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Puzzle Prayer Time

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Puzzle Prayer Time

The beautiful white-haired grandma sat silently beside me as our car rolled down the Interstate. Marcia Starr Ballestero, my devoted wife of fifty years, was letting her thoughts and heart focus on the needs of a family member.

Puzzle Prayer TimeSmall talk between us had died out when she picked up her iPad. From the corner of my eye I could see that she was doing it again. She does it at home too, almost every day.

She was going through her camera roll and albums looking for a specific photo. That’s her pattern. Today she chose one of our children and their spouse. Some times she chooses a picture of just one person, other times it may be a couple or even their whole family. Once in a while she chooses a picture of us.

The selected photo is then imported into her jigsaw puzzle app. Her gentle fingers begin to move over the hundreds of pieces. She moves them here and there trying to make them fit where she thinks they should go.

Her puzzles may last an hour or two, sometimes longer. The attraction she has for puzzles isn’t so much her love for games, but it actually is part of her family prayer time.

As she moves each piece of the puzzle into place, she is praying silently. She is praying for every aspect of their life. She prays for their soul, their marriage, their health, their finances and their home.

I do my best not to interrupt her puzzle prayer time. She methodically attempts to make pieces fit in place. Often she gets it right the first time. Other times not. When it becomes a trial and error project, it is like real-life to her. Her prayer focus is on the missing pieces in that person’s picture. Loving fingers slide over the face, sometimes the heart and then lingers a moment.

  • I wonder, is she praying for their heart?
  • Is she praying for them to make right decisions?
  • Is she praying for God to keep them safe?
  • I never ask.

When she is finished, she will hold the photo up for me to see. When I compliment her on the beautiful picture, she smiles. I know that there was a lot of love and prayer put into that puzzle. How much? Only God and her know.

No one else in our family knows about this. Our children and grandchildren do not even know. But heaven knows that there is a loving Mother and Grandmother who is trying to make the pictures of her family turn out right by asking for God’s help to find the missing pieces and put them in the right place.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 12, 2015 at 10:49 am

You Are A Committee Of One

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You Are A Committee Of One.

Webster’s Definition: Committee Of One

Noun

  1. An individual person designated to function alone as a committee.

 

Society teaches us that we are a committee of one and that each one of us must do the right thing.

 

The US Army

The Army recently scrapped its memorable advertising slogan, ”Be all you can be,” and replaced it with one intended to appeal to the individualism and independence of today’s youth: ”An Army of one.”

 

Smokey Bear

For many years public service announcements on the radio have showcased Smokey Bear saying, “Only You can prevent forest fires.” The meaning is clear. Everyone venturing into the forest is expected to handle fire responsibly.

Some things in life depend on just us. We are the bottom line. There is no one else to blame. We then must strive to be responsible.

 

“The Buck Stops Here”

Last year during a visit to President Harry Truman’s Library, I took note of his signature desktop motto. “The Buck Stops Here.” Seeing that one plaque was one of the more memorial highlights of the tour. The President made it plain, he wasn’t passing the buck, but will to stand up and face the challenge.

 

We Have Biblical Examples

  • Ester Was A Committee Of One When She Went Before The King.
  • Elijah On Mt. Carmel Was A Committee Of One.
  • David Was A Committee Of One Fighting Goliath’s.

 Staying In Church And Being Saved Is Up To You!

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

 

“Save Thyself,” Is Still The Message!!

  • Each one must want to be saved enough to make the effort.
  • The fact is most preachers want to see some folks saved more than they do.
  • If you are no longer saved today, you have no one to blame but yourself.

 You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Staying Saved.

 

Protecting Yourself From False Doctrine is Up To You.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Paul’s advice warned Timothy to:

  • Watch yourself
  • Be careful
  • Pay attention to your personal life
  • Pay attention to your doctrine
  • Your life depends on it
  • Others are looking at you to follow your steps
  • It’s up to you Timothy.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Spiritual Carefulness.

 

Holding On To This Apostolic Message, Is Your Responsibility.

The Apostles spoke to the church warning them to protect themselves from false doctrine.

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

2 Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  • Be careful what holiness and doctrinal arguments you listen to.
  • Smooth talkers will lead you astray from truth if you let them beguile you.
  • Some try to reason the Acts 2:38 truth and holiness standards away.
  • You cannot let them lead you into delusion.
  • False doctrine is just an “amen” away.
  • If you don’t know the truth, your soul is on the line.
  • You are an army of one in protecting your soul.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Resisting Error.

 

Being Ready For The Coming Of the Lord Is Up To You.

Matt. 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

  • The ‘watch ye’ is understood. It’s your job to watch.
  • Watch, Jesus is coming.
  • Watch, you have to get yourself ready, and be ready.
  • Watch, it’s up to you.
  • ‘Preppers’ prepare for potential national and end time disaster.
  • They believe survival is up to them individually.
  • Some are preparing more for government failure and stockpiling for the tribulation than they are preparing their hearts for the coming of the Lord.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Being Ready For The Lord’s Return.

 

Getting Past Grudges And Hurts Is Up To You.

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

  • How long will you let this battle go one?
  • You hold the key to the door of Peace.
  • If you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you.
  • It’s your call.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Forgiving Others.

 

Restoration Is Your Duty.

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

  • Don’t be foolish and act too holy to love and restore the fallen.
  • Restoration is your duty.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Restoration

 

Worship Is Your Job

Psalms 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

  • Worship Is Everybody’s Business
  • How can anyone be so spiritual clueless as to feel comfortable letting others do the praising for them?
  • Don’t let worship leader or praise team do the worshipping for you. It’s your job to praise the Lord.
  • Worship is everybody’s business
  • Don’t let the same old six or seven lead out in worship. You do it.
  • Let everything that has breath… It’s up to you.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Worship.

 

You Are A Committee Of One In The Prayer Room.

James 5:16 … The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

  • Your prayer is powerful.
  • Your prayer can flip the switch the kills the power of the enemy.
  • Your prayer is the bottom line of spiritual defense.
  • We fight the evil on our knees.
  • The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Prayer.

 

Being A Witness Is Your Job Too.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Soul Winning.

 

Dad, I Remember… (Today would have been his birthday.)

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Dad, I Remember…

(This is a portion of a letter I wrote to Dad when I was in my early 40’s. I left out the personal part at the beginning, but wanted to share the memories with you.)

Gleason Reunion (64)

Dad,

Please allow me the privilege of thinking back… with my pen helping me… to a few of the times that you took me by the hand and walked with me, your only son, down “Memory’s Lane”. I’ll not attempt to display all of memory’s treasured trophies; maybe I’ll even forget to point at the biggest and best. It’s not that the unmentioned aren’t important – to the contrary! It just proves, one more time, that no child could ever fully tell how much his parent(s) mean to him!! What is important is that we share memories with those we love.

I remember…

  • When Mom made that wire recording we sent to you while you were gone evangelizing. Mom told me to talk to you and then sing. I told you I loved you, I missed you and that I was praying for you. I then sang two songs, mixed up both up into one somehow! Ha! (Portland – age 4)
  • The time you took me “out” to whip me because I’d misbehaved in church. But I talked you out of it by saying, “Daddy, I love you!”
  • The day you stopped the car in the “middle of nowhere”, and with a knowing look to mom said, “I’m going to see a man about a dog”. I, in innocent eagerness, called to you out the window … “Daddy, I want a St. Bernard!”
  • My first “Bike”! You brought it home in a big box, took it into the back yard of our home in Riverside and put it together. It was red and I still consider it to be one of the best mountain bikes! I sure was proud!
  • When you’d call me over to you, and you sat in a comfortable chair, and then have me hold up your leg. Sometimes in my hands. (But when they got too heavy, sometimes the shoulders always were the right height!)
  • Riding in that Old Auburn antique car!
  • Mom riding around and around the house on your motorcycle.(She didn’t know how to stop it!) And you and Uncle Stan laughing and trying to tell her how to stop.) Mom just said Uncle Stan showed her how to make it go… but she never waited to finish the lesson. She wound up running into a fence to stop it!
  • My first motorcycle ride. I rode behind you on the luggage rack. You had folded up your sweater to make it more comfortable. I sure enjoyed the ride, but did I ever have a sore bottom!
  • Your coming back to 711 Polk, Oregon City. (from Yakima?) Seems like it was near Christmas, or some holiday. Anyway, I recall you opening the car door and carrying in bunches of apples – with everybody excited, talking and helping you carry them in.
  • Packing the back seat level in the old blue Nash, so all of us kids could sleep while we drove.
  • Walking with you through Anaheim High School as you made the rounds as  a night watchman. You even let me punch the clock. In one room, you let me sit in a desk – my feet never touched the floor. I couldn’t imagine ever being big enough to go to high school.
  • You working on the Plymouth in front of the house in Baytown, Texas and me hanging over the side, watching you. Then, our several trips, afoot, to buy more parts at the Western Auto. You told folks your car was a 1941 Western Auto.
  • The first house we lived in, in Columbus, Indiana. It was an apartment. You told us that the landlord counted how many times we flushed the toilet. We were to flush only when necessary!
  • In Anaheim, the night Eisenhower was voted in. You sat by the radio, with pen and paper and added up the votes. That was before computers. Seems like you stayed up till 2 or 3 am.
  • The day you bought your first new car, a Hudson, and took us all for a ride. (Riverside)
  • The day you gave me my first gun – a .22! –Brother! – was I ever happy and proud!
  • Going fishing with you and Brother Bennett…(we lived in Hope, IN) at a catfish pond. I caught my first fish on Brother Bennett’s spinning he just had got at www.reelchase.com/best-baitcasting-reels/, while he was at the concession stand!
  • When I’d been sick and you made me a big kite – 6’x 4’ – made out of a light crepe paper, with real heavy fishing line for string. When we took it out to fly it, the wind really picked me up on my tip-toes. Boy! that was the biggest kite a kid could have. I don’t recall ever again, seeing one that big! “They don’t make ‘em like they used to!”
  • In Columbus, one Christmas you asked me if I’d give my bicycle to my sister. (You bought me a new 3-speed). We went to the basement, and sawed off the top cross bar, lowered it, and painted it red.
  • In Richmond – getting a train for Christmas. You played with it for the longest. (To make sure it was working right!)
  • Also in Richmond, after a return from a trip, giving me a book, and censoring it page by page – scribbling out any slang words with a black crayon.
  • During Columbus days- Shooting your gun (.250-3000 was it?) or 300 savage? – anyway, I leaned up against a tree. The gun butt and my little shoulder got acquainted in a hurry.
  • The time in Albany, Oregon when I went up with Turney on my first piper cub ride. You looked at us in the plane, and then said to Uncle Orion, “Well, he was a good boy”.
  • The drunk in the Yakima church.
  • Picking apples together, all day one day on a ‘Migrant Farm Workers’ farm.
  • Bringing me an apple home from Libby’s cannery that was as big as a grapefruit.
  • The time in Yakima, when you hugged mom real big in front of us kids, and held her while you sang to her the popular song of the year, “Sugar Time”. (Sugar in the mornin’, sugar in the evenin’, sugar at supper time…)
  • The times you used to ask me if I wanted to hear a funny noise. (If the answer was yes, a playful pinch or knuckle squeezin’ warranted a good loud “funny noise”.)
  • Hearing you (and mom) pray for God to save your boy!
  • National City! When we had no money for gas, nor anything to eat but beans. When we walked several miles to that P.A.W. church, only to find no service that night. On the way back, stopping by that bakery’s exhaust fan and inhaling that wonderful smell. We just grinned at each other until our eyes watered. You said, “I believe I could gain 5 pounds just standing here!”
  • Your remarks and expressions of happiness when I told you I had just received the Holy Ghost.
  • When we were pulling that 35’ trailer with a 66 Ford, 6 cycle, no electric brakes, going down the Rocky  Mountains. You had me hold the car in 2nd gear, so it wouldn’t jump out into neutral!
  • Overhauling that Nash Metropolitan. We had a whole bunch of bolts and nuts left over, in a coffee can!
  • You taking me to get my California’s “Permit”, and me actually driving home – in that Metro- with you beside me.
  • The night in Vista I got my thumb stuck in that drum you’d bought me. You put liquid soap on my thumb. It never came loose until the choir sang, when I stood up in the back row, after about a minute or two. then it fell off and rolled down off the platform!
  • Our last night in Vista, building the sides on the utility trailer, and painting it silver.
  • The last time we had a foot race, and you beat me?
  • Our last arm wrestling match, when you “retired” undefeated!
  • The day you gave me my first set of shaving needs- safety razor, blades, and shaving cream- Boy!- was I ever “growed” up!
  • The way you beamed proudly at me on my graduation day – even though you’d braved the emotion packed day – Beverly’s funeral, mom sick in bed, and a special church service in progress at our church, you still came. Thank-you!
  • The time I called you and told you that I was in jail in Nebraska! You later said that you didn’t know if you should laugh, cry, or horse-whip me!
  • The day you put X’s and O’s on the back of a girl friend’s letter… as a practical joke (and, to find out my reaction- ha!)
  • You gave me my first camera – an Argos C-3.
  • When I called from Louisiana, broke and spending part of my last $5.00 in a phone booth, and you said if I starved to death and died, you’d build me a monument bigger than George Washington’s… because I’d be the first man that God ever let down!
  • Oh, yah! The day when you asked me if I felt the call to preach. When I said, “Yes”, you took me to the church, had me get up behind the pulpit, open my Bible (without looking) point to a passage, read, then you said, “Okay, now preach”. When I couldn’t, you had me sit down, then you showed me “how” – ha!
  • In Fort Worth, when we talked about Marcia. I’d asked you to talk to me, not only as my father, but as my best friend. I wanted to know your opinion of my marrying her. We prayed together, hugged each other’s necks, then I made a long telephone call and a long drive to see her!
  • My wedding day! The Father and Son talks. The look in your eye as you pronounced us man and wife!
  • Laughing at mom trying to walk (purple coat and all) on our U.P. hunting trip. Mom said she had a scarf on her head, a long purple coat, an orange hunting vest, brown boots, rangefinders and gloves! She said you guys laughed so hard at her, that you fell on your knees in the snow!
  • The time we got lost for 2 hours in the snow storm and couldn’t find mom on her mountain deer stand– and promised each other not to tell her. (and didn’t for several years)
  • Your letting me drive for you to your speaking engagements. Was I ever proud!
  • The way you put your arm around me and with a beam of pride, we looked together at your first grandchild, (grandson), and your name sake.
  • Our hunting trips – Wyoming and Canada.
  • The night of the bear attack!
  • My first antelope, shot with your gun!
  • The times you told me you were proud of me!
  • The first time you “slipped” and called me “Doc” – I realized you no longer subconsciously regarded me as a boy, but as a fellow laborer!
  • Going down the road in the car, and you asked my advice about an important church problem. That you had asked me, overwhelmed me. And then I thought you probably already knew what you’d do, but you wanted to know how I would react!
  • The night you ordained me and gave me Your Bible!
  • The famous hunting trip with you, mom, Cavaness, Jordan, Buie and me. What a time!
  • The times of correction, and later the hugs of love and forgiveness.
  • Your way of talking to me when I needed it, had a way of melting me, even when I was filled with polite stubbornness, and didn’t want to cry. It was no use, the tears came anyway. Thank-you for being able to reach ‘thru’ to me!!
  • Your washing my feet during “Communion and Foot-washing”.
  • Your telling me that you loved me.
  • In Utah, when you were throwing away some books, and I picked them up. You told mom, “Marty’s a Junker!” ha!
  • Your taking your son to Disney World for a thrill of his young life (ha!) – age 30
  • The Bahamas voyage!
  • The first time I preached in your new church in Sulphur, LA.
  • Visiting your new home there.
  • Our first Christmas together as a family, since I had been married.
  • The…..

If we look in the right direction, Dad, there’s no end to Memory’s Lane!

I may not have always been good company, but I’ve sure enjoyed the walk!!!

Love, your son,

Marty

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

Posted in Family

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At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

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At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

In the 1980’s electronic chess games became the rage in certain cerebral circles. One particular model would ask its user, as soon as the power button was switched on, “At what level do you wish to play?”

Everyone knew it was just a game. The unit was a cheap handheld device that anyone could play. The user could play in the beginner mode, or even play at the expert level. No one would criticize the level he or she played. It was just a game, and it was only played for fun.

But The Question It Asked Is Still Valid In Real Life Today. At What Level Do You Wish To Play (Or Participate)?

‘Live Like You Were Dying’ is the title of a popular song made somewhat famous a few years ago. The message from just the title of the song is enough to make one think about prioritizing their life.

Like the electronic chess game, some things are just for entertainment, and some things are mainly used to pass the time. Then there are other things that have life and death importance attached. Our souls get intertwined in the process. You have to know which ones are which.

 

Your Friendships

Your God-fearing friends tell the world the level at which you wish to play.

Your worldly friendships probably display the level you really wish to play. If that is the level you wish to play, so be it.

Friends are more than just pals. Your friends matter to God.

  • They Influence you.
  • They generate peer pressure that will change you.
  • They can take you away from God.
  • They can bring you closer to God.
  • Chose your friends carefully. You will soon become what they are.
  • What do your friendships today say about the level you have chosen to play?
  • In Your Friendships, At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

 

Your Marriage

The way you cherish your spouse and give yourself to your marriage tells your family, friends and the whole wide world the level you have chosen to play.

  1. God becomes deeply interested and involved in your relationship with your spouse.
  2. His Word even directs you how to love and express your love to each other.
  • Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
  • Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
  1. He pays attention to your mistreatment and neglect.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
  1. Those who have trouble at home soon have trouble in church. The Lord knows that, you should too.

In Your Marriage, At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

 

At Church

Your Response And Involvement:

  • In the Worship service says volumes about the level you wish to play.
  • In the Prayer room shows the level you are playing.
  • In the Altar service shows the level you are playing.
  • In Outreach shows the level you are playing.
  • In Giving To Missions shows the level you are playing.
  • In Giving Your Tithes shows the level you are playing.
  • In the way you argue about Standards shows the level you are playing.
  • In Obeying God’s Word shows the level you are playing.

Your Reaction to the Preaching even when it corrects you makes clear the level you wish to play.

Saying Amen to the Word tells God, the devil, the Pastor and the Church family the level you wish to play.

Pictures and Posts on Social media sites tell everyone the level at which you are probably really playing.

Old timers used the phrase, Playing Church. Never let that be said about you.

Living For God Is Not A Game.

At Church, What Level Do You Wish To Play?

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

The Desire To Be Cherished

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The Desire To Be Cherished

“They do not love that do not show their love.” – Shakespeare

 

It’s A Basic Life Need

Cherish – Definition:

  1. To hold Dear:
  2. To Cultivate with Care and Affection
  3. To Nurture
  4. To Treasure, Prize, Value
  5. To Feel And Show Affection For

 

Babies Desire To Be Cherished And Held.

babykissThey cry often for their Mama’s touch. Children run to her to be comforted.

 

When Babies Are Not Cherished:

I read a few years ago about Romanian orphans who were given only the basic nourishment and hygiene. Soon the babies became withdrawn and unresponsive. They may be forever emotionally damaged… much like adults who are not cherished. They will almost always exhibit emotional problems and act out.

 

All Children Desire to Be Cherished.

Every child remembers if they were loved. Everyone remembers how their parents treated him or her when they were young. Not being cherished is something most difficult to survive.

 

Little Kids Ask Their Parents.

Am I your favorite? Who do you love the most? How much do you love me? They are putting out feelers attempting to assure themselves that they are cherished.

 

Teenagers Desire To Be Cherished.

They dream about it. They sing about it. They listen to music about it. They want to be loved. They want someone to cherish them. To complicate the matter, their hormones rage out of control during the process.

Some girls never feel cherished by their father, so they seek elsewhere for male approval. They never felt cherished at home, so they look for someone to validate and approve of them. They want to be cherished.

Sadly, the title of the song: “Looking for Love In All The Wrong Places,” has more truth than fiction.

 

During Courtship Both Parties Practice Cherishing The Other Person.

  • They say sweet things.
  • They do sweet things.
  • Treat each other with tenderness.
  • The boy courts the girl and brings flowers and candy.
  • They overlook each other’s imperfections.

 

My Father-In-Law, the late William R. Starr, gave me some wise insight before I even asked his daughter out on a first date. He said, “Men love with their eyes, but Women love with their ears.”

Dad Starr was telling me in man-talk, that a woman wants to hear that she was cherished! He was a very wise man.

 

All Husbands And Wives Desire To Be Cherished

Every woman wants to know she’s #1. So does every man. When you hold your wife in your arms and tell Happy_Married_Coupleher that you love her, she wants to feel your words coming from your heart, and not just your mouth.

If you are a wise man, you will NEVER stop courting your wife and affirming your love for her and expressing it often. The words, “I love you!” have a very short shelf life. You need to say it everyday.

Flowers, cards, candy, dates and accomplishing ‘honey-do-lists’ with a smile, sure helps keep life wonderful at home.

 

Every Prospective Groom Says, “Will You Marry Me?”… Hoping he will be cherished and loved.

Every Prospective Bride Says, “Yes”… Hoping she will be cherished and loved.

 

To The Wife:

Don’t settle for less than being cherished. Likewise, cherish him. It’s a two-way street.

 

To The Husband:

Sir, you are to love your wife As Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. You won’t easily give your life for someone you don’t cherish. The Lord meant for the husband to cherish his wife with his very own life. It’s really not hard.

 

Jacob Cherished Rachel.

He worked seven years to get her as his wife, and was given the wrong one. The Bible just says: “It seemed but a few days, for the love he had for her.”

 

David Never Cherished Michal

He always referred her to as “Saul’s Daughter.” He never said that he loved her. He never referred to her as his wife. That may be a reason why she acted out so badly.

 

Proverbs 31 Wife

Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

 

“He Praiseth Her”: The word praiseth here is – Halal

HALAL – haw-lal’;

  1. To shine; hence
  2. To make a show, (let every one know)
  3. To be (clamorously) foolish; (enjoy with enthusiasm)
  4. To rave; (to go on and on with excited appreciation)
  5. To boast, (brag in public)
  6. To celebrate, (honor every achievement)
  7. To foolishly glory, (go overboard in expressing praise)
  8. To sing, (to express your emotion as deeply as possible, sing His praises.)
  9. To praise, (to say every nice thing you can)
  10. To rage, (to be wild about)

When joined with abbreviated form of God’s name “Yahweh” = Hallelujah. That’s where the word Hallelujah comes from. (Saying Hallelujah like saying 10,000 praises to Jehovah)

When a man goes to this extent, of ‘Halal-ing” his wife, she will feel cherished and will perform unbelievable things for her home and family because she knows she has the backing of the man she loves.

In like manner, when the same man goes to this extent to Halal The Lord Jesus… there is no telling what the Lord will do for him.

 

Not Everyone Has Been Cherished In Life, But There Is Great News!

 

God Cherishes His People.

 

They Are The Apple of His Eye

Zech. 2:8   For thus saith the LORD of hosts… he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

  • (Warning: Don’t mess with any one the Lord cherishes!)

 

God Protected Israel In Goshen

  • Egyptian Dogs wouldn’t bark against the Israelites.
  • No Plagues came nigh them.

 

God Protected Israel In The Wilderness

  • Provided in wilderness.
  • No sickness.
  • No one’s clothes wore out.

 

God’s Desire To Be Cherished By Man

Yes, you say you love the Lord, but do you cherish him? Jesus wants to know for sure that you cherish Him before He can use you.

 

Jesus to Peter

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

John 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

 

David

Psalm 137:5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

Psalm 137:6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

He was saying he loved God’s house more than anything in the world. David also said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

He cherished the things of God! God said that David was a man after His own heart. Was David perfect? Oh no. He was a long ways away from perfect. But the way he cherished everything about God, made God smile upon him.

 

The Jealousy of God – Is Another Way Of Saying He Just Wants To Be Cherished.

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

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

God Desires Man To Cherish Him

Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

The Lord knows the difference between lip service and heartfelt expressions of love.

  1. Men that cherish God – Worship
  2. Men that cherish God – Come to His House

 

My Visit To See Marcia In 1965

Before our engagement, in the early stages of our courtship, I once closed a revival service on Sunday night in Fort Worth, TX and drove 24 hours straight through to Albion, MI… just to see a little Miss Marcia June Starr for one hour. I arrived after 10:30pm, left before midnight and drove two hours back to my home in South Bend, IN. It’s never a sacrifice to see the one you love.

 

You’re Not Faithful To God’s House?

Don’t tell me you cherish God and you can’t make it to church. You don’t cherish Him if you layout of church! It’s never a sacrifice to see the one you love.

Like David, we should all say, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go unto the house of the Lord.”

 

Jacob Cherished The Birth Right 

Jacob had major character flaws I’m sure. But he cherished the same Birthright that Esau despised, so God chose to love Jacob and discard Esau.

God cherished Jacob and said, ‘Jacob Have I loved, and Esau have I hated.’

Make God love you too by cherishing those things, which are Godly and eternal.

 

Don’t Tell Me You Cherish The Lord Jesus…

  1. If You Don’t Pay Tithes.
  2. If You Hate Holiness.
  3. If You Aren’t Faithful To His House.
  4. If You Don’t Pray.
  5. If You Don’t Worship.
  6. If You Bring Disunity To His Church.
  7. If You Rebel Against His Word.

 

  1. Sing Like You Cherish Him.
  2. Pray Like You Cherish Him.
  3. Talk Like You Cherish Him.
  4. Dress Like You Cherish Him.

 

God is Jealous Of What You Cherish.

Amp Bible 1 John 2:15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.

 

You Don’t Cherish The Lord If…

  • If Someone Has To Beg You To Come To Church
  • If Someone Has To Beg You To Worship
  • If Someone Has To Beg You To Pray

 

Think about the words the next time you sing: “So, I’ll Cherish The Old Rugged Cross”

 

The Old Rugged Cross

George Bennard 1913

 

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

   The emblem of suff’ring and shame;

   And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

   For a world of lost sinners was slain.

      

Refrain:

      

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,

       Till my trophies at last I lay down;

       I will cling to the old rugged cross,

       And exchange it some day for a crown.

  

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,

   Has a wondrous attraction for me;

   For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above

   To bear it to dark Calvary.

  

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,

   A wondrous beauty I see,

   For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,

   To pardon and sanctify me.

  

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;

   Its shame and reproach gladly bear;

   Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,

   Where His glory forever I’ll share.

 

The Lord Cherished Us Even In Our Sins.

John 3:16    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

We love Him because He first loved us!

 

Here’s Your Homework For Today:

Tell Jesus that you love Him! Tell Him from your heart that you love Him. Yes, this very moment… say, “Jesus, I love you with all my heart!” Put your heart into it. He can tell.

Next, go tell your spouse and your family that you love them. Put your heart into it. They can tell.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

King David Is My Hero, But…

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King David Is My Hero, But…

When it comes to praise and worship, I am hard pressed to find a greater example and leader in worship than David. He is my hero when it comes to worship.

His writings gush out praises to Jehovah, and I love it. He makes constant calls for everyone of us to join him in praising the Lord! He never stops thanking God for His new mercies every morning. What a worshipper!

The Lord even said that David was a man after His own heart. Maybe part of that was because even though David was flawed like the rest of us, he was quick to repent. God always forgave him. Where then does my reticence to brag on my ‘hero’ come from?

 

His Family Relationships Frighten Me.

  • He showed love and affection to God, but I see little evidence that all of his family felt loved and nurtured by him.
  • It may be just my uneducated opinion, but that family flaw is what scares me as a father and a grandfather.

 

His First Wife, Michal

Remember the background story of his first wife, Michal? She must have been quite a beautiful woman.

King Saul, her father, offered her hand in marriage to any man who could kill 100 giants and bring him the proof. What young man in is right mind would go fight a hundred giants for an ugly girl? She must have been a trophy wife. David killed 200 for her.

The scriptures say twice that Michal loved David. Yet, nowhere is it ever mentioned that David loved her. She is never referred to in the Bible as David’s wife. She is always called ‘Saul’s daughter.” David never called her his wife, or said that he loved her.

When Saul tried to kill David, Michal helped him escape her father’s wrath. She loved him. When a girl stands up for her husband against her own dad, that is a major event! I see no sweet return of thanks from him for her efforts or love.

David then takes Abigail as his wife, after he removes her husband. When Saul hears of this, he goes and finds Michal and gives her to another man for a wife. That new husband was head over heals in love with her.

Much later, when Abner secretly approached David about reuniting the divided kingdom, David’s response surprised me. David’s only requirement to agreeing with Abner was, “Bring me Saul’s daughter.”

He never said, “Bring me my wife,” or “Go get me my wife and bring her back to me then I will.” He used the term… “Saul’s daughter.” That is not the expression of a man who tenderly loves his wife.

Abner forcibly brought Michal down the road to David. Her new husband followed behind her crying for her. Abner threatened him and sent him home. The wrong man was crying for Michal.

David Dancing before the LordNo wonder when David was dancing before the Ark of the Covenant with not very much on but a linen ephod apron, Michal was upset and maybe jealous.

What she said cannot be justified. God even paid attention and closed up her womb because of her attitude and comments.

What it appears to my unscholarly mind is that she was feeling like David was putting his physical anatomy on display by dancing half naked, and the young maidens in the street could see more of him than she was allowed to see at home.

David’s home life shows little evidence of romance. Everyone woman he was attracted to was married to someone else, it seems. She was the unloved trophy wife.

Abigail and Bathsheba were already married when he met them and fell in love. He loved them deeply, but not the woman he was married to. It was as though she didn’t exist.

David conquered many giants, but he lost in love.

 

His Children

lesson0400

Absalom

Absalom showed zero respect or honor for his father. How did that happen? Something went wrong in the early stages of home life for this to happen. Because of his treasonous behavior Absalom became banished from Jerusalem. David chose not to ever see him again.

Another son, Ammon was a pervert. He had twisted desires for his own half-sister, Tamar. He plotted with and took the advice of his evil friend to entrap her and rape her. He succeeded in his evil plan. The Law demanded that he be put to death. Not one finger was raised against him for two years.

tissot-desolation_of_tamar

Ammon, and Tamar Fleeing From Him

Tamar ran to the tent of her full-blooded brother, Absalom. Most girls would run to their father for protection and safety, but not her. Why? Was it because she didn’t feel protected him? I don’t know for sure, but that is my guess.

Two years pass and Absalom waits for his father to defend his daughter’s honor. David doesn’t.

Absalom then takes matters into his own hands and sees to it that Ammon is killed. David then mourns for Ammon and it appears Tamar is the second-class citizen, and still unloved. Her father never defended her. David never allowed the law to punish his son Ammon for what he did to Tamar.

It seems that David was never there for his family when they needed him.

 

My Family

Information and stories like this frighten me. In my mind, the Church, and this Holy Ghost filled life is the greatest thing in the world. Family is the next greatest gift of God I can think of.

 

I Ask Myself, “Do I Make My Wife Feel Cherished? Or, Is My Life All About Me?”

I really strive to make a conscious effort to make sure my wife feels cherished. My life is supposed to be about her and my family, not just about me.

In my loving God, going to His house, and serving Him, I never want to ever forget about the wonderful wife He gave me.

I am a husband who is still head over heals in love with my beautiful wife after all these years. I feel the desire to tell her often every day that I love her, and need her.

 

I Ask Myself, “Do I Make My Children Feel Cherished? Or, Is My Life All About Me?”

I am the father, the example to and defender of the five most wonderful children in the world. I am a blessed father. My love for them is not defendant upon their behavior. I love without reservation. Even if I don’t approve of their actions, they know that they are still loved.

I am Papa to fourteen and soon to be fifteen of the best Grandchildren a man could ever hope to have.

No matter what happens to them, they know that Papa will always be there for them. I often go overboard with sweet words and affection.

 

My Bottom Line

When to a wayward child I close the door to my house, more often than not, I have just closed the door to the church as well. My heart may break and I may cry watching them self-destruct and hurt, yet my heart and my door is always open to them.

 

Where Do Your Children Go For Help, To You, Or To Others?

Dad? Fathers will always be remembered and maybe despised for their lack of love. A wise father, even through heartache and tears, shows love to his family especially when they hurt.

A dad doesn’t have to be a king to be loved and honored. Even loving dads that are paupers are placed on the family pedestals. Just show them that you love them and even say, “I’m sorry” when you need to, and your family will think you’re the best.

I am greatly flawed as a man, a preacher, a husband, a father, a papa, and a friend. Yet, I have no reservation in showing praise and affection to the Lord, or to my precious family!

Today as always, I choose to express my total love and affection to Jesus Christ.

Today as always, I choose to express my total love and affection to my wife and family. If, (God forbid) they ever stray away from the Lord, I don’t want to be the cause. I have no ‘throw-away’ children.

Now Dad, Go Wrap Your Arms Around Your Family Like You Mean It And Love Them!

 

 

It Matters Not That The Whole World Sees You As A King,

If Your Wife And Your Children Despise You.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 16, 2014 at 11:52 am

I Have Entertained An Angel

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I Have Entertained An Angel

 

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

The Scripture presents the concept of realizing that it is possible to have someone near you that is Heaven sent.

It is possible to talk with them, laugh with them and enjoy their companionship. That is exactly what has happened to me.

imageI came in contact with an angel once, when I was young. That angel transformed my life and stole my heart. She has been a Gift of God to me.

She is Mercy and Kindness wearing a beautiful dress.
She is Love and Hospitality in high heels.
She is Forgiveness and Long-suffering wearing a charming smile.
She is Godliness and Purity carrying a big purse.
She is Holiness and Holy Ghost from the top of her beautiful hair to the tips of her toes.
She is Fun and Laughter with a Twinkle in her eye.
She is all an Angel could ever be.

She is an Angel. The Prettiest and Sweetest Angel of all. She is The Gift of God to my Family and to me in particular. I have entertained an Angel. Her name is Marcia June Starr Ballestero.

July 16th is her Birthday and I needed for her to hear me say:

Happy Birthday My Love!!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Family, Love, Marriage, Romance

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A Nursing Father

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A Nursing Father

A Nursing Father? Yes! That’s how Moses saw his own role as leader of the Children of Israel. He saw himself as a nursing father to them. They were often rebellious, unwilling, unbelieving and hard to control. Yet, he constantly nurtured and guided them. He mothered the people of God.

Sure he depended solely on Jehovah to direct his every word. Yes he daily had to ask for Divine guidance and support. But it was up to Moses how and in what manner he dispensed the instructions of righteousness. He had to nurse them all into understanding and believing. He mothered them from a promise to a possession.

  • They craved their old life in Egypt.
  • They wanted idols like the heathen had.
  • They complained about the manna.
  • They fussed about Moses’ authority.
  • Yet they were helpless without him.

1. Moses Felt Like He Was A Nursing Father,

Numbers 11:12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

Moses did not ask for this role. It was imposed upon him. God saw his heart and knew this would be the man who would nurse and nurture the Israelites.

  • As a nursing father, he nurtured a nation into the Promised Land.
  • As a nursing father, he provided guidance and strength for them during the harshest of times.
  • As a nursing father, he gave of himself completely.
  • As a nursing father, he pled for their very lives and survival before God.
  • As a nursing father, if God had killed all the disobedient Israelites, he was willing to die with them.
  • As a nursing father, he gave his very life for them.
  • As a nursing father, he has been remembered by Israel to this day as their hero and their father.
  • He nurtured them even though they were a thankless group of people.

Moses went to school in the wilderness and trained to be a nursing father for forty years as a shepherd. As a shepherd under God, he provided guidance, protection and provision for Israel when they couldn’t take care of themselves.

2. Job Was A Nursing Father

Job 1:4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Job prayed and sacrificed every day to God for his children, just incase one of them might have sinned or thought bad thoughts. His life was an example of love, thoughtfulness and righteousness to his children.

3. Joshua Was A Nursing Father

Joshua 24:15 … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

  • As a nurturing father, he chose the proper life for his children.

4. The Apostle John Was A Nursing Father

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

  • Nothing makes a nursing father happier than to know his children are living for God.

5. A Pastor Is A Nursing Father

There are a lot of pastors and teachers in the church world, but not many of them are fathers.

1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

A pastor is not called to be neither a politician, neither is he to be a lord over God’s heritage. With Divine guidance, a pastor is meant to nurture new babes in Christ into spiritual maturity.

  • He teaches the flock over which God has given him the oversight.
  • He cares what happens to every one of the flock.
  • He prays daily for those in need.
  • He visits the sick.
  • He prays in the altar with the wayward and the sinful.
  • He goes a fast with those that need a miracle.
  • He prays for God to give him a word of comfort for those in pain.
  • He speaks to the wayward and directs them back onto the right way.
  • He gives his life for those God has given to him.
  • He doesn’t preach the love of God with a closed fist.
  • He doesn’t try to run see how many he can run off, but how many he can get in.
  • He doesn’t throw souls away.
  • He will even be standing beside every one God has given to him in the Judgment giving an account.
  • He is to all who hear him, a nursing father.

Thank God For Our Pastor, Our ‘Other Father’

6. As A Dad, Are You A Nursing Father?

Heaven gave you precious little lives to provide and to care for. A father is deemed to be a good father when he loves his children and provides a good home life and example for them.

  • A father protects his children from all harm.
  • He guides their little minds and their lives in the ways of right.
  • He shows them how to live for God.
  • He displays tenderness and affection to their mother and to them, and thereby defines to his children the role of a nursing father.

As A Nursing Father

  • He walks the floor with his fretting baby at night.
  • As a nursing father, he provides for his family, regardless of how well he feels.
  • As a nursing father, he willing sacrifices for his family.
  • As a nursing father, he cries with his hurting children.
  • As a nursing father, he comforts and holds his babies when they need him to.
  • As a nursing father, he sometimes has to say no, to protect them.
  • As a nursing father, he provides reassurance of love, even in correction. (Especially in correction.)
  • As a nursing father, he is not harsh, but loving, not weak, but gentle.
  • As a nursing father, he is firm, but not mean.
  • As a nursing father, he provides protection and safety for his home.

Some fathers do not become involved in their children’s lives. What a loss and what a shame!

The Commandment To Be A Nursing (Nurturing) Father

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Love them babies like your heavenly father loves you. Life’s greatest joy of fatherhood is the loving and the nurturing.

Thank God For Nurturing Fathers!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Family, Father's Day, Love

Tagged with ,

The Greatest Trial Of Your Life

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The Greatest Trial Of Your Life

Tears are no a stranger to any of us. We came into this world crying at the top of our lungs. For some, not much has changed, except where they now choose to cry.

Many events in life can bring us almost unbearable pain. We cry out to God for help and solution to our problems. We beg Him for relief and consolation. Our emotions crave His comfort and resolution of our problems.

Every one of us seeks to be happy. Even the founders of our great country wrote about the pursuit of happiness.

 

Mr. Webster Said ‘Trial’ Was The Opposite Of ‘Joy’

Dictionary

joy – noun

A feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy | the joy of being alive.

Thesaurus

Joy – noun

Whoops of joy: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture; enjoyment.

ANTONYMS – trial.

 

The Apostle Declared The Source Of His Greatest Joy

 

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

 

If This Is True For Us, Then The Opposite Is True As Well.

 

We Have No Greater Trial Than To Know Our Children Do Not Walk In Truth!

Praying today to every mother, father and grandparent whose very heart is crushed with the knowledge that the ones they love so dearly have walked away from God. All we can do is pray and have faith.

(If you close the door to your home to them, you might have just closed the door to the church at the same time.)

May God Hear Your Prayers For The Restoration Of Your Lost Loved Ones!

Praying-for-miracles

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm

“Lest They Be Discouraged”

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“Lest They Be Discouraged”

Every one is grateful for a kind word of encouragement. Dreams and ideals can be very fragile and easily destroyed, especially in the early stages of life.

Most find it easy to gravitate towards those who look favorably upon us. Not many can thrive in an environment of constant criticism, hostility and contempt.

I have never met a person sick enough to rejoice over discouraging someone from accomplishing that which is good. Neither can I believe a good father would be happy he made his child so discouraged they quit going to church.

My mind cannot imagine a Spirit-filled father treating his children so horrible that they lose all desire to go to church because of him.

No generation of believers has evidently been exempt from stupid acting fathers. It was a problem big enough to be mentioned In Paul’s writings to the Colossians and the Ephesians.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

No father in his right mind would say he chose to talk his child out of living for God. Evidently then, when strength turns into harshness, un-repairable damage could be done.

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 

There Is No Room In The Kingdom Of God For Harshness.

  • Not in the pulpit
  • Not in the church or out
  • Not between husbands and wives
  • Not between fathers and their children

Dads? We don’t show strength by being harsh (strict is what we might think) Harshness isn’t wisdom, it isn’t love, it isn’t mercy, it isn’t the fruit of the Spirit, it isn’t productive, and It isn’t pleasing to God.

Harshness kills love, it kills respect, it kills hope, it kills family structure, and it kills every pleasant memory of childhood.

One time, when my oldest children sons were up in their teens, I made a strict ruling in my home. Within two days I saw the hurt that my ruling had caused for all of my children.

mjb1990's_0059I began to meditate and pray about the problem and felt the Lord impress me to repent to my children. My first reaction was to be repulsed at the thought. I could only imagine what negative thoughts my children would think of me if I did that. My very next thought was… “What will they think of me if I don’t repent?”

I called a family meeting and we all sat down in the living room. I looked at my five beautiful children and wife, and I began to be filled with great sorrow for what damage I had already done. Things would only get worse if I didn’t humble myself and repent now.

I began if sorrowful tones: “I made a bad ruling two days ago that has brought much pain to my family. I am changing that ruling right now. I was very wrong. What I did has hurt you, the very ones I love.

I am so sorry! Would you please forgive me? I never want to make a decision again that would ever bring pain to any of you. I love you!

  • Next came tears in the room.
  • Next came the hugs and smooches.
  • Next came sweet comments, some said aloud and some whispered in my ear.
  • Next came a room filled with seven teary-eyed smiling people expressing love for each other.

 

The Fruit Of The Spirit Includes Gentleness

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

God’s Wisdom Is Peaceable And Gentle

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

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Godly dads don’t discourage their children in living for God. Godly dads live so that they create a craving in their family’s hearts to live for the Lord too.

If a man yields his strengths to God’s ways, submitting himself and his emotions. Then will he manifest the Fruits of the Spirit, transforming his home into a place of comfort, peace and delight.

Daddy? Go Make This A Very Happy Father’s Day For Your Family!

(You’re Kids Are Watching!)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Christian Living, Family, Father's Day

Tagged with