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Archive for the ‘Evangelists’ Category

I Would Appreciate It If You Just Wouldn’t Mention Anything About…

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I Would Appreciate It If You Just Wouldn’t Mention Anything About…

The car glided quietly down the Texas road. The only noise came from the breeze in the open windows of the car. The fact that there was no air conditioner in the car made it necessary to roll the windows down because of the heat.

“Brother Ballestero, tonight is the first night of our revival and you will notice three teenage girls that are the praise singers. You will notice also that they are all wearing mini-skirts. They have such great spirits. I am working with them on their attire and I would appreciate it if you just wouldn’t mention anything about mini-skirts or short skirts while you’re here.”

He said that while looking straight ahead. I never turned mine to look at him. Here was an icon in Texas asking me to not to say anything about mini-skirts.

“No problem!” I blurted out.

“Oh, thank you!” He said.

“Well, that was easy. If you would, I have a couple here who have just inherited $1,000,000.00 and they haven’t paid tithes yet. If you say anything while you are here about tithes, they will think I talked to you about it, get mad and may not pay tithes at all. So, if you just wouldn’t say anything about tithes while you’re here I will take it as a personal favor.”

“Not a problem, sir,” I said.

“Well then, just one more thing. I have a precious little Assemblies of God couple coming here and I am waiting for the Holy Ghost to reveal the revelation of the Oneness of the Godhead to them. So, if you wouldn’t preach on the Godhead while you’re here. I would take that as a personal favor also.”

“Relax brother,” I said.
“While I’m here, all I’m going to preach is Jesus!”

He looked at me with relief in his eyes and said, “Thank You.”

“The reason that all I am going to preach while I’m here is Jesus is that it sounds like no one here knows Him!” I said flatly while looking through the front window.

(I am not sure why that revival only lasted one night, but I have a good guess.)

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 11, 2019 at 10:54 pm

What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

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What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

My father rode beside me in the car as we talked about the alarming decline of standards and morality among some of the churches we knew. Dad shook his head after a while and rhetorically said, “Where’s Bro. Verbal Bean when we need him? Where’s Bro. Joe Duke? I wonder why God took their ministries from us when we needed them the most?”

Since neither of us could answer that question, the car stayed quiet for a while as I drove down the highway. Since then, many more strong voices of men and women have been laid silent in their graves. Today, nearly forty years later, I revisited that moment in the car with my daddy.

We look around us now for another star to shine bright! We look for another champion of the faith. We look for someone with an amazing ministry. A preacher we would drive a hundred miles just to listen to one sermon. Someone who will lift their voice.

 

Really?

  • What’s Wrong With Your Voice?
  • What Keeps You From Speaking Up?
  • Why Don’t You Say Something?
  • Why Don’t You Respond To The Need?
  • Can’t You See What Sin Is Around You?
  • And, You Still Can’t Open Your Mouth?

 

Maybe you say to yourself that you don’t have a ministry like Bro. Bean, or a Bro. Duke. So you feel content to be quiet.

Have you never read about a man named Amos in the Bible?

Amos 7:14  Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:

Amos 7:15  And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

Amos declares that He wasn’t preacher nor a preacher’s son. He was just a herdsman and had a little fruit stand. Yet God chose to speak through him to a whole nation.

 

God looks for availability.

Eze. 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

Isa. 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

 

God is still looking for a voice!

  • Are You Available?
  • How Would You Respond If God Chose To Use You?

 

Again, I ask…

What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

Someone Needs To Say Something!!!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 5, 2019 at 4:27 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

The Danger Of Being Too Friendly With The Evangelist.

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The Danger Of Being Too Friendly With The Evangelist.

 

On occasion, your Pastor will invite a guest speaker or an evangelist. He wants you to like them and enjoy their ministry. It’s a compliment to his good judgment of preachers and ministries if you do.

Where there becomes an issue that is uncomfortable for your Pastor and his friends are when you give the guest preachers nicer and more frequent compliments than you give to your own Pastor.

After all, he’s the one that worries over you, prays for you, counsels with you and answers to God for you. Not the others. They may like you, they may like you a lot, but there is a line that must be drawn between them and you.

Make sure you give better compliments to your own Pastor than you do to anyone else.

It’s kind of like a man giving another woman a compliment and he doesn’t even compliment his own wife. Something is very wrong in their relationship. Something is very wrong in your relationship with the Man of God if you are guilty concerning this.

A seasoned evangelist can often spot those who have a problem with their Pastor and then try to give the guest speaker the personal attention and honor that belongs to their Man of God.  That is just so wrong.

 

It even gets more complicated than this…

 

There are many Godly, precious people who dearly love their Pastor and would never knowingly do a thing to injure him. In innocence, they attempt to interact with another preacher they admire and sometimes feel put off or hurt because of the lack of warmth in his response to them. Actually, in good conscience, he can’t. So, don’t take it personal. He does like you and appreciates you, he’s just trying to be careful. His allegiance is to your pastor.

In the day of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Messenger, emails and text messaging, don’t try to personally interact with other preachers (unless they are family) no matter how much you like them. It easily becomes quite an uncomfortable position for ‘ethical minded’ preachers.

Don’t expect him to respond to your emails or private messages. His loyalty is to your pastor. Do you realize that if word got out that an evangelist was having conversations, exchanging emails, phone calls, private messages on Facebook, and text messages with saints, that his days as an evangelist are numbered? It’s not right for you or him. Don’t give him your information and don’t let him give you his.

Any contact with other preachers should be directed through your Pastor. If he sees fit to pass your message or request on, then fine. If he doesn’t, then trust his judgment. He knows what he’s doing and why. Your spiritual safety is his greatest concern. Work with him on that.

Guest preachers who ‘work the crowd’ by lingering long with each saint, buttering up them, and learning personal things about their world should raise everyone’s eyebrows. Why would he make comments on your Facebook posts all the time? What’s his motive? Ethical evangelists know to stay on the platform after service or near the Pastor to protect themselves and for proprietary’s sake.

If you don’t understand why, imagine you as a woman contacting, calling, writing or leaving messages for a male acquaintance of your husband.  Or maybe it’s him calling you. Your husband would have serious questions for you both, and rightly so.

If he didn’t run when you attempted to contact him, then if he has even part of a conscience, he would not be comfortable around your Pastor anymore because of guilt. He’d know he had crossed the line of ministerial ethics. His days would be over. It’s not worth it for him or you.

If you love your Pastor then protect him. Protect how he feels about you. Protect his relationship with other preachers. Protect yourself. He’ll love you all the more for it too.

Don’t try to private message other preachers. Don’t force them to cut you off, block you or ignore you. They want you to like them, sure! But they hate it when you push them into an uncomfortable situation.

Don’t walk up and hand them gifts, or even money. If you want to give an extra offering to the evangelist, then talk to your pastor and he will guide you through a process that is comfortable to him.

Any evangelist that would contact you and ask for money or any favor is unethical. They are to be ignored, blocked or unfriended. Their actions should be reported to your pastor immediately.

Your Pastor is to be loved, respected and honored. His office as Pastor is above all others, and I personally thank you for loving him. He’s God’s gift to you and your church. Love him. Show it by your loyalty, and your respect. Let no other preacher, family or not, come between you and your pastor. That is a sacred area that should never be defiled. It is a line that must not be crossed.

 

On his behalf, I thank you.

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm

“That’s ‘possum gumbo, brother.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I left Deweyville broke and happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 28, 2017 at 9:18 am

The Ballestero Interview

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Earlier the year, I was honored to be with Pastor Shannon Burgess and the Jesus Name Pentecostal Church of Chehalis, Washington. Bro. Gabe Baker, the Youth Pastor, took time from his busy schedule to interview me. He asked many questions about my life and ministry. I am humbled by his interest and efforts. I also thank him from the bottom of my heart for including me in his passion to help other young ministers.

Part 1

Part 2.

Part 3.

_____________________________________

For additional media, follow this link to the Jesus Name Pentecostal Church website.

http://jnpc.org/media-center/video-gallery.html

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Do You Know What Drowning Looks Like?

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Do You Know What Drowning Looks Like?

The Monthly Feature from the Medical News TODAY

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/196538.php

If you and your family are planning to spend some of this summer by the sea, by the pool, or perhaps even a river or lake, perhaps you should ask yourself, would you be able to spot someone in trouble in the water, in time to save their life: do you really know what drowning looks like?

Mario Vittone, a writer on maritime safety, tells a story about a former life guard, now a boat captain, who spotted a potentially fatal incident from fifty feet away. The captain jumped off his own boat, and sprinted toward a family swimming between the beach and their anchored boat: he sped past the astonished parents, to save their nine-year old daughter, who had been quietly drowning not ten feet behind her father.

Vittone, whose articles have appeared in many magazines, including Reader’s Digest, said he was not surprised when he heard this story: he knows a thing or two about drowning, having served nineteen years in the US Navy and Coast Guard, and his strongest message is “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning”.

Furthermore, says the CDC, many parents have watched their child drown without realizing what was happening. They did not know what the captain who saved the little girl in Vittone’s story was trained to notice and her parents were blissfully unaware of: the signs of Instinctive Drowning Response, a term coined by Dr Francesco A. Pia, a water safety expert.

Vittone and Pia wrote about the Instinctive Drowning Response, in the Fall 06 issue of On Scene, the journal of the US Coast Guard Search and Rescue. Pia says it is what people do to avoid suffocating in water: they don’t splash much, they don’t wave, and they don’t yell or call out. Quite different to what many of us might expect.

†††

When reading this today, all the alarms in my soul went off. How many do we know that have drowned spiritually in front of our eyes and we didn’t see the signs of their unspoken struggles?

I’m not talking about those whose overt actions and speech give away their desire for the world. It’s those that we know whose struggle for survival is inward and their pride keeps them from admitting they need help.

Pastors, evangelists, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, parents and concerned saints have ALL experienced the horror of losing someone dear to them. Some of us were oblivious to the spiritual drowning.

God help us all to be more aware of the needs of our sisters and brothers.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 21, 2010 at 11:15 am