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Archive for June 2015

YES, Is The Answer. Now, What Is The Question?

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YES, Is The Answer. Now, What Is The Question?

A fast food chain currently uses this for a slogan. It’s nothing new, really. Actually it’s been around for thousands of years. God’s blessed people have always lived with this mindset.

The willingness to do whatever God requests is a trait that will not only save and bless us, but also keep us saved and blessed. Most Pentecostals are familiar with the words of the song that says, “Yes Lord. Yes Lord. From the bottom of my heart to the depths of my soul, Yes Lord…”

Remember singing that song and feeling the sweet presence of the Lord sweep over you? Remember too the old-timers singing, “Is Your All On The Altar?”

There’s a reason for that. A very good reason. God blesses willingness and submission.


Ezra And The Willing People

Neh 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.

  • Notice the spirit of unity. They gathered as one.
  • They requested that the scribe Ezra bring the book of the law and read it to them.
  • They wanted to hear the law.

Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

  • Everyone old enough to understand came.
  • Ezra read from morning until midday

Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

Neh 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

  • Ezra opened the book.
  • The people stood up in reverence.
  • Ezra blessed the Lord
  • The People raised their hands and said, Amen, Amen
  • They said Amen before the law was read.
  • Then the bowed their heads to the ground and worshipped.


They Were So Hungry To Hear The Word Of The Lord That They All Said Amen Before They Heard What The Law Told Them To Do.

It’s not uncommon to see new converts who have experienced the joys of repentance, baptism in Jesus Name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues ask the pastor, “Now, tell me what I need to do.”

Remember Praying Like This?

  • I’ll do what you want me to do.
  • I say what you want me to say.
  • I’ll go where you want me to go.
  • I’ll be what you want me to be.

Most young people in my generation never knew it was OK to say no at church. When we were asked to do something like,

  • Teach a Sunday School Class,
  • Sing a special song,
  • Play an instrument,
  • Testify,
  • Go on visitation,
  • Usher,
  • Clean the church
  • Give a sermonette
  • Or whatever,

We just said knew ahead of time that we would say yes.



Mary the mother of Jesus even told the servants at the Wedding in Cana, that whatever Jesus asked them to do, do it.



Little Samuel had the willingness to do whatever was requested and ran to do the bidding of Eli not knowing that it was the Lord speaking to him.



Rebecca was so willing to serve the stranger with camels that she not only offered to water them but also ran to do her duty.

God has always looked for willingness in his people. Those who choose to say no to Him, don’t seem to last long or be used in His Kingdom.


How Did The Spirit Of Questioning Everything Get Into The Church?

  • Some read the scripture and say they are not convicted.
  • Some read the scriptures and say they do not apply to us.
  • Some hear preaching and are not receptive at all.
  • Others choose to read only scriptures that speak of blessings and miracles.
  • They reject anything that looks like doctrine
  • They say no to the word holiness.
  • They refuse to separate themselves from the world.


God’s First Principle Of Blessing And Growth

Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:


Israel Wouldn’t Go Over Into The Promised Land

Deut 1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:

  • A whole generation died.


Because You Would Not Be Obedient

Deut 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Deut 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

Deut 8:20 As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.


Jerusalem Said No To The Messiah

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!


Israel Said No To The Spiritual Rest

Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.


What Makes Some Say No?

Before You Say No To Anything God Asks…

  • Ask yourself,
  • How does rebellion start?
  • What is rebellion?
  • Does God view my spirit as rebellious?
  • Am I rebellious?
  • How do I change?


Changing From Rebellion To Submission Should Be Easy.

  • It’s a one-word change.
  • What once was a No… change it to a Yes.


Are You Brave Enough To Say, “No” To God?

Me either.

You are free to choose how you wish to respond to God’s call, His wishes and His Word.


But as for me…

YES, Is My Answer. Now, What Is The Question?


Deut 10:12 … what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,



Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

If My Grandma Was Your Pastor…

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If My Grandma Was Your Pastor…

I had the best Grandma a boy could ever want. I loved her and cherish her sweet and godly memory. She raised a family of eight children through the depression years. All eight have since died in the faith, full of the Holy Ghost. Our huge family has been left with a rich example and a wonderful heritage. Thanks Grandma!

I can find no fault in my sweet Grandma, nor do I wish you to. In her day and time, she did what she had to do to survive. That being said, I will tell this Grandma story.

(If she could read this I know she would be embarrassed and maybe mortified. I should be ashamed for mentioning it.)

The Bad Apples

“Marty honey, I want you to go downstairs into the basement and on the right side, at the bottom of the stairs, you will see two bushels of apples. One bushel has red apples and the other one has yellow ones. Look through both bushels and find all the apples that have bruises, or soft spots. Get all the rotten ones and bring them all upstairs to me. If we don’t get them out soon, they will make the good ones get rotten too.”

Grandma Gleason said that as she handed me a pan whose size was sufficient for the task. As a Kindergarten student I had never been entrusted with such a huge responsibility as protector of the apples. I went down into the dark cellar and immediately found the bushels and knelt beside them on the floor.

bruised-appleI picked up each apple and looked it over carefully, squeezing just enough to test for any softness. About five minutes later I came upstairs with a couple dozen apples and proudly gave them to Grandma. Parts of the apples somehow disappeared into the evening supper disguised in a salad or a desert.

The downside of this is that while at my Grandma’s house, I never got to eat a fresh ripe apple. Not even once. She seemed only to be focused on taking care of the bad apples. It never occurred to me to pick up a good one and bite into it, and enjoy its succulence. I was programmed to look for the bad and not the good.

Over the years I have wondered why I didn’t just sneak a good apple out of the bushel. Maybe it was the fear of taking something without asking, or knowing there were many mouths to feed. I really don’t know now, but the bottom line is I didn’t ever get a taste of a good one.

Memory Talks To Me About This

This childhood story maybe could have been forgotten and died within me. But, over the years, that memory has walked down the hallway of my mind again and again and sat down beside me for a quiet chat. It happened once more this morning.

When memory quit talking to me today, my mind wandered over to the parenting and minister side of me. Have I spent my life focusing only on culling the bad apples to keep the others from spoiling and done so to my own hurt and the hurt of those around me?

How sad for me if I only fixated on removing sin’s negative things, and missed out on the pleasure of enjoying all of God’s good things.

Absolutely, wrong behavior must be dealt within the home and the House of God. But, in the process of running a good tight ship, it’s an added blessing if all those around you find it easy to smile and laugh and are happy. Worldliness will destroy a church, but so will religious fanaticism.

There Must Always Be Balance, Both In Pastoring And Parenting.

As parents we can stay so long in the corrective mode that our children live without much joy and happiness. It has happened. Some children can’t wait to leave home. My parents were very loving and yet we knew to be careful. When we were corrected, sometimes Mom cried with us. She could then sit down and play table games with us and laugh with us.

Preachers must never stop preaching against sin, compromise or worldliness. When we recognize the spirit of Laodicea or a Charismatic attitude we need to cull that from the bushel. We must readily defend this Apostolic message to our dying day.

In the process of preaching and enforcing holiness, and culling every bad apple of doctrine from the bushel, the saints need to be able to enjoy the taste found only in the bite of a good apple, once in a while. On the other hand, we all know that if we just eat the good ones, and never remove the bad, soon the whole bushel will be garbage. There must be a balance.

As an old former pastor and a preacher that has been put out to pasture, I can only hope that there were times when I let my hearers savor the sweetness of the Gospel. Everyone needs to experience what King David was enjoying when he said, ‘Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!”

If Grandma was your pastor and she ran your church like she did her home, the bad apples would always be culled and dealt with. Yet, in the process, there may not be any fresh ones left out on the table for anyone to enjoy.

As sweet as she was, be glad Grandma was not your pastor!



Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 12, 2015 at 9:27 am

Posted in Christian Living, Salvation

Tagged with

She Still Calls Me Honey

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She Still Calls Me Honey

She Still Calls Me Honey


She Still Calls Me Honey


A Tribute To Marcia June Starr Ballestero

Who Has Been My Loving And Romantic Wife For Fifty Years.


No man has ever deserved a love so sweet as hers. Fifty years ago, Honey, was the first sweet name she called me when we fell in love, it’s what she still calls me now. I was very thrilled then and today I still am.

It started from the beginning when we both told each other, “I Love You!” Somehow, before the conversation was over, my new name became, Honey. It was just that easy for her!


  • It was exhilarating to know I was a Honey to the girl I loved most!
  • I felt cherished. I felt wonderful. I wanted to boast!


I’d never been anyone’s Honey before. I started walking around with that new Honeyfeeling and it created a tingling in my heart. I felt different. I acted different. I was different. I was her Honey!

For fifty years or so, whenever I’ve heard that name called in a crowd, I immediately turn because I know it must be me being called. After all, I now am the man named, Honey.


  • If I were a cowboy, the name wouldn’t have fit.
  • Had I been a Marine, I would have suffered a bit.


How does one become a Honey?

How did I become a Honey in her eyes?

By the way, what is actually the definition of someone who is a Honey?


Webster says that a Honey is “a person for whom one feels love or deep affection; a sweetheart, a darling.

Honey is an affectionate term of address to a romantic partner, lover, or sweetheart.”

“Something sweet, delicious, or delightful.”

“An affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or romantic partner.”

“To call someone Honey is to talk flatteringly or endearingly to.”


By calling me Honey

  • She is calling me her Sweetheart.
  • She is saying I am her Dear.
  • She is confessing I am her Lover.
  • She is bragging that her Heart belongs only to me.
  • That my Heart belongs only to her.


Even though by now she knows how imperfect I really am, she still calls me Honey. There have been days when lemon or persimmon would have described me much better, but she still called me Honey.


  • “Honey,” I like that better than… “The Old Man,” or “Dodo.”
  • It sure feels much nicer than… “Quail Head” or “Bozo”


Oh yes, when our babies were little, for their sake, she also added the name of Daddy in her vocabulary when they were in the room.

But now, even though our children are grown it is still the same. In our private moments, when she could call me whatever she really thinks of me, she still calls me Honey.


  • When I am upset or stressed, my name is still Honey.
  • When I have no money, my name is still Honey.


I have no memory of her ever starting a fuss. Yet, even when I was out of sorts, or out of line she still called me Honey.

  • When I’ve embarrassed her and myself, she still called me Honey.
  • When I needed to be put in timeout, she still called me Honey.
  • When I had zits on my face too horrible to kiss, she still called me Honey.
  • When I lost my hair, she still called me Honey.
  • When I didn’t preach well at all, after church she still called me Honey.
  • When some old friends criticized me and walked away, she stood by me and called me Honey.


She seldom ever calls me by the name my parents gave me. I’m always Honey to her. What makes her use that word? What have I done to deserve such a sweet name? Even when I’ve wrong, she still calls me Honey.


  • How do you get mad a girl who calls you Honey and means it?
  • How do you not respond sweetly to her words of endearment?


When I wake up, she says, “Good morning Honey!”

When I walk in the door she welcomes me home with, “Hi Honey.”

The sweetest words I can ever hope hear when answering my phone is, “Hi Honey!”

  • It still fires up my furnace and turns all the lights on in my heart!
  • I can still hear the Love oozing in her voice!
  • I can still see the Love radiating in her eyes!
  • I can still sense Romance as it walks into the room!


  • She doesn’t throw that word around like a waitress in some cheap diner.
  • She saved that word for only me, the one she chose to walk beside her.


Some say when a wife uses the word Honey that it soon becomes expensive for the man because some time and labor will certainly be involved. But, there have been no HoneyDo-Lists drawn up for me by her. I draw them up myself.

The things I do for her are the things I get to do for her as my way of showing appreciation and saying thank you for calling me Honey.


  • She says it like she means it with her voice so soft and sweet.
  • It’s the word romance is made of, there’s nothing that can compete


When she says Honey, she means it. She says in a way that:

  • Softens the harshness of life
  • Melts the feeling of pain
  • Creates a spontaneous smile
  • Nurtures the weariness
  • Embraces the hurts
  • And Comforts the soul


I have stood on the platform before huge crowds and referred to her publicly as “Sugar Booger.” Some people smile and shake their heads because they are embarrassed for my wife. There are many thousands and more who only know her by that name.

She has never bristled or looked embarrassed in public when I spoke those words. She knows that is not the name I use when we talk. When we are together and I am looking at her it only makes me think of words gentle, loving, soft and sweet, so I try to say them.

  • There is nothing harsh about her.
  • She doesn’t speak unkind words.
  • She doesn’t ever nag.
  • She never starts fights.


  • Her touch is soft and gentle; her words are just the same.
  • I am blessed to be around her and hear her call my name.


At this major marriage milestone of fifty years and counting, my bragging rights are still securely in place.

My special name is sealed forever in her heart and mine. I am the man she calls Honey… and I absolutely love it! I wouldn’t change it for the world!

She has spent fifty years calling me by the sweetness name she could think of. Her wondrous love for me could never be matched.


  • So as your Honey, I thank you from the depths of my soul.
  • Your love has nourished me and made me feel whole.


No man could have been made to feel his wife’s love than I.

No man ever deserved a love so sweet as yours.

No man could be happier with his marriage than I am.


Thank You, My Darling Marcia June Ballestero, For Loving Me Totally Without Restriction Or Reservation!

You’ve Made Fifty Years Of Loving You And Being Married Seem Like Just A Few Days…

And By God’s Mercy, It’s Not Over Yet. Because…

When We Get To Heaven And Start Looking For Each Other, The First Words I Want To Hear From Another Mortal Is You Saying,

Hi Honey!”


I Truly Love You,

Marty, (Your Honey)




Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm