The Ballestero Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

If You See Me At A Distance…

with 4 comments

 

 

Written By My Dear Friend, Pastor Dennis Morris.

Guest Contributor

 

 

 

If You See Me At A Distance…

 

If you see me at a distance, just wave…

You don’t have to come my way, just a gesture of recognition and maybe a smile will be enough to make my day.

Your youth and vitality shouldn’t be wasted, because, I know it won’t last forever. Use it wisely and with precision, I could tell you how wasted time leaves many regrets.

Really!  I love to just observe from a distance the interaction of folks like you who are full of life and enjoying life with others of your ilk. You know, if you try, you and them together could accomplish a lot for God.

No, I’m no one of importance. I can’t offer much but maybe a little experience, I don’t have the energy to run with the big dogs anymore so I’ll just stay on the porch and bark a little now and then so the man with the shovel doesn’t get the wrong idea.

I can’t finance your project or do very much to support your burden but I’ll encourage you if I can to be the best example of a child of God possible, the rest will be added as God sees fit! God is the driver, we’re just along for the ride.

The so-called “Social Ladder”, never made it down this far, so hanging around with an old fella like me won’t boost your standing with the “In-Crowd ” anyway, so just a wave and a smile is good.

Oh yes, I used to rush there and then here and back to there again. I confess I was impressed for a little while by the “In-Crowd “. While I rushed right by a few Great men and Godly ladies that could have and likely would have given me some good advice about wasting my productive years on pursuits that did not profit anyone. Someone told me that the so-called “Upper Crust” was just a bunch of crumbs held together by their own dough! Hmm maybe so…

Oh, don’t take me wrong I didn’t ignore the good folks but what I did amounted to the same, from a distance I waved and smiled. The amazing thing is the big smile that came to their faces when I did take a little time for them.  I wasn’t completely unthoughtful but not thoughtful enough.

It wasn’t them that missed it, I was the loser.

Now I know how much I shortchanged myself.

 

It may sound like I’m having myself a pity party but, emphatically No, I’m not! I’m not being neglected or pushed aside, I pastor a wonderful church and I have wonderful friends and we communicate often. In fact, I feel very blessed.

I miss getting to go to many of the meetings that I always attended but because of life circumstances, I can’t. In fact, it’s as though God has sidelined me. Again, no complaints. I’ve traveled to mission fields more than most and had and still have some wonderful friends.

I heard it said one time that some preachers couldn’t preach their way out of a wet paper bag, I was probably included in that bunch but that’s alright, God has blessed me abundantly.

Besides all that, I made vows to my sweetheart over 53 years ago and I’ve never regretted it! She’s still my sweetheart, sickness and all.

I’m serious, when I say, I don’t expect sympathy for my situation or recognition for my small accomplishments, which are few and my victories that have never reached Goliath Giant per portions.  I’m just a bystander for the most part now, so just wave and smile, I’ll understand and give you the biggest smile I can muster, I promise!

God Bless!

Dennis Morris

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 24, 2019 at 11:40 am

Father’s Day, And I Am So Proud To Be A Dad!

with 2 comments

 

Father’s Day, And I Am So Proud To Be A Dad!

 

I’ve received a lifetime of continuous love, honor, and sweet words from my children. I feel, of all men, that I am most blessed! I am grateful and humbled by every word and expression of their love to me. My family honors me beyond what can even be imagined. I certainly am a very rich man.

From my heart and with tear-filled eyes I say, “Thank You!”

 

How Did I Get To Be A Father Who Is So Fortunate To Be Loved Like This?

The answer is very simple and only three words long… Marcia June Ballestero!

 

On this day, most dads receive presents and affectionate words. But, today my heart feels like re-directing the attention from myself to my wife. She is one who deserves all the credit that I enjoy today.

“But”, you say, “you’ve worked hard to put food on the table and you’ve made many sacrifices.”

While there may be truth in what you say. Remember that even if I had been childless or a bachelor, I still would have had to work hard and make sacrifices. We all do. It’s called life.

 

Now… Let Me Get Back To Talking About My Wife!

She is the one who endured discomfort, pain, and sleepless nights.

She is the one who carried them for nine months.

She is the one who walked right up to death’s door and brought home beautiful babies.

She is the one who nursed and cared for them during all hours of the night.

 

She is the one who washed their dirty clothes and made their beds.

She is the one who picked up their dirty clothes from the floor.

She is the one who mopped up the trail of mud on the kitchen floor.

She is the one who cooked their meals and washed their dishes.

 

She is the one who made a house into a home for them to forever cherish.

She is the one that dressed them all for church and then got herself ready.

She is the one who cleaned up after their messes.

She is the one who had to wrangle them through the store while she bought groceries.

 

She is the one who gave kisses, comfort, and put bandages on their ouchies.

She is the one who maintained their proper level of decorum during church services.

She is the one who cooked the best meals a kid could ever eat.

She is the one who had to cook in a hot kitchen.

 

She is the one who taught them manners and respect.

She is the one who taught them how to pray.

She is the one who taught them about the love of Jesus.

She is the one who taught them right from wrong.

 

She is the one who taught them about dressing godly.

She is the one who taught them about the manifesting the fruits of the spirit.

She is the one who taught them what an Apostolic should be.

She is the one who taught them to be Christ-like.

 

She is the one who taught them how to live for God.

She raised up our children in the way they should go.

She is also the one who taught them to be sweet to their daddy.

 

She taught them all that and MORE!

I would just walk into the house at the end of the day, and enjoy the love and affection from all my babies because of her.

 

(It was their Mother, after all, who made me a Father.)

Today, I am enjoying Father’s Day fully knowing that it was my beloved wife who did all the work so I could enjoy this great honor!  She deserves all the credit. But, today, I get the thanks!

 

Thank you, my Darling Marcia, for making me a Daddy!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 15, 2019 at 6:20 pm

Baby, You Took A Chance On Me – August 14, 1965!

with 7 comments

 

Marcia June Starr Ballestero

Happy Fifty-Third Anniversary Darling!

You Took A Chance On Me – August 14, 1965

THANK YOU!!

 

 

 

I was nothing, yet you let me into your world.

I had nothing, yet you believed in me enough to partner with me for life.

I was so broke that I had to pawn my guitar to get to our wedding.

I couldn’t preach very good, and my revival calendar was empty.

But, you took a chance on me.

 

You were the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.

You had talent and poise.

Your singing sounded to me like the voice of an angel.

I couldn’t sing,

I wasn’t talented,

I couldn’t preach,

I still had a face full of pimples,

I had nothing to offer you but a heart that was enraptured with the very thought of you.

But, you took a chance on me.

 

You took a chance on me without knowing much about me.

You took a chance on me and the very idea of you loving me was exhilarating!

You took a chance on me and made to the envy of all my fellows.

You took a chance on me and filled my life with peace, joy, and love.

You took a chance on me and made me the richest man in the world.

 

You went to death’s door five times to give us a family.

You are the most nurturing and loving wife, mother, and grandmother.

You are the wisest woman I know.

You are the most beautiful woman I know.

You are the sweetest woman I know.

You are the most loving woman I know.

 

You are the very essence of peace.

You make a house into a home.

You are a perfect example of a wife and a mother.

Your talents have flourished.

Your beauty never fades.

Your love is wonderful beyond description.

 

Thank you for taking a chance on me.

I still don’t have anything.

I’m still broke.

I still can’t preach.

I’m still not talented.

I don’t know how you’re able to look past all of that and see that my heart is smitten by you.

But, Thank You!

 

I am thrilled to say that I am still here 53 years later.

I am thrilled to say that I am still head-over-heels in love with you.

I am thrilled to say that I still can’t wait to see your face every day.

I am thrilled to say that your love is sweeter now than ever.

I am thrilled to say that you are the love of my life.

 

I love you.

I need you.

Oh, and thank you for taking a chance on me. I ain’t much, but I am still yours.

 

I pray God gives us both health and many more years for me to enjoy loving the girl who took a chance on me!

 

Baby, I Love You With All My Heart!

Marty

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 14, 2018 at 1:05 am

Posted in Love, Marriage

Just Imagine!

with one comment

 

Just Imagine!

 

Just imagine a thoughtless and demanding husband who is married to a wife who caters to his every need. Imagine him sitting relaxed in his little command center, his Lazy-Boy, while he bellows out orders.

  • “Hey Pearl, bring me a Diet Coke.”
  • “Get me the newspaper.”
  • “Did you call Bob like I asked you?”
  • “Get the phone will you, I’m busy.”
  • “How much longer do I have to wait for supper?”
  • “Since you’re up, get my slippers.”
  • “Clean the house with the new Air Compressors USA

 

Just imagine a man who constantly makes demands like that on his wife. If she complied willingly and without comment, he’s a most fortunate man.

Just imagine what she might feel like if he never thanked her for serving him.

Imagine too what she would think of him if all he ever did was make more demands and never took time to talk to her or say sweet words of affection to her.

Imagine what future the relationship would have if the man said, I don’t really have time to talk to you, I just need you to do what I asked you to do.

Some wives might be content to be in a relationship like that, but I have never met them yet. A loving relationship is not a one-way street.

 

Then There Is The Flip Side Of That Problem.

 

Imagine a demanding wife that is married to a husband who she expects to cater to her every need.

  • Her Honey-Do-List never ends.
  • Her requests are only for her benefit.
  • She nags him if she doesn’t get what she wants when she wants it.
  • She feels like he doesn’t love her unless he is always giving to her and doing things for her.
  • His needs are not even on her radar screen.
  • She has no time to just talk to him.
  • He can’t remember when she last said, “I love you.”
  • Her world is only focused on her own happiness.

 

What A Mess! I Can’t Imagine Living Like That!

I don’t know who would ever want to enter into any kind of relationship such as this. How could their life’s story have a happy ending? What future do they have? It’s a world without love!

 

Yet That Is Exactly The Spiritual Relationship Many Of Us Have With The Lord.

  • The only time we talk to Him is to make more demands.
  • Our prayers are only to ask for more.
  • We ask for healing.
  • We ask for finances.
  • We ask for housing, transportation, and employment.
  • We ask for blessings for ourselves.
  • And yes… We are invited to ask. But…
  • We never just take the time to say,  “Thank You, Jesus.”
  • We are too busy to just stop and ‘chit-chat’ with Him.
  • We find ourselves so busy asking for more favors that we almost never stop to say, “Have I  told You today Jesus, that I love You?”

 

What’s The Chances Of Our ‘Relationship’ With God Lasting Very Long?

Actually, I am afraid it sounds one-sided.

It doesn’t sound like much of a relationship.

If it were a marriage, it might soon go on the rocks.

 

So, Where Is Our Walk With God Headed?

 

Just Imagine…

Just Imagine a husband been separated from his wife and writing over five dozen letters to her. Imagine the wife taking the unopened letters from the mailman and stacking them on the coffee table for all to see. Just imagine her never reading the letters from her husband. Imagine her thinking, “How precious of him to write, but reading his letters is boring to me.”

Imagine the two of them talking on the phone from time to time and him realizing by the things she says and doesn’t say, that she has not been reading any of his letters. Now what?

Absurd as it may sound, it happens everywhere, every day. We have letters and epistles written to us. Although cherished by us all, The Holy Bible remains unread and untouched. It is placed on the coffee table for others to see. But many of us will die, never reading what He wrote just to us. Now what?

 

Just imagine what our life would be like if we told the Lord several times a day that we loved Him, and not just asked for something every time we prayed.

Just imagine what our life would be like if we read the letters He wrote to us and got to know Him better!

Just imagine knowing Him in His fullness!

Just Imagine!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 21, 2018 at 8:50 am

All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

with 5 comments

All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

Proverbs 30:18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

Proverbs 30:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

He had it all.

Actually, He had everything.

Well, He had everything, except one thing.

He had no one to love Him.

He had Angels who praised Him continuously.

He had Angels who did His bidding without question.

But He had no one to love Him.

He had no one to dote on Him.

He had received honor before.

He had received praise before.

But He had never been loved before.

He had never seen love demonstrated.

He had never seen love displayed.

He had never seen love expressed or shown.

He had never seen romance before.

He understood things like physics, gravity, light, sound, space travel and how to make something out of nothing.

He understood emotions like rebellion, pride, and obedience.

He just wanted to know more about this thing called love.

He had always heard over 10,000 Hallelujahs at any given moment of every day.

He heard multitudes cry “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” every day.

What He’d never heard was someone say, “I love you!”

He knew the journey to finding love would be very long.

He had seen twinkles in stars before, but never in an eye.

His plan already included man, Calvary, and the Church.

He was prepared to do whatever it took to get a bride.

He wanted to find someone to love Him.

He spoke and the heavens and the earth came into existence.

By His own words, the sun, moon, and stars were created and flung perfectly into space.

By His own voice, the light was created, flowers and trees sprung up.

He said the words, and fish, birds, and animals appeared.

He looked it all over and said. “That’s good.”

Then He stopped talking.

Adam And Eve

He knelt down on the ground and with His hands, he began to form someone He could love. He called the man, Adam. The woman was named Eve.

He loved them. He visited every day. They walked and talked together every day without distraction.

He watched Adam and Eve smile at one another. He saw how Adam responded to Eve’s touch and Eve to Adam’s.

He watched them hold hands and kiss.

He liked what He saw. He saw the twinkle in Adam’s eye. He saw romance in its purest form.

He tried to imagine a mere mortal loving Him.

His mind raced ahead thousands of years. He thought of Himself and the Church. He pondered about His bride-to-be. “So… this is what it’s going to be like to be in love!”

He’d never been in love before. He saw Adam and Eve enjoying each other’s company. He told Himself, “That’s the kind of love I want. That’s the kind of romance I want.”

He so enjoyed being with Adam and Eve, that He turned His attention from the sounds of “Hallelujah” and “Holy-Holy” for a few hours every day just to come and see them.

He had no competition in the love department on earth. Maybe they would fall in love with Him.

Then came the heart-wrenching day when the evil serpent beguiled Eve. Sin, the enemy of the Most Holy One entered the picture. Paradise was no more.

Pain, sorrow, shame, and regret now entered the picture. The hope of Adam and Eve continuing their relationship with Him was over. Sin did it’s best to destroy that relationship.

They chose to listen to the voice of His enemy rather than listen to His voice.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Enoch

Seven generations later, a man was born by the name of Enoch. He heard his father and grandfather talk about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He heard the stories about God walking with them in the cool of the day.

Enoch began to imagine what it would be like to have God for a friend. That seemed to be all he could think about.

He inquired often of his family, asking them many questions, hoping to hear more stories about those precious days. He even got to talk to Adam himself and listened intently. He dreamed of having a similar experience with God.

One day Enoch started calling on the Lord as he walked. He began talking to God as if He was beside him.  The Lord did appear beside him and they began walking together and talking together every day.

Enoch was perfect in God’s eyes. His love thrilled the Lord. This was true love. Here was someone who chose to love Him, who took time out of their day and focused only on Him.

They walked and talked together every day for years. Then one day while they were walking, the sun started going down.

The Lord noticed it too. He also knew it was a long way back to Enoch’s house. So He said, “Enoch, it’s closer to my house than it is to yours. Why don’t you come on home with me?” Enoch said, “Yes.”

“And Enoch was not, for the Lord took him.”

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Israel

He looked the world over and His eyes fell upon her. He could really love her. Her father was a Hittite and her mother was an Amorite. But He didn’t hold that against her.

He stood there looking at her, watching her. She was beautiful to Him.

She had no family, no one to look after her. There was no one else that loved her.

She was unwanted and unloved by everyone else in the world.  She was considered second class and discarded by those who knew her.

  • She wasn’t beautiful, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t rich, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t mighty, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t even faithful, but He loved her.

He, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the First and the Last, The Lord God Almighty tried vainly to woo her. He did everything He could to show her He could supply her every need.

He was the richest Man in the world and of all the people in the world; He chose her, the poorest of all. He alone could make her prosper. She wasn’t impressed for long.

He showed her things about Himself that no one else had ever known. He gave her some names she could call Him by that would reveal His protecting love for her.

  • Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will Provide.
  • Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer.
  • Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our Banner
  • Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our Peace
  • Jehovah Raah – The Lord our Shepherd
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our Righteousness
  • Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is Present

When she got sick, He made sure she got well. When she was hungry, He provided food for her and took care of her every need.

He loved her, and yet she wasn’t happy with Him. Her heart easily turned aside. She often looked at others the way He wished she would look at Him. It grieved Him continually.

While still on their honeymoon, problems arose. They hadn’t been gone from Egypt a month and things turned ugly. Before He could even get her to the Promised Land and the home He had given her, she showed her unhappiness.

He talked with Moses about His plans for her and gave him detailed instructions.

But before Moses could talk to her she started looking at someone else. She began to dress to please them. She brazenly displayed her disdain for His wishes.

  • She murmured.
  • She complained.
  • She rebelled.
  • She flaunted herself in front of others.
  • She became brazen.
  • She couldn’t even blush.

It broke His heart. Yet He fought for her when everyone tried to kill her. He supplied her every need. He cared for her more than she cared for Him.

He still loved her. He sent her letters, but she ignored them. Even after she got settled in her new home, she started looking for other lovers.

She played the harlot and was unfaithful to Him. She only dressed to please Him if she was in the mood. She often saw others that attracted her and she dressed and displayed herself in a way to please them. She longed for their affections, not His.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Hosea

No one seemed to care how He felt. He had no one to share His pain and problems with.

In His Divine Heartache, He looked upon His prophet, Hosea. Hosea was unmarried.

He told Hosea to marry a woman who stood on the street corners at night. “Just go pick a prostitute, anyone will do.”

He wanted someone to feel like He felt, every day.

He wanted to see again how mere mortals handled rejection from those they loved.

Hosea found such a girl. Her name was Gomer. Everyone in town knew Hosea. They were shocked at his choice of a wife. In their minds she was trash.

  • She had dirtied herself.
  • She had lowered herself.
  • She had ruined her name.
  • She would destroy their marriage.
  • Of all the girls, why pick her?

The romance burned brightly and then quickly faded. The Lord watched how their love life went.

He watched Gomer sweeten his coffee with her kisses and then walk out the door disappearing for long periods of time.

Then came the babies. Their very names carried not only a prophecy to Israel but also a wake-up call to Hosea about his two-timing wife.

Jezreel, “God will disperse”

Lo-ruhamah, “Not pitied, or No Mercy”

Lo-ammi, “Not my people”

Hosea could tell by the names he named his children that he was not their father.

Gomer eventually got so involved in her wild lifestyle that she was overpowered and put into slavery by one of her lovers. She later was placed on an auction block and sold like a farm animal.

Hosea got word that his wife was being sold. He knew what she was and what she had done. But he loved her in spite of it all.

Anyone can tell by what he paid for her, that he gave all the money he had and emptied out his meager pantry besides. He gave his all to buy her back. He paid fifteen pieces of silver, and 1½ homers of barley.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

The Lord watched as Hosea gave all he had to buy his unfaithful wife back.

He turned his attention again to Israel. She wasn’t on an auction block. She wasn’t held against her will. She was happy to be unfaithful.

So He wrote her a bill of divorcement and He didn’t talk to her for 400 years.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Calvary

One day, He finally stepped into His closet and clothed Himself in a robe of flesh. He was born in Bethlehem to a young virgin.

He chose not to arrive in splendor, so He came to earth in obscurity. He came as God manifested in the flesh. He walked almost unnoticed around her.

He didn’t make Himself handsome so that she would love Him for His good looks. He wanted her to love Him for who He was, not what He looked like.

But He came unto His own and His own received Him not. They didn’t believe Him.

  • He wept.
  • His love was everlasting. Her love was fickle.
  • She tried to find fault with Him. She only followed Him for what He could give them.
  • He wanted to talk.
  • She was too busy, too preoccupied.

He said to her, “You say you love Me, but you say that only with your lips. It’s just words. Your heart is far from Me. You don’t love Me with your heart.”

He saw her as she really was. A slave. She was in bondage and held fast by her own sins.

He knew He was the only One who could redeem her.

He willingly offered Himself on Calvary for Her. He willingly gave His all to buy her back. He gave His blood to wash away her sins and He arose on the third day to give her hope of a new life.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

The Church

Over 2,000 years have come and gone. He’s ready now to take His bride to a home He has prepared just for her.

He wanted someone who would love Him enough to heed all of His Word. After all, if she really loved Him, she would keep His commandments. Not pick and choose which ones she liked. He was in love, why wasn’t she?

Yet He sees her still looking at the world. Sometimes she tries harder to please her other lovers than she does Him.

She has started complaining again if she thinks He’s asking her to dress a certain way just for Him. She doesn’t always act like she is in love with Him.

She says, “He doesn’t care how I dress. He doesn’t look on the outside. He only looks on the inside, on the heart.”

But when He looked in her heart, He saw nothing there that looked like love to Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.

  • She dreads talking to Him on a daily basis. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She doesn’t think about Him during the course of the day. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • Yet she talks freely to everyone else but Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • All she seems to want is a sugar daddy. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She has to be begged to visit His house. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He blesses her with money and yet she is not faithful to give her tithe to Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He sends blessings her way and loads her down daily with benefits. She soon forgets. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He sends healing to her every situation. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He calms her storms of life. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She has all the songs memorized and sings them without feeling. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She hears His Word preached and chooses which parts she likes and doesn’t like. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He says He’s coming to get her and she’s not even looking out the window for Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He says He is coming to get and to take her to heaven with Him, and she is not even making herself ready. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He knew it would happen this way.
  • A long time ago He said that she would love pleasure more than she loved Him.
  • He said that her love would wax cold.
  • He said she would leave her 1st love.
  • And He was right.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

You

  • Do you love Him? I mean, do you really love Him? Do you love Him with all of your heart? He wants to know.
  • He wants to know if you love another. Do you?
  • He wants to know if your heart belongs only to Him or not. Does it?
  • He’s looking for a bride that will love Him with all of her heart, her soul her mind, and her strength.
  • Could that person be you? He’s looking your way right now. He wants it to be you.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

She Put Her Gum In The Offering Plate!

with 9 comments

She Put Her Gum In The Offering Plate!

Agnes was mad, she was really mad! She had long ago gotten past being upset. She was irritated by what was happening in her world. Her world was out of control. This was not the life she had planned for herself.

Her family was by far the richest in her hometown of Bolivar, Missouri. They owned the entire town. Well, at least most of it was theirs. Her maiden name of Burke was a name that was well-respected in Bolivar. It got respect because it carried most of the money.

Everything had been wonderful in her world up till now. Her husband Bill was not rich nor did he come from a moneyed family like hers, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work and was a good provider. They loved each other. They had recently moved to the Riverside, California area.

When Agnes found out that Bill had somehow wandered into one of those Pentecostal Holy Roller churches, she was mortified. They were good Baptist people from a long line of Baptists. This should not be happening.

When Bill came home from the little Pentecostal church, he was acting differently. He said he’d gotten the Holy Ghost and had talked in tongues.

Agnes was not happy and went through the roof. She argued. She ranted. She raved. This was unbelievable and totally unacceptable! She had to find a way to get Bill back on track and away from all of them low-class Holy Rollers.

She finally decided to go to the little church with Bill and see if she could fix the mess Bill had just gotten them into.

The ladies looked horrible to her with their long hair, long dresses, and long sleeves. The women had their hair all done up. They looked old-fashioned and out of date. Agnes knew she would never fit into a church like this one. All of the women in the church dressed that way. Agnes refused to comply. She was determined to show her disdain for their manner of dress. She was determined to never be part of something so ridiculous.

She seldom missed a service, however. Her attendance was not because she was interested. She wasn’t. She despised everything about this new religion of Bills. Somehow, she had to get him away from this craziness.

To express her disdain for the ‘holiness’ dress code of the holy rollers, she wore things she knew they would disapprove of. She wore sleeveless dresses to church. She wore slacks. She even wore mini-skirts just to get a reaction from them.

She hated everything about these holy rollers. She criticized Bill’s involvement. She made his life a hell, at home.

At church, Agnes purposely didn’t smile much. She just sat there and chewed her gum. She always did. She knew that chewing gum in a church was considered disrespectful, but what did she care. When the offering was being received, Agnes would take her gum out and press it into the dollar bills in the plate.

She was pleased to watch the church secretary try to separate the gum from the paper dollars. It was one of the few things she enjoyed about going to this church.

Her husband Bill had laid on the floor, she found out, when he was praying to receive the ‘Holy Ghost,’ or whatever it was called. He evidently thrashed around quite a bit and rolled back and forth so much that the Pastor, Carl Ballestero, actually sat on him to hold him still so he could receive the Holy Ghost. How stupid, she thought. For six months now, Agnes had constantly shown her disdain and disrespect for the Pentecostals.

One night, a visitor came. The visitor was an old woman who had been in the original Azusa Street Mission. The presence of the Lord fell and people began to worship, but not Agnes. The old lady came to where Agnes was standing and even though she refused to pray, the old sister began to minister to her. In a few moments, she laid her hands on Agnes and prayed. God immediately filled her with the Holy Ghost.

She soon dropped to her knees, and then fell on the floor talking in tongues. She rolled. She rolled down the aisle. She rolled up under the piano and lay there for two hours, talking in tongues. She couldn’t stop.

Bill took his wife home drunk in the Holy Ghost that night. She went to sleep still talking in tongues. At 3 am, Agnes got out of bed and went next door to her neighbors, and beat on the door.

The neighbor lady said, ‘Agnes, what are you doing beating on my door at 3 am? Is something wrong? Do you need something?” All Agnes could do was speak in tongues. She gave up and went back to her house. She spoke in tongues for three days straight.

In time, God called Bill to preach the Gospel. A transformed Agnes and her husband, Bill (Wild Bill) Yandris, went to Merced, California and built a beautiful church to the glory of God. The Apostolic Tabernacle.

Bro. & Sis. Bill Yandris

The very godly Sister Agnes Yandris and her beloved Bill, have now both gone home to their glorious reward. Their children are carrying on this glorious message!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 11, 2018 at 11:22 am

The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

leave a comment »

 

The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

 

 

Near the Savannah, Georgia exit 102 on I-95, sits a Cracker Barrel next to our motel. The chalk-written New Year’s message is plain for all to see. It says:

 

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions”

 

May this New Year be a time for all of us to start afresh. Regardless of past failures or yesterday’s disappointments.

We need to leave our paradigm of failure-thinking and begin again. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had to begin again. What you have been through was neither your final chapter nor your epitaph.

 

Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

 

It’s not abnormal for good people to make mistakes and have to start over or begin again. Even Paul said he died daily. He started over every day.

 

 New Beginnings:

 

 Has your Bible reading been almost nonexistent lately?

Begin again.

 

How about your prayer life? Been busy? Hard to get to pre-service prayer for some reason or another?

Begin again.

 

Got out of the habit of responding during the worship service?

Begin again.

 

Has there been an absence of you saying amen to the preaching lately?

Begin again.

 

You haven’t taught a Home Bible Study in a long time?

Begin again.

 

How long since you made it to midweek service?

Begin again.

 

How about your tithes? If you’ve quit giving tithes and offerings…

Begin again.

 

Have you resigned or quit participating in your church?

Begin again.

 

Have you stopped kissing your spouse good morning, good night, and good-bye?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I love you” to your spouse?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said I love you to your parents?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I am proud of you,” and “I love you,” to your children?

 Begin again.

 

Have you stopped saying, “I love you” to your in-laws?

Begin again.

 

 

Begin again In God. Recover yourself.

 

2 Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2 Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 

 

Traditions

 

Traditions make homes and churches special. When our large family gets together, there are always certain meals everyone can count on.  You just know that there will be gumbo one day and enchiladas and tacos on another. And the morning we all have to leave, there’s s special breakfast restaurant we go to. It’s our custom. It’s just how it is in our family.

Churches have customs and traditions too. It’s a huge disappointment to go back to your ‘home’ church and find out how different it is or that they have changed.

 

Hold fast to the old Apostolic Pentecostal Traditions.

When backsliders and those who have had to move away, come back to visit… Let them that see your church is still holding on to the old-time ways!

 

And, as Cracker Barrel would say if it was preaching this sermon,

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm