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“I Used To Go To Sunday School There!”

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“I Used To Go To Sunday School There!”

It was cold! The outside temperature in South Bend, Indiana showed three degrees above zero. The snow was falling in big gentle flakes. There was already about eight inches of new and un-plowed snow on the street.

It was after two o’clock in the morning as I walked to my van from Bro. Victor Simon’s house. His wife, Sis. Helen Simon had called after midnight and said that her husband was in severe pain with a kidney stone. He wanted me to come and pray for him, and so I did.

The Simons were not just members of the church; they were pillars of the church as well. In their senior years, they were still very active. It pained us all to watch Bro. Simon suffer from this horrible condition.

I unlocked my custom-sized van as I came out of their house and stepped up onto the running board kicking the snow off of my shoes before getting in. The wiper blades removed the snow enough for me to see, as the engine started. I was only ten blocks or so from home, so the heater wouldn’t be of much help tonight.

There were no tire tracks in the new snow, so no one had been down this road in a long while. I pulled up to the first intersection, which was only about a half block away to make a left turn. That’s when I saw a hood-covered man walking under the street light with his head down.

It was miserably cold out. Not windy, just cold. I felt bad though, for anyone having to walk in deep snow. Besides, it was two in the morning and did I mention that it was cold outside?

I swung my van close to the curb, rolled my window down and asked him if he’d like a ride. He nodded and got in.

As I put the van in motion, I asked him where he needed to go, and he said, “just keep driving.”

His response and word choices just sounded wrong. I could tell that things were going to go bad very quickly. I smiled and said nothing. One block later he announced in gruff tones, “I’ve got a knife!”

The knife he brandished threateningly at me had a blade about eight inches long. It looked like a hunting knife at first.

After my initial glance at the knife, I looked back through the front windshield. And, as if nothing had just happened, I started talking.

“I’ve just come from the house of an old man who is a member of the church that I pastor. He’s in a lot of pain with kidney stones right now. He wanted me to pray for him because he believes God will heal him. That’s why I’m out here this time of night.” (By now, He had been in the van for about two blocks.)

“What church do you pastor?” The hood-covered figures asked.

“I pastor Christ Temple Apostolic Church on the corner of Elwood Avenue and Elmer Street.”

He paused a brief moment in thought and then said, “Pull over right here!”

I pulled the van to the curb. His hand was on the door handle as he half turned his hooded face toward me.

He began to speak in an apologetic tone. “When I was a little boy, I used to attend Sunday School there. That’s a good church, and those are some good people. Keep up the good work.”

With that, the mystery man got out of the van and closed the door. He was unwilling to talk anymore. Condemned by his own attempt to do wrong, and no doubt realizing how far from Sunday School truths he had fallen, he slipped into the night.

I drove on through the un-plowed snow, thanking God for his mercy, and for every Sunday School Teacher in our Church!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 11, 2018 at 6:56 am

I Don’t Take That Lightly

with 4 comments

 

I Don’t Take That Lightly.

 

1 Thess. 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

 

Allowed of God!

When I look at my life and realize what He has allowed me to have, to enjoy, to know, to see and to be… it makes so very thankful, amazed and humbled.

 

God Let Me:

  • Wake up this morning.
  • Live another day.
  • See my wife’s face one more time.
  • Have a sound mind.
  • Have strength to get out of bed and walk unassisted.
  • Still have a voice to praise Him.
  • Have a song in my heart about Him.
  • Have one more day to tell Him I love Him.
  • Have one more chance to go to His house.
  • Enjoy His Goodness

 

I Don’t Take That Lightly.

 

God Allowed Me To Have:

  • A revelation of the Oneness of the Godhead.
  • A revelation of holiness, inside and out.
  • Mercy and Truth.
  • A space and a place to repent.
  • My sins washed away through baptism in Jesus Name.
  • The Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues.

 

I Don’t Take That Lightly.

 

God Allowed Me To Have:

  • A wife who is loving, faithful and attentive.
  • Children who love me and honor me.
  • Children and their spouses who give themselves to the work of the Lord.
  • Grandchildren who are in church and live for God.
  • Loving and supportive parents, sisters and extended family.
  • Money to pay my bills
  • Extra to buy things I may not need, but I enjoy.
  • A house that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • A car that is comfortable and dependable.

 

I Don’t Take That Lightly.

 

God Allowed Me To Have:

  • A wife who loves me.
  • A wife who loves the Lord.
  • A wife who loves to go to church.
  • A wife who loves holiness.
  • A wife who never desired to imitate the world.
  • A wife who dresses beautifully and modestly.
  • A wife who prays with seekers in the altar.
  • A wife who loves to reach for the lost and the backslider.
  • A wife who sings for the glory of God.

 

I Don’t Take That Lightly.

 

God Let Me:

  • Have a heart that is so satisfied that nothing in the world is attractive to me.
  • See that He has never left me nor cast me away from His presence.
  • See my prayers answered and my needs supplied.
  • Walk through doors He opened for me.
  • Kept me from false doctrine and error.
  • Live in peace with my fellow brethren.
  • Enjoy the friendship of good godly men and women.

 

I Don’t Take That Lightly.

 

Jesus, I Will Always:

  • Need You!
  • Love You!
  • Thank You!
  • Praise You!
  • Serve You!
  • Tell Others Of Your Goodness!

 

I Don’t Take That Lightly.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 19, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Blessings, Thankfulness

Tagged with ,

World’s Largest Trading Post

with 2 comments

 

 

World’s Largest Trading Post

Old Jim and me was a standing on the corner of Broadway and Straight Street one afternoon some years back. We seen this old man wearing sandals, and he had big sign hung around his neck for everyone to see. A curious crowd stood in front of him. They were reading every word of the sign on his chest.

The big words at the top of the sign seemed to say it all. The World’s Largest Trading Post!

People were reading out loud with amazement and near unbelief. It was hard for us to hear all the comments, but from time to time we heard things like:

“How can this be?”

“How can they stay in business tradin’ good stuff for junk?”

“There’s gotta be catch somewheres!”

“This is hard to believe!”

 

Not every passerby took time to read the long list of the day’s specials. Yet there always seemed to be a cluster of potential customers reading every word of the sign.

In answer to someone’s question about the location of the trading post, the old man tried to hold his sign steady with one hand so others could still read as he pointed with his other hand showing the direction. Looking where he pointed, I could see a large crowd moving that way. Almost all of them were carrying bags that sure looked awful heavy.

We waited our turn to get close enough to see the small print. I started reading from the top down, and I read every word.

 

The World’s Largest Trading Post

Specializing In Even Swaps! No Money Needed!

 

Today’s Trade Specials

  • Beauty – for your ashes.
  • Oil of Joy – for your mourning.
  • Garment of Praise – for your spirit of heaviness.
  • Crown – for your cross.
  • New life – for your old life.
  • Hope – for your despair.
  • Eternal Life – for your sins.
  • Peace – for your turmoil.
  • Healing – for your sickness.
  • Strength – for your weakness.

 

Please Take Advantage Of Our Free Gifts And Services!

  • Broken Hearts Bound Up.
  • Sins Forgiven.
  • Sins Washed Away in Jesus Name Baptism.
  • Free Gift of The Holy Ghost.
  • Free Robe of Righteousness.
  • Free Garment of Salvation.
  • Free Services of the Great Physician.
  • Free Services of World’s Greatest Defense Attorney – (He’s never lost a case.)
  • Free Services of The Counselor.
  • Free Private Audience with the Prince of Peace.

 

Whatever Your Need, Just Ask!

  • Joy Unspeakable – Our shelves are loaded!
  • Peace that passeth understanding is always in stock!
  • Healing for every broken heart!
  • Liberty for all who are bound!

 

Our Motto: “You Have Not Because You Ask Not!”

We Specialize In Good Tidings for All People!

 

“What’s your name old man?” Jim asked when he finished reading the sign.

The old man turned his attention to Jim and his weathered and wrinkled face seemed to have an inner shine. With a slight smile on his lips and a bit of a twinkle in his eye he said, “Isaiah”.

I caught Jim’s eye and gave him the nod. We both turned and started in the direction of The World’s Largest Trading Post.

There was this large group of folks just a singing near the entrance. They sang with smiles on their faces and joy seemed to fill their voices as they motioned for us to come inside.

They sang:

The windows of heaven are open.

God’s blessings are falling tonight.

There’s joy, joy, joy in my heart,

Since Jesus made everything right.

I gave Him my old tattered garment.

He gave me a robe of pure white.

I’m feasting on manna from heaven.

And that’s why I’m happy tonight.

 

Old Jim and me? Well, he looked at me and nodded and I nodded back as he shifted the weight of his bag to the other shoulder. I picked mine own bag up and we both went inside!

 

 

 

References:

Isaiah 61:1-3, 10

Isaiah 9:6

Acts 2:38

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 14, 2016 at 2:08 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

1,000,000 Visitors To The Ballestero Blog!

with 14 comments

1,000,000 Visitors To The Ballestero Blog!

THANK YOU!!

I extend humble and grateful thanks to all of you for your readership. I am amazed that 364,536 readers from 194 countries (every country in the world, except one) have visited my blog.

My dear sister, Nila Marxer has been my tireless proofreader and editor. I will be forever indebted to her. Thank you, my dear!

As some of you might guess, these Blogs have generated much interest:

  • I Don’t Like Facial Hair On Pentecostal Men
  • They’re Everywhere (Knees showing in church)
  • Why My English Teacher Wanted To Be Baptized In Jesus Name
  • The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

I am personally criticized, cursed and trashed almost daily, mainly by worldly seeking Pentecostals who have forsaken the old paths. No matter what their criticism is of the holiness lifestyle, I refuse to change.

I remain as committed as ever to the Apostolic Doctrine.

  • Loving the Acts 2:38 plan of Salvation,
  • Seeking to live holy in an unholy world.
  • Loving the old paths.
  • Attempting to encourage and uplift the body of Christ.
  • Reaching for every lost soul I can.

Thank You Again!

Yours In His Service,

Martyn J. Ballestero Sr.

 

 

Thanks A Million

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 1, 2015 at 9:14 am

Posted in Thankfulness

The Storm Painter

with 5 comments

The Storm Painter

The painter of the storm had a mission. He had painted many a dark sky with thunderclouds before, but from a distance. He had painted the storms from the shore in the shelter of his studio where he was safe from all the elements of destruction. Today would be different. Artist Joseph Turner chose to view this storm outside his comfort zone.

He wished to paint what a storm looked like to him from the inside. This wasn’t to be just any April Showers moment. This storm would be a major blizzard, a rogue storm. Yet not just a bad snowstorm, but a snowstorm at sea. He wanted to view the storm from a boat while the waves threatened to sink his ship.

The seas were tumultuous, the waves high and rolling hard. There was no way he could stand on the deck and not slide off. He had to make a choice. He chose to be lashed to the mast of the ship for hours in the blinding freezing snowstorm. He wanted to paint it so real that on the canvass it would be hard to tell the sea from the sky.

‘Modern Painter’ website paid a huge compliment to Turner’s painting which he simply called Snowstorm.

 

Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth exhibited 1842 Joseph Mallord William Turner

Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth exhibited 1842 Joseph Mallord William Turner

 

Turner399702

Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Modern Painters described the Snowstorm, as “…one of the very grandest statements of sea-motion, mist, and light, that has ever been put on canvas.“

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-snow-storm-steam-boat-off-a-harbours-mouth-n00530/text-catalogue-entry

 

Maybe We All Are Painters

While almost none of us make our living as a professional painter, we still know a bit about the storms of life. Many know what it’s like to be tied to the mast and feel the snow, the sea spray, to be slapped in the face with freezing winds and have no defense from the storm. Imagine what it’s like to tied:

  • For hours with the snow beating your face.
  • For hours in the howling wind.
  • For hours with the ship struggling to survive the storm-tossed waves.
  • For hours seeing life-threatening skies and seas.
  • For hours in the bitter cold.
  • For hours of being wet and miserable.

 

Maybe We’ll Never Paint A Portrait Of Surviving The Storm…

Until We Too Have Been Tied To:

  • Heartache
  • Cancer
  • A Heart Attack
  • A Bad Marriage
  • Spousal Unfaithfulness
  • Financial Devastation
  • Rumor
  • Loneliness
  • Afflictions
  • Rejection
  • Depression
  • Lifelong Illness
  • Abuse

 

Maybe We’ll Never Be Able To Paint A Portrait Of Bearing One Another’s Burdens…

Until We Too Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • Stormy Seas
  • Tribulation
  • Shame
  • Embarrassment
  • Overwhelming Disappointment
  • Bitterness
  • Shattered dreams
  • Tears
  • Brokenness
  • The Death Of A Child
  • A Backslidden Spouse
  • An Addicted Love One

 

We cannot accurately paint the storm for others to see until we have lived through one our self. Naysayers may try to find fault with our story. But we have been there. We somehow survived. We felt the mast rub on our back. The rope burns will be there for a while. We suffered hypothermia. Our body shivered with the freezing snowstorm.

We thought of those we knew sitting at home in their warm little world. They could not help us now. It was no longer just a storm. It had become our storm. We chose not to waste our storm but share it with others in the hopes they would be helped or blessed.

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Revival…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • A Burden for souls
  • A Prayer Room
  • Travail
  • Tears
  • Vision
  • Compassion
  • Outreach

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of A Father’s Love…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • A Wayward Child
  • Tearful Forgiveness
  • Showing Mercy
  • Patience
  • A Special Needs Child
  • Unconditional Love
  • Courage
  • Sacrifice

 

Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Deliverance From False Doctrine…

Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:

  • False Doctrine
  • Error
  • Tradition
  • Family Pressure

 

The Storms we survive should make us stronger.

The Storms we survive should be used to help others see.

The Storms we survive can later turn into a thing of beauty for us.

The Storms we survive are a gift from God.

 

(When we hear a testimony from someone who has survived a storm, it gives us all great hope!)

What Portrait Is Our Life Painting For Others To See?

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm

This Thanksgiving, Do You Have Enough?

with 7 comments

The two men stood facing each other. One man was armed the other was not. The armed man had vowed to kill the other. Behind the armed man were about four hundred warriors. The two enemies were close enough to see each other, and the gap could close fast.

Today was the showdown. A life-long grudge was about to be settled. The fight was certainly going to be one-sided and it wouldn’t take long.

The unarmed man was known for his underhanded dealings. He had a shady past. Today was the day for his comeuppance.

The armed man stood still as the unarmed man walked toward him. They hadn’t seen each other in many years. Then the unarmed man did something very unexpected. He dropped to his knees and bowed his head to the ground. Then he got up and walked a bit closer and dropped to his knees again and bowed his head to the ground. He did the same thing over and over for seven times.

The armed man started running towards the other. The two men hugged each other and cried like boys. The flood of tears washed decades of hate away. There would be no blood shed here today.

At length the unarmed man presented the other with a great herd of cattle and sheep.

The armed man modestly declined and said, “Thank you, but I have plenty.”

The unarmed man nodded and still persisted that his gift be received. He said, “I have all!”

Gen. 33:8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.

Gen. 33:9 And Esau said, I have enough my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.

Esau’s enough – (Strong’s #7227 “rab” = Much, Plenty),

Gen. 33:10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.

Gen. 33:11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.

Jacob’s Enough – (Strong’s # 3605 “kole” = All).

 The difference between the two men’s possessions is explained in their own description. Esau had plenty as far as the carnal mind could evaluate wealth. Jacob on the other hand, realized that since he had a relationship with Jehovah, he in fact had ‘All’.

As far as earthly possessions go, many wealthy people may feel that they have enough.

But while those that have received the Holy Ghost may be poor by this world’s standards, they are actually rich. They have Jesus Christ in their hearts. They have Enough. They have ‘All’.

Esau had enough. Jacob had more. He had Enough!
Do you have enough? Or do you have Enough?

If you have Enough this Thanksgiving… be extra Thankful!

Enjoy Your Family And God’s Blessings This Year!

 enough

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 25, 2013 at 10:08 am

Posted in Thankfulness

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