The Ballestero Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Grief’ Category

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

with 4 comments

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

 

I am not talking about the kind of pain that takes one to the Doctor’s office or the Emergency Room. There are some pains and hurts so bad that they cannot be medicated or cured by science. Those pains need our focus.

 

There’s A Kind Of Pain That Doesn’t Always Lead Its Companions To The ER.

  • This Pain will lead you in one of two directions.
  • This Pain may lead you to God.
  • This Pain may lead you away from God.

 

Pain will take you to countries you never knew existed.

Pain will give you citizenship in a foreign land that speaks a language known only to the locals.

Pain can pass itself off as a congenial tour guide while leading you down paths from which from which few ever return.

 

Pain will isolate you from family and friends.

Pain will tell you that you are alone and no one cares.

Pain will turn on you like a vampire and eat pieces of your heart out every day.

Pain will demand that you let it do your thinking for you.

 

Pain desires to control your actions and your feelings.

Pain plots to become your master.

Pain will dominate you.

Pain will control you for the rest of your life.

 

You Don’t Have To Go Looking For Pain. Pain Will Come Look For You!

 

Oh, Wounded Spirit!

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

 

Don’t Let The Thorn (Pain) In Your Side Become A Thorn (Pain) In Your Spirit.

 

Pain will try to make you question God.

Pain will tell you God doesn’t know where you are at.

Pain will tell you that you are wasting your time at church.

Pain will tell you that you have more friends outside of church than you do inside.

Pain will tell you to turn your back on God because He let your family member die.

 

Pain will lead you to bitterness.

Pain will lead you to vengeance.

Pain will make you hateful.

Pain will make you unapproachable by God or man.

 

Pain will control your attitude.

Pain will control your reaction.

Pain will control your walk with God.

Pain will control your relationship with everyone.

Pain will control your attitude.

 

Pain will control your level of worship.

Pain will control your prayer life.

Pain will control your trust in people.

Pain will control your church attendance.

 

Pain is toxic.

Pain is demanding of your time.

Pain tends to take you away from God rather than to Him.

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Person.

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Saint.

 

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Soul-winner

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Spouse

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Parent

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Friend

Pain will minimize your ability to function as a Preacher

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

To God, or away from God?

 

Pain Will Point At Your Cancer.

Pain Will Point At Your Divorce.

Pain Will Point At Your Lost Job.

Pain Will Point At Your Unfaithful Spouse.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Rejection.

Pain Will Point At Your Abuse.

Pain Will Point At Your Disappointments.

Pain Will Point At Your Failures.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Discouragements.

Pain Will Point At Your Sickness.

Pain Will Point At Your Neglect.

Pain Will Point At Your Injuries.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Loneliness.

Pain Will Point At Your Shame.

Pain Will Point At Your Addiction.

Pain Will Point At Your Condemnation.

 

Pain Will Point At Your Scars.

Pain Will Point At Your Enemy’s Success.

Pain Will Point At Your Abused Past.

Pain Will Point At Your Fear.

 

Don’t let Pain determine your eternity.

Don’t let Pain choose your eternity.

Don’t let Pain control your destiny.

 

Pain makes injured animals go into hiding to recover or die.

Pain makes injured lambs go to the shepherd for help.

 

Pain made David seek comfort in the Cave of Adullam.

Pain made Elijah hide in a cave too.

Pain made the Woman with the issue of blood touch Jesus.

Pain made the Syrophoenician mother ask Jesus for a miracle.

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

Has It Taken You Into Hiding From God And Man?

 

How Will You Respond To Pain?

What will you do now?

What will be your reaction?

 

Job’s Attitude Refused To Let Pain Lead Him Away From God!

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

 

When The Prodigal Came To Himself, He Came Home To The Father And Was Restored!

 

Where Is Your Pain Taking You?

To God, or away from God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 24, 2017 at 6:46 am

The Storm Painter

with 5 comments

The Storm Painter

The painter of the storm had a mission. He had painted many a dark sky with thunderclouds before, but from a distance. He had painted the storms from the shore in the shelter of his studio where he was safe from all the elements of destruction. Today would be different. Artist Joseph Turner chose to view this storm outside his comfort zone.

He wished to paint what a storm looked like to him from the inside. This wasn’t to be just any April Showers moment. This storm would be a major blizzard, a rogue storm. Yet not just a bad snowstorm, but a snowstorm at sea. He wanted to view the storm from a boat while the waves threatened to sink his ship.

The seas were tumultuous, the waves high and rolling hard. There was no way he could stand on the deck and not slide off. He had to make a choice. He chose to be lashed to the mast of the ship for hours in the blinding freezing snowstorm. He wanted to paint it so real that on the canvass it would be hard to tell the sea from the sky.

‘Modern Painter’ website paid a huge compliment to Turner’s painting which he simply called Snowstorm.

 

Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth exhibited 1842 Joseph Mallord William Turner

Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth exhibited 1842 Joseph Mallord William Turner

 

Turner399702

Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Modern Painters described the Snowstorm, as “…one of the very grandest statements of sea-motion, mist, and light, that has ever been put on canvas.“

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-snow-storm-steam-boat-off-a-harbours-mouth-n00530/text-catalogue-entry

 

Maybe We All Are Painters

While almost none of us make our living as a professional painter, we still know a bit about the storms of life. Many know what it’s like to be tied to the mast and feel the snow, the sea spray, to be slapped in the face with freezing winds and have no defense from the storm. Imagine what it’s like to tied:

  • For hours with the snow beating your face.
  • For hours in the howling wind.
  • For hours with the ship struggling to survive the storm-tossed waves.
  • For hours seeing life-threatening skies and seas.
  • For hours in the bitter cold.
  • For hours of being wet and miserable.

 

Maybe We’ll Never Paint A Portrait Of Surviving The Storm…

Until We Too Have Been Tied To:

  • Heartache
  • Cancer
  • A Heart Attack
  • A Bad Marriage
  • Spousal Unfaithfulness
  • Financial Devastation
  • Rumor
  • Loneliness
  • Afflictions
  • Rejection
  • Depression
  • Lifelong Illness
  • Abuse

 

Maybe We’ll Never Be Able To Paint A Portrait Of Bearing One Another’s Burdens…

Until We Too Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • Stormy Seas
  • Tribulation
  • Shame
  • Embarrassment
  • Overwhelming Disappointment
  • Bitterness
  • Shattered dreams
  • Tears
  • Brokenness
  • The Death Of A Child
  • A Backslidden Spouse
  • An Addicted Love One

 

We cannot accurately paint the storm for others to see until we have lived through one our self. Naysayers may try to find fault with our story. But we have been there. We somehow survived. We felt the mast rub on our back. The rope burns will be there for a while. We suffered hypothermia. Our body shivered with the freezing snowstorm.

We thought of those we knew sitting at home in their warm little world. They could not help us now. It was no longer just a storm. It had become our storm. We chose not to waste our storm but share it with others in the hopes they would be helped or blessed.

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Revival…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • A Burden for souls
  • A Prayer Room
  • Travail
  • Tears
  • Vision
  • Compassion
  • Outreach

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of A Father’s Love…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • A Wayward Child
  • Tearful Forgiveness
  • Showing Mercy
  • Patience
  • A Special Needs Child
  • Unconditional Love
  • Courage
  • Sacrifice

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Deliverance From False Doctrine…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • False Doctrine
  • Error
  • Tradition
  • Family Pressure

 

The Storms we survive should make us stronger.

The Storms we survive should be used to help others see.

The Storms we survive can later turn into a thing of beauty for us.

The Storms we survive are a gift from God.

 

(When we hear a testimony from someone who has survived a storm, it gives us all great hope!)

What Portrait Is Our Life Painting For Others To See?

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm

The Passing Of Bishop Rodney McDonald

with 8 comments

When I was a small lad of ten or so, my father, Evangelist Carl Ballestero preached a revival in Texas City, Texas for a Pastor Titus McDonald. My memories of those days are faded somewhat with time. But I remember being there.

I remember also meeting Brother Titus McDonald’s son, Rodney. He  was about my age. I never dreamed that someday we both would find ourselves in the ministry and that I would preach for him like my father preached for his father, and later preach revivals for his son.

In the early sixties, I attended Western Apostolic Bible College in Stockton, CA. That is where I met Bishop Rodney McDonald’s lovely future bride. Her name then was Sister Karen Hedger.

Imagine my surprise years later to find out that my old acquaintance was married to someone I had met out in California years ago.

Over the last decade or so our paths have crossed with the McDonald family quite frequently. It has been my great honor to preach several revivals for Pastor Nathan McDonald, their son. The church is in great hands with his leadership and is experiencing a wonderful move of the Lord.

IMG_2037Last month, I preached a revival at their church and one afternoon was honored to go out to eat lunch with the Bishop and his wife in downtown Oklahoma City. No one knew that it was to be one of my last moments to be with them together.

I was awaken with the news today of his impending passing. He was given “minutes or maybe hours” to live. My heart hurt with the news. I became overwhelmed with emotion.

This morning Bishop Rodney McDonald went from this life into the Glory World. He had struggled with health issues for several years now, and it hurt to even watch him try to breathe on his bad days.

 

I Salute Him and Honor Him.

  • The Godliest of men.
  • Pristine in his principles and motives.
  • A man of honorable ethics.
  • Accurate in doctrine.
  • Devoted to his wife.
  • Devoted to God.
  • He gave his life to the Work of God
  • Uncompromising.
  • A Preacher’s Preacher
  • He held fast to the Old Paths.
  • He lived what he preached.
  • He was given to hospitality.
  • Everyone that knew him loved him.

 

Goodbye My Dear Friend. I Love You!

I will always treasure our moments, meals, and the memories we made. We were just together a few short weeks ago. It doesn’t seem possible!

Join with me in prayers and support for the whole family, especially Sister Karen McDonald, their son Pastor Nathan McDonald and church, Apostolic Faith Tabernacle, Oklahoma City, OK.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 23, 2015 at 3:11 pm

The Journey To “It’s Not Over”

with 4 comments

The Journey To “It’s Not Over”

 

Jesus – Jarius

Luke 8:41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:

Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

  1. Jarius was a desperate father!
  2. His daughter needed help and needed it NOW.

 

Divine InterruptionsOn The Way To Jairus’ House

  1. Jesus is interrupted by the needs of a very sick woman.
  2. Jarius is no doubt biting his lip to keep from saying anything about the new delay.

 

The Woman With An Issue Of Blood

Luke 8:43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

Luke 8:44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

Luke 8:45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

Luke 8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Luke 8:47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

 

Then…They Brought Jarius The Bad News – And Said, “It’s Over

Luke 8:49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

  1. This was the worst new Jarius could ever hear.
  2. His world had just come crashing down upon him.
  3. But! Jesus heard the news too, and said, “It’s not over!”
  4. It matters not what others say, it’s not over till Jesus says it’s over!

All Family and Friends Cried Because it Was Over

Luke 8:51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.

Luke 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

 

Jesus Said – It’s Not Over

Luke 8:53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

  • They Laughed Him To Scorn –
  • They Were Ready To Believe The Worst

 

Jesus Knows What Words To Speak To Your Situation

Luke 8:54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.

Luke 8:55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

Luke 8:56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

Luke 8:56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

 

Do You Have Bad Reports? It’s Not Over!

Do You Have Fears For Lost Loved Ones?

  • It’s easy to see others getting help and all you hear is bad news. Don’t give up until He says it’s over.

 

Funeral at Nain

  • The mother of the dead boy thought it was over for her son, until Jesus passed by. Then she found out it wasn’t over.

 

Martha –“If you had come sooner, now it’s over, it’s too late

Martha had watched her brother died. She had ordered him to be prepared for burial. She had mourned as they placed him in a tomb. Tears flowed as she watched them roll a stone in front of the opening.

If only Jesus had and responded when she had asked him, Lazarus would still be alive. Why where her needs and her family’s need so unimportant to the Lord that He couldn’t be there for them when they needed Him.

But! When Jesus came and ordered the stone rolled away, she heard Him speak three words that changed her life. “Lazarus Come Forth!” That’s all Jesus had to say for the miracle to happen.

Martha found out it really wasn’t over until Jesus came.

 

The Crucifixion Of Jesus

Jesus on the cross-said, “It is finished!”– He finished taking care of the redemption for sin. He shed His blood for all our sins.

When He died and was buried, Peter thought it was over. He said, “I go a fishing.” He thought it was all over.

The Disciples locked themselves in a room out of fear. They thought it was over. That’s when Jesus walked thru a door.

 

Reader? Let’s Talk About Your Situation!

  1. You think things are hopeless in your life?
  2. You think it’s too late?
  3. You think it’s over?

 I know it’s been a long journey waiting for your miracle… Just Hold On!

He’s Ready To Walk Into Your Room Right Now!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Believe, Grief, Healing, Trust

Tagged with

She Couldn’t Stop Crying!

with 3 comments

She Couldn’t Stop Crying!

Mary held her scarf in place as she tearfully ran to her brother’s house. She couldn’t stop crying. All of her dreams had just crumbled into a horrible nightmare. This was the worst day of her life.

She had been a woman scorned by polite society all of her life.  Most of the married women who knew her, worried about her influence on their husbands.

But for the last several years now, she had been a changed woman; transformed and forgiven by the one who is called Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

But now her Lord was dead. The only One who had ever given her hope had just been killed.

She ran almost blindly, down the darkening narrow street, nearly bumping into strangers. Her eyes focused on her brother’s house. Her pace quickened. Neighbors looked at Mary and then at each other in wonder, not knowing whether to be concerned for Mary or alarmed about something else. why was she running?

She didn’t bother knocking when she got to the door. Mary only slowed her pace slightly as she shoved the door open.

“They’ve killed Him!” She said breathlessly to the startled faces in the room.

“Killed him? Killed who?” Mary’s brother, Nathan asked as he sprang to his feet.

“Jesus. They’ve just crucified Jesus! The soldiers did it. I was there and I saw everything!”

Mary sank into a nearby chair and allowed the floodgate that held back her emotions to open up. Tears flowed afresh.

Nathan looked at his wife Elizabeth not knowing how to respond. They both were happy to see the changes in Mary’s life, but they were still unsure that her attachment to this Jesus person and His Disciples was a good thing for them.

“I thought your Jesus was going to overthrow the Romans and make himself king if he could get enough followers,” Nathan said trying to make a point.

16545_wpm_lowres

“You should have seen him.” Mary said, ignoring her brother’s remark. “After they had beaten him till his back was bloody, and could hardly stand, they wove a thorn-bush into a crown and then they placed it on his head smashing it down hard. It made me sick.

“Those cruel heathen soldiers showed how heartless they were as they stripped his robe from him just to shame him publicly. I saw them as they gambled to see who got his clothes.”

Mary stopped to wipe her eyes again.

“Then they forced him to a cross they had on the ground and while they held him in place, the soldiers drove big nails into his hands and feet. Blood ran everywhere. But He never winced or changed his expression.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off of him as the soldiers lifted up the cross and let it drop down hard into the hole they had dug. It made a sickening thud, and his body shook hard. Then more blood started running down his hands, arms and back.

“Horrible people in the crowd starting cheering and saying mean things to him. Jesus looked at the soldiers and at the cheering crowd and said, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’

“Can you imagine that?”

Nathan and Elizabeth shook their heads no. They both then as if on cue, found a place to sit down as they listened to more of Mary’s story.

“What did the crowd say to that?” Elizabeth asked.

“They just kept on mocking and laughing at him. Some of his Disciples were standing close to his mother, Mary.

“Some of his disciples? They weren’t all there?” Nathan asked with a deep furrow in his brow.

“I looked very carefully, but I couldn’t find Judas or Peter anywhere. I was very surprised that Peter was missing. If he was there, I couldn’t see him.” Mary continued.

“There were three big groups there today. There were his followers that were weeping, there was a bigger crowd of those that hated him and just mocked him. Then there were those that just stood on the sidelines and watched. They showed no emotion either way. It was as if they came for the entertainment. They just didn’t care.

“What happened next?” Nathan asked.

16545_wpm_lowres

“He said he was thirsty, and a soldier tried to give him some vinegar to drink. He also said something like, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’

“Then he said to John that he wanted him to take care of their mother. He said some other things I can’t remember right now just before he closed his eyes. When he did close his eyes, it wasn’t long before his just head slumped over.

“The soldiers started breaking the legs on the others that were crucified, to make sure they were dead, but when they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead so they stuck a spear in his side. Blood and water gushed down his body and dripped on the ground. Blood and water!

“I turned then and ran here as fast as I could. I couldn’t bear to see anymore.”

With that, Mary sprang to her feet and looked about the darkening room in alarm.

“It’s only the middle of the day and it’s dark outside already! ”Mary said as she ran to the window. “I can see that the chickens are getting up on the roost. What is happening?

Elizabeth screamed and reached for her husband as the ground began to shake violently. The dishes and furniture shook very hard. The floor moved hard up and down and the walls trembled.

Cries of alarm came from homes nearby. Cracks began to show in the walls of their houses while dried dirt fell from the ceilings. Then as it had begun, earthquake was quickly over.

“These are signs! Mary said as she faced her brother and sister-in-law. “These are signs from God! They have killed the Lord’s Anointed, the Messiah, and even nature is upset.”

The three stood close together unsure of what would happen next. They heard noises in the street and a man was talking very loud and very fast. Nathan went outside to see what the commotion was about. A few minutes later he came back inside. His face was ashen and his hands were shaking.

“What’s the matter?” Mary wanted to know.

16545_wpm_lowres

“Rueben, the Levite said that he’d just come from the Temple and that the Veil protecting the Holiest of Holies ripped all by itself. It ripped right in the middle, from the top clear down to the bottom without anyone touching it!

“The High Priest, you know, is only allowed to go in to the Mercy Seat once a year, but now the Veil has been torn. Everyone can see in there.

“The High Priest and the Levites are all scared; they ran from the Temple not knowing what they should do. They were afraid of God’s judgment on them for seeing into the Holiest of Holies. There is nothing in the Law about how to correct this problem.

“Two more things.  Reuben said that some big rocks that he has seen in the same place for years, now are all broken in half. and no one split them.

And number two, he said he saw some graves of the old saints were opened up and no one was in them.”

Nathan sat down while Elizabeth and Mary lighted a few lamps.

“Nathan, I know you haven’t been a follower of Jesus like I have. But you know the difference and the change that he made in my life. I’m not the same person anymore. You know that. You can see that. Everyone in town that knew me before can see that.

Mary started crying again remembering the moment she had knelt at the feet of Jesus in Simon’s house. She had held his feet and cried tears of repentance. She hadn’t any towel to wipe the tears away, so she had dried his feet with her hair. Then she had taken perfume, worth a whole years wages, and poured it on his feet.

“I am so ashamed of my past, but He forgave me and gave me hope.

Nathan and Elizabeth both nodded.

16545_wpm_lowres

“If that is not enough, the sun went down just now and it got dark at noonday, there was a great earthquake shook everything. The Temple Veil tore in half by the Hand of God! From the top of the Veil… where man can’t even reach. You know those things are not a coincidence! This is a God thing.”

“I’m scared.” Elizabeth said, as she looked first at Nathan then at Mary. “Why don’t you stay here with us a couple of nights so we can talk? I want to know more about your Jesus.”

Mary thanked her and looked at her brother, he nodded his approval. The three talked about the days events for a while longer before going to bed.

Even after Mary had been in bed for a long time, her mind wouldn’t shut down. Then it came to her. She just could not let Jesus lay in some tomb without any ointment and spices. She knew no on had taken the time to wash the blood from his body either. That was the least she could do.

Tomorrow she would make plans and find where to get the necessary spices, ointments and perfumes she would need.

The next morning Mary announced to Elizabeth what she wanted to do and they went shopping for the special perfume and ointment ingredients.

The buzz everywhere was about the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the sun going down early, the earthquake and the torn Temple Veil.

Elizabeth wondered aloud to Mary if she thought the followers of Jesus would be safe now. They had killed Jesus. What would they do to his believers?

At home that night, the special ointments, oils and spices were mixed together. A special cloth had been purchased as well.

Early Sunday morning before daylight, Mary slipped out of the house and headed for the Tomb that she had heard he had been buried in. Her arms were full with the necessary items for an honorable burial. It was the least she could do.

But when Mary got to the tomb, she was in for the greatest shock of her life! She arrived at the tomb while it was still dark. Yet, she could see the protective stone had been rolled away. The tomb was empty!

Mary was overwhelmed with emotion, in shock she turned and started running, not quite sure where.  In the darkness she ran and nearly bumped into Peter and John.

“The tomb is empty, they have taken him away,” she said breathlessly!

Peter and John running to the tomb (painting by Dan Burr)

Peter and John running to the tomb (painting by Dan Burr)

The men ran to the tomb. They had to see for themselves. When they saw it was empty, hope died in their souls and they turned and slowly went home.

But Mary just stood there. She could leave. She couldn’t stop crying. She finally got brave enough to look again into the empty tomb. It was getting a little lighter by now.

As she stooped down and looked into the empty tomb, she saw two angels sitting there. One sat at the head and one at the feet of where Jesus had lain.

Woman, why are you crying?” The Angels wanted to know.

“Because they have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they’ve taken him.”

Mary turned around with fresh tears in her eyes and saw Jesus, whom she guessed was probably the Gardener.

“Why are you crying woman?” He asked.

Mary at the tombMary still crying blindly said accusingly, “Sir, if you have taken him somewhere, please tell me, and I’ll take him away.

Jesus spoke her name in that familiar voice.

“Mary!”

There was something in the way he spoke her name.

  • It was the same voice that had spoken forgiveness to her when she was a sinner.
  • It was the same voice that had spoken healings and miracles to the multitudes.
  • If she knew any voice in the world, she knew that voice.

She wiped the tears away enough to see him better.

“Rabboni!” She said. (Which is another word for Master.)

Her first reaction was the desire to throw her arms around him and never let him go. Jesus knew that, and simple said…

“Do not touch me, for I have not yet be glorified. Just go to my brethren, and tell them that I am alive. I have risen!”

  • That is exactly what Mary did.
  • Seeing Jesus turned her tears into joy.
  • This is what Jesus is still doing.
  • Let Him turn your sorrow into joy today!

 

It’s what the hope of the Resurrection is all about!

Celebrate Easter this Sunday by Receiving the Holy Ghost, the power of the Resurrection.

If you do… You too will rise again!

He’s Alive!

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

John Chapter 20

 

The Empty Tomb

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

 

Mary Find Peter And John

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

 

Mary Can’t Stop Crying

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

 

Mary Meets Jesus And Doesn’t Recognize Him

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

 

Mary Sent To Tell The Apostles

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

 

Jesus Among His Disciples

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.

 

Doubting Thomas

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 28, 2013 at 12:16 am

When God Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations.

with 11 comments

When God Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Peter Didn’t Know This Jesus.

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

None of us can imagine the horrible loss Job experienced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

So, What Is My Life Lesson Here?

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

“The Desire Of His Eyes”

with 3 comments

“The Desire Of His Eyes.”

Ezekiel had been given a word from the Lord, to speak to Israel. The painful part of this story is found in the twenty-forth chapter. The “desire of his eyes,” his wife, lay dead in his house. Yet, God commanded him to preach anyway.

“The Desire Of His Eyes.”

What a beautiful description of a man’s feeling for his wife. “The desire of his eyes.” She was the love of his life. One look at her, always made his heart skip a beat. He truly loved her. Looking at her made his eyes happy and fulfilled.

Every day, when Ezekiel was gone from the house, he couldn’t wait until he got home to see her. His eyes never got tired of looking at his wife. She must have been something to see!

Sadly, we do not even know her name. We have no description of her. Nothing is known of her, except that she was the desire of her husband’s eyes. Surely, she never had to worry about him looking at another woman. He only had eyes for her.

Experiencing Pain In The Midst Of Ministry.

Knowing that his beloved wife was dead, Ezekiel knew he still had to preach. She was dead! What utter devastation he felt! His heart never felt emptier. The light in his eyes had just gone out. His plans had just died, in the mid-stride of life. There was no time to grieve, now. No time to be comforted, now. There was a word from the Lord that had to be delivered, now.

Grief would have to wait till church was over. This was not the time to sob in sorrow like he wanted to. He put his focus and thoughts upon the work of God at hand.

In spite of his pain, he preached. Ignoring his own heartbreak, he continued on with his sermon. Forgetting, for the moment, that he was now a widower, he preached what God told him to preach. He knew that his world must always be submitted to God’s world.

All of Israel would have understood the need of Ezekiel’s emotions, to take some time off and mourn. Grief always needs time. No one would have faulted him, if he had asked to stay home from church that day. But he didn’t.

There was no one to comfort him. No arms of compassion were wrapped around him. No one offered to, “Hold him up in prayer.” He’d never felt lonelier.

Nevertheless, there was a word from God that Ezekiel must preach. It could not wait. It must not wait. His pain was secondary to Heaven’s mission. He must preach!

He must preach, in spite of his pain. He must preach, in spite of his loss. He must preach, even though the “desire of his eyes” lay dead. And he did preach.

He preached without letting his tears flow. He preached without soliciting comfort. He preached without mentioning his grief. He preached while his darling wife lay dead in his bed. He preached on, without complaining.

Ezekiel 24:24 Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel’s example became a sign unto his generation and to us all. He was an example of putting the work of the Lord first. God’s call came before his own personal pain.

Life is not fair. It never has been. Life has tears, and much grief. It is too often filled with overwhelming pain. But we must go on. God still has work to do. Do not disqualify yourself from His service because your pain and sorrow is great. Serve Him in spite of life’s heart breaks. Ezekiel is our sign, our example.

The Desire Of Our Eyes

The saints of God have a precious hope! We press on, just waiting for Him to split the Eastern Sky! There is coming a day when we shall look upon Him, “The Desire Of Our Eyes!” Oh, What a day that will be! The old saints used to sing songs like:

 

Oh I Want To See Him

Oh, I want to see Him, look upon His face,
There to sing forever of His saving grace;
On the streets of glory let me lift my voice,
Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.

 

When We See Christ

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

 

What A Day That Will Be

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

 

Is Jesus The Desire Of Your Eye’s?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Posted in Grief, Submission

Tagged with , , ,