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Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf

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“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf”

 

The farmer looked closely at his cows and little calves. He felt blessed this year to have some good ones to choose from. He finally settled on the one he thought would be the best.  Pointing his finger at one, he yelled loud enough to be heard above the lowing cattle. He gave a command to his hired hand that would forever change the daily operation of his farm.

“Put that one in the main stall. Keep it separate from the others. And, feed it extra good feed every day. Do you hear me?”

“Yes sir,” came the reply as the man took a rope, then looped the calf’s little neck and began leading it toward the barn.

Every day after that the farmer went by the stall to check on his chosen calf. This calf would fare better than any of the others he had ever raised. He would fatten this one up on purpose. The amount of grain and hay given to it would be much more than the others received. Its stall was separate because the farmer knew if the other calves got in there, they would eat up all the feed.

Work on the farm started when the sun came up. The chickens were fed, and their eggs gathered. The donkeys were fed too. The cows got milked and were able to eat during the process. Nursing calves nudged their mothers seeking more milk. Even the dog was near his bowl waiting for his daily portion. The rooster officially started the morning’s business by announcing it was time to begin the day.

The smell of breakfast oozed from the kitchen into the rest of the house and yard. Everyone seemed busy doing something, but then one by one they washed up came inside and sat down to eat. The farmer prayed and gave thanks over the food, and then he, his son and the workers begin to eat and make small table talk. About the time they were finishing up, the farmer gave out his daily work orders to the crew. He finished by pointing to one of his men and said, “And, don’t forget to feed that calf.”

The man nodded and they all arose to finish the rest of their chores. In a couple of hours, the farmer went to the calf’s stall to check on things again. Yes, the calf had been fed and fed extra. The feed box still had grain in it. Several bats of hay lay on the ground as a backup supply. The little calf sure looked like it was thriving on the new diet.

The farmer leaned on the wooden gate and looked at the calf. His mind went back to the image of his baby boy carrying all his belongings and walking down the road away from the house not even looking back. Tears moistened his cheeks and ran down past his chin. His baby boy was gone! Oh, how he missed him! He had looked down the road every day hoping for a glimpse of him.

But something in his father’s gut told him that there would be a day when his boy would come back home. He didn’t know when, but he believed he eventually would. He knew his son would be very ashamed of what he had done when he did come home. He would never hold it over his son’s head and say, “I told you so!” Absolutely not! When he did return home, the father had no plans of going back to business as usual. No sir. He would do everything he could to let his boy know that he was loved and forgiven. He would throw a great big party for him. A party with lots of music, dancing, steaks, some barbecue, and festivities. Yes sir, he would make this calf get fat. Real fat.

  • This calf was dedicated to his son’s home-coming.
  • This calf represented the substance of things hoped for.
  • This calf was just waiting for the son’s day of restoration.
  • This calf was the party calf!

He wiped the tears from his face and turned around slowly, catching the eyes of some of his men, and said loudly for all of them to hear…

 

“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf.”

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

Luke 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 

Luke 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

My Name Is Leah

with 11 comments

 

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My Name Is Leah

My name is Leah and I am the oldest daughter of Laban. My sister, Rachel, is younger than I and everyone says she is very beautiful. She was the village favorite. (Gen 29:17) When visitors first meet us, they seem to be smitten by her beauty and repulsed when they look at me. I’m not beautiful and I’ve had to live with that all my life.

The lives of our whole family changed however, when Jacob arrived in our village. He looked travel worn and he was penniless. My father told us that his family was originally from our village and was well respected.

I saw immediately that Jacob was smitten by the looks of Rachel. I had expected that. Everyone noticed how he looked in her direction and tried to catch her eye if he could. He immediately asked my dad for a job and worked tending to our cattle.

I was crushed when I realized he wanted to marry my sister. I cried sometimes when I could be alone. It seemed like romance was for everyone but me. Jacob bargained with dad to work seven years for Rachel to be his bride. Jacob courted her and I tried to mind my own business and stay out of their way. They were so much in love. Love for me was always a one-way street. No one loved me back.

The wedding was a big celebration! All our relatives and the whole village came. My father sat Rachel and me down for a very private talk prior to the wedding. He informed Rachel that he had a plan. He said that adhering to the village custom of marrying off the oldest daughter first was a custom to be honored, and that rightly I should be the bride. (Gen 29:26) Dad said that he didn’t think Jacob would leave anyway and that he felt he would hang around long enough to marry the both of us. Rachel was crestfallen. I was surprised and happy. We were all unsure of Jacob’s reaction to me when he found out the truth, but planned to go ahead with the switch.

We pulled it off too. At the wedding, I was ecstatic and scared at the same time and afraid to look at Rachel because I felt her disappointment. It was evident to me that my sister truly began to hate and despise me. I stole her man. Although she was beautiful, she was bitter, and envious. I felt the full force of her hatred. Our bond of sisterhood stood on rocky ground.

The next morning Jacob woke up and looked at my face for the first time in the light of day. I cannot describe the shock and utter disappointment in his eyes. Maybe it was more akin to disgust. I can never fully explain the feeling of being married to a man who doesn’t love you. All you can think about is him and all he can think about is another woman.

Jacob made a covenant with my father to work seven more years for Rachel. He intended to marry us both.

I named my children according to the conditions of my marital status at the times of their births.

 

Rueben

I named my first son, Reuben. His name means, “Behold a son. The Lord has seen (in Hebrew ra’ah) my affliction” and “now my husband will love me (ye’ehabani)”(Genesis 29:32). I praised God for showing me this favor. I could hold my head up in the village. All would know that I had given my husband a son. I was now considered a worthy wife. It was as though God had seen that I was unloved and He opened my womb.

Rachel showed her true self again. I thought surely now Jacob will love me. But no, it didn’t change a thing. Rachel’s love toward me seemed to be gone. Jacob saved all his sweet words for her. They were lost in each other’s worlds.

All I did was cook, clean, take care of the baby and look after my husbands needs. I certainly never felt loved or cherished. I was only there for the needs of the man. My own needs were not to be considered. Ever.

 

Simeon

When my second child was born, it was a boy. I named him, Simeon because “the Lord heard (shama) that I was unloved”(Genesis 29:33). It was no secret that my husband didn’t love me. I guess my only purpose was to provide him with sons.

God knew my sorrow and tried to comfort me. I cried much and kept to myself. There was little benefit for me to make myself available to Jacob in social settings. I was not his trophy wife. I was treated as a second-class wife. He would not walk me around the village and show me off. I felt like a second-class wife because I wasn’t beautiful. Jacob was evidently too foolish to see beyond the face. I stayed in the tent and cared for the babies.

 

Levi

In the process of time I realized I was to have another child. My third baby was also a boy. I named him Levi thinking “this time my husband will become attached (yillaweh) to me”(Genesis 29:34).

All I ever wanted was for him to love me and to show it by saying something sweet or doing something nice. It never happened.

I knew that feeling sorry for myself was not doing me any good. I started thinking and realized that God had been gracious to me through it all. Was my world perfect? No. Not that I could see or feel, yet I believed God was good. He had blessed me and given me sons. I may not have the beauty of my sister, but I made up my mind to be a good wife and a good mother of our children and to be beautiful on the inside.

I learned to turn my face toward Jehovah and thank Him for what I did have instead of focusing on what I didn’t.

 

Judah

My fourth son’s name had nothing to do with my relationship with my husband. I named him Judah because I had made up my mind, “this time I will praise (odeh) the Lord”(Genesis 29:35).

After I had our four children, Jacob’s next two sons were born to Rachel’s maid Bilhah. She had given her handmaid to Jacob out of desperation. I felt sorry for her, so I then gave Jacob my own maid, Zilpah, as a concubine. Zilpah gave him two sons, Gad and Asher.

 

Issachar

One time, during a harvest, Reuben brought me some mandrakes. Rachel wanted them and said that if I gave them to her she would let me have her night to sleep with Jacob in exchange. After that, my fifth son was born. I named him Issachar. It means, “He will bring a reward.” (Genesis 30:14-18)

As a mother I can tell that although Jacob is kind to my children, he doesn’t dote on them. It makes my heart hurt. Maybe when he looks on them, they remind him of me. If he can’t love me, then my prayer is that he would love our sons.

 

The Stolen Idols

The relationship between my husband and my father turned really sour. Jacob told me that the last time he looked at my dad, he could tell that things between them had drastically changed by the expression on his face, (Gen 31:2) and that the Lord had spoken to him and told him we must leave here immediately.

When Rachel heard the news, and knowing that father just left with the sheep, she went into his tent and stole his gods. We left in the middle of the night and we were gone three days before my dad found out. But when he found out he was very angry and chased hard after us. It took him almost week to finally catch up.

He hollered and yelled loud at Jacob accusing him of everything he could think of. He wanted to know why we had left and when he found out that it was because we didn’t trust him and that he was dishonest, he really got mad.

Jacob told dad, “Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.” (Gen 31:41)

Dad said we had stolen his gods. Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had hidden them in her tent. He gave dad permission to search everyone’s tent and all their possessions and look for his gods. He never found them because his little pet, the baby of the family was sly. Rachel sat on a pile of carpets that hid the idols and told Dad she couldn’t get up because she was “after the manner of women.” She just batted her big brown eyes at him and he smiled back and never made her move.

The idols were not found, so my father and my husband piled up a heap of stones and made a covenant of friendship, and then he kissed us girls and the grandchildren a final goodbye and departed, leaving us to live in peace.

 

The Coming Of Esau

Jacob shared many stories about his boyhood. Evidently, he and his brother, Esau were total opposites. He told us about his father becoming old and going blind. Custom was that the oldest son inherited two thirds of the father’s goods and the rest of the children equally divided up the remaining third.

Jacob said that one day he caught Esau at a weak moment and bartered with him for his birthright. The problem was in getting the birthright blessing from the father. His father doted on Esau because of his prowess as a hunter and outdoorsman. But, Jacob was his mother’s pet. When it was time to receive the blessing, she helped him deceive his father and obtain the birthright blessing prayer.

He had to leave home immediately because when Esau found out that his birthright had been stolen, Esau wanted to kill Jacob. Now, word just arrived after all these years that Esau was indeed coming for him with a mighty army of soldiers threatening to kill him.

Jacob said that we were all to cross over the ford Jabbok and wait while he stayed there to pray. He fervently prayed and an Angel came and began to wrestle with him. They wrestled all night long. Finally the Angel begged to be let go but Jacob said that he wouldn’t let him go until he got a blessing from him.

The angel said that he was changing his name. He would now be called, Israel, because he would now have power with God and with men. (Gen. 32:28)

The Angel smote Jacob on the thigh to break his hold. It forever affected how he walked from then on. He limped for the rest of his life.

In the morning when we arose, we saw Jacob hurriedly limping towards us. He said that Esau was coming and there would no doubt be bloodshed. He divided up the children putting the animals, the servants and their children first.

He then put my children and me next, because we too were more expendable. But, he kept Rachel and her son at the back with him. He may lose the rest of us but he wanted to keep her alive. It was very plain where I stood with him even after all these years. (Gen 33:2)

When Esau came and confronted us, Jacob humbled himself and sent him large gifts. Before long the two ran towards each other, fell on each other’s necks and kissed. I took my children toward Esau and we bowed down before him in respect. All ended peaceable. We were certainly relieved and after the meeting and we all gave thanks unto God.

 

Zebulun

My next son, I named Zebulun. He was to be my last boy. His name means to dwell. He was Jacob’s tenth son and my sixth. I later had a daughter, whom I named Dinah, before Rachel gave birth to her first child.

 

Joseph

When Rachel gave birth to her little Joseph, Jacob was beside himself with joy. He showed that baby more attention than he ever had to all of the others. The children could all tell that Joseph was his favorite.

All we heard around the tent from Jacob was news about Joseph. He doted on him. The other children watched wistfully knowing that they were not loved like that. He made special clothes for him and gave him gifts that were better than he gave to my sons.

Rachel seemed to feel like nothing was wrong with Jacob giving so much attention to her son and very little to his other ten sons.

 

The Trip To Bethel

Jacob said that God had told him that we were all to return to the Bethel. Jacob said that we were to wash and be clean, change our clothes, and put away our idols. So, all of our family and our servants did as he asked. We knew the worship of our gods required the wearing of earrings, so we gave them to Jacob along with our gods. (Gen 35:1-4; Hosea 2:13) He took what we gave him and buried all of it under the big oak tree in Shechem.

We traveled on to Bethel, the place where God first met with our husband. The first thing Jacob did was to build an altar and offer up a sacrifice of repentance. God accepted his prayers and blessed him. It was there that his mother’s nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried at Bethel. Jacob grieved hard because she was his last living connection with his mother and father.

 

Benjamin

When we left Bethel, Rachel went into labor. She died giving birth to her second son. It was so tragic. We were in shock. Before she died, Rachel named her son Benoni (“son of my mourning”), but Jacob called him Benjamin. (Gen. 35:18)

Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children, she died!

Jacob made no attempt to bury Rachel with his family like I thought he would do since he loved her so much. He just buried her beside the highway and placed a marker on her lonely grave. If he would bury his favorite wife beside the road at the first available spot, where would he bury me? Would I too be given a roadside burial?

After Rachel died, Jacob replaced her bed, which was beside his, with her handmaiden Bilhah’s bed. It so infuriated my son Rueben that he overturned Bilhah’s bed and rebuked his father. Jacob never forgot that moment and mentioned it on the day he pronounced blessings and prayers upon his sons. (Gen. 49:3-4)

 

Epilogue

Leah’s outward appearance may have been unattractive to others, but God was attracted to her because of her inward beauty. He chose her. It was Leah, not Rachel, who bore Judah, and it was through his bloodline that the Savior was born.

After Rachel’s death, Leah carried on as the wife of Jacob, and the mother of his many children, living in Canaan. The Bible does not say when she died, but Leah is buried in the family burial tomb of Machpelah, beside her husband Jacob with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 49:29-31). Leah was loved too late. Her real beauty unnoticed most of her life. Yet, in her death and burial she was shown great honor and respect.

 

The Life Lesson Of Leah

Sometimes in life we wake up to the very thing we don’t want. Life doesn’t always give you a Rachel. Although you find it difficult to love the “Ugly Leah Situation” that is forever connected to you, it just may wind up being your greatest life blessing. Surprisingly, you may find yourself saying the words, “I love you” to the very thing you once hated.

The Leah in your life never changed, you did. Her beauty wasn’t on the outside, so no one took the time to see what God could see all along. Leah was beautiful where it counted the most. She was beautiful on the inside. Don’t hate your “Leah”; she is God’s gift to you. Do not despise the ugly thing in life that you suddenly have to wake up to. Your “Leah” may be a bad Doctor’s Report, a Financial Disaster, a Broken Marriage, a Physical Disability or even Heartache. Embrace it. It just may be a gift from God to you!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

Just An Old Nickel

with 6 comments

Just An Old Nickel

A distinguished and nice looking gentleman walked up to me in the church foyer after service yesterday. The last day of the Men’s Conference was over. I had watched him during the meetings. He sat on the front every day and entered into the worship service with all his heart. He had seemed to beam with pride as he watched his son lead the men in singing.

“I have something I want to show you!” He said after shaking my hand.

Reaching down into the front pocket of his suit pants, he pulled out some change. In his palm were two quarters, a dime, three pennies and a nickel. He placed the nickel in his other hand and returned the remaining change to his pocket.

“See this old nickel?” He asked while looking at me with tear filled eyes.

FullSizeRender(1)I looked down at the nickel again seeing nothing strange or spectacular about the coin. The date was not visible from my viewpoint, but I could tell it was an older coin and tarnished somewhat from exposure and wear.

“This is me!” The words came out while he struggled to keep his composure with tears streaming down his face. His neatly combed white hair making him look like a lawyer or senator.

“I picked this nickel up this morning out of the dirt. That’s where I was when God found me. I was in the dirt. I had no value in the dirt; I was of no value to anyone. I was just that one lost coin.

By now, both of us were looking at each other through the tears. “There was a day,” he went on to say, “when I could walk into any high stakes card game anywhere in the world, and the amateurs would fold or leave the table. The professionals knew they were going to lose. No matter the game I would win. It didn’t make any difference if it was cards, gambling, or shooting pool. You name it. They couldn’t beat me. Everyone knew my name and they hated to see me.

“I was living in the dirt just like this old nickel. Every time I even see a penny on the ground I pick it up. It reminds me of where I was when God found me and how he picked me up.

We both looked down at the nickel again. This time I viewed it with a different understanding.

“Brother, may I have this nickel?” I asked as I placed my upturned palm beside his. I will always treasure it!” I continued.

He smiled and placed it in my palm and I hugged his neck in thanks, because I too was once a lost coin.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 5, 2016 at 10:28 pm

Posted in Grace, Mercy, Salvation

Tagged with

The Saddest Sight Of All Is The Pacing Of The Caged Lion.

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The Saddest Sight Of All Is The Pacing Of The Caged Lion.

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The Lion The King Of The Jungle!

Lions, they are no doubt one of the most magnificent of creatures. Even the Lord referred to Himself as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The lion is an animal so powerfully built, so capable, so beautiful, and awe-inspiring that it was chosen to be a type of the Messiah.

Some even travel on safari trips into the African jungle or veld to view this monarch of all animals in its natural environment. The photos such travelers bring home capture the heart of its viewers.

One of the saddest things to see is this noble creature pacing the floor inside of a steel cage. Back and forth, back and forth it goes looking for a way out. Occasionally it may stop to bite the bars and roar out of frustration.

  • It sees others free outside the cage and wants to be free too.
  • It wasn’t born to live on concrete.
  • It wasn’t created to live in a steel showcase.
  • It’s potential and strengths are forever confined.
  • Its power will never really be known.
  • It’s only a shadow of what could have been.
  • It’s a caged lion.
  • It’s a pacing caged lion wanting to be free.
  • It’s a pacing caged lion looking for a way out.
  • It’s a pacing caged lion.

 

The Caged Lion

No one has to go to the City Zoo to see the pacing of caged lions. They can be seen in many of our homes and most of our churches!

They are beautiful creatures of God with amazing potentials and abilities. Yet they live a life of meager existence. They watch others enjoy freedoms in God that they cannot. They are limited to what lengths they can even go because of their steel bars.

  • People come by and look at them.
  • Some point and make comments to their friends.
  • Some take pictures of what they see.
  • The similarities to the caged lion are there for all to see.
  • The spirit of unrest.
  • The pacing of the caged creature back and forth, back and forth.
  • The frustration.
  • The caged look.
  • The biting at the bars.
  • The occasional roars from the soul.

Every one is handicapped to help. Multitudes read the warning signs and keep their distance. They look and then they move on.

 

What Put The Lion In This Cage? Who Put The Lion In This Cage?

Were they captured in a snare or trap? Were they injured, found and then brought here? Did the lion walk inside willingly and let himself be lock in the cage? Is this cage real or imagined? What happened? No one really knows the whole story. All that is known is that something happened.

  • Was it Condemnation?
  • Was it a Personal Failure?
  • Was it an Addiction?
  • Was it an Attitude?
  • Was it Rebellion?
  • Was it a Rumor?
  • Was it an Indiscretion?
  • Was it Disobedience?
  • Was it Bitterness?
  • Was it a Past Injury?

 

Did Sin Make The Bars Or Were The Bars Man Made?

How Did This Happen?

Every day, everywhere, caged lions are seen. I watch them in churches. The potential for better things is obvious to all who see them. But their actions aren’t much different from the caged king of the jungle.

I watch them pace and hear them roar. They are still caged and confined by the events of the present and the past. They are held captive by things real and things imagined. They barely exist.

I watch them try to worship and they cannot. They try to pray and it sounds empty and hollow, but mostly just quiet. Occasionally they will roar out loud, but their roar does not threaten Hell.

They smile but they are not happy. They raise their hands, but never seem to touch Heaven. They keep their head down in despair while praying. They never feel worthy.

If they are called on to testify. It is a quick, low-voiced attempt that may last only ten seconds or so.

  • They watch others worship and shout, but they don’t.
  • They watch others sing from the soul, but they are still in a cage.
  • They watch others pray with liberty and freedom, but their prayers are caged.
  • They see their friends be used of God, while they pace back and forth.
  • The bars keep them from doing what they really want to do.
  • The bars keep them from being what they really want to be.

 

If I Could Talk To The Spiritually Caged And Pacing Lion…

I Would Share Four Passages Of Scripture To Give Them Hope.

God NEVER meant for His children to live a cage. He never meant for us to exist just pacing behind bars, a spectacle for all to see. A could-have-been. No matter who made the bars, or how the lion got inside, there is a way out for all.

 

1. Every One Has A Past. Understand That God Doesn’t Want Your Past To Be Your Future Or Hold You Captive. No Matter What You Have Done Or What You Have Been, There Is Hope.

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

2. Paul Even Felt Caged By His Past.

(Roman law allowed the dead victim to be tied to the back of the murderer. In it’s decaying state, the worms slowly ate into and killed the killer. Paul felt his past tied to his back, eating away at him. Condemnation is a killer. So he wrote:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

But Something Happened To Paul Between Chapter Seven And Chapter Eight. When He Broke Free He Wrote Anew…

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

3. Jesus Came Down To Earth To Unlock Your Cage

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

 

Dear Child Of God!

Do not allow your self, your sin, or your past to keep you in a cage. Believe in God’s Mercy, His Grace, and His Forgiveness. Accept It.

 

  • The Door Is Unlocked And Open.
  • The Cage No Longer Can Hold You Unless You Let It.
  • Freedom Is God’s Gift To You.

 

4. The Door Is Open. God Didn’t Save You To Keep You In A Cage.

Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:

 

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 25, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Inside Mercy’s House

with one comment

 

It’s Here!

Download Your Free E-Book Now

(Just click on the picture)

Mercy's House2

A Short Story for Young People

By

Martyn Ballestero Sr.

Edited By

Nila Marxer

© 2014 Martyn Ballestero Sr.

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission. Contact martyn238@aol.com

 

Dedication

I dedicate this story to my precious Grandchildren.
They all make me proud!

Kalyx Ballestero, Carlton Ballestero, Braden Ballestero,
Huntley Ballestero, Christyana Ballestero, Christian Ballestero, Caison Ballestero, Gentson Ballestero
Jeron Ballestero, Chloe Ballestero, Zion Ballestero
Garrison Hartzell, Cadence Hartzell, & Ainsley Hartzell

 

The First Paragraph:

“Shame stood there quietly in woods while the afternoon sun lazily highlighted his disheveled hair. His head hung down from sheer exhaustion. He didn’t feel like he could run another step. The birds had stopped singing momentarily to watch this unwelcome intruder as he looked for a place to sit down out of view of the path.”

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

This free e-book is available in three formats. Click on the picture or the link to access and download the book from Dropbox. No registration or account is needed. Here’s the Dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h70uly3f9x5u75s/AAAg1mMKav0CCgAa6stWVyV7a?dl=0

 

There are three file types available.

If you read books on a Kindle, select the Mobi file or PDF
If you read books on an iPad or iPhone, choose the Epub file (or PDF if you have the pdf app.)
If you read books on a Andoid choose the Mobi file and use with the  Kindle app.
If you read books on your Computer, and have Adobe Reader try the PDF

 

If you are having trouble, maybe these “how-to” links will help:

http://osxdaily.com/2012/03/25/transfer-mobi-epub-ebook-files-to-ipad/

http://askleo.com/how_do_i_download_and_read_a_pdf_ebook/

http://www.ehow.com/how_8230718_open-ebook-email-iphone.html

 

(If you need help or the link does not work, let me know. Blessings to all. – MJB)

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 24, 2014 at 2:34 am

Stupid Men With Smart Wives

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Stupid Men With Smart Wives

How does that happen? It’s not all that uncommon today to see a stupid man with a smart wife. It makes everyone wonder about how they met and what was the attraction.

If she is so smart, why did she marry him? Did he con her? Did he keep his real self hidden from view until he married? Was she blinded by love?

Evidently, too many men have turned out to be, or act stupid after their marriage. If the wife had known how stupid he really was when they were courting, she quite possible would have never looked at him twice let alone married him.

I can even name a couple pretty stupid men in the Bible that were married to smart wives.

 

But, Let Me Just Focus On One, A Man Named Who Was Actually Named ‘Stupid’.

That’s Right, There Once Was A Man Named Stupid.

  • That’s what his mama named him.
  • He was called Nabal.
  • Nabal = ‘Fool, Senseless’ (Hitchcock’s Dictionary of Bible Names)
  • When it came to stupid, Nabal’s mama made sure he got to sit at the head of the class.
  • He turned out to be the name they called him.

 


 

Nabal

He Was A Very Great Man, But He Was Also The Ultimate Senseless Fool.

1 Sam. 25:2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

  • He was considered great because of what he had going on for himself.
  • He had local respect and recognition.
  • He had great means.
  • He had a wonderful wife.

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Nabal Didn’t Fear God Nor Man

  • Nabal was rich but he was also harsh and evil in his dealings. (1 Sam. 25:3).
  • He didn’t care about helping others.
  • He was focused on building his own kingdom, not helping God’s or anyone else’s.

 

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1 Sam. 25:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.

  • She was Smart.
  • She was Beautiful.
  • She was Unappreciated.
  • She was Ignored.
  • He was Evil.
  • He was Wicked
  • But he came from a great family… Caleb’s
  • A goodly heritage and background evidently is not enough. He was still stupid in his actions.
  • He was Churlish – (rude, mean-spirited, discourteous, uncivil, impolite).
  • He didn’t deserve his wonderful wife.
  • Abigail was the very image of beauty, wisdom and grace.

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No One Could Talk To Him

  • He was Mr. Macho.
  • He refused to listen to his wife or anyone else.
  • Stupid men view their wives as inferior.
  • Sometimes that attitude erupts in anger, irrational behavior and even violence.
  • A man couldn’t speak to him. 1Sam 25:17
  • No one could reason with him.
  • He was always right, everyone else was wrong.
  • Nabal never got delivered from his nature.

 

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Abigail

  • Abigail is described as “intelligent” and she is praised in 1Sam 25:33 because of her discernment.
  • But Nabal never benefited from his wife’s wisdom.
  • They were never a team in his mind.
  • She even stopped David and his men from attacking Nabal and killing him.
  • She fell on the ground before David to apologize for her husband and beg for mercy.
  • David listened to Abigail.
  • Abigail described her husband in a very sad way when she made her plea.
  • 1Sam 25:25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:
  • She said: “Please disregard my worthless husband, Nabal, is his name and it means foolish. That’s what he is.

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600-David-Abigail25Abigail Saved Nabal’s Life

  • He refused to even feed the hungry men that were with David. All they had asked for a piece of bread.
  • He ordered them off of his property.
  • When Abigail heard what happened, she immediately went to David’s camp and apologized.
  • Abigail’s actions are the only thing kept David from slaughtering Nabal and his men.
  • When she got home she wanted to tell her husband what she had just done but he was too drunk to talk to anyone.
  • She had to wait till he sobered up the next morning, before she could speak to him.

 

Nabal Heart Died Within Him

1 Sam. 25:37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

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Some Kinds Of Stupid, No One Can Fix. That’s When God Stepped In.

1 Sam. 25:38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.

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Can Anyone Fix Stupid?

I Don’t Know For Sure.

Here’s How I Would Try To Fix Stupid In My Life.

1. Rekindle The Fear Of The Lord In My Life.

Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

2. Repent – Turn Around.

3. Be a Man That Someone Can Talk To. Whether Pastor, Friend or Wife. Be Approachable.

4. Humble Myself Before God And Man… Including My Wife.

5. Admit I’m Wrong, Especially To My Wife And Family.

6. Willingly Take Godly Instruction. From The Bible, My Pastor, My Friends, And My Wife.

7. Never Let My Heart Die And Turn To Stone. (Because I Know What Happens In The Next Verse. That’s when God stepped in.)

 


 

So, if you ever see a stupid man with a smart and beautiful wife… pray for him, but pray more for her. She has a great big cross to bear in life.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 12, 2014 at 10:21 am

The First Lesson Grace Teaches.

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The First Lesson Grace Teaches.

Some choose to put words in the mouth of Grace. They connect her with some things she has never been connected. It is as though they bring up her name every time an accusatory finger of God’s word is pointed towards them. They think Grace is their ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card in life.

Maybe we need to look at the things Grace teaches and what she doesn’t teach. Most of us could use a clearer understanding of what Grace says and what she doesn’t say. We also need to know what she does and what she doesn’t do.

 

What Some Think Grace Says, But What She Would Never Say:

1. Do Whatever You Want, It’s OK.

2. Every Thing Is Acceptable Now Days. This Is A new Day.

3. Live Like You Want Because God Overlooks Everything. We Are Under Grace.

4. There Are No Restrictions.

5. You Aren’t Bound By Standards; You Are Not Under The Law.

6. Only A Legalist And Ultra-Con Would Give You A List Of What Not To Do.

7. God Doesn’t Look On The Outside; He Only Looks Upon The Heart.

 

What Grace Actually Does Say:

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Titus 2:12   Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

This Is The Very First Lesson IN Our Christian Experience That Grace Teaches Us:

 

I. What To Deny

1.    Deny Ungodliness

2.    Deny Worldly lusts

 

II. How To Live

1.    Righteously

2.    Soberly

3.    Godly

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Those Unlearned In The Scriptures, Think They Are Justified By Grace In Their Carnality, And Turn The Grace Of God Into Lasciviousness.

las⋅civ⋅i⋅ous

 

adjective

Driven by lust; preoccupied with or exhibiting lustful desires

syn: lewd, libidinous, lustful

Jude 4    For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

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“turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness”

They twisted the meaning of Grace to justify their flesh and their lusts.

Whoever claims Grace as their Teacher learns first to deny everything that is ungodly and lustful, and then to refuse to let those things have access into their hearts.

IF, they say that Grace is their Teacher, and do what she teaches, they WILL live Righteous, Soberly, and Godly in this present world.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 24, 2013 at 1:44 am

Posted in Grace

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