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The Desire To Be Cherished

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The Desire To Be Cherished

 

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

 

It’s A Basic Life Need

Cherish – Definition:

To hold Dear:

To Cultivate with Care and Affection

To Nurture

To Treasure, Prize, Value

To Feel And Show Affection For

 

Babies Desire To Be Cherished And Held.

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

 

When Babies Are Not Cherished:

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 Soon the babies became withdrawn and unresponsive.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

 

All Children Desire to Be Cherished.

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

 

Little Kids Ask Their Parents.

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

 

Teenagers Desire To Be Cherished.

  • They dream about it.
  • They sing about it.
  • They listen to music about it.
  • They want to be loved.
  • They want someone to cherish them.
  • To complicate the matter, their hormones rage out of control during the process.
  • Some girls never feel cherished by their father, so they seek elsewhere for male approval.
  • They never felt cherished at home, so they look for someone to validate and approve of them.
  • They just want to be cherished.

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

 

During Courtship, Both Parties Practice Cherishing The Other Person.

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

 

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

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

 

All Husbands And Wives Desire To Be Cherished

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

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

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

 

Every Prospective Groom Says, “Will You Marry Me?” He is hoping he will be cherished and loved.

Every Prospective Bride Says, “Yes” She is hoping she will be cherished and loved.

 

To The Wife:

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

 

To The Husband:

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

 

Jacob Cherished Rachel.

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

 

David Never Cherished Michal

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

 

The Proverbs 31 Wife

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

 

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

HALAL – haw-lal’;

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

God Cherishes His People.

They Are The Apple of His Eye

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

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

 

God Protected Israel In Goshen

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

 

God Protected Israel In The Wilderness

  • Provided in the wilderness.
  • There was no sickness.
  • No one’s clothes wore out.

 

God’s Desire To Be Cherished By Man

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

 

Jesus to Peter

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

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

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

 

David

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

God Desires Man To Cherish Him

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

 

The Lord Knows The Difference Between Lip Service And Heartfelt Expressions Of Love.

  • Men that cherish God – Worship
  • Men that cherish God – Come to His House

 

My Visit To See Marcia, The Girl I Wanted For My Wife, In 1965

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

 

You’re Not Faithful To God’s House?

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

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

 

Jacob Cherished The Birth Right

  • Jacob had major character flaws I’m sure.
  • But he cherished the same Birthright that Esau despised, so God chose to love Jacob and discard Esau.
  • God cherished Jacob and said, ‘Jacob Have I loved, and Esau have I hated.’
  • Make God love you too by cherishing those things, which are Godly and eternal.

 

Don’t Tell Me You Cherish The Lord Jesus…

  • If You Don’t Pay Tithes.
  • If You Hate Holiness.
  • If You Aren’t Faithful To His House.
  • If You Don’t Pray.
  • If You Don’t Worship.
  • If You Bring Disunity To His Church.
  • If You Rebel Against His Word.

 

Sing Like You Cherish Him.

Pray Like You Cherish Him.

Talk Like You Cherish Him.

Dress Like You Cherish Him.

 

God is Jealous Of What You Cherish.

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

 

You Don’t Cherish The Lord If…

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

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

 

The Old Rugged Cross

George Bennard 1913

 

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

The emblem of suff’ring and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain.

 

Refrain:

So, I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it some day for a crown.

 

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

Has a wondrous attraction for me;

For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above

To bear it to dark Calvary.

 

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

A wondrous beauty I see,

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

To pardon and sanctify me.

 

To the old rugged cross, I will ever be true;

Its shame and reproach gladly bear;

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

Where His glory forever I’ll share.

 

The Lord Cherished Us Even In Our Sins.

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

 

We Love Him Because He First Loved Us!

 

Here’s Your Homework For Today:

1. Tell Jesus that you love Him!

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

 

2. Next, Go Tell Your Spouse And Your Family That You Love Them.

  • Put your heart into it.
  • They can tell.

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 18, 2017 at 10:30 pm

“What If a Few Weddings In The Bible Didn’t Turn Out Like God Wanted Them To?”

with one comment

 

Guest Editorial.

Bill Davidson Gives Marriage Advice To People Who Aren’t Sure!

 

“What If a Few Weddings In The Bible Didn’t Turn Out Like God Wanted Them To?”

 

  1. What If Rachel Didn’t Want To Leave Her Mama?

Gen 24:14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also:

Abraham’s servant prayed for the will of God in choosing a wife for his master’s son.

He Didn’t Pray:

  • For The girl to be beautiful.
  • For Her to be talented.
  • For her to be the smartest girl in town.

He only prayed for her to be willing to give him and his camels a drink. That’s it. But what would have happened if she had chosen to stay in her village with her mom and ‘em?

  • After all, she hadn’t even seen a picture of this Isaac dude she would have to marry.
  • (He might have a few head of cows, but he might be ugly too.)
  • Besides, she may never get to see any of her family again.
  • Was this guy worth all of that?

If Rachael, even after passing the ‘will of God’ test that the servant had made, had still said no to leaving her mama… What would she have missed out on?

  1. Being the wife of a man who was in a covenant relationship with God!
  2. Being in the bloodline of the coming Messiah!
  3. Being one of the richest women in the world.
  4. Becoming one history’s most beloved mothers!

 

Bill Davidson’s Advice To Every Rebecca?

  • Pack your suitcase girlfriend, and kiss yer mama goodbye!
  • Pack yer little pink suitcase.
  • Don’t wait,
  • Grab the opportunity. It’s a once in a lifetime.
  • (Besides, even though you’re sweet, you may need to cover your face when you first see him.)

 

  1. What If Boaz Had Never Married His Ruth?

Boaz felt pretty much like a cool dude. He was doing pretty well for a single guy. He had a big farm and some hired hands working for him. He had everything a man could want… except the most important thing. A wife!

During the harvest, this beautiful woman shows up in his field and works like a slave girl. She sure wasn’t afraid to work. Sure, you might could guess she wasn’t rich and had come through hard times, but she wasn’t asking for a handout either. That was in her favor.

Boaz was smitten by her beauty. When he looked at her he was more influenced by his hormones than by the Holy Ghost. He like what he saw. Yet, there was a few hurdles he had to get past.

There were some details that had to be ironed out and quite a few people to reckon with and please. Public opinion had to be faced.

Boaz then struggled a bit with going forward with wedding plans and even tried to let one of his cousins have first chance at marrying her if he wanted her.

Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

 

So, What If Boaz Had Never Married His Ruth?

  • He would have been out he will of God
  • Obed, his son would have never been born.
  • (His name means worshiper. There would’ve been no worship in his life.)
  • Jesus would not have been born.
  • There would have been no cross, nor an empty tomb.
  • There would have been no salvation for sin.
  • Boaz would have had to go to hell.
  • Boaz did not know there would be a messiah in his blood line.
  • He never asked for or sought the will of God.
  • He had no clue that the will of God was staring him in the face.
  • He might have died a bachelor if he let Ruth get away.

 

Bill Davidson’s Advice To Every Boaz?

  • Dude, don’t pass up this opportunity and let this Ruth chick slip away.
  • If you don’t marry her, you will go to hell.
  • You are an idiot man, if you let anyone else have a chance to marry her.
  • My God man, Tell her you love her now, and get the ball rolling!

 

  1. What If Jacob Had Let Rachel Slip Through His Fingers Because He Was Broke?

Jacob the con artist ran away from home to keep from being killed. He hasn’t been gone but a few days and he meets the prettiest girl in the world. It would cost a lot of money to marry a girl that pretty. What’s a man to do?

  • He didn’t have two shekels to rub together.
  • He didn’t even have his own tent.
  • He didn’t even own a camel to ride on.
  • He didn’t have enough money to go on a nice date.
  • He was broke.

So, how do you face a girl’s dad and act like you are interested in his daughter and you don’t have any money? How will you support her? Will you have to live with her folks? You have no place to take her. Can you live on love alone?

Bill Davidson’s Advice To Every Jacob?

  • Hey Jake! She loves you even though you’re broker than the ten commandments.
  • It will work out. I promise.
  • Man Up Dude!
  • Be willing to give yourself when you don’t have any money.
  • Tell her you love her. Even though you’re broke, it’s still God’s will.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 26, 2017 at 9:33 am

Posted in Life, Love, Marriage

Happy 70th Birthday Marcia Starr Ballestero

with 5 comments

 

 

Happy 70th Birthday Marcia Starr Ballestero

 

My Darling Marcia!

What joy you’ve brought into my life, Baby. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, besides the Holy Ghost! Your saying yes to me has been very expensive for you, and absolutely wonderful for me! Thank You! You are heaven’s gift to me!

I want to thank you for your love!

Thank you for giving me your heart!

Thank you for giving yourself to me!

Seventy years! It’s quite the journey! You had already walked seventeen of those before I caught up with you!

Once my eyes laid hold on you, my heart became committed to keep me close to your side for however long the journey!

I have been honored above all men to hold your hand every step of the way!

Your stride was a steady and peaceful pace! With sweet calmness and grace you’ve faced life and all its uncertainties!

You took my heart and treated it like gold, you gave me yours to have and to hold!

You laid down by death’s door five times to make our home complete.

Thank you for always trying to serve me first at meal times, even though you should have been the first. Thank You!

I am overwhelmed at the staggering sacrifices you have made in expressing your love to me. Thank You My Darling.

  • You gave of your time and energy, caring for your family.
  • You’re completely selfless.
  • You’ve constantly sacrificed so that our family could enjoy comforts of life.
  • You are supportive of our children’s dreams.
  • You are supportive of my dreams.
  • You’ve always been a perfect picture of modesty and grace.
  • You’ve been feminine and nurturing.
  • You’ve been tender and kind.
  • You’ve always been peaceable and sweet.
  • You’ve been Godly and righteous.
  • You’ve been honest and true.
  • You’ve been real and consistent.
  • You’ve been a wonderful helpmate and friend!
  • You’ve been a loving and affectionate wife!
  • You’ve been all that a lover could be.

I have learned over the years that your primary love language is Acts Of Service.

Your Love Language everyday says to me, “I Love You!!” I Thank You For That!

I feel very appreciative and undeserving of your love. You, my dear, make all my dreams come true. Thank You!

With All My Heart, I Love You!!

Marty

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 15, 2017 at 11:17 pm

Posted in Love, Marriage, Romance

Tagged with

Saying, “Thank You” And Responding In Kind… For Husbands And Wives.

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Saying, “Thank You” And Responding In Kind… For Husbands And Wives.

By Marcia And Martyn Ballestero

 

What is your response when someone you love says, “I love you”?

  • (“I love you too!” is the expected and best reaction.)

 

What is your response when he tells you that you are beautiful?

  • (“Ok,” is not acceptable.)
  • (“Don’t disqualify his compliment.)
  • (Don’t roll your eyes.)

Respond with something like,

  • “You’re so sweet!”
  • “Thank you Babe!”

 

What is your response when he comes up from behind, while you are washing dishes and he gives you a quick smooch on the cheek?

  • (“What was that for?” is the wrong response!)
  • (“What do you want now?” is a bad reaction, that will hurt!)
  • (These are responses that stop affection in marriage.)
  • (Why couldn’t you have turned to him and kissed him back? He was trying to be sweet.)

 

What is your response when he gives you a little pat?

  • (Acting too bothered to appreciate the attention or pulling away will stop his affection.)
  • (The least you could do is smile!)
  • (For a bonus, say ,“I love you!”)
  • (Pat him back sometime.)

 

What is your response when you are sitting in your lazy-boy chair reading, and she brings you a snack without you asking?

  • (Grunting is an uncouth caveman’s response! Never do that.)
  • (“Thanks Baby, you’re just the best!” is always good.)
  • (Surprise her with an unexpected act of service.)

 

What is your response when your spouse washes your clothes and folds them and puts them in the drawer and you just now noticed?)

  • (Ignoring an act of love would be taking your partner for granted)
  • (“Thank You very much.” Will go a long ways)
  • (Think of something nice to do back to them)

 

What is your response when you receive a compliment you don’t feel you really deserve?”

  • (Ignoring it is a slap in the face.)
  • (Wrinkling your nose, and shaking your head no is ignorant and immature.)
  • (Realize they are saying it to you because that’s how they feel, so say “Thank you!”)
  • (Smile and be humble.)
  • (Find something to compliment them on… try hard if necessary.)

 

What is your response when you are sitting on the couch working on something you think is important and your wife chooses that moments to sit beside you, touch you and kind of snuggles up close?

  • (Acting irritated or ignoring her is a sign of stupidity.)
  • (Saying you can’t be bothered right now will turn off more switches than you have the power to turn back on.)
  • (Whatever you are working on can wait. I’m very serious.)
  • (Nothing in the world is more important to you than she is.)
  • (PUT IT DOWN NOW!)
  • (You will thank us later.)

 

What is your response when your wife needs to talk about something she feels is important?

  • (Not stopping what you’re doing and looking into her eyes will not lead to a happy day.)
  • (Always listen without seeming to be bored or aggravated.)
  • (Don’t shut down and give the silent treatment.)
  • (If the subject is heated, remember a soft answer turneth away wrath, and where there is no wood the fire goes out.)
  • (If you’re guilty or have done something wrong. Humbly apologize.)
  • (Use your inside voice when you speak.)

 

What is your response when you are kissed fully on the lips?

  • (For crying out loud… If I have to answer that for you, you don’t deserve a spouse or to be kissed on the lips!)

 

Now Go Have A Blessed (Romantic) Day ❤️

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 26, 2017 at 11:15 am

Posted in Love, Marriage

Tagged with ,

My Hero Wears A Dress!

with 6 comments

My Hero Wears A Dress

 

Marcia crop

 

She can’t fly, except into my arms.

She can see right through impossible situations.

She can hear you if you need help and can’t ask for it.

She amazes everyone with her powers of love, nurturing and care.

She is a ministering servant to those who love her.

She is always willing to help, to love and to forgive.

She can make the world’s most wonderful food magically appear before her guests.

She always creates a home atmosphere where people want to come and relax.

She denies having super powers, yet her family and friends marvel that she accomplishes the impossible with apparent grace and ease.

She does things no one else in the family is able to do.

I’m telling you. She may wear a dress, but that doesn’t stop her from being my Hero!

She doesn’t even know how awesome she really is and denies being an angel and passes off the compliments with smile and a thank you. But, we are not sure she actually believes the nice things we say about her or to her. She is a Humble Hero.

 

She Is My Hero, My Angel, My Wife

(As a mere mortal, I have always believed that she is an angel in disguise. Well… Her kisses make the think she’s an angel.)

 

Her Birthday Is The 16th Of July

 

Some Important World Events That Happened On July 16th:

1439 Kissing is banned in England (to stop germs from spreading)

1790 US Congress establishes District of Columbia

1798 US Public Health Service authorized

1845 NY Yacht Club holds its 1st regatta

1857 Confederate general Stonewall Thomas Jackson (33) weds Mary Anna Morrison in Lincoln County

1861 Battle of Bull Run, the 1st major battle of the Civil War, is fought

1862 David Farragut is 1st Rear Admiral in US Navy

1880 Dr. Emily Stowe becomes the first woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada.

1907 Orville Redenbacher, American popcorn king

1920 China joins the League of Nations

1920 Babe Ruth sets season home run record with 30 en route to 54

1926 National Geographic takes 1st natural-color undersea photos

1935 1st automatic parking meter in US installed (Oklahoma City, Ok)

1941 100°F (38°C) highest temperature ever recorded in Seattle Wash

1945 The world’s first atomic bomb was detonated near Alamogordo, New Mexico

1957 A new transcontinental record was set travelling across the United States in 3 hours, 23 minutes in a Navy jet plane by Major John Glenn Jr.

1969 Apollo 11, carrying 1st men to land on Moon, launched

1980 Ronald Reagan nominated for US President by Republicans in Detroit

 

But The Event That Has Blessed My Life Forever, Happened July 16, 1947.

Marcia June Starr was the first of five daughters born To William R. Starr and Marian June Anderson Starr.

She accepted me as her human companion and I’ve loved her with all my heart for over fifty-one years. I will never stop loving her or needing her.

As the mere mortal who loves her more than any man is normally allowed to love an angel, I want to wish her a very Happy Birthday. (Angels don’t really have actual ages.)

 

Marcia?

I Love You Darling! You Are My Hero. You Are My Angel. I Thank God For You! Happy Birthday!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 13, 2016 at 12:59 pm

My Name Is Leah

with 11 comments

 

leah-wface

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

We Will Adjust To Your Lifestyle

with 9 comments

We Will Adjust To Your Lifestyle

 

The dietary nurse stood beside my Memphis hospital bed with a clipboard in her hand. I was confident that I already knew the speech she was about to give me. I’d heard it almost seven years earlier, the first time I had gotten blood clots.

“Is this the Anti-Vitamin K speech?” I asked her, expecting that I would not be able to eat anything green as long I was on the Coumadin blood thinner again. Nothing green had entered my mouth in over a year during my first bout with blood clots.

“Oh No!” she responded with enthusiasm.

“We don’t do it that way any more. We now adjust the medicine to fit your lifestyle. We’ve had too many complaints from our patients. They didn’t want to change, so we changed. They didn’t want to change how they ate. That’s why we changed our approach to the treatment of blood clots. We now tell the patient to keep eating like they always have and we will adjust the medicine to suit them.” She said this with a big smile, feeling certain I would share her enthusiasm.

“Really?” I said with my eyebrows raised in surprise.

“Yes,” she said. “For example, if you eat two helpings of turnip greens this week, then just eat two helpings of turnip greens next week too. Keep on living like you always have and we will adjust the meds to adapt to your lifestyle.”

I looked at her not believing my ears. I remembered the many monthly trips I had made to medical labs around the country to let them draw my blood for a PT-INR test. The results were faxed to my doctor so he could check up on my dietary compliance.

She smiled and assured me that I now could have all the salads, green beans, and broccoli I wanted. This news was unreal. The doctor would adjust the medicine to accommodate me. I wasn’t going to be required to change. The doctor and the medication would have to change, but not me. I could live like I always had.

My mind went back to the incident Bro. Wayne Huntley experienced with his heart some years ago. When he returned for his check up one year later, the doctor congratulated him and said, “Most of the patients like you do not make it to their first year check up because they refuse to change their diet. You’ve changed how you live, that’s why you are still here.”

 

Gentle Reader? The reason you got sick in the first place was because of how you were living, and now you say you want to be healed but aren’t willing to change? Oh my!

 

What was I missing? Doctors once required their patients to change and adjust their lifestyle, but not any more? Some tell me it’s progressive thinking. But then again, that is the spirit and mindset of the end times, especially for the church.

Evidently, not many want to change their lifestyle to live for Jesus. Over a hundred years ago church folk sang songs like:

 

Leaving All to Follow Jesus

Ida M. Budd, 1898

 

Leaving all to follow Jesus,

Turning from the world away,

Stepping out upon the promise,

All I have is His today.

 

Refrain:

Leaving all to follow Jesus,

Turning from the world away,

Stepping out upon His promise,

All I have is His today.

 

Some folks don’t want to give up much anymore to live for God. There are women who say they are Pentecostal but still wear their flashy jewelry and make up. They certainly want to wear their tight pants. Even if God did say it was an abomination, it doesn’t bother them. They will not change. They want the preacher to adjust his doctrine and standards to suit their lifestyle while they keep on wearing their skinny short skirts and other immodest apparel. Holiness is distasteful to them.

What do the preachers do about it? Not much as a rule. A surprising number of Pentecostal pastors are presenting the Gospel of Christ in much the same way as my dietary nurse. Pastors who are people pleasers are not God pleasers. The Scripture calls them ‘hirelings’. They are pastors who are not real shepherds. They are employees of the people, nothing more. The wishes of people govern their form of the Gospel, (Which is not a Gospel.) They are truly Laodicean.

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

 

To understand the meaning of the word ‘Laodicean,’ and why it is used in this passage, examine the Greek root words from which it is derived: Laos (Strong’s #2992, meaning ‘people’) and Dike (Strong’s #1349), meaning ‘principle, decision’. Laodiceans trusted in their own ability to rule themselves, judging and deciding matters while disregarding Christ and His rule in the Church. The people wanted to rule the church. They didn’t want a pastor who was a God-called pastor to lead them. But, that is really nothing new. The same problem existed in the Old Testament.

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

 

Oh yes! Some like their modern churches with their hireling pastors because no inward or outward change is required. (Just put your money in the basket.)

 

On The Other Hand, The Bible Is Full Of Examples Of Men Changing:

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

 

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

2Cor 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 

The Rich Young Ruler didn’t want to change.

Ruth was willing to change.

 

No one in God’s Kingdom will ever be healed of sin until they are willing to change. Even before the Holy Ghost was given, Jesus continually reminded those He healed to go their way and sin no more. He told them to change.

 

Obedience Always Brings Change.

Arguments Come From The Disobedient Attempting To Defend Themself.

 

The reason you argue about Holiness is because you don’t want to change your way of living. You want to find a church that will preach a message that comfortably conforms to how you want to live, and you will.

Don’t tell me you are not convicted by what is written in the Bible. Don’t even say you’ve prayed about it and don’t feel it’s necessary to obey. If it’s in the Bible, believe it and obey it!

Men change, fellowships and organizations change. Denominations change. God’s Word NEVER changes. The very fact that your hireling pastor won’t preach and enforce God’s Word should be enough to keep you up at night. How can you stay in a church with a compromising pastor and a worldly congregation who like it like that?

In the Old Testament, Israel never argued about God’s Holiness requirements. They just obeyed. On the Day of Pentecost no one argued about the need of Jesus Name baptism or the need of the Holy Ghost. They just repented, got baptized in Jesus Name and were filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

Paul changed every day. (1Co 15:31… I die daily.)

 

The High School Driving Instructor taught my class, in 1960, that the average driver makes approximately sixty corrections or adjustments per minute while driving. What if they didn’t make any changes or adjustments?

When a couple marries they must make adjustments and changes, those who refuse will likely divorce.

If someone wanted to play on the football team, they must be willing to change their life to reach that goal. If they don’t change, they won’t make the team. Yet, in living for God, with Heaven in view, we foolishly refuse to change. Why?

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 25, 2016 at 11:28 pm