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Archive for the ‘Thankfulness’ Category

Thank You Jesus!

with 10 comments

Did you ever have a day that you just started out thanking the Lord for everything you could think of? Not even thinking to ask for anything, but rather thanking Him for what He has already done? Today was such a day for me.

I drove down the Interstate in my rental car and began thanking the Lord for His blessings. It was a precious moment that seemingly came out of nowhere. It sounded something like this…


Thank You, that I woke up this morning.

Thank You, for a home to wake up in.

Thank You, for a good night’s rest.

Thank You, that when I got up, there were no aches and pains in my body.

Thank You, that you’ve let me live these many years.

Thank You, that I didn’t need help getting out of bed.

Thank You, for the food I ate today.

Thank You, for the food in my cupboards.

Thank You, that my bills are paid.

Thank You, for supplying all my needs.

Thank You, for my peaceable, loving and nurturing wife. Who just happens to be the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen.


I’m Thankful that she loves You like I love You, and walks beside me on this journey.

I’m Thankful for five loving and wonderful children… a daughter, and four sons.

I’m Thankful that they all have received the Holy Ghost and live for You.

I’m thankful that it has pleased you to use them for your glory.

I’m Thankful that they all have wonderful spouses that live for You too.

I’m Thankful for thirteen loving grand children.

I’m Thankful that they all have the Holy Ghost. (Except for the baby, who is only two.)

I’m Thankful for the love and peace in our family.

I’m Thankful for every moment we get to spend together.

I’m Thankful for four wonderful daughters-in-law and a wonderful son-in-law.

I’m Thankful for a loving dad and mom that carefully raised me in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

I’m Thankful for my four loving sisters and their wonderful husbands.

I’m Thankful for my wife’s four loving sisters and their wonderful husbands.

I’m Thankful for my large and extended family that lives for you.


Thank You, for the day you brought me to an altar of repentance.

Thank You, for the day that Your Spirit drew me.

Thank You, for granting mercy and forgiveness of sins, to me.

Thank You, for washing my sins away when I got baptized in your Name.

Thank You, for filling me with the Holy Ghost.

Thank You, for a revelation of the necessity of Baptism in the Name Of Jesus.

Thank You, for a revelation of who you are, the Mighty God in Christ Jesus.

Thank You, for a revelation of the importance of the Church.

Thank You, for a pastor that instructed me in Your ways.

Thank You, for a revelation of Holiness and my need to live separately from the world.

Thank You, for a revelation of Your Covenant blessings to all who bring You their tithes.

Thank You, for the honor of working in your harvest field.

Thank You, for finding a place for me in your Kingdom.

Thank You, for every hungry soul you’ve led me to.

Thank You, for Calvary.

Thank You, that your Blood still works.

Thank You, for all the things you’ve kept me from.

Thank You, for the godly Friends You’ve placed in my life.

Thank You, for giving me strength enough for today.

Thank You, for giving me strength to stand for Truth.


I Thank You, for every valley You’ve brought me through.

I Thank You, for every trial and every tear that has brought me closer to You.

I Thank You, for every time You’ve made a way, where there seemed to be no way.

I Thank You, for every time You have convicted me and warned me that something was wrong.

I Thank You, for every time You’ve fought my battles.

I Thank You, for every joy You’ve brought into my life.

I Thank You, for every miracle You’ve performed just for me.

I Thank You, for every time You’ve healed my body.

I Thank You, for every time You restored my soul.

I Thank You, for every refreshing.

I Thank You.

I Thank You.

I Thank You.


My mind, by this time, remembered an old song. I forget who wrote it and I am also unsure of the title, but the words stuck in my heart…


Oh, Lord in my heart, I have something to tell

So I’ll start from the first…when on my knees I fell;

I asked for mercy and that You supplied,

Now my sins are forgiven; I have nothing to hide.

Just want to tell You I’m Thankful for all You have done

For the stars and the moonlight and the setting sun

When my work here is through, I’m coming home to be with You

Just want to tell You, I’m Thankful that’s all

When I feel discouraged, You’re there to see me through

Of all the friends I have known, there’s no one like You

All my needs You supply; oh, it makes me want to cry

Just want to tell You, I’m Thankful that’s all.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Thankfulness

Tagged with

I’m Thankful

with 4 comments

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 24, 2011 at 1:31 am

Posted in Thankfulness

Tagged with

The Unwanted Girls

with 6 comments

The Unwanted Girls

The news story told of 285 young Indian girls that had chosen new names.

“Nakusa” or “Nakushi” (two variations of the Hindu word meaning “unwanted”) were among the names abandoned in an effort to promote their self-worth.

“Now in school, my classmates and friends will be calling me this new name, and that makes me very happy,” a 15-year-old girl told the AP after the ceremony. The teenager was formerly named Nakusa by her disappointed grandfather, but chose to be called “Ashmita,” which translates to “very tough” in Hindi.”

Girls hold certificates stating their new official names during a renaming ceremony in Satara, India, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. Almost 300 Indian girls known officially as "Unwanted" have traded their birth names for a fresh start in life


Reading this story made me very sad. Their culture devalues women. An unborn baby girl might well be aborted if the parents knew its gender. It’s heart breaking to me. The very thought, is unthinkable in my family.

I have been blessed more than most men to have been surrounded all my life by loving and amazing women.  Their lives are blessed of God. My life has been blessed to the highest level because of them.

In my family, the women and girls are cherished, and loved. They are also respected, listened to, and honored. I always want them to know that!

Each of the married women love and honor their husbands and treat them like kings. No wonder each husband finds it easy to treat his wife like a queen and cherish her.

The daughters love and honor their fathers. They treat him with great respect. They in turn are loved and doted on. They have never felt unwanted, but rather are treated as if they were a princess.

The same is true for all the grand daughters.

It would be a near impossibility to find a family that loves it’s women more than the Ballestero family loves theirs.

With all of the above in mind, today I wish to stop and honor the women in my world.

I want to tell all of you that I love you, I honor you, and I cherish you, and I am proud of you. You all have me forever wrapped around your little fingers. I have you wrapped around my heart.

You are so gifted and talented. You are:

  • Singers
  • Song Writers
  • Musicians
  • Music Teachers
  • Choir Leader
  • Speakers
  • Writers
  • Authors
  • School Teachers
  • Recording Artists
  • Artistic
  • Designers
  • Business Owners
  • Leaders
  • Beautiful
  • Loving
  • Nurturing
  • Tender
  • intelligent
  • The Best Cooks In The World.
  • The Best Mothers In The World.
  • The Best Wives In The World.
  • And… You really love the Lord.
  • (This list could go on awhile…)

You might often be embarrassed by me, but you will never be unwanted! I love you and pray God richest blessings on you in all you do! There will never be such a thing as an unwanted girl in my family!

Let me show my readers a picture or two of why I am such a blessed man!

My Mom, Mother-in-law, Wife, Daughter, Daughters-in-law, Grand Daughters, Sisters, Sisters-in-law and Nieces are shown below. Besides all these, there are my wonderful cousins, close friends  and “adopted” family members.

Every One Of These Ladies Are Wanted!!

It don’t get any better than this. I, my friend, am a blessed man!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 28, 2011 at 1:10 am

Devil, I Hate What You Do!

with 6 comments

Part 1. Devil, I Hate What You Do

1Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

You Brought Sickness, Devil, I Hate What You Do!

  • Cancer
  • Strokes
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Episodes
  • Aids
  • HIV
  • MS
  • Depression
  • Emotional Disorders

You Create Addictions, Devil, I Hate What You Do!

  • Drugs
  • Meth
  • Crack
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine

You Break Up Homes, Devil, I Hate What You Do!

  • With Sin
  • With Death.

You Bring Condemnation, Devil, I Hate What You Do!

  • Guilt
  • Shame

You Create Rebellion, Devil, I Hate What You Do!

  • Cause Many To Reject Truth
  • Cause Millions To Be Lost

You Discouraged Good People, Devil, I Hate What You Do!

  • Cause Many To Quit
  • Make Some Backslide
  • Tell Them They Are Unloved, Unwanted

You’re The Father of Lies, Devil, I Hate What You Do!

Because Of You

  • We have Murder
  • We have Crime
  • We have Skidrow
  • We have Jails
  • We have Crack Houses
  • We have Sin
  • We have Violence
  • We have Sex Crimes


1. Devil I Hate What You Do To Us.

2. Devil I Hate What You To Our Children

3. Devil I Hate What You Do To Our Parents

4. Devil I Hate What You To Our Friends

5. Devil I Hate What You To Our Churches

  • Bring Division
  • Divide Friends
  • Sow Discord
  • Vex The Church
  • You Are The Author Of Confusion


The Good News Devil, We Know What To Do About You


James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


The Good News Devil, Your Days Are Numbered

Rom. 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Part 2. Jesus, I Love What You Do.

Eph. 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,


1. Jesus, I Love How You Stop Lion’s Mouths

2. Jesus, I Love How You Take Heat Out Of the Fiery Furnace

3. Jesus, I Love How You Calm Stormy Seas

4. Jesus, I Love How You Speak Peace To The Storm

5. Jesus, I Love How You Give Me A WORD


6. Jesus, I Love How You Fight My Battles

7. Jesus, I Love How You Make A Way Where There Seems…

8. Jesus, I Love How You Are Always On Time

9. Jesus, I Love How You Heal My Body

10. Jesus, I Love How You Heal My Wounded Spirit


11. Jesus, I Love How You Deliver

12. Jesus, I Love How You Restore My Soul

13. Jesus, I Love How You Renew Me

14. Jesus, I Love How You Change Me

15. Jesus, I Love How You Encourage Me


16. Jesus, I Love How You Put Marriages Together

17. Jesus, I Love How You Bring Down Jericho’s Walls

18. Jesus, I Love How You Stop Funeral Processions

19. Jesus, I Love How You Give Me Hope

20. Jesus, I Love How You Do The Impossible


21. Jesus, I Love How You Open My Blinded Eyes

22. Jesus, I Love How You Comfort My Heart

23. Jesus, I Love How You Take Away Fear

24. Jesus, I Love How You Washed My Sins Away

25. Jesus, I Love How You Filled Me With The Holy Ghost

Jesus, I Love What You Do. That’s Why I Sing…

1. There’s No God Like Jehovah

2. Our God Is An Awesome God

3. He’s The Great I Am

4. How Great Thou Art

5. He’s An On-time God

6. He Is Able To Deliver Thee

7. He Brought Me Out Of the Miry Clay

8. What A Mighty God We Serve

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 25, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in Christian Living, Thankfulness

Tagged with

It’s Time To Say Thank You.

with 9 comments

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

The Ballestero Blog Celebrates It’s First Birthday!

with 22 comments

Today is the last day of this year. As 2010 comes to a close, we all of memories of special events in our lives and in the world that happened within the last 365 days.

Most of us have seen both days of laughter and even a few days of tears. Nevertheless, we’re still here and hoping for the best in 2011.

The ending of this year also brings closure to the first year of The Ballestero Blog.

I wish to especially thank my Son-In-Law, Pastor Brandon Hartzell of Cary, NC for his encouragement to blog. Without his expertise and guidance, I’m not sure I could have undertaken and this endeavor. I thank him for his patience. He just has to be the best Son-In-Law in the world!

Most of all, I want to thank every reader. I thank each one of you that clicked on a post and took time from their day to read my ramblings. I am very honored. Thank you.

Of all the blogs on the Internet, you paused to read mine. I am humbled by the reader response, the hits on the site and all the kind comments.

May God bless us all and give us a Happy New Year.

In His Service,

Martyn Ballestero

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 31, 2010 at 7:58 am

Posted in Thankfulness

If You Had A Mule!

with 5 comments

If You Had A Mule!

In early American history, frontiersmen eked out a meager existence, in the harshest of times. Often, survival was directly connected to hard work, and the kindnesses of Mother Nature.

At best, one man by himself could barely grow enough food to last him through the long winters.  He was glad to just get by.

But if he had a mule, life took an immediate upturn. More work was accomplished. He often was able to plow his 40 acres and harvest enough for himself and have enough left over to sell or trade.

It was by the help of the mule, that many a man moved from the survival mode to a more comfortable lifestyle.

The homesteader took very good care of his mule. His success was directly tied to the mule. The mule needed to be healthy, and to keep it healthy, it must be cared for.

  • After working in the field all day, the mule was rubbed down with a burlap bag.
  • It was curried with a brush.
  • It was watered first, before the man.
  • It was fed first, before the man.
  • The man, would check to see if it needed shoes.
  • Even if the man didn’t have good shoes, his mule did.
  • If it needed shoes, that was a first order of business. It was a priority.
  • After the mule was taken care of, the man then focused on his own needs.

(That was how I started a Bible Study many years ago, as pastor of Christ Temple Apostolic Church in South Bend.

I said, “I risk angering all the wives here tonight with my unkind comparison of them to a work animal. I apologize ahead of time.

“It is no secret that some men would take better care of a mule, than they would their own wife.” I continued…)

Men, I know this is over a hundred years later, but you’d be still in the survival mode without your good wife. It would be impossible for a man to list all of the duties and chores his wife routinely accomplishes for the betterment of his home. Too often, she does a hard days work without a word of praise or thanks.

She is ordered around, and treated far beneath her pay grade, which too often, is nothing at all. The man pockets the money, spends what he wants on himself. She has an empty purse. Some men spend $50 or more on a golf game, fishing supplies or a days hunt.

His wife has to ask him for money for hairspray, hose and personal items. God forbid she would ever ask for a pair of shoes or a dress. For her, it is demeaning to have to ask.

She made him a home. She sacrificed her health, her youth and her life to raise him a family. She does his cleaning, his cooking, and attends to his whims. Yet she is not allowed to enjoy the bounty and fruit of her labor on the same level her husband does. Shame on you sir.

If you had a mule, you would take better care of it, than you do your own wife!

At that point in my Bible Class, a chunk of plaster about as big as a pie pan fell from the ceiling and landed on Bro. McKinnies’ head.

As soon as I saw that he was not hurt, I pointed at him and said, “It’s you I’m talking about!”

We all laughed.

My sermon was over…

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm


with one comment

Thanking God for Our Freedoms!

Norman Rockwell – Freedom Of Speech
Norman Rockwell – Freedom From Want
Norman Rockwell – Freedom From Fear
Norman Rockwell – Freedom Of Worship
Freedom From The Past
Continued Freedom From Sin

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Thankfulness

The Obed-Edom Interview

with 2 comments

Several years ago, I heard one of the most amazing sermons I will ever hear in my life. It was Bro. Kenneth Bow’s sermon about Obed-Edom. It was anointed and unforgettable.  His love for research and attention to historical facts makes this outstanding.

Please go to his blog and find the link or go to and get it for yourself. It will change your life.



The Obed-Edom Interview

TBB: Welcome Obed-Edom, to The Ballestero Blog. I’m so glad you agreed to grant me a short interview today. I’m very honored to have you here. I know that you are a very busy man.

OE: I am pleased to be here. Thank you for the opportunity.

TBB: For the record, you are of the tribe of Levi, and of the family of Korhite. You’re also from Gath-Rimmon if I remember. That makes you a Gittite?

OE: That’s true.

TBB: And let’s see here…you and your wife have 8 sons?

OE: That we do, counting my sons and grandsons, there are 62 men in my family. It’s never quiet at my house.

TBB: Whew. I can imagine. Tell me, what’s a day like in the life of Obed-Edom?

OE: Well, the first thing every morning after daybreak, I get a report from my Gate Security Office concerning the activities of the past night. I report then to the King. At 9 am I go to Prayers every morning, then later in the day I have either choir practice or orchestra practice. I check on the Storehouse during the day also.

TBB: The Gate Security Office. That’s right, you are in charge of keeping the gates of the city of Jerusalem secure. Let’s talk about that first. So then, is Captain Obed-Edom your official title?

OE: (Nodding modestly) Don’t call me captain. My guards do that out of respect. My friends just call me by my name.

TBB: How many men do you command as the Keeper of the Gate?

OE: Right now, about 1,000. My sons and grandsons included. I might add that we also are in charge of the storehouse as well.

TBB: Wow. The King must really trust you to commission you to this post.

OE: We’ve been friends for quite a while now. I’m honored to do everything I can for My God, my King and for Israel.

TBB: How long have you known King David?

OE: A long time. Remember when the King was transporting the Ark to the Tabernacle and there was a problem and Uzzah touched the Ark and he died because the Lord smote him?

TBB: Yes.

OE: I know it was the Lord that my house was close by, but it didn’t hurt that out of all the houses in the area, the King chose mine as the place to put the Ark. Our friendship, no doubt, helped make that choice easier. It may have made a few of my neighbors a little jealous though.

TBB: I’m sure. How long was the Ark in your home?

OE: About 3 months.

TBB: What was it like to have the Ark in your home?

OE: It was THE biggest Blessings of my life. When I say my home was Blessed, I mean Blessed with a capital B. My finances were blessed, my herds multiplied from that time on. Our health mysteriously improved over night. Everything I touched seemed to turn to gold. It’s never stopped.

TBB: How wonderful. You’re the only man in Israel that has had that honor.

OE: I know. I am thrilled that my house was home for the Ark of God, even for a brief time.

TBB: What was it like after the Ark was moved from your house to where it is now?

OE: I don’t know. I couldn’t bear the thoughts of staying in that house without the Ark in it. So I moved too.

TBB: You moved?

OE: Yes I did. After our home was blessed like it had been because of the Ark., my wife and I decided that wherever the Ark was, that’s where we wanted to be. So we moved here and bought a house just to be close by. Here, I can look in the direction of where the Ark sits and know I am close to His presence. There’s nothing like being in the presence of Jehovah. I wish everyone could have experienced that.

TBB: I do too. That’s amazing. You mentioned about choir practice and orchestra earlier. That’s because you are the worship leader?

OE: Actually Asaph is the Chief Musician and there are 68 others that do what I do. I’m just honored to be part of the worship. We all take turns. You might laugh at me, but after my experience with the Ark, I volunteer for every opening that Asaph has. I’m willing to be a singer or a musician. Sometimes I get the job, sometimes I don’t, but they can count on my name being on the list. I do my best to stay involved.

TBB: You have one of Israel’s greatest hero’s in your lineage. Samuel, the Prophet and Judge, is one of your ancestors!

OE: That’s true!

TBB: He’d sure be proud of you if he was alive today.

OE: That’s kind, thank you. I hope he would.

TBB: It’s common knowledge that King David is proud of you too and wrote Psalm 24 in your honor. That’s a very high honor.

OE: Yes it is. It is the highest of honors the King can bestow me. It is worth more to me than great riches. I am greatly honored by that and yet humbled as well.

TBB: Can you remember any of that Psalm offhand?

OE: I sure can:

“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

“For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

“He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

“This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

“Lift up your head, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

“Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

“Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

TBB: That’s a beautiful Psalm. Every family has a skeleton in the closet or some dark family secret. I know you’re probably wishing I wouldn’t bring up yours, because I imagine it’s uncomfortable for you.

OE: No, actually I’m glad you did. It’s really Okay; I want to talk about it. I believe that event was what reshaped the future of our whole family.

TBB: We’re talking about Korah, your ancestor and what happened to him, Is that correct?

OE: Yes.

TBB: In respect of where you are now and the high stations your family now holds, how did you tell your sons about your family’s dark days?

OE: Well Korah, as you know, was a very prominent leader in our tribe when Israel was in the wilderness. He was quite influential as well. I just hate it that he let pride and ambition get in his heart and got crossed up with Moses and Aaron. He was wrong. His thinking led him into rebellion. His actions invited the wrath of Jehovah.

TBB: I remember the Rabbi reading about the ground opening up and swallowing the rebellious men, and fire coming out of heaven. Then there was that plague that came because some sympathizers accused Moses of getting the people of God killed. 14,000 of them died in that plague. When I first heard the story, I thought the sons on Korah perished along with their father.

OE: Those living a home did, but not all. Some of Korah’s sons were married and living in their own homes when judgment fell. They loved their father, but they did not join him in his rebellion. Our family has handed down the story that when they saw they’re lives were spared; they fell on their faces and prayed. From that time on, all the sons of Korah have been extremely careful about our attitude concerning the House of God and the man of God. We have all been very respectful of our leader and submit ourselves to him. We refuse to let God have a problem with us again. We are thankful God doesn’t hold the sins for our father’s against us. I stress the importance of the fear of God and respect for God’s man to my sons lest history should repeat itself.

TBB: An amazing story. Your life lessons to your sons are extremely powerful as well. You mentioned the sons of Korah. Word on the street is that when King David fled from Absalom and went into hiding, the sons of Korah went with him to protect him. Do you know anything about that?

OE: I’ve heard that too.

TBB: There are a number of Psalms that are written just for your family to sing.  That’s a very special honor. Since that includes you, maybe you could share your thoughts on a few of them or at least tell us about them.

OE: Thank you, it would be my pleasure. Well, the first one that comes to mind is the one that starts out… “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”

That’s from Psalms 42. I love that one. That’s how I feel. I cry sometimes when we sing Psalms 43 and it gets to the part where it says: “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

When I sing those words, the memory of my family’s dark past comes to mind. Then I see that God has blessed me more than anyone. I just can’t keep quiet about it.

TBB: That’s beautiful.

OE: Psalm 46 starts out with: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

I need to sing that song some days. Then there are other days we feel like dancing while we’re singing. See if you remember this one from Psalm 47. “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.”

I really love that one. The last one I’m going to talk about is one I can’t just quote. Would you mind if I sing a few lines?

TBB: Please do. I would love it.

OE: If you know what’s happened to my family, then maybe you can understand why I love to sing Psalms 84.

TBB: Sing it.

OE“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

“Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

“Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”

TBB: Thank you for that. You have a beautiful voice.

OE: Every time I sing that last line, I am reminded how blessed I am to be close to the House of God. I thank Him everyday.

TBB: I’m about out of time.  What word of wisdom or advice can you give me before you go?

OE: I’ve been honored to be here. Thank you for giving me a chance to speak about my passion. As far as imparting any wisdom to you, I can’t do much better than this. This one is from the 88th Psalm, which is another one written just for the sons of Korah to sing.

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

“I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

“For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”

We must walk in truth, fear God, praise Him with all of our hearts, and then God will find a way to deliver us and to bless us. That about sums it up for me.

TBB: That it does. It sums it up for me too. Thank you for coming and God bless you.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

The Haman Syndrome

with 2 comments

The Haman Syndrome

Why is it common among us humans to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have? How did we slide from the place where we used to sing, “Count your many blessing name them one by one…” to just counting the blessing we don’t have?

I’m serious.

I was a pastor for many years. It was easy to sit on the platform and make mental notes about who wasn’t there and how many were absent. Often I would catch myself focusing on the absentees instead of the attendees. Then I would always feel chagrined when I caught myself doing that.

That’s the same problem Haman had. Here was a man who had the King’s blessing, his ear, and his backing. He had unlimited power and was honored by all of the King’s subjects. Except for one.

  • Esth. 3:2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
  • Esth. 3:3 Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?
  • Esth. 3:4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
  • Esth. 3:5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

Haman couldn’t enjoy the honor and respect of a whole kingdom. The ONE person that didn’t bow down erased all the pleasure in his mind. He was fixated on that one negative event in his world.

His emotions wound up leading him to his own death. The Haman Syndrome may not kill you today, but there are other things it will kill.

In a marriage you may have 95% of what you like and what pleases you. If you are not careful, you can go stupid and focus on the 5% you don’t have. Why not enjoy the 95% you do have? Do you truthfully think that your spouse got a 100% deal? (If you do, this Blog can’t help you.  Feel free to go read something else.)

The Haman Syndrome will always surface at your Job, at you Church, in you Marriage and most every other area of your life. You have a choice of letting it take over and obsessing you, or you can do what I talked about earlier.


It may sound too ‘Old School’ for some of you to sing today.

But the lyrics of the old song written by Johnson Oatman Jr. in 1897 aren’t out of date in 2010.


Count Your Blessings

  1. When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
    When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
    Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
    And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

    • Refrain:
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      *Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
      [*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]
  2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will keep singing as the days go by.
  3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
    Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
    Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
  4. So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
    Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

*Alternate text.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 26, 2010 at 12:28 am