The Ballestero Blog

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Archive for April 2011

Oops, You Just Asked The Wrong Person!

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Oops, You Just Asked The Wrong Person!

Case #1

“Hey Larry, it’s me again, Dave. I hate to call you a second time in two hours, but you gave such good advice the first time and I need help again! This a real emergency this time, (but don’t tell anybody I called!)

I’m calling you again because that fishing hole you told me about was awesome! We’d nearly caught our limit after only fishing about 40 minutes. So I know I can trust you to give good advice. You wouldn’t steer me wrong.

“But while we were pulling them in, I got this call from the Chief ordering the Bomb Squad to handle a ‘situation” at the High School. Since I am the squad leader on the team, it’s my job to defuse the bomb they found in the principal’s office.

“I need you to give me some advice. What I need to know is do I cut the red wire or the blue? It’s very important. If I cut the wrong wire, it will blow up. The timer says I have 2 minutes and 14 seconds left.

“I’m embarrassed to ask anyone in the Department. They would fire me for not knowing.

“I know I can trust you. OK, red, or blue? A lot of lives are depending on this!”

Case #2

“Tom, I’m in Surgery right now. And I’ve run into an issue here. We’ve been in OR for 3 hours already and I’ve got patient with a tumor behind their left eye. I think it might be malignant. It’s attached itself to the back of the eyeball.

“You’re my brother-in-law and my best friend. A lot is on the line here. I don’t want the patient to lose their sight. I sure don’t want to be sued for malpractice.

“Do you know offhand, should I try to remove the tumor, or just leave it and opt for radiation?

“Also… the horizontal limb of the intraparietal sulcus begins from the junction of the lower and connects with the middle third of the postventral sulcus and curves backward parallel to the longitudinal fissure, midway between it and the parietal eminence. Do you know if that is normal?

Some nurses and a couple of doctors are watching here. I got to do something quick. Whatever you say, I’ll do it.”

Case #3

“Betty, I’m glad you came. I’m trying to make chicken and sausage gumbo for supper, and I need help making the roux. I’ve somehow lost my mother’s recipe and no one else seems to know.

“Also, I would like to make a Crème Brule for desert. Can you help me?”

“I’m sorry ma’am,” says a little voice, “I’m just selling Girl Scout Cookies door to door. Besides, I’m only eight years old and mama doesn’t let me cook yet.

“Would you like to buy some cookies? They’re really good!”

†††

As ridiculous as cases 1-3 seem, they are actually too common among some church members. What is sad, is that we know better, yet we do it anyway.

There seems to be a mindset that rejects asking the pastor’s advice. Instead, in a quest for answers and solutions about things that have direct bearing on our soul’s future, we turn from the Godly advice of our man of God and ask our carnal friends. Even worse, we ask our sinner friends.

Oh, they were our best friends for a long time in the world. As a friend, they always gave good practical advice. So we feel safe asking them about spiritual things even though the friend is not in church.

Have good people forgotten that in the Bible, even Kings, well especially the God-fearing Kings, asked the Prophets for advice.

No Prophet ever went to battle with a sword that I recall offhand.  Yet King after King asked the man of God for his advice about going to war. He wanted the man of God to pray and find God’s will.

The King felt safer including God in his plans. We should too.

God has a problem when His people ask sinners and other carnal people for advice, especially if it includes spiritual things. After all, we are no longer our own, but His. We are bought with a price.

The Scriptures still means what they say.

Psa. 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Psa. 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 29, 2011 at 12:52 am

Posted in Asking Advice

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Out Of Context, But Still The Truth

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Out Of Context, But Still The Truth

With my Reader’s permission, I am attempting to take a scripture out of context to illustrate a point. Knowing that doing so is dangerous; I will try to be careful. The scripture phrase that caught my attention comes from Psalms ninety-one.

Psa. 91:6… the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

“The Destruction That Wasteth At Noon Day.”

The original meaning of the impending judgment in this verse gets obscured when I think of a secondary application.

The life of a man, I suppose could be loosely classified using three basic stages of life, Youth, Middle Age, and Old Age.

Adults understand that young people can make mistakes. With the maturing process sometimes come tears and maybe even a little heartache. Older folks sometimes look at a young person with problems and tell themselves, “They’ll grow out of it!” Most often, they do. It’s called maturity.

By the time a man is retired, and his hair has fallen out, he is expected to act like he has some sense. As Bill Cosby once quipped, “He’s an old man trying to get into heaven now.”

The middle-aged group, however, is my focus. Society has a term for a guy who ‘acts out’ or does something stupid when he is middle age. They call it a mid-life crisis. Pick up on the word crisis. To me, that crisis can be the ‘destruction that wasteth in the noonday’ of a man’s life.

Of late, I’ve heard way too many stories of such destruction. I understand that all of us go through hormonal changes before we die. It’s no secret. We know about it. We all know about it even before it happens. Even with all the warning signs, some men (occasionally a woman, but mostly men) surrender to their primal urges. They no longer think of family, church or God. All they can focus on is their own desire. They selfishly trade all their family’s future peace and joy for what they imagine is the ultimate pleasure.  The forbidden.

Why do some Spirit filled men ignore all the warnings and throw moral caution to the wind. I know some that made it through their youth and remained pure.  Then, they messed up when they got older. That’s pure stupidity. Right when you have the most to lose, you throw it away for a fling.

Look again at the faithful bride you were once were head over heals in love with. The one God gave you. You can’t afford to let her walk away! And your children! Man, are you crazy? How do you face your babies when they know you’ve just destroyed their home? What’s going to happen to them? You’ve just brought your own house down on top of yourself. It’s not worth it… ever!

Esau threw away a birthright for just one meal. Heb. 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Don’t do anything stupid. Keep your flesh under subjection. It’s possible or God would not have required it. It’s what normal people do. It’s certainly what Spirit-filled people do. Die out to your carnal lusts. The Apostle Paul told us he did. He said he died daily. If Paul had too, we don’t have an excuse.

Every one has to keep their flesh under subjection and in control. Quit thinking that you are an exception. You’re not. Everyone’s flesh is weak. We all need God’s help. We also need to purpose in our own hearts to be faithful.

I can’t make you be faithful to your wife, sir. Ma’am, I can’t make you be faithful to your husband either. I sure can’t make you love each other. Actually, no one can make you do anything. The price you will pay for your personal pleasure will be greater than you could ever imagine. It will end in disillusion and shame.

There are three scripture verses encouraging men to love their wives.

  • The first one explains that she should be loved with all your heart.
  • The second scripture admonishes the husband to let go of the past problems in the relationship, and in spite of those hurts, love her!
  • The third one commands husbands to love their wife like they love themselves. If you don’t love your wife, then you don’t even love yourself.

Eph. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Col. 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

Eph. 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Purpose in your heart to protect yourself and protect your family from the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

Be the man your wife needs you to be.

Be the man your children believe you to be.

Be the man God has called you to be.

Be a Man!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 27, 2011 at 12:52 am

Posted in Failure, Family, Love, Marriage, Regret

Tagged with ,

My Grandfather Was An Idiot! My Dad Was Crazy Too!

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My Grandfather Was An Idiot! My Dad Was Crazy Too!

“My grandpa was old school. His ways may have worked back in the 60’s, but this is a new day! They won’t work now. Gramps was sincere and I love him, but bless his heart he didn’t do it right. Since he is gone, and now that I’m the pastor, I’ve had to make changes that will reach my generation. Grandpa’s ways just won’t work today. This is a new day!”

That’s what he said. He laughed and openly made fun of his grandfather as he talked to me about the old-time Pentecostal church services ‘back in the day.’

I knew his grandfather. I’d even preached for him. My father knew his grandfather and preached for him too. Yes, he might have done things different according to the grandson’s ‘enlightened’ thinking, but he still had over 700 in Sunday School having church the old-time way.

(You and I aren’t the finally judges of things, I know. But why can’t some people see what is so obvious and apparent to the rest. It’s seems simple when you do the doctrinal math.)

Grandpa’s “Old Time Pentecostal” Type Leadership Was,

  • Preaching “Holiness” and naming sin.
  • Preaching “Modesty in dress”.
  • Preaching “Separation from the world”
  • Preaching “Standards”.
  • Preaching “The essentially of Acts 2:38 experience.
  • Preaching “You must repent!”
  • Preaching “You must be baptized in Jesus Name!”
  • Preaching “You must be filled with the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues!”

Because Of What He Preached, Grandpa Had Over 700 In Church Membership.

The Grandson’s “Emergent Church” Type Leadership is,

  • No “Standards” preaching.
  • No “Holiness” preaching or naming of sin.
  • No “Modesty” preaching.
  • No “Requirements for Salvation except Believe” Holy Ghost = optional.

With All His ‘Progressiveness’ He Only Has 40 In Membership.

The bulk of the saints scattered when the grandson tore down what the grandfather had built. Yet in the grandson’s blindness, he still thinks his grandpa was an idiot for preaching the old-time Pentecostal ways. And he still thinks his grandfather did it all wrong. Even though most of the saints have left, he still rejects everything that is, and everything that looks Apostolic.

Nevertheless, Grandpa Was Right!

†††

 

A Son’s “Enlightened” Pastoral Style

His father pastored a revival church. A growing church, but he got old and retired.  The people wanted his son to be their new pastor.

Today, all evidence the father’s holiness preaching has been removed.  What once was a Pentecostal showcase in the area and made true Pentecostals smile, now only makes them shake their head in dismay.

The difference is unbelievable and unacceptable to all of the senior saints. Even ministers that grew up in the church, no longer want to go back even for a visit. They now would never consider taking members from their own congregation over for a visit. The church is so shockingly different; it is even shunned by many liberals.

The choir members look just like the sinners they are singing to. All standards have disappeared.

To top things off, the son dangles a weekly retirement check over his aged father’s head in an effort to keep his dad silent. He cannot afford to ever let his father preach again. It’s a shame to see the old man of God treated with such disrespect.

He believes his dad’s doctrinal preaching of the new birth was unnecessary. He also believes preaching about any kind of dress standard is unnecessary too.

The church is not growing, but the son would rather have the smaller church and be free of standards. So, he is happy because his wife is happy. They are free at last.

Nevertheless, Dad Was Right!

†††


I don’t expect one compromiser or hater of holiness to change because of my post today. But I would like to remind my readers of an old scripture.

It’s A Promise And It’s A Prophecy!

1Cor. 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

There’s coming a day…

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 26, 2011 at 1:04 am

God Will Take Care of You

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God Will Take Care of You

The Don McNeal Breakfast Club was on the air. Mondays through Fridays it could be heard at 10:00am on ABC. I was listening on this particular morning in the Spring of 1965, but I was having a bad day. It was a horrible Monday so far. Nothing had gone right. Little things had gone wrong all morning. There didn’t seem to be any sign of improvement either.

I was 21 years old and had been evangelizing full-time for two years. The freezing cold wind drove the rain almost sideways as I made my way from Texas to Columbia, Mississippi. I was scheduled to preach two weeks for a Bro. Thornton.

The rain was bad enough. To make matters worse, I barely had enough money for gas because they didn’t pay me very much at my last revival.

With only about 40 miles to go, I threw a rod in the 1961 VW Beetle I was driving. I was devastated. I had no money for engine repair. Neither did my Dad. What was I going to do?

It was hard to listen to the patter and laughter on the Breakfast Club with the engine making such a loud racket. I felt sick to my stomach with despair. I babied the car along the best I could at 35 miles an hour.

About that time, the Breakfast Club featured a young lady singing the Hymn of the Day. The song was entitled, “God Will Take Care Of You.”

When she started to sing, I couldn’t drive another hundred yards. I pulled the car over and listened to the words of the song. Tears streamed down my face all the while. God had spoken to my problem right while it was happening!

 

God Will Take Care of You

By Civilla D. Martin, 1904

1.         Be not dismayed whate’er betide,

God will take care of you;

Beneath his wings of love abide,

God will take care of you.

Refrain:

God will take care of you,

Through every day, o’er all the way;

He will take care of you,

God will take care of you.

2.         Through days of toil when heart doth fail,

God will take care of you;

When dangers fierce your path assail,

God will take care of you.

(Refrain)

3.         All you may need he will provide,

God will take care of you;

Nothing you ask will be denied,

God will take care of you.

(Refrain)

4.         No matter what may be the test,

God will take care of you;

Lean, weary one, upon his breast,

God will take care of you.

(Refrain)

In the middle of what felt like nowhere, God gave me a word of promise from an unlikely source that he would take care of me.

I did make it to Columbia, and I preached the revival meeting for Brother Thornton. I sold the car at an auto auction, and was able to buy another car and continued on.

He’s an on time God!

Yes, God still takes good care of me even now! And He has refresher courses too lest I forget.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 23, 2011 at 1:18 am

Posted in Faith

Tagged with

The Broken Windows Of The Soul

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The Broken Windows Of The Soul

The innocence of our youth is not prepared for the storms of life that happen in the adult world. Our sheltered inner self looks only through shuttered windows. We peer longingly at the outside.

We grow up sequestered and protected by those who love us. They provide for us. Gallant attempts are made by them to prepare us for adulthood.

Our young soul is climate controlled. We live in a private and comfortable world called Peace. Life couldn’t be better. It’s not that we are rich or poor. It’s that we are loved and sheltered.

As we grew older, we see those we know experience joy and sometimes even pain. We watch through the windows of our soul and see their successes and failures. We laugh easily with them. When they cry, we feel sympathy and even cry with them while they hurt. But still we don’t really know how they feel. We’ve lived a sheltered life. We are but young voyeurs gazing at those living life in the big world outside.

With maturity comes the privilege of independence. We merrily launch out on our own. Our hearts are filled with faith and hope. We are thrilled to finally live in the adult world. Yes, we still have our little inner sanctuary. It continues to be our respite from the hubbub. We come home and shut it all out. The windows and shutters are still in place. We are at peace.

Then news of an impending storm headed in our direction frightens us. We prepare the best we can, but we have no experience on preparing for storms. It makes a direct hit where we live. Our worst fears come true. It is fierce and powerful. The thunder is so loud and the lightning strikes too close for comfort. We huddle inside and pray for safety.

The winds of Disappointment loudly howl and the debris of Heartache blows upon the windows of our soul. The outside noise is deafening. A crash is heard. A window is broken. Shards of glass remain around the frame as a stark reminder of what used to be. Two windows are shattered, now a third one. Glass is everywhere. The flying glass cuts everything it touches. Oh how the wind howls!

For the first time, the storm of the outside world has gained access to the inside. The sheltered world of Peace has disappeared, all because of the broken windows of the soul.

Never before have we felt this vulnerable. Winds continue to swirl around the room. Treasured knickknacks and sentimental photos are knocked over. Rain blows violently in with the wind. The carpet and furniture are soaked. The lights go out and stay out. The air conditioning goes off. Desperation takes over.

The contents of the house are at risk. Everything of value must be protected. It is now at the mercies of the elements. The phone is dead. No outside help is immediately available. The temperature is hot and it’s still muggy. Sweat runs profusely. It is impossible to find Comfort. Now what?

After the wind finally settles down, the rain settles in. A few boards are found in the garage to cover up the broken windows. The windows are boarded up from the outside, even though it means getting soaked standing outside in the rain.

The covered windows are now dark. No light comes in from the outside. Looking at the damage done in the rooms, we find pieces of debris that broke our windows.

A chunk or two of Gossip sits by a piece of glass under the window. Splinters of Disappointment are scattered everywhere. A pile of Pain is strewn around the easy chair, staining the carpet. It looks like Failure probably did the most damage, but we can’t be sure until the Adjuster get here.

We busy ourselves trying to mop up and salvage what we can. In our efforts to survive the storm, we realize we tried to block out the noise of the outside world.

With a trash bag of broken things, we head for the backdoor. When we step outside, to our surprise, we see the rain has stopped.

The sun is shining almost apologetically through the clouds. Over there, to the west, is a big beautiful rainbow. It’s over, the storm is over, and God’s promise is still on display. Hope struggles free from the grasp of Fear.

Down the street a few friends and neighbors are seen coming. They saw what the storm did, and they want to help. They have their work clothes on and are carrying some tools with them. With looks of concern that only friends can have, a couple of them run toward the damage. The broken windows of the soul will soon be repaired with hands of love.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 21, 2011 at 12:58 am

The Best Thing I Can Do For You Is To Love You.

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The Best Thing I Can Do For You Is To Love You.

Some people are easier to love than others. Occasionally we encounter those that are critical, abrasive and even harsh. It doesn’t feel good. They seem to resist any and all expressions of kindness and goodwill. Their spirit is such that it is tempting to put a great distance between them and us.

It is easy to love those that love us back. There is warmth and comfort in friendships like that. The two-way street of Friendship is an easy road to travel. We feel wanted and even needed among loving friends and family.

Many of our letters, text messages, emails and phone calls to friends and family end with the “I Love You” salutation. Most of us find that easy to say. Yet we would never dream of saying that to some people.

There are those that we meet and they take an immediate dislike for us. Maybe they are just having a bad day and we just happened to cross their paths. I don’t know.

Others seem to focus their sights on us on purpose and take great exceptions to everything we do or say. It feels like we will always be wrong as far as they are concerned.

Do not fall into the trap of fighting them back, or God forbid, hating them. Bitterness consumes everyone one that allows it access.

It does not feel good to be hated, rejected or criticized. None of us want to be mistreated, persecuted or despitefully used. It’s painful to have our good name attacked or our ideology trashed. That makes our carnal nature want to rise to the defense. Then the war begins.

Too many of us spend our life doing battle with our enemies. How long do we let a war go on? The story of the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s family feud maybe legendary, but it does not need to be repeated.

May we make up our minds to love one another. May we truly love those in our home and in our church. But God’s will is for our love to extend past those walls and reach into the lives of our enemies. May we love those that refuse to love us.

Jesus told us that there is no special reward in loving those that love us back. But He did require that we love those that were our enemies. He asked us to love them that refused to love us back.

He told us that if we wish to be called His child, we were required:

  • To Love Our Enemies.
  • To Bless Our Enemies.
  • To Do Good Things For Them.
  • To Pray For Them.

Matt. 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matt. 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matt. 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

  • Feed Him If He’s hungry
  • Give Him Water If He’s Thirsty

Rom. 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

  • Do we meet the requirements of sonship listed of Matthew 5:43-46?
  • Do we qualify as a child of the Father?
  • I pray we all do!

 

The Best Thing I Can Do For You Is To Love You.

The Best Thing I Can Do For Myself Is To Love You.

 

By The Way, I Love You!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 19, 2011 at 12:03 am

Posted in Critics, Love

Tagged with

Baptism In Jesus Name Is Necessary For Salvation

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Baptism In Jesus Name Is Necessary For Salvation

(It’s How The Apostles Baptized)

 

Jesus Gave The Command.

Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to

rise from the dead the third day:

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

Peter Fulfilled The Command. He Quoted Verbatim What Jesus Said For Them To Preach.


1. Jerusalem

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Objection: When I got baptized, they said, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” Isn’t that how the Bible says to be baptized?

Matt. 28:19 … baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

  • The name of Jesus must be said to take way your sins. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not names, they’re titles!
  • Without exception, every person baptized in the early Church was  baptized using the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12   Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven

given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Let’s See How They Baptized In The New Testament Church

2. Samaria

Acts 8:12   But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God,

and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Acts 8:16  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of

the Lord Jesus.)

3. Saul of Tarsus

Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight

forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the

name of the Lord.

4. Household of Cornelius

Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

5. Rome

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his

death?

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up

from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the

likeness of his resurrection:

6. Corinth

1 Cor 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas;

and I of Christ.

1 Cor 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

7. Galatians

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

8. Ephesus

Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

9. Colosse

Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the

operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

  • No place in the Bible was anyone ever baptized using the titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
  • To have your sins washed away, you must be baptized in Jesus Name

Phil 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every

name:

Phil 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

Phil 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the

Father.

Question: Do I Need To Be Baptized In Jesus Name To Be Saved?

Answer: Yes!!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 13, 2011 at 12:45 am