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Contentment

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Contentment

 

Eld. Dennis Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil. 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

God says need! We say needs! Our problem living for God often begins when having our need supplied by God isn’t enough. We convince ourselves, or the devil convinces us, that what we want is what we need. So, we become discontent, not just with what we have but also with God.

 

Are We Ever Content With What We Have?

Heb. 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Ouch! Content with what we have? Is that possible? The American way is to throw away and get the newest! Even if it’s not worn out or defective, it’s gotta be the latest! We constantly talk about and even covet what others have! Do we ever stop and think, God Almighty said: “I will never leave you”! The psalmist put it this way, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”! Bro. James Morar said, ”I have the Lord, I don’t need anything else“! We need to stop grumbling and start praising!

 

Being Content Must Be A Learning Process!

Phil. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Paul seems to be saying that learning to be content is a process! Hearing, repeating, practicing, hearing, repeating, practicing! All for the purpose of modifying behavior. Also, exposure to those who have experienced the learned change can be very beneficial in our quest! If we hang around the greedy, we will likely be greedy; but, if we fellowship contentment, we can learn by their example!

Saints and even pastors who are discontent with their church can have a negative effect on our spirit. Oh, don’t take me wrong, by all means work to see your church grow but never despise your “little“ church! After all it’s that kind of church where God saved most of us!

 

Being Godly And Being Content Is Progress! (Gain: furnishing, finishing)

1 Tim 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Instead of always trying to get ahead in the world, why don’t we focus on moving higher in God! The GAIN talked about is not material or monetary it’s Spiritual! That’s worth shouting about!

We used to sing songs like, “I’m Going Higher Yes Higher Some Day“, “A Higher Plain Than I Have Found”!

Moving up in God was always on our minds. What has happened to Pentecost? Have we become so materialistic that we are always discontented and disconnected?

 

When Was The Last Time We Were Thankful For Just Our Food And Clothing?

1 Tim. 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

I understand the need to replace worn out and outgrown clothes etc. Cars wear out, houses get old, time alone destroys the strongest structures. Replacing or renewing is part of life but too often we’re not even happy with the new for very long. Someone else has a better one so our lip drops into a pout because we feel like we’re inferior till we get the latest! Ho hum… Almighty God wake me up to how very blessed I am before I greedy my way into perdition!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 1, 2019 at 11:37 am

Posted in Christian Living, Life

“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

with 13 comments

 

“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

I guess I could answer their questions in the normal way, but that would be too easy. It’s more enjoyable to watch their faces when I answer in terms of events rather than the expected number of years.

 

I have been known to respond something like this…

 

“I’m So Old That:

“I can remember when hymns and choruses actually rhymed.

“I actually heard the saints stand up and testify in a regular testimony service.

“I’ve even heard prayer rooms roar with the sounds of victorious saints bombarding Heaven while putting the devil on the run.

 

“I actually saw Sunday School Attendance Boards displaying things like:

  • Attendance Today
  • Offering Amount
  • Number of Visitors
  • Number of Bibles Brought

 

“Church Songs Were…

  • About deliverance from sin.
  • About heaven being a holy place.
  • About the Lord’s return to earth
  • About having your sins washed away.

 

“I actually heard preachers name sin from the pulpit.

“Wayward saints got rebuked openly from the pulpit, that others might fear.

“Hearing the phrase: ‘Holiness or Hell,’ was common.

 

“Holiness and modesty were expected among all Holy Ghost filled saints.

“If the pastor said it, young people obeyed without questioning his reasons or his authority.

“No saint ever chewed gum in church. It was too disrespectful.

 

“Expectant mothers wore loose attire that only revealed a minimum of information.

“Sword Drills were common in youth services.

“A Sunday morning service included a Bible class, a second worship service, and preaching.

 

“Sunday night church was always expected.

“Mid-week schedule of services included a Tuesday and Thursday or a Wednesday and Friday.

“Revivals were held every night but Monday.

 

“Preachers wore white shirts to church and they always wore a tie.

“Rings on a preacher were noticed by everyone.

“When the preacher announced his text, the sound of Bible pages turning would be discerned by everyone.

 

“The spirit of Conviction was the norm in most every service.

“Messages in tongues were not uncommon.

“The sounds of Intercessory Prayer were heard in most churches.

 

“The preaching wasn’t politically correct.

“No one claimed to be living for God with a TV in their house.

“When saints never went to ball games or movies.

 

“When Apostolic saints shunned all of Hollywood.

“When church services often went past 10 pm.

“When New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service most often included a confession service as well.

 

“When we bragged about carrying folks home drunk on the Holy Ghost.

“When folks who disregarded standards were called backsliders.

“When young men didn’t justify wearing shorts just because they came to the knee.

 

“When saintly women abhorred the wearing of any type of makeup because they didn’t want to look like a Jezebel and ruin their testimony.

“When the lights weren’t turned down low at the altar call, and everyone could see who needed to pray.

“When doctrine and standards were openly preached and wonderfully received.

 

“When preachers didn’t teach doctrine and standards in private classes so as not to scare any visitors.

“When Break-Out Sessions were unheard of.

“When those whose prophecies didn’t come to pass were called false prophets.

 

But now…

We’ve moved ‘up’ to the next level of Pentecost!!

 

“You didn’t actually answer my question, Brother Ballestero! You still haven’t told me how old you are. How old are you?”

 

Again, My Response…

“Old enough to want to hear doctrine preached and not some feel-good pop psychology type sermon.

 

“I’m so old that I search for churches that still have that old-time Apostolic feeling.

“I look for churches that still want to hear preaching like it used to be.

“Where testimonies have that New Jerusalem ring to them.

 

“I look for churches that haven’t thrown all the old songs away.

“I want to find places where holiness is still in style.

“Where ALL of the Bible is preached without apology.”

 

“That’s how old I am!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 29, 2019 at 10:30 pm

The Princess Within Conference, By Nila Marxer

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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

What Kind Of Son Are You?

with 4 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Kind Of Son Are You?

There was a certain Father who had many sons and daughters. The children by now all lived on their own and seemed happy. He had treated them all so kindly that they doted on Him and often just stopped by His house to tell Him that they loved Him.

More often than not they would ask Him if there was anything they could do for Him. That always made Him smile. Sometimes they would say, “Father, if You see me doing something that displeases You… please let me know. You have been so good to me, that I want to spend the rest of my life doing things that please You. It made the Father’s heart rejoice to know His children loved Him.

One day two of the oldest brothers noticed that the youngest brother only came around the Father’s house on Sunday mornings about 10 AM and occasionally on Wednesday evenings around 7 PM when the special family meals were prepared.  He wasn’t always punctual, and they noticed that when he did come around it was only for food. Most of the other children came early before meal time to talk with their father and enjoy the comfort of His presence and love, and stayed late. The youngest son never came early, and seldom on time.

Once in a while, he would come to his Father’s house because he needed money or some help with a desperate situation. He would always show his thanks and appreciation for the blessing.

The two brothers watched one night as the youngest came late to the table where the others were already eating and with a sheepish look slid into his chair. They gave each other a knowing look.

The oldest said to the youngest, “How come you only come around the Father’s house when there are loaves and fishes on the table? How come you never want to just come and visit a while with our Father and enjoy His company? Man, you’re really missing out! There’s no one in the world more wonderful than Him! Everyone notices that you have plenty of time to go visit all your friends or do your fishing and hunting. Don’t you know that when the rest of us come to visit with Him that we see Him looking down the road towards your house? He watches you walking in the other direction from Him to be with your friends, or go do your thing. And, then when a need arises you have the gall to act as though you love Him so that you can ask Him for a favor, hit up for money and mooch off of Him. He’s always giving to you and you give nothing back to Him. What’s wrong with you? What kind of son are you?

The supper table grew quiet. A tear ran down the Father’s cheek. The younger son glared at his older brother and left the table. The children put their heads down fearing to see the expression on their Father’s face. They knew how much their Father loved the one who wouldn’t return His love.

 

 

Is this your story?

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Confusion

with 10 comments

Guest Blog – Written by my life-long Friend, Pastor Dennis Morris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confusion

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 

Confusion: instability, disorder, commotion, tumult.

I think we can accurately conclude from this scripture that there is an author of CONFUSION! Satan is that author!

Another conclusion is the peace authored by God is the target of the attacks of confusion.

Ephesians 6:16 speaks of the fiery darts of the wicked!

 

Fiery: ignited, to be inflamed with anger, grief, to burn or be on fire.

Caution! Sometimes even people can be fiery darts, inflamed themselves with passion for their grievances.

Flaming arrows, if not striking a fatal wound, can be distracting nevertheless. Inflammatory to the point that we take our focus off the enemy and put it on the immediate pain or danger, becoming confused about the problem and disoriented about who our enemy really is. Many have fallen prey to the spiritual tumult caused by confusion. Not suffering natural death but spiritual wounding some never recover from and suffering even death.

 

Peace: to join, by implication, have prosperity, quietness, rest, to set at one again.

God’s plan is for peace to reign in our hearts and minds. That we be bound together in love, with peace and joy our being our signature presentation before the world. Having through every trial and test “the peace of God which passes all understanding“!

 

James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Envy: heat, jealousy, malice, emulation, fervent (or fevered) mind, indignation (taking offense).

Strife: intrigue (suspicion), factions, contention.

James lets us know that confusion has companions “every evil work”.

The fevered mind of envy and the suspicions triggered by strife make the perfect storm for confusion to cause us to turn against those who God instructs us to love and to even charge God for not caring and doing something to help us! Why God am I wounded?

 

Isaiah 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

(Confused) Noise: vibration, bounding, uproar, commotion, earthquake, fierceness, quaking, rattling, rushing, shaking.

Someone said that “War is hell”, I’m not sure it qualifies to be compared to hell but according to Isaiah there are similarities.

 

Eccl. 8:8… there is no discharge in that war…

No matter how bad it is, we can’t just decide not to fight anymore! No matter how fierce the battle gets we must not get confused by the noise and even the death and dying around us!

Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat. Wheat sifted, is just flour, wheat ground to powder.

Satan wants to remove all resistance and leave us so devastated that we’ve no recovery possible. Giving in to the confusion will only make matters worse.

  • Fight the good fight…
  • Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good…
  • Having this same mind in you…
  • Run the race with patience…

 

As the battle rages don’t just listen to the clamoring and confusing noise. Listen with a spiritual ear! There is a still small voice, encouraging you to “fight the good fight”.

“We’re not wrestling flesh and blood,”

Go ahead “lay hold on to eternal life”

Child of God, don’t take a chance, through the power of prayer “put on the helmet of Salvation“ don’t get confused!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 24, 2019 at 9:58 pm

Living For God Is Easy!

with 5 comments

 

Living For God Is Easy!

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

 IF GOD SAYS IT’S EASY… IT’S EASY! 

What Kind Of Idiot Made You Believe That It’s Hard To Live For God?

 

 First Of All, When You Live For God There’s…

  • No Addictions
  • No Hangovers
  • No Maternity Tests Needed
  • No Social Diseases
  • No Fear Of The Police Arresting You
  • No Police Record
  • No Secrets To Keep
  • No Fear Of Drug Testing
  • No Longer Victimized By Satan

 

You’ll Never Have To Hold Up A Cardboard Sign And Beg…

(The righteous has never been forsaken nor his seed ever begged for bread.)

Psalms 37:25

 

You’ll Have Better Health Care.

(The Great Physician will take care of your every need.)

Exodus 15:27

 

You’ll Never Make Mistakes In Your Life Choices If He Guides You And Directs Your Path.

Proverbs 3:6

 

You’ll Never Have To Fight Your Own Battles.

(God says the battle is His.)

1 Samuel 17:47

 

He Will Supply All Your Needs.

Philippians 4:19

 

He Specializes In Solving The Impossible For You.

Mark 10:27

 

He Gives You An Unbelievably Peaceful Life.

(It passes understanding.)

Philippians 4:7

 

He Will Protect You From Danger And Poison.

Mark 16:18

 

He Is Available To Help You Twenty-Four-Seven.

Hebrews 13:5

 

He Will Comfort You Like No Other.

John 14:26

 

He Will Completely Satisfy You.

Psalms 65:4

 

He’ll Give You Joy Like You’ve Never Known.

Psalms 16:11

 

All He Asks For In Payment… Is Your Thanks!

 

LEARN THIS!

Satan doesn’t LOVE you.

  • He DESIRES you.
  • He’ll sift you as wheat.
  • Luke 22:31

God LOVES you!

  • John 3:16

 

Who Wouldn’t Want To Live For God?

 Living for God Is A Blessing Every Day.

Psalms 68:19

  • He Puts Food On Your Table.
  • He Puts Clothes On Your Back.
  • He Pays Your Bills.
  • He Puts Gas In Your Car.
  • He Helps You All Day Long

 

You Will Never Have To Waste Money Again On…

  • Cigarettes Or Tobacco Of Any Kind
  • Makeup
  • Jewelry
  • Cable TV
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol

 

Those Who Say It’s Hard To Live For God, Are Still Trying To Hang On To The World.

That’s Why They Say It’s Hard.

 

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

 

Those Who Are Living For God With All Their Heart Join Me In Saying…

Living For God Is Easy!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 30, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Posted in Christian Living

What’s Your Defense?

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What’s Your Defense?

 

 

 Eph. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph. 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph. 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph. 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

 George Washington, in 1799: “ . . . offensive operations, often times, is the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defence”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Moses Defense

Moses Chose Not To Identify As An Egyptian, But Rather As An Israelite.

Heb. 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

Heb. 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

 

 

The Joseph Defense

Joseph Chose To Say No To Temptation, And Leave.

 Gen. 39:12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

 

 

The Daniel Defense

Daniel Chose Not To Defile Himself.

Dan. 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

 

 

The James Defense

James Chose To Submit Himself To God, Then Resist Everything The Devil Presented To Him.

 Jas. 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

 

The Paul Defense

Paul Chose To Always Be Ready And To Be Prepared.

 Philippians 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

 

 

The Peter Defense

Peter Chose To Stay Alert And Never Take His Eyes Off Of His Adversary.

1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 

 

The Hannah Defense

Hannah Chose To Travail Before The Lord Until She Got Her Answer.

1 Samuel 1:15  And Hannah answered and said, … I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have … poured out my soul before the LORD.

 

 

The Syrophenician Woman’s Defense

She Chose To Be Humble And Not Defensive In The Face Of Prejudice.

 Mark 7:28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

 

 

The Shunamite Defense

She Chose To Make A Place In Her Home For God And God’s Man, Then Believe That God Would Not Fail Her.

2 Kings 4:26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

 

 

The Job Defense

Job Chose To Never Stop Praying And Worshipping In Spite Of His Circumstances.

Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

 

 

No One Will Survive In This Spiritual Warfare Without A Good Defense!

 So… What’s Your Defense?

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 29, 2019 at 11:19 am

Posted in Christian Living