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Archive for the ‘Bitterness’ Category

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

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Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

 

I am not talking about the kind of pain that takes one to the Doctor’s office or the Emergency Room. There are some pains and hurts so bad that they cannot be medicated or cured by science. Those pains need our focus.

 

There’s A Kind Of Pain That Doesn’t Always Lead Its Companions To The ER.

  • This Pain will lead you in one of two directions.
  • This Pain may lead you to God.
  • This Pain may lead you away from God.

 

Pain will take you to countries you never knew existed.

Pain will give you citizenship in a foreign land that speaks a language known only to the locals.

Pain can pass itself off as a congenial tour guide while leading you down paths from which from which few ever return.

 

Pain will isolate you from family and friends.

Pain will tell you that you are alone and no one cares.

Pain will turn on you like a vampire and eat pieces of your heart out every day.

Pain will demand that you let it do your thinking for you.

 

Pain desires to control your actions and your feelings.

Pain plots to become your master.

Pain will dominate you.

Pain will control you for the rest of your life.

 

You Don’t Have To Go Looking For Pain. Pain Will Come Look For You!

 

Oh, Wounded Spirit!

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

 

Don’t Let The Thorn (Pain) In Your Side Become A Thorn (Pain) In Your Spirit.

 

Pain will try to make you question God.

Pain will tell you God doesn’t know where you are at.

Pain will tell you that you are wasting your time at church.

Pain will tell you that you have more friends outside of church than you do inside.

Pain will tell you to turn your back on God because He let your family member die.

 

Pain will lead you to bitterness.

Pain will lead you to vengeance.

Pain will make you hateful.

Pain will make you unapproachable by God or man.

 

Pain will control your attitude.

Pain will control your reaction.

Pain will control your walk with God.

Pain will control your relationship with everyone.

Pain will control your attitude.

 

Pain will control your level of worship.

Pain will control your prayer life.

Pain will control your trust in people.

Pain will control your church attendance.

 

Pain is toxic.

Pain is demanding of your time.

Pain tends to take you away from God rather than to Him.

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Person.

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Saint.

 

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Soul-winner

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Spouse

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Parent

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Friend

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Preacher

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

To God, or away from God?

 

Pain Will Point At Your Cancer.

Pain Will Point At Your Divorce.

Pain Will Point At Your Lost Job.

Pain Will Point At Your Unfaithful Spouse.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Rejection.

Pain Will Point At Your Abuse.

Pain Will Point At Your Disappointments.

Pain Will Point At Your Failures.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Discouragements.

Pain Will Point At Your Sickness.

Pain Will Point At Your Neglect.

Pain Will Point At Your Injuries.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Loneliness.

Pain Will Point At Your Shame.

Pain Will Point At Your Addiction.

Pain Will Point At Your Condemnation.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Scars.

Pain Will Point At Your Enemy’s Success.

Pain Will Point At Your Abused Past.

Pain Will Point At Your Fear.

 

Don’t let Pain determine your eternity.

Don’t let Pain choose your eternity.

Don’t let Pain control your destiny.

 

Pain makes injured animals go into hiding to recover or die.

Pain makes injured lambs go to the shepherd for help.

 

Pain made David seek comfort in the Cave of Adullam.

Pain made Elijah hide in a cave too.

Pain made the Woman with the issue of blood touch Jesus.

Pain made the Syrophoenician mother ask Jesus for a miracle.

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

Has It Taken You Into Hiding From God And Man?

 

How Will You Respond To Pain?

What will you do now?

What will be your reaction?

 

Job’s Attitude Refused To Let Pain Lead Him Away From God!

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

 

When The Prodigal Came To Himself, He Came Home To The Father And Was Restored!

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

To God, or away from God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 24, 2017 at 6:46 am

My Name Is Leah

with 11 comments

 

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My Name Is Leah

My name is Leah and I am the oldest daughter of Laban. My sister, Rachel, is younger than I and everyone says she is very beautiful. She was the village favorite. (Gen 29:17) When visitors first meet us, they seem to be smitten by her beauty and repulsed when they look at me. I’m not beautiful and I’ve had to live with that all my life.

The lives of our whole family changed however, when Jacob arrived in our village. He looked travel worn and he was penniless. My father told us that his family was originally from our village and was well respected.

I saw immediately that Jacob was smitten by the looks of Rachel. I had expected that. Everyone noticed how he looked in her direction and tried to catch her eye if he could. He immediately asked my dad for a job and worked tending to our cattle.

I was crushed when I realized he wanted to marry my sister. I cried sometimes when I could be alone. It seemed like romance was for everyone but me. Jacob bargained with dad to work seven years for Rachel to be his bride. Jacob courted her and I tried to mind my own business and stay out of their way. They were so much in love. Love for me was always a one-way street. No one loved me back.

The wedding was a big celebration! All our relatives and the whole village came. My father sat Rachel and me down for a very private talk prior to the wedding. He informed Rachel that he had a plan. He said that adhering to the village custom of marrying off the oldest daughter first was a custom to be honored, and that rightly I should be the bride. (Gen 29:26) Dad said that he didn’t think Jacob would leave anyway and that he felt he would hang around long enough to marry the both of us. Rachel was crestfallen. I was surprised and happy. We were all unsure of Jacob’s reaction to me when he found out the truth, but planned to go ahead with the switch.

We pulled it off too. At the wedding, I was ecstatic and scared at the same time and afraid to look at Rachel because I felt her disappointment. It was evident to me that my sister truly began to hate and despise me. I stole her man. Although she was beautiful, she was bitter, and envious. I felt the full force of her hatred. Our bond of sisterhood stood on rocky ground.

The next morning Jacob woke up and looked at my face for the first time in the light of day. I cannot describe the shock and utter disappointment in his eyes. Maybe it was more akin to disgust. I can never fully explain the feeling of being married to a man who doesn’t love you. All you can think about is him and all he can think about is another woman.

Jacob made a covenant with my father to work seven more years for Rachel. He intended to marry us both.

I named my children according to the conditions of my marital status at the times of their births.

 

Rueben

I named my first son, Reuben. His name means, “Behold a son. The Lord has seen (in Hebrew ra’ah) my affliction” and “now my husband will love me (ye’ehabani)”(Genesis 29:32). I praised God for showing me this favor. I could hold my head up in the village. All would know that I had given my husband a son. I was now considered a worthy wife. It was as though God had seen that I was unloved and He opened my womb.

Rachel showed her true self again. I thought surely now Jacob will love me. But no, it didn’t change a thing. Rachel’s love toward me seemed to be gone. Jacob saved all his sweet words for her. They were lost in each other’s worlds.

All I did was cook, clean, take care of the baby and look after my husbands needs. I certainly never felt loved or cherished. I was only there for the needs of the man. My own needs were not to be considered. Ever.

 

Simeon

When my second child was born, it was a boy. I named him, Simeon because “the Lord heard (shama) that I was unloved”(Genesis 29:33). It was no secret that my husband didn’t love me. I guess my only purpose was to provide him with sons.

God knew my sorrow and tried to comfort me. I cried much and kept to myself. There was little benefit for me to make myself available to Jacob in social settings. I was not his trophy wife. I was treated as a second-class wife. He would not walk me around the village and show me off. I felt like a second-class wife because I wasn’t beautiful. Jacob was evidently too foolish to see beyond the face. I stayed in the tent and cared for the babies.

 

Levi

In the process of time I realized I was to have another child. My third baby was also a boy. I named him Levi thinking “this time my husband will become attached (yillaweh) to me”(Genesis 29:34).

All I ever wanted was for him to love me and to show it by saying something sweet or doing something nice. It never happened.

I knew that feeling sorry for myself was not doing me any good. I started thinking and realized that God had been gracious to me through it all. Was my world perfect? No. Not that I could see or feel, yet I believed God was good. He had blessed me and given me sons. I may not have the beauty of my sister, but I made up my mind to be a good wife and a good mother of our children and to be beautiful on the inside.

I learned to turn my face toward Jehovah and thank Him for what I did have instead of focusing on what I didn’t.

 

Judah

My fourth son’s name had nothing to do with my relationship with my husband. I named him Judah because I had made up my mind, “this time I will praise (odeh) the Lord”(Genesis 29:35).

After I had our four children, Jacob’s next two sons were born to Rachel’s maid Bilhah. She had given her handmaid to Jacob out of desperation. I felt sorry for her, so I then gave Jacob my own maid, Zilpah, as a concubine. Zilpah gave him two sons, Gad and Asher.

 

Issachar

One time, during a harvest, Reuben brought me some mandrakes. Rachel wanted them and said that if I gave them to her she would let me have her night to sleep with Jacob in exchange. After that, my fifth son was born. I named him Issachar. It means, “He will bring a reward.” (Genesis 30:14-18)

As a mother I can tell that although Jacob is kind to my children, he doesn’t dote on them. It makes my heart hurt. Maybe when he looks on them, they remind him of me. If he can’t love me, then my prayer is that he would love our sons.

 

The Stolen Idols

The relationship between my husband and my father turned really sour. Jacob told me that the last time he looked at my dad, he could tell that things between them had drastically changed by the expression on his face, (Gen 31:2) and that the Lord had spoken to him and told him we must leave here immediately.

When Rachel heard the news, and knowing that father just left with the sheep, she went into his tent and stole his gods. We left in the middle of the night and we were gone three days before my dad found out. But when he found out he was very angry and chased hard after us. It took him almost week to finally catch up.

He hollered and yelled loud at Jacob accusing him of everything he could think of. He wanted to know why we had left and when he found out that it was because we didn’t trust him and that he was dishonest, he really got mad.

Jacob told dad, “Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.” (Gen 31:41)

Dad said we had stolen his gods. Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had hidden them in her tent. He gave dad permission to search everyone’s tent and all their possessions and look for his gods. He never found them because his little pet, the baby of the family was sly. Rachel sat on a pile of carpets that hid the idols and told Dad she couldn’t get up because she was “after the manner of women.” She just batted her big brown eyes at him and he smiled back and never made her move.

The idols were not found, so my father and my husband piled up a heap of stones and made a covenant of friendship, and then he kissed us girls and the grandchildren a final goodbye and departed, leaving us to live in peace.

 

The Coming Of Esau

Jacob shared many stories about his boyhood. Evidently, he and his brother, Esau were total opposites. He told us about his father becoming old and going blind. Custom was that the oldest son inherited two thirds of the father’s goods and the rest of the children equally divided up the remaining third.

Jacob said that one day he caught Esau at a weak moment and bartered with him for his birthright. The problem was in getting the birthright blessing from the father. His father doted on Esau because of his prowess as a hunter and outdoorsman. But, Jacob was his mother’s pet. When it was time to receive the blessing, she helped him deceive his father and obtain the birthright blessing prayer.

He had to leave home immediately because when Esau found out that his birthright had been stolen, Esau wanted to kill Jacob. Now, word just arrived after all these years that Esau was indeed coming for him with a mighty army of soldiers threatening to kill him.

Jacob said that we were all to cross over the ford Jabbok and wait while he stayed there to pray. He fervently prayed and an Angel came and began to wrestle with him. They wrestled all night long. Finally the Angel begged to be let go but Jacob said that he wouldn’t let him go until he got a blessing from him.

The angel said that he was changing his name. He would now be called, Israel, because he would now have power with God and with men. (Gen. 32:28)

The Angel smote Jacob on the thigh to break his hold. It forever affected how he walked from then on. He limped for the rest of his life.

In the morning when we arose, we saw Jacob hurriedly limping towards us. He said that Esau was coming and there would no doubt be bloodshed. He divided up the children putting the animals, the servants and their children first.

He then put my children and me next, because we too were more expendable. But, he kept Rachel and her son at the back with him. He may lose the rest of us but he wanted to keep her alive. It was very plain where I stood with him even after all these years. (Gen 33:2)

When Esau came and confronted us, Jacob humbled himself and sent him large gifts. Before long the two ran towards each other, fell on each other’s necks and kissed. I took my children toward Esau and we bowed down before him in respect. All ended peaceable. We were certainly relieved and after the meeting and we all gave thanks unto God.

 

Zebulun

My next son, I named Zebulun. He was to be my last boy. His name means to dwell. He was Jacob’s tenth son and my sixth. I later had a daughter, whom I named Dinah, before Rachel gave birth to her first child.

 

Joseph

When Rachel gave birth to her little Joseph, Jacob was beside himself with joy. He showed that baby more attention than he ever had to all of the others. The children could all tell that Joseph was his favorite.

All we heard around the tent from Jacob was news about Joseph. He doted on him. The other children watched wistfully knowing that they were not loved like that. He made special clothes for him and gave him gifts that were better than he gave to my sons.

Rachel seemed to feel like nothing was wrong with Jacob giving so much attention to her son and very little to his other ten sons.

 

The Trip To Bethel

Jacob said that God had told him that we were all to return to the Bethel. Jacob said that we were to wash and be clean, change our clothes, and put away our idols. So, all of our family and our servants did as he asked. We knew the worship of our gods required the wearing of earrings, so we gave them to Jacob along with our gods. (Gen 35:1-4; Hosea 2:13) He took what we gave him and buried all of it under the big oak tree in Shechem.

We traveled on to Bethel, the place where God first met with our husband. The first thing Jacob did was to build an altar and offer up a sacrifice of repentance. God accepted his prayers and blessed him. It was there that his mother’s nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried at Bethel. Jacob grieved hard because she was his last living connection with his mother and father.

 

Benjamin

When we left Bethel, Rachel went into labor. She died giving birth to her second son. It was so tragic. We were in shock. Before she died, Rachel named her son Benoni (“son of my mourning”), but Jacob called him Benjamin. (Gen. 35:18)

Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children, she died!

Jacob made no attempt to bury Rachel with his family like I thought he would do since he loved her so much. He just buried her beside the highway and placed a marker on her lonely grave. If he would bury his favorite wife beside the road at the first available spot, where would he bury me? Would I too be given a roadside burial?

After Rachel died, Jacob replaced her bed, which was beside his, with her handmaiden Bilhah’s bed. It so infuriated my son Rueben that he overturned Bilhah’s bed and rebuked his father. Jacob never forgot that moment and mentioned it on the day he pronounced blessings and prayers upon his sons. (Gen. 49:3-4)

 

Epilogue

Leah’s outward appearance may have been unattractive to others, but God was attracted to her because of her inward beauty. He chose her. It was Leah, not Rachel, who bore Judah, and it was through his bloodline that the Savior was born.

After Rachel’s death, Leah carried on as the wife of Jacob, and the mother of his many children, living in Canaan. The Bible does not say when she died, but Leah is buried in the family burial tomb of Machpelah, beside her husband Jacob with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 49:29-31). Leah was loved too late. Her real beauty unnoticed most of her life. Yet, in her death and burial she was shown great honor and respect.

 

The Life Lesson Of Leah

Sometimes in life we wake up to the very thing we don’t want. Life doesn’t always give you a Rachel. Although you find it difficult to love the “Ugly Leah Situation” that is forever connected to you, it just may wind up being your greatest life blessing. Surprisingly, you may find yourself saying the words, “I love you” to the very thing you once hated.

The Leah in your life never changed, you did. Her beauty wasn’t on the outside, so no one took the time to see what God could see all along. Leah was beautiful where it counted the most. She was beautiful on the inside. Don’t hate your “Leah”; she is God’s gift to you. Do not despise the ugly thing in life that you suddenly have to wake up to. Your “Leah” may be a bad Doctor’s Report, a Financial Disaster, a Broken Marriage, a Physical Disability or even Heartache. Embrace it. It just may be a gift from God to you!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

Death By Misadventure

with 3 comments

Death By Misadventure

 

Amy Jade Winehouse

“Amy Winehouse’s death was the result of the singer drinking too much alcohol, a coroner has said. A verdict of misadventure was recorded into the 27-year-old’s death after an inquest heard she was more than five times the drink-drive limit.

Winehouse was found dead at her home in Camden, north London, on 23 July. St Pancras coroner Suzanne Greenway said the “unintended consequence” of Winehouse drinking so much alcohol was her “sudden and unexpected death”.

Three empty vodka bottles, two large and one small, were found at her flat, St Pancras Coroners Court heard.

‘No pulse found’

The inquest heard the singer, who won five Grammy awards in 2008, had 416mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg.

The pathologist who conducted her post-mortem examination said 350mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood was considered a fatal level.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-15453517

 

Brian Jones

“Brian Jones was a founding member of the Rolling Stones, and contributed heavily to their early success. But, as time went on, he felt pushed aside by the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and his growing drug problem also helped alienate him from his bandmates, who fired him in June of 1969.

Jones was discovered dead in his swimming pool on July 3, 1969. Coroners ruled his death an accident. Noting his alcohol and substance abuse played a role, they called it “death by misadventure.” Theories and rumors have swirled for decades that Jones was murdered, though despite a new investigation in 2008, nothing has ever been proven.”

Read More: Brian Jones – Death by Misadventure | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/brian-jones-strange-rock-deaths/?trackback=tsmclip

 

Death by Misadventure – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“A death by misadventure, as recorded by coroners and on death certificates and associated documents, is one that is primarily attributed to an accident which occurred due to a dangerous risk which was taken voluntarily.

In contrast, when a cause of death is listed as an accident rather than a misadventure, this implies no unreasonable willful risk. [1] Misadventure is a legally-defined manner of death: a way by which an actual cause of death (trauma, exposure, etc.) was allowed to occur. For example, a death caused by an illicit drug overdose may be ruled a death by misadventure as the user ignored the risks of the drugs. Misadventure is a form of unnatural death like accident, suicide, or homicide.”

 

Death By GPS

“People are renting vehicles with GPS and they have no idea how it works — and they are willing to trust the GPS to lead them into the middle of nowhere.” – Fox News

Over the past 15 years, at least a dozen people have died in Death Valley from heat-related illnesses.

 

Rita Chretien

“Rita Chretien was found Friday by a trio of hunters after spending seven weeks in the couple’s van stuck in mud, surviving off trail mix, hard candy and water from a nearby stream. Her husband set out on foot to find help, hoping to make it to Mountain City. He hasn’t been seen since.

The B.C. woman who survived seven weeks alone in the Nevada mountains told her pastor that her new global positioning device caused her and her husband to become lost.”

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/b-c-woman-blames-gps-for-getting-couple-lost-1.1007231

 

Most Backsliders Are Victims Of “Death By Misadventure.”

Every death by misadventure is tragic. It is an avoidable death. The victim didn’t mean to die. Their poor judgment at the moment or the misinformation (faulty GPS directions) led to their demise. Sadly the same thing can happen spiritually.

  • They got a job that kept them out of church. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They moved from their church out of the will of God. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They married the wrong person. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They chose friends who led them down wrong paths. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They compromised and argued over standards. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They didn’t feel convicted about some holiness issues. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They had marriage problems that caused many to go astray from God. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They accepted false teachings, which led them astray. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They got offended or hurt, so they stayed home and sulked. They didn’t mean to backslide.
  • They wanted their gift to be used of God, but they took matters into their own hands. They didn’t mean to backslide.

 

Abner

It could be said that Abner died by misadventure. He found safety in a City of Refuge, but came outside to talk. It was there that he was killed, just outside safety. He didn’t mean to die. King David grieved over Abner’s foolish thinking.

2Sam. 3:33 And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth?

 

Samson

Thought to be invincible, yet he laid his head in a woman’s lap, not knowing he had opened the door to death by misadventure. He didn’t mean to die.

 

Reader: What About You?

There are decisions you must make in everyday life that influence your direction towards eternity. Wrong choices and carnal influences constantly make themselves available to us all.

I pray that you make righteous decisions and surround yourself with godly influence. Make sure you obey God’s Word and submit yourself totally to Him. Stay connected to your Apostolic pastor. All it takes is for you to make one bad mistake.

 

If We Look To Him For Guidance, He Will Never Let Us Make A Bad Decision.

Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Prov. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Prov. 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Prov. 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Prov. 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

Prov. 3:10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

 

May God Help Us All!

 

 

Things You Won’t Fix

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Things You Won’t Fix

Isn’t it amazing how we can allow ourselves to live with situations that are not normal? Not only do we live with it, but also we ignore it, saying that when we get the time we’ll fix it.

Things Like:

  • A leaky faucet.
  • The cracked storm window.
  • Some partially finished remodeling job.
  • Your leaky roof.

 

  • The broken back doorstep.
  • Missing basement handrail.
  • A button missing from a sport coat.
  • That rotten tooth that needs pulled?

Never Fixed

We Mention It, Say We Need To Do It, But Let It Go Another Year.

  • The things you don’t fix will fix you.
  • It WILL put you in a fix.
  • Is the cost of not fixing it cheaper than fixing it? No! Never.
  • Aren’t there some things your wife has asked you to fix six months ago and you still haven’t gotten around to it?
  • If you don’t fix your car, you’ll put it up on blocks and it will sit as an eyesore for years out in the front yard.  Everyone will know you by that landmark.

 

  • The leaky faucet will raise your water bill.
  • The leaky roof will cost you thousands to fix because you let it go.
  • The tooth will give you more pain than you could imagine.
  • When a house is not fixed we say they just let the place go.
  • There are just some things you won’t fix.

 

King Solomon Marveled At Men Who Procrastinated During The Harvest.

  • Prov. 24:30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
  • Prov. 24:31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
  • Prov. 24:32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.

 

Common Phrases Are Used In Regards To One’s Personal Appearance.

  • “She fixed herself up.”
  • “He let himself go”

 

When We Do Not Do Something Immediately, We Call It Procrastination.

The closest word to procrastination in the Bible is, sluggard. We are repulsed by even the thought of being called a sluggard.

The sluggard is a procrastinator. His motto is, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” Sluggards have developed the ability to put off starting a task as well as not completing those they have already begun.

The sluggard rationalizes everything and his mind works much faster than his body. He will always quickly find an excuse not to.

  • I don’t have the time
  • I don’t have the tools
  • I don’t have the know-how
  • I don’t have the desire
  • I don’t feel in the mood
  • I got a lot of irons in the fire
  • I have a headache

There Are Those Who Never Fix Themselves Spiritually. They Just Let Themselves Go.

 

Are There Some Things In Our Hearts That We Won’t Fix?

  • A bad attitude?
  • A bad habit?
  • No prayer life?
  • No worship?

 

  • Not honoring God with our tithes?
  • Broken family relationships?
  • Bridges we need to build?
  • Restoring an offended brother?
  • Not saying I’m sorry, forgive me?

 

Be Reconciled To Your Brother Before To Expect God To Hear You.

  • Matt 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
  • Matt 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

 

Need To Fix Your Back Tithe Problem?

  • It will cost you heavily if you do not fix the problem areas of your soul.
  • It will cost you 20% additional if you do not stay current with your tithing. The longer you wait the more it will cost you.
  • Lev 27:31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.

 

When You Don’t Fix It, Then It’s Becomes Sin!

  • Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
  • We like to use the word procrastinate, but that word is not in the Bible. A sluggard is what the Scripture calls us.
  • In the natural, your procrastination qualifies you as a sluggard.
  • In the spiritual, the Bible just calls you a sinner.
  • Spiritually, our pride keeps us from fixing some things.

 

There Are Things You Won’t Fix, Why?

  • You know you need the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues.
  • You know you need to be baptized in Jesus name to be saved.
  • You know you need to be faithful to church.
  • You know you need to worship.
  • You know you need to pay tithes.
  • You know you need to live a holy and separated life.
  • You know you need to be reconciled to your brother.

 

Jesus Called The Scribes And Pharisees, Hypocrites.

  • Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
  • They only fixed the part men could see.
  • Hypocrites won’t fix what really needs to be fixed.

 

There Are Men In The Bible Who Never Fixed What Was Wrong In Their Life.

 

Agrippa Almost Got Right With God.

  • Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
  • He never fixed it.

 

Felix Knew What He Needed To Do, But The Timing Wasn’t Right.

  • Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
  • He never fixed it.

 

The Rich Young Ruler Thought It Cost Too Much To Follow Jesus.

  • Matt. 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
  • He never fixed it.

 

When It Comes To Fixing, Some Things God Has Put A Time Limit On.

  • Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
  • God’s curfew for anger is sunset. Fix your disagreements before the sun goes down. That’s God’s requirement.
  • Fix it.

 

The Four Lepers Fixed It

  • 2Ki 7:3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?
  • They fixed it!

 

Jacob Had A Problem But He Fixed It When He Wrestled With The Angel

  • Gen 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
  • He fixed it!

 

The Prodigal Son

  • Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
  • Luke 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
  • He fixed it!

 

The History of Obligatory Archery Practice!

The references to horses, riders, kingdoms and battles in “For want of a nail” indicate the English origins of the rhyme. One of the English Kings did not leave anything to chance! In 1363, to ensure the continued safety of the realm, King Edward III commanded the obligatory practice of archery on Sundays and holidays! The earliest known written version of the rhyme is in John Gower’s “Confesio Amantis” dated approximately 1390.

 

“For Want Of A Nail”

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

 

Are there are things God has asked you to fix and you still haven’t gotten around to it?

Why would you expect God to fix things for you that you’re not willing to fix for yourself?

Have you got a loose or lost nail in your life?

Please fix it.

Yes, Fix It Now!

 

Living Right With Wrong

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Living Right

 

Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come:

  • Wrong things happen to everyone, not just you.
  • Sometimes, the wrong isn’t fixed overnight and we are forced to live with what hurts us the most.
  • Our reaction to this wrong determines the outcome.
  • It will decide how you feel now and how you will feel later.
  • It also affects how God will feel about you in your tribulation.
  • An old man-made adage reminds us, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

 

Rom. 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Rom. 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

 

David Had To Cope With Javelins Being Thrown At Him By The King.

Saul threw javelins at David but he just kept dodging them and never threw one back. He was doing his best to live right with wrong.

 

Are You Living With Angry People? Speak Kind Words.

Prov. 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

 

Are You Mistreated? Turn The Other Cheek.

Matt. 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

 

Did You Lose A Lawsuit? Give Them More Than They Required.

Matt. 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

 

Are You Coping With Unreasonable Demands? Go The Extra Mile.

Matt. 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

 

Forgive Without Limitation!

Matt. 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Matt. 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

 

Avoid The Company Of And Do Not Eat With These Types Of People:

  • Fornicators
  • Covetous People
  • Critical People
  • People Who Don’t Put God First
  • People With Addictions
  • Blackmailers

1Cor. 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

 

Do Not Hurt Those That Have Hurt You.

1Thess. 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

 

Love, Bless, And Pray For Your Enemies And Then Treat Them Nice.

Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 

Leave Revenge Up To God. Don’t Ever Try To Get Even.

Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

Let The Lord Fight Your Battle.

Exo. 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

 

Avoid These Destructive People:

2Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2Tim. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2Tim. 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

2Tim. 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2Tim. 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

Even Though They Are Not Nice To You, Treat Others Like You Want Them To Treat You.

Matt. 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

 

Don’t Take Your Brother To Court.

1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

1Co 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

 

Got A Problem Between You And Your Brother? Fix it God’s Way.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

 

Be A Peacemaker And You Will Be Called A Child Of God.

Matt. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

Put A Time Limit On Your Displeasure.

Eph. 4:26 …let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

Rom. 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 9, 2015 at 10:03 am

The Storm Painter

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The Storm Painter

The painter of the storm had a mission. He had painted many a dark sky with thunderclouds before, but from a distance. He had painted the storms from the shore in the shelter of his studio where he was safe from all the elements of destruction. Today would be different. Artist Joseph Turner chose to view this storm outside his comfort zone.

He wished to paint what a storm looked like to him from the inside. This wasn’t to be just any April Showers moment. This storm would be a major blizzard, a rogue storm. Yet not just a bad snowstorm, but a snowstorm at sea. He wanted to view the storm from a boat while the waves threatened to sink his ship.

The seas were tumultuous, the waves high and rolling hard. There was no way he could stand on the deck and not slide off. He had to make a choice. He chose to be lashed to the mast of the ship for hours in the blinding freezing snowstorm. He wanted to paint it so real that on the canvass it would be hard to tell the sea from the sky.

‘Modern Painter’ website paid a huge compliment to Turner’s painting which he simply called Snowstorm.

 

Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth exhibited 1842 Joseph Mallord William Turner

Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth exhibited 1842 Joseph Mallord William Turner

 

Turner399702

Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Modern Painters described the Snowstorm, as “…one of the very grandest statements of sea-motion, mist, and light, that has ever been put on canvas.“

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-snow-storm-steam-boat-off-a-harbours-mouth-n00530/text-catalogue-entry

 

Maybe We All Are Painters

While almost none of us make our living as a professional painter, we still know a bit about the storms of life. Many know what it’s like to be tied to the mast and feel the snow, the sea spray, to be slapped in the face with freezing winds and have no defense from the storm. Imagine what it’s like to tied:

  • For hours with the snow beating your face.
  • For hours in the howling wind.
  • For hours with the ship struggling to survive the storm-tossed waves.
  • For hours seeing life-threatening skies and seas.
  • For hours in the bitter cold.
  • For hours of being wet and miserable.

 

Maybe We’ll Never Paint A Portrait Of Surviving The Storm…

Until We Too Have Been Tied To:

  • Heartache
  • Cancer
  • A Heart Attack
  • A Bad Marriage
  • Spousal Unfaithfulness
  • Financial Devastation
  • Rumor
  • Loneliness
  • Afflictions
  • Rejection
  • Depression
  • Lifelong Illness
  • Abuse

 

Maybe We’ll Never Be Able To Paint A Portrait Of Bearing One Another’s Burdens…

Until We Too Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • Stormy Seas
  • Tribulation
  • Shame
  • Embarrassment
  • Overwhelming Disappointment
  • Bitterness
  • Shattered dreams
  • Tears
  • Brokenness
  • The Death Of A Child
  • A Backslidden Spouse
  • An Addicted Love One

 

We cannot accurately paint the storm for others to see until we have lived through one our self. Naysayers may try to find fault with our story. But we have been there. We somehow survived. We felt the mast rub on our back. The rope burns will be there for a while. We suffered hypothermia. Our body shivered with the freezing snowstorm.

We thought of those we knew sitting at home in their warm little world. They could not help us now. It was no longer just a storm. It had become our storm. We chose not to waste our storm but share it with others in the hopes they would be helped or blessed.

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Revival…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • A Burden for souls
  • A Prayer Room
  • Travail
  • Tears
  • Vision
  • Compassion
  • Outreach

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of A Father’s Love…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • A Wayward Child
  • Tearful Forgiveness
  • Showing Mercy
  • Patience
  • A Special Needs Child
  • Unconditional Love
  • Courage
  • Sacrifice

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Deliverance From False Doctrine…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • False Doctrine
  • Error
  • Tradition
  • Family Pressure

 

The Storms we survive should make us stronger.

The Storms we survive should be used to help others see.

The Storms we survive can later turn into a thing of beauty for us.

The Storms we survive are a gift from God.

 

(When we hear a testimony from someone who has survived a storm, it gives us all great hope!)

What Portrait Is Our Life Painting For Others To See?

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm

The Saddest Sight Of All Is The Pacing Of The Caged Lion.

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The Saddest Sight Of All Is The Pacing Of The Caged Lion.

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The Lion The King Of The Jungle!

Lions, they are no doubt one of the most magnificent of creatures. Even the Lord referred to Himself as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The lion is an animal so powerfully built, so capable, so beautiful, and awe-inspiring that it was chosen to be a type of the Messiah.

Some even travel on safari trips into the African jungle or veld to view this monarch of all animals in its natural environment. The photos such travelers bring home capture the heart of its viewers.

One of the saddest things to see is this noble creature pacing the floor inside of a steel cage. Back and forth, back and forth it goes looking for a way out. Occasionally it may stop to bite the bars and roar out of frustration.

  • It sees others free outside the cage and wants to be free too.
  • It wasn’t born to live on concrete.
  • It wasn’t created to live in a steel showcase.
  • It’s potential and strengths are forever confined.
  • Its power will never really be known.
  • It’s only a shadow of what could have been.
  • It’s a caged lion.
  • It’s a pacing caged lion wanting to be free.
  • It’s a pacing caged lion looking for a way out.
  • It’s a pacing caged lion.

 

The Caged Lion

No one has to go to the City Zoo to see the pacing of caged lions. They can be seen in many of our homes and most of our churches!

They are beautiful creatures of God with amazing potentials and abilities. Yet they live a life of meager existence. They watch others enjoy freedoms in God that they cannot. They are limited to what lengths they can even go because of their steel bars.

  • People come by and look at them.
  • Some point and make comments to their friends.
  • Some take pictures of what they see.
  • The similarities to the caged lion are there for all to see.
  • The spirit of unrest.
  • The pacing of the caged creature back and forth, back and forth.
  • The frustration.
  • The caged look.
  • The biting at the bars.
  • The occasional roars from the soul.

Every one is handicapped to help. Multitudes read the warning signs and keep their distance. They look and then they move on.

 

What Put The Lion In This Cage? Who Put The Lion In This Cage?

Were they captured in a snare or trap? Were they injured, found and then brought here? Did the lion walk inside willingly and let himself be lock in the cage? Is this cage real or imagined? What happened? No one really knows the whole story. All that is known is that something happened.

  • Was it Condemnation?
  • Was it a Personal Failure?
  • Was it an Addiction?
  • Was it an Attitude?
  • Was it Rebellion?
  • Was it a Rumor?
  • Was it an Indiscretion?
  • Was it Disobedience?
  • Was it Bitterness?
  • Was it a Past Injury?

 

Did Sin Make The Bars Or Were The Bars Man Made?

How Did This Happen?

Every day, everywhere, caged lions are seen. I watch them in churches. The potential for better things is obvious to all who see them. But their actions aren’t much different from the caged king of the jungle.

I watch them pace and hear them roar. They are still caged and confined by the events of the present and the past. They are held captive by things real and things imagined. They barely exist.

I watch them try to worship and they cannot. They try to pray and it sounds empty and hollow, but mostly just quiet. Occasionally they will roar out loud, but their roar does not threaten Hell.

They smile but they are not happy. They raise their hands, but never seem to touch Heaven. They keep their head down in despair while praying. They never feel worthy.

If they are called on to testify. It is a quick, low-voiced attempt that may last only ten seconds or so.

  • They watch others worship and shout, but they don’t.
  • They watch others sing from the soul, but they are still in a cage.
  • They watch others pray with liberty and freedom, but their prayers are caged.
  • They see their friends be used of God, while they pace back and forth.
  • The bars keep them from doing what they really want to do.
  • The bars keep them from being what they really want to be.

 

If I Could Talk To The Spiritually Caged And Pacing Lion…

I Would Share Four Passages Of Scripture To Give Them Hope.

God NEVER meant for His children to live a cage. He never meant for us to exist just pacing behind bars, a spectacle for all to see. A could-have-been. No matter who made the bars, or how the lion got inside, there is a way out for all.

 

1. Every One Has A Past. Understand That God Doesn’t Want Your Past To Be Your Future Or Hold You Captive. No Matter What You Have Done Or What You Have Been, There Is Hope.

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

2. Paul Even Felt Caged By His Past.

(Roman law allowed the dead victim to be tied to the back of the murderer. In it’s decaying state, the worms slowly ate into and killed the killer. Paul felt his past tied to his back, eating away at him. Condemnation is a killer. So he wrote:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

But Something Happened To Paul Between Chapter Seven And Chapter Eight. When He Broke Free He Wrote Anew…

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

3. Jesus Came Down To Earth To Unlock Your Cage

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

 

Dear Child Of God!

Do not allow your self, your sin, or your past to keep you in a cage. Believe in God’s Mercy, His Grace, and His Forgiveness. Accept It.

 

  • The Door Is Unlocked And Open.
  • The Cage No Longer Can Hold You Unless You Let It.
  • Freedom Is God’s Gift To You.

 

4. The Door Is Open. God Didn’t Save You To Keep You In A Cage.

Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:

 

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 25, 2015 at 4:38 pm