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What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

with 4 comments

 

What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

My father rode beside me in the car as we talked about the alarming decline of standards and morality among some of the churches we knew. Dad shook his head after a while and rhetorically said, “Where’s Bro. Verbal Bean when we need him? Where’s Bro. Joe Duke? I wonder why God took their ministries from us when we needed them the most?”

Since neither of us could answer that question, the car stayed quiet for a while as I drove down the highway. Since then, many more strong voices of men and women have been laid silent in their graves. Today, nearly forty years later, I revisited that moment in the car with my daddy.

We look around us now for another star to shine bright! We look for another champion of the faith. We look for someone with an amazing ministry. A preacher we would drive a hundred miles just to listen to one sermon. Someone who will lift their voice.

 

Really?

  • What’s Wrong With Your Voice?
  • What Keeps You From Speaking Up?
  • Why Don’t You Say Something?
  • Why Don’t You Respond To The Need?
  • Can’t You See What Sin Is Around You?
  • And, You Still Can’t Open Your Mouth?

 

Maybe you say to yourself that you don’t have a ministry like Bro. Bean, or a Bro. Duke. So you feel content to be quiet.

Have you never read about a man named Amos in the Bible?

Amos 7:14  Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:

Amos 7:15  And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

Amos declares that He wasn’t preacher nor a preacher’s son. He was just a herdsman and had a little fruit stand. Yet God chose to speak through him to a whole nation.

 

God looks for availability.

Eze. 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

Isa. 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

 

God is still looking for a voice!

  • Are You Available?
  • How Would You Respond If God Chose To Use You?

 

Again, I ask…

What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

Someone Needs To Say Something!!!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 5, 2019 at 4:27 pm

“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

with 11 comments

 

“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

I guess I could answer their questions in the normal way, but that would be too easy. It’s more enjoyable to watch their faces when I answer in terms of events rather than the expected number of years.

 

I have been known to respond something like this…

 

“I’m So Old That:

“I can remember when hymns and choruses actually rhymed.

“I actually heard the saints stand up and testify in a regular testimony service.

“I’ve even heard prayer rooms roar with the sounds of victorious saints bombarding Heaven while putting the devil on the run.

 

“I actually saw Sunday School Attendance Boards displaying things like:

  • Attendance Today
  • Offering Amount
  • Number of Visitors
  • Number of Bibles Brought

 

“Church Songs Were…

  • About deliverance from sin.
  • About heaven being a holy place.
  • About the Lord’s return to earth
  • About having your sins washed away.

 

“I actually heard preachers name sin from the pulpit.

“Wayward saints got rebuked openly from the pulpit, that others might fear.

“Hearing the phrase: ‘Holiness or Hell,’ was common.

 

“Holiness and modesty were expected among all Holy Ghost filled saints.

“If the pastor said it, young people obeyed without questioning his reasons or his authority.

“No saint ever chewed gum in church. It was too disrespectful.

 

“Expectant mothers wore loose attire that only revealed a minimum of information.

“Sword Drills were common in youth services.

“A Sunday morning service included a Bible class, a second worship service, and preaching.

 

“Sunday night church was always expected.

“Mid-week schedule of services included a Tuesday and Thursday or a Wednesday and Friday.

“Revivals were held every night but Monday.

 

“Preachers wore white shirts to church and they always wore a tie.

“Rings on a preacher were noticed by everyone.

“When the preacher announced his text, the sound of Bible pages turning would be discerned by everyone.

 

“The spirit of Conviction was the norm in most every service.

“Messages in tongues were not uncommon.

“The sounds of Intercessory Prayer were heard in most churches.

 

“The preaching wasn’t politically correct.

“No one claimed to be living for God with a TV in their house.

“When saints never went to ball games or movies.

 

“When Apostolic saints shunned all of Hollywood.

“When church services often went past 10 pm.

“When New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service most often included a confession service as well.

 

“When we bragged about carrying folks home drunk on the Holy Ghost.

“When folks who disregarded standards were called backsliders.

“When young men didn’t justify wearing shorts just because they came to the knee.

 

“When saintly women abhorred the wearing of any type of makeup because they didn’t want to look like a Jezebel and ruin their testimony.

“When the lights weren’t turned down low at the altar call, and everyone could see who needed to pray.

“When doctrine and standards were openly preached and wonderfully received.

 

“When preachers didn’t teach doctrine and standards in private classes so as not to scare any visitors.

“When Break-Out Sessions were unheard of.

“When those whose prophecies didn’t come to pass were called false prophets.

 

But now…

We’ve moved ‘up’ to the next level of Pentecost!!

 

“You didn’t actually answer my question, Brother Ballestero! You still haven’t told me how old you are. How old are you?”

 

Again, My Response…

“Old enough to want to hear doctrine preached and not some feel-good pop psychology type sermon.

 

“I’m so old that I search for churches that still have that old-time Apostolic feeling.

“I look for churches that still want to hear preaching like it used to be.

“Where testimonies have that New Jerusalem ring to them.

 

“I look for churches that haven’t thrown all the old songs away.

“I want to find places where holiness is still in style.

“Where ALL of the Bible is preached without apology.”

 

“That’s how old I am!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 29, 2019 at 10:30 pm

What Else Could I Have Done?

with 5 comments

 

(Dedicated to Apostolic Pastors)

 

What Else Could I Have Done?

 

The visitor closed the pastor’s office door behind him with a click of finality. They had talked many times, but this would be the last. The man who walked out wasn’t coming back to church. Well, he wasn’t coming back to church here.

Slowly lowering himself into his desk chair, the man of God searched his memory for all the opportunities he might have had to make this ending different. His heart was hurting in areas that medical science could not fix.

That nagging feeling of being a failure at what he did was surfacing again. It really didn’t seem to matter what the circumstances were. People that had been in his care were now gone. It felt personal to him. What else could he have done to stop those who left?

  • Some backslid.
  • Some got offended.
  • Some wanted fewer standards.
  • Some had personality problems with him.
  • Some didn’t want a pastor.
  • Some didn’t like the music.
  • Some gave no reason, they just quit.

Was he a failure? He had spent a lifetime as a pastor. How come he couldn’t fix their problems? He should have the answers to most issues a pastor faces by now. Was he the problem? He knew that second-guessing himself would never result in anything positive. But he still wondered if he could have done more.

 

He Picked Up His Bible And Began To Study About Those Who Walked Away…

 

Abraham and Lot walked their separate ways.

Samuel watched Saul self-destruct.

Moses saw what rebellion and wrong friends did to Korah and 200 princes.

David’s own children brought him heartache.

 

Paul Couldn’t Stop Demas From Loving The World.

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;

 

Jesus Lost The Rich Young Ruler As A Disciple Because Of Money.

Mark 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

 

Jesus Lost Followers Because Of What He Taught.

John 6:66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

John 6:67  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

 

Jesus Lost Judas

  • Judas showed enough potential to be placed in leadership.
  • He was hand-picked.
  • He was allowed to be a privileged disciple.
  • He was chosen to be in charge of the group’s finances.
  • Confidence was placed in him.
  • The closer someone is to you, the greater the pain when they hurt you.

 

Judas Lived On A Carnal Level And Was Oblivious To The Spiritual.

John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

 

Judas Let His True Colors Show At The Wrong Time.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

 

Judas Has A Personal Agenda That Was Separate From His Leader.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

 

Judas Received A Warning From The Lord But Continued Anyway.

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

John 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

 

Judas Saw The Same Miracles And Heard The Same Sermons But Was Unaffected.

Judas was one of the twelve that went out and preached about the kingdom of God and healed the sick.

 

Judas Planned His Move Carefully.

Matt. 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Like a chess player looking at the possible responses to his next move.

Like a politician encouraged by the negative sentiment of a carnal crowd.

 

Judas Was An Opportunist.

Matt. 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

 

Judas Courted Those Who He Thought Could Help His Cause.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

 

A Modern Judas May Recruit His People With Private Meetings,

  • Dinners, coffee and
  • Coffee and cake sessions,
  • Facebook likes,
  • Text messages and phone calls.

 

Judas Possessed An Evil Spirit.

Luke 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

 

Judas Fooled His Own Friends And Brothers.

John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

John 13:28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

 

Judas Got His Key Players In Place Before He Made His Move.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Luke 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

Luke 22:6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

 

Judas Got A Divine Warning And Still Ignored It.

Matt. 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

 

Judas Got Revealed By The Lord And Had A Chance To Repent.

Matt 26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

 

Judas Made His Move When He Thought The Odds Were In His Favor.

Matt 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

 

Judas Was A Hypocrite.

Matt. 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

 

Judas Was Controlled By Satan.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

 

Judas Displayed False Affection Toward His Leader.

Matt. 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

Matt. 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

 

Judas Was Happy.

  • Judas finally got his payday.
  • He was glad it was finally over.
  • He could go back to doing what he was doing before.

 

Judas Had Second Thoughts.

Matt. 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

Judas Tried To Appease His Guilty Conscience.

Matt. 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

Judas Woke Up To His Horrible Sin Too Late.

Matt. 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

 

Judas Repented Too Late.

Matt. 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

 

Judas Hung Himself.

Matt. 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

 

 

The pastor closed the Bible and leaned back in his chair recalling the words of Jesus to His disciples…

Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

1 Sam. 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel… for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me,

 

The pastor took a deep breath and sighed. He understood. There was nothing else he could have done. It wasn’t him, it was them!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 11, 2019 at 12:35 am

What Type Of Spiritual Leader Are You?

with 2 comments

 

Guest Blog By Ramona Yandris

Ramona Yandris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sister, Ramona Yandris is married to Bishop Nathan Yandris. They have served for many years at Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church, Tracy, CA. She has served a lifetime as a gifted Speaker, Musician, Singer, and Music Director. May her words be a blessing to you!

 

 

What Type Of Spiritual Leader Are You?

This is in no way meant to reference any one person… this is just the musings and thoughts while studying God’s Word.

Great Spiritual Leadership has always caused a great and notable outcome!  It is getting harder to find Spiritual leaders that rise up in this day and age and lead with no guile. (Hear me out before you judge) But when they do… The Miraculous happens!  In this day, when pulpit ministry looks so glamorous….when crowds follow speakers to every conference to “hear” a sermon… then we raise up a “glorified speaker!”

If that same speaker… builds a church… rolls up his sleeves… also puts his shoulder to the wheel, outreaches his own community, tends to his own flock tirelessly, prays for the sick, gives to the poor, lifts a hand to the down and out, builds faith and instills Gods Word in his congregation and actually “Leads” then he raises up ministers and workers in the “Harvest” under him who also will replicate his work!

 

We learn so much from each leader…

  • Some are called to evangelize…
  • Some are called to be Apostles…
  • Some are called to Pastor…
  • Some are called as Prophets…
  • Some are called to teach…

Then there are secondary leaders, those who are called to “help.” Someone who feels supporting the ministry they were called into as essential in upholding the arms of God’s man!  They defend Him. They take the load off of him. They love him for what he is and are loyal to the cause, seeking nothing in return!  This is a rare gem in ministry to find such a secondary leader as most only want advancement and the ultimate spotlight. Although most are called to advance further, it is refreshing and a blessing to see someone understand and walk in this secondary leadership role hand in hand with God’s appointed leader.

Sadly, in this day we rely on a vote for a man (most times it is necessary) and have gotten away from a man who was so in tune with the Holy Ghost that he could say with power and knowledge,  “God has called me to ???,” and then wade through many adversities until a monument for Christ is built to Glorify God and win the lost! My proverbial hat is off to church builders who work it from the ground up. They literally give everything to the Kingdom of God.  The next man stepping in reaps the rewards with no labor… seems not fair… right?

I began to think what story certain leaders in the Bible left us with that revealed traits like character, strength, honor, dishonor, compassion, True Agape love, dishonest, Loyal/disloyal, offended, cruel, harsh, gentle, Anointed, prayerful, righteous, lovers of God more than lovers of self, and steadfast. I ask myself, “How do so many with these obvious human flaws get used by God?”  See, we humans think “YOU” (we don’t include ourselves in that exclusion)  have to be perfect before we can be “used.” There are so many places God can use us all!  We just have to first know and always remind ourselves that “Kingdom First” should be our motto.

If someone sings better than you, don’t attack them and use jealous tactics to get the part you crave.  Be a team member in ministry!

Be the first to give up your seat at the piano/organ/bass/guitar/drums/bongos/tambourine/etc.  if someone else can more skillfully bring others to worship. Yes, there is a place for us all but none of us own our positions. We should all ultimately be on the “Kingdom Team” and want God Glorified!

 

He literally can use ANYBODY!  It just takes a WILLING and Anointed VESSEL!

So, in each church leadership, you might recognize some of the following traits in these biblical examples. See where you fit in or where you recognize the reference.

Let us also not be so quick to point our finger at the reference of others. There are always at least a few fingers pointing back at us. That is humbling!

Here goes…

 

The Elijah Leader!!!!

1 Kings 18:22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

Some are like Elijah. They operate in hopelessness. They think they are doing it all alone. They whine and gripe that they do it alone. They simply do not know how to delegate and use others. Sometimes God has to remind them that He has many more doing the same thing!  We are not in this alone! We need and use each other to advance not our Kingdom but rather God’s Kingdom!

 

The Jezebel (wannabe) Leader

Jezebel. This spirit wants to control everything and everyone!  It can be male or female.

Every spirit of control in the church that does not line up with the pulpit, the man of God and God’s Word is OUT OF ORDER!  You are an accident waiting to happen!  You cannot muzzle the Ox (referring to the pastor), nor can you insert your control over the man of God and the departments of the church!  God will see to it that you and your household will come to ruin.  You simply have the wrong spirit and outlook on God’s man and His Work!  If you don’t love the man of God (your pastor), then how can you say you love God? Don’t worry though pastor… God’s got this. You just keep right on working for the Kingdom.  The Jezebels will fall by the wayside and the church will roll right on!

 

The Jonah Leader!

Jonah leaders run from responsibilities. Oh, how easy this temptation is for humanity.  Like the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”  In this day of ease, most don’t stick it out.  They crash and burn at the first sight of trouble! Their blinders have been removed and they get overwhelmed at the very thought of the “work set before them!” They forgot that God promised that His Grace was sufficient for EVERY need!  He gives us sometimes (as the song used to say).

“Just enough to take me through one more mile.

Just enough to dry my eyes a little while

When I get home…

I won’t need it.

But as I travel, this weary land

He always gives me

Just enough Grace to stand!”

If God calls you into a difficult ministry or position!  Stay the course.  Don’t quit or defect EVERY-TIME  you think someone is talking about you, or you have adversity.

If God calls you TO it,

He will bring you THROUGH it!

Stay the course and quit being a QUITTER!

 

The Moses Leader!!!!

Moses let anger lead.  So many events happen in our lives as ministry that brings us to anger. Yet, the scripture says “Let he who rules WELL be worthy of DOUBLE Honor!”  The decisions a pastor makes has to be from a clear head.  We may have our own personal opinions about someone but remember the person you are angry at is STILL a child of God and your outburst of anger can not only cause defeat in your flock but can also keep you from where God actually intended for you to attain to in your own promised land!  If people disappoint us and walk away, let them go.  Let them go!  Let them go!  Not everybody fits our unique circle or within the personality of a church.  Don’t assault them with unkind and angry words.  We bless them and pray God’s best for their life.  It doesn’t mean you have to have contact. In fact, it’s best to not. What’s the point? It keeps your anger and bitterness at Bay. So, allow people to go and flourish elsewhere.  God always sends a replacement usually sooner than later who will be faithful.

 

The Saul Leader!

Saul tried to destroy other anointed leaders. This is one of the most commonly used tactics among ministry today.  If someone is offended at you for ANY reason, the petty flesh tries to tear down a person’s reputation. If they can destroy you among the brethren then you just might quit coming around.  If you will quit coming around then they can remain “King of the Roost!”  This type of man (or woman) is definitely not Kingdom minded and seeks only to elevate themselves! They also promote their flock to honor only them and have “preacher worship” mentality. A premiere flock (and a tribute to the former pastor) is one who stays and is loyal to the Kingdom in spite of XYZ!  Love and honor your pastor (this is Biblical), but don’t have preacher worship!  Have God worship!  He shares His Glory with NO ONE!

 

The Judas Leader!!!

Judas… untrustworthy! Reveals secrets to wound another to gain power. Will sell you out for advancement or validation! This takes the life out of so many of us. It is a trick of the enemy to cause offense! Yet in the end, the person you are really hurting is yourself!  God will fight the Battle of those wronged!  He keeps excellent records and you will be judged by your words and your deeds!  Keep your tongue in check!  If you are a friend to the ministry, be confidential!  You are there to support not tear down! If you are a minister and friends with another minister and you have information that tears down the other person… don’t go sell those secrets to the highest bidder. Shut your mouth and pray for your friend!  Go to them and in the spirit of love and unity reason with them regarding the error of their ways. Only then have you done what the Scriptures say to do!

Just for the record, the scripture says to “Mark them that cause division among you AND avoid them”. Nowhere does it say if a brother/sister is in error or taken in a fault to mark them and avoid them!  Yet, sadly that is what we do and we wonder why the person finally goes to another group… well it just may not be because they WANT an easier way… it just might mean they were treated so unjustly and unscriptural that in their mind, they had no way out.  Let’s love people back into our fold… My goodness!  Aren’t we tired of the “exit?”  It’s not all standard reasons folks…a lot of it is simply offense gone wrong!

 

The Enoch Leader!

Enoch… had a prayer life unrivaled!

The ministry friends that I have had in this day and age that greatly affected my life are the ministers that had an obvious powerful prayer life.  One in particular who was my pastor for a short season was Bro. Verbal Bean… Do you want a demonstration of the Holy Ghost like he had?  Get a prayer life like he had!  I can name so many men and women of God that has become an icon, not because of their gifting but rather because of their anointing resulting from their prayer life!  If you want to be caught up in the Heavens like Enoch, then DAILY walk with God!  Don’t leave it to “after service” prayer, but find your own space, your own room, no matter how “Big” you become. Keep that prayer life consistent. You don’t need to “tell” anyone “while I was in prayer today.” Your actions and unction will tell on you!

 

The Esau Leader!

Esau will sell out cheaply for an easier way. You don’t prepare for the task ahead?  You don’t value what you have been given?  You take it for granted? Your decisions are based on fleshly desires?  Then yes, we have another Esau in our hands.  One who will abandon what God meant for him because he wanted to quickly satisfy his flesh!  These people will sell out to the first person that will advance them… make their life easier and not make them accountable.  This simply speaks for itself!  No more words needed here!

 

The John the Revelator Leader!

John The Revelator works even though abandoned and wounded. Tortured for Christ sake and sent to die alone. This man of God decided I will leave a mark in this world for the sake of the Kingdom. God trusted him that He gave him visions and placed him in a solitary place where his mind and writings were solely devoted to what God gave him. “They” meant it for evil, but God meant it for GOOD!

The struggles and the trials you go through as ministry may not be to destroy you but rather to save the lost coming up behind you. God has a purpose and a plan.  If you truly mean for Him to use you, don’t get upset when things go bad.  When you can’t see the way, when you can’t figure out the why,  just trust Him! We may not understand it until we reach the other side.  When you are sold out, you are there to the bitter end.

We better toughen up!  As the “Day” approaches we are all going to be that much more offended, hurt, rejected, wounded, talked about, mistreated, persecuted. Instead of giving up… Take up YOUR CROSS, take up a pen… write encouraging words to yourself and to others!  Be strong and faint not!

 

The Peter Leader!

Peter let fear rule his actions

Yes, he was so afraid of Jesus going to the cross that he cut a man’s ear off… (yet he was bold enough to do that). He was so afraid of being found out that he was a disciple that he cursed and lied to prove he was “not of His!” He was so afraid that he never showed up at the cross!

When you are so sensitive that when things do not go your way or turn out like you would like them to, when the dream you had is shattered and fear grips you… affecting your words… your actions… your loyalty… (all of this was nothing more than a lack of faith) yet through all this foolishness… Jesus had great faith in Peter!  So many times, Jesus had to emphasise a point to Peter. ”Peter, do you love me?”  I often wondered why this line of questioning until you look at the overall high/low passion of Peter.  Jesus knew he operated out of passion.  Anger/Fear falls under that category.  Yet, emotional people can sometimes be the worst friends and worst leaders!  They always feel someone is talking about them. They are fatalistic in their words and kill hope and faith every time you converse with them. They are Spiritually Bi-polar!  You are exhausted when you leave their presence.  But Jesus knew one thing… if He could “channel” the passion Peter had in the right way, then there would be no stopping him.

  • Knowing that Peter denied Him.
  • Knowing that Peter disassociated himself from Him.
  • Knowing that Peter was angry.
  • Knowing that Peter was offended.
  • Knowing that the Disciples were offended at Peter.

Yet, when Jesus arose from the tomb he left a “young man, clothed in white” with a special message to the Disciples AND to PETER!  See at this point Peter had angered and offended himself (in his own mind) right out of the ministry. Yet Jesus, knowing Peters temperament left an angel to speak to him….to make this reference so the Disciples would accept him back….made special mention to the emotional future powerhouse in Mark16:7….”Go tell the disciples AND PETER that He (Jesus) goeth before you into Galilee”

That was a potential fatal flaw in Peter.  Anger and Fear can destroy a ministry… a marriage… a job… if you are in any ministry you MUST keep your emotions in check!  Peter was so overwhelmed at Jesus’s tolerance and forgiveness that he was humbled and became a Holy Ghost powerhouse for the Kingdom.

 

The John the Beloved Leader!

John stayed at the cross even though he could have been arrested.  Real leaders walk with you through the fire if you will allow them to! Before Jesus bowed His head and died He looked at His mother and said of John “Woman Behold your son!”  Take a look at someone who is sold out and will stay with you even though the odds are stacked against you!

He was one of the first to reach the tomb after Jesus arose.

John 19:26-27

John 20:1-10

Follows Jesus even though the other disciples questioned his involvement…

John 21:20-23

He was one of the 7 fishermen that fished all night when it looked hopeless… yet his persistence paid off when Jesus showed up!

John 21:1-25

Even though the other disciples cut him out of written involvement… he still kept ministering!

No wonder he was the “Beloved” of Jesus!  He exemplified more fruit of the Spirit than all of them put together!  He was completely “Christlike!

Maybe jealously caused him to be shut out!

So, whatever Style of Leadership you are given to,  make sure it lines up with advancing the Kingdom of God!  Don’t allow the flesh to rule spiritual things!

Please above all rule in love.  Don’t Lord over God’s heritage, nor be a Pharisee!  Be humble in spirit and in deed and let God be Glorified in all that we do!  If you have no ability to bind people together in love and in unity, you may merely have a desire, not a calling.

 

This is the Will of God!

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 9, 2019 at 1:14 pm

The Church That Wouldn’t Grow

with 3 comments

A re-post from The Home Missions Chronicles.

A true story of a real place and real people.

 

The Church That Wouldn’t Grow

The modest little building stood on the corner with a small sign announcing Sunday and Wednesday service times. It had been a church now for almost 30 years. The pastor and his wife had started it themselves. They were glad to have a revival because revivals were rare for them. They couldn’t afford to have an evangelist, and they couldn’t afford not to. For some reason, members didn’t last very long at their church.

They survived on a very modest income from her job. He became disabled years ago. She played and sung beautifully. The four people in the audience joined in. He apologized for the low number. He tried to describe in detail the last family or two that had left. Jobs. That had to be the reason, he was sure.

The church would grow to twenty or so and then the people would move off or quit. Now it was down to it’s smallest size in a long time. (When you are preaching to four people, it is hard to keep from getting downright personal.) They just could never get it past twenty and it stay there very long. What was the problem? What was the fix? The reason the church did not grow was amazing to him. The pastor and his wife were the sweetest of people and folks in the city seemed to love them. Why wouldn’t it grow?

The evangelist had pulled his trailer there, paying his own expense and knowing the lack of funds available to the pastor, he had informed him that he would not take an offering but rather would like to be a blessing. No visitors came. No outreach was noticeable. The only person without the Holy Ghost never prayed during the 2-week revival. There was no jubilant worship. No hand clapping or shouting. No conviction in the service. Not one ‘Amen’ was said. The only songs were sad, sweet hymns sung by the pastor’s wife as she played the keyboard. No one else joined in to worship.

The pastor wasn’t young anymore. He felt he had tried everything. Why wouldn’t it grow? Was it the people? Was it him? Was it the location? The economy? What was it? Was God done with him here? Where would he go if he left? The city was beautiful. Jobs seemed plentiful enough, but the church never grew.

 

Why couldn’t they have revival?

Was it that God was not adding daily to the church?

Was it the lack of pastoral and leadership skills?

Was it that the new people never got grounded in the doctrine?

Or, was it a the kind of city that the pastor needed to shake the dust off of his feet and move on? He really didn’t know. He couldn’t figure it out. The pastor died not knowing.

Sadly, the church is still really not a church today. A couple sweet old ladies pray together now, but that is about all they have.

 

This Too Is Home Missions!

_______________________________

P.S.

If your church is alive, vibrant, and a revival church… be grateful.  Be a witness. Be a worshipper. Be faithful. You are very blessed! (Remember, Church is what you make it!)

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 28, 2018 at 7:17 am

The Sound Man Was Blind!

with 2 comments

 

The Sound Man Was Blind!

It was Youth Rally Night in the little Tennessee country church. I sat in the audience, only two or three of the people even knew me. The small building was very full. The weather very bad. The guests had all braved the storm. They opened the service with prayer. They prayed for the storm to pass on by. “We beta hope de Ward heas our pwayer!” That was what the tongue-tied service leader said, trying to encourage faith in the congregation.

Something was terribly wrong with the microphone. They tapped it, they shook it, and then examined the cord. Nothing worked. All heads turned toward the small sound booth. The sound man was not looking down; he was looking up while he adjusted the board. What? Then it became apparent. He was blind. The sound man was blind and he was the one adjusting the board! Someone had changed the microphone settings and he was trying to restore them by feel. He got it back pretty close to normal too. Unbelievable.

He also ran the computer music software for the overhead projector. The slides on the screen did not always match the words being sung. But, no one seemed to care.

The organ player was taking pictures of the congregation with one hand while playing with the other. She extended her arm full length toward the audience as she took the photos.

They sang! They worshiped! They Shouted. The visiting ministers were all asked to testify. The teenage guest preacher for the Youth Rally was really nervous and it showed. He had never “preached out” before. He preached with anointing and then conviction fell. Young people moved to the altar area to pray. While she played for the altar call song, the organ player took flash photos with her left hand, of the folks coming down the aisle.

No, it wasn’t “perfect church”, like some of the big churches might have, but the congregation went home rejoicing and happy knowing they had been in the presence of the Lord.

This is Home Missions

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 10, 2018 at 12:45 am

Don’t Bother Praying? Yes, You Heard Me Right… Don’t Bother Praying!

with 3 comments

 

 

Don’t Bother Praying? Yes, You Heard Me Right…

Don’t Bother Praying!

 

The Holy Scriptures screams the need for us all to pray. The Apostle Paul even said for us to pray without ceasing. Every pastor encourages his listeners to pray. I certainly agree with the admonition.

 

  • Yes, we know that God is a prayer-answering God!
  • He specializes in responding to our needs.
  • He specializes in healing our bodies and saving our souls.
  • He will hear a sinner’s prayer of repentance.
  • He answers all prayers for deliverance, forgiveness, and salvation.
  • He encourages us to just to ask, and He says, it shall be given.

 

But, There Are Times, When The Lord Tells Us It Won’t Do Any Good To Pray!

(Yes, You’ve Read That Last Sentence Right!)

 

1.) God Will Not Choose To Ignore Your Sinning, And Bless You Anyway…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Isa 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Those who think they can continually gratify their fleshly lusts and ignore God’s Word when they pray are only fooling themselves.  God is not in the mood to listen to them. Be warned.

 

2.) If You Still Want To Hang On To Your Sin…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Psa. 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

(NLT) – Psa. 66:18 18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

(ESV) – Psa. 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

 

3.) If You Refuse To Receive Instruction From God’s Word…

(Saying you’re not convicted, e.g.)

Don’t Bother Praying!

Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

 

4.) When You Ask For What You’ve No Right To Ask For.

Don’t Bother Praying!

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 (The Message) – James 4:3 And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.

 

5.) If You’re Guilty Of Destroying God’s Men And His Saints With The Sword Of Your Tongue, And With Your Railing…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Isa 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

 

6.) When You Mistreat Your Wife…

Don’t Bother Praying!

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

(NCV) 1 Peter 3:7 …do this so that nothing will stop your prayers.

(The Message) 1 Peter 3:7 …so your prayers don’t run aground.

Every husband must show his wife honor and respect her at all times. If he doesn’t, there is no need for him to bother God by trying to pray. God already has said He chooses not to listen to that man when he prays. No matter who he is.

A man who abandons his wife and family needs to remember that the only prayer God will entertain from him is one of true and complete repentance. He also owes the same repentance to his wife and family.

Sir: Don’t Make God Place A ‘Do Not Answer” Stamp On Your Prayer Request.

 

7.) If Your Refuse To Forgive

Don’t Bother Praying!

Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

  • God hears the prayer of the humble.
  • God hears the prayer of the repentant.
  • God hears the prayer of the submissive.
  • God hears the prayer of the obedient.
  • God hears the prayer of those hungry for Him.

 

May We All Pray Prayers That God Will Hear!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm