The Ballestero Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Backsliders’ Category

What Else Could I Have Done?

with 5 comments

 

(Dedicated to Apostolic Pastors)

 

What Else Could I Have Done?

 

The visitor closed the pastor’s office door behind him with a click of finality. They had talked many times, but this would be the last. The man who walked out wasn’t coming back to church. Well, he wasn’t coming back to church here.

Slowly lowering himself into his desk chair, the man of God searched his memory for all the opportunities he might have had to make this ending different. His heart was hurting in areas that medical science could not fix.

That nagging feeling of being a failure at what he did was surfacing again. It really didn’t seem to matter what the circumstances were. People that had been in his care were now gone. It felt personal to him. What else could he have done to stop those who left?

  • Some backslid.
  • Some got offended.
  • Some wanted fewer standards.
  • Some had personality problems with him.
  • Some didn’t want a pastor.
  • Some didn’t like the music.
  • Some gave no reason, they just quit.

Was he a failure? He had spent a lifetime as a pastor. How come he couldn’t fix their problems? He should have the answers to most issues a pastor faces by now. Was he the problem? He knew that second-guessing himself would never result in anything positive. But he still wondered if he could have done more.

 

He Picked Up His Bible And Began To Study About Those Who Walked Away…

 

Abraham and Lot walked their separate ways.

Samuel watched Saul self-destruct.

Moses saw what rebellion and wrong friends did to Korah and 200 princes.

David’s own children brought him heartache.

 

Paul Couldn’t Stop Demas From Loving The World.

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;

 

Jesus Lost The Rich Young Ruler As A Disciple Because Of Money.

Mark 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

 

Jesus Lost Followers Because Of What He Taught.

John 6:66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

John 6:67  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

 

Jesus Lost Judas

  • Judas showed enough potential to be placed in leadership.
  • He was hand-picked.
  • He was allowed to be a privileged disciple.
  • He was chosen to be in charge of the group’s finances.
  • Confidence was placed in him.
  • The closer someone is to you, the greater the pain when they hurt you.

 

Judas Lived On A Carnal Level And Was Oblivious To The Spiritual.

John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

 

Judas Let His True Colors Show At The Wrong Time.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

 

Judas Has A Personal Agenda That Was Separate From His Leader.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

 

Judas Received A Warning From The Lord But Continued Anyway.

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

John 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

 

Judas Saw The Same Miracles And Heard The Same Sermons But Was Unaffected.

Judas was one of the twelve that went out and preached about the kingdom of God and healed the sick.

 

Judas Planned His Move Carefully.

Matt. 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Like a chess player looking at the possible responses to his next move.

Like a politician encouraged by the negative sentiment of a carnal crowd.

 

Judas Was An Opportunist.

Matt. 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

 

Judas Courted Those Who He Thought Could Help His Cause.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

 

A Modern Judas May Recruit His People With Private Meetings,

  • Dinners, coffee and
  • Coffee and cake sessions,
  • Facebook likes,
  • Text messages and phone calls.

 

Judas Possessed An Evil Spirit.

Luke 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

 

Judas Fooled His Own Friends And Brothers.

John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

John 13:28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

 

Judas Got His Key Players In Place Before He Made His Move.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Luke 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

Luke 22:6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

 

Judas Got A Divine Warning And Still Ignored It.

Matt. 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

 

Judas Got Revealed By The Lord And Had A Chance To Repent.

Matt 26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

 

Judas Made His Move When He Thought The Odds Were In His Favor.

Matt 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

 

Judas Was A Hypocrite.

Matt. 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

 

Judas Was Controlled By Satan.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

 

Judas Displayed False Affection Toward His Leader.

Matt. 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

Matt. 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

 

Judas Was Happy.

  • Judas finally got his payday.
  • He was glad it was finally over.
  • He could go back to doing what he was doing before.

 

Judas Had Second Thoughts.

Matt. 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

Judas Tried To Appease His Guilty Conscience.

Matt. 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

Judas Woke Up To His Horrible Sin Too Late.

Matt. 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

 

Judas Repented Too Late.

Matt. 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

 

Judas Hung Himself.

Matt. 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

 

 

The pastor closed the Bible and leaned back in his chair recalling the words of Jesus to His disciples…

Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

1 Sam. 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel… for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me,

 

The pastor took a deep breath and sighed. He understood. There was nothing else he could have done. It wasn’t him, it was them!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 11, 2019 at 12:35 am

The Princess Within Conference, By Nila Marxer

with 7 comments

 

Two of my sisters, Nila Marxer and Carlene Branham just returned from the “Princess Within Conference” in Corona, Californina. This blog is part of Nila’s letter to me today about her experience with the inmates at the conference.

Nila Marxer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This prison field is filled with so many hungry women. There were 30 women who received the Holy Ghost for the first time, 18 renewed, and 12 signed up for baptism! We’ve been trying to get into this prison for almost 20 years, and finally we’ve had a breakthrough. Actually, women from this prison and the Chowchilla prison have been fasting on the 25th of every month for years for a Holy Ghost church service to come to the prisons.

I was humbled by their hunger and desire to hear the Word and to be loved.

The first picture was the entire group minus 2 people. The second was the Sunday morning picture of those who went. A lot had to go back home.

 

Fear will keep many people from doing the will of God and fulfilling His purpose for their life. Don’t say you want to be used of God, and not be willing to do what is needed to further the kingdom.

My life will never be the same. I went to the Princess Within Conference in Corona this weekend with anticipation of helping others, when in fact this experience helped me more than words can express.

Prayer and fasting had gone up for this conference, and when we completed the process of entering into the prison, setting up the equipment and chairs and setting out water bottles and sweets for each prisoner, you could already feel a powerful move of the Holy Ghost. Whitney Rhinehart began practicing songs, and others joined in. Everyone was involved. We did not come just to be a warm body, but we were needed. Those of us who had finished setting up were prayerfully awaiting the prisoners. When the door opened, and the women began filing in, worship had already filled the room. Some of the prisoners were worshiping and clapping as they began to find a seat. At first it took a while for the majority of the women to show up, because it was taco night, and they all wanted to eat the only good meal of the week. (The enemy was using everything to try to hinder this conference.)

The volunteers lined up to give gifts, shake everyone’s hand, welcome them, and thank them for coming. Some were shy, but you could see the majority of the prisoners craved love. Each song was effective, each sermon was powerfully anointed, and no one left unmoved. They came in worshiping like I haven’t seen in a regular church setting. Not just a few raised their hands, but every hand was raised, everyone clapped, everyone worshiped.

The first thing I noticed about the women, was that they looked like normal women, not like hardened criminals that I imagined. The majority of these women carried Bibles. Some of these Bibles were well-read and falling apart. In many of them, I could see various pages of notes stuck in-between the pages. I thought how many of us church people will go to church without our Bibles? How many church people take time to read God’s Word? Some of these women took notes on every scripture reference, and would look at their friends when a specific verse was mentioned, and would finish the scripture, reciting along with the various ministers. These women were well-acquainted with the Word, yet they were starving. Starving for the preached Word, starving for worship, starving for love, starving to feel the power of the Holy Ghost. My heart was lost to them within the first five minutes of meeting them.

On the first night, the preacher finished preaching, and opened the front for those who wanted the Holy Ghost. The women poured down to the altar. We volunteers stood in the front facing them, and soon were inundated by scores of women who wanted prayer. As soon as one received the Holy Ghost, there were many women all around them with their arms raised asking for prayer. I couldn’t stop crying as one by one these women were receiving the Holy Ghost. They fell on my neck, thanking me for coming, and showing them love. I wept with them, knowing they were my sisters-in-the-Lord. Not only did they need me, I needed them.
Before I walked into the prison yard, I had felt some apprehension, not knowing how this was going to unfold, but I can’t begin to explain the joy I had in being involved in this prison ministry, and the hunger I have to go back and continue to spread this precious Truth!

I was humbled by some of the testimonies I heard. Chaffey College was having a graduation ceremony at the same time we were having the Saturday morning service. One of the girls told me she was graduating with her bachelor’s degree. She said, “I had to make a decision whether I was going to walk and get my diploma, or come to church.” She was crying as she spoke, saying, “It was an easy decision to make. They can always mail me my diploma, but there won’t always be a Holy Ghost church service.”

Another girl said that she got her diploma, (missing the early morning session.) She hadn’t seen her family for seven years. Her family had come a long way to see her graduate and spend a little time with her. Knowing how little time these prisoners get to see their loved ones, the few moments together are cherished. Yet, this young lady walked down the aisle, got her degree, and then told her folks goodbye, because she had to go to church.

These testimonies gripped my heart, because those women cherish church above everything. So many women thanked me for loving them. (They were so easy to love.)

The first night I came home, I couldn’t sleep, seeing their faces lifted in prayer, feeling their hugs, and them gripping my hands tearfully asking me not to forget to pray for them. How can I forget?

It was during a worship song on Saturday when I felt God speak to me that I need to focus on His work. I had been focusing on my son who has been bound by sin and desperately needs deliverance. If I will focus on His kingdom and the souls that He loves, then He will focus on my prayers for my family and those that I love. It’s a win-win situation.

The last prisoner spoke to me as they were leaving and said that many churches have come to the prison, but never in her life has she felt such power and such love. She said, the love affected her more than anything. She felt loved by God, and by His people. She wondered why she had never felt love like this before.

I told her, “Honey, it’s the Holy Ghost love that you feel.”
My mind went back to the scripture, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 KJV) Oh, how He loves us, and them!

She said, “It has to be, because I’ve never seen anything like this in all my life. Please don’t forget us. Please come back and help us learn more!”

I thought of the scripture that says:
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.”
Matthew 25:41-43 KJV

May that never be said about me. Lord, I will go.

Nila Marxer

“Just Stay On The Bus!”

with 3 comments

 

“This Bus Is Going To Chicago”

 

I often flew out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport when I lived in South Bend, Indiana. It was about 120 miles away. Many times, it was cost-effective for me to take a shuttle bus from the South Bend Airport to the Chicago Airport rather than to drive to Chicago and pay to park.

My wife dropped me off at the Ground Transportation area in the South Bend terminal. I hurriedly picked up my reserved bus ticket.

The waiting area was large and comfortable. I sat where I could see the buses pull up. The bus line originally was called United Limo, and then it later merged with Tri-State Coach and Coach USA. Its company serves Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

I watched as buses with their destinations showing above their windshields began to arrive. I looked for the one that said ‘Chicago’. When it finally pulled up, it was in Lane 2.

I promptly stood up and waited for the announcement over the intercom that it was time to board.

When the bus departure was declared, I hustled outside and presented my suitcase to the Driver. His name tag said ‘Steve.’

“This bus is going to Chicago,” Steve said, verifying I was getting on the right bus.

“Yes sir,” I replied, “That’s where I’m going.

He stowed my suitcase underneath, punched my ticket and I climbed on board.

I settled down for the 2-hour ride to O’Hara. I saw a few others lay their seats back to relax. It looked like a good idea, so I joined them.

About 20 minutes later, I felt the bus swerve onto an off-ramp. I curiously looked around wondering what the deal was. They told me this was the Chicago bus and this wasn’t Chicago.

I sat up and waited. The driver looped around behind an old service station/café building and stopped in the front. The air brakes hissed as the Driver announced, “LaPorte”

We sat there a few moments and several more passengers got on board. No one got off. In five minutes we were back on the highway again.

Another twenty minutes or so later we again turned off the big four-lane highway and stopped in front of a motel. This time driver said, “Michigan City.” One got off, and one got on.

Once again, we were rolling down the road. This time we were on the I-94 west-bound. We did good for a while, then the driver stopped again. This time, the name he said on the bus intercom was, “Portage.” Four more got on board. No one got off.

I wondered, how many more stops before we get there? I was not surprised when the bus turned off the road again and stopped at Griffith. Three got off there, but seven or eight got on board. The bus was pretty full.

The last hour of the ride was non-stop. We finally pulled up to the Bus Parking Area of the Airport’s lower level.

“Chicago,” Steve said. I stood up.  I had made it to my destination. It wasn’t anything I did. It’s what I didn’t do that got me there. I didn’t get off the bus. I just stayed on the bus, even when others got off.

I could have gotten off at any of the stops along the way, but I didn’t. That’s why I arrived at my destination. I just stayed on the bus.

I do not believe in individual predestination. I do believe in corporate predestination, however. The Word of God firmly declares, that His Church is predestined for Glory. All you have to do is stay on the bus and since the bus is predestined; you will go where it goes. Just don’t get off this bus.

Some may be tempted to get off the bus along life’s journey. You can if you want too, but you should know, this is the only bus going to Glory. Don’t get off.  Someone else will take your seat if you do.

I don’t care who else gets off, or what the attraction or distraction is, just stay on the bus!

“This Bus Is Going To Chicago!”

 

Just Stay On The Bus!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Warning! There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

with one comment

 

Warning! There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

 

 

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

It’s the most painful choice a child of God can ever make. Backsliding is so dangerous that even if it was the last thing in the world to consider, it should never be an option.

Have you ever listened to new converts tell how happy they are to find this Holy Ghost experience? They tell how empty they were before and how long they searched for happiness while in sin.

Even after listening to their testimonies, some foolish church members look at sinners and think maybe they are missing out on something. So, they walk away from the greatest life in the world to enjoy sins pleasures. Pleasures that only lasts for a season.

Walking away from God will never be fun and games. Before you walk out on God, take another look at the warning signs.

 

 

1) Warning! Your Life Away From God Will Be Empty!

Saul Spent Forty Years Learning To Live Without God.

  • Forty years without God talking to him.
  • Forty years cut off from God’s mercy.
  • Where is the fun in that?

Psalm 16:11 …in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

2) Warning! Your Life Will Not Turn Out As Planned.

Expect the worst! It’s going to be unpleasant and hard!

Proverbs 13:15 …the way of transgressors is hard.

This doesn’t sound like a fun and enjoyable experience.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

3) Warning! One Of The First Things That Takes A Hit, Is The Backsliders’ Marriage!

2 Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

Do you want to gamble losing God and your spouse?

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

4) Warning! Backsliders Are Hard To Reason With! They’re Hard Headed!

Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways:

Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me:

Backsliders arrive at a place where few people can help them, or even reason with them. Their mind is closed off to the things of God.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

5) Warning! Backsliders Will Get Caught In Their Own Sin Trap!

Proverbs 11:6 …but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

6) Warning! The Way Of Transgressor Is Hard!

Now that you have chosen to walk away from God, you must also now prepare to deal with the ugly side of life. Things like:

  • Divorce.
  • Babies born out-of-wedlock.
  • STD’s.
  • Drugs.
  • Addictions.
  • Jail time.
  • Financial losses.
  • Damaged reputation at home and among acquaintances.
  • Shame.
  • Embarrassment.
  • Dragging your family and friends down with you. If you ever recover, they might not.
  • Rationalizing and justifying your sins.
  • Alienated from God forever.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

7) Warning! Backsliders Are Wasters.

The Prodigal Son…

Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

  • All the promises of God.
  • All the blessings of God.
  • All the Instruction and wisdom of God.
  • All the healings,
  • All the blessings of God,
  • All the protection of God.
  • All the love of God.
  • All the peace of mind.
  • All the joy unspeakable.
  • All the hope of eternal life in heaven.

Are you just going to throw all that away? Really? You are a waster! You are wasting all God has invested in you and bestowed on you.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

8) Warning! Backsliders Didn’t Go Unpunished! Just Look At Some Old Testament Backsliders.

  • Cain
  • Esau
  • Lot’s Wife
  • Balaam
  • Aaron’s Sons
  • Eli’s Sons
  • Saul

God Is Angry With The Sinners Every Day. You Think You Can Handle That?

(I won’t even wish you good luck.)

 Psa 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

 There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

9) Warning! God May Let You Go Unprotected While You Are Astray!

“Like a lamb in a large place.” A Shepherd doesn’t normally turn lamb loose in the wilderness to fend for itself.

God will allow you to be vulnerable to the wolves of sin when you go astray.

Hosea 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

The safest place to be is in His fold, not turned loose.

Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

 

 

10) Warning! Repentance Is A God Provided Privilege, Not Something You Can Do On A Whim!

No one gets to repent unless God grants him or her the privilege.

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

 

  • What Are The Chances Of A Backslider Wanting To Recover?
  • What are the chances of God letting them recover?

 

  • If God is willing to give a backslider another chance, they should not wait another moment.
  • God knows how to build a custom-made prayer room for backsliders.

 

  • If a backslider speaks critical of the pastor, the standards, or the saints – I see little hope.
  • If they admit they are not in church, but say if they ever got back in church, they would come back home… I see much more hope.

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

 

 

 Now For The Good News! Every Backslider Can Be Healed!

Jeremiah 3:22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

 

There Is No Fun In Backsliding! You Won’t Be Happy.

Get Your Walk With God Back On Track!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 1, 2018 at 9:31 am

Posted in Backsliders

My Old Man Is Crazy!

with 13 comments

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I’m not saying he’s bipolar.

I’m not saying he has schizophrenia.

I’m not saying he should be in an institution or that he’s stupid.

I’m just saying he’s crazy. He’s very smart, yet he’s really crazy.

 

My old man’s not right.

I hate him too.

He embarrasses me in front of my friends.

When you tell him how horrible he is, he agrees but doesn’t change.

 

He even makes me cry sometimes.

He has hurt me so bad that I was embarrassed to tell even my closest friends.

I hate to say this, but I really don’t even like him.

I’ve even told him that I don’t love him and I never will.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He does stupid and random stuff that truly scares me.

I am ashamed for him to be around me.

He lives in denial and keeps justifying all his craziness.

He likes things he shouldn’t.

 

He really needs help, but no one can help him.

He’s read up on his condition and says he knows what he needs to do.

But, I don’t think he is making any progress.

He really needs to stop and consider his horrible actions.

 

My old man is not loved by anyone.

His craziness pushes everyone away.

They all roll their eyes when he shows up.

His so-called friends just shake their heads in dismay and disappointment.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He does things he shouldn’t.

He says things he shouldn’t.

He is very good at rationalizing and justifying himself.

He’s crazy, I’m telling you.

 

Some would like to see him dead.

I know some would even come to his funeral just to make sure he was really dead.

He’s just that bad.

He is so bad that God doesn’t like him.

 

I hate everything about him.

He’s horrible.

I loathe him.

He’ll never change.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

No self-help book has a remedy for him.

No prescription can help.

Therapists can’t fix him

Warnings and threats don’t seem to work.

 

And it’s driving me crazy too.

I wish he was out of my life.

I can’t tell you how happy I would be just to know my old man is graveyard dead,

My old man is crazy.

 

I told him he is not welcome in my house.

I told him to leave my family alone.

I told him that I cannot allow his influences in my life.

I told him to go away, I never wanted to see him again.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I told him I am sick and tired of putting up with his mess.

I want my old man to be forever gone.

Judge me if you must,

I want my old man dead.

 

My old man makes me cry.

His actions are corrupt.

His words are deceitful, and his life is a sham.

I hate everything he does.

 

He wants attention.

His life is all about him and no one else.

No one can tell him what to do.

He hates that.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

My old man was always there.

He was there when I was born.

He’s been there for every event of my life.

Good times or bad, he was there.

 

That’s not even a good thing.

He gets all up in my business.

He meddles in every area of my life.

He messes up some of the most wonderful moments of my life.

 

I got to the place I had to tell my old man he was going to have to die.

He resisted and argued loudly with me.

But I wouldn’t budge, or back down.

He said he wouldn’t die willingly.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

So, I told him to prepare to be buried alive.

I forced him to his knees and kept him there.

I reminded him of every horrible thing he had done to me and my family.

My old man said he felt so dirty and ashamed, but I wouldn’t stop.

 

He cried and asked for mercy and forgiveness.

That’s when my old man died.

I started smiling for the first time in years.

My old man was dead.

 

“What shall we do with him?” Someone asked.

“Bury him,” I said.

Several gathered around to help bury my old man.

The Preacher buried him in water in Jesus Name.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I shouted all over the church when my old man died.

The heaviest weight of my life was lifted.

My friends and family rejoiced with me.

I even told my neighbors that my old man was dead, and I smiled a big smile.

 

My life became peaceful and serene when my old man died.

I put a marker on his grave.

For all the world to see.

“Here lies My Old Man… Flesh”

 

(You’re not going to believe this.)

Some days later, I got the shock of my life.

I wanted to scream in horror.

I almost died from fright.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

There standing at my door was my old man.

He just grinned and pushed his way in.

This can’t be happening!

This is unreal!

 

But there he stood anyway.

My family cringed in fear.

How could this be happening?

My old man was like some un-earthling who could come back alive.

 

My mother told about a man named Paul.

He had a similar problem with his old man,

And he had to make him die every day.

Every day? E-V-E-R-Y DAY? Oh, No!

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I took him to church.

I needed some help.

I couldn’t let him live in my house anymore.

He couldn’t move back in.

 

I told him to pray.

I told him to fast.

I told him to deny himself.

I told him I want him to die again.

 

He doesn’t make going to church a priority, he’s not faithful.

He won’t pray like he knows he needs to.

He doesn’t like the subject of tithes.

He doesn’t read his Bible.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He’s a rebel.

He hates standards.

He hates preachers.

He makes fun of holiness

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He gets defensive when the preacher said corrective things to him.

Like a macabre nightmare, sometimes he seems dead, then comes right back alive again.

I wish he’d stay dead.

 

He’s so bad, even God even wants him dead.

The preacher is tired of him, too. He won’t stay dead.

Many preachers have tried to get him to change but without any success.

The church family has tried to tolerate him.

His whole family has about given up on him.

 

As long as my old man is alive, my life is spent in vain.

As long as my old man is alive, I’ll never be saved.

As long as my old man is alive, I’ll never please God.

As long as my old man is alive, my inheritance is at risk.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

So now it’s a daily routine.

When I wake up in the morning and start my day.

He’s sitting on the edge of my bed.

Very much alive.

 

My daily routine now includes the unimaginable.

I have to figure out a way to make my old man die every day.

It’s not always easy to do

But it must be done.

 

My crazy old man.

My flesh.

Must die.

Everyday.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

_______________________________________

 

 

 

Joseph asked his brethren this question about his earthly father.

He called him, “the old man.”

 

Gen. 43:27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?

 

Today, I Ask This Question Of Your Flesh… Is Your Old Man Alive?

 

Eph. 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation* the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

*lifestyle

 

Paul Said That His Old Man Had To Die Every Day.         1 Co 15:31

Is Your Old Man Still Alive?

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

“That’s ‘possum gumbo, brother.”

with 7 comments

Almost fifty people sat in the little wooden church house in Lunita, Louisiana. They had come to a Youth Revival to hear nineteen-year-old Marty Ballestero from South Bend, Indiana. Pastor Kirkland had announced revival services for the next nine nights.

There was only one musical instrument in the church, a piano. The pastor’s sixteen-year-old daughter played the best she could. She was backslidden, but they needed some music, and that’s all they had. No one else could play the piano.

The year was 1963, the month was November, and I was out in the sticks. There was not a traffic light or a stop sign to be found for miles. There was not much to be seen here, but piney woods. While praying in those woods I got 59 chigger bites in one hour. I spent the rest of my prayer meetings indoors. It is easier to scratch indoors.

The song service was started with the ‘choir’ coming up on the platform to sing. The ‘choir’ consisted of whoever wanted to come up. Only a few remained seated in the audience. No one shouted during the revival, nor seemed to be overly blessed by the singing or the preaching. But everyone was friendly and said nice things to their guest.

The crowd was made up of hard-working but poor, salt-of-the-earth kind of folks. During prayer requests, names like, ‘Sis. Turtle’, and ‘One-Legged Willie’ got mentioned. No one seemed to be amused by the unusual nicknames.

The offering pan was passed every night and the change clanging on the bottom was very noticeable.

I stayed in the side wing on the left side of the church, right next to the auditorium. My room had a bed and nothing more. An outhouse was not far from my side of the church. A white building now stands in its place. The wing has been more than doubled in size and everything is enlarged and bricked now.

The woods came right up beside the church house back then. The trees came so close it was almost possible to squirrel hunt sitting on the platform.

Bro. Kirkland, the pastor, lived in a mobile home with his wife, his daughter, and son. The trailer was parked to the right of the church. It sat in the tree line as well. He drove a casket delivery truck for Batesville Casket Company. I rode with him a few times during the day for fellowship.

At night after church, I would be invited to eat at their house.

I had never had much of an opportunity to eat Cajun cooking before. I had spent too many years out west and up north. One night, Sister Kirkland said, “I hope you like gumbo, brother,” as I entered her house.

“Oh yes ma’am,” I said. I didn’t know if I did or didn’t, but when you are only eating one meal a day, you don’t get too picky, because it’s 24 hours until they invite you over again.

I watched how my hosts ate their gumbo. It was served with a whole egg in it on one side and a generous helping of warm potato salad over on the other side. The rue was dark. I was hungry and ate mine up. The taste was a little different, but then I’d never had gumbo before, so I didn’t know what to expect.

“That’s ‘possum gumbo, brother.” The pastor’s fourteen-year-old son said. Did you like it?”

I didn’t want to say I liked it because the inward shock of being told I’d just eaten ‘possum was one thing, but to knowingly lie was another.

“It tasted pretty good whatever it was.”  (I don’t think I would have knowingly wished to eat ‘possum, but I did.)

I had been gone from home a little over a month and had been preaching a few nights here and there. This was my first revival since going full-time.

Since the sixteen-year-old piano player was backslidden, I chose not to have any music for altar service the entire revival. I had to give altar calls without music. I wanted her to pray through and knew she couldn’t play and pray at the same time. She did pray through on the last weekend.

I didn’t know, till after service one night, that President Kennedy had been assassinated two days before. There was no radio in my room or newspaper in Lunita to keep me informed.

Sixteen young people prayed through during those nine nights. Many of them were backsliders.

The last night, Bro. Kirkland announced that an offering had been taken every night for the last nine nights and that a total of $4.65 had come in for the evangelist. He said that he would like to have the church vote to give him permission to take $.35 out of the Ladies Auxiliary Fund to raise the total up to $5.00.

All those that were in favor of the evangelistic offering being increased stood to their feet. It was the first election I had ever won.

After church, I said my goodbyes and went down the road a few miles to Deweyville, Texas, on the Texas/Louisiana state line that night. I spent $3.50 in a phone booth for a 3-minute call to my dad, telling him about my first offering. I then bought 5 gallons of gas at the Billups service station for $1.00, for my ’55 Ford and drove across the street to Nick’s Restaurant. There I ordered a $.35 Cheeseburger and spent my last $.15 on a large Dr. Pepper.

 

I left Deweyville broke and happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 28, 2017 at 9:18 am

Why Does Preaching Turn You Off?

with one comment

Why Does Preaching Turn You Off?

 

Why Does It Make You Uncomfortable When Your Pastor Preaches On Some Subjects?

  • Do you feel like he’s just riding his hobby-horse, and that subject is his candy stick?
  • Or, is doctrine something you’d rather not hear preached very often?
  • Do you feel that sermons on mercy, faith, Holy Ghost, and healing are more beneficial to you?
  • Do your eyebrows knit together in a frown when the subject of holiness is preached on?
  • Don’t you think that if you’re not condemned about something, and the Lord didn’t speak it into your spirit, that it doesn’t apply to you?

 

  • Wouldn’t it be OK for you to find another church home if the pastor persists in mentioning subjects that are offensive to you and your family?
  • When you hear a sermon on submission or pastoral authority, doesn’t that seem a little over the top for you? After all, he’s just a man, and you can read the Bible for yourself.
  • If he preaches on tithes and offerings and makes giving them a test of membership, but you don’t feel that it’s a New Testament doctrine, what do you do?
  • If he finds the manner in which you or your family member dresses or acts, and preaches that you need to change, isn’t that the last straw?
  • When the pastor preaches a sermon that you consider harsh, and you felt that it was directed to you personally, shouldn’t you stay away from church for a few services and give your emotions a chance to heal and things to settle down?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a major problem.

If anything in the Word offends you, God takes note of your spirit.

You know not what spirit you are of.

 

Being Offended Is A Choice.

  • You just made the worst choice of all to allow your feelings to be at odds with the Word.
  • You chose to be offended by the Word. (It even made you angry with the pastor.)

 

These Are Some Kings Who Got Offended By The Word And By The One Who Preached It.

 

Jeroboam Wanted To Kill The Preacher Who Dared To Cross Him.

1 Kings 13:4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

 

 Ahab Had A Problem With Preachers. They Always Stepped On His Toes.

1 Kings 22:8 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

 

Ahab Considered The Preacher His Enemy.

1 Kings 21:20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.

 

How Different Is Your Spirit From That Which is Called, Stony Ground?

Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

 

  • The Stony Ground people never stay in the church.
  • The sad news is that they get offended because of the Word.

 

The Spirit That Hates Doctrine And Sound Preaching Is Also A Sign Of The Last Days.

2 Tim. 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;

2 Tim. 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

The Bible Never Promised That People Would Not Offend You! They Will!

  • As a matter of record, offenses will come.
  • When the Scripture says nothing shall offend them, that wasn’t referring to people at all. The subject matter in that verse was the Law.
  • It simply made the point, if you love the Law, then NOTHING IN THE LAW will offend you.

 

  • Simply put, you will never convince God that you love His Word when you get offended by it.
  • You will never convince the pastor or any of the old saints that you truly love the Word, but yet you get offended when all the Word is actually preached and enforced.

 

Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

  • So if Holiness preaching offends you…
  • So if preaching the essentiality of the New Birth as found in Acts 2:38 offends you…
  • So if the pastor’s preaching on your separation from the world offends you…
  • So if you are offended by the subjects of obedience and submission and want to argue about its necessity…

 

  • So if the Word was offensive to you, it means you actually didn’t love it like you said you did…
  • 2 Tim. 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;
  • Isa. 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

 

Bottom Line: If you are offended by the Word, you will leave the Truth. Either by accepting a lesser gospel, which is not a gospel, or just plain old-fashioned backsliding!

 

Then You Can Expect The Worst Case Scenario Ever To Arrive, Custom Made Just For You.

2 Thess. 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thess. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2 Thess. 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness

 

At This Point, There Is No Recovery Possible For You.

  • Why do some Pentecostal and Apostolic people leave and go Charismatic?
  • Why do some look for a church with lesser standards?
  • Why do some look for a church which doesn’t require them to give up anything?

 

They Leave Truth Because They Wouldn’t Receive A Love For The Word, So God Gave Them Something They Would Love… A Delusion.

 

If God Sent You A Strong Delusion Because You Didn’t Actually LOVE The Truth…

  • Then why not throw your Bible away? It won’t help you anymore.
  • Then why bother going to a church of any kind? No church can help you now.

 

My Advice To You?

  • Ask God To Give You A Love For The Truth… All Of It!
  • Fall In Love With The Truth!

 

Why Does Preaching Turn You Off?

Because, Regardless Of What Your Lips Say, You Really Don’t Love His Law!

You Haven’t Received A Love For The Truth!

If You Loved His Law, NOTHING About His Law Would Offend You!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 27, 2017 at 8:42 pm