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Archive for September 2011

The Broken Finger Syndrome

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The Broken Finger Syndrome

A young brunette goes into the doctor’s office and says to the doctor that her body hurts wherever she touches it.

“That’s impossible,” the doctor says. “Show me.”

She takes her finger and pushes her on elbow and screams in pain. She pushes her knee and screams; she pushes her ankle and screams again. She touches her ear lobe and yells in pain.

The doctor sat there a minute observing his patients behavior and says, “Are you a natural blonde?”

“Why yes, she says, “I just recently died my hair brown.”

“I thought so,” the doctor says. “You have a broken finger.”

My good friend, Brother Kenneth Bow shared that joke with me. We both had a good laugh. He shared the fact with me too, that there are a lot of people with broken fingers. With apologies to him, let me explore this line of thinking a bit more.

Most Politicians Have “The Broken Finger Syndrome”

It seems that every administration blames the previous administration for all of its woes.

  • High taxes
  • The poor economy
  • Unemployment

The “Broken Finger Syndrome” Is Found In Every Community And Also In Every Church.

Those with this affliction find pain everywhere. Everything they touch seems to hurt them. They find pain in all of their relationships. They are easily recognized by their constant exclamations of pain.

We all have met those that stay upset about things in their local church. They constantly yell in pain about the leadership in the church.

 

The Pastor Hurts Me!

  • He’s always preaching right at me.
  • He doesn’t like me.
  • He offended me.
  • He corrected my child.
  • He hurt me.
  • I’m not being fed
  • I’m not being used here.
  • I’m leaving.
  •  (They constantly yell in pain about the pastor.)

 

The Worship Leader Hurts Me!

  • The music style offends me.
  • I can’t worship to the songs they use.
  • It’s not my style
  • I plug my ears because of the sound.
  • (They constantly yell in pain about the worship leader.)

 

The Church Members Hurt Me!

  • I don’t belong here!
  • You’ll never believe what they did to me!
  • I’m hurt because of them!
  • They offended me!
  • They’re bringing people into our church from the “Projects”.
  • I don’t fit in!
  • I have no friends here.
  • I have more friends in the world than I do in church.
  • They all hate me!
  • They are all so critical.
  • They are all so self righteous.
  • Someone always keeps sitting in my pew.
  • There is nothing here but cliques in this church.
  • My children don’t get invited to the young people’s parties.
  • I’m changing churches and getting away from all these hypocrites.
  • (They constantly yell in pain about the members of their church.)

My In-laws Hurt Me!

  • They never have loved me.
  • They’re trying to control my life.
  • They’re nosey.
  • I can’t stand them.
  • (They constantly yell in pain about their in-laws.)

 

My “Ex” Hurts Me!

  • My “Ex” destroyed my life.
  • My “Ex” tore down my self-esteem.
  • My “Ex” is a psychopathic.
  • He’s hiding money from me.
  • (The constantly yell in pain about their “Ex”.)

 

My Parents Hurt Me!

  • They physically abused me.
  • They emotionally abused me.
  • They were very controlling.
  • (They constantly yell in pain about their parents.)

 

My Children Hurt Me

  • My children drive me up a wall.
  • I can’t stand them.
  • (They constantly yell in pain about their children.)

The List Goes On And On…

If You Thought There Was A Problem Before…

Just Wait Till You Tell That Person They Have A Broken Finger!

 ___________________________________________________

As Sunday School children in the 1950’s ,we sang a little song that went like this:

 

It’s Me Oh Lord Standing In The Need Of Prayer

Author Unknown

1. Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

Not my sister, not my brother, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

2. Not the people that are shouting, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

Not the members I’ve been doubting, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

3. Not the preacher, not the sinner, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

Not the deacon, not the teacher, but it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

Chorus:

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord,

Standing in the need of prayer.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 30, 2011 at 12:18 am

Posted in Bitterness, Critics, God's House

Tagged with

You’re Doing It Wrong

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You’re Doing It Wrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

If In Your Christian Journey, You Did Not Acquire The Love Of God; You Did It All Wrong.

If In Your Life Of Holiness And Righteousness, You Did Not Acquire The Love of God; You Did It All Wrong.

Then on “The Judgment Day” It Won’t Be Funny! Because You Did It All Wrong!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 28, 2011 at 1:09 am

Posted in Love

Tagged with

Some Did, Some Didn’t

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Some Did, Some Didn’t

Fall is a beautiful time in Indiana. The farmers have little roadside vegetable stands set up that stay busy with city slicker customers looking for fresh produce.

By this time of year, most crops have already been harvested.  Well, except for maybe soybeans, pumpkins and the field corn.

The average crop of field corn is beautiful when it is harvested. Trucks can be seen hauling the yellow corn to the ethanol plants and to the local Co-op.

For the most part, all the ears of corn look very much alike. But what catches the eye, are the ears of corn that don’t look like the others.  Some cobs are full with golden kernels; others are not. There are ears of corn of varied lengths and descriptions. In every truck load.

What these ears of field corn have in common, is that:

  • They all were planted by the same farmer.
  • They all were purchased at the same feed store.
  • They all were planted in the same field.
  • They all received the same amount of fertilizer.
  • They all received the same amount of sunshine.
  • They all received the same amount of rain.
  • They all received the same amount of wind.
  • They all received the same amount of weeding.
  • They all received the same amount of irrigation.
  • They were all planted the same day.
  • They were all harvested the same day.
  • They didn’t all turn out the same.
  • Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was it difference the farmer’s fault? Was the problem with the seed, or was it the soil? I’ll never know. The harvest shows the disparity of each ear.

 

There is another harvest that comes to mind. That one is a Harvest of Souls.

Apostolic churches are beautiful in spirit and worship. They are lovely in holiness and truth. Their love and fervor for the name of Jesus is without equal.

Yet, not every church member looks and acts the same. Here and there exceptions are found in every congregation.

  • Some don’t pray like the rest.
  • Some don’t worship like the rest
  • Some don’t pay tithe like the rest.
  • Some won’t dress like the rest.
  • Some won’t live like the rest.
  • Some won’t be faithful like the rest.
  • Some won’t witness like the rest.
  • Some don’t love holiness like the rest.
  • Some won’t obey God’s Word like the rest.
  • Why?

 

What made them different from all the others? How come others connected with God, the church and the pastor and they didn’t? I can’t answer that, and you may not be able to either.

  • They all went to the same church.
  • They all sang the same songs.
  • They all prayed at the same time.
  • They all had the same pastor.
  • They all heard the same sermon.
  • They all received the same encouragement.
  • They all received the same correction.
  • They all were given the same love.
  • They all were given the same hope.
  • They all attended the same revivals
  • They all came forward to pray at the end of the service.

Yet some got on fire, and others did not. Some submitted to God, and others did not. Some got a good experience of the Holy Ghost, and others… who knows?

Some lived a life of carefulness. Others did not. Some looked godly. Others did not. Some dressed modestly. Others did not. Some knew God. Others… who knows?

Some women had uncut hair. Others did not. Some men were clean-shaven. Others were not. Some always said ‘Amen”. Others did not. Some had a fiery testimony. Others did not.

Some day, some will hear Him say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Others may not.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 27, 2011 at 1:00 am

+ = − , − = +

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+ = − , −  = +

Plus Equals Minus, Minus Equals Plus!

What kind of math is that? If Albert Einstein were to read that statement, I’m sure his brow would wrinkle in puzzlement. But, it’s true!

It’s not new math. It’s old math, it’s really old math. It was the Lord that first introduced it to man.

This Old Testament verse explains both concepts:

Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

This New Testament passage also explains how it works.

Luke 14:8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;

Luke 14:9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

Luke 14:10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

1. + = −  (Plus Equals Minus)

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

2. − = + (Minus Equals Plus)

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

2 Chronicles 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.

It’s God’s Math. His Math principles never change.

Man’s Pride seems to be his biggest Minus.

Man’s Humility turns out to be his biggest Plus!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 26, 2011 at 1:16 am

Posted in Pride, Repent

Tagged with ,

The Case Of the Chubby Calf

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The Case Of the Chubby Calf

The farmer looked at the big newborn calf in the stall by its mother. It looked so cute and perfect. The word butterball didn’t come to mind, but it was filled out pretty good already.

It wasn’t the only calf on his small farm. But of this latest and bunch of calves, this one was the biggest. This little calf didn’t have to compete for attention. Neither did it lack for food.

The farmer had plenty of grain and good pasture to feed all his animals. He wasn’t rich, but he lived comfortable enough. Actually, he had some help around the place to make it run smooth. All he had to do was just supervise while the others did all of the work.

But now, that baby calf was something! Anyone could see that! The farmer always checked his stock before retiring at night and also, he looked in on them the first thing in the morning. He noticed it was growing like a weed and putting on the weight.

He took time to check on the calf’s progress each morning and give him an occasional pat. He liked what he saw. The little guy was eating well. His appetite was good and there was plenty of feed. After all, he was the only calf, but he was going to be a big calf.

In a just matter of months the calf really started filling out good. He grew quite big for his age. He got so fat, the farmer often smiled at the chubby little guy’s antics in the field.

As calves, go he didn’t have a care in the world. He ate and frolicked and then ate some more. He was chubbier than any of the other calves.

The farmer knew that a calf that chubby would bring a good price at the market. Buyers would snatch him up fast. The round little calf was the farm’s pride and joy. Neighbors that passed by often commented on the little guy’s weight and size.

The farmer was waiting for just the right time to take him to market. The hired hands around the place all knew that any day now, the farmer was going to ask them to take the chubby little calf to the Sale Barn. It was just a matter of time and they waited for the call.

Then the call came. One morning the farmer animatedly called several of his men to come to him. They quickly responded. Knowing what he wanted before he asked.

“I want you to go get that big chubby calf, and kill it,” he said.

“Kill it?”

“Kill it!”

They field hands looked glanced quickly at each other. This was totally unexpected. A prize calf like that would bring good money. Their boss was a good businessman, and they didn’t need the fresh meat. Why kill it?

Then the farmer explained, with the biggest grin on his face they had ever seen!

Luke 15:23 … bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

So likewise, the Heavenly Father always freely gives His best for you, His children.

He never withholds His choicest bounty from you.

You mean more to Him than anything else He has.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 24, 2011 at 12:07 am

Posted in Backsliders

Tagged with

Hey Backslider…

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Hey Backslider…

You’re not that far from home! You know, like the Prodigal Son story in the Bible? Remember when he hit bottom, lost everything, got hungry and wanted to eat pig food? Well the good news is, he came to himself. Just like you. Remember…

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When you start getting hungry.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When your pride gets out of the way.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When your thoughts turn towards home.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When you come to yourself.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When you get up.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When you start coming home.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When the Father is watching for you.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When the Father runs to meet you.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When you humble yourself.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When you say you’re sorry.

You’re Not That Far From Home When: When you wrap your arms around each other.

See, I told you that you’re not that far from home. Oh, and did you know your Father’s been looking for you too? Your place is sitting empty at the table. We all can’t wait to see you!

Come On Home!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 23, 2011 at 1:18 am

Posted in Backsliders

Tagged with

You Can Die In The Bleachers, Or You Can Die On The Field.

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You Can Die In The Bleachers, Or You Can Die On The Field.

The Drudge Report revealed earlier this year that a baseball fan died at a Rangers game. It was an unexpected shock, I’m sure. No one’s death is ever taken lightly, on the field or off. All of us are saddened at the news of one’s death.

The fear of dying is normal. Living with fear is not. There have been some that have died on the field. There have also been some that have died in the bleachers.

In sports, spectators may fill up an arena, but it’s those on the field that hold everyone’s attention.

Professional spectators are very vocal with their opinions and criticisms. They freely spout the names of players and coaches. They can rattle off statistics and scores faster than a ticker tape.

But they are not players. They are not even on the field. Chances are, they’ve never been on the field, nor do the have any plans of being there either. They just like to talk. There are millions of them that sit in the bleachers. Only a few others ever make it onto the field.

In the Gospel Arena, we too have a lot of spectators. The field is where the action is. We need more Holy Ghost filled folks out on the field.

  • There are no age requirements.
  • There are no height or weight restrictions.
  • There are no gender or race limitations.
  • There’s not even any IQ test.
  • We all qualify to be a witness.
  • We all qualify to be a worshipper.
  • We all qualify to be the light of the world.
  • We all qualify to be the salt of the earth.
  • We all quality to labor in the harvest.

Jesus made an appeal to those that have spent their life sitting in the bleachers. It’s harvest time.

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

How many of us pray this prayer? How often? It’s kind of hard to pray this prayer without doing something about it.

As a teen, I remember revival meetings, youth camps, missionary services that challenged us all to respond to the “call.”

We don’t hear many messages like that anymore challenging us to give our life to His service. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why they stopped making appeals.

We know that most of us will never be Missionaries in the literal sense. Most all of us will never be Pastors either. But we all can so something for the Kingdom. Don’t be afraid to get involved in winning the lost.

Push your pride aside. Lay your excuses down. Now is the time to win that soul. Now is the time to let your light shine. Now is the time to teach that Home Bible Study. Now is the time to knock on that neighbor’s door.

The fear of dying is normal. Living with fear is not. There have been some that have died on the field. There have also been some that have died in the bleachers.

In the Old Testament, a curse was placed on those that wanted to watch while the others fought. They were too busy or too fearful to get involved. They had an excuse. They were cursed because of that.

Judges 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.

They were too busy taking care of their own needs. The things of the Lord came place second to them.

In the same chapter, two tribes of Israel were honored, because they were willing to lay their very lives on the line. God never forgot that.

Judges 5:18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.

The tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali later made up the group of people called the Galileans. No one even has to be a Bible scholar to remember that it was upon the Galileans that the Holy Ghost was first poured out in the book of Acts.

Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

God rewards those that are willing put their life on the line for Him. He rewards them first. The Galileans received the Holy Ghost before anyone else.

Some may wonder why there is not much in the way of blessings in their life. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because they are still sitting in the bleachers.

The fear of dying is normal. Living with fear is not. There have been some that have died on the field. There have also been some that have died in the bleachers.

  • Come on now.
  • How long have you been sitting in the bleachers?
  • Isn’t it time we all got out of the bleachers and got out on the field?

Yes, in due time we all will die. But I would rather die on the field trying to do something for God, than die in the bleachers… watching.

Where Do You Plan To Die?

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 22, 2011 at 12:14 am