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Archive for the ‘Bitterness’ Category

15 Things To Do In Church Before You Die

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15 Things To Do In Church Before You Die

1. Pray

  • Pray till you get the absolute Victory.
  • Intercede for a lost or wayward soul.
  • Let God use you in the Spirit of Travail
  • Pray till the Fire falls.
  • Pray someone through to the Holy Ghost.
  • Pray before church.
  • Pray around the altar after church

2. Sing

  • Don’t make the Song Leader beg you to sing.
  • Don’t let the Praise Singers do your singing.
  • Sing till you cry.
  • Sing till you shout.

3. Shout

  • Dance in the Spirit
  • Leap for Joy
  • Lead. Be the first one to shout.
  • Run the aisles

4. Believe God

  • Believe God for a Healing.
  • Trust Him to supply your needs.
  • Believe Him for a Miracle and see it come to pass.

5. Get ‘Lost in the Spirit’

  • Be taken home drunk in the Holy Ghost

6. Witness

  • Teach a Home Bible Study
  • Win a soul

7. Say Amen

  • Say Amen from your heart. Be willing to Obey.
  • Stand to you feet and say Amen
  • Say Amen from even if you’re the only one.
  • Say Amen even when the Scripture or the Preaching touches a sore spot.

8. Give

  • Give your last Dollar, if God impresses you to.
  • Become faithful in your tithe and offerings
  • Give without expecting anything in return.

9. Read

  • Read the Bible through.
  • Have a daily Scripture reading.
  • Get a Revelation of One God.

10. Testify

  • Don’t give some narrative about “he said, and I thought to myself.”
  • Just brag on Jesus!

11. Fast

  • Fast to crucify your flesh.

12. Love Your Brother and Sister

  • Prefer them. Put them first
  • Let all jealousy die

13. Refuse To Listen to a Rumor

  • Tell the talebearer, “I really don’t want to hear this.”
  • Refuse to pass a rumor on.

14. Forgive

  • Put all your yesterdays behind you.
  • Empty yourself of all Bitterness.
  • Be merciful.

15. Get the Pastor’s Heartbeat.

  • Try to feel what he feels.
  • Work with him for Revival.
  • Feel the Spirit of Unity

Now, Let’s Have Some ‘Church’ Around Here!

Don’t Let Your Sacrifice Become Your Downfall

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Don’t Let Your Sacrifice Become Your Downfall

William Stanford loved working at the church. Everyday he stopped by there on his way home from the factory. It seemed like there were always little things that he could fix or clean.

  • He repaired cracked window panes.
  • He pulled weeds in the flowerbed.
  • He replaced burnt out light bulbs.
  • He mowed the grass.
  • He picked up trash around the property.
  • He raked the fallen leaves.
  • He kept the baptismal tank clean and full.
  • He stacked all the songbooks on their shelf.

Bro. Bill did all of this without pay. He held no official job at the church. It felt rewarding to him to know that whatever he did, it was for God. This was God’s house. No one ever asked him to fix anything. He just did it on his own. He looked around for things to do, and when he found a need, he was quick to respond.

His wife and family understood. They knew that he would always be late coming home from work. If he wasn’t at work or at home… he could be found at the church.

One year Bill decided not to go on his yearly family vacation to Fort Lauderdale for their boat trip like they used to do, instead he took the money and bought shingles for the church roof and spent his two weeks vacation time re-roofing the church by himself.

No one had asked him or even hinted. He just saw a need and did what he thought should be done. Sacrifice was never an issue for Bill Stanford. He had done this for years.

One Sunday the pastor announced a church business meeting. A trustee had died and the vacant position needed to be filled.

To William Stanford’s surprise, his name never came up at the business meeting for consideration. Another brother in the church was chosen and with a great majority, was ratified.

Bill was crestfallen. After all the hard labor, day after day, and week after week… this was the thanks he got! His labor was not appreciated.

  • Bill quit church.
  • Bill really quit church.
  • Bill turned his back on church.
  • Bill never came back to church.

He let his sacrifice become his downfall. He let what he did for God turn into nothing if others didn’t appreciate and honor it too.


Joyce Watkins heard the pastor mention the need for 20 new tables and 160 folding chairs for the fellowship hall. She approached the pastor after service and asked him how much it would cost. When he told her, she pulled out her checkbook and wrote him a check for that amount.

The pastor was very thankful and the new tables and chairs were delivered almost immediately.

The next week, Joyce left for her vacation and was gone for three weeks. When she came back home and went to church. What she saw angered her.

In attempting to clean the fellowship hall, someone had stacked the new tables and chairs in a manner that Joyce did not approve. She told several people how unhappy she was that her tables had been treated that way.

  • Joyce quit church.
  • Joyce really quit church.
  • Joyce turned her back on church.
  • Joyce never came back to church.

Joyce also made a cardinal mistake in living for God. She let her sacrifice become her downfall. She couldn’t grasp the idea that those tables and chairs were no longer hers. They now belonged to God.


To my gentle reader, I thank you for what you are doing for God. Your sacrifice should always be just for God. If we wait for men to appreciate our sacrifice for God, it may quickly turn into our downfall. May we learn from Bill and Joyce.

Col. 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;


Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 23, 2010 at 9:26 am

When a Husband Offends His Wife

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When a Husband Offends His Wife


Dr. Gary Smalley

When a husband recognizes that he has offended his wife in any of these ways, he needs to clear it up in order to restore the relationship. Why not ask your wife to check these that are true of you.

1. Ignoring her.

2. Not valuing her opinions

3. Showing more attention to other people than her.

4. Not listening to her or not understanding what she feels is important.

5. Closing her out by not talking or listening to her (the silent treatment).

6. Being easily distracted when she is trying to talk.

7. Not scheduling special time to be with her.

8. Not being open to talk about things you do not understand.

9. Not being open to talk about things she does not understand.

10. Not giving her a chance to voice her opinion on decisions that affect the whole family.

11. Disciplining her by being silent or angry.

12. Making jokes about her life.

13. Making sarcastic statements about her.

14. Insulting her in front of others.

15. Coming back with quick retorts.

16. Giving harsh admonitions.

17. Using careless words before you think through how they will affect her.

18. Nagging her in harshness.

19. Rebuking her before giving her a chance to explain a situation.

20. Raising your voice at her.

21. Making critical comments with no logical basis

22. Swearing or using foul language in her presence.

23. Correcting her in public.

24. Being tactless when pointing out her weaknesses or blind spots.

25. Reminding her angrily that you warned her not to do something.

26. Having a disgusted or judgmental attitude.

27. Pressuring her when she is already feeling low or offended.

28. Lecturing her when she needs to be comforted, encouraged or treated gently.

29. Breaking promises without any explanation or without being asked to be released from the promise.

30.Telling her how wonderful other women are and comparing her to other women.

31. Holding resentment about something she did and tried to make right.

32. Being disrespectful to her family and relatives

33. Coercing her into an argument.

34. Correcting or punishing her in anger for something for which she is not guilty.

35. Not praising her for something she did well even if she did it for you.

36. Treating her like a little child.

37. Being rude to her or to other people in public, like restaurant personnel or clerks.

38. Being unaware of her needs

39. Being ungrateful.

40. Not trusting her.

41. Not approving of what she does or how she does it.

42. Not being interested in her own personal growth.

43. Being inconsistent or having double standards (doing things you won’t allow her to do.)

44. Not giving her advice when she really needs it and asks for it.

45. Not telling her you love her.

46. Having prideful and arrogant attitudes in general.

47. Not giving daily encouragement.

48. Failing to include her in a conversation when you are with other people.

49. Failing to spend quality time with her when you’re at a party.

50. “Talking her down” – continuing to discuss or argue a point just to prove you’re right.

51. Ignoring her around the house as if she weren’t a member of the family.

52. Not taking time to listen to what she believes is important as soon as you come home from work.

53. Ignoring her at social gatherings.

54. Not attending church as a family.

55. Failure to express honestly what you think her innermost feelings are.

56. Showing more excitement for work or other activities than her.

57. Being impolite at mealtime.

58. Having sloppy manners around the house and in front of others.

59. Not inviting her out on romantic dates from time  to time (just the two of you).

60. Not helping her with the children just before mealtime or during times of extra stress.

61. Not volunteering to help her with the dishes occasionally, or with cleaning the house.

62. Making her feel stupid when she shares an idea about your work or decisions that need to be made.

63. Making her feel unworthy for desiring certain furniture or insurance or other material needs for herself and the family.

64. Not being consistent with the children; not taking an interest in playing with them or spending quality and quantity time with them.

65. Not showing public affection for her, like holding her hand or putting your arm around her. (You seem to be embarrassed to be with her.)

66. Not sharing your life with her, like your ideas or your feelings (e.g. what’s going on at work).

67. Not being the spiritual leader of your home.

68. Demanding that she submit to you.

69. Demanding that she be involved with you sexually when you are not in harmony.

70. Being unwilling to admit you’re wrong.

71. Resisting whenever she shares on of your blind spots.

72. Being too busy with work and activities.

73. Not showing compassion and understanding for her and the children when there is a real need.

74. Not planning for the future, making her vary insecure.

75. Being stingy with money, making her feel like she is being paid a salary – and not much at all.

76. Wanting to do things to embarrass her sexually.

77. Reading sexual magazines in front of her or the children.

78. Forcing her to make many of the decisions regarding the checkbook and bills.

79. Forcing her to handle bill collectors and overdue bills.

80. Not letting her lean on your gentleness and strength from time to time.

81. Not allowing her to fail – always feeling like you have to lecture her.

82. Refusing to let her be a woman.

83. Criticizing her womanly characteristics or sensitivity as being weak.

84. Spending too much money and getting the family too far into debt.

85. Not having a sense of humor and not joking about things together.

86. Not telling her how important she is to you.

87. Not sending her love letters from time to time.

88. Forgetting special dates like anniversaries or birthdays.

89. Not defending her when someone else is complaining or tearing her down.

90. Not putting your arm around her and hugging her when she’s in need of comfort.

91. Not bragging to other people about her.

92. Being dishonest

93. Discouraging her for trying to better herself either through education or physical fitness.

94. Continuing distasteful habits.

95. Not treating her as if “Handle With Care” was stamped on her forehead.

96. Ignoring her relatives and the people that are important to her.

97. Taking her for granted, assuming that ‘a woman’s work is never done” around the house.

98. Not including her in the future plans until the very last minute.

99. Never doing little unexpected things for her.

100. Not treating her like an intellectual equal.

101. Looking at her as a weaker individual in general.

102. Being preoccupied with your own goals and needs making her feel like she and the children do not count.

103. Threatening never to let her do something again because she made a mistake in the past.

104. Criticizing her behind her back. (This is really painful for her to hear about your criticisms from someone else.

105. Blaming her for the things in your relationship that are clearly your failure.

106. Not being aware of her physical limitations, treating her like a man by roughhousing with her or making her carry heaving objects.

107. Losing patience or getting angry with her when she can’t keep up with your schedule or physical stamina.

108. Acting like you’re a martyr if you go along with her opinions.

109. Sulking when she challenges your comments.

110. Joining too many organizations which exclude her and the children.

111. Failing to repair items around the house.

112. Watching too much TV or playing video games and therefore neglecting her and the children.

113. Demanding that she sit and listen to your point of view when she needs to be taking care of the children’s needs.

114. Insisting on lecturing her in order to convey what you believe are important things.

115. Humiliating her with words and actions, saying things like, “I can’t stand living in a pig pen.”

116. Not taking time to prepare her for enjoy sexual intimacy.

117. Spending money extravagantly without helping those less fortunate.

118. Avoiding family activities that the children enjoy.

119. Taking vacations that are primarily for your pleasure, like fishing or hunting while preventing her from shopping or doing things she enjoys.

120. Not letting her get away from the children just to be with friends, go shopping for special items, or have a trip away with her friends.

121. Being unwilling to join her in things she enjoys like shopping, going out for coffee and desert at a restaurant.

122. Not understanding the boring chores a housewife does: like picking up clothes and toys all day long, wiping runny noses, putting on and taking off muddy work boots and jackets, washing and ironing, etc. etc.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

The Children Of Bitterness

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The Children Of Bitterness

The Instructor for our marriage seminar was still talking about bitterness. For 3 nights he had brought up the subject and lingered there a good while.

He said that young couples might have an argument and say something stupid like: I hate you, or I don’t love you anymore! There may be a time of repenting and forgiveness for them, but that memory will linger for 40 years. Staying resident just under the surface.

I appreciated the subject being covered for the couples, but tonight was the last night. Bitterness again was still the theme at a marriage seminar. Why? He explained that bitterness gets you in trouble with God, God’s man, and also destroys your home.

It all came together finally for me when he asked for the big chalkboard and drew a family tree down to the 4th generation.

He wrote the name Ted, at the top level, saying that Ted had attended his church for many years. He had also known all 4 generations of his family.

The reason for drawing the family tree was to point out the sad truth that none of us contain our thoughts, feelings and emotions so guardedly that no one else is affected. Like a hereditary cancer, negative emotions and attitudes can grow and contaminate others. It’s a generational thing. Unless someone breaks the cycle, there will be many injured.

“Look,” the preacher said, “at Bro. Ted’s life story.”

(My wandering mind was brought back to reality.)

“He was a hard working, middle-aged Pentecostal. He had a good wife and had 2 children. For a while their home was a haven.

“Bro. Ted was liked by the good folks in the church and was selected to be a trustee. He seemed to enjoy the job and was very active in the church.”

In the 3rd year of a former pastor’s tenure, it just seemed to him that the preaching was getting a bit too conservative and personal for his liking. His preaching felt personally directed to him and Ted resented that. He found himself feeling a strong dislike for the pastor.

It was an unmentioned fact that Ted was slow to forgive and was known to “hold” grudges for a long time. When someone hurt him, his reaction was to hurt back. He always did that.

At a church workday one Saturday, the pastor had said, “Brother, could I get you to sweep up that trash over there, please?”

“What trash?” said Ted looking in the general area, “The only trash we have around here is what stands behind the pulpit!”

God paralyzed him so that he could not move or bend and Ted was carried away like a log. Some of the men tried to put him into the car to take him to the hospital, but he couldn’t bend to close the door. He asked for the preacher to come and pray for him. Ted repented to his pastor, he was prayed for and God restored him to normal health.

I wish that the story ended there. It seemed however, that it was just the symptom of a deeper deadly disease.

Not long afterwards, he felt his wife disapproved of some of his ideas and actions. They argued. Harsh words were used. That hurt him. She needed to be hurt back, he felt. Ted found a woman at work that was sympathetic and appealing. His romantic fling with this woman shattered the marriage.

The children watched the parents argue and destroy their relationship. They saw the bitterness displayed. They heard the bitterness expressed.

Ted’s two children struggled in their relationships. The girl became an unwed mother several times before marrying. She married several times. Her brother was never faithful to his spouses either.

His grandchildren all experienced multiple divorces, affairs, had babies out-of-wedlock, and continued the holding of grudges like their grandfather.

By now, only one or two would even sporadically try to attend church. Holidays were about the only time.

All of the 4th generation, experienced similar marriage, moral, and God problems.

Their bitterness towards God was not contained at that, it had spilled over into all of their homes.

No one broke the cycle. The bitterness, the holding of grudges, the retaliation, and the desire to hurt back descended down from one man.

A few years after the marriage seminar, I went to visit that church one Sunday. Ted had been buried on Friday, two days earlier. None of his children or grandchildren went to church. Ted had died backslidden.

The truth is, children watch their parents. They know whether they forgive or hold grudges.

Openly repenting and forgiving allows children to see that Daddy was not less of a man. Not only would Daddy, or maybe Grandpa be more of a man, he might just be the key reason his children and grandchildren are still living for God and have good marriages. Forgiving others opens us all up to receiving God’s forgiveness.

Matt. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Matt. 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

  • There’s no hope for the children of bitterness!
  • The children of bitterness don’t stand a chance.
  • How long will you let your war go on?
  • Don’t live like Ted!
  • Don’t die like Ted!
  • If you are bitter, what future does your marriage have?
  • If you are bitter, what future do your children have?

Heb. 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Children of Bitterness…What will your Epitaph be?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 24, 2010 at 9:03 am