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Yours or His?

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“They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used Too!”

My Daddy would say that to me with a big grin on his face when as a boy, I was unable to open a jar lid that was too tight for me or when I tried to lift something too heavy and couldn’t. We would both chuckle.

Maybe Grandpa said that to my Daddy when he was a boy too. I said it to my sons and maybe they’ve said to their sons as well.

I was blessed to have lived and enjoyed church worship in simpler and more basic times. The worship in church was directly affected, no doubt, by the tough times we all experienced.

Many songs and choruses were written about heaven and sung by those who lived during the depression and hard times. But what strikes my heart today is the lack of certain types of songs being written and sung in our churches today.


Old saints can remember songs like:


“Is Your All on the Altar?”

By Elisha A. Hoffman – 1900

  1. You have longed for sweet peace,
    And for faith to increase,
    And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
    But you cannot have rest,
    Or be perfectly blest,
    Until all on the altar is laid.

    • Refrain:
      Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
      Your heart does the Spirit control?
      You can only be blest,
      And have peace and sweet rest,
      As you yield Him your body and soul.
  2. Would you walk with the Lord,
    In the light of His word,
    And have peace and contentment alway?
    You must do His sweet will,
    To be free from all ill,
    On the altar your all you must lay.
  3. Oh, we never can know
    What the Lord will bestow
    Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
    Till our body and soul
    He doth fully control,
    And our all on the altar is laid.
  4. Who can tell all the love
    He will send from above,
    And how happy our hearts will be made;
    Of the fellowship sweet
    We shall share at His feet,
    When our all on the altar is laid.



Remember this one too?


“I Surrender All”

By Judson W. Van DeVenter – 1896


  1. All to Jesus I surrender;
    All to Him I freely give;
    I will ever love and trust Him,
    In His presence daily live.

    • Refrain:
      I surrender all,
      I surrender all;
      All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
      I surrender all.
  2. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Humbly at His feet I bow,
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.
  3. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.
  4. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    Fill me with Thy love and power;
    Let Thy blessing fall on me.
  5. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Now I feel the sacred flame.
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!


Both of these precious old songs were written many years before my parents were even born.

  • Why is there a shortage and scarcity of heart searching and consecration type songs?
  • Why does it seem like everyone has stopped writing and singing songs of surrender and submission?
  • It simply bothers me.

Yes, we are to sing a new song. I agree. I will sing and worship along with you. But at the same time, I ask, why throw all the consecration songs like those of yesterday away? Is there no longer a need? Have we arrived? Is there not a cause or a concern? Am I alone on this?

I looked online and found this site that shows about 49 songs of heart examination (most of which I’ve never heard sung.) What is very noticeable and glaring to me is the fact that almost every song was written more than a hundred years ago.


Then it seems like every gospel song writer up and quit. Is there no longer a need for consecration in our singing or in surrendering to His Will? About a good as most of us get to hear lately is something like:


“Yes, Lord, Yes”

I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
To your will and to your way
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes


But truly we don’t have much to show in the last one hundred years that expresses to God our heart’s surrender. I know that to a younger generation that I am an old man blowing off steam. I will not even defend myself on that point.

I just happen to like and appreciate what those old songs did to my heart and how that in singing them they shaped my thinking and my mindset. I want my grandchildren to have the same experience in God.

They Really Don’t Make Them Like They Use To.

Come on songwriters and singers. Write us some songs that make us want to consecrate. Songs that make our hearts cry. Songs that are what God wants to hear not just what we like to shout to.


Today while looking through some old papers, I found a tattered sheet of old paper with a poem written in my Father’s handwriting. Tears came to my eyes as I read the words and felt the meaning and the understanding of why my Father felt that this poem was important enough to him to hand copy it.

Written on the backside were some notes to a sermon he preached called Aids To Navigation. I researched online and found the title of this poem written by Joseph Addison Richards. As for me, I need not say anymore.


Yours or His?

I owned a little boat a while ago
And sailed a Morning Sea without a fear,
And whither any breeze might fairly blow
I’d steer the little craft afar or near

Mine was the boat, and mine the air,
And mine the sea; not mine, a care.

My boat became my place of nightly toil.
I sailed at sunset to the fishing ground.
At morn the boat was freighted with the spoil
that my all-conquering work and skill had found.

Mine was the boat, and mine the net,
And mine the sill, and power to get.

One day there passed along the silent shore,
While I my net was casting in the sea,
A man, who spoke as never man before;
I followed Him–new life begun in me.

Mine was the boat, but His the voice,
And His the call; yet mine, the choice.

Ah, ’twas a fearful night out on the lake,
And all my skill availed not a the helm,
Till Him asleep I waken, crying “Take,
take Thou command, lest waters overwhelm!”

His was the boat, and His the Sea,
And His the Peace o’er all and me.

Once from His boat He taught the curious throng,
then bade me let down nets out in the sea;
I murmured, but obeyed, nor was it long
Before the catch amazed and humbled me.

His was the boat, and His the skill,
And His the catch–and His, my will.

Joseph Addison Richards




Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 5, 2015 at 5:35 pm

10 Responses

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  1. Our pastor, Bro. Mendenhall, just told us last Sunday while the altar call was being sung (I think it was, “Is Your All on the Altar?”) that none of the modern songs are “altar call” songs. Songs like “Just As I Am” have no equivalent in the modern song listing. While we do sing some new songs, I’m thankful our pastor and our church still sing the old songs, too.

    Sandra Runkle

    August 5, 2015 at 8:07 pm

  2. Alot of these charismatic songs that are coming in have no WORD in them. They are based on emotions and feelings. Not reality and truth. Even songs that talk about the blood are being phased out. Peronsally alot of the modern praise and worship songs do not move me. I am thankful for the songs of old that have scripture written in them. Bless You Elder Ballestero.


    August 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm

  3. thanks for taking the time to share such wonderful songs .. so miss songs of consecration and worship with words easily understood that grace you with humility to offer freely worship in His presence ..

    brother Jeff

    August 6, 2015 at 2:56 am

  4. I couldn’t agree more.


    August 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm

  5. Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! While we gathered last weekend at my wifes Grandmothers home to have a service for her in her living room with about thirty family members, we begin to sing “Shut in with God in a secret place” and oh how the Holy Ghost fell. It was wonderful! God bless you Elder!

    Bro. Lance Tarpley

    August 14, 2015 at 10:13 pm

  6. there is nothing like them good old time song like “there ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down” or the old rugged cross” my church still sing out of the hymn books.

    sis. ashley tyler

    August 22, 2015 at 11:03 pm

  7. It seems there is something wrong with the link to your dad’s sermons. They will not play on any device. I would very much like to hear them. Can you check it and see what the problem is. Thank you for your dedication to the Lord and your blog.


    August 27, 2015 at 10:55 am

    • So sorry that there is an issue. I tried listening on my computer, my iPad and my phone and they all work fine. check an see if your media player software is current or needs updating. I feel bad.


      Martyn Ballestero

      August 28, 2015 at 6:39 pm

  8. Please forgive the sports reference,

    Vincent Thomas “Vince” Lombardi, was an American football player, coach, and executive. He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total National Football League championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. Lombardi is considered by many to be one of the best and most successful coaches in Professional Football history. The National Football League’s Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. He is most noted for taking his team in the locker room at halftime or before the game and giving them a speech. His first words were ” Gentleman this is a football.”

    Elder Morton,
    While preaching West Coast Conference one year, began to talk about our old tyme songs. Reached from under the pulpit and pulled out a book and held it in the air. and said ” Gentleman this is a Songbook ! ”

    Me, my wife and three girls while sitting on the front row, shouted with everyone else 4000+. Giving God praise, and glorifying the Lord in that ol-tyme way.

    Contemporary music, like songs that are found on kirkfranklinpraise. Don’t have any depth, they are mostly songs sung to minister to people, instead of ministering to God. Songs that are sung outward instead of upward.

    This post of yours Elder is not a preference. I believe it reflects the HEARTBEAT of The Almighty.

    Thank you elder Ballestero.

    Bro. J.A. Perez

    Young J.A.Perez

    September 9, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    • Qualifier: I hope what I said doesn’t come across mean, and I’m not trying to take the teeth out of my initial post, but. I listen to kirkfranklinpraise and am blessed to hear a lot of the good music they play. Even some oltyme songs. I’m not picking on any one station. It’s just the contemporary music doesn’t have that Apostolic feel to it….

      Young J.A.Perez

      October 22, 2015 at 1:32 am

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