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Archive for August 2011

Don’t Put Yourself At Risk

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Don’t Put Yourself At Risk

I stood in one of the many lines at Denver’s Casa Bonita, a number of years ago, waiting to order. In the adjoining line on my right was a man dressed in National Hot Rod Association racing attire, complete with his number and sponsor patches. He was the center of attention for 20 feet around. People were congratulating him on his race that day and shaking his hand. Other’s asked for his autograph. Some asked questions about the race.

One man asked, “The previous champion always used two parachutes when he raced. Why do you only use one parachute?”

He said that the other racer had already received six cornea re-attachments. He explained that the dragsters  go very fast, and that while the sudden stopping of the car is good, it is bad on the eyes.

He explained that the eyes are the softest and weakest part of the body, and while the body and the car stop, the pressure pushes the cornea forward often causing a detachment. That’s why I don’t use two. They make me stop too quickly.

I only using one, I have only had two retina re-attachments so far. He held up his trophy and said, “But it’s worth the risk.”

The piece of metal he held in his hands and the applause of men in his mind was worth risking his eyesight forever. Even though medical sciences are getting quite advanced and success stories from the quantum vision system are cheering hope on, nothing beats prevention. Word from the wise.

Sadly enough, some folks around our churches are risking more than their corneas. They are putting their souls at risk.

Saints Are Putting Themselves At Risk:

1. By Name Calling

(Mat 5:21)  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old-time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

(Mat 5:22)  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

  • “In danger of hell fire!” –if you call your brother a liar, fool, be careful!
  • Name calling is dangerous.

2. By Rebelling Against Your Leadership.

  • Ask Korah – he disagreed with Moses and rallied support against him.
  • 200 princes stood on wrong side of the argument.  They too were swallowed up with Korah.
  • Don’t ever fight against your pastor.
  • Don’t hang around critical (Railers) people. You’ll inherit their spirit.

3. Israel

  • A Critical Spirit
  • Murmur – Criticized
  • God Sent Fiery Serpents because they murmured

4. By Disrespecting The Man Of God

  • Bethel – 42 children mauled by bears.
  • The children’s parents put them at risk for talking negative about their Prophet. Children are always put at risk, by their unspiritual parents.

5. By Becoming Holier Than The Pastor

  • Once this happens, he can never teach you.
  • Now, you think you know more than him.
  • Your standards are higher, so he can’t ‘help’ you.
  • No matter if you have convictions about something and your pastor doesn’t, that does not give you the right to disrespect him as long as he is still in the Truth.

6. Moving To Another Church For A Bad Reason

  • Not every transplant is successful.
  • Never TELL your pastor you are moving. ASK him what he thinks and have him pray with you about it.
  • If he does not feel good about your moving, then there must be a reason.
  • Make sure you have your pastor’s blessing and approval

7. Lot’s Choice Put His Family at risk.

  • Your decisions in life always include those you love.

8. If You Marry The Unsaved Or Backslidden

  • You are going against all of God’s Advice.
  • I sincerely ask you not to make that mistake.

9. Don’t Marry The Heathen

  • Lest you learn their ways and it becomes an abomination
  • Marry heathen,
  • Unequally yoked
  • Your flesh may think it’s OK, but your spiritual man will always be affected for the worse.

10. By Robbing God

  • Do you have God’s money in your bank account right now?
  • Why?
  • You cannot afford NOT to pay tithes.
  • If you delight in the blessings of the Lord, you will NEVER have them without putting Him first.
  • Give Him the first fruits of you income, The Tithe.

11. By Being Unfaithful To Church

  • Your faithful attendance to God’s House has already been decided.
  • Heb. 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
  • The night you miss is often the night God had a Word, just for you. That’s why the devil kept you home.

12. By Prayerlessness

  • Every day without prayer puts you and your family at greater risk.
  • Why would you ignore the very lifeblood of your experience with God?

13. By Ignoring The Word Of God

  • None of us ever get too smart or too holy to ignore God’s Commandments.
  • When God says something, He means it.
  • When God says something, there’s a reason.

14. By Not Responding When God Speaks To You.

  • Ignoring God will always get you in trouble. Ask Jonah.

15. By Choosing To Become Offended.

  • How long will you let a war go on?
  • Life is too short to die bitter.
  • Bitterness will destroy you and curse your family.
  • Forgive, and love again.

Never Knowingly Put Your Self At Risk

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 20, 2011 at 1:17 am

A Good Day For A Vulture

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A Good Day For A Vulture

Some sat on the sidelines and watched. Others from their lofty heights monitored the situation closely. It was just a matter of time. They all knew that.

They all had seen this scenario played out before. It always unfolded in slow motion. They were used to the waiting game, but it was worth the wait. The focus of their attention had made one fatal mistake and now he was badly hurt. They couldn’t take their eyes off of their victim.

They watched and they watched and they watched.

They waited and they waited and they waited.

It almost always turned out the same. They were ready for it this time. They wanted to see death come. They wanted to tear the victim apart. They couldn’t wait to get their fill of him. They couldn’t wait to pick him to pieces. They were vultures, and that’s what vultures do best.

They had watched him struggle to survive for the last mile or two across the wasteland. His weakness excited their thirst for blood. The injured traveller had struggled valiantly to make it to safety, but to no avail. Their joy was in his weakness. Their future depended on his failure.

  • There was no one to help him.
  • He had no water to drink.
  • He had nothing to defend himself with.
  • He had nothing with which to dress his wounds.
  • Fever caused by infection, racked his emaciated body.
  • His strength was gone.
  • He had lost a lot of blood.
  • A few hours earlier, he had fallen to the ground.
  • He now had no strength to rise.
  • He couldn’t go on.
  • He was finished.

This was a good day for a vulture. The vultures began to get braver and come closer. They could barely see signs of him breathing.

Vultures passing by noticed the large gathering of their kind and excitedly joined the crowd. This would be a good day. Something or someone had fallen to the ground. That always made their day.

They wanted to see death come. They wanted to tear the victim apart. They couldn’t wait to get their fill of him. They couldn’t wait to pick him to pieces. They were vultures, and that’s what vultures do best.

There would be no restraint. There were no rules of decorum. There would be no referee or umpire to stop them. They would rip, tear, flap their wings, squawk and devour the victim without mercy. They would leave nothing but a skeleton.

Vultures do not care what they look like to the rest of the world. Their actions are just a manifestation of their degenerate nature.

Every vulture would soon gorge himself. They would soon tear the victim apart. They couldn’t wait to get their fill of him. They couldn’t wait to pick him to pieces. They were vultures, and that’s what vultures do best.

In an hour or two, his white bones would lie bleaching in the sun. This victim would only be a brief moment in time for them. He would just be a little something to help them fill their day.

Tomorrow they would be looking for another victim. They always were looking for a fresh victim. They wanted to tear the next victim apart too. They couldn’t wait to get their fill of him. They couldn’t wait to pick him to pieces. They were vultures, and that’s what vultures do best.

This Was A Good Day For A Vulture.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 18, 2011 at 12:55 am

Posted in Gossip

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Things About God That Thrill Me!

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Things About God That Thrill Me!

Psa. 145:5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

Psa. 145:21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

1. It Thrills Me To Know God Is Still On The Throne!

  • When dictators are dead and forgotten, God will still be God.
  • He is eternal.

When stars fall from heaven and the sun grow cold and mountains crumble into dust, His Throne still rules.

2. His Blood Has Never Lost Its Power!

The blood of bulls and goats has dried up long ago, but Christ’s Blood is more powerful than sacrificed animals.

  • Picture the ancient priests and the sacrifices.
  • But, now we are blood washed.
  • He has given us a clear record.
  • We are Saved, Washed and Protected by the Blood.

3. It Thrills Me That Every Promise Is True!

  • God cannot lie.
  • He always keeps His Word
  • He is not obligated to make us any promise.
  • But once He does, He is bound to keep it.

The Character, Justice and Goodness of God stand behind every Divine Promise.

4. I Am Thrilled To Remember That Heaven Is Real!

  • It is more than a city in the state of the mind.
  • On the authority of God’s Word, it is an eternal City.
  • It is a prepared City for a prepared people.
  • He has prepared a place for us.

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.

5. I Am Thrilled That He Is Coming Back Again!

  • He came the first time because the prophets said He would.
  • He’s coming the second time by His own Word and Testimony.

To His Disciples the Angels said:

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

6. None Of These Truths Could Really Thrill Me Unless I Was Convinced The Soul Is Immortal!

  • My soul is going to live forever somewhere.
  • It can be saved or lost.
  • But it will live eternally.

7. I Am Thrilled What The Pentecostal New Birth Experience Does For Us.

  • It gives us Victory
  • Forgiveness
  • Joy
  • Power
  • His Name!
  • Eternal Life

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.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 17, 2011 at 1:08 am

Playing Out Of Bounds

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Playing Out Of Bounds

There have always been boundaries. Some of them God established and some of them common sense put in place. There are reasons for boundaries.

Boundaries in life are like guard rails. Every highway needs them at some point. Everyone’s flesh is weak. Quit arguing that yours isn’t. That in itself is a good reason for boundaries.

Boundaries are put in place to protect you and your good name. Your reputation is all that you have. Never let your good be evil spoken of.

A man does not have integrity because he made boundaries. He set those boundaries for himself because he has integrity.

Personal boundaries are what define your identity. Your family and friends know you well enough to know how you would respond to each situation. They count on you because they know you have set boundaries for yourself.

They’re like the property lines around a home. Yet, no one has had their property re-surveyed just because they have a 16-year-old in the house. Boundaries don’t change with the weather. They are like moral landmarks. They should never be changed or altered.

 

Every Nation Has Boundaries

  • Every nation defends its borders vigorously.
  • Ignoring the boundaries of any nation will lead to arrest and deportation.

 

Every Sport Has A Boundary

  • In sports, the referee blows a whistle and declares to everyone when you have gotten out-of-bounds.
  • Baseball calls it a foul ball.
  • Football and Basketball says a player was out-of-bounds.
  • If you want to stay in the game and not be penalized, stay within the boundaries.

 

God Set Natural Boundaries

The Sea

  • God set boundaries to the sea, saying thus far shall ye come and no more.
  • Prov 8:29 (NIV) When he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

 

God Set Spiritual Boundaries

The Tree In The Garden

God set boundaries in the very beginning. He told Adam and Eve they could enjoy everything they could see and touch, except one thing; the tree of life. That tree was God’s. It was out-of-bounds to them.

The first thing Satan did was to question the boundaries. He asked, “Hath God said…?” That’s how Satan started out with man, and he’s never stopped.

He makes man ask himself, “How could it be wrong when it looks so good and feels so right?” The devil can’t wait for us to step out-of-bounds.

 

Boundaries In Relationships

Married – Married Boundaries

I asked that the men in the church I pastored to be careful. When they called the house of a brother and his wife answered. I asked them to say, “Praise the Lord” to her. That helps keep the conversation on a spiritual level.

Solomon instructed men to focus on their wife and not someone else’s. He said, “You’ve got your own cistern to refresh and nourish you. Don’t go to the neighbor’s house for a drink.”

Prov. 5:15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

Job wouldn’t look at another woman. He set an important boundary for himself.

Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

 

Dating

When I showed romantic interest in my wife Marcia, her father, Pastor William R. Starr took me aside for a man-to-man talk. He said, “When a couple dates, it’s the man who should know when to draw the line. It’s the man who should know what boundaries not to cross.”

No one wants their daughter to be courted by a young man who has no boundaries or understands some areas are off-limits.

Neither does a parent wish for their son to be alone with a girl who has no lines she is afraid to cross.

Babies are being born out-of-wedlock because either no one set a boundary or no one paid attention to it. Disregarding boundaries always lead to pain and regret.

Those Without Boundaries Do Not Fear God!

 

Singles – Marrieds        

Facebook has become a worldwide communications phenomenon. Pentecostals have taken full advantage of its availability. In most part, it’s for the good.

All its interaction is enjoyable and fun until someone crosses the line. The bad news is that everyone on Facebook then sees him or her as they show the world how void their life is of boundaries.

  • Why would a single girl keep commenting on a married man’s page?
  • Why would a single guy make constant comments on a married woman’s page?
  • They refuse to recognize boundaries in their life. They also refuse to set them.
  • It’s dangerous.
  • It is hazardous to a marriage.
  • It’s explosive.
  • It’s wrong.

Things can get out of line quickly. I recommend against playing even innocent games like Words With Friends between members of the opposite sex. It causes way too much familiarity. Be very afraid.

  • I also can find no occasion for chitchat texting between members of the opposite sex.
  • Why would a child of God have email addresses on their computer that they know are out of line and serve no spiritually productive purpose?
  • Surely there are no cell phone numbers of a single or married member of the opposite sex on your phone. Or of a single or married member of the opposite sex, if you are married.
  • Nothing good will come of it if you are guilty. You are playing with fire.

 

Dress

This is a day of no boundaries or limits in dress. Carnal people do not want standards.

Sadly, many beautiful young ‘Pentecostal’ ladies have been seen parading around camp meetings and conferences lately with their dresses several inches above their knees.

What happened at home? Where’s Mom? Where’s Dad? Where are the boundaries of dress? Why haven’t they let modesty set a boundary of dress for them?

With all of the above being said, I thank God for every person, young and old that has boundaries in their life. That let God’s Word order their steps. That realize Boundaries are not made to hurt anyone. They are put in place to keep everyone safe.

Boundaries… Don’t Leave Home Without Them!

Boundaries…Don’t Get On The Internet Without Them!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 16, 2011 at 12:14 am

The God Of Seven Chances

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The God Of Seven Chances

Prov. 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

Everything about God speaks of Mercy. That doesn’t mean he tolerates sin. It sure doesn’t mean He approves of our wrongdoings. Yet His Mercy is everlasting. It NEVER runs out.

Sin still requires judgment. That’s why we must judge ourselves guilty and repent now, so we won’t have to face our sins at The Great Judgment Day.

Nevertheless, even after we have been born again of the Water and the Spirit according to Acts 2:38, our walk with God may not be one that is perfect. Mistakes are sometimes made by the best of folks. Failures may be more common than some could imagine, even in good people.

In Biblical Typology, the number Seven represents perfection and completeness. It speaks of God’s complete provision in His dealings with men. The number Seven appears though out the Bible beginning in Genesis.

  • There were the 7 days of creation
  • Every 7th day was a Sabbath.
  • Every 7th year was a Sabbatical year.
  • After the 7th Sabbatical year was the year of Jubilee.
  • Every 7th month was holy and had 3 feasts.
  • The Passover feast lasted 7 days.
  • The feast of Tabernacles lasted 7 days.
  • The blood of the sin offering was sprinkled before and upon the Mercy Seat seven times on the Day of Atonement.

By the time wise old King Solomon got done observing men’s lives, he plainly declared that even the best of people have problems too.

Prov. 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

If the just or righteous man would fall seven times, how many times would the unrighteous fall?

No one can even guess how many times the unrighteous man will sin and do wrong. That is not ours to worry about. I willingly leave that in God’s Hands.

If Seven is God’s number of completeness, then God is not limiting your mistakes to seven. He is not saying that a man only gets seven chances (literally) and then he will not be forgiven anymore! That’s not the truth nor is it what the Scripture was trying to convey.

Solomon is telling us that God’s mercy is complete. It’s perfect. And no matter how many times we mess up, there is still hope for us.

Lam. 3:22 It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Lam. 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

If Jesus asked all of us to forgive our brother 70 times 7 in one day, (that’s 490). The Lord will forgive us, even if we ask Him 490 times in one day. All He needs us to do is repent when we fall down and get back up when He forgives us.

That dirty devil will tell you that you have messed up too many times for God to forgive you. The devil will say there is no hope for you. He is still a liar. There is hope. God is in the forgiving business.

His Mercy is waiting for you. You haven’t used up all your chances.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 15, 2011 at 12:42 am

Posted in Mercy

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Thank You For Keeping A Smile On My Face For 46 Years!

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I’ve been in love with Marcia June Starr Ballestero since November 29,1964. Although it was 17,060 days ago, I remember that day very well. It was the Sunday night after Thanksgiving. That was the day my heart decided there was no one else in the world for me, but her. My heart was right.

I absolutely fell head over heels in love with the girl. I love her ageless beauty. I am forever enamored  with the sound of her voice. I could listen to her chatter for hours. She is my favorite singer in the whole world. Her practical wisdom has benefited our marriage too many times to count. Her children call her blessed, her grandchildren adore her, and I can’t imagine my life without her being the center of it. She still makes me beam from ear to ear when she calls me Honey.

I am so very proud to show her off in public. I delight in her company. There’s still not enough hours in the day when we are together. Her loving and tender words continue to melt my heart and turn it into mush. I’m more in love with her today, even after 46 years. Her beauty and charm still turns my head!

Some have heard me call her Sister Honey, and others have heard me call her Sugar Booger. For Forty Six years, I’ve had the great honor of calling her my wife. I still call her Baby.

We said ‘I Do’ on August the 14th 1965. Besides the day I received the gift of the Holy Ghost, marrying her was by far, the greatest day of my life.

That’s 16,802 days of married bliss, or:

  • 1,451,692,800 seconds
  • 24,194,880 minutes
  • 403,248 hours
  • 2400 weeks (rounded down)

She has voluntarily made me the King of her world and treated me accordingly. I have made her the Queen of my life. No one is like her. No one comes close. She is altogether lovely. She’s the Best!

She has held my hand, and walked faithfully through life beside me. She has been my constant support and life’s greatest pleasure. She has never complained about the hardships of our life, and ‘made do’ when there wasn’t much money to ‘do’ with. I will always be in her debt.

She sacrificed her health and placed her life on the line to give us five wonderful children that have made us both grateful to God and proud.

Marcia! Thank you for all you have done for me and for our family over the years. Thank you for every sacrifice you made in raising our family and keeping our home. Thank you for never nagging or being critical. Thank you for being so loving! You are amazing indeed!

Martyn & Marcia Ballestero

 

Thank you too my Darling, for keeping a smile on my face for 46 years! I Love You With All My Heart!

Happy 46th Anniversary!

Marty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 13, 2011 at 1:37 am

He’s Out Of Touch

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He’s Out Of Touch

This is the day of instant communication and social networking. Cell phones are so common now that even pre-teens are seen with them. Facebook and Twitter keeps friends in touch and provides them with up to the minute news of each other’s lives. Everyone has an email address today it seems. This generation prides itself in being connected and having the ability to stay in touch regardless.

For several months this summer, I have been in Camp Meetings located in rural areas around our nation. At least 4 of those campgrounds had very limited or no cellular phone service, or Internet connection either. My blog postings have taken a major hit recently because I have had very limited access to the outside world. I was out of touch.

The phrase, “Out of touch” is used several ways

Out of touch (with somebody)

  1. Not in communication

Out of touch (with something)

  1. Not informed about something
  2. Not reflecting what is true or actual

Politicians fling that phrase at their opponents. The public says that about some politicians.

The Brooks Brothers salesmen and the sharp dressing in-crowd look at me as though my clothes are from another planet. I can tell they feel I am out of touch with what’s cool. I’m a grandpa, and grand fathers are sometimes given a pass, along with a side-glance and a smirk. (I’ll keep buying from Goodwill if I want to, so there.)

I shouldn’t use the grandpa defense however. I’ve been a nerd all my life. I’ve never been considered cool or looked like I stepped out of a bandbox. What’s sad is, I’m OK with that.

Each generation accuses its elders of being out of touch, if only in their minds. Call it the generation gap, or by whatever term is more current, it still means the same thing. Young people think older people are out of touch with their world. Older folks think that the younger generation is clueless about the real world. Each accuses the other of being out of touch.

I make no effort to defend myself on that point. There are many things about this generation I do not understand. Further more, I have no desire to understand. Things like:

  • The Tattoo craze (I’ve never seen one that makes the person more beautiful or handsome. Why do they do it?)
  • The Bed-Head and Spiked hair look.
  • Living together and raising families without getting married.
  • Doing drugs.
  • Being part of Flash mob events.
  • Rioting and looting.

I condemn such actions and thereby am considered to be out of touch.

Society locks people up in padded rooms when they are considered to be out of touch with reality. Delusional patients are kept separate from society because they are no longer living in the real world. They are out of touch with reality.

Out Of Touch With God

Good Saints come to church early to pray before service. They want to stay in touch God.

Godly thinking people have personal devotions and a family altar time in their home because they choose to stay in touch with the Lord.

Some deluded Pentecostals feel that Mainstream Apostolics are out of touch in this generation. They distance themselves from the Holiness crowd. They cut their hair, put on makeup, women wear slacks and skimpy apparel, and they adorn themselves with jewelry. They use terms like, Emergent and Relevant. They on the other hand are no longer Apostolic nor do they look or act Apostolic. They are out of touch with God’s Holiness.

Most of them mock those of us that continue to live a life of modesty in dress and still believe in separation from the world, declaring that we are out of touch. In reality, they are the ones that are out of touch.

God is Holy. Why do you want the Holy Ghost if you don’t want to be Holy like Him? Anytime you make a mockery of Holiness, you are hell-bent and out of touch. Being out of touch with God and His Holiness, is always fatal.

The Old Testament admonition is still relevant today.

2Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

God gave those that were out of touch, the key to getting back in touch with Him.

  • Humble yourself
  • Pray
  • Seek His face
  • Turn away from your sinful life

Now For The Bad News

It’s one thing when man gets out of touch, but the subject gets taken to the ultimate level, when God choses to be out of touch. He was out of touch with Israel for 400 years.

Why would God want to be out of touch with us? I’ll let Him explain that in His own words.

Isa. 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

Isa. 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

  • God chose not to listen to the prayers of some because of their willful sinning.
  • He also chose to ignore those that needed help for the same reason.
  • In addition, He also said He wouldn’t even look in their direction.
  • Those people chose the life of iniquity.
  • They refused the ways of Godliness.
  • So God refused them.

They wanted to disconnect from God, so God disconnected from them. God does what you do. Repentance is wayward man’s ONLY hope of getting back in touch with God.

Are You Out Of Touch With God?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 12, 2011 at 11:48 am