because of you, and to think that I did not ask to dwell ‘neath a Hart, Shaffner, Marx, but just on a three-by-five card near your heart.

I am an idea. Now I am dying. I will soon be carried to a grave of uselessness by pallbearers of neglect. My grave will never be visited, for none knew me. I sigh for those who could have been known by millions if you could have taken thirty seconds and used an old pen and put me on any old three-by-five card. Millions could have met me and I could have had eternal life, but I was kept from the world… by you.

I am an idea. I did not ask for your I.Q. or for a financial report; I did not see what you look like, for beauty was not required. I did not notice your size or ability nor did I check your intelligence– I just wanted you. I did not even ask to live in your mind or in your heart or in your soul or even in your memory– just on a three-by-five card in your pocket.

I am an idea. I could have changed your life; I could have made you successful; I could have made you a blessing or perhaps even renowned or important or prosperous. But I came to you one day– you played, you partied, you slept, you even met me, but I was not important enough for immediate attention. You casually asked me to wait for a few minutes, but when you came for me, I was gone– gone forever– and to think I would have stayed if you had only taken a minute to house me on a three-by-five card.

I WAS an idea. I died in infancy. I now rest with many others of your children. My death was so needless. I wanted to live. We could have been so happy together. Now soon you will also die and few will remember you either, for the world will remember BOTH or NEITHER of us.

And to think, we both could have lived and been remembered if you had only housed me in any old pocket of any old shirt on any old paper.

Oh, by the way, have you noticed the epitaph on my tombstone? It reads, “He died for the lack of a three-by-five card.”

— Jack Hyles

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Haman Syndrome

with 2 comments

The Haman Syndrome

Why is it common among us humans to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have? How did we slide from the place where we used to sing, “Count your many blessing name them one by one…” to just counting the blessing we don’t have?

I’m serious.

I was a pastor for many years. It was easy to sit on the platform and make mental notes about who wasn’t there and how many were absent. Often I would catch myself focusing on the absentees instead of the attendees. Then I would always feel chagrined when I caught myself doing that.

That’s the same problem Haman had. Here was a man who had the King’s blessing, his ear, and his backing. He had unlimited power and was honored by all of the King’s subjects. Except for one.

  • Esth. 3:2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
  • Esth. 3:3 Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?
  • Esth. 3:4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
  • Esth. 3:5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

Haman couldn’t enjoy the honor and respect of a whole kingdom. The ONE person that didn’t bow down erased all the pleasure in his mind. He was fixated on that one negative event in his world.

His emotions wound up leading him to his own death. The Haman Syndrome may not kill you today, but there are other things it will kill.

In a marriage you may have 95% of what you like and what pleases you. If you are not careful, you can go stupid and focus on the 5% you don’t have. Why not enjoy the 95% you do have? Do you truthfully think that your spouse got a 100% deal? (If you do, this Blog can’t help you.  Feel free to go read something else.)

The Haman Syndrome will always surface at your Job, at you Church, in you Marriage and most every other area of your life. You have a choice of letting it take over and obsessing you, or you can do what I talked about earlier.


It may sound too ‘Old School’ for some of you to sing today.

But the lyrics of the old song written by Johnson Oatman Jr. in 1897 aren’t out of date in 2010.


Count Your Blessings

  1. When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
    When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
    Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
    And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

    • Refrain:
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      *Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
      [*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]
  2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will keep singing as the days go by.
  3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
    Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
    Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
  4. So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
    Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

*Alternate text.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 26, 2010 at 12:28 am

There’s A New Blog In Town

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Just Click On The Picture To Go To The New Blog

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 25, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

APOSTOLIC TIMES by Howard H. Davis Vol.22 Issue 1

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Bishop Howard Davis

It has been a good number of years since I published The Apostolic Times. For approximately 20 years, every month, 3000 copies of the 10 to 20 page tabloid were mailed out to Preachers across the USA, Canada and to Missionaries on the field. I was careful to hold true to Bible Doctrines. When it came to things of Holiness Standards, and my honest heart-felt beliefs, I made it plain. I wasn’t mean spirited in the things I wrote, nor, did I water-down or side step any issue that I felt needed a voice of challenge and response. Sure, I received responses. Some Pro, and some Con, mostly Pro. I can only hope for the same, as I feel led, to once again venture into publishing words of challenge to some of the false doctrines and unholy practices, which are being promoted among us today.

Now, that the dust has settled, the apology made,   forgiveness received, and the hurts healed; let’s get back to the battle of the “Culture Changers.”

There are Changes being promoted among UPCI Churches, by young, and some not so young, Preachers. These CHANGERS want to totally change the form and order of Church Services, and are ACCOMPLISHING it in some Churches. I understand they don’t think doing so will do away with Godly, tried and proven Church services. Services which are a breath of Heaven. Services filled with Holy Dignity and Order. Services in which the very presence of the Lord is felt, and the Glory of God comes down with conviction that brings sinners to repentance and Salvation. These CHANGERS seem to be totally unaware that they are catering to rebellious, hippy mind set, drug infested, immoral, street living Worldlings. These Worldlings have been steeped in, and engrossed in the {deafening-hype-noise} music of the World. They don’t need some misguided people trying to save them, by offering the same STUFF, in any kind of a Church Setting.

For the most part, I find that they are men who have inherited a Church from their Father, or, a good Godly Holiness preaching Pastor, that has given his very life to build the Church. These Men have on the most part, inherited good solid Churches. Churches formed and built on solid Bible centered Teaching, and powerful Preaching. That Pastor gave His life fighting devils, false doctrines, and sometimes false brethren, to build the Church. These Changers have never SWEAT-OUT the building of a Church from the ground up. Therefore, they don’t know the worth and preciousness of a real God fearing Holiness Church. A Church that has been taught [hopefully] SEPARATION from the World.

1st John 2:15, “Love Not the World, neither the things that are in the World. If any man love the World, the love of the Father is not in him.” Also, The Holy Ghost said, 11Cor. 6:17, “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.” Again, the Spirit of the Lord wrote, Rev. 18:4, “…come out of HER, my people, that ye be not PARTAKERS of HER SINS, and that ye receive not HER plagues.” God in His love, has instructed us, yes, commanded us to COME OUT of THEM. {Q} Who is the THEM? {A} The WORLD, of course. Then He commanded us to COME OUT of HER. {Q} Who is the Her? {A} The last days FALSE CHURCH. The so-called Emerging-Church is right in the middle of the last days False Church. IT IS NOT AN EMERGING CHURCH, they are SUBMERGING. All that go that way are submerging into worldliness and false doctrines. Step {1}, leave Holiness. Step {2}, leave Sound Doctrine. Oh Yes they will! God Himself will see to it. Read II Thess. 2:11-15.

So, our wonderful and lovely Saviour, Jesus Christ, commands us to SEPARATE ourselves from the WORLD and the FALSE CHURCH. He said, don’t love the World, don’t love the Things in the World. Think with me my dear Brethren, if ROCK and HEAVY METAL music {noise} is not a THING of the WORLD, there is no validity to what Jesus commanded us. Also, He commanded us, don’t touch the UNCLEAN THING. If ROCK and HEAVY METAL type music, in an Apostolic Church is not an UNCLEAN THING, there are no unclean things in this world. I believe some of the men who have set out to “change” worship in Apostolic Churches are sincere, but they are so woefully wrong. They don’t know what horrible damage they are doing to their Church, when they infuse this wicked practice into it. Any Church that becomes engrossed, drowned and buried in this practice will find themselves members of the Laodicean False Church, of these LAST DAYS.

If you have the stomach for it, go to Youtube, bring up Apostolic Church Worship, you will be absolutely shocked at what you see being passed off as worship in an Apostolic Church. A pitch black  auditorium, loud screaming and yelling, just like a Rock Concert, presumable by Holy Ghost filled young people. Totally ignorant of what they look and sound like. Super loud drums, keyboards, bass, guitars, growing louder and louder, suddenly there is an explosion of blinding and stabbing lights on the performers, lights rolling and oscillating across the ceiling and stage props, all this accompanied by great leaping flames of fire, 3/5/6 feet high on several areas of the stage, guys out on ramps among the kids, swaying and playing guitars. You ask, where did these children learn this stuff? They have been watching it on TV, the Internet, or worse yet, they have been going to Rock Concerts. In light of this, The Beach Boys, and their ilk, will have to hang their heads in shame. Astounding! Disgustingly putrid, to say the least.

Apostolic????????????, Fat Chance.

Unclean, unclean cries the Leper. This practice is to me Spiritual Leprosy. It is the spirit of error and it is, Unclean.

They, the “Changers” have for the most part, paid nothing nor sacrificed their life to bring a Church into being, so, they blindly introduce a Rock Concert with all of its noise and shameful carrying on, and call it Apostolic. Their word is, The Culture! The Culture! They say, we’ve got to work with the Culture. It is a different day and time, they say. Listen to me Brother, every generation thinks it is a modern generation. When I was discharged from the U.S. Navy, in 1946, that was THE modern generation for me. It was just as modern to me, as 2010 is to you. However, let me tell you, when I went to the UPC Church in Fresno, California, where Brother A.V. Kelley was Pastor, I didn’t say to him, this is New Generation, and we young men, I was 22 yrs old, don’t want to have this old Church music and songs. Nor did I say, “Pastor, the Church will have to change so we can reach this Modern Generation.” First, let me say to this pitiful kind of reasoning, HOGWASH! And, let me tell you what the Pastor would have said. He would say, “you see that door you came through? It swings both ways.”

The church of Jesus Christ didn’t change for me, and it’s not changing for you or anyone else. We, of my generation, didn’t display the gall, audacity, insolence and bare faced ignorance to try to change the Church to fit our generation. No, we came in, out of a mod generation, a changing time all around us, we were happy to find refuge in the Church of the Living God. We never gave it a thought, we dropped the worldly music that we danced to, played pool to, went the movies and parties to, yes we dropped the worlds music like a hot potato and loved the Church music, the standards of Holiness and conduct. We were so thankful just to find Salvation. This generation will do the same, if they are taught right, and not catered to, to their flesh. If they are witnessed to by Holy Ghost filled Young People that are not afraid to say, I’m Pentecostal, here is how we dress, here are the songs we sing in Church, thereby giving Glory to our wonderful Saviour.

There will be, no doubt, lewd ungodliness following this Change in the appeal to the Culture.  Instead of Godly Church Music; loud stadium twanging, ear splitting sounds. Tinkling cymbals and sounding brass; shock waves of sounds that insult the intellect. Soul and Spirit polluting gyrations of flesh gratifying hard-acid-rock NOISE. Theatrics, instead of a Holy, sincere, heartfelt worship service. Some Churches that were once greatly blessed, have now, because of these CHANGERS, become barren waste-lands of ungodly sounds and practices. There is not even a ghost of resemblance to their past Holiness. If the Pastor, who gave his life building an Apostolic Church were to see his life’s work now, he would be SHAMED, SHAMED, SHAMED.

We are bombarded daily, by politicians yelling about “Political Correctness.” I’m not concerned with  so-called political correctness. I am concerned with “Biblical and Holy Ghost Culture, Correctness.”

According to Isaiah 1:2-4, Holiness is the most essential element of God’s Nature. {J.S.}

The direction being taken by these Fellows, will lead to similar conditions, in the House of God.

Away with all the CULTURAL TRASH.

Let’s get back to Holy and modest Church Services, and the preaching of God’s Word. Let’s please the Lord Jesus, by returning to HIS CULTURE.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Holiness

The Wall of Life

with 6 comments

Over ten years ago, I heard this read by my daughter in law Courtney, and acted out by my son Martyn II during a Church Anniversary Service. – MJB

The Wall of Life


Joshua Harris

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Girls I Liked”. I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was
watching. A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I Betrayed”.

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Read”, “Lies I Told”, “Comfort I Gave”, “Jokes I Laughed At”. Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Did in Anger”, “Things I Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents”. I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I Listened To”, I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked “Lustful Thoughts”, I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: “No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!” In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Shared the Gospel With”. The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that the hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwheming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many
things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

“No!” I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no,” as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.


(Thanks to Sis. Eunice Padgett for finding the author’s name for me. He also wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye.)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

Posted in Mercy

Why Do You Need The Holy Ghost?

with 8 comments

In Anticipation For Pentecost Sunday, Here Is One Of My Power Points On The Holy Ghost.

“Why Do You Need The Holy Ghost?”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Posted in Holy Ghost

With A Storm This Bad, It’s Hard To See Jesus

with 5 comments

With A Storm This Bad, It’s Hard To See Jesus

“Carest Thou Not That We Perish?”

More times than we wish to remember, life hasn’t always been smooth sailing. The journey that had been uneventful up to this point is now interrupted by sheer panic. What do we do? Where do we turn? How do we cope? How do we survive? The answers to those questions, for the disciples, were found in Jesus.

  • 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?

There are times when even professionals can’t help themselves. This was their boat. They were commercial fishermen. They knew these waters. They could handle a boat like this. It was the unexpected that caused them to panic now. All it would take was one good storm to sink them and they knew it. They looked at the size of the waves with increasing fear. They just knew this was the end.

  • A great storm of wind and waves was beating into the boat.
  • The fierceness of the wind was unbelievable.
  • The waves were very high.
  • The boat rocked.
  • Water was coming over the sides.
  • It was just a matter of time.

All along they had known that Jesus was on board. They all knew that he had performed unbelievable miracles. Now was the time when they needed a miracle. This storm didn’t look like one that could be survived.

  • They looked at the storm.
  • They looked at their boat.
  • They looked at each other in their despair.
  • They looked at Jesus and wondered why He hadn’t done something by now.
  • They looked back at the storm.
  • With a storm this bad it was hard to keep their eyes focused on Jesus.
  • They couldn’t see Jesus for the storm.
  • They couldn’t understand why He didn’t recognize their need.
  • They were pained by His lack of response to their need.
  • Was He waiting for them to go to Him?
  • If He knew everything, why didn’t He fix this problem for them?

Finally, they got to the point where they could no longer be polite or considerate. They were desperate. They woke Him up.

If the storm wind is howling, and the boat is rocking it will take more than a tap on the shoulder or a whisper to wake Him up. They would have to holler above the sound of the wind to be heard. Or they would have to jostle Him more than the rocking boat for Him to be roused. Whatever it took, they did it successfully.

Jesus arose (When God stands up something is going to happen.) and He rebuked the wind and said to sea, “Peace, be still.” And immediately there was a great calm.

He then chided them for not having faith in Him.



Is this story Descriptive or Prescriptive?

  • Is it just ‘describing’ a story about a day a long time ago or is it written in His Word to ‘prescribe’ hope for you in your storm today?


It was more than just a feel good story. It’s a story that I can place myself into. It’s a story for you to insert yourself inside.

Your storm may overwhelm you today. Your storm may be one of:

  • Financial emergency
  • Serious health concerns
  • Relationship problems
  • Spiritual oppression
  • Chemical dependency
  • Emotional upheaval
  • Whatever the storm, be comforted that the Peace Speaker is in the boat.


He rebuked the wind, the cause of the problem. I am not sure what He said to the wind. But it stopped immediately.

He then spoke calmness to the sea. It laid down like a rug on the ground.

God will rebuke the storm for you today. He will speak Peace to your troubled waters. He will say the word that brings an end to your storm!


Verse 36 mentioned that there were other little boats following them. I would hate to be in any of life’s storms without Jesus in my boat.

Be encouraged today. Why are ye so fearful? Jesus is in your boat! He’s standing up even now!





Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 22, 2010 at 12:28 am

Posted in Comfort, Faith, Life, Trust