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Archive for the ‘Sowing The Seed’ Category

The Princess Within Conference, By Nila Marxer

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Two of my sisters, Nila Marxer and Carlene Branham just returned from the “Princess Within Conference” in Corona, Californina. This blog is part of Nila’s letter to me today about her experience with the inmates at the conference.

Nila Marxer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This prison field is filled with so many hungry women. There were 30 women who received the Holy Ghost for the first time, 18 renewed, and 12 signed up for baptism! We’ve been trying to get into this prison for almost 20 years, and finally we’ve had a breakthrough. Actually, women from this prison and the Chowchilla prison have been fasting on the 25th of every month for years for a Holy Ghost church service to come to the prisons.

I was humbled by their hunger and desire to hear the Word and to be loved.

The first picture was the entire group minus 2 people. The second was the Sunday morning picture of those who went. A lot had to go back home.

 

Fear will keep many people from doing the will of God and fulfilling His purpose for their life. Don’t say you want to be used of God, and not be willing to do what is needed to further the kingdom.

My life will never be the same. I went to the Princess Within Conference in Corona this weekend with anticipation of helping others, when in fact this experience helped me more than words can express.

Prayer and fasting had gone up for this conference, and when we completed the process of entering into the prison, setting up the equipment and chairs and setting out water bottles and sweets for each prisoner, you could already feel a powerful move of the Holy Ghost. Whitney Rhinehart began practicing songs, and others joined in. Everyone was involved. We did not come just to be a warm body, but we were needed. Those of us who had finished setting up were prayerfully awaiting the prisoners. When the door opened, and the women began filing in, worship had already filled the room. Some of the prisoners were worshiping and clapping as they began to find a seat. At first it took a while for the majority of the women to show up, because it was taco night, and they all wanted to eat the only good meal of the week. (The enemy was using everything to try to hinder this conference.)

The volunteers lined up to give gifts, shake everyone’s hand, welcome them, and thank them for coming. Some were shy, but you could see the majority of the prisoners craved love. Each song was effective, each sermon was powerfully anointed, and no one left unmoved. They came in worshiping like I haven’t seen in a regular church setting. Not just a few raised their hands, but every hand was raised, everyone clapped, everyone worshiped.

The first thing I noticed about the women, was that they looked like normal women, not like hardened criminals that I imagined. The majority of these women carried Bibles. Some of these Bibles were well-read and falling apart. In many of them, I could see various pages of notes stuck in-between the pages. I thought how many of us church people will go to church without our Bibles? How many church people take time to read God’s Word? Some of these women took notes on every scripture reference, and would look at their friends when a specific verse was mentioned, and would finish the scripture, reciting along with the various ministers. These women were well-acquainted with the Word, yet they were starving. Starving for the preached Word, starving for worship, starving for love, starving to feel the power of the Holy Ghost. My heart was lost to them within the first five minutes of meeting them.

On the first night, the preacher finished preaching, and opened the front for those who wanted the Holy Ghost. The women poured down to the altar. We volunteers stood in the front facing them, and soon were inundated by scores of women who wanted prayer. As soon as one received the Holy Ghost, there were many women all around them with their arms raised asking for prayer. I couldn’t stop crying as one by one these women were receiving the Holy Ghost. They fell on my neck, thanking me for coming, and showing them love. I wept with them, knowing they were my sisters-in-the-Lord. Not only did they need me, I needed them.
Before I walked into the prison yard, I had felt some apprehension, not knowing how this was going to unfold, but I can’t begin to explain the joy I had in being involved in this prison ministry, and the hunger I have to go back and continue to spread this precious Truth!

I was humbled by some of the testimonies I heard. Chaffey College was having a graduation ceremony at the same time we were having the Saturday morning service. One of the girls told me she was graduating with her bachelor’s degree. She said, “I had to make a decision whether I was going to walk and get my diploma, or come to church.” She was crying as she spoke, saying, “It was an easy decision to make. They can always mail me my diploma, but there won’t always be a Holy Ghost church service.”

Another girl said that she got her diploma, (missing the early morning session.) She hadn’t seen her family for seven years. Her family had come a long way to see her graduate and spend a little time with her. Knowing how little time these prisoners get to see their loved ones, the few moments together are cherished. Yet, this young lady walked down the aisle, got her degree, and then told her folks goodbye, because she had to go to church.

These testimonies gripped my heart, because those women cherish church above everything. So many women thanked me for loving them. (They were so easy to love.)

The first night I came home, I couldn’t sleep, seeing their faces lifted in prayer, feeling their hugs, and them gripping my hands tearfully asking me not to forget to pray for them. How can I forget?

It was during a worship song on Saturday when I felt God speak to me that I need to focus on His work. I had been focusing on my son who has been bound by sin and desperately needs deliverance. If I will focus on His kingdom and the souls that He loves, then He will focus on my prayers for my family and those that I love. It’s a win-win situation.

The last prisoner spoke to me as they were leaving and said that many churches have come to the prison, but never in her life has she felt such power and such love. She said, the love affected her more than anything. She felt loved by God, and by His people. She wondered why she had never felt love like this before.

I told her, “Honey, it’s the Holy Ghost love that you feel.”
My mind went back to the scripture, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 KJV) Oh, how He loves us, and them!

She said, “It has to be, because I’ve never seen anything like this in all my life. Please don’t forget us. Please come back and help us learn more!”

I thought of the scripture that says:
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.”
Matthew 25:41-43 KJV

May that never be said about me. Lord, I will go.

Nila Marxer

Andrew Loves Telemarketers

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Andrew Loves Telemarketers

 

Most of us dread it when the calling number is unrecognized by the caller ID. Many have been known to let the call go to voicemail just to see what the caller wanted. Not Andrew!

AndyphoneAndrew is my youngest of five. He responds to the dreaded telemarketers in a manner that makes the rest of his family smile. Even so, it may be a stretch to say he actually loves them. Maybe I could have used a better choice of words.

The Telemarketers have learned to give him a wide berth. Take this last call for instance…

Telemarketer: “Hello Mr. Ballestero, I am Jerry with the Widget Company International. Do you have a few minutes to hear about our awesome products?”

Andrew: “Sure, If you have a few minutes to hear about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!”

Telemarketer: I’m sorry, we are not allowed to discuss the subject of religion.”

The Telemarketer hangs up!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

What Type Are You?

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What Type Are You?

That is the question that greeted me every morning when I walked out of my motel in Pikeville, Kentucky last week. I have come to this area to ride ATV’s with minister friends and our sons for many years.

Even though the Kentucky Blood Center is very upscale and does an amazing job, this was the first time I’d seen one of their vans.

The question on the van is simple. It is also a direct, yet loaded question.

What they are asking is… “What blood type are you?” Blood types vary.

The American Red Cross shows the following graphics:

The American Red Cross is asking… “What Type Are You” They want you to know that you have within you the ability to save a life. No matter what blood type you are.

 

http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-types

That Leads Me To The Next Level Of Questioning.

What type of Personality are you? What type of Temperament are you? What type of Person are you? All types save lives. All types can be soul winners.

The Following  Is Taken From An Article on Wikipedia.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_temperaments

The Four Temperaments

 

Sanguine

The sanguine temperament is fundamentally impulsive and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are sociable and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean sensitive, compassionate and romantic. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence.

Choleric

The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were choleric. They like to be in charge of everything. However, cholerics also tend to be either highly disorganized or highly organized. They do not have in-between setups, only one extreme to another. As well as being leader-like and assertive, cholerics also fall into deep and sudden depression. Essentially, they are very much prone to mood swings.

Melancholic

The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and thoughtful. Melancholic people often were perceived as very (or overly) pondering and considerate, getting rather worried when they could not be on time for events. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art – and can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. Often they are perfectionists. They are self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of others.

Phlegmatic

The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet, ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and are kind. They are accepting and affectionate. They may be receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators. They can also be passive-aggressive.

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Actually, it doesn’t matter what “Type” we are. Every one has the ability to be a Soul Winner!

You Might Be:

  • A teenager, or a senior,
  • A manager or a laborer,
  •  A poor person or filthy rich,
  • A nerd, or a sports jock,
  • A hunter, or a fisherman,
  • An outdoorsman, or a desk jockey
  • A junk food junkie, or a health food nut,
  • A tree hugger, or a lumberjack,
  • A Democrat, or a Republican,
  • An introvert, or an extrovert.

 

All Types Save Lives!

Just because you are bashful, quiet, introverted, or not even a good mixer, you still can win a soul!

You still can teach a Home Bible Study!

You still can be a witness!

You still can be an influence… Not only for the American Red Cross, but more importantly, for the Cross of Jesus Christ!

What Have You Done To Save A Life?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Presenting The Best Home Bible Study Ever!

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The Best Home Bible Study Ever!

It is a distinct honor to present to my readers a magnificent Home Bible Study in both English and Spanish. It is by far the best I have ever seen!

This great study was created by Rev. Sterling L. Busby and is called, Bringing Men To Jesus. In my opinion, this is a “must have” for every Apostolic soul winner.

The Following Is From The Introduction:

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“Home Bible Studies have been a big part of my life for over 20 years. I have used the one and two day studies as well as the ten and twelve part studies and have seen great results from them all. However, recently I have been impressed by the Spirit to develop an intermediate study. Pastors and soul winners alike have expressed to me the need of such a resource.

‘Bringing Men To Jesus’ is a simple Home Bible Study with five easy to teach lessons. It has something of the feel of an extended study yet it is brief and direct. It is not meant to be an exhaustive study on Jewish history nor to be an in-depth study on ceremonies and customs. Rather, when a key character or event is highlighted the concept or principle is discussed and the study moves on. It says what must be said to bring a candidate to an understanding of who God is and how to find Him.

Lesson 1, ‘Who Is God’ is a faith building introduction to key attributes of the Spirit of God. It is evident in today’s society that there is a tremendous need to reintroduce this generation to the God of the Bible. For a person to find Salvation in God, they must begin with believing that He exists and that He controls the universe.

Throughout the other lessons key Bible characters have been used to teach faith in God and obedience to His Word. The problem of sin, its origin and consequence is dealt with in an evangelistic manner. The types and shadows of the Tabernacle of Moses are introduced and then explained with their New Testament counterparts; the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is my sincere desire that this Home Bible Study will be an effective tool in leading souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When we see all that is taking place around us, it is evident that the coming of the Lord is very near. We must do what we can to reach our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no ‘joy’ like the soul winner’s ‘joy’.

Sterling L. Busby

Sterling L. Busby

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Testimonies

 

Eugeio Dominguez, Missionary

I personally took Bringing Men to Jesus home Bible study to the country of Peru to use in our work there. The first week I was there I taught a denominal Pastor and his daughter the study. They saw the Truth and both were baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost.

 Pastor W E Davis, Macon GA

This is a great Bible study.  I have taught it to my entire congregation and I also use it when following up on church guest!

Pastor Caleb Adams, Memphis, TN

“We are excited about the results we have seen with “Bringing Men to Jesus’ ‘Home Bible Study.”

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To View And Purchase The Bible Study Chart,

Teacher’s Manual And Power Point.

Click On The Link Or Image Below.

http://www.mentojesus.org/purchase-bible-study

Bringing Men to Jesus is a new and exciting home Bible study with five easy lessons. The flip chart measures 18″ by 12″ and includes 28 full color illustrations. A concise 80 page manual guides the teacher in presenting each lesson in a time frame of 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bringing Men to Jesus says what should be said to bring a candidate to a basic understanding of who God is and how to receive Bible-based salvation.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

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When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

For many years, I preached annual revivals in a very small West Texas town. The town was so small that after church it was not uncommon for the pastor or saints to drive an hour and a half to Odessa or Midland just to get something to eat.

The pastor was a dear family friend. The church was one that really worshipped and was easy to preach in. They loved the Word and the loved their “Man of God.”

The church had not grown significantly in many years. The little group prayed for revival and worked hard to bring visitors to the revival.

A seventeen-year-old Foster child sought for the Holy Ghost for over an hour every night. He sought fervently and with tears. He had prayed every night of the 4 week Revival.

The last Saturday of the revival, the pastor and I talked about Home Bible Studies. He said, “When I came up in church, we’d never heard of them. I’ve been here for 30 years or so and we’ve never taught any Home Bible Studies. Not only do we not have any material, if we had some, we wouldn’t know how to go about teaching them. Could you teach our people how to teach a Home Bible Study?”

Although I said that I could and would, there wasn’t any material within 100 miles. There also wasn’t any Internet connection to download anything.

I was relieved to find a copy of Bishop Gerald Adam’s ‘Deeper Life’ Home Bible Study in my briefcase. Bro. Adam’s was kind when I called and granted permission for me to make copies of his Bible Study for the occasion.

(The Deeper Life Home Bible Study is now digitized and can be found on the Hopkinsville, KY church website.) http://www.lifetabernaclechurch.org/Life_Tabernacle_Church/Bible_Study.html

I asked the pastor what he thought about me putting a table in front of the pulpit Sunday morning and teaching a Home Bible Study to some one while everyone else watched and followed along with their copy. He agreed and said he would have the table and chairs set up right after the preliminaries.

Standing on the platform Sunday morning I noticed two new visitors. A teenage boy stood on the right side and a 20 something young woman on the left.

For a few minutes after the song service, the church family went around and personally welcomed the visitors and greeted each other.

I noticed the boy seemed very sincere and responsive during the singing, so I went over and welcomed him. The young man smiled warmly when I introduced myself. He told me his name was Billy.

I said, “I’m a visitor here too, Billy. They’ve asked me to teach what they call a ‘Home Bible Study’ this morning. It’s a thing where two people sit at a table and basically just read scriptures from the Bible.

“I really don’t know who to choose to help me out today. But whoever does, doesn’t have to say a word. All they have to do is just act like they are reading the material. Do you think maybe you can help me out today?”

“Sure,” he said.

Later when they introduced me to speak, I explained to the church that I had asked Billy to help me and invited them to make him welcome. They gave him a good round of applause.

Billy and I sat at the small table in front of the pulpit. Each person there was given a copy of the Home Bible Study. I saw the look of sincerity and interest in the young man’s face.

He nodded as I spoke to him. I looked only at him and not at the crowd. We took less than an hour to go through the study.

The organ player began to play softly as we all stood. The table and chairs were removed. I looked to my left where Billy had stood and then I looked down. He was kneeling at the altar. All the others came forward too. Billy received the Holy Ghost in just a few minutes.

I heard shouts go up at the other end of the altar and saw that the young woman was praying and the ladies were rejoicing. She also received the Holy Ghost and excitedly thanked the Lord.

The pastor whispered in my ear, that someone had just told him, this new girl was the town’s hooker. The town’s only hooker. Her name was Sarah.

The saints were ecstatic about what God had done in the service that morning.

Sunday night’s service started.  The front doors burst open as the 17-year-old Foster kid entered the church crying and speaking in tongues. He had prayed during the day, and while taking his shower before church had received the Holy Ghost while still in the shower. He was still talking in tongues when he got to church. He couldn’t stop and he was excited. The saints rejoiced. I mean really rejoiced.

Billy and Sarah came back too. The church shouted and ran the aisles. Joy was in the camp.

The front door again opened and an unhappy faced man walked in and sat on the back row. Sarah was too lost in worship to notice that her pimp was there. He watched the worship for a while. Several were uneasy not knowing what would happen.

Testimony service had new life that night. When Sarah got done testifying and thanking the Lord, the guy on the back row got up and walked out shaking his head.

He was officially out of business. Sarah never noticed.  She started to dance before the Lord. She had been delivered.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 17, 2011 at 9:18 am

15 Things To Do In Church Before You Die

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15 Things To Do In Church Before You Die

1. Pray

  • Pray till you get the absolute Victory.
  • Intercede for a lost or wayward soul.
  • Let God use you in the Spirit of Travail
  • Pray till the Fire falls.
  • Pray someone through to the Holy Ghost.
  • Pray before church.
  • Pray around the altar after church

2. Sing

  • Don’t make the Song Leader beg you to sing.
  • Don’t let the Praise Singers do your singing.
  • Sing till you cry.
  • Sing till you shout.

3. Shout

  • Dance in the Spirit
  • Leap for Joy
  • Lead. Be the first one to shout.
  • Run the aisles

4. Believe God

  • Believe God for a Healing.
  • Trust Him to supply your needs.
  • Believe Him for a Miracle and see it come to pass.

5. Get ‘Lost in the Spirit’

  • Be taken home drunk in the Holy Ghost

6. Witness

  • Teach a Home Bible Study
  • Win a soul

7. Say Amen

  • Say Amen from your heart. Be willing to Obey.
  • Stand to you feet and say Amen
  • Say Amen from even if you’re the only one.
  • Say Amen even when the Scripture or the Preaching touches a sore spot.

8. Give

  • Give your last Dollar, if God impresses you to.
  • Become faithful in your tithe and offerings
  • Give without expecting anything in return.

9. Read

  • Read the Bible through.
  • Have a daily Scripture reading.
  • Get a Revelation of One God.

10. Testify

  • Don’t give some narrative about “he said, and I thought to myself.”
  • Just brag on Jesus!

11. Fast

  • Fast to crucify your flesh.

12. Love Your Brother and Sister

  • Prefer them. Put them first
  • Let all jealousy die

13. Refuse To Listen to a Rumor

  • Tell the talebearer, “I really don’t want to hear this.”
  • Refuse to pass a rumor on.

14. Forgive

  • Put all your yesterdays behind you.
  • Empty yourself of all Bitterness.
  • Be merciful.

15. Get the Pastor’s Heartbeat.

  • Try to feel what he feels.
  • Work with him for Revival.
  • Feel the Spirit of Unity

Now, Let’s Have Some ‘Church’ Around Here!

Is God Ugly?

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Is God Ugly?

I don’t mean for this question to sound like it borders on blasphemy. It is important for me not to be flippant or sacrilegious about things that are Divine. With that being said, I will ask the question one more time. Is God ugly?

The Prophet Isaiah makes an amazing prophecy about the coming of the Messiah. He describes him and portrays him in a very uncomplimentary manner.

Is. 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Is. 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

When man makes a grand entry, he normally tries to ‘put his best foot forward’. Why then did Jehovah choose to wrap Himself up in human flesh that apparently wasn’t the best He could make?

The mind of man would think, ‘Why He could have gotten more followers if He’s had some ‘great’ looks. People will follow someone that’s easy to look at. That was not how God planned to present Himself.

When God came to earth in the flesh, there was nothing beautiful about Him. I want to talk about that very thing. Look first at the Old Testament.

1. Noah’s Ark – The wood was covered with pitch. It looked ugly on the outside. No one in Noah’s generation outside of his own family was able to get past the ‘Ugly’. They all perished.

2. The Tabernacle In The Wilderness – The outside of the Tabernacle was covered with dyed badger skins. To those that had been there, they KNEW the real beauty was on the INSIDE. It was on the INSIDE that the golden vessels were displayed. It was on the INSIDE that the beautiful Veil hung concealing the Holiest of Holies. INSIDE there was the Shekinah, the Glory of the Lord.

Once the Israelites got past the Ugly, they found the real beauty.

1Pet. 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

1Pet. 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

1Pet. 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

To those that take the time to Know Him and Believe, He is Precious.

  • If Living for God is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If Worship is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If Giving God the Tenth of your income is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If Holiness is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If the preaching of Doctrine is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If Long Hair on Women and Short Hair on Men are Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If Standards are Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If Separating yourself from the World is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If the Prayer Room is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.
  • If Winning Souls is Ugly to you, you just don’t know Him very well.

And the list goes on…

When living for God is longer attractive to you, you don’t really know Him very well. It tells me that you don’t really Believe. It tells me you are Disobedient. (1 Pet 2:7)

Can you get past the Ugly? If you can, He will become Precious to you!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm