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Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

It’s Time To Say Thank You.

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It’s Time To Say Thank You.

The old gentleman was a little unsteady on his feet. He had every right to be. He was no longer young. He was in his early 90’s and with the help of his faithful cane; he came over and asked permission to sit by me. I was in Atlanta, seated near gate 16. I welcomed the company during my long layover. I glanced again at him and this time saw that his cap said World War II Veteran.

Thank you for serving our country.” I said smiling at him. The old guy favored his arthritis as he eased into the seat.

“You’re so very welcome,” he said as he found a place to rest his cane. “It was the greatest honor of my life. Some of my buddies didn’t make it back.” He said as he shook his white hair.

I saw his tired looking eyes get a little wet, and then he held me spellbound for the next 40 minutes with stories of his life during the war. His mind was sharp. His voice strong and animated. I was mesmerized.

As he talked, the wrinkles in his weathered face seem to enhance his looks. He had a distinguished air about him as he named events and recalled names. Although I forgot to ask his name I will never forget his stories, his love for America.

Over the years, some members of my own immediate family have proudly served in the armed forces of the United States of America.

  • My brother-in-law, Eric Marxer – Marines.
  • My father, Carl Ballestero – Army.
  • My father-in-law, William Starr – Army Air Force.
  • My step father-in-law, Howard Davis – Navy.

Each of them has my deepest respect and appreciation for putting their life on the line… for me. I owe my freedom to them and others who served with them. I cannot take that lightly; I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

I’ve had thanked hundreds of uniformed men and women. Every veteran that wears a cap or jacket announcing his past service gets my thanks as well.

After the airplane landed at my final destination this week, the flight attendant announced the fact that a young uniformed soldier was on board. The entire crew, as well as the passengers, applauded their thanks to him, as well we should have.

I have seen many others thank our servicemen and women over the years. I too am thankful for those that serve.

What about those soldiers in the greatest war of all? You know, those that help fight the battle for the souls of men and women? What about those other warriors, like the Missionaries, and even our own Pastor? How come they seldom receive our thanks?

When’s the last time you ever saw someone walk up to a Missionary and say, “Thank you for serving the Lord”, or “Thank you for giving your life to the work of God”?

When is the last time you walked up to your Pastor and said something like, “Thank you for your service to God” or “Thank you for giving your life and your time to the ministry”?

Aren’t we to give honor to whom honor is due?

There are unsung heroes among us who have faithfully labored for years in the service of the King. Maybe they’ve never seemed to be well-known outside of their immediate area. Or maybe they’ve never preached a conference.

They might not even have famous relatives. They’ve sure never gotten a hand clap or maybe even much of a thank you. They have just silently preformed their duties. They have been faithful and heaven could not have required anymore.

Most have spent their life doing without. One thing shouldn’t have to do without is our thanks and appreciation.

Of all people, those who are fighting for the souls of men and women in this wicked generation, they need our thanks and our prayers.

Now, go say something nice to one of them.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 8, 2011 at 2:04 am

Are The Heroes Here Yet?

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Are The Heroes Here Yet?

Pastor Brandon Hartzell is my son-in-law. He’s just the best one a father-in–law could ever have. I love him.

He was not raised in a pastor’s home, yet he deeply loves and respects the ministry. He treats me with more honor than I deserve.

He’s often had his picture taken with great men he’s revered. In his office there are pictures on the wall or on his desk of men like Bro. J.T. Pugh, Bro. Wayne Huntley and others who have made positive influences in his life.

Bro. Hartzell deeply loves the ministry and the godly men he has met. He also has a great gift of remembering what they taught him.

Pastor Brandon Hartzell & Ainsley

He also tries to instill into his children and his congregation in Cary, North Carolina that it is a privilege to have these great men of God visit their church and minister to them.

Pastor Hartzell openly tells his people that these men have given their lives to the Gospel and are modern day heroes of the Faith.

He recently announced to his church that the next Sunday, a Missionary would be in visiting in service with them.

Ainsley, his four-year-old daughter, wanted to ride to Sunday School with her Daddy that morning. Upon arriving early at the church, she walked into the auditorium and looked around for the Missionary. She didn’t see anyone she didn’t already know. Little Ainsley looked up at her daddy and said, “Daddy, are the Heroes here yet?”

(Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all Pentecostal kids felt that our Missionaries were Heroes? Maybe they would, if we taught them.)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm

The Key To The Master’s Orders

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I read this in my devotional today, and wanted to share this with you. May our burden for lost souls never diminish.

MJB

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My  Utmost For His Highest

October 16.

THE KEY TO THE MASTER’S ORDERS

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:38).

The key to the missionary problem is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer not work, that is, not work as the word is popularly understood today because that may mean the evasion of concentration on God.

The key to the missionary problem is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization or education or even evangelization. The key is prayer. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest.” Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; we have to realize that prayer is stupid from the ordinary common-sense point of view.

There are no nations in Jesus Christ’s outlook, but the world. How many of us pray without respect of persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced by distress and conviction of sin, and this is the harvest we have to pray that labourers may be thrust out to reap.

We are taken up with active work while people all round are ripe to harvest, and we do not reap one of them, but waste our Lord’s time in over-energized activities. Suppose the crisis comes in your father’s life, in your brother’s life, are you there as a labourer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? “Oh, but I have a special work to do!”

No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, one who is not above his Master, one who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls to no special work: He calls to Himself. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer circumstances and thrust you out.

My Utmost for His Highest.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Ministry, Missions, Prayer

The “Somewhere” Church

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In an email today I discover an article by a beloved Missionary friend of mine, Brother Brad Lambeth. He has spent his life laboring untiringly in Brazil and has done an amazing work for God. I was moved by his email and pray you are too.

MJB

The “Somewhere” Church
I just received the attached picture of a new Apostolic church… somewhere.  You see, somehow the text was deleted from the picture and I don´t know where this church is at!

The picture mesmerized my imagination!  Where is this church located? What Brazilian state? What is the name of the town?  Who is the pastor?  How many saints attend there?
Look at the picture.  What do you see?  Are you seeing what I see?


I see a lonely building… standing for Jesus somewhere in this vast Brazil.  Notice the empty background. Does that mean the building is in the country side? Probably so, especially when considering the fence on the right side. The sticks show to be discarded sugarcane stalks. Poor… very poor.
Can you “smell” the cheap paint? Yet, the thin coat of fresh paint shows so much love… and maybe a lot of sacrifice!

Notice that there are no electric wires feeding the building.  Does that mean that their lights were cut off because they did not have the money to pay the token light bill, thus having services in the dark? Or, who knows, because of the poverty, they are having (only) afternoon services?  Better yet, perhaps, the pastor chose to install the light box… BY FAITH, waiting for electrical power to reach their village!
The doors are open. The building is empty.  Does that mean they just started outreach and are awaiting the first convert… or does that mean the pastor (WHO IS HE?!?) sent the picture asking for HELP!
Look inside… can you see the homemade pulpit? While small (and seemingly frail), it speaks of Pentecostal authority!  Within a few hours (perhaps RIGHT NOW)… there will be an Apostolic preacher behind it, preaching with PASSION!

What about the mismatching chair on the left hand side, an afterthought? Or surge of faith that says “I am believing God can fill more than the white chairs… let´s go for the stars!”?

WHO IS THIS MAN OF GOD?  I don´t know his name… I wish I did!  Meanwhile, I am compelled to pray for this church “Somewhere”.  Can you join me?  You see, I can´t even ask you for an offering on his behalf… I DON´T KNOW WHO HE IS!  But we can pray!  Is your faith big enough to pray for someone you never have met… and don´t even know his name… do you have sufficient  faith to pray VICTORY on his behalf?

If you have enough faith, please pray… there is a church SOMEWHERE that needs your prayers!

http://www.jblambeth.com/

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

Preachers, Facebook and Begging For Money

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Preachers, Facebook and Begging For Money

Beware! An old problem has invented a new avenue to intrude uninvited into your world!

Over the years, ethical pastors, missionaries and evangelists have strived to work in harmony to further the Gospel.

When an emergency presented itself and additional finances were needed, the brethren all understood there were limitations and restrictions attached to acquiring the additional funds.

Our old pastors taught the younger ministry that ‘If you have a gift, it will make room for you. Don’t make room for your gift.” The advice is still relevant and appropriate today. I have tried to live by that.

They also taught us that if you claimed to have a ‘Faith Ministry” and went around asking for money, it wasn’t ‘Faith’ at all. You didn’t have a ‘Faith Ministry’, you were just a beggar.

Today through the conduit of Radio and TV, many are scammed. They are hoodwinked into investing and ‘sowing seed’ into bogus ministries.

(The great news is that all of us can have salvation and healing without investing a dime in some false prophet’s coffers.)

We now have the Internet. Along with that came Twitter, Everyone’s Apostolic, Facebook and other social networks.

It seems like lately that most of us have been swamped with notes in our Inboxes from assorted preachers.

  1. Missionaries, that some of us have never even heard of, want you to send them money.
  2. Evangelists are posting on your pages desperately wanting you to give to them.
  3. Preachers starting a church or pastoring a small one somewhere need you to contribute and they don’t mind asking.

Don’t give to them.

  • You heard me right.
  • They are not ethical.
  • If they where ethical, they wouldn’t ask you!

Here is how the whole system works. Let’s start with the Missionary first.

Missionaries.

There are two basic and acceptable avenues for them.

If the Missionary is with an organization, they back him. He travels and gets acquainted with new congregations and revisits his faithful supporters. The pastors of those churches make pledges and mail their monthly checks to his Missions Department. The Missions Department then sends him a regular check. If an emergency arises, he contact his Missions Department and they respond. Sometimes a local pastor friend may hear of the need and respond privately.

If the Missionary is independent, he has no headquarters to help him out. He is at the mercy of the Lord and his friends. If he has an emergency, he may call or write a close pastor friend or two. This friend, may not have enough money himself to meet the crises. He them become a spokesman for the missionary and on his behalf will call some of his pastor friends. These men then will go to their churches, if need be, and raise the offering that way.

How ever it’s done, it’s never done privately between a saint in a church and the missionary.

Missionaries who get on Facebook and plead with saints for money are without scruples or ethics. Don’t give to them. Let your pastor guide your giving.

Pastors

Pastors that likewise plead for money from someone else’s saints, are without ethics or principles. Do not respond to them.

You don’t go next door to your neighbors and ask their working teenager to give you money to pay your bills.

Evangelists

Evangelists are out of line to EVER ask a dime from ANYONE. I have pastored 30 years and I have been preaching out for 50 years. During all those years, I have preached 919 revivals and never called and asked for one. I’ve also preached 335 conferences and 62 camps besides.

If you are a God-called preacher, don’t you think that the same God that called you will provide for you? He does!

No evangelist should ever ask for money on Facebook. Don’t be foolish and give to him, no matter if you like him or not.

His asking is without principle.

No evangelist should ever receive money from saints in the church where he is preaching a revival.

If money somehow makes it to his hand or pocket, he must give that to the local pastor.

If the pastor decides to keep the money or give it back, that is the pastor’s prerogative.

Every preacher must understand that God has a way of balancing every thing out. The same God that fed Elijah with a raven knows where each of us is laboring in the vineyard. Our day will come, where all the wine tours will be for us.

If these preachers are having to call and write around begging for money, maybe they should have stayed in their local church and helped their pastor. Maybe,(God forbid anyone should say it.) they’re not really called.

In spite of our talking till we are blue in the face, grievous wolves run loose among the flock. They will fleece you of your money if you let them. Don’t. Give the Bible way. Bring it into the local storehouse. (Church)

Do you want a blessing! Do you want to help the work of God? Then give bountifully to your local church. Give God your tithe. (You want a real blessing? Tithe on your Gross!) Give extra to your Building Fund, Missions and Sunday School. And while you are in a giving mood, slip some money in your pastor’s hand and bless him.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm