The Ballestero Blog

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The Case Of The Rejected Steak House

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The Case Of The Rejected Steak House

A popular new Steak House opened in South Bend. I was pleased. Many Sundays it was packed with Pentecostals from the local Oneness churches. Business was good. The food was good. The location was good. It soon became the meeting place for many of my local pastor friends and their churches.

The economy wasn’t bad, our church finances weren’t operating in the red, but no one was getting rich in my neighborhood. We were living week to week. Praying literally for a blessing on our finances, or more accurately, a miracle.

The church needed money. Most of the people in our church needed money. I didn’t NEED any money, but the people I owed, they said they did.

I found myself praying in my office one Monday afternoon. In my selfish mind, I prayed mostly about my personal finances.

I later sat down behind my desk and began to read the Bible. The phone rang. An unfamiliar voice said, “Bro. Ballestero?”

When I confirmed his inquiry, he continued.

“You may not remember me, but many years ago, I had lunch with you and your Dad in the Dallas area.”

I faintly remembered, but his description of the moment helped me recall the occasion.

“I own 15 Steak Houses around the country and I have recently opened one in your town.”

“Oh my yes, I eat there every week. It’s a great place. It’s packed every time I drive by.” I volunteered.

“Yes, I know that and I am very pleased. But that new restaurant has a problem. It has management problems. I’ve got an offer for you Bro. Ballestero, hear me out. I want you to manage that Steak House for me.”

I was completely caught off guard. I knew absolutely nothing about running a restaurant. I did know that the hours always run late into the evening. I also knew he wasn’t looking for a part-time manager.

“My brother!” I said, “I at a loss for words. I am deeply humbled by your offer and honored that you would consider me. But you do understand that I am a Pastor first and foremost. My understanding of managing a restaurant is that if I did, I would have to be married to it.”

“That true,” came the reply, “but you don’t have too. You can choose a couple in your church and let them run it and you can pay them.

I began to think of all the couples in my church. But I could not think of one that I felt comfortable risking their time away from church just for a job.

“What I would like to do my brother, is to let you run the Steak House for two years, and we split the profit 50/50. At the end of two years, I’ll give you the restaurant lock stock and barrel.”

Well sir, you could have knocked me over with a feather. (As some old timers use to say.) I was trying to choose my words carefully.

Was this God’s answer to my prayers? Was this a test to see how desperate I was to make money regardless? I had no answers. But I needed time to pray about this, because I felt a check in my spirit and the bottom line was that it was too good to be true.

“Brother, today is Monday. If you will call me back on Wednesday, I’ll have an answer for you. I want to fast and pray for a couple days if you don’t mind. Thank you again for your very generous and kind offer.”

He agreed and we exchanged goodbyes.

I didn’t eat. I did pray. While praying about the offer, I felt an impression to call the man’s Pastor in a distant state. Although we were not close, I had become acquainted with him when I was a teen. I wrestled with the idea of calling. I even asked the Lord what questions would I ask of the man. I felt like the Lord gave me one question to ask, one question and nothing more.

Tuesday afternoon I picked up the phone and called the Pastor. After I identified myself and we got past the polite formalities, I briefed him on the reason for my call and the proposal that was made to me.

“I have one question that I feel impressed to ask you my friend.” I said. “Does he pay tithes like he should or does he just give conscience money?”

“Well… uh… umm…” was all I heard on the phone.

“Say no more.” I said, “Any one that’s not honest with God wouldn’t be honest with me either.”

He agreed.

I said goodbye and hung up. I understood more clearly that every offer is not from God. I thank Him for guiding me through that decision.

When the Steak House man called on Wednesday, It felt good to say thank you, but no thank you.

Oh, by the way, I’m still not rich, but I’m still in church and I’m comforted to know my treasure is on the other side.

Epilogue

Within a matter of a few months, the Steak House closed down. One year later the Steak House was bulldozed. In my prayers God promised to supply my needs and He has.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

4 Responses

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  1. A very perfect question and one that, to use an old saying, will have proof in the pudding. A person or persons that will not be honest and faithful to his Lord, will not be honest and faithful to anyone else!!

    Just my thought;
    Mervi

    Mervi

    June 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

  2. You always touch my heart with your writings as well as your preaching. Love you, friend.

    Pastor Wade Bass

    June 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm

  3. Hit me hard

    Sister Heather Tuliloa of the Luke flock

    June 9, 2010 at 4:05 am


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