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Archive for June 2011

Things Daredevils Say

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Things Daredevils Say

We all have an idea of what daredevils do. Some have amazed us by the very fact they survived. Others have caused us to shake our heads in disbelief that anyone would even consider doing what they just did.

Daredevils like notoriety. They wish to be seen. They enjoy the public spotlight and their 15 minutes of fame. Their ego is fueled by the applause. They really want to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. They might even be happy if Ripley’s Believe It Or Not took notice of them too.

What Daredevils Do.

Newspapers have chronicled daredevils for years. Going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Climbing the world’s tallest skyscrapers without a net or harness. Walking on a tight rope between the Twin Towers. Houdini’s underwater exploits while handcuffed and chained to concrete. Evel Knievil’s made over 75 ramp jumps on a motorcycle. He also suffered 433 broken bones in his life.

Hundreds of others have made the front pages because they tried something that normal people would not dare try. Sometimes they lived to talk about it, even though it was from a hospital bed. Others did not fare so well. One or two survived the first attempt, but did not on a second one.

What Daredevils Say.

Long before a daredevil privately or publicly puts himself on the line, he has had to cross that line in his mind. It’s after the twisted wheels of his thinking have already turned that we hear him announce his intentions. His intention is primarily to get attention. It may have started when he was young.

They Tried Their Daredevil Stunts When They Were Kids.

  • Look Ma, no hands. (Look Ma, no teeth.)
  • Watch this.

 They Tried Their Daredevil Stunts When They Were Dating.

  • If you love me, you’ll let me.
  • What will it hurt?
  • Everyone is doing it.

They Even Have Tried Their Daredevil Stunts With God.

  • I’m not convicted.
  • There is no God.
  • Not tonight
  • What’ll hurt?
  • Nobody will know.
  • I don’t care what anybody says.
  • I can do my own thinking.
  • I don’t need your help.
  • I’ll do whatever I want.
  • It’s my life.
  • I don’t need anything
  • I’ve got plenty of time.
  • There’s always tomorrow.
  • Everybody’s doing it.
  • I’m the exception.
  • I don’t have to.
  • Who do you think you are telling me what to do?

There Were Daredevils In The Bible.

 Pharaoh

  • He said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?”

Nabal,

  • Was such a son of Belial, that a man couldn’t speak to him.
  • He said, ‘Who is David?”

Belshazzar,

  • Ignored the punishment of God on his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Desecrated the Holy Vessels of the Temple in a lewd party.

Nadab and Abihu

  • Offered Strange Fire before the Lord.

Ananias and Sapphira

  • Lied to the Holy Ghost and To Peter.

Felix

  • Said, “When I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”

God detests arrogance. He called it haughtiness. Humble people aren’t daredevils. Daredevils aren’t obedient. They aren’t submissive. They do not wish to do what others do. They will always struggle to be saved.

Are you a daredevil that is trying to see how much Bible you can ignore and still be saved?

Some daredevils have a problem giving God His tithe. Others struggle with modesty and holiness. Some daredevils challenge the Pastor, the Church and the Bible. It’s dangerous to be friends with a ‘spiritual’ daredevil.

 Solomon Describes The Daredevil’s Mindset.

 KJV Eccl. 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

 NIV Eccl. 8:11 ¶ When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.

 Daredevil, you might get by, but you won’t get away. If you think it’s not easy being a daredevil in this life, just wait until the next life.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Posted in Arrogance, Pride, Submission

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You’ve Got Guard Duty

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You’ve Got Guard Duty

Readers of the Bible are familiar with all kinds of Guards.

Some Guards Mentioned In The Bible Are:

  • Jail Guards,
  • Prison Guards,
  • The King’s Guards,
  • Temple Guards,
  • Watchmen on the wall.

 Shepherds Were Guards Also.

  • David guarded the sheep. He protected them from the lion and the bear.

In The Early Days Of America,

  • There were Guards on Trains called Pinkertons.
  • There were Guards on Wagon Trains,
  • Soldiers were always used to guard the settlers.
  • Even Cowboys guarded the cattle herds at night by using watches, which they called, 1st watch, 2nd watch, etc.

In More Modern Times,

  • We have Airport Guards,
  • TSA,
  • Bank Guards,
  • Loss Prevention,
  • Bouncers in Beer Joints,
  • Crossing Guards,
  • Guards in the Schools as well.
  • Life Guards.
  • We have the National Guard.
  • Then there are the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  • We all have seen Guard Dogs that have been trained to defend and attack.

In High School in the 1960’s, we became familiar with the term D.E.W. or Distant Early Warning System. It was an anti-missile shield to protect American from enemy attacks. Today, we hear the term, Star Wars used to describe our High Tech Defense System.

Body Guards Are Now More Common. They Guard:

  • Rich people,
  • High-Level Politicians and aspirants.
  • Movie Stars,
  • Famous Singers all have them too.

We Have Several Branches Of The Armed Forces That Are Trained To Defend Our Great Country.

In Guard Training, You Are taught:

  • To recognize the enemy and what he looks like.
  • He may use disguises
  • This is his M.O. or Method of Operation.
  • This is what your response is to be to his threat.
  • It’s up to you.
  • You are the 1st line of defense.
  • You may be the last line of defense as well.

Guards Are Warned.

  • Don’t go to sleep.
  • Don’t get distracted.
  • Don’t leave your post of duty.
  • Stay alert.
  • Don’t get overpowered.
  • Here is how to Guard and Who to let in and not let in.
  • There is the punishment for dereliction of duty.

Pastors are Guards

  • Watch for your souls
  • Standards, Holiness preaching of separation from the world.

Parents are Guards.

  • Curfews
  • Discipline
  • Instructions
  • Family rules

Only You Can Guard Your Heart.

  • A guarded heart is a heart that is at peace.

Solomon’s Wives Turned His Heart.

  • Can you keep up your guard even if you have to defend yourself against your own family and loved ones?
  • Solomon didn’t.

Evil Kings Caused Israel To Sin. The Guards Of Israel Let The Enemy In.

  • We hear of Pastors going Emergent and Charismatic and taking the whole church with them.
  • The Guard, let the guard down.
  • The seducing spirit of the age got past the guard.
  • Both the guard and what he was guarding became a spoil of the enemy.

God Is Your Guard. He Is For You A…

  • Hedge
  • Buckler
  • Rereward (rear guard)
  • Shield

 But You Have To Guard Your Heart.

 We Guard Our Computers.

  • We Guard our private life with passwords
  • We guard our PC’s with Anti-Virus software.

 We Guard Our Vehicles:

  • We guard our vehicles on the outside with under coating and wax.
  • We guard our car’s drive chain with special oils and lubricants.
  • We guard the car with door locks and anti-theft devises.

 We Guard Our Homes:

  • Alarm Systems
  • Termite inspections

 We Guard Our Bodies.

  • We guard our eyes with safety glasses.
  • We guard our eyes with sunglasses.
  • We guard our skin with sun blocker
  • We guard our hands from cold with gloves.
  • We guard our hands with oven mitts so we won’t get burned.
  • We guard our necks with scarfs in the cold.
  • We guard our ears with earmuffs in the cold.
  • We guard our ears with earplug in noisy environments.
  • We guard our feet with steel-toed shoes in factories.
  • We guard our head with helmets.
  • We guard our knees and elbows with pads.
  • We guard from the sun with hats.

 Why Don’t We Guard Our?

  • Heart
  • Spirit
  • Thoughts
  • Attitude
  • Modesty
  • Marriage
  • Purity
  • Tenderness,
  • Innocence.
  • Love,
  • Joy,
  • Peace

Why Don’t We Guard Our Heart Against:

  • Bitterness
  • Rebellion
  • Jealousy
  • Disobedience
  • Pride
  • Compromise.
  • Worldly Friends
  • Envy
  • Lust
  • Anger
  • Discouragement
  • Greed

How Do We Guard?

  • Praying daily
  • Reading God’s Word every day.
  • Submitting our self to God
  • Submitting our self to God’s Word
  • Submitting our self to our Pastor
  • Not being influenced or intimidated by the negative actions of others.

How Do We Guard Our Heart?

  • We guard our hearts by forgiving
  • We guard our heart by repenting
  • We guard our hearts by humbling ourselves
  • We guard our hearts by loving one another
  • We guard our hearts by praying for our enemies.
  • We guard our hearts in the prayer room.
  • We guard our hearts in the worship service.
  • We guard our hearts by saying amen to preaching.

We Only Have One Heart.

No One Else Will Guard It Like We Can.

 KJV Prov. 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

NIV Prov. 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

 

You’ve Got Guard Duty.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Christian Living

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He Had No One To Help Him

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He Had No One To Help Him.

The clouds drifted over the moon and made the street even darker.  A feeling of fear and trepidation made him look furtively on both sides of the street. This was a bad part of town. Empty houses with broken windows and partially boarded up doors were scattered here and there.

Somewhere in the dark came the sound of a hiss and then a spat. A black cat streaked across the street in front of him and ran on off into the night. What had spooked the cat? Something was out there.

No cars were to be seen on this street. All his senses screamed that something was terribly wrong. The feeling of unseen danger nagged at him.

His footsteps seemed loud on the sidewalk. He could feel eyes looking at him. He quickly glanced over his shoulder again. They were still following him. He’d noticed them earlier.

The two matched his pace and his speed, always staying about the same distance away. What were they up to? Why had they been following him? Were they detectives? Were they thugs? He couldn’t think of anything he’d done to make anyone mad at him. Why were they there?

He stared ahead in the distance at the street light a block away. A couple of guys stood under it’s light. One leaned up against the light pole. They had their heads turned in his direction. They were waiting.

The two behind him seemed to be gaining on him. There was no way out of this. He had no weapons. He was not even a good runner. He was trapped. He didn’t have much to steal. He had no phone to call for help. He had no one to help him.

Would he be robbed? Were they planning to kill him? Did they just want to beat him up? His heart was pounding. His mind was numb with anxiety.

He could hear the footsteps of the two behind. They were closer, much closer. The two under the street light stared hard at him. Their bodies blocked the sidewalk in a threatening manner.

They looked at him and then they looked past him at his followers. A look of recognition came over their faces. They glanced at each other and without speaking, turned and disappeared into the dark.

Wonder made his eyes follow their departure. Had the two behind him given a signal or something? What had just happened?

Glancing over his shoulders, he saw that his two followers were very close. The street light revealed their faces and their identity. Relief flooded him and a smile stretched across his face. They smiled back at him. He knew why they were there. He knew who had sent them. He did have someone to help him. He would be safe. Yes, he would be very safe tonight.

Psa. 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

Posted in Comfort, Mercy, Trust

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Streams In The Desert

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Streams In The Desert

The weary traveler was hot and thirsty. His mouth was dry and his sunburned lips had not had water for more than a day. Hot wind seared his skin. His eyes were reddened from the sun and wind.

He could not see any shade in which to sit down and rest. There seemed to be no protection from the cruel elements. He was afraid. He had fallen twice already. If he fell again, he feared he would not have the strength to get up and go on. He could not stop. He had to get to the other side. The buzzards circled slowly over head watching his every step. They knew from experience, it was just a matter of time.

Crossing the desert in the summer was extremely dangerous. He knew that. Many men had died over the years trying to make it across in this heat. Skeletons by the trail was a harsh reminder.

His water was gone. His feet burned from the hot sand. The late afternoon sun was unmerciful. It was dangerously hot.

His eyes and mind had been playing tricks on him since mid-morning. The illusion of a shimmering water hole ahead had raised his hopes a few times. When he had gotten closer, he knew it was just a mirage. With dashed hopes, he still trudged on.

Although unsteady in his steps, he refused to stop. The strength he’d had yesterday was gone. He had walked through the night. He was tired. He was dehydrated. He knew that he was staring death in the face. But he kept walking. He had to make it.

With gritted teeth, he slowly climbed the small hill in his path. It took most of his remaining strength. He made it to the top, just barely.

Then he saw it. Unbelievable! A few trees, and some brush not far below. It looked like a stream of water too!

Surely it was just another mirage. There couldn’t be water flowing out here. Not here! Then by chance he saw a bee flying in that direction. Bees fly in a straight line towards water. He followed.

His hopes were raised. New vigor propelled him forward. He saw it! There it was, a stream a real stream.

The stream wasn’t noisy or loud. It was clear, it was cool, but most of all it was refreshing. The exhausted traveler fell to his knees and refreshed himself from the stream in the desert.

Is. 35:6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

All travelers in this life know the blessing of finding a “God provided stream” in their desert. If you will stop, drink and be refreshed. You can make it!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

It’s Called Filth

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It’s Called Filth

My mother was an expert on pigsties. She came into my bedroom one day when I was in the 7th grade and told me that my room looked like a pigsty. She ordered me to clean it up, in no uncertain terms. I did. Mama had zero tolerance for filth.

I recently went with a pastor to visit some sick people in the hospital.  A small boy had contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. He was 4 years old and refused to wear shoes indoors or out. His constant hand contact with his feet and then his mouth was a major issue.

His feet were covered with blisters, as well as his hands.  His mouth was full of them besides. The youngster was in a coma.

As I left the Hospital, I looked for the hand Sanitizer dispenser in the lobby by the front door. I used two dozes just in case one application didn’t catch all of the germs.

I shake dozens of hands before and after church. It’s important to me to be able to wash the fellowship off of my hands before sitting down to eat after service. I don’t want the germs from their unwashed hands in my mouth.

It doesn’t take much for germs to spread. I do not which to get germs nor do I wish to spread them.

There are times when I wish I could wash my mind and my thoughts because of what I heard or what I saw that day. We may call the influence of the world in our lives by nicer names, but I’m afraid that most of it falls under the classification of filth.

Sometimes I wish I could pull my heart out and put it on the scrub board of God’s Mercy and scrub it clean. I wish I could scrub it clean of all impurities and filth. I am not talking about immorality, I’m just talking about the filth of this generation that swirls around us everyday. It’s called Life.

David even spoke of the same desire to be clean in Psalms. He also wanted to scrub away the filth of life and be clean so that he might be acceptable in the presence of the Lord.

Psa. 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Psa. 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Peter warned us all that there would be a constant need to protect ourselves for the present evils of the age.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

This indecent, unbecoming, uncomely, unseemly world of ours freely spreads it’s filth around every day. It infiltrates our ears, our eyes, our minds, and most of all our hearts. We must work constantly to keep ourselves pure.

1John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

We have to do some washing ourselves. That is the reason why daily devotions and our prayer closet times are so important to keeping ‘disease free’ in a filthy and sick world.

Thank God for the altars in our churches. Thank God for a place where hearts can be scrubbed clean.

No Levite or Priest could enter into the Holy Place of God without first washing the filth off in the Laver, and neither can we. Every one of us needs to be washed on a daily basis.

Saints of old sang songs about being washed and being clean. I wish they still did.

 

Search Me, O God

James E. Orr, 1936

Copyright: Public Domain

  1. Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
    Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
    See if there be some wicked way in me;
    Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
  2. I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
    Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
    Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
    Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
  3. Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
    Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
    Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
    I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.
  4. O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
    Send a revival, start the work in me;
    Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
    For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Preach Me The Gospel

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Preach Me The Gospel

Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Ours is a day of dilution of sacred truths. The importance of our basic tenets of faith is being challenged. Compromise is seen in every too many areas. Some sermons are not much more than an exercise in Pop-Psychology. Word preaching is non-existent in too many places. Doctrine is scorned by some and called ‘old school.’

It may be ‘old school’ to the compromiser, but doctrinal preachers, believers and practitioners are still here and doing well.

  • They are still living ‘the life.’
  • They haven’t caved in to compromise and worldliness.
  • They were blessed to have heard some old-time Doctrinal messages on the New Birth. They got it in their heart.
  • They heard teaching and preaching about Holiness, Separation from the World, Church Government, and Standards. They loved it.
  • They were taught why the New Birth was important.
  • They were taught why separation from the world was important.
  • They were taught why it is important to live holy.
  • They were taught why they should worship.
  • They were taught why they should be faithful.
  • They were taught why they should honor God with their tithes.
  • They were taught why they should honor God with their modest apparel.
  • They said Amen to the preacher.
  • They believed it.
  • They received it.
  • They got in the Word and the Word got in them.

Some churches, organizations and fellowships have neglected the Word and turned to gimmicks and programs to distract from the obvious void and lack of a move of God.

The lack of Word preaching is evident by what is seen in the lives of many at conferences, camps and rallies. If preachers ‘get what they preach,’ someone must not be preaching very much.

There will always be a constant need to preach on worship. Please do not stop. I fear however, that our heavy emphasis on worship demonstration promotes the belief that our best services are always runaways.

Thank God for a runaway. But to me there is no measure of the lasting blessings the Word has on our lives. A shout can be forgotten. But the engrafted Word can be hidden in the heart until we die.

It is easy for some to jump up and down and run the aisle. Yet these same folks seem lost and uncomfortable in a deep move of God. Why?

Every pastor has seen folks shout in church, and then heard of them sinning before the night was over. They had the ‘physical exercise’ part down. They just didn’t get much on the inside. No root.

Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Some pastors only want to teach doctrine (or anything that isn’t evangelistic) in ‘closed door settings’. They must be afraid to stand up and preach it to their whole congregation. The shallowness of church membership today is alarming.

Psa. 119:161 …but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

Psa. 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a story of two houses. One house was built on the rock. The other was built on the sand. All was well until the storm came. Only the house on the rock remained standing.

Without a solid foundation, we too will fall apart when the storms of worldliness come against the church.

2Chr. 15:3 Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.

God give us a season of the teaching priest. Give us a season of loving thy law.

Paul’s Gospel was the New Birth. The Death, Burial and the Resurrection.

Thank God for preachers who just stand up and preach the Word. Thank God for saints who want to hear preaching. Singing doesn’t save us, preaching does.

The Apostle Paul didn’t say to Timothy, “Discern someone’s phone number, their name or medical condition.” He just said to preach the Word.

Carloads will drive miles to hear a preacher call out folks and pray over them. (I can tell you ahead of time what he will say. He will prophesy blessings, healing and prosperity over those he prays for. He will never discern the sinfulness they are living in.)

The same folks that go gaga over that type of ministry get easily bored listening to a ‘Word’ preacher.  Some wouldn’t drive across town to hear him.

Take some advice from an old man. If you are a preacher and have a choice between being a feeder or an exhorter, be a feeder. Because a feeder will build a church.

2Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Don’t stop the worship, but at the same time, preach the Word. Keep preaching about Worship, but let Doctrine showcase your ministry.

Preacher, there are still plenty of saints out there that bring their Bibles to church.

There are still plenty of saints that bring a notebook and pen to Church just waiting.

There are still plenty of saints that will readily say, “Preach Me The Gospel.”

The Book Of Deception

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The Book Of Deception

23:17-36

Today’s Devotional For The Uncommitted


V. 17   It shall not matter what a man believes as long as he is sincere.

V. 18   Thou shalt not criticize other religions because they shall all lead you to the same place.

V. 19   Let thy conscience be thy guide and all things will work out right.

V. 20   I am no respecter of persons saith the Lord, if any man have the Holy Ghost, he shall need no other teacher. I alone will instruct him in the ways of righteousness.

V. 21   If any man hast not received the Holy Ghost, he shall be saved by accepting me as his personal Savior, saith the Lord.  Only believe.

V. 22 Forasmuch as customs and standards change, each generation shall not be required to live or dress in any manner that is considered old fashioned.  The Lord God is not concerned how his people look on the outside, but on the inside only. Thou shalt win more people if thou lookest more like them.

V.23 In the last days, business and pleasure shall increase.  Many shall not be able to attend church services faithfully.  Come when thou art able, saith the Lord.

V. 24 If thine church seemeth too far away, of if thy ministers offendeth thee in anywise, thou shalt be permitted to attend another church of thy choice.  Fear not, once saved always saved.

V. 25 The Lord thy God is too good to let any of His children suffer in eternity.  There is no hell.  I know not any.  Yet if there is, thou shalt be burnt up and feel no pain.

V. 26 If thou feelest good about a thing in thine heart, then know that it is My will for thee.  Let not any man tell thee other wise, saith the Lord.

V. 27 If thou hast been given a gift and thou art not used as you wouldst desire to be, then thou shalt be freed from the bondage of thine pastor and mayest go whithersoever thou wouldst.

V. 28 The tithe belongeth unto me saith the Lord, but if thou needest to use it, thou mayest.

V. 29 Whatsoever thou doest in the days of thy youth shall be excused, for there is one requirement for the young and another for the old.

V. 30 If thine pastor settest thee down because of thine transgression, it is better that thou goest to another assembly where they knowest thee not, so that thou mightest prosper more abundantly.

V. 31 Thy sin shall not be required of thee except thou art caught in it.  Thou mayest sin a little bit every day for I know that thy flesh is weak and that thou art not perfect.  For if thou still hast addictions, thy weaknesses art overlooked for I am not able to deliver thee fully.

V. 32 Worship is of the heart.  Thou shalt not do that which is unseemingly to make me happy.  Keep thine seat saith the Lord and praise me in thine heart. Demonstration is for the weak and unschooled.

V. 33. The altar is a place for the ungodly and unclean.  If thou art a believer, thou mayest stay in thine pew while others pray.  Bowest thine head though and movest thine lips, so I mayest know thou art awake.

V. 34 Though many say that I am coming quickly.  I have many more things yet to do.  Thou hast plenty of time.

           

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 6, 2011 at 9:48 am

Posted in Compromise, Deception

Tagged with ,