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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.


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Loud Pipes Save Lives

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Loud Pipes Save Lives

Most cars, trucks and SUV drivers who cause motorcycle crashes, claim they never saw the motorcycle at all. Loud pipes help bikers let the other vehicles on the road know they exist. Before the motorcycle is ever seen, it is heard. It’s loud pipes may no doubt help save the rider’s life.

Harley Davidson teaches classes to new riders. My son Bryan took such a class last year. They informed all the students of the importance of loud pipes. Telling them, it just might save their life.

If you believe, as I do, that loud pipes save lives, then maybe you know about loud pipe manufactures like :

  • Rhinehart
  • Samson Sinisters
  • Samsom Street Sweepers
  • Thunderheaders
  • Pipe Dreamz
  • Sideshots
  • Bassani
  • V&H Bigshots
  • V&H Straightshots

These are only a few of the products of companies that specialize in making motorcycles LOUD.

Let me talk about another set of pipes.A Set Of Pipes” is a figure of speech we use for someone one with a great voice. Especially, if they have a very loud voice.’s Slang Dictionary defines:

“set of pipes”

  1. n.
    a very loud voice; a singing voice.

The Psalmist said,

Ps 98:4 “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”

Will loud worship save anyone?

I don’t plan to find out if I can afford to ignore this passage and others just like it. For some reason, God wants our worship to be energetic and very vocal. He wants us to use our set of pipes and sing with a loud voice.

I believe that Loud “Pipes” save lives, even in church! Don’t keep quiet during the worship service. The life you save may be your own.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 21, 2011 at 1:12 am

Posted in Worship

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The Sinners In The Communion Line

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The Sinners In The Communion Line

The place where The Apostolic Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma is now located, was originally a restaurant. It had started out as The Western Sizzler Steak House. It stood on a small hill overlooking Historic Highway 66 on the edge of town. Its four lanes of highway were closely paralleled by another four-lane road scarcely 100 yards apart.

Even with all the heavy traffic under it’s nose the old steakhouse struggled to survive and finally closed. It reopened eventually, as a Mexican restaurant. This new enterprise was not was not able to last very long either, and finally closed. The big sign overlooking the highway sadly announced that fact when the letters were removed. The restaurant then sat empty for a time.

Originally, The Apostolic Church had been closer to town and was temporarily housed in a storefront, They dreamed of the day when they would have a place of their very own.  They gave sacrificially and saved. They had fundraisers. They prayed and they looked.

A couple of years ago the Lord made way for the empty restaurant to be purchased by the church and they worked hard to remodel their new facility.

Many work nights were needed to make the transition. The normal Thursday midweek service was often cancelled or temporarily changed to “work nights” to accommodate the workers schedules.

In January of 2010 Pastor Jeff Dykes called a three-day fast.  He also announced special prayer meetings for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Communion would be served on Wednesday. This service was just for the church family. The pastor explained the sacredness of Communion and asked that no outside visitors be invited, especially… no sinners.

Unknown to anyone in the church, a stranger named Sam drove by the empty restaurant on his way to work everyday. Sam worked at a hospital a little farther west. He immediately noticed the new church name on the old restaurant sign. Something happened to him then when he drove by the church. It caught his attention and made him look toward it every time he passed by. He felt a peace in his heart when he drove by the church. He felt a peace so great he couldn’t get it off of his mind.

Sam was in pain. His memories hurt him. His heart hurt him. His conscience hurt him. He knew he needed church. He wanted to get right with God. He had been around an Apostolic Church before. Somehow, it had never worked out for him to get right with God. But now he was ready.

He drove back that night, but the service night had been changed due to the many needed work nights. Undeterred, Sam tried several more times to get there when there was church. He felt the need to be in service at this church. He felt a drawing from the Lord.

It happened, that on the night of the announced Wednesday Communion service, that Sam and his girlfriend showed up and sat in the back.

The pastor was caught off guard to see these new faces on a Communion service night. He didn’t feel he could serve Communion to those that not didn’t live for God. Almost apologetically, he explained what was getting ready to happen in the service and said that Communion was a type of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. He said it he only served communion to those that had been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost.

Sam and his girlfriend never budged. The pastor had tried to warn them off in a nice way, but they had stayed anyway. Less determined sinners might have left. This was going to complicate things.

White cloths covered the trays that contained the Lord’s Supper. They sat on a table in front of the pulpit.

After worship and prayer, the pastor read his scriptural passages and explained that he wanted to serve communion to the church, one family at a time. He invited them to stand in line in family groups.

In so doing, he not only served them all, but personally prayed for each one of them as well.

Sam and his girl friend quietly talked. He wanted to go up and take communion. She invited him to go in front of her, thinking that if he got turned down, she wouldn’t have to wait to be turned down. She’d leave… or something.

Every one else in the building had been served except Sam and his girlfriend. Sam had stood at the back of the line. He didn’t know if anyone noticed or not, but tears were rolling down his cheeks. He was crying very hard.

It was like the floodgates of his heart had opened. The tears streamed and heavily stained his dark shirt. The whole front of his shirt was soaking wet with tears when he stood in front of the preacher to receive Communion. When the Pastor saw Sam crying, he laid his hands on his head.  Sam immediately began to speak in other tongues. What an experience he got!

The church folks all said it was the best Communion service they’d ever had. Oh yes, Sam and his girlfriend both got the Holy Ghost and got baptized. They got married too.

Here is Bro. Sam beating on the old drum during a praise service a year later. He is a good worshipper.

His precious wife is now one of the praise singers.

Oh, yes… Before the night was over, they received Communion too.

To God be the glory.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

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When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

For many years, I preached annual revivals in a very small West Texas town. The town was so small that after church it was not uncommon for the pastor or saints to drive an hour and a half to Odessa or Midland just to get something to eat.

The pastor was a dear family friend. The church was one that really worshipped and was easy to preach in. They loved the Word and the loved their “Man of God.”

The church had not grown significantly in many years. The little group prayed for revival and worked hard to bring visitors to the revival.

A seventeen-year-old Foster child sought for the Holy Ghost for over an hour every night. He sought fervently and with tears. He had prayed every night of the 4 week Revival.

The last Saturday of the revival, the pastor and I talked about Home Bible Studies. He said, “When I came up in church, we’d never heard of them. I’ve been here for 30 years or so and we’ve never taught any Home Bible Studies. Not only do we not have any material, if we had some, we wouldn’t know how to go about teaching them. Could you teach our people how to teach a Home Bible Study?”

Although I said that I could and would, there wasn’t any material within 100 miles. There also wasn’t any Internet connection to download anything.

I was relieved to find a copy of Bishop Gerald Adam’s ‘Deeper Life’ Home Bible Study in my briefcase. Bro. Adam’s was kind when I called and granted permission for me to make copies of his Bible Study for the occasion.

(The Deeper Life Home Bible Study is now digitized and can be found on the Hopkinsville, KY church website.)

I asked the pastor what he thought about me putting a table in front of the pulpit Sunday morning and teaching a Home Bible Study to some one while everyone else watched and followed along with their copy. He agreed and said he would have the table and chairs set up right after the preliminaries.

Standing on the platform Sunday morning I noticed two new visitors. A teenage boy stood on the right side and a 20 something young woman on the left.

For a few minutes after the song service, the church family went around and personally welcomed the visitors and greeted each other.

I noticed the boy seemed very sincere and responsive during the singing, so I went over and welcomed him. The young man smiled warmly when I introduced myself. He told me his name was Billy.

I said, “I’m a visitor here too, Billy. They’ve asked me to teach what they call a ‘Home Bible Study’ this morning. It’s a thing where two people sit at a table and basically just read scriptures from the Bible.

“I really don’t know who to choose to help me out today. But whoever does, doesn’t have to say a word. All they have to do is just act like they are reading the material. Do you think maybe you can help me out today?”

“Sure,” he said.

Later when they introduced me to speak, I explained to the church that I had asked Billy to help me and invited them to make him welcome. They gave him a good round of applause.

Billy and I sat at the small table in front of the pulpit. Each person there was given a copy of the Home Bible Study. I saw the look of sincerity and interest in the young man’s face.

He nodded as I spoke to him. I looked only at him and not at the crowd. We took less than an hour to go through the study.

The organ player began to play softly as we all stood. The table and chairs were removed. I looked to my left where Billy had stood and then I looked down. He was kneeling at the altar. All the others came forward too. Billy received the Holy Ghost in just a few minutes.

I heard shouts go up at the other end of the altar and saw that the young woman was praying and the ladies were rejoicing. She also received the Holy Ghost and excitedly thanked the Lord.

The pastor whispered in my ear, that someone had just told him, this new girl was the town’s hooker. The town’s only hooker. Her name was Sarah.

The saints were ecstatic about what God had done in the service that morning.

Sunday night’s service started.  The front doors burst open as the 17-year-old Foster kid entered the church crying and speaking in tongues. He had prayed during the day, and while taking his shower before church had received the Holy Ghost while still in the shower. He was still talking in tongues when he got to church. He couldn’t stop and he was excited. The saints rejoiced. I mean really rejoiced.

Billy and Sarah came back too. The church shouted and ran the aisles. Joy was in the camp.

The front door again opened and an unhappy faced man walked in and sat on the back row. Sarah was too lost in worship to notice that her pimp was there. He watched the worship for a while. Several were uneasy not knowing what would happen.

Testimony service had new life that night. When Sarah got done testifying and thanking the Lord, the guy on the back row got up and walked out shaking his head.

He was officially out of business. Sarah never noticed.  She started to dance before the Lord. She had been delivered.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 17, 2011 at 9:18 am