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Archive for December 2011

What Is Class?

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What Is Class?

My father-in-law, Rev. William R. Starr was blessed with five beautiful daughters. He had no sons. He wrote a note to his girls which they have always cherished. He was indeed a wise man. He passed his wisdom on to his daughters.

Pardon me, while I invade family privacy and make public his advice to his children.

What Is Class?
To All My Beautiful Daughters

Class never runs scared. It is sure-footed and confident in the knowledge that you can meet life head on and handle whatever comes along.


Jacob had it. Esau didn’t. Symbolically, we can look to Jacob’s wrestling match with the angel. Those who have class have wrestled with their own personal angel and won a victory that marks them thereafter.


Class never makes excuses. It takes lumps and learns from past mistakes. Class is considerate of others. It knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small sacrifices.


Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. The most affluent blue blood can be totally without class, while the descendant of a Welsh miner may ooze class from every pore.


Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.


Class can “walk with kings and keep its virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.” Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because he is comfortable with himself.


If you have class you don’t need much of anything else. If you don’t have it, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make much difference.




Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Guess What Moment I Think About, When I Drop Money Into The Pot.

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Guess What Moment I Think About, When I Drop Money Into The Pot.

It was such a pleasant Wednesday evening, that night in December of 1958. Daddy had just gotten home from a revival somewhere and we were so happy to see him. We lived in National City, California and had been attending the church pastored by Bro. Leamon Reynolds. Daddy was an Evangelist and we had based out of National City since June.

I was in the 9th grade. I was old enough to understand that money was hard to come by and that we had none, to speak of. We had just come through a period of time where there had been very little food in the house for the last several months. For a month, or so, we’d had nothing to eat but pinto beans. We had eaten the beans without salt or seasoning, because there wasn’t any. Mother’s gift of imagination was contagious as we all acted like we were eating fried chicken or corn on the cob while eating the beans. We learned to laugh about it too.

Tonight was extra nice though, because Daddy had made it home. He’d been gone for a month or so. Tonight was Christmas Eve. There were no decorations to be seen. There was no tree. We’d never had a Christmas tree. We never missed not having one either. There were no presents on display. Our gifts were family, shelter, and enough food to keep body and soul together. All was well with the world, for us.

All of our clothes and shoes were from the Goodwill or some Thrift store. My shoes especially looked like Goodwill shoes. I had on old men’s shoes. Other guys my age wore ‘White Bucks’ or some cool looking ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. I wasn’t cool and I was OK with that. My Mom and Dad were doing the best for us children and we knew it. Most of all, we knew we were deeply loved. Our parents often did without food, so all of us children could eat. I noticed that, and it made it hard for me to eat very much.

We all sat in the living room talking. My two youngest sisters were not much more than toddlers. They were so happy to see him they crawled all over Daddy’s lap while he sat on the couch with Mama.

Mama always treated Daddy like a King. He always treated her like a Queen. We laughed while Daddy held her in his arms and sang a song to her, made popular by the McGuire Sisters. “Sugartime.”



Sugar in the morning
Sugar in the evening
Sugar at suppertime
Be my little sugar
And love me all the time

Honey in the morning
Honey in the evening
Honey at suppertime
So by my little honey
And love me all the time

Put your arms around me
And swear by stars above
You’ll be mine forever
In a heaven of love

Sugar in the morning
Sugar in the evening
Sugar at suppertime
Be my little sugar
And love me all the time

A knock on our door interrupted the moment. Mom and Dad looked at each. We weren’t expecting company. This was Christmas Eve. Everyone should be home tonight. This was special family time for most people.

All my family joined in behind me as I opened the door. Standing there were faces I had never seen. Six of them stood there, dressed in neatly pressed Salvation Army uniforms. They all smiled. In unison, they said, “Merry Christmas”

They each held armloads of sacks and packages. They said they were for us. They came into the house and began laying sacks of groceries on the counter on the table and on the floor. They brought in so many sacks of groceries, that my mother cried.

Then they brought in presents and clothes for all of us children. They had our names written on all of the presents. I never did find out how they knew our names. We never told them.

My sisters each got a doll and some doll clothes, among other gifts. I got a bat, a baseball glove and a baseball. I also got a toy model to put together.

Somehow, someone had guessed the approximate clothes sizes for each of us. My sisters got dresses, skirts and blouses. I got jeans and shirts. We all got shoes and coats.

The Salvation Army people stood grinning, as they looked at our faces. They smiled at my mothers’ tears. All of us children sincerely thanked them. My Dad and Mom thanked each one of them too.

So, today, when I walk into a store and see a red Salvation Army kettle hanging on a tripod with a bell-ringer standing behind it, guess what moment in time my mind goes back to? Guess what I am thinking about as I drop some money into the pot?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 5, 2011 at 1:01 am

Posted in Treasured Memories

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The New Math Of Pentecost

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The New Math Of Pentecost

When the Russians sent up Sputnik, American educators panicked. The National Science Foundation was expanded in 1957 to promote changes in science and math beginning with the Middle Schools.

The main thrust was to switch from the teacher, “instructing” the student”. Now, the pupils were encouraged to “discover” on their own. No more student recitations were necessary. The New Math was born.

  • Teachers didn’t like it and the parents were up in arms.
  • Books began to hit the shelves decrying the changes found in the new math.

Morris Kline, in Why Johnny Can’t Add: The Failure of the New Math, wrote that “with near perfect regularity, [teachers] applaud the return to tradition content [and] instructional methods, and higher standards of student performance.”

Wikipedia wrote:

Parents were concerned that they did not understand what their children were learning and could not help them with their studies. In the end it was concluded that the experiment was not working, and New Math fell out of favor before the end of the decade, though it continued to be taught for years thereafter in some school districts.

  • Why the need to change from the old Arithmetic to the New Math?
  • What was to be gained?
  • Was the change because one generation didn’t like the answers they got from the older generation?
  • What it because they were sick of be told what the answers were to the problems and wanted to discover them for themselves?
  • Arithmetic is about numbers, and New math is about concepts.

The basic difference between the new math and the old arithmetic might be explained this way.

1962: (Arithmetic) A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost in raising the hay is 2/3 of this price. What is his profit?

1972 (Arithmetic): A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost of raising the hay is $100. What is his profit?

1977 (New Math): A farmer exchanges a set H of hay for a set M of money. The cardinality of set M is 150 and each element is worth $1.

  • (a) Make 150 dots representing the elements of the set M
  • (b) The set C representing costs of production contains 50 fewer points than set M. Represent the set C as a subset of the set M.
  • (c) What is the cardinality of the set P of profits?

1990 (Dumbed-down math): A farmer sells a load of hay for $150. His cost of production is $100 and his profit is $50. Underline the number 50.

2010 (New Math): By cutting down a field full of hay, a farmer makes $50.

  • (a) What do you think of this way of making money?
  • (b) How will the birds and animals be affected?
  • (c) Draw a picture of the field, as you’d like it to look.

Some Americans felt we were falling so far behind in the Space Race, so we had to do something to catch up. Evidently, (they thought) the old way isn’t working. So they changed. It took many years to realize their reaction to the problem only made things get worse.


How Does This Math History Lesson Apply To Pentecost? 

To the older generation, looks at it this way…

The New Math Concept Of Not Wanting To Be Taught, Is Deeply Embedded In This Newest Generation Of Pentecost.

They freely flaunt words like, “relationship.” At they same time, they scorn the words, “commandments” and “rules”.

  • They say they love the Lord; but they just don’t want to be bogged down with any rules.
  • The New Math people do not welcome standards. They resent being told “NO”.

The New Math of Pentecost Says, “Every Time Jesus Met A Hurting Person He Chose A Relationship, Over Rules & Regulations.”

Really? Every Time?

  • Jesus once said, “You are of your father the devil.”  How did that relationship turn out?
  • He called some, “Hypocrites? Did that hurt the relationship?
  • He turned over the tables and drove them out of the Temple for turning His House of Prayer into a den of thieves? He made a whip and thrashed it at the people? Really now, does that sound like a normal relationship?
  • Why would Jesus do that? Could it be those Jews were doing something wrong? Surely not.

A relationship with Jesus begins with our accepting His ways, not Him accepting ours.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

There cannot be ANY Relationship with God without Obeying His Commandments.

Brothers and Sisters, we MUST have a relationship with God. It’s imperative. It’s necessary. It’s extremely important.

  • But if we do not obey His word, we have NO relationship.
  • If you receive correction, you’ve just proved your sonship.
  • And if you resented and rejected correction, you showed who you really are.

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

  • What kind of relationship can we have with Him if we don’t want to do what He wants us to do?
  • What kind of relationship can we have with Him if we reject His correction?
  • Can you figure that out with your New Math?

Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

The New Math of Pentecost Says, “Rules & Regulations Have Nothing To Do With Sin.

What is considered sin today anyway? What? Name it? Not much. Adultery? Fornication? Don’t make me laugh. Like you, I can read some Pentecostal’s Facebook pages too. There are some that openly flaunt the fact that they are in a Domestic Relationship. Yet they still go to church. Yes, they have a relationship, with God and they also have a relationship with who ever else is willing to have one.

  • How many “Spirit filled” women in your church wear slacks?
  • How many cut their hair?
  • How many wear make up?
  • How many have on more jewelry than a Dillard’s Christmas tree?

How many of these still feel they have a true Relationship with Jesus?

If rules have nothing to do with sin, then how do you know when you have done something wrong? Or is there any… ‘wrong’ anymore?


The New Math Of Pentecost dislikes the concept of being told anything. They desire to discover the things of God on their own. If they are not convicted, then it must not be wrong.

The New Math of Pentecost Says,Rules Can’t Save You.”

They don’t have to give up much to live for God, since they they’ve been studying this “New Math of Pentecost Doctrine.”

Every Jake-leg in Pentecost now knows more than their pastor about the things of God. They’ll argue with him. They look for every scripture they can twist, to get out of living like a Holy Ghost filled person should. They are quicker to take what some compromiser on the Internet has to say about Salvation, than their own pastor.

New Math believers resent being told anything by a preacher, but they have no reservations about getting on Facebook and hollering at the top of their voice to all who will listen, saying that “Rules” are not necessary.

  • They don’t want to be told. They just want to tell.
  • Evidently, their condemnation makes them defensive.
  • Rebellion, is what this whole thing boils down to.

The New Math of Pentecost Says: You Can Have A Relationship With God, Without Rules


My friend, Pastor Kenneth Bow said it well:

  •  “The Ten Commandments represent the two great relationships in man’s world.
  • The first four commandments are about man toward God.
  • The second six commandments are all about how to exist with our fellow-man.
  • To love God and to love our fellow-man is the basis for the Ten Commandments. It provides the foundation for all man’s relationships.”

The Kenneth Bow Blog


New Math? What Answers Did It Change?

  • Tithe is still 10%
  • Holiness is still required, no matter how hard you try to get around it.
  • God’s Word hasn’t changed for this generation.
  • He is still going to require of this generation, what he has always required… Being separated from the world. Not just separated from the world, but separated unto Him.
  • It is still Holiness or Hell.
  • The Bible didn’t change, just because you did.
  • Well, one thing it did change. It seems, most New Math “teachers” don’t even own a suit. They dress very causal in the pulpit.


Man’s Interest In New Math Was Prophesied In The Bible

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;


The New Math of Pentecost Proudly Proclaims That To Win The Lost:

  • We should not teach Standards at our church.
  • We should not teach, we should let you discover convictions on your own.
  • We should not teach standards. It is easier to win the lost by dressing like them.
  • We should not teach against Women to cutting their hair.
  • We should not teach against Women wearing man’s apparel.
  • We should not teach against wearing shorts in public.
  • We should not teach against women’s low necklines and tight clothes.
  • We should not teach against mixed swimming.
  • We should not teach against Hollywood.

These New Math folks don’t want an old-time preacher to preach where they are living. They have a negative reaction to any Holiness preaching.


Why Don’t They Want To Be Told?

They are like a toddler about to do something Mommy already told them not to do. Then turning to their parent say, “Don’t you tell me don’t.”

Americans doing the New Math finally figured out that it was a mistake, and they quit.

Those doing the New Math of Pentecost may not be so fortunate. They may not find out they were doing it wrong until they get to the Judgment.

One thing for sure, you can’t tell them that. They want to find out for themselves.



*My personal thanks to Bro. Bow for making me think about the New Math, and how it applies to Pentecostals today.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 4, 2011 at 12:26 am

If God Had A Cell Phone, Would He Call You?

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If God Had A Cell Phone, Would He Call You?

1975 was the first time I’d ever heard of Jerry Jordan. His Album, Phone Call From God, became quite a hit.

I felt like listening to it again recently. It’s still  funny, but it’s message isn’t lost in the process.

Phone Call from God by Jerry Jordan

(Man in easy chair watching TV. The phone rings.)

Hon, the phone’s a ringin’…will ya get it for me please? I’m a tryin’ to watch ol’ Johnny Carson. What? Get it myself?

Hello? Long distance? Yeah, this is me…who’s this? What? Whadaya mean am I a Christian? I don’t know. Who’s a callin’?

D-d-d-did you say h-h-heaven? W-w-w heh heh…w-well hello Lord! W-w-well Sir, I’ve been a Christian a long time. Y-y-yes Sir, I sure have. A-a-after all…Sir? You hadn’t heard from me in quite a while so you thought you’d better just go ahead and call, huh?

W-w-well, Lord, I tell ya, well just last night…this same time last night, I’s a plannin’ on talkin’ ta you. I-I was a layin’ there watchin’ that ol’ television, that ol’ Johnny Carson ya know was on the TV. I said to my wife, I said ‘Hon, ya know as soon as ol’ Johnny gets off the television we oughta get on our knees and talk to the Lord.’ That’s what we said. And I wish to goodness we’d a gone ahead and done it, but we didn’t. But I tell ya Lord what I’m gonna do…I’m gonna start doing that. I sure am. I’m gonna say my prayers tonight…whether I need to or not. Yes Sir.

Sir? Yes Sir, I go to church. Yes Sir, every Sunday…I’m a faithful church member. I sure am.

Sir? Did I go last Sunday? Yes Sir, I went last Sunday. I went for mornin’ preachin’…wonderful church.

Sir? W-what did the preacher preach on? Well…uh, you know how the preacher is, don’t ya? He preaches on the platform. Oh! Y-yeah, I understand. W-well h-he taught mostly about the Bible.

Sir? Oh! W-well he referred to…h-h-he talked about M-m-matthew you know…no, no I don’t believe it was Matthew…I-I-I believe it was Mark. No…no, that was a couple of months ago…uh uh, now let’s see. Now I remember it was uh…

Sir? Sunday night? No. No, Lord I didn’t make it Sunday night, Lord. I-I…Sir? Uh…Bonanza. Yes, Sir…w-well Sir, ya know, I would have gone. I was a plannin’ on goin’. But I got ta sittin’ around on Sunday afternoon a thinkin’, and I said to myself, you the next day’s Monday and…

Sir? Yes Sir, it’s been that way a long time I reckon. But I got thinkin’ that I need my rest. And Lord it’s so cotton-pickin’ hard anymore to go to church on Sunday all day and, and night, and then have to get up the next mornin’ and w-well…Sir? Sunday before last? Well, Lord ya know, you just picked on a couple of bad ones here. But you know, I work so hard all week and Sunday before last was such a pretty day and everything…and I didn’t go to church, Lord. I tell ya, I went out and…Sir? Oh you know where I went, huh?

Yes Sir, I caught two bass and one croppy. Sir? What time did I get home that night…from fishin’ ya mean? Well…it was about 10:30 that night. Yes Sir, it was probably a lot later than if I’d gone to church that night…but fishin’ is different!…It ain’t church. Well, I couldn’t a gone to church noways cause my wife was a home sick and somebody woulda had to stay with her.

Sir? Lord, yes Sir Lord! I’m so glad you asked that question! Yes Sir, Lord, I’m a good steward. Yes Sir, I sure am! You’re talkin’ about steward…you mean tithin’ and givin’ to the church and all? Yes Sir, yes Sir I give to the church. I sure do. I give to the church every Sunday. Sir? Yes, Sir…every Sunday that I go. I gave 58 dollars to the church last year. I sure did. Cause after all…

Sir? What do you mean you don’t think I understand what stewardship means? Ten percent?…Of everything that I own belongs to you? Well yes Sir Lord, I-I know about that, but I tell ya, right now you just kinda called at a bad time. You just picked a bad time…we’re in a recession down here ya know…and the thing done turned into a depression for me…and and I just can’t give any more, Lord, than that right now and and…

Sir? Ten percent. Well…I gave that fif-fif-fif, well that money ya see last year. And after all that’s a little more than a dollar a week you know…Sir? How much do I make? You’re talkin’ about money still? W-well, it was a little over ten thousand dollars. That don’t tally out too good, does it Lord?

W-well, now I-I know that and ya know, and I told ya before and and as soon as I get that boat motor paid for, ya know I just got the thing and and you know my wife? I thought ya might. Well Lord, she can just walk across the floor and fall on somethin’ ya know. She did that the other day…broke her hip bone.

Y-y-yes…ten percent. Y-yeah Lord, but if I don’t pay off, pay off this boat and motor, they’ll come and get it… and then I won’t have one. Sir? You think if I don’t start paying my tithe, I ain’t gonna need no boat and motor down here? Yes Sir…that was cleared up…completely clear. It sure was. Sir?

Around my kids? Influence, ya mean? Well yes. I’m a good Christian in front of the kids. Lord, never do we do anything in this here house or say anything that be wrong in front of our children. No Sir…not a word. I don’t believe in it.
And that’s…Sir? What did I say when I got my thumb caught in the linen closet? You heard about that? Well…I was just standin’ there, Lord, you know, and all of a sudden this door here come out from nowhere, and and my thumb was in the way, and and it hurt so bad, and and it was awful and I said…well Lord, heh heh, never mind what I said.

But…Sir? Praise? Yes Sir, I give praise. Yes Sir, I sure do. I’s a readin’ the Bible the other day…I picked it up and it said in Theesaleenians to give the Lord the praise. I sure did. But I tell ya Lord, it was just a little hard to find a place to give the praise when I got my thumb caught in the closet door.

Sir? Yes Sir, I sure do. I love that preacher! He’s a wonderful man! That’s the preachenist dude I’ve ever seen. I-I love him. I sure do. Sir? If he’s such a wonderful preacher then why don’t I start doing more of what he says? Well, Lord, I-I thought I did pretty much what he says already.

Sir? If I’m doing all he says, he must not say a whole lot, huh? Well, Lord, maybe you should’ve called him instead of me. Heh, heh. Oh well, that was just a thought anyway, Lord.

Sir? Yes, I know that Lord. I know that and you’re right. You sure are. This is one of the very few countries that we’ve got that we can work in You without violating those man-made laws.

Yes Sir and I-I…Sir? Yes Sir, I realize that you must love us dearly and giving your Son to die on the cross, Lord, you know. And I do appreciate it…I sure do. This phone call has meant a lot to me.

Sir? Oh, you gotta go now? Well now I tell ya Lord, I appreciate ya callin’, and and thanks for reminding me and all, and I’m gonna start doing better. I-I think I need to…
Sir? You think I need to, too huh? Well I am. I’m gonna rededicate my life right now, Lord. I sure am. And I’m gonna start tithing my tithe, my ten percent, and paying my debts Lord, and I…yes Sir and I’m gonna go to church on Sunday…and Sunday morning worship preaching…and every time Lord they have church, I’m gonna be there Lord and take an active part in it.

Sir? Yes Sir and pray for others…just like they’ve been praying for me. Yes, Sir Lord. Now now you know how dependable that I am, and Lord you can depend on me for doing that. Heh, heh. OK Lord, and thank you, I thank you so much for callin’, hear? Good bye, now.

What’s that dear? Who was it on the telephone? Never mind. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you who it was. Was it the wrong number? Well no, it wasn’t the wrong number. Believe me, the man has my number. In fact I think he probably has a lot of people’s numbers. But I tell you one thing, the next time the phone rings, you can answer it. You needed it a whole lot worse than I did.


—Lyrics submitted by “Gary.”

Lyrics powered by LyricFindwritten by BUD ANDREWS, ED WILKES, JERRY JORDANLyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


Some folk should be glad that God doesn’t have a cell phone.

If God had a cell phone, would He call you?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 3, 2011 at 12:06 am

Posted in Ministry, Pastors

Tagged with ,