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Archive for June 2010

Because

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Because

I knelt on the church platform one afternoon, replacing the cover on the new electrical outlet. I was nearly finished when a neighbor came up behind me. I greeted him and made small talk for a minute or too. He glanced down at my hand holding the screwdriver and frowned.

“Why are you holding the screwdriver like that?” He said.

I looked at my hand and the position of the screwdriver and said, “What’s wrong with how I’m holding this screwdriver? I’ve always held it just like this.”

“It’s not the most efficient way to hold one.” He said trying to demonstrate his method in the air.

I rebelled.

I looked at his right hand and noticed that he only had a thumb and a little finger on his right hand. I said something very unkind.

“By the looks of your right hand, you held something wrong one time. The way I’m doing it, has worked wonderful all these years. I’m not changing.”

With that I went back to work and ignored my well-meaning critic.

It didn’t take long for me to understand a powerful truth.

If You Don’t Know Why You Are Doing What You’re Doing, You’ll Quit Doing It.

There has to be a ‘Because’ in your life!

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

If you don’t have a ‘Because’ in your Christian walk, you’ll soon change. If you don’t know why you’re living for the Lord, you’ll quit.

  • If you don’t know why you are to worship, you’ll quit.
  • If you don’t know why you should pray, you’ll quit.
  • If you don’t know why you need to pay tithes, you’ll quit.
  • If you don’t know why you should be faithful, you’ll quit.
  • If you don’t know why you need to witness, you’ll quit.
  • If you don’t know why you should live holy, you’ll quit.
  • If you don’t know why you have to obey all of His Word, you’ll quit.
  • If you don’t know why you should love the Lord, you’ll quit.

If You Don’t Know Why You Are Doing What You’re Doing, You’ll Quit Doing It.

There has to be a ‘Becausein your life!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 29, 2010 at 6:50 am

Posted in Christian Living

When God Quits

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When God Quits

  • Even God has limits
  • He can finally give up
  • He can get tired of sinful ways
  • He can get tired of unrepentant man
  • He gets weary with rejection
  • He doesn’t tolerate disrespect
  • He is a God of love, but there are limits

When God Quits Forgiving You

  • (Mat 6:14)  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
  • (15)  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

  • That’s the last thing you wants God to do. But when you won’t forgive, God will quit forgiving you.

When God Quits Listening To You

  • (Isa 59:1)  Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
  • (Isa 59:2)  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

When God Quits Dealing With You

  • (Gen 6:3)  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

When God Quits Being Nice

  • (Luke 12:45)  But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
  • (46)  The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
  • (47)  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
  • If you mistreat the children of God, He will see to it that your actions do not go unpunished.

When God Quits Tolerating Your Half-Heartedness

  • (Rev 3:16)  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
  • It’s time to get in church with all your heart.

When God Quits Speaking To You

  • Remember the 400 years of silence?

  • Israel quit seeking after God, rejected his prophets and turned to heathen idols.
  • After 1st & 2nd Admonition, Reject:

  • Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

When God Writes You Off

  • Bethel – No longer exists today. It is gone. No mention of it is made in the New Testament. They were filled with disrespect towards God’s man.
  • God can help you with your failures, but there is no hope for those who disrespect the men of God in their life.
  • (2 Ki 2:23)  And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
  • (24)  And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

When God Quits Letting You Believe The Truth

  • (2 Th 2:9)  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
  • (10)  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
  • (11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
  • (12)  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
  • Get a LOVE for Truth!

†††

If God WERE to Quit…

BE THANKFUL HE HASN’T QUIT IN YOUR LIFE!

Be thankful His Mercies are new every morning!

Lam. 3:22 It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Lam. 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lam. 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

__________________

We all are still here today because of His Mercy, I pray we do not take it lightly!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 28, 2010 at 10:37 am

Posted in Mercy

Pretending You’re Okay

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Pretending You’re Okay

The Boxer

The Champ was hit hard with a flourish of jabs from the Contender. A quick 1-2 punch to the body with a solid left uppercut staggered him and he fell backwards into the ropes.

He was saved by the sound of the bell and happily retired to his corner.  He was tended to by his trainer and cut man. When the bell rang again, the Champ came out of his corner, dancing and doing his best not to let the Contender know that he had been hurt. He was pretending that he was OK.

The Card Player

The card player’s cards are not very good. But he can’t let anyone know that. He has to act like he has the best hand in the game. He bets that he does. The other players study his face and do mental math to see if they think he’s lying.

He knows his hand is bad, but by bluffing, he’s pretending he’s OK.

A Lost Husband

He looks out the window secretly hoping to find a familiar landmark. He may not know where he’s at, but he’s not lost in his own mind. He feels that he can still get you to your destination, even if it takes him an extra hour. His ‘man-hood’ is at stake. He won’t ask for help, he’s pretending he’s still OK.

You

What is your response when someone walks up to you with a half-hearted, “How ya doing?”

  • You always say, “Fine, thank you.”
  • Don’t you?
  • You too are pretending you’re OK.

Sinners / Backsliders

They especially pretend that they’re OK. It keeps them from admitting they need help; that they are in need of God. To admit that would be to confess they are wrong. They would have to stop sinning.

If you are not living for God and going to church like you should, then you are just pretending you are OK.

Holiness Haters

  1. If you have left the highway of holiness. If you have re-considered all your holiness standards and changed. If you defend your decision to look like the world while still claiming to have the Holy Ghost, then you are just pretending you are OK.
  2. If you have rejected the life of separation from the world. If you now justify looking and dressing like the rest of the world. If you now claim to have more freedom and to be happier than ever before, then you are just pretending you are OK.
  3. If you now make fun of holiness minded men and women and mock the way they dress. If you try to act superior in your new revelation and lifestyle. If you have a need to flaunt your disdain of holiness. Then you are just pretending you are OK.
  4. (No one would even admit to Pretending.)

The hardest thing in the world for some folks is to admit they are wrong.

To admit they’re not OK is to admit they were wrong. They would rather pretend they are OK here on earth and take their chances with God in the Judgment. How insane.

Paul said to Timothy:

2Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Notice:

  1. We humans are our own problems (oppose themselves)
  2. If God peradventure (there’s a chance He will)
  3. Will give them repentance. (The opportunity to repent is a gift from God)
  4. To the acknowledging of the truth. (Truth about what? The truth about themselves and the error of their ways)

It’s not God’s will that you have to pretend that you are OK. No one has to pretend when they are obedient to all of His Word. It’s those that are trying to cut corners with God that feel a need to pretend. Admit it!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 27, 2010 at 12:01 am

Posted in Christian Living

Fanny’s Baby Boy

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Fanny’s Baby Boy

The tall slender woman knew she was dying. She was only 26. Her mother’s family hailed from Sevierville, Tennessee. Their family name was Ghan. She’d never met her real dad. She’d never even met her mom’s dad either. She was the product of two generations of illegitimate births in a row. Her mom had not been allowed to marry her father because of differences in their religions.

Before she was born, a respectable Irishman named Harrington married her mom and it helped give her a proper name. They named her Fanny Harrington. Baby Fanny was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on an Indian Reservation during the Harrington’s journey to California.

She grew up in the Los Angeles area. When she got older, she enjoyed visiting her older brothers in Fresno. They had migrated west too. Most of the California Ghans started attending an Assemblies of God Church pastored by Charles Price. Her brothers soon became preachers.

Fanny & Charles

Fanny met a man a few years older than her named Charles and fell in love. A major problem presented itself. Charles was Catholic. All his family was Catholic and he was determined that his children were to be raised Catholic too.

Her heart was torn. Fanny had received the Holy Ghost, but Charles was still determined to be Catholic. This may be a life long conflict, she knew. She had heard the warnings from her brothers, but still she continued to see her Charles.

Love won out, and Fanny and Charles were married in the famous Catholic Mission in Los Angeles.

Every Sunday, Charles and all his brothers went together to mass together. They were even known to crawl on their knees to church while praying the rosary. A photographer once snapped a picture of them crossing the street on their knees in front of a stopped trolley car and it was published in the newspaper. The whole family was very devout.

The second child, a son, was still a toddler when Fanny found out that she had Consumption. Her world was shattered and she was in a panic.

There was a nice Sanitarium in Fresno for the treatment of those with Tuberculosis. Fanny was admitted. The treatments didn’t seem to help much and the doctor’s finally said that they had done all they could do.

Her brothers heard Fanny’s last prayers. The very thoughts of her children growing up Catholic were now unbearable to her. She prayed aloud, “God would you save my baby boy and make him a preacher.

She prayed that prayer several times, but her baby boy was too young to know. By now he was only four.

When she died, Charles’ modest income didn’t allow for anything fancy for Fanny’s burial. Pennies were even placed on her eyes to keep them closed. The image of his mother with her eyes covered like that forever engraved itself in the young child’s mind. Fanny was laid to rest in Fresno, California in an unmarked grave.

Charles’ life immediately went downhill. He began to drink. He drank heavily and eventually drank himself into the poor house. His children soon became wards of the state.

Fanny’s baby boy got older and not only ran away from foster homes but also ran the streets. He got in trouble again and again. He ran with a gang called the Clovers and later became the leader. It was one of the oldest gangs in L.A. His life with the gang finally led him to San Quentin prison.

While visiting his mother’s folks in Fresno, he heard a gifted Assembly of God preacher named Charles Price and went to the altar. He later received the Holy Ghost.

Months later while reading a tract he received the revelation of Jesus Name Baptism. He then sought for two years until he found someone to baptize him. He also felt a call to preach the Gospel… and did. He preached it for over 50 years. He became a Jesus Name Apostolic preacher.

God had finally answered Fanny’s prayer.

He had saved Fanny’s little boy and made him a preacher.

You knew him too and enjoyed his ministry.

Only you didn’t know his mother’s name was Fanny.

Fanny had named her son, Carl.

Carl Ballestero.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 26, 2010 at 1:37 am

Posted in Family, Ministry, Mother, Prayer

If You Gotta Fight, Fight Fair!

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I pray that your Marriage be filled with peace and love. May all of your days include tenderness and sweet nothings. Disagreements may happen, however. So remember, if you have to fight, fight fair!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 25, 2010 at 8:57 am

Posted in Life, Marriage

Don’t Let Your Sacrifice Become Your Downfall

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Don’t Let Your Sacrifice Become Your Downfall

William Stanford loved working at the church. Everyday he stopped by there on his way home from the factory. It seemed like there were always little things that he could fix or clean.

  • He repaired cracked window panes.
  • He pulled weeds in the flowerbed.
  • He replaced burnt out light bulbs.
  • He mowed the grass.
  • He picked up trash around the property.
  • He raked the fallen leaves.
  • He kept the baptismal tank clean and full.
  • He stacked all the songbooks on their shelf.

Bro. Bill did all of this without pay. He held no official job at the church. It felt rewarding to him to know that whatever he did, it was for God. This was God’s house. No one ever asked him to fix anything. He just did it on his own. He looked around for things to do, and when he found a need, he was quick to respond.

His wife and family understood. They knew that he would always be late coming home from work. If he wasn’t at work or at home… he could be found at the church.

One year Bill didn’t go on a family vacation. He took the money and bought shingles for the church roof and spent his two weeks vacation time re-roofing the church by himself.

No one had asked him or even hinted. He just saw a need and did what he thought should be done. Sacrifice was never an issue for Bill Stanford. He had done this for years.

One Sunday the pastor announced a church business meeting. A trustee had died and the vacant position needed to be filled.

To William Stanford’s surprise, his name never came up at the business meeting for consideration. Another brother in the church was chosen and with a great majority, was ratified.

Bill was crestfallen. After all the hard labor, day after day, and week after week… this was the thanks he got! His labor was not appreciated.

  • Bill quit church.
  • Bill really quit church.
  • Bill turned his back on church.
  • Bill never came back to church.

He let his sacrifice become his downfall. He let what he did for God turn into nothing if others didn’t appreciate and honor it too.

†††

Joyce Watkins heard the pastor mention the need for 20 new tables and 160 folding chairs for the fellowship hall. She approached the pastor after service and asked him how much it would cost. When he told her, she pulled out her checkbook and wrote him a check for that amount.

The pastor was very thankful and the new tables and chairs were delivered almost immediately.

The next week, Joyce left for her vacation and was gone for three weeks. When she came back home and went to church. What she saw angered her.

In attempting to clean the fellowship hall, someone had stacked the new tables and chairs in a manner that Joyce did not approve. She told several people how unhappy she was that her tables had been treated that way.

  • Joyce quit church.
  • Joyce really quit church.
  • Joyce turned her back on church.
  • Joyce never came back to church.

Joyce also made a cardinal mistake in living for God. She let her sacrifice become her downfall. She couldn’t grasp the idea that those tables and chairs were no longer hers. They now belonged to God.

†††

To my gentle reader, I thank you for what you are doing for God. Your sacrifice should always be just for God. If we wait for men to appreciate our sacrifice for God, it may quickly turn into our downfall. May we learn from Bill and Joyce.

Col. 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 23, 2010 at 9:26 am

They Won’t Leave Without Us, They Never Do.

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They Won’t Leave Without Us, They Never Do.

I sat by the window eating a Chicago style hot dog in the Detroit Airport’s National Coney Island Restaurant. I watched as Delta’s ground crew loaded containers into the belly of their huge Jumbo Jet at Gate A50.

An Asian family intently watched the loading of the cargo. I heard them try to guess which containers were theirs.

Two Asian college students sat nearby. They all seemed to be traveling together. I finished my loaded hot dog and chips, and washed it down my Mountain Dew.  The ground crew finished up and closed all the doors and hatches.

The older man at the next table hurriedly left the restaurant and in 2 minutes returned. “They’re boarding right now,” he said. “Hurry!”

The waitress sat two large salads down in front of the students. The kid that spoke English had just taken his 1st bite of chef salad with an additional topping of Thousand Island. He didn’t seem to be bothered by the news.

I wondered what response the father’s words would bring from him.

“Don’t worry,” said the teen. “They won’t leave without us. They never do.”

He continued to finish his salad. While the father hurried back toward the gate. The kids continued to sit and talk about college courses. I heard him called Brian.

I paid my check and walked out.

I was ticketed on a Delta flight to Atlanta. My Gate was A47 which was nearly straight across from A50. I could see that no one was at the gate besides the Delta people. All of the passengers were already on board.

I watched as Delta Agent made an announcement for the departure of their flight to Seoul, South Korea. She then paged a list of 20 or so passengers that had not checked in. One of the names mentioned was Brian Hong. She finished by saying, “All passengers should now be on board.”

There was no one insight hurrying toward Gate A50.

In a little bit, although there was a second announcement, there still was no Brian.

Five minutes later, there was a third one was made. I marveled that Delta had even bothered to give them all a second chance, let alone a third one.

Another five minutes later they made a fourth announcement. I didn’t see anyone hurrying toward the gate. Brian was a no-show.

A Delta pilot with 24 years sonority stood next to me. I voiced my surprise at the patience of the airlines. He shook his head in lack of agreement. Sometimes he said, they even try to leave without me and I’m the pilot. We chuckled at the absurd thought.

A fifth announcement came and then amazingly, a sixth. Each time they still mentioned all of the ‘no shows.’ Brian Hong’s name was called every time.

My plane’s departure time had gotten pushed back a couple of hours. I had time to watch and wait.

The Jumbo Jet at A50 finally left.

One hour or so later, Brian Hong walked up to my gate and talked to the Gate Agent. He was trying to get a flight to Atlanta. He had been left behind. He had to make alternative arrangements.

The father had only warned him once that the flight was boarding. But Brian didn’t believe there was an urgency. He acted like he thought he was really educated in how things worked. After all, he was a college student. He was wiser than his father. He had plenty of time. He could beat the system. The rules didn’t apply to him. He would do whatever he wanted and others could wait on him.

The final line is that he missed his flight. It left without him.  Brian had to make alternative plans.

I don’t know about anymore of what happened to Brian. He didn’t make it on the Atlanta flight either.

This subject brings the focus now to my one remaining question.

So… what are you going to do if you miss the rapture?

I know, I know, there are some that say He isn’t coming. There are even those that say He is, but you have plenty of time.

  • But you don’t!
  • Jesus is coming!
  • No one seems interested in the voice that announces Jesus is coming,”
  • Not very many are watching for His return.
  • We won’t even be as fortunate as Brian Hong. We won’t be able to make alternative arrangements if we miss the coming of the Lord.
  • God doesn’t owe us warning after warning.
  • Don’t make Brian Hong’s mistake.

In the last days it has been prophesied that they will be eating and drinking (Like Brian)… acting like they’ve got a lot of time.

This generation is also saying, “They Won’t Leave Without Us, They Never Do.”

But Delta did!

The departure of the Glorious Church is now being announced.

All passengers should now be on board. Are you?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 21, 2010 at 8:20 am