The Ballestero Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Comfort’ Category

The Highway In The Sea

with 4 comments

The Highway In The Sea

Psa 77:19 Thy way is in the sea.

There is a path through your problem. I’m sure that when the psalmist penned this, his first thought was the crossing of the Red Sea. He was no doubt trying to encourage himself by recalling the saving power of God in Israel’s past. “Thy way is in the sea.”

To Israel, The Sea Was As An Object of Dread

There were two places above all others dreaded by the Jew. The one was the Desert and the other was the Sea.

1. The Desert

Because It Was The Home Of:

  • The home of wild beasts.
  • The haunt of robbers who plundered the Jewish villages.
  • The pathway of those enemy armies, which came against Jerusalem.
  • Merciless in it’s heat and lack of water.

2. The Sea

Because it was:

  • Full of storms and treachery
  • Cruel and unforgiving
  • Deep
  • It is very difficult to cross
  • A great divider

The Sea was the first problem that Israel encountered in their escape from Egypt. The Desert or Wilderness was their next source of dread for forty years

We are sometimes slow to learn the lesson that God’s way is in the very thing we dread.

We are so quick to feel that God has forgotten us when the very thing which we dread, appears.

  • We all love health, but dread disease.
  • We love success, but we dread disappointment.
  • We love friends, but we dread rejection.
  • We love money, but we dread financial loss.
  • We love comfort, but we dread distress.

The Way Of The Lord Of Is In The Sea.

Sometimes His way is through our problem and the very thing we dread, and not around it.

We must believe that He is working out His purposes for us in the dark of night as well as in the broad daylight. We must believe that He is working out His purposes for us in the sea as well as on dry land.

What is the object of thy greatest dread, O Hebrew? Is it the sea? Well then remember, “God’s way is in the sea.”

The Sea Is Almost Alway Restless

The sea was the element of constant change, the home of restlessness. One day the sea might be calm; the next day, it may rage in a storm. It was all of this that the writer understood when the word came to him that God’s way was in the sea.

  • Is there unrest in our life?
  • Are there storms you must face today?
  • Are the waves threatening you?

Remember, He makes a way, a highway, in the sea of your problem. He makes a way through the very thing that you dread and fear.

Trust Him!

wxp (25)

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 30, 2013 at 11:46 am

Posted in Comfort, Faith, Trust

Tagged with

When God Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations.

with 12 comments

When God Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations.

Luke 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

  • What Happens When God Doesn’t Heal?
  • What Happens When God Doesn’t Deliver?
  • What Happens When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers Like You Wanted Him To?

It’s not uncommon to get a notion in our heads about how we think God should supply specific things that we need, or want. Some have gotten mad at the Lord, and even backslid because a loved one died or was not healed.

Since His ways are not our ways, there will always be times when God doesn’t move or work like we think he should. That can be a major test for our faith.

Sometimes, life doesn’t turn out like we expected. Why? I can’t tell you, because I don’t know for sure either. But this one thing I do know. God is still in control. He has never made a mistake. I must always trust Him.

 

Naaman – Almost Lost His Miracle When Things Didn’t Meet His Expectations.

2Ki 5:10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

2Ki 5:11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

Naaman was a man of high position and ranking in Syria. As Captain of the army, he was always given much respect.

Bottom line, I’m sure, was his disappointment that the Prophet did not personally come out to see him. He had imagined the moment of his healing, and it looked nothing like what had just happened to him. He left the prophet’s home in a huff.

His own servant showed more good sense than he did. Only after being reasoned with, did he finally submit. For Naaman, submission and obedience were the keys to his miracle.

 

 

Peter – Denied The Lord When Things Didn’t Meet His Expectations.

When accused by the maid of being a disciple of Christ, Peter replied, “I know not the man!” In a twisted way, Peter was telling the truth.

  • The Jesus he knew was a Jesus of miracles.
  • The Jesus he knew walked on water.
  • The Jesus he knew raised the dead.
  • The Jesus he knew turned water in to wine.
  • The Jesus he knew fed 5,000 with a few fishes and five loaves of bread.
  • The Jesus he knew healed the lepers and opened blinded eyes.

Peter Didn’t Know This Jesus.

  • He didn’t know a Jesus of defeat.
  • He didn’t know a Jesus of rejection.
  • He didn’t know a Jesus of disappointment.

What about the three and a half years he had followed Jesus around? Were those years spent for nothing? Evidently, Peter’s faith had momentarily wavered.

 

 

John The Baptist Questioned The Lord When Things Didn’t Meet His Expectations.

Of men born of women, there was none greater than John the Baptist. He was even born with the Holy Ghost. He was a fearless preacher and a chosen forerunner for the Messiah.

  • Yet, John finds himself in prison.
  • His hopes are dashed.
  • His future looks bleak.
  • His first cousin, Jesus, is nowhere around.
  • He becomes tormented by his worst fears.
  • His imagination runs wild.
  • He even questioned if Jesus was truly the Messiah.

Luke 7:19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

 

 

The Three Hebrew Children – Said, “But If Not…” In Case Things Didn’t Meet Their Expectations.

Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

They proudly stood in front of the pagan king and bragged on their God. They said that their God was able to deliver them. But if He didn’t, they still weren’t going to bow down to an idol.

If the Lord God didn’t deliver them, they were still going to be faithful to Him.

 

 

Job – Watched His Mouth When Things Didn’t Meet His Expectations.

Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

None of us can imagine the horrible loss Job experienced.

  • His family was destroyed.
  • His children were dead.
  • His vast herds stolen.
  • His health was virtually destroyed.
  • His wife turned in to an unbelieving nag.
  • His friends did nothing but criticize and point fingers at him.

We Love To Quote Job’s Reaction To His Dilemma.

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

The second part of the verse stands out to me today. Job certified, that though things had not turned out like he wanted, he was going to maintain his ways. He was going to keep on doing what he had always done.

What Do You Do When Things Don’t Turn Out Like You Wanted? Do You Maintain Your Ways? If You Want Your Story To Turn Out Good, Then:

  • Keep on coming to church.
  • Keep on worshipping.
  • Keep on praying.
  • Keep on singing
  • Keep on loving
  • Keep involved in church.
  • Keep on shouting.
  • Keep on paying your tithes.
  • Keeping on testifying about how good God is.

 

 

Israel – Believed The Ten Spies When Things Didn’t Meet Their Expectations.

Did Israel want to go over into the Promised Land? Most certainly! The problem was, the majority of the spies saw the enemy and became frightened and faint hearted.

This didn’t look like an easy victory to them. No one paid much attention to Joshua and Caleb’s glowing report. They ignored the huge display of grapes.

Because they responded in unbelief, God allowed all but the young to die in the wilderness. They needlessly spent 40 years of wandering because of how they reacted.

Things hadn’t turned out like they expected, so they said ‘no’ to God. God in return, said ‘no’ to their inheriting the promise and gave it to their children instead.

  • Never stop believing.
  • Never say ‘no’ to God.

 

 

Paul – Lived With A Thorn In His Flesh When Things Didn’t Meet His Expectations.

  • Paul prayed more than once for God to take his pain away. God didn’t.
  • Paul had just spoken the word, and a man had gone blind for a season.
  • A poisonous viper and taken hold of his hand once while he was carrying wood for a fire. He just shook it off, and though bitten, was not harmed.

Yet this thorn he spoke of, wouldn’t go away. God had answered his other prayers, why didn’t He answer this one?

Paul never knew, but he chose instead, to be content to live with his unanswered prayer request.

 

So, What Is My Life Lesson Here?

What Should I Do When Things Don’t Meet My Expectation?

  1. Like Naaman – I choose to humbly submit my self and obey the Word of the Lord given to me.
  2. Like The Three Hebrew Children – I will always believe God is able. But if He doesn’t deliver me… I’m still going to be faithful.
  3. Like Job – I want to keep my spirit right, and watch my mouth during my trial.
  4. Like Paul – If God doesn’t take away the pain in my life; I will learn to be content, and trust His will.

 

 

Remember God’s Words In The Old Testament When Things Don’t Meet Your Expectations.

KJV: Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

KJV: Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The Message Bible: I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.

Remember God’s Words In The New Testament When Things Don’t Meet Your Expectations.

KJV: Luke 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

NIV: Luke 7:23 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.

ESV: Luke 7:23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

The Journey To Wits End

with 2 comments

The Journey To Wits End

The Road to Nowhere was marked, sort of.  It was off to the side of the road and you to had to be looking for it to see it. Besides, weeds were growing up around its base.

David steered the car as if on autopilot. His mind was in a whirl. Everything was going wrong today. He felt like he had little control over the events of the day.

Last night, he had stopped in Despairville and got a room at The Anxiety Lodge.  The floors were not numbered 1,2, or 3. They were given names instead. His room was on Floor – Pacing.

A few others seemed to be heading in this direction also. Occasionally, he saw a car or two coming back from where he was heading.

Around the corner he went and then he saw a Fork in the road. He remembered that someone at the Lodge had recommended that when he came to Crucial Fork, to not take the Right Fork, so he didn’t.

The road climbed up Heartache Hill, and he entered the city limits of Panic Town. The Detour signs caused him to turn onto Frustration Avenue.  David drove down that road for quite a ways. He saw no streets to turn off on.

Ahead was a barricade across the road. He had to stop. The barricade had a big sign on it.

It said, “Welcome To Wits End!”

David couldn’t go forward, He had no desire to go back. There wasn’t a place to turn around that he could see.

He leaned his head forward and rested it on his hands as the gripped the steering wheel. Tears streamed down his cheeks. He cried aloud unto the Lord to help him. He lifted his head, and that’s when he saw Him!

  • That’s when he found the only One that could help him!
  • That’s when his help came!
  • That’s when his deliverance came!
  • That’s when Jesus took over!

 

That’s When The Sacred Psalm Came Alive For Him!

 

Psalm 107:23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

Psalm 107:24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

Psalm 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

Psalm 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

Psalm 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.

Psalm 107:28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

Psalm 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Psalm 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

Psalm 107:31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 29, 2012 at 11:39 pm

“Go Preach ‘Em Happy”

with 3 comments

“Go Preach Em Happy”

by Pastor Roy Barnhill

Pastor Roy Barnhill

I introduce to you Rev. Virgil Cox.  Some may not know him, so allow this short biography.

Virgil Cox was raised in St. Louis by his parents Virgil (Deacon) and Christine Cox. As a family, they attended White Way Tabernacle, pastored by Walter Guinn.

Virgil Jr. was 16 years old in 1945.  The “merger” of two oneness organizations was in progress and Virgil was a teenage witness to this historical moment that was being held at White Way. In those days, ministers did not stay in three or four star hotels but rather, were invited to stay in the saint’s homes. Several highly esteemed elders stayed in the Cox home.

During the “merger” and young Virgil was privileged to meet many of them who had come to this historical conference, which convened in St. Louis.

Virgil Cox pastored in Vichy, Missouri and later in Jefferson City, Missouri.  From Jefferson City he was asked to come to Bogalusa, LA where he pastored until his retirement. His son, Kevin Cox, is now District Superintendent of LA.

Through the years, I kept contact with Bro. Cox and would call him on a regular basis just to hear him tell again how things use to be in the “good ole days” and how times have changed.

We never talked about church growth principles, as such, but the advice he gave me before each call was ended, has been some of the best advice on growing people and growing a church. His closing words would always be, “Roy, Go Preach ‘Em Happy”.

After hearing this advice for several months, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked, “Bro. Cox, what do you mean, “Go Preach ‘Em Happy”?

What I heard next should be achieved in People Principles 101.  Bro. Cox shared with me how people are beat up and beat down by life’s hardships and hurts, so when they come to your church on Sunday, they need to hear a message of hope.

Their week may have included a loss of a job, a foreclosure notice, a rebellious teenager that is dealing them much heartache or a companion that has walked out.

Bro. Cox continued, Preach encouragement. Preach hope. Preach they can make it. Preach that Jesus loves them.  Preach that prayer changes things.  Go Preach ‘Em Happy.

Life’s greatest discovery is, if you will love people, they will love you in return. People gravitate to someone who will tell them there is hope in this life and in the life to come. Step One in growing a church is…

Go Preach ‘Em Happy!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Comfort, Ministry, Pastors

Tagged with , , ,

How Do You Say Good-Bye?

with 17 comments

How Do You Say Good-Bye?

Good-byes are not always easy to say. As a small boy, my grandson Huntley Ballestero struggled with saying good-bye to those he loved. Especially when my wife and I were leaving after visiting his home, he would hide when the good-byes were being said and the hugs got passed around. He didn’t like saying good-bye.

I tearfully remember my Alzheimer’s afflicted Daddy standing on the porch of his house in Fontana, California. Even with Mom’s prompting, he struggled to wave good-bye to me as I sat in my rental car ready to head back to the airport.

In a weak sounding voice he haltingly said, “I’ll see… you… in the… rapture.” With tears drenching my face, I vowed to him that I would see him in the rapture!

No final good-bye is easy! Words don’t seem to be able to say it all.

Sometimes, death comes to our loved ones so quick there is not time to say good-bye.

Other times, the good-byes become stretched out for several days or even a couple of weeks.

And then there are the good-byes that unfold in slow motion. They go on unendingly. We stand by and watch as their body slowly succumbs to the ravages of disease. We are helpless to fix it for them and we grieve that we can’t make them better.

Our hearts ache when we see the one we love, admire, trust and enjoy, fight so hard to live. It’s as if their body can’t keep pace with their will.

Such Has Been The Good-Bye To Our Beloved Michigan District Superintendent, Bro. Joseph Carpenter.

The first time I heard the name, Joseph Carpenter, was in 1964. My wife-to-be informed me she was going to be a Bridesmaid in her cousin Victoria Jordan and Joe Carpenter’s wedding.

When my wife and I married in 1965, some 5 months after their wedding, she asked Victoria Jordan Carpenter to be in our wedding.

The first revival my wife and I preached after getting married was for Bro. Victor Jordan in Jackson, Michigan. Bro. Joseph Carpenter assisted his father-in-law, Bro. Jordan and was a tremendous blessing to him and the church there.

Bro. Carpenter loved the work of God, he loved everything about church and he loved the Michigan Camp. All of us from Michigan have seen him work around the camp. He wasn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and get dirty. He led by doing.

Today my wife and I shed tears remembering our ‘cousin’, our friend, a great pastor, a tremendous preacher, and our beloved District Superintendent… Joseph D. Carpenter.

For the last many months we have all viewed his will to live and his struggle with disease in person and on Facebook.

He has been exceedingly brave. His wife and children have also been heroic in their support and comfort giving. The rest of us have tearfully watched and waited, praying, reading updates, and hoping against hope. And then as we held our collective breaths, we watched the man we love leave us. We were forced to say good-bye!

Reading the sentiments of family and friends as their aching hearts have spilled out onto the printed page has comforted us.

 

Facebook Posts From His Immediate Family

Sister Victoria Carpenter (Wife) “Even though my heart is hurting I am flooded with precious memories of my life with this awesome man. I am so blessed, so very blessed. I love him more than words can express.

“With family and close friends tonight as we sit with my husband. Feeling the sweet peace of God in the room.

“Sitting here in the hospital with Joe and Angela. My husband is telling us stories of when his Mom and Grandmother came into the Christian Temple church in Jackson. His grandmother was healed of a Tumor and that was the beginning of their walk with God. So interesting!!

“All the family was together tonight. Love my family so much. Good talks and lots of laughter. My husband had a much better day, still very weak.

“Can’t keep a good man down. Sorting through mail.

“Left my sweet husband resting tonight. Pray that he has a good night.

“Bro. and Sis. Mooney came to visit my husband today. Joe came and then Jay, Angela and Kelsea came this evening. My husband was feeling much better when I left tonight, after having a rough day.

“With my sweetheart. He is resting pretty good right now. Had a rough night, lots of pain, but I think they are getting it under control. Covet your prayers. Love you, my precious family and friends.

“So comforting to have my children with me as we travel down this road with my sweetheart and their father. The love they have shown and expressed toward their Dad is amazing. Such love. I am blessed beyond measure. The outpouring of love and prayer from family, friends, and our church is so much appreciated.”

Joe Carpenter - Dad's hand will forever guide mine. I love you Dad.

Pastor Joe Carpenter (Son) “Dad is resting…. Here with mom, Victoria Jordan Carpenter and my wonderful wife, Sherrie Young Carpenter. I wouldn’t trade these last few days for any thing in the world.

“Reminiscing funny stories about Dad that only the family know… just in case you were wondering he has a not so serious side we get to see… precious memories. With Victoria Jordan Carpenter, Joshua Carpenter, Sherrie Young Carpenter.

“Everyone is sleeping but me, just watching my Dad…  I am overwhelmed with emotions… beyond explanation… JESUS!

“Dad is still with us but leaning more toward his heavenly home.

“Just had a wonderful prayer meeting in Dads room, Jay Jones was reading the Psalms… God is amazing…

“Well, Dads ticket home was not for yesterday. He has spent a lifetime planning for this trip; only God knows the date so we wait patiently on Him.

“Dad is still fighting the fight…..spending time with mom, Angela and Jay, Nate and Lisa Nix, and Bro and Sis Henson. What sweet friends to stay up with us and Dad all night.

“Life will never be the same… Dad has gone to his reward.

“My Dad is not gone. He has simply traded that which can never last for that which can never be taken away. Thank you for this awesome line Martha Jaynes.”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Can't keep a good man down. Sorting through mail.

“Bishop Carpenter began his ministry in the early 60’s, teaching Sunday School and leading the Youth Ministry of Christian Temple Church in Jackson, Michigan. He was elected as Section 3 Youth Director in 1967, the same year he received his ministerial credentials. After many years of serving as the Assistant Pastor in Jackson he was called to Mount Morris to pastor.

Reverend Carpenter was the Senior Pastor of First Apostolic Church of Mount Morris from November of 1981 until May of 2011. In April of 2011 he was elected as Bishop of FAC. As pastor of First Apostolic he started daughter works in Imlay City and Kentwood, Michigan. He has served the district in numerous capacities over the past 43 years that he has held credentials with the United Pentecostal Church, International. Pastor Carpenter has ministered in several countries, including The Philippines, Ethiopia, Estonia, Italy, and has encouraged and supported congregations and missionaries around the world.

From 1973 until 1981 he served as District Youth President

From 1984 until 1985 he served as District Sunday School Director

From 1985 until 1990 he served as District Home Missions Director

From 1990 until 2000 he served as District Secretary-Treasurer

In May of 2000 he was elected as the District Superintendent.

Reverend Carpenter was a member of the General Board of the UPCI and also a board member of the United Pentecostal Foundation.

Joseph D. Carpenter

May 13, 1946-October 3, 2011”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Angela and her Dad.

Angela Jones (Daughter) ”I never had to look far for a beautiful example of marriage… my parents (Victoria Jordan Carpenter and Joseph D Carpenter) lived it out before me!

“Spending precious moments with my daddy, Joseph D Carpenter! Love him so very much! I’m so blessed!

“Mom, I love you!!!

“Dad, I love you so much!!!!!”

Sherrie Young Carpenter  (Daughter In Law) “You have been the best wife dad could have ever asked for…. Love you!

“Dad…. I love you so very much and am thankful that you have been my Father-in-law. Could never have asked for anyone better. I truly love you!!!!”

“It is well… my sweet father-in-law went to meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We praise him for this….”

Jay Jones (Son In Law)

“Love you, Dad!”

 

Facebook Posts From Extended Family

Jenny Jordan Teets “Joe, I have looked on FB every hour on the hour all day, looking for a tidbit of news. I know it must be so hard keeping vigil over your dad for hours. But there is a lot of people praying for you, so try to remember all the wonderful times he provided for you, Angela, and your mother… and your mates, and his grandchildren. He has made the world a much better place for so many people!”

“Vicky, my beautiful sister, it must be one of the saddest days of our lives when we lose a loved one. I love you and want to be a comfort to you! We are so proud of his example and the way all of you have carried out your love for Joe these last weeks. I’ll see you soon….”

Sandy Jordan  “I woke up early this morning thinking and praying for you all! We love you.“

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Bro. & Sis. Mooney came back up today to see my husband. Love these people.

Rebecca Starr Trammell  “God put you two together and you are and awesome team and raised a beautiful family that is example to many. Vicky you have shown such love and strength and graceful spirit. We love you.”

Marisa Ballestero- Hartzell “Thinking of you all today, I was awakened several times in the night with you all in my heart and prayers. Love you so very much!!”

“Heaven has received a treasure! Brandon and I loved your dad so very much , he had a big impact on our ministry. We will be praying you all for the days ahead.♥♥

Marcia Starr Ballestero  “Dear Family We are Praying for you all!! Wish I could be right beside you to just do what ever I could to lighten your load. Love and Prayers.”

“You have always shown such Love and Respect!! God gives Peace and carry’s us. Your Love and Devotion is such a strength to your family. Love You and Praying. I Remember when we all got married the same year five months apart I was in your Wedding You were in Mine. There have been many Loving and Happy Years of Memories. Love You!!

“Love and prayers for our family of Cousins Vicky, Jodi, Sherry, Angela, Jay and their children for the Loss of Bro. Joe Carpenter we will Miss him so much. He has been so Important to all of us in the family and Michigan District. God will carry you in this hard time. Love you, Marcia Ballestero”

Mia Clark-Chapdelaine “Love you SO much!”

“We are mourning, but I can’t help but picture him heading down streets of gold to check in to his new room.”

Suzanne Priddy  “Our family prayed for you all this morning on our way to work. The tapestry of our family is woven with threads of memories… Each shade of color is forever placed with loved ones smiles, trials and victories. So when our minds take us to the gallery of memories we will see the value of each of those that were sewn into the fabric of our lives~

“We love you all and are continuing to pray for strength and peace as the final threads of your Dad’s part in the tapestry are woven in~”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - My brother, Mark came up to the hospital to visit with Joe.

Sara Starr Copple  “We Love you…Tom & I and our church has been keeping the prayers ongoing for your family!

“We love you very much… my words fail me…such a loss for us all… you all are such a close~ beautiful family who has brightened the world around you!!! Love my cousins dearly!

“Sending our love…no words are adequate…you are dear family…”

Julie Perry Hopper  “Praying strength for you, Victoria Jordan Carpenter, and Angela Jones and your families. Please let your dad and everyone there know that we are praying. Love to all of you.”

Karen S Perry  “Dear sweet and beautiful Vicky my heart is aching for you and your family.”

“Sharing in your time of sorrow I’ve cried and cried some more because of your father’s passing plus the memories it brought to mind of the loss of my own father to cancer when he was only 54, 40 yrs ago and the vigil that mother, my family Uncle Victor and Aunt Theodora kept at his bed side. Your dad will live on in the lives of your family for as long as you live.”

Priscilla Starr Spears  “You have been an example of integrity, faithfulness and Christian character to me for the past 20 years Today, like a true mentor, you show us how to walk in faith in paths unknown, but awaiting us all. Our prayers are with you; we love you and salute you as a dear friend and compatriot. May God grant our prayers as we pray for you, and may you feel our love and support across the miles, but nearby in spirit, faith and hope. Curtis and Priscilla”

Alexa Olson  “Vicky I want to say how much I admire the strength you have shown. I know only God has done that for you, but you are still amazing. Love you and your family and praying for you. So glad you and the kids have had this time.”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Jim Fielder and Rodney Clark came to see Joe. Wonderful friends.

Cindy Clark  “We are praying for strength and peace for all of you. Sending our love to you today!”

Mark Hopper “My Special Prayer this morning is: God Bring comfort to my Superintendent Joseph D Carpenter and His family. He has been such an incredible leader in the Michigan District. He has set the bar very high in faithfulness and kindness that only I can strive to reach. He has always displayed the Character of a True Christian. I thank God For Him. Bring peace and assurance today to Vicki, Joe, Sherrie, Angela, and Jay, knowing that God is always in control. We love you Bishop.

“Please pray for the family of our dear Superintendent Joseph Carpenter. What a great man of integrity. YOU WILL BE MISSED!”

Christy Huntley Ballestero  “Sharing in your loss.. You are right, it won’t be the same. Love and prayers…”

Marian June Davis  “Vicky our love and prayers are with you at this sad passing of Joe.He was a great man and seem strong right to the end.Your kids are in our prayers.”

Facebook Posts From Friends

Jerry Ann Guidroz  “We love you both!!”

Corliss Thompson Williams  “Love & prayers coming your way!!!”

“Vicky, we are praying for all of you! So thankful for the wonderful memories that you two shared! May they give you comfort.”

Brenda Hudson  “We just finished Morning Prayer here at our church and want you to know that we have prayed for you and your family. Prayed for you throughout the whole day yesterday. We are keeping the prayer vigil going.”

Suzie Toadvine, Wanda Fielder, and Cindy Clark was here today. love my friends. - Victoria Carpenter

Wanda Fielder  “I woke up several times in the night praying for your family. May God surround with His presence! We are with you in thought and prayer. So glad we got to be with you just two days ago and cherish the moment.

“Sent prayers your way this morning.

“We grieve for the loss of your father and our dear friend. We have the fondest of memories of our travels together and are extremely grateful for those precious times shared. Praying for you.”

Brenda Leaman   “My dear precious friend – this part of the journey is the most difficult but holds the greatest treasure – either of miraculous healing – or ultimate victory! You have both been so incredibly strong and such a shining example of the peace of God which passes all understanding. Your lives reflect an unwavering confidence in God and a deep love for the Michigan District. You have always been true servants. Our deepest love and continuous prayers are with you.”

Connie Bernard  “Bro Bernard and I love you all and are praying.”

Victoria Jordan Carpenter - Bob and Diane Stroup surprised us with a visit to the hospital tonight.

Suzi Henson Toadvine  “Woke up thinking about you! Praying for God to give you strength today! Hugs to you…”

Barbara Keller  “Love you and your family…you are in our thoughts and prayers!!”

Kimmela Harville Hall  “Praying for you all tonight…In the name of Jesus! We love you all…”

“All of our hearts are deeply saddened by this news, and yes, he did fight a good fight. He will be greatly missed. We are praying for you and your family for strength and comfort that only comes from above. We love you all. Please give our dear Sis. Carpenter a big hug from us..,♥”

Karla Baxter Sistrunk  “Prayer going up all over the state and the USA today for Bro. Carpenter, you and all of your family! God is faithful and with you every step of the way. We love you all.”

Laquita Reed Mullings  “So very sorry Bro Carpenter is in pain. I know you are too. Sending you both love & prayers from The Mullings.”

Mark Grisham  “let our hearts be your pillow.. may you feel the tenderness and love we are sending you now……..& the comfort of Our Fathers Love.”

Scott Sistrunk  “The MI District UPCI lost a great leader tonight. Bro. Carpenter lead this District to grow from 78 churches to 106 over his 11 year tenure. This ranks among the top growth achievements in recent UPCI history. In the 15 years prior MI had remained at 78 churches for 15 years. May God bless and comfort the Victoria Jordan Carpenter family.”

Judy Abbott Hudson “Vicky, my sweet friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight.”

Betty Strawcutter  “The first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night is read your posts Joe. Sometimes there are no words to communicate the deep feelings of the heart but we your friends feel the need to try, your dad has always represented himself, his family, his church and his God with integrity, kindness and love. What he has given in life is now echoing back from those who know him…we care, we pray, we surround him with our thoughts and love.

Holding you up in special prayer today my friend, God continue to strengthen you. Your family is loved by the Strawcutters.

“I’m feeling numb right now – my heart hurts for all of you.

“We have lost a wonderful friend and spiritual leader tonight, Bishop Carpenter has departed this life. My heart grieves for the family – there is nothing more painful than death…I am so thankful that heaven is a city without a cemetery.”

†††

How Do You Say Good-Bye?

It’s never easy. As we all can see by these comments, it’s not easy for us to see our loved ones go from us. Even though we know their suffering is over and they are in the presence of the Lord. Still, our hearts ache, our eyes fill with tears, and our arms will never be full again.

But, we have this one consolation… our “Good-bye” was not final!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 4, 2011 at 1:47 am

Posted in Comfort, Death

Tagged with ,

The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

with 97 comments

The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

The funeral chapel was jammed with about 30 Pentecostals and nearly 100 Church of Christ members.  Evidently this funeral was considered important. Six Church of Christ pastors were in attendance and each one spoke. No Pentecostal preacher had been invited to speak; yet several of us came anyway. I sat close to the back with my brother-in-law Pastor Nathan Yandris and my sister Ramona.

The large framed picture sitting on the closed casket was one of a beautiful middle-aged woman named Phyllis. She had a look of professionalism and class about her. Her brown hair was cut shoulder length. It appeared her make up had been professionally applied for the photo, and her jewelry looked very expensive.

The front row contained a grieving husband and beside him, his redheaded son and daughter-in-law. The son appeared to be the only child. No others sat near, leaving the guests to assume the mourners were alone in this crowd.

The Church of Christ preachers spoke one by one, and each said comforting things that I am sure helped. The final speaker did a superb job, actually. One could tell this was not his first funeral.

At the conclusion of his homily, the minister announced, “It is the wishes of the family that those who wish to say a few words about our beloved sister, should have an opportunity to say a public goodbye. He then walked to the front row and sat down.

One at a time, six middle-aged women walked to the podium and spoke sweet words about the loss of their friend. All of them mentioned that they had met Phyllis at either AA or Al-Anon.

They spoke of her friendship, of her church activities, her help with their lives, and her struggle with addictions and theirs.

After the last one sat down, there was a moment of quietness as all waited for someone else to stand. No one did.

Turning around and giving the crowd a swift appraising look, the redheaded son clutched a new Bible as he stepped to the small podium. His 25 years seemed much older. He was poised. He held the Bible in his left hand up close to his heart.

With a voice that never broke, he thanked everyone for coming. He thanked the ministers that spoke and he thanked his mother’s pastor as well.

With a smile to the women who had come to the front to speak, he thanked them as cherished friends.

That is where his story began!

“Almost 6 weeks ago, I first heard that my mom had cancer.  The doctor said that it was terminal and inoperable. I was shattered. Then they said she only had a few days to live. I was an immediate basket case.

“My mom was young, she was beautiful too,” He said, pointing at her picture.

“I went home that night and sat on my front porch. I was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, and was crying my heart out, when this man saw me and stopped.” (He pointed at a large black man on the 2nd row.) “He asked me if I was alright? I told him no.

“When he came up to the porch I told him the news about my mom. He spoke comforting words to me and asked if he could pray for me. I said yes and he did. I felt something I had never felt before.

“Then he sat down beside me and taught me what he called a short Home Bible Study. He showed me about Acts 2:38. He said that I needed to repent, and get baptized in Jesus name and that the Lord would give me the Holy Ghost. He said that Jesus would be my comforter.

“I prayed right there on my porch and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins. I told him I wanted to be baptized the Bible way, so he took me to his church, Apostolic Tabernacle, and the pastor came over and baptized me in Jesus name. When I came up out of the water, I was speaking in tongues. I got the Holy Ghost just like they did in the Bible!” He said, as he raised and then waved his Bible.

The Pentecostals responded with much noise and many of us stood and clapped our hands. The Church of Christ crowd went silent.

“I was thrilled! I had never been so happy in my life! That night I prayed that God would help me to share this with my mom. I knew she had to have this before she died.

“I prayed that God would help me find a way to speak to her. I knew she was wrapped up in her Church. She had been a lifetime member, and had always been involved in one department or another.

“The first thing the next morning, I prayed before I went over to mom’s house. When I got there, I was surprised to see a Bible lying open on the kitchen table.”

“I asked mom what the Bible was there for, and she said that she was close to dying and didn’t feel saved. She said she was looking for more than what she had.

“I said mom, you been a member of the Church of Christ for 45 years.”

She said, “That’s right, but I’m not ready to meet God. I need more!”

(He turned to the Church of Christ pastor and said, “Sorry sir!”)

The redheaded new convert was filled with Holy Ghost enthusiasm as he told his story. His eyes were red rimmed and watering.

I said, “Mom, let me tell you what had happened to me last night. I told her the whole story. About the beer, the Bible study, the baptism and the Holy Ghost.

“Mom started crying and said son, ‘Tell me what he told you.’

I sat down with her and showed her the same scriptures in Acts that my new friend had told me.

“She got down and began to repent like the Bible said to. When she finished, she said that she couldn’t leave the house to go to church. She was too weak and was attached to an oxygen tank.

“Mom said, maybe we could fill her big Jacuzzi tub up and baptize her in that. Dad helped me and I baptized my mom in Jesus name. She came up out of the water speaking in tongues just like I did. I was so happy, I shouted all over the room.”

(All of us Pentecostals are now on our feet, with our hands in the air, worshipping!)

“My dad said, ‘Baptize me too!’ So I did and he got the Holy Ghost too”

“I sure did,” came a strong voiced reply from the front row. The dad had his hand in the air.

The Pentecostal’s worship was so overwhelming that even some of the church of Christ people started crying by now.

They all knew that a man with an experience is never at the mercies of a man with an argument.

The worship of the small group of saints roared in the ears of opposition. For several minutes it went on. It felt unstoppable.

“All of you Church of Christ members need this Holy Ghost, he went on. “It will do for you what AA can’t. It will do for you what Al-Anon can’t. You need to be baptized in Jesus name to be saved. You need the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues to be saved. If you want to see my mom in heaven, then obey Acts 2:38.

When he walked back to his place, the crowd stood and gave him a standing ovation.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

What Would It Take To Encourage You Today?

with 7 comments

What Would It Take To Encourage You Today?

  • A word spoken in faith?
  • A pat on the back?
  • A smile?
  • A money gift?
  • A present?
  • A word of affirmation?
  • A friend’s visit?
  • A helping hand?

What makes you tick? What puts a smile back on your face that makes your eyes smile too? What would it take to make your heart feel uplifted?

If you are one of those people who has everything and is still not happy, I don’t think I can offer any help here.

I’m just asking those who have had some bad days lately, or maybe some bumps in your road. Maybe there has been a major disaster in your home, your health or your finances. What would it take to encourage you today?

I really wish I could offer everyone encouraging words that I have thought up on my own, but I cannot. The good news however, is that God’s Word always offers encouragement.

The Bible mentions that David even encouraged himself in the Lord. In your case, that might be easier said than done. My refuge and help most often comes from God’s Word.

I am one of those simple guys that from my youth visited the little box on our mantle that had God’s promises printed on little cards. I would draw one out and read it, claiming it as mine for the day. Did you ever do that?

Here, let me draw some out for you and I’ll look to see if I can see a smile of hope on your face again.

Isa. 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Psa. 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Psa. 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psa. 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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

2 Cor. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Psa. 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Psa. 37:23,24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Psa. 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Psa. 9:9,10 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

2 Cor. 4:8,9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Prov. 18:24 …and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Deut. 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

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.

1 Pet. 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Ex. 15:26 …for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

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.

Thank God For His Promises!

Oh, And There All Yours Too, You Can Have Them All!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm

He Had No One To Help Him

with 8 comments

He Had No One To Help Him.

The clouds drifted over the moon and made the street even darker.  A feeling of fear and trepidation made him look furtively on both sides of the street. This was a bad part of town. Empty houses with broken windows and partially boarded up doors were scattered here and there.

Somewhere in the dark came the sound of a hiss and then a spat. A black cat streaked across the street in front of him and ran on off into the night. What had spooked the cat? Something was out there.

No cars were to be seen on this street. All his senses screamed that something was terribly wrong. The feeling of unseen danger nagged at him.

His footsteps seemed loud on the sidewalk. He could feel eyes looking at him. He quickly glanced over his shoulder again. They were still following him. He’d noticed them earlier.

The two matched his pace and his speed, always staying about the same distance away. What were they up to? Why had they been following him? Were they detectives? Were they thugs? He couldn’t think of anything he’d done to make anyone mad at him. Why were they there?

He stared ahead in the distance at the street light a block away. A couple of guys stood under it’s light. One leaned up against the light pole. They had their heads turned in his direction. They were waiting.

The two behind him seemed to be gaining on him. There was no way out of this. He had no weapons. He was not even a good runner. He was trapped. He didn’t have much to steal. He had no phone to call for help. He had no one to help him.

Would he be robbed? Were they planning to kill him? Did they just want to beat him up? His heart was pounding. His mind was numb with anxiety.

He could hear the footsteps of the two behind. They were closer, much closer. The two under the street light stared hard at him. Their bodies blocked the sidewalk in a threatening manner.

They looked at him and then they looked past him at his followers. A look of recognition came over their faces. They glanced at each other and without speaking, turned and disappeared into the dark.

Wonder made his eyes follow their departure. Had the two behind him given a signal or something? What had just happened?

Glancing over his shoulders, he saw that his two followers were very close. The street light revealed their faces and their identity. Relief flooded him and a smile stretched across his face. They smiled back at him. He knew why they were there. He knew who had sent them. He did have someone to help him. He would be safe. Yes, he would be very safe tonight.

Psa. 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

Posted in Comfort, Mercy, Trust

Tagged with ,

Streams In The Desert

with one comment

Streams In The Desert

The weary traveler was hot and thirsty. His mouth was dry and his sunburned lips had not had water for more than a day. Hot wind seared his skin. His eyes were reddened from the sun and wind.

He could not see any shade in which to sit down and rest. There seemed to be no protection from the cruel elements. He was afraid. He had fallen twice already. If he fell again, he feared he would not have the strength to get up and go on. He could not stop. He had to get to the other side. The buzzards circled slowly over head watching his every step. They knew from experience, it was just a matter of time.

Crossing the desert in the summer was extremely dangerous. He knew that. Many men had died over the years trying to make it across in this heat. Skeletons by the trail was a harsh reminder.

His water was gone. His feet burned from the hot sand. The late afternoon sun was unmerciful. It was dangerously hot.

His eyes and mind had been playing tricks on him since mid-morning. The illusion of a shimmering water hole ahead had raised his hopes a few times. When he had gotten closer, he knew it was just a mirage. With dashed hopes, he still trudged on.

Although unsteady in his steps, he refused to stop. The strength he’d had yesterday was gone. He had walked through the night. He was tired. He was dehydrated. He knew that he was staring death in the face. But he kept walking. He had to make it.

With gritted teeth, he slowly climbed the small hill in his path. It took most of his remaining strength. He made it to the top, just barely.

Then he saw it. Unbelievable! A few trees, and some brush not far below. It looked like a stream of water too!

Surely it was just another mirage. There couldn’t be water flowing out here. Not here! Then by chance he saw a bee flying in that direction. Bees fly in a straight line towards water. He followed.

His hopes were raised. New vigor propelled him forward. He saw it! There it was, a stream a real stream.

The stream wasn’t noisy or loud. It was clear, it was cool, but most of all it was refreshing. The exhausted traveler fell to his knees and refreshed himself from the stream in the desert.

Is. 35:6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

All travelers in this life know the blessing of finding a “God provided stream” in their desert. If you will stop, drink and be refreshed. You can make it!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Saying ‘Good-Bye’ To Friends

with 3 comments

Saying ‘Good-Bye’ To Friends

Saying Good-Bye to friends is not easy. In my experience, tears have been involved from time to time. It’s hard to say Good-Bye to those you love and those who mean so much to you.

Saying Good-Bye To Supposed Friends:

Friendships can be transient. Some people come and go in your life. They just move on without warning. Maybe they outgrow you or they focus on other things. I don’t have that answer. But it doesn’t feel good.

Some Friends have even been known to turn on their old friends. It uncomfortable to see someone who used to be a Friend and now they avoid even making eye contact with you. Or, if they do speak, it’s cool and not warm like it used to be. The emptiness in your heart is deep when you walk away. The sense of loss is almost overwhelming. New friends are a medicine and a replenishment of the soul.

Saying Good-Bye To A Former Friend:

Looking back over a lifetime, I had friends in school whose names I can’t even remember now. A couple of my friends were so important to me at the time, that I included them in my wedding. Today I don’t know their phone number, their address or how many grandchildren they have. We haven’t talked in several decades. Back then I thought we were friends.

Saying Good-Bye to some friends is gradual. With others, it’s a much quicker process.

Saying Good-Bye To Dear Friends:

The last several weeks have been horrible for a number of Pentecostal families, for several churches and for many of my ministering friends.

The recent news of the passing of beloved men of God or their family members has brought tears to many of our eyes. Some men so impact your heart that you’re never quite the same. Their death leaves a major void in your life. Their family’s tears rip your heart out.

Funerals are hard for us. We call them ‘Home Goings” and do our best to rejoice that the departed has kept the Faith and finished their course and are now are now resting in Jesus. Yet tears still flow freely because we feel the loss so deeply.

Maybe they didn’t call us on the phone everyday, but when they saw you, the fellowship picked right back up from where you left off. They treated you warmly and hugged you like they meant it. They made you feel like you were their very dear friend.

The past week and this coming week find me already missing my recently departed friends. May they rest in Peace, and may the Prince of Peace comfort the hearts of the families and friends left behind.

Some day we will all say Good-Bye to this old world. We look forward to going to a place where none of us shall ever have to say Good-bye again.

Biblical Promise: No More Separation

Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

  • The sea separates. There will be no more sea over there.

Biblical Promise: No More Tears

Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

_____________________________________________________

What A Day That Will Be

Words & Music by Jim Hill

There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Chorus:

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There’ll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Chorus:

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Posted in Comfort, Death, Friends