The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

What Is Your Quality Of Life?

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What Is Your Quality Of Life?

According to dictionary.com, the phrase quality of life entered our American language in the early 1940’s. We commonly use this expression to describe the availability of comforts, or the lack thereof.

Auntie Fern

As a seven-year-old boy, I was aware that my Auntie Fern was dying with cancer. She was quite young, but the disease had exhausted her strength. My mind still sees pictures of her sitting in Grandma Gleason’s house at 711 Polk St, Oregon City, Oregon in her special chair.

Auntie Fern smiled at me a lot as she sat covered in her lap blanket. I have no memory of ever seeing her walk, but before the cancer, she always had. She had a beautiful twelve-year-old daughter Carolyn. Cancer quickly takes away what we may have determined to be, our quality of life.

Beverly

My sister, Beverly Anne, was fourteen months younger than me. Problems at her birth complicated the health conditions she was already born with. She was a very sickly child. She was not strong enough to go to school after the fourth grade. She never got to skip rope a day in her life.

Her hair never grew long, her eyes were weak, her nails wouldn’t grow and her broken bones couldn’t mend. Her body produced no calcium.

She never had a boyfriend, or ever went out on a date. She never got a love letter. The lack of calcium, plus other critical health issues occasionally caused her to go into convulsions during the last two years of her life. She kept a bell by her bed to ring for help when she felt another episode coming on.

In her last years, I carried her in my arms from the parsonage to the church every service, and placed her in a special chair at church. Beverly died at seventeen. But she died talking in tongues.

The case can certainly be made about her not having much in the way of any quality of life. But I guess the measurement depends on the yardstick being used.

Daddy

After nearly eighteen years, I still carry the mental images of my Alzheimer’s stricken, father. His world was even further complicated with the addition of Parkinson’s disease.

His seven-year journey into that alien realm was heart breaking to watch. This was the man whose mind was so sharp, he had preached the 1964 UPCI General Conference in San Antonio, using notes he had scribbled on the back of his hotel cleaner’s receipt. Now, he had to be led everywhere. Now, he had to be fed. Now, he had to be dressed. Now, he had to be cared for as a small child, while the disease held him securely in its grasp.

He did not easily recognize his friends or even all of his family.  He soon got to the place where he could no longer carry on any meaningful conversations. Yet, something was still alive in him on the inside.

Some visiting ministers came to see him one time. They talked about the Lord, and about the Oneness of the Godhead. They talked about the Mighty God in Christ. Daddy came out of his mental fog and started quoting ‘One God’ scriptures. Tears flowed as his visitors listened to his words.

When they were ready to leave, they wanted to pray with Daddy. As the prayer started, an invisible switch turned on inside of him. He began to pray with power and anointing. All wept again just listening to him pray. The Holy Ghost filled the room. When the prayer was over, he retreated back into his Alzheimer’s oblivion. On 9/11/1994, we watched as the hands of the Lord led him where no other hand could lead him.

Did he have much in the way of quality of life during his last years? No, not from where you’re standing. No, not from what my eyes or my heart could see either.

Mama

January 13, 2012 my loving sisters and I laid our sainted Mama in the arms of the Lord. Her dementia was different from Daddy’s. Her short-term memory left her a couple of years before she left us. Yet, she still always responded warmly to our affection.

I tried to call her every day, after Daddy died in 1994. The last year, however, it was almost impossible from me to have any meaningful conversation with her on the phone. I tried using Skype video calls, with my sister Nila assisting Mom. Her eyes always lit up when she saw me, she would then tell me that she loved me. When I told her how much I loved her and what a wonderful mother she was, she would smile and say, ” Keep talking, ‘Say some more Honey Baby,’ or ‘Cha La La.”

But… If someone were to start quoting a Psalm, her mind became alert, especially, if Psalms 100 was quoted. She may not even open her eyes, but she would automatically quote the verses with you, or if you paused, she would quote the next verse. She came alive when any Psalm was quoted.

Other than that? Not much, but just sit in her chair all day. No more playing the piano. No more singing. Not eating much either. Just sleeping the day away.

A few days before she died, she had a stroke in the middle of the night. Her fall broke her hip. She was in so much pain. Did she have any quality of life in her last years? Not like you would hope to enjoy.

So, What Does It Mean To Have Quality Of Life?

  • Does it mean good health?
  • Does it mean wealth?
  • Does it mean love?
  • Does it mean living in a good neighborhood?
  • Does it mean having needed amenities in your house?
  • Does it mean living in a nice house?
  • Does it mean owning a new car?
  • Does it mean eating well?
  • Does it mean having nice clothes?
  • Does it mean something that money buys?
  • What does it mean?
  • Does it mean being able to walk?
  • Does it mean being able to speak?
  • Does it mean being able to hear?
  • Does it mean being able to see?

Careful now…

In your mind,

  • Does quality of life mean being active?
  • Does it mean having the strength to exercise?
  • Does it include bike riding?
  • Does it include riding motorcycle riding?
  • Does it include going fishing or hunting?
  • Does it include going shopping?
  • Does it include getting out of the house?

Actually, our definition of the term, Quality of Life is quite different from God’s opinion.

Jesus Said That He Was Life!

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 10:10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

What the phrase, quality of life, has come mean to me is simply that there is NO quality of life without Jesus! The good news is that He came to give Life, and give it more abundantly!

How do you obtain this supreme Quality Of Life?

The answer is simple. You must be born again of the water and of the Spirit! On the Day of Pentecost, the multitudes asked Peter how to obtain this experience.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

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.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Quality Of Life really hasn’t much to do with mobility and health, (if we go by the Lord’s standard of judgment.) You may be rich, healthy and wise, and still not enjoy any real Quality of Life… until you’ve met the Giver of Life at an altar of repentance.

  • Don’t Die Until You’ve Received The Holy Ghost… Which Is, Christ In You!
  • There Is No True Quality Of Life Without Him!

That’s What I’m Talking About!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Oh honey, that was just an amazing blog. I’ve gotta find my Kleenex box!!!

    Carlene

    March 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

  2. Bro. Ballestero you say such meaningful things. Thank you so much for sharing your family experiences with us. I deeply appreciate it. Not many have the rich heritage you have!

  3. Wow! That’s really powerful and touching at the same time. I enjoy any sermon you preach or write! Keep em coming!

    pastor Daniel J. Decker

    March 5, 2012 at 12:53 am

  4. So true…beautifully written!

    Mary Hynes

    March 5, 2012 at 5:42 am

  5. Brother Ballestero–this is a wonderful blog. I’ve never really thought about ‘quality of life’ the way you described it. You are so right–We only have quality of life when we have Jesus in our lives. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life–So glad I know Him this morning.

    Cheryl Dowden-Pollock

    March 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

  6. This puts everything in perspective.

    Nila Marxer

    March 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

  7. Bro. Marty, this was wonderful! I’m so glad I have “quality of life” in Jesus!

    Bonnie Hill

    March 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm

  8. One word: PERFECT
    ONE WORD: JESUS

    cat41godc

    March 6, 2012 at 1:08 am

  9. He is my exceedingly great reward!

    J.J. Oropeza

    March 6, 2012 at 10:25 am


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