The Ballestero Blog

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Archive for October 2010

The Little Biscuit Girl

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The Little Biscuit Girl

Carlene Branham

My sister, Carlene Branham, is among the world’s best. That’s no joke. This is not just a big brother talking and bragging on his sister. She’s Good. She’s Good with a capital ‘G’.

I’ve eaten in 48 states, and 17 countries. Can’t ‘nobody’ bake better breads, cakes, cookies, cookie bars, or pastries better than hers. She wins hands down.

She makes the ‘Best’ Wedding cakes. They are beautiful AND delicious. Anything that goes into an oven just seems to know Carlene by her first name.

Not only her family, but even her friends and church family look to her for the superb dessert. Her job counts on her to do the companies’ meals for their clients. Even the kids at Bible School, three hours away, know her. They call her ‘Aunt’ Carlene. She currently has a niece named Erica, at I.B.C. that she pampers with goodies and other sweets. She catered to her nephews when they were there. She also panders to the appetites of Erica’s friends by bringing zip-locked bags with their names on them for some of the kids. They love her like family.

At our Ballestero family gatherings, Carlene endears herself to the maximum with her homemade goodies. Carlene smiles her thanks. Her desserts are scarfed up by the chow hounds in the family, of which I am chief.

But that’s not how it started.

I know. I’m the big brother. I’m five years older. I remember the day she didn’t smile.

Let me tell you about the first time Carlene, the Bakery Wizard Girl, made biscuits. In those days, no one ever heard of buying biscuits in a can. They all were made from ‘scratch’.

Carlene was in Elementary School. She was in the 3rd or 4th grade, if I recall right. She had always tried to help Mom in the kitchen and quickly picked up a desire to bake. Mother consented to letting her make biscuits by herself one Saturday.

As we gathered around the table to eat, Mother proudly announced to Dad that Carlene had made the biscuits. Carlene smiled. This was her first attempt at baking. Every girl wants her cooking to meet the approval of her Father. Carlene was no exception.

After the prayer, and the passing of bowls and plates of food, the eating began. Slyly Carlene watched to see if Dad had taken a bite of his biscuit.

Dad picked up the biscuit with great ceremony. He cut it open and then buttered it. After placing the two halves together, Dad raised it to his mouth and took a bite.

Immediately, Dad let his biscuit fall to his plate. Unknown to any of us, Dad had slipped his other hand under the table. When the biscuit hit the plate, Dad thumped the underside of the table with his knuckles at the same time. It was timed perfectly. It sounded like a brick hitting the plate instead of a biscuit.

Carlene immediately burst into tears. Her dream of making good biscuits, was dashed in her mind. Her little heart was broken.

The meal was stopped long enough for Dad to comfort her and make amends.

(I’m her brother and I wouldn’t lie… they were good.)

Who knew that little girl in Elementary School would have such a gift? All it needed was time. Who knew what marvels she would create in years to come.

Yet at that moment in her little life, she came close to feeling like a failure and a disappointment to her Father.

One might say, that was nice family story. What was your point?

Actually, I have two points.

Point 1. If your attempts in living for God sometimes make you feel that you are a failure because of other people’s reactions. Be encouraged. The end is not yet. I would love to think that the day will come when you are the one that is the role model.

God sees the end from the beginning. Your day will come. Don’t cry, just keep trying.

Point 2.  I love you so much Carlene. I need some cookie bars real bad!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 30, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Posted in Family, Personal Growth

“You Can’t Live In the Past!”

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“You Can’t Live In the Past!”

Sis. Connie, Bro. Carl Ballestero 1955

That’s what she said. She said that the church’s holiness standards and dress codes weren’t relevant today. “This is a different day.” She wanted me to know that Pentecost had moved to another level. “This is not your Father’s Pentecost! My generation is progressive!”

I said, “My generation felt it was in a new day when we invented the computer, the microwave, and the stereo. We felt it was a new day when we first orbited the earth, and when we walked on the moon. Each generation, quite possibly, has been able to make some boasts as to its uniqueness and advancements.


Did Cain and Abel say to Adam, “Pops, this is a new day!”  (Actually it was!) My point is, that argument is nothing new.

However, it is becoming more common for me to hear the statement, “You can’t live in the past.”

Concerning holiness and standards, I am encouraged to be more progressive and be relevant to this generation. I am confronted by those who laugh at holiness minded people, and make fun of their style of dress and modesty. They explore every taboo of previous generations and dare anyone to tell them ‘no’.

That statement about not living in the past may be true about many things. It has been said to people recovering from broken relationships, and to those that are tightly held in the grasp of grief, for example. There may be times when we may offer that advice, but NEVER for Salvation, and NEVER for Holiness and Separation from the World.


1. PAUL orders his son in the Gospel, Timothy, to teach his generation what has been taught to him. He is commissioned to impart to them all of the ‘Past’ that he can. That seemed to be Paul’s heartbeat. There was a reason, a good reason.

  • 2Tim. 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

2. PAUL compares Timothy’s spirit and love for the faith, to his Mother’s and Grandmother’s love for the faith.

  • 2Tim. 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.


3. JOB made the statement, “We are but of yesterday.” We are what we are today because of yesterday.

If we can’t live in the past, then we need to quit singing songs about the past; songs like: “This Is My Christian Heritage.” Why sing about the past and then reject it? Holiness rejecters, are rejecters of all of God’s yesterdays.

When the same crowd hears about the ‘sure mercies of David” however, they chose to claim that part of the past. They want God to be the same, yesterday, today and forever, but we have those among us that reject the Apostolic church of the past. They don’t want the church to be the same yesterday, today and forever.



Holiness Is Not Yesterdays News!

  • 1Pet. 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

It’s Present tense. ‘Be’ ye holy. Present tense means it’s relevant.

  • 2Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“Is profitable”. That’s relevant! Doctrine is not to be kept in the past. It IS profitable. The preaching and teaching of Doctrine, is meant for every age of the church.



4. JEHOSHAPHAT – Walked in the ways of his Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather David. God used David, the Ruler of Yesterday, to measure the Ruler of Today.

  • 2Chr. 17:3 And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;

Jehoshaphat was the 6th king of the Davidic line (he was preceded by David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, and Asa.)

In God’s mind, David, six generations prior, was the standard to measure all the following generations.


What would make some say, concerning holiness standards, that we can’t live in the past? There’s a reason they talk that way. Evidently, old-time Pentecost conflicts with their love for the world. The Holiness of the past is supposed to make them feel uncomfortable in their shorts, short skirts, tight apparel, jewelry, cut hair and makeup. It is supposed to make Hollywood feel uncomfortable on their conscience. They do not wish to be convicted, so they reject the past on a wholesale basis.

I fear they are no longer Apostolic, but apostate, and don’t even know it. I pray they haven’t been turned over to the spirit of delusion.

The book of Judges mentions, that in those days, every man did that which was right in his own eyes. I am now seeing a repeat of those times.

Speaking of ‘Apostolic,’ did some get ashamed of the word and take it down from their church sign so they could be more relevant? (Just asking!)

I worry that some have fallen into the Colossians’ trap.

  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • Col. 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

5. ESAU.

Remember him? God hated him and wouldn’t even let him repent. You know why? Because he refused to honor what was of yesterday. The Birthright was the blessing of yesterday, but it was also to extend into all of Esau’ families in their ‘tomorrows’. It was to be the blessing he could pass down to his son. But no, he sacrificed the eternal on the altar of the immediate. God hated him for that.

God called him a fornicator. Not because he was morally impure, but because his heart wasn’t faithful to God.

He was called profane. That word in Hebrews, meant: ‘to treat with common place’, or like it was nothing special. The birthright didn’t mean anything special to Esau. He was only interested in the ‘right now’ of his life.  He ignored the meaning of ‘the past’.

6. ISRAEL. – Built altars and memorials so that generations to come would know the history and importance of the moment. God wanted future generations to stay connected with their past.

  • Josh. 4:5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
  • Josh. 4:6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
  • Josh. 4:7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

7. JEREMIAH. When he was fourteen years of age, he stood before the King of Israel and prophesied. This young teenager did NOT say to the King. ‘Your majesty, this is a new day, and we can’t live in the past.”

This young teen bold announced his love for the past when he said, “

  • Jer. 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

The 21st century is not a new day in that respect; they rejected the past back in Jeremiah’s day too. And he was a young person pleading for his nations return to the principles of the old paths.)

This may be a new day for technology, science, medicine, and people comforts, but it’s NOT a new day for truth rejecting.

If they are rejecting the holiness, the modesty, and the separated life style of the our Pentecostal forefathers, then they are not a friend of God. They are not even a God chaser.

They may vote out all the rules and standards out of their local church or organization if they want, but that doesn’t change the Book. The Apostolic Church will never have a future if it lets go of it’s past.

Today, I humbly echo Jeremiah’s advice. Ask for the Old Paths, that’s the good way. Ask for Yesterday. Walk in Yesterday. You will find rest there for your soul.

Your soul will never find rest or be at peace if you reject the old paths. If you want a future you must hold on to the past.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 29, 2010 at 12:39 am

Sin Hides The Price Tag

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Sin Hides The Price Tag

My Father, Carl Ballestero, had a rule of thumb when it came to finding a gas station on the road. If there was no price-per-gallon displayed on the station sign, he wouldn’t stop there for gas. He would mumble, “If they won’t put up the price of their gas, it means they are ashamed it.”

Most of the other stations are quick to display a drop in price to attract customers. Those that don’t display their prices might have a reason. They just might be charging more than they should.

Once in a great while, I stumble into a place of business that has items with no price tags. I hate it when I have to ask, “How much is this?”

I even dislike trying to buy something that says, “make an offer.” I just like to know the asking price.

In my elementary way of thinking, the seller knows how much he needs to sell the item for. Just tell me. If it’s too much, I won’t buy. If the price is acceptable, I’m tempted to buy.

It is a common practice in almost every business to mark all items that are for sale. I like it when they do that.

Have you ever noticed that Sin has a way of hiding it’s price tag? Sin is ashamed to tell you up front what you will have to pay.

When you pay for what Sin sells, you’ll pay more than you thought and you will pay longer than you expected.

Every one of us has either said it, or heard it said… “How long do I have to pay for my mistakes?”

If we would have known the price for our Sins, we wouldn’t have been so interested to start with.

Sin hides always the price tags.

It hides the prices tag of:

Loving pleasures more than loving God (2 Tim 3:4 – Your love for God will grow weak)

Immorality (Prov 6:32 – “he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.”)

Loving the world. (1 John 2:15 – The love of the Father is not in you)

Rebellion (1Sam. 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”)

Bitterness (Heb 12:15 – “trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”)

Pride (Prov. 16:18 – “destruction”)

Haughty Spirit (Prov. 16:18 – “a fall”)

Envy (James 3:16 “there is confusion and every evil work.”)

Strife (James 3:16 “there is confusion and every evil work.”)

Drunkenness (Gal 5:21 – “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”)

Lusts (1Pet. 2:11- “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul”)

The price tag of Sin is so high that no one in their right mind would ever buy if they looked at the price tag.

Let me turn the tag over and show it to you…

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

There, can you see it? I sure wouldn’t buy if I were you! The price is too high!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Sin

Random Scriptures About The Second Coming Of The Lord

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Random Scriptures About The Second Coming Of The Lord

While looking in the front of a Bible given to me by Bro. Kenneth Bow, I found a list of Scriptures he had written down concern the coming of the Lord. I thank him. I have taken the liberty to list them here.

There are those that say, He is not coming again. They say He already came again, 2,000 years ago. I don’t believe that, and neither should you.

These verses give me hope that He is coming soon. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


2Th. 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2Th. 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.


Matt. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.


Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

Luke 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.


1Cor. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.


1Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Cor. 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Cor. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1Cor. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

1Cor. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

1Cor. 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

1Cor. 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


2Cor. 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.


1Th. 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

1Th. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1Th. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1Th. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Th. 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1Th. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


1Th. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

1Th. 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

1Th. 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.


Heb. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Heb. 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.


Heb. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Heb. 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.


James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.


2Pet. 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

2Pet. 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

2Pet. 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

2Pet. 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

2Pet. 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

2Pet. 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.


1John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

1John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.


Rev. 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.


Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Rev. 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Rev. 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

Rev. 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

Rev. 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

Rev. 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?


Col. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.


Matt. 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.


Matt. 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.


Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.


2Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.


Rev. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


Rev. 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


Heb. 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.


Jude 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,


2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.


Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

Mark 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Are You A Grandma?

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Are You A Grandma?

Grandma Ballestero

Jeron had lived in the same town as his Grandma Marcia Ballestero for all of his three, nearly four years. He loved to stay over night there and did so as much as he could. Circumstances permitted him to do so, and he enjoyed all the attention and pampering that good Grandmas are known for.

In the evening, when it got close to bedtime, Grandma would take the little man up onto her lap while she sat in her soft rocking chair and rock him. She would have his special little blanket ready to comfort him and he would fall asleep in her arms.

He actually had the run of his Grandma’s house. He had his own room; he was the object of most, if not all of her attention. He also happened to be the only Grandchild for hundreds of miles. Jeron was in hog heaven.


Then the day came when he had to move a thousand or so miles away. He was so sad to be taken away from his Grandma. It made his little heart break and real tears ran down his face. Lots of hugs and kisses were necessary to reassure him.

The first Sunday night in his new town, he went to church with his Dad and Mom. For a little kid, not quite four years old, it was almost overwhelming. The church was much bigger, the faces were all new, and he really missed his Grandma.

As the people were all setting back down after singing some choruses, Jeron slipped across the aisle to a lady he’d spotted that was about his Grandma’s age and size.

“Are you a Grandma?” He quietly asked.

“Yes I am.” Was her response.

Jeron leaned up close, and politely asked, “Can I sit on your lap?”

“You sure can,” she said as she opened her arms.

Jeron crawled up onto her lap and went soundly to sleep.

No one today knows the name of the dear lady who offered her lap to a little ‘lost’ boy. Jeron is in his middle teens now and is much too ‘mature’ to speak of such things.

In my mind today, several questions still nag at me:

What was there about her, that made Jeron choose her?

Was it her age?

Was it her resemblance to his Grandmother?

Was it her kind face?

We’ll never know, I’m afraid.

But, what about her?

Why did she willingly hold a strange little kid on her lap and let him go to sleep?

I may not have all the answers, but this I know, she was a real Grandma.

What the word “Grandma means to a little kid, is someone who is loving, affectionate and takes good care of you.

Grandmas come to your defense. Grandmas feed you good. You feel safe with Grandma. Grandmas will buy you things you always wanted, and take you places you like to go.

Grandmas are nurturing and kind. They are soft-spoken and don’t scream at you. Grandmas are very loving. Grandmas make you always feel safe. All kids know this. Grandmas give you their hearts. Grandmas love kids. Grandmas don’t have to be related.

What the world needs are more good Grandmas.

Are you a Grandma?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 22, 2010 at 12:42 am

Posted in Family, Grandma, Love

Mom said, “What If I Forget God?”

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Mom said, “What If I Forget God?”

Yesterday I cried. I cried about several things. I cried about things that I couldn’t fix. I cried about things no one can fix. (It may not be prudent or wise to share this, but I will.)

Sis. Connie Ballestero

My youngest sister, Nila Marxer, lives in Southern California. She has taken care of my 88-year-old Mother in her home for six years or so. Nila is an Angel sent from God to our family. Mom lives in an apartment inside Nila’s home.

My Mom’s health is not very good anymore. Her short-term memory loss has alarming worsened recently. It makes my phone calls to her, extremely painful for me. Mom has a problem of not remembering even the day of the week.

A few days ago, she wandered out of her room before midnight and went into the main living room. She turned all the lights on. At 2am, Nila came out of her bedroom and found Mom standing there looking around.

She said, “Mom, let me take you to your room and put you to bed.”

When they got to Mom’s room, Mom said, “Is this where I’m staying?”

“Yes, Nila said.

“Oh,” she said, “I didn’t know where I was supposed to sleep.”

That was unwelcome news. It was like one of your worst fears coming true. I am very grateful to Nila for being so loving and patient.

Last night while on a Skype video call to my sister, I got to see her, her husband Eric, and my Mom. Mom was all smiles.

With her voice breaking, Nila talked to me about Mom, with Mom sitting beside her. She talked about health issues that Mom was currently dealing with. Then she said that her and Mom had talked about her memory loss. Mom expressed her greatest fear to Nila.

Mom said, “Nila, what if I forget God?”

That statement ripped my very heart out. Of all people, my Godly Mother who has had the Holy Ghost for 80 years. She labored with Dad in the ministry for over 50 years.  And now, she worries that in her memory losses, she might forget about God.

I cried.

Nila said, “Marty, quote the first part of a Psalm and see if Mom can quote the rest of the verse.”

I looked at Mom and Nila seated in front of their computer and I started with Psalms 100.

I said: (Psa. 100:1) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD,

Mom said: all ye lands.

I said: (Psa. 100:2) Serve the LORD with gladness:

Mom said: come before his presence with singing.

I said: (Psa. 100:3) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;

She said: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

I said: (Psa. 100:4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,

She said: and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

I said: (Psa. 100:5) For the LORD is good;

She said: his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

My tears still flowed.

In a day when so many are willfully forgetting God, my heart is overwhelmed by the fears of my sainted Mother.

“What If I Forget God?”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Someone’s Praying For You!

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Someone’s Praying For You!

There are times when you can’t even pray for yourself. Your pain is overwhelming, your faith is low, your friends and family mean well, but you still feel like you are dying on the inside.

It was at a time like that, over 50 years ago, that my parents, Carl and ‘Connie’ Ballestero were going through the darkest point of their life. They had accepted the pastorate a church that had some serious spiritual issues.

Dad was coping with the problems the best he could. They were major. The attacks felt like they were orchestrated by hell itself. It was a spiritual warfare that had soon turned ugly. Dad spent three nights in a row praying into the wee hours of the morning. He kept praying late every night until he felt he eventually prayed the burden through and felt victory. He had desperately needed a miracle from God.

Months later, at the General Conference, Brother Rasnacheck, a missionary from India, came up to my father, and said, Bro. Ballestero, I don’t know what you were going through several months ago, but on “such an such a date “ (He named the dates.) for 3 nights in a row, God gave me a vision of you on your knees, desperately praying.  I could see you were in great trouble and in much pain. The Lord told me to pray for you, and I did. I prayed through the night, three different times, until I felt victory. (Those were the very nights my father had been in prayer.)

Dad had not prayed the problem through alone. Even though he thought he was fighting the battle by himself, God had reached down in India, and had given Brother Rasnacheck, the missionary, a vision. The missionary had responded, and the miracle through prayer, was accomplished.

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

We’re all a product of prayer. The devil seems to enjoy making God’s children feel alone, forsaken, and uncared for. But you are not. He has seen to it that key people are in place to pray for you.

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

Jesus said to Simon:But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. “ Luke 22:32

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

Paul the Apostle To The Church In Rome“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;” Rom 1:9

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

The Church Prayed For Peter – “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. Acts 12:5

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

Parents Pray For Their Children, and Grandchildren.

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

Like Samuel, Your Pastor Prays For You: Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 1 Sam 12:23

Another place the Scripture mentions that Samuel prayed all night long for Saul.

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

Always remember that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

Be encouraged today. No matter how alone you feel, no matter how serious this battle is that you’re fighting, you are not fighting this battle alone.

  • Someone’s Praying For You.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 20, 2010 at 1:33 am

The Peace Prize

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The Peace Prize

He sat there stunned. The huge room was filled with people from everywhere. The Presenter of the highly esteemed “Peace Prize” was listing all of the qualifications a potential candidate must posses in order to receive the award.

The winner would be given an unbelievably large sum, plus a myriad of perks and benefits. Receiving this award would be someone’s dream of a lifetime.

He looked around the room at all the others there. He recognized quite a few. He wasn’t even sure he should be here.

  • He wasn’t a rocket scientist.
  • He wasn’t a well know politician.
  • He wasn’t a world leader.
  • He wasn’t a hero of any kind.
  • He wasn’t a famous doctor with a large laboratory.
  • He’d never discovered a cure.
  • He didn’t even have a fancy degree.
  • He was just a private citizen.

Yet, now he found himself sitting in this international assembly of people. Some of them are amazingly gifted. He felt so small compared to them.

He is brought back to reality at the mention of his name. They just called his name! His name! He is being announced as the winner of the “Peace Prize.”

He’s stunned. What did he do to win this? With his brain in a whirl he somehow stumbles to the stage.

He stands there modestly, while the Presenter begins to read his accomplishments to the audience. He drops his gaze and looks at the floor while he listens. Tears begin to trickle down his face. He remembers the things that are now being read.

He never did those things to win a prize or for any recognition. He’d only done it out of love.

Besides receiving all the “Peace Prize” benefits and provisions, he is handed a beautiful certificate with his name inscribed on it, signifying him as the winner. It simply says:

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

Matthew 5:9

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 18, 2010 at 1:51 am

An Old School Lesson – “If You Can Take It, You Can Make It.”

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An Old School Lesson – “If You Can Take It, You Can Make It.”

I was mingling in the headquarters hotel lobby in Grand Rapids during the 1965 UPCI General Conference. At 21, I was a newlywed of two (2) months. I saw a familiar face, and turned to greet a treasured family friend, Bro. Howard H. Davis.

From my early childhood, the Ballestero and the Davis families have been close friends. Over the years, my father had talked to me in revered tones about all five of the Davis brothers. They all were Pastors or Missionaries. I grew up with an ingrained respect for them.

After we shook hands and hugged necks we greeted each other with small talk. He looked at me and said I’d like to talk to you a minute. I readily agreed.

Martyn & Marcia Ballestero 08/14/1965

He said, “Brother Marty, I know you’re married now and evangelizing. But you don’t look like you used to look. You’ve changed the way you comb your hair to one of these worldly hairstyles. I liked the “old” Bro. Marty better.

“You don’t look like a holiness preacher now. You don’t look like the son of Carl Ballestero. You don’t look like the Bro. Marty I used to know.”

I quickly tried to review in my mind, the reasons that I had changed to this “new look.” My wife had said it was “nice” and I guess that meant she liked it. There had even been a few compliments from friends my age. I really didn’t have a good answer why, except that I liked it. Maybe it was my vanity that started all this. I thought I looked “cool.” I didn’t consider if God was pleased or what injury I might do to my ministry, or lose in the respect of my Elders.

I knew in my heart that it took some love and bravery to walk up to the son of your friend and extend admonishment like Bro. Davis had, in hopes of helping me.

I was certainly caught off guard. Maybe the word stunned even comes to mind. I didn’t interrupt him. He was my Elder. He was my father’s dear friend. He then, in my mind, was my friend too by inheritance.

When he finished. I apologized for disappointing him. I told him how much I appreciated him loving me enough, and being brave enough to tell me what I needed to do. I told him that I would immediately go upstairs to my Hotel room and change my hairstyle back to the “Old Marty” look.

We hugged necks and I went to my room.

While I stood in front of the mirror, my wife asked in a gentle tone, “Baby, what are you doing?”

“I’m changing my hair back like I used to comb it,” I replied.

“But I like the other way,” she offered.

I replied, “So do I, Baby. So do I.”

When I was done combing my hair, I kissed her and left the room. I wanted to go downstairs to the Lobby again. When Bro. Davis spotted me from across the big room, he nodded my way and smiled. I nodded and smiled back.

Neither of us knew then, that someday he would become my Step Father-In-Law. I have privately thanked the Lord that I did not show a bad spirit or attitude that day. That I understood that he was brave enough to help a friend’s son stay on track. I will forever honor him for that alone.

Nearly twenty years later, 11 couples of pastors and their wives went together on a Caribbean cruise. It was the best trip ever! This was an opportunity to get better acquainted and relax. We all had great fun and enjoyed the fellowship of each other. I got a close-up look at Bro. Howard Davis. I watched him laugh, tell stories of his travels, and have a great time.

When we talked now, it really felt comfortable. I was no longer the little kid talking to grownups. I enjoyed the conversations, and camaraderie immensely.

Years later after the passing of their spouses, my Mother-in-law, June Starr and Howard Davis became acquainted. In private conversation one day with “Mom” Starr, I confided to her my opinion of Bro. Howard Davis.

I said, “If I was stranded on island for 6 months and allowed to have 3 friends with me, He would be one of them. He’s wise. He’s very knowledgeable about life. He’s balanced, He’s kind and He’s fun. He’s easy to be around. You’ll not be sorry if you marry him.”

One of my life’s happiest moments is when I was honored to walked down the aisle with my Mother-in-law on my arm to give her in marriage to Bro. Howard Davis.

He has become the father image in my life today. He’s a stabilizing factor  for me in a changing world. His wonderful ministry is probably the best-kept secret in Pentecost.

I Love Bishop Howard H. Davis with all my heart! When my father died, my Pastor died also. I felt vulnerable and alone. I believe everyone needs a Pastor in the their life. I asked “Dad” Davis to be my Pastor and submitted myself to him. I am happy to call him, “Dad Davis” and Pastor!



My ‘Other’ Mother, Sis. June Davis, has written a Biography Of Bishop Howard Davis. You will want to get this book.

The book is entitled: ‘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 orders to.
Marian June Davis
735 Greenwood Ave
San Bernardino, CA 92407

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 16, 2010 at 10:08 pm

The Key To The Master’s Orders

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I read this in my devotional today, and wanted to share this with you. May our burden for lost souls never diminish.



My  Utmost For His Highest

October 16.


“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:38).

The key to the missionary problem is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer not work, that is, not work as the word is popularly understood today because that may mean the evasion of concentration on God.

The key to the missionary problem is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization or education or even evangelization. The key is prayer. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest.” Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; we have to realize that prayer is stupid from the ordinary common-sense point of view.

There are no nations in Jesus Christ’s outlook, but the world. How many of us pray without respect of persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced by distress and conviction of sin, and this is the harvest we have to pray that labourers may be thrust out to reap.

We are taken up with active work while people all round are ripe to harvest, and we do not reap one of them, but waste our Lord’s time in over-energized activities. Suppose the crisis comes in your father’s life, in your brother’s life, are you there as a labourer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? “Oh, but I have a special work to do!”

No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, one who is not above his Master, one who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls to no special work: He calls to Himself. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer circumstances and thrust you out.

My Utmost for His Highest.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Ministry, Missions, Prayer