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Archive for September 2010

Announcing… Sis. June Starr Davis Has Released Her New Book!

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My Mother-in-law just finished a wonderful Biography of her husband, Bishop Howard H. Davis.

Last night I received an email announcing the book’s release. I wanted to share the great news with my friends and readers. Below is the email from “Mom” June Davis.

I know you’ll enjoy her Book, “Man With A Purpose”.

Martyn Ballestero

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Hello Friends.
I have written a new book. This New Book is about my husband, Howard H. Davis. I have titled it,  MAN WITH A PURPOSE.

The book is 119 pages of Howard’s history, from childhood to US Navy man, Minister, Church builder, member UPCI 60 years, Pastor {same Church 42 years}, world traveler, Ordained Bishop, and His Article, NIGHT OF CONFLICT; 8 chapters about the last night of World War Two, with Him as a teenage backslider on the USS Wiley, DD597,  a Destroyer under attack  at 2:30 A.M.  by Japanese Zeros and Bombers, at the Island of Okinawa.

Those of you who know him will want to get this book. If you are a Pastor, You will want to get some copies for your members.

Price: $10.00 plus $2.00 mailing, each book. Mailing for more than 1 book will be different.

Send order to.
Marian June Davis
735 Greenwood Ave
San Bernardino, CA 92407

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Posted in New Book Release

Disappointed At A Top 10!

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Disappointed At A Top 10!

I have flown hundreds of times on airplanes. Often in the airline’s magazine there will be ads for steak houses proclaiming their membership among the “Top 10 Steak Houses in America.”

Well, I have lived long enough and traveled far enough, that it has been my privilege to visit several of them.

Imagine the hype built by my host as we sit down to eat lunch. “This is one of the “Top 10 Steak Houses in America,” he said!

“Wow,” was about all I could come up with. Imagine. Me, an ‘everyday Joe” getting to eat at a joint like this! Wow, again!

The table had a starched white linen tablecloth, accented by black cloth napkins. The silverware was stylish, the goblets were chosen carefully, the chairs were comfortable and the ambience was perfect. The fellowship the best anyone could hope for. I felt honored to be here.

Just by the impressive look of the closed menu, it was easy to tell that a loan may need to be taken out just to eat here. Everywhere I looked, the word expensive came to mind.

The tall server was pleasant and efficient. It was evident that a gender transformation was in progress. The low voice and the dress did not compliment each other well, however.

I wasn’t really hungry for a steak, but since I am sitting in one of the “Top 10 Steak Houses in America,” I figured I might as well eat steak since I’m here. Our wives each ordered the Lobster and Crab Bisque with a Spinach Salad garnished with Strawberries and Glazed Pecans.

Both of us men ordered the only steak they served during the daytime, the New York Strip. We both ordered the potato and veggies as well.

The women couldn’t stop bragging on their choice of entrée and salad. My friend and myself had a time eating our steaks. The steak knife was not a SharpenedKnife and took great effort to saw through the meat. The steaks were quite tough. They were seasoned OK, but I once ate a more tender steak at Waffle House. I ate all of mine, but he ate less than half of his and stopped.

The “Top 10” experience had left something to be desired in our lunch. Was it two bad steaks? Was it an “off day” for the chef? Was it just us? I have cooked steaks this tough myself, but I expected more because of the big ads.

Regardless, we may never get to see the inside of the place again. Disappointment was unspoken, but still felt. When a customer goes to a place that is advertised world wide, expectations run high. When those expectations are not met, disappointment is soon to appear.

In the Bible, the Psalmist declares in Psalms 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.

Better than a thousand? A thousand what? He doesn’t spell it out, but in my mind, he is saying it’s better than a thousand of anything!

Again, his love for the House of God is declared in Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

No disappointment in Jehovah is detected here. Jehovah’s House lived up to the Psalmist’s expectation, and more besides.

The Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon. She had heard the glorious reports of the Temple and of King Solomon. When she listened to his wisdom and looked at the glory of the House of God, she was in awe. When she saw all that a gentile was allowed to see, she was overwhelmed. When Solomon finally ascended the stairs to the Temple, The Queen looked at this glorious event and fainted for joy.

She said in 1Kings 10:7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me. The House of God far exceeded her expectations.

What do sinners and visitors think when they visit our churches. Are they touched by the worship? Are the moved by the preaching? Does the Spirit convict them? Are they filled with the Holy Ghost?

The Apostolic Church is not just ‘A’ church in the “Top 10 Churches In America”. This Church is THE Church. God’s only church! God forbid that hungry hearts come to our church services and go home disappointed in their experience.

Let’s determine to live up to our name and reputation. Whether services are held in a storefront or a cathedral, glorious services should await those who are hungry for God. There should be no disappointment in Jesus!

Psa. 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Psa. 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

If we are experiencing disappointment in church and in living for the Lord, it’s NOT His fault! The Father wants His children to be satisfied.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm

The World’s Greatest Spousal Insurance Policy!

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The World’s Greatest Spousal Insurance Policy!

Today Marcia, my beautiful wife of 45 years, and I were riding down the Turnpike in Tulsa listening to XM Radio’s Enlighten on Channel 34. It’s a Southern Gospel Station. Presently a familiar sounding group came on and I read their name on the player. It confirmed what my ears were hearing.

My mind went back many years. I thought of the times I had been in church services with these people, but those days are now forever gone. They are just distant memories.

They once were Jesus Name, Apostolic. I knew them when the ladies in the group had long uncut hair. They wore no makeup or jewelry back then. The men had good haircuts and no facial hair. Somehow, things changed for them. They left the Oneness people seeking more popularity and acceptance from the Trinitarians. They compromised their beliefs about salvation’s requirements and the God-head in the process.

Along the way, they all met with divorce. Their divorces didn’t draw them back to God or to a place of rededication, but their new spouses helped push them even further away from the old landmarks and from truth.

Thinking on these things, my mind reflected on the history of the city of Bethel in the Bible. It was made famous by Jacob, his dream and his covenant with God. At that time, Bethel was only a flat rock that Jacob used for a pillow that night.

The next time we read about Bethel, it is a place filled with people who did not stay loyal to God. Idols were now very common in Bethel. It even became a headquarters for idolatrous calf worship. In Bethel, of all places!

The prophet Amos said that Bethel would “come to naught.” Amos 5:5. Jeremiah hung his head and said that Israel “was ashamed of Bethel.” Jer. 48:13.

Later, Hosea called Beth-el, (which means the house of God) ‘Beth-aven’ which means a house of adultery.

Thinking on that sad progression from the House of God, to House of Idolatry, and then to House of Adultery, I became deeply bothered in my spirit.

In prayer some years ago, I asked the Lord, “How did Bethel go from idolatry to adultery?”

It was like the Lord dropped this thought into my spirit… “The progression was easy. They’re both fathered by the same spirit, the spirit of unfaithfulness.”

If that’s true, then the greatest insurance policy any of us can give our spouse is to be faithful to God. Because, if we are faithful to God, then we will also be faithful to our spouse! It’s that simple. Are you FAITHFUL to God?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 22, 2010 at 1:02 am

Do You Know What Drowning Looks Like?

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Do You Know What Drowning Looks Like?

The Monthly Feature from the Medical News TODAY

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/196538.php

If you and your family are planning to spend some of this summer by the sea, by the pool, or perhaps even a river or lake, perhaps you should ask yourself, would you be able to spot someone in trouble in the water, in time to save their life: do you really know what drowning looks like?

Mario Vittone, a writer on maritime safety, tells a story about a former life guard, now a boat captain, who spotted a potentially fatal incident from fifty feet away. The captain jumped off his own boat, and sprinted toward a family swimming between the beach and their anchored boat: he sped past the astonished parents, to save their nine-year old daughter, who had been quietly drowning not ten feet behind her father.

Vittone, whose articles have appeared in many magazines, including Reader’s Digest, said he was not surprised when he heard this story: he knows a thing or two about drowning, having served nineteen years in the US Navy and Coast Guard, and his strongest message is “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning”.

Furthermore, says the CDC, many parents have watched their child drown without realizing what was happening. They did not know what the captain who saved the little girl in Vittone’s story was trained to notice and her parents were blissfully unaware of: the signs of Instinctive Drowning Response, a term coined by Dr Francesco A. Pia, a water safety expert.

Vittone and Pia wrote about the Instinctive Drowning Response, in the Fall 06 issue of On Scene, the journal of the US Coast Guard Search and Rescue. Pia says it is what people do to avoid suffocating in water: they don’t splash much, they don’t wave, and they don’t yell or call out. Quite different to what many of us might expect.

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When reading this today, all the alarms in my soul went off. How many do we know that have drowned spiritually in front of our eyes and we didn’t see the signs of their unspoken struggles?

I’m not talking about those whose overt actions and speech give away their desire for the world. It’s those that we know whose struggle for survival is inward and their pride keeps them from admitting they need help.

Pastors, evangelists, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, parents and concerned saints have ALL experienced the horror of losing someone dear to them. Some of us were oblivious to the spiritual drowning.

God help us all to be more aware of the needs of our sisters and brothers.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

Every Church Has One

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Every Church Has One

Robert and Kathy Dansbys were pastoring a home missions church in Canada. Fellowship was rare and hearing someone else preach was even rarer. They were out of Bro. I. H. Terry’s church in Bakersfield, California.

Family members and friends often sent preaching tapes of Bro. Terry and Bakersfield’s guest speakers to the Dansbys.

One day Bro. Dansby received a phone call from home telling him about an awesome evangelist named Bro. Larry Booker. His preaching was phenomenal, the home church loved him and they sent a bunch of his preaching tapes up to Canada.

Pastor Robert Dansby

The Dansbys absolutely loved the preaching of Bro. Booker. They asked for more tapes. More tapes were sent. They too fell in love with the ministry of this great man of God. They had never met him, or even seen a picture of him, but they loved him. They were saddened when the revival ended.

A few years later, Bro. Dansby resigned his church in Canada and moved back to the United States.

At the next Camp Meeting in Santa Maria, California, the Dansbys went. They enjoyed the fellowship of the preachers and the ministry of the Word. It was good to be around old friends.

While seated in the Bible Class one afternoon in the old tent, they noticed a very tall man come in and make his way down the aisle. He sat across the aisle from them, and a row or two ahead. He slouched his 6’ 8” frame way down into the seat.

This ‘stranger’ really seemed to enjoy the Bible Study and said amen often and loud. At times, during the message the whole congregation got blessed and they all said amen and clapped. Some even stood.

The tall guy, would wave his hands erratically from time to time, and with closed eyes nearly scream the words, “God! God! God! God!” Then he would talk in tongues and shake all over.

Sis. Kathy Dansby turned and looked at the man. She’d never seen anyone act like that in church. She turned her attention back to the preacher.

Again, at a high note in the sermon, the crowd responded and the man across the aisle went into his own worship mode again. He shook. He waved his long arms. He talked in tongues. He screamed, “God! God! God! God!”

Sis. Kathy Dansby

Sis. Dansby made a bit of a face and shook her head and looked at her husband. “Every church has one,” she said with a knowing smirk.

Bro. Dansby couldn’t hold back the laughter. “Do you know who that is? He inquired.

“No.” She said.

“That’s Bro. Larry Booker. I met him just before the service.”

“Noooooo!!!” Was about all Sis. Dansby could say in disbelief.

Even years later, Bro. Dansby didn’t feel comfortable telling Bro. Booker what his wife had said about him. So he didn’t. Well, he didn’t for quite a few years.

Pastor Larry Booker

Eleven years later, to be exact, Bro. Booker invited Bro. Dansby to preach for him in Rialto, California. During that visit, Bro. Dansby got up enough nerve to tell Bro. Booker the story.

Bro. Booker’s great sense of humor surfaced as he roared in laughter. The next service night while introducing Bro. Dansby to preach, Bro. Booker retold the story.

“Yes,” Bro. Booker said, “Every church has one. This church just happens to have one for a pastor!”

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(Special thanks to my friend, Bro. Robert Dansby for permission to write this story.)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 21, 2010 at 1:59 am

Posted in Humor

The Voice Behind The Door

with 3 comments

The Voice Behind The Door

Benjamin didn’t believe in God. Well, maybe just a little bit. But he just wasn’t into the ‘God’ thing.

He’d never heard anything positive mentioned about God at home. The word ‘God’ was only used in swearing, but that was the extent of it. He was happy without God.

Ben was old enough to get married. But he was in no hurry. The girls he knew were all willing and available. He loved to dance and party with them all. He especially loved to drink and to get drunk with his friends.

When Ben got drunk he was the life of the party. He was also proud of his tough guy image. He was persistent about portraying a macho persona. Not many guys messed with Ben when he was sober or drunk. He was tough.

For as long as he could remember, a preacher lived down the street from him. The preacher was weird. He wasn’t realistic in his preaching. He was old school and said a lot of off the wall things. Ben avoided him as much as possible. When he saw him in the local market, he avoided him. He was afraid that the old preacher would try to convert him.

One time, with some of his buddies for moral support, they went to hear the preacher preach, just for the fun of it. It was cheap entertainment. They got their money’s worth too.

He preached about repenting. He told about the danger of Godless living. He preached about their drinking and immorality. He told them that God was displeased with them. The old preacher warned them about the end time and about the coming judgment.

Ben and his friends laughed very hard later when they talked about the sermon. ‘Old Preach’ was crazy.

No one in the neighborhood ever joined ‘Old Preach’s” congregation. The only believers he had seemed to be his own family.

The town wished him to leave.

But he kept on preaching. His little congregation never grew.

Then one morning Ben walked to the door of his house and looked at the rain falling from the storm clouds. His mind turned to the thoughts about ‘Old Preach’ and Ben hurried down the street to where he lived.

To Ben’s surprise, the door to the meeting place was closed. It had never been closed before. This was the first time. Ben knocked on the door but no one opened it. He raised his voice and hollered as loud as he could, but ‘Old Preach’ never came, no one opened the door.

Then he heard a voice behind the door saying, “Ben, this is Noah. I can’t open the door. God has shut the door. I’m Sorry. You had your chance to repent and now it’s too late.”

  • Matt. 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
  • Matt. 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
  • Matt. 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

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Rebecca was excited. Her dear friend Priscilla was getting married tonight. They were life-long friends. All the girls in the neighborhood were abuzz with chatter and girl talk about the upcoming event.

Priscilla had invited Rebecca and nine other girls to stand up with her. That was an honor none of them wanted to miss.

Rebecca and the girls combed each other’s hair and giggled at their frustrations with uncooperative hairdos. They dressed themselves in their prettiest dresses. After examining themselves in the mirror and making a few last minute adjustments, they set out to the wedding chapel.

They took everything with them that they thought they’d need. They didn’t want to be too loaded down with extra and unnecessary items.

Some of the girls brought extra stuff. It made the others roll their eyes just thinking about how impractical it was to lug all that around.

The bridesmaids all arrived early and sat down outside the locked chapel door, waiting for Priscilla to arrive. They bubbled with enthusiasm and tried to image what it would be like if they were to be marrying the man of their dreams.

As fate would have it, the chatter died down. The sun had sat and the girls fell asleep one by one until they all were asleep.

Hours later, they awoke and realized that about half of the girls didn’t bring everything they should have. They hurried off to buy what was missing.

When they got back to the wedding chapel, to their surprise, the door was locked. The other girls were inside with Priscilla, and the wedding had started.

Rebecca hollered through the closed and locked door and announced, “It’s me, Rebecca and the girls, open up, we’ve got every thing we needed!”

A voice behind the door answered back, “I don’t know anyone named Rebecca. Go away!”

  • Matt. 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
  • Matt. 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
  • Matt. 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

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There is a voice on the other side of the door this generation needs to hear.

Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

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Today’s Lesson:


  1. Repent, don’t ignore preaching. respond.
  2. Keep your lamps burning. (Be filled with the Spirit.)
  3. Have extra oil. (No minimum experience.)
  4. Respond when God knocks on your door.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Please Forgive Your Pastor!

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Please Forgive Your Pastor!

(Written on behalf of your Pastor.)

By Martyn Ballestero Sr.

In the spirit of humility and with great carefulness, I am asking for your forgiveness. My heart is heavy.

Knowing that I have hurt you with words that I have said and things that I have done, I sincerely apologize and I ask that you Please Forgive Your Pastor!

It is a tool of Satan to bring division into the Body of Christ. He knows that will stop revival. I am grieved to know that I am included in his plan and have become part of the problem.

We are all aware that it is the plan of our soul’s enemy to destroy our church. Pledge with me before God not to let this happen. Please Forgive Your Pastor!

Knowing bitterness will destroy us, defile us and divide us. Please Forgive Your Pastor!

  • I love you dearly.
  • I care how you feel.
  • I need you.
  • This church needs you.
  • God needs you.
  • I forgive you.

Please Forgive Your Pastor!

I pray that all may see that my mistakes have been made from my head and not from my heart.

I know that some decisions I have made have not been popular and no doubt have brought pain.

I also know that you might feel that I must hate you by the way I preach or because of my sermon’s comments.

I could never apologize for preaching truth, but I can and should apologize for using a bad or wrong spirit in the process. Please Forgive Your Pastor!

The most important relationship in the Family of God is that of Pastor and Saint, Shepherd and the Sheep. I am striving to protect that and to bring the Peace of God into all of our hearts.

I do not wish to be a lord of God’s heritage, or to bring injury. My duty is to look well to know the state of the flock. I have, and feel God has directed me to come to you.

I take responsibility for my:

  • Choices
  • Decisions
  • Comments

Whether some think less or more of me for publically apologizing, I ask forgiveness.

I do not want God to put a millstone around my neck for bringing offence to one of His children.

Please Forgive Your Pastor!

  • This is not my church.
  • This is not your church.
  • This is God’s church.

Satan rejoices at our discomfort today.

Hell is pleased beyond words.

There is no problem worth us going to hell over. Please Forgive Your Pastor!

I ask forgiveness because I love you and I see I’ve hurt you.

I ask forgiveness because God put you in my care and I do not wish to anger God.

I ask forgiveness because:

  • I need you
  • I need your help.
  • I need your support.
  • I need your prayers.
  • I need your friendship.
  • I need your fellowship.
  • I need your loyalty.
  • I give you mine.

Please Forgive Your Pastor!

We desperately need revival in our church. Revival only seems to come when there is hunger and unity for the same thing. (It did on the day of Pentecost.)

But Unity does not happen unless there is forgiveness and the overlooking of personality differences for the sake of souls.

I am willing to humble myself to please God. I am asking you to join me.

I am willing to admit my mistakes and apologize. I am asking you to join me.

I am willing to admit my need for God’s guidance and correction. I am asking you to join me.

I am willing to do whatever it takes to:

  • Keep the spirit of unity alive.
  • Keep the spirit of worship alive.
  • Keep the spirit of prayer alive.
  • Keep the spirit of revival alive.
  • Keep the spirit of brotherly love alive. I am asking you to join me.

Please Forgive Your Pastor!

Knowing that offences will come, I pray for strength.

Knowing that offences have come, I plead the blood.

Knowing that offences will destroy us, Please Forgive Your Pastor!

Join me in prayer.

Your leaving or my leaving does not solve the problem in eternity.

God’s only solution is forgiveness.

Unforgiveness endangers our eternal future.

  • The fear of the Lord requires me to check my spirit.
  • The fear of the Lord requires me to censor my words.
  • The fear of the Lord requires me to watch my attitude.

That brotherly love may continue.

And, that brotherly love may continue, God also requires me to come to you if I know that you have ought in your heart against me. Only after I make things right with you will He hear my prayer.

I’m very sorry.

Please Forgive Your Pastor!

Join me now in putting yesterday behind us, experiencing God’s richest blessings today and in reaching for the things that are before us.

Please Forgive Your Pastor!

Thank You!


Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 16, 2010 at 11:51 am