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Archive for the ‘Tithes’ Category

I Would Appreciate It If You Just Wouldn’t Mention Anything About…

with 6 comments

 

I Would Appreciate It If You Just Wouldn’t Mention Anything About…

The car glided quietly down the Texas road. The only noise came from the breeze in the open windows of the car. The fact that there was no air conditioner in the car made it necessary to roll the windows down because of the heat.

“Brother Ballestero, tonight is the first night of our revival and you will notice three teenage girls that are the praise singers. You will notice also that they are all wearing mini-skirts. They have such great spirits. I am working with them on their attire and I would appreciate it if you just wouldn’t mention anything about mini-skirts or short skirts while you’re here.”

He said that while looking straight ahead. I never turned mine to look at him. Here was an icon in Texas asking me to not to say anything about mini-skirts.

“No problem!” I blurted out.

“Oh, thank you!” He said.

“Well, that was easy. If you would, I have a couple here who have just inherited $1,000,000.00 and they haven’t paid tithes yet. If you say anything while you are here about tithes, they will think I talked to you about it, get mad and may not pay tithes at all. So, if you just wouldn’t say anything about tithes while you’re here I will take it as a personal favor.”

“Not a problem, sir,” I said.

“Well then, just one more thing. I have a precious little Assemblies of God couple coming here and I am waiting for the Holy Ghost to reveal the revelation of the Oneness of the Godhead to them. So, if you wouldn’t preach on the Godhead while you’re here. I would take that as a personal favor also.”

“Relax brother,” I said.
“While I’m here, all I’m going to preach is Jesus!”

He looked at me with relief in his eyes and said, “Thank You.”

“The reason that all I am going to preach while I’m here is Jesus is that it sounds like no one here knows Him!” I said flatly while looking through the front window.

(I am not sure why that revival only lasted one night, but I have a good guess.)

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 11, 2019 at 10:54 pm

You Might Not Be A Saint!

with 16 comments

 

You Might Not Be A Saint!

 

This Is Strong Meat.

So, I may offend some here. (Sorry)

I have no desire to be harsh or unkind.

 

I’m Going To Be Straight Forward…

  • Like they preached to me when I was young.
  • Before anyone heard of being ‘Politically Correct’

 

A Fact:

Before You Can Be A Saint, You Must Be Born Again.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

Then, After You Receive The Holy Ghost, You’re Called To Be A Saint.

1 Cor. 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

 

(Side Note: You MUST be a Saint before you can ever be a preacher.)

 

Being A Saint – That’s Our Calling.

Are You Willing To Accept The Call?

  • Count the cost if you accept.
  • Count the cost if you don’t accept.

 

To Accept The Call And Qualify To Be A Saint…

1.)  You Must Be Willing To Do Whatever It Takes To Be A Saint. 

  • I’m talking to everyone.
  • I don’t care how long you’ve been a church member.

 

If You’re Just Going To Church:

  • To get your shout on.
  • To get your blessing.
  • For the loaves and the fishes.
  • For the fellowship.
  • Because of the great Youth Dept.

 

Your Actions Describe You More Like A Spiritual Moocher Than A Saint.

If All Church Is For You, Is Just A Place That Gives You Loaves And Fishes…

  • Then I can’t help you.
  • Because you most likely will never change.

 

You Don’t Have To Be A Saint…

  • But if you choose to be a saint…
  • You cannot become a saint on your terms!

 

“Saints Are Not Born, They’re Made” – My Dad Always Said.

  • If you are a saint…
  • Or ever become a saint…
  • It’s because you listened to your pastor!

 

If You Are A Saint, It’s Because There Was A Change In Your Life.

  • It may be, “Come as you are,”
  • But it’s not… “Stay as you are!”
  • The Gospel is all about change.

(Do you still want to be a saint?)

 

If You’re Looking For An Easy Route To Heaven,

  • One that you never have to make a change, inside or out.
  • One that requires no commitment,
  • One That requires no submission…

Then you are just looking for a social group that lets you live like you want.

Isa 30:9  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

Isa 30:10  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

 

If That’s You, You Won’t Be Happy In A Real Apostolic Church. You Might As Well Move On Down The Road. Because ALL Of God’s Word Gets Preached In An Apostolic Church.

(Do you still want to be a saint?

Or do you want a compromised and watered-down version of the Word of God

 

Saints Don’t Argue With The Word, They Submit!

 

 2.) A Saint Always Has A Teachable Spirit.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

If You Do Not Have A Teachable Spirit, You Don’t Really Have The Holy Ghost.

 

 3.) A Saint Loves Doctrine.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

 

If Doctrine Is Boring To You,

If Doctrine Is Irritating To You,

If Doctrine Seems Unnecessary To You,

If Doctrine Is Harsh To Your Tender Spirit,

Then You’re Not Really A Saint.

 

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

4.) A Saint Is Willing To Submit God’s Correction.

Heb. 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Heb. 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

 

All The Sons Of God Receive Correction.

Because They’re Not Perfect.

Heb. 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  • Remember, you won’t stand in the judgment by yourself!
  • Your pastor will be there too. He must give an account of your attitude and spirit.

 

If Allowing The Word Of God To Correct You Or Your Children Is Unacceptable To You,

Then you’re not really a saint!

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

5.) God Hears The Prayers Of Saints.

Prov. 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

James 5:16… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

 

If God Doesn’t Hear Your Prayers,

Then maybe you’re not really a saint.

 

 6.) All Saints Worship.

John 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Psa 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

 

If worship is a problem for you…

You’re not thankful.

2 Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 Tim 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2 Tim. 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

2 Tim. 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2 Tim. 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

Then you’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 7.) If You Say You’re Not Being Fed…

It’s because you’re not a saint!

A saint always obeys and is willing.

Isa. 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

 

8.) If Holiness Is Debatable Or Just Something That Is Only A Personal Conviction To You.

Then you’re not really a saint.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

Holiness is God’s lowest standard.

1 Pet. 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

1 Pet. 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (lifestyle)

1 Pet. 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

If you have a problem with Holiness,

Then you’re not really a saint

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 9.) If Wearing Modest Apparel Is Not Your Style Of Dress And You Refuse To Change…

Then you’re not really a saint.

1Tim. 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

 

Shamefacedness =

  • a sense of shame,
  • ability to blush

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

10.) If Your Life Is Wrapped Up In Hollywood, Sports, And Worldly pleasures,

You’re not a saint.

 

Ball Games

If you go to a sports event, your heart will beat with the heart of the world.

Saints don’t want their heart beating with the world’s heart, only God’s heart.

 

Hollywood

Saints do not bring Hollywood into their homes, regardless of whatever format it comes in.

1 John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 

If The Love Of The Father Is Not In You…

Then you’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 11.) If A Woman Thinks That Wearing Men’s Apparel Is Not A Problem,

And She Defies The Scriptures…

Deut. 22:5  The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Then she is not a saint.

If he wears women’s clothing, then he’s not a saint.

 

12.) If A Man Thinks It’s Ok To Let His Hair Grow Long,

Then he’s not really a saint.

1 Cor. 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

 

 13.) If A Woman Cuts Her Hair,

Then she’s not really a saint.

 

1 Cor. 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

1 Cor. 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

1 Cor. 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

 

If You Cut Your Hair, Sister, You’re Not Really A Saint

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 14.) If Jewelry, Ornamentation, And The Wearing Of Gold Is Your World…

Then you’re not really a saint.

1 Pet. 3:3  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

 

(Adorning Definition = World)

1 Pet. 3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

 

Every Time Israel Drew Close To God, They Took Off Their Ornaments.

Every Time They Backslid, They Put Them On.

Gen 35:1  And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

Gen 35:2  Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

Gen 35:3  And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

Gen 35:4  And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

 

Hos 2:13  And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

 

(The wearing of earrings was associated with Baal worship. That’s why Jacob’s wives gave him their earrings when they surrendered their idols of Baal.)

 

If keeping your jewelry is your thing,

You’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

15.) Real Saints Don’t Rob God.

Mal. 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Mal. 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Mal. 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 

If you are a God-Robber, You’re not really a saint.

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

16.) If You Are A Tale Bearer Or Critical, And Say Negative Things About The Church Or The Pastor…

Lev 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.

If you’re a gossiper, you’re not a saint.

You will be shunned.

1 Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

If you’re a critic of what your pastor does,

You’re not a saint.

A saint is a pastor’s friend.

 

If You’re A Railer And Gossiper,

You will be shunned.

Because You’re Not Really A Saint.

 

17.) If You Think You Are On The Same Level As Your Pastor Then You’re Not A Saint.

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

You are not a saint.

(It does not matter the number of degrees you have, you will never be equal to your man of God.)

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 18.) If You Cannot Forgive, You Are Not A Saint.

Matt. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

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

(So, do you still want to be a saint?)

 

 19.) Saints Love One Another.

Unity cannot happen without loving one another. Without unity, no church can enjoy lasting revival.

If you are unable to love your brother or sister, you’re not a saint.

  • If you can’t get past personality differences,
  • If you can’t get past everyone’s yesterdays,
  • If you can’t get past the past,
  • If you can’t get past ethnicity and realize we are one in Christ,

You’re not really a saint.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 

20.) Saints Are The Only Ones Going To Heaven.

Eph. 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

(So, Are You A Real Saint?)

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 2, 2019 at 12:31 am

The Kiss Of Death

with 7 comments

 

The Kiss Of Death

“Remember Elizabeth? She just got a hearing implant to see if that would cure her deafness,” my wife said. We were eating lunch in Georgia, at a National Country Club.

“They call that, The Kiss Of Death, in the deaf community,” offered the court certified Interpreter for the deaf who was seated at the table with us.

The Kiss Of Death?” I was in shock! “Why would they call being able to hear, The Kiss Of Death?

“Hearing would ruin their life, as they know it. Many deaf people are very happy in their own world,” she said. “It’s a very tight-knit society.  Lip reading is a coveted gift. Most deaf people don’t want to be healed. They are happy being deaf.”

She related an incident about signing to a client. The client signed back to her that she could read lips and only wanted to be spoken to, not signed to by a hearing person. Although the court had certified the Interpreter, she was still an outsider to the deaf.

The Interpreter began to describe some of her client’s anti-hearing sentiments. She served several expectant mothers who were deaf. These moms-to-be wanted their babies to be deaf as well.

As a hearing person, I’ve had very limited communication with the deaf. If they can read my lips, that’s wonderful. I cannot read theirs. We can only write notes back and forth to each other. I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to hear.

I also have no way of knowing how accurate the Interpreter’s opinion was. She was only relating her life experiences.

Although my interaction with the natural deaf is somewhat limited, I am however, very familiar with the attitudes of the spiritually deaf.

The spiritually deaf that I know, don’t want to be healed. They resist getting a spiritual implant to hear the Word of the Lord. To them, that would be The Kiss Of Death!

Forty-two times the Bible uses the phrase, “He that hath an ear to hear.” Evidently, not everyone can hear what the Spirit saith. Their Pastor/Interpreter is an intrusion into their world.

They too do not wish to be healed and want all of their children to be deaf as well. The preached Word of God is something that the spiritually deaf person cannot hear. They can’t hear sermons about:

  • Doctrine
  • Tithes
  • Holiness
  • Separation from the world

It is really futile to try to communicate with those that are deaf to God’s Word. The interference of hearing people into their life is resented.

Jesus healed the deaf. We read about it in the Gospels. He is still able to heal the spiritually deaf today who want to be healed.

My father had been the pastor at a church for three years. A brother came up to him after the Saturday night service and complimented his sermon. Dad thanked him. Sunday morning the same man gave him another compliment.

Sunday night, the same brother came up to Dad and with tears in his eyes said, “Bro. Ballestero, I thank you for that message! That was the best I’ve ever heard! You saved me tonight!”

My father invited the man into his office. When they sat down, my father began his inquiry.

“Brother, for the last three years you’ve fought me tooth and toenail. You have resisted me at every turn. Not one time have you said a nice thing to me since I’ve been here. You have never complimented any of my messages before. Now, for three sermons in a row, you’ve bragged on me. What’s your game?”

The brother broke down and cried. He apologized to my Father. He said, “I am so sorry I’ve been like that to you Pastor. The reason I’ve complimented your preaching, is because I just got my ears open!”

All a Pastor can pray for is that his hearers will get their ears opened! He knows that for those who are content not to hear preaching, it is truly, The Kiss of Death!

 

The Last Thing You Lose Is Your Hearing

Bro. Henry Baskins fell like he’d been shot. The sound of his head hitting the floor was enough to make those nearby sick and alarmed. His fellow workers called 911 and anxiously watched for the ambulance.

Within minutes, my phone rang and informed me that one of the most precious men in the Kingdom of God was in a coma and being taken from the ER to ICU. My heart sank. Bro. Baskins was near retirement age. No one had an answer why he had passed out on the job. He’d had no previous health concerns.

Henry Baskins

He was a church favorite. Even though he drove over 20 miles each way to church, he was always an hour or so early. He had been an usher as long as I could remember. His pockets always contained a bag of candy for the children. That made him a very popular man after church.

Sis. Baskins lived a pampered life. He waited on her hand and foot, did the grocery shopping, chauffeured her anywhere she wanted to go. What if he died? What would happen to her? She’d never even driven a car!

After calling the Prayer Chain in our church, I rushed to the Osteopathic Hospital. As I headed for ICU, I noticed family and saints were gathering too. There was a waiting room next to the ICU door.

No one, not even family was allowed to go in and see him yet. I told the folks in the waiting room to pray for Bro. Baskins. They prayed Pentecostal style.

I pushed the call button and announced myself. The nurse buzzed me in. She escorted me to Bro. Baskins’ room. My heart sank when I saw him. There were more tubes connected to him than I’d ever seen. There were tubes down his throat, up his nose, in his chest, his arms, his hands and his leg. It seemed like there were 10 monitors going. The pumping sounds of the machine doing the breathing for him were hard to ignore. He looked hopeless.

Even though he was unconscious, I announced myself to him. I said, “Bro. Baskins, this is Bro. Ballestero and I am here to pray for you.

My prayer was probably only a minute or so. I felt guilty being the only one allowed back in his room. I really didn’t want to leave even though my prayer was over.

My Dad had always said that the last thing we lose is our hearing, naturally and spiritually. I remembered that and began to talk.

I said, “Bro. Baskins, no one knows what happened at work today. Those close to you said you just fell over and hit your head. You have been in a coma ever since. The ambulance brought you to the Osteopathic Hospital.

“The doctors are trying to find out what the cause of the problem is. They don’t know. No one but me is allowed back here right now. So, don’t worry about your family not coming in, because the nurses are being very protective of you right now.

“Your wife is in the next room. All of her needs are being taken care of. Your children are here. The saints have filled up the ICU waiting room and I have the Prayer Chain praying for you.

“When they start letting family come in here, it will only be once every 4 hours and then, just for a few minutes. Now don’t worry about anything. You just focus on getting well, we’ll keep praying. I love you!”

Every time I went to see him, I prayed, and then I chattered. I told him of the news in the church. I talked about his family. Reassured him of his wife’s comfort. Every day for about 3 weeks I visited his room.

One Friday, he woke up. They checked him over and checked him out. When I heard the news that he was home and walking around. I rejoiced! This was awesome news.

Sunday morning when I stepped into the auditorium, there was Bro. Baskins standing at his usual ushering post. He hugged my neck and tears came into his eyes.

“Bro. Ballestero, when you came into my room and prayed for me and talked to me, I heard every word you said. Thank you, Thank you!” He said.

He could still hear! Unbelievable! Even when he was in such bad shape!

Dad’s words again echoed through my memory. “The last thing you lose is your hearing, naturally and spiritually.”

Can you still hear?

If You Can Hear, It’s Not The Kiss Of Death,  It’s The Kiss Of Life…  Spiritual Life!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 22, 2018 at 7:33 pm

My Old Man Is Crazy!

with 13 comments

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I’m not saying he’s bipolar.

I’m not saying he has schizophrenia.

I’m not saying he should be in an institution or that he’s stupid.

I’m just saying he’s crazy. He’s very smart, yet he’s really crazy.

 

My old man’s not right.

I hate him too.

He embarrasses me in front of my friends.

When you tell him how horrible he is, he agrees but doesn’t change.

 

He even makes me cry sometimes.

He has hurt me so bad that I was embarrassed to tell even my closest friends.

I hate to say this, but I really don’t even like him.

I’ve even told him that I don’t love him and I never will.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He does stupid and random stuff that truly scares me.

I am ashamed for him to be around me.

He lives in denial and keeps justifying all his craziness.

He likes things he shouldn’t.

 

He really needs help, but no one can help him.

He’s read up on his condition and says he knows what he needs to do.

But, I don’t think he is making any progress.

He really needs to stop and consider his horrible actions.

 

My old man is not loved by anyone.

His craziness pushes everyone away.

They all roll their eyes when he shows up.

His so-called friends just shake their heads in dismay and disappointment.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He does things he shouldn’t.

He says things he shouldn’t.

He is very good at rationalizing and justifying himself.

He’s crazy, I’m telling you.

 

Some would like to see him dead.

I know some would even come to his funeral just to make sure he was really dead.

He’s just that bad.

He is so bad that God doesn’t like him.

 

I hate everything about him.

He’s horrible.

I loathe him.

He’ll never change.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

No self-help book has a remedy for him.

No prescription can help.

Therapists can’t fix him

Warnings and threats don’t seem to work.

 

And it’s driving me crazy too.

I wish he was out of my life.

I can’t tell you how happy I would be just to know my old man is graveyard dead,

My old man is crazy.

 

I told him he is not welcome in my house.

I told him to leave my family alone.

I told him that I cannot allow his influences in my life.

I told him to go away, I never wanted to see him again.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I told him I am sick and tired of putting up with his mess.

I want my old man to be forever gone.

Judge me if you must,

I want my old man dead.

 

My old man makes me cry.

His actions are corrupt.

His words are deceitful, and his life is a sham.

I hate everything he does.

 

He wants attention.

His life is all about him and no one else.

No one can tell him what to do.

He hates that.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

My old man was always there.

He was there when I was born.

He’s been there for every event of my life.

Good times or bad, he was there.

 

That’s not even a good thing.

He gets all up in my business.

He meddles in every area of my life.

He messes up some of the most wonderful moments of my life.

 

I got to the place I had to tell my old man he was going to have to die.

He resisted and argued loudly with me.

But I wouldn’t budge, or back down.

He said he wouldn’t die willingly.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

So, I told him to prepare to be buried alive.

I forced him to his knees and kept him there.

I reminded him of every horrible thing he had done to me and my family.

My old man said he felt so dirty and ashamed, but I wouldn’t stop.

 

He cried and asked for mercy and forgiveness.

That’s when my old man died.

I started smiling for the first time in years.

My old man was dead.

 

“What shall we do with him?” Someone asked.

“Bury him,” I said.

Several gathered around to help bury my old man.

The Preacher buried him in water in Jesus Name.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I shouted all over the church when my old man died.

The heaviest weight of my life was lifted.

My friends and family rejoiced with me.

I even told my neighbors that my old man was dead, and I smiled a big smile.

 

My life became peaceful and serene when my old man died.

I put a marker on his grave.

For all the world to see.

“Here lies My Old Man… Flesh”

 

(You’re not going to believe this.)

Some days later, I got the shock of my life.

I wanted to scream in horror.

I almost died from fright.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

There standing at my door was my old man.

He just grinned and pushed his way in.

This can’t be happening!

This is unreal!

 

But there he stood anyway.

My family cringed in fear.

How could this be happening?

My old man was like some un-earthling who could come back alive.

 

My mother told about a man named Paul.

He had a similar problem with his old man,

And he had to make him die every day.

Every day? E-V-E-R-Y DAY? Oh, No!

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

I took him to church.

I needed some help.

I couldn’t let him live in my house anymore.

He couldn’t move back in.

 

I told him to pray.

I told him to fast.

I told him to deny himself.

I told him I want him to die again.

 

He doesn’t make going to church a priority, he’s not faithful.

He won’t pray like he knows he needs to.

He doesn’t like the subject of tithes.

He doesn’t read his Bible.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He’s a rebel.

He hates standards.

He hates preachers.

He makes fun of holiness

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

He gets defensive when the preacher said corrective things to him.

Like a macabre nightmare, sometimes he seems dead, then comes right back alive again.

I wish he’d stay dead.

 

He’s so bad, even God even wants him dead.

The preacher is tired of him, too. He won’t stay dead.

Many preachers have tried to get him to change but without any success.

The church family has tried to tolerate him.

His whole family has about given up on him.

 

As long as my old man is alive, my life is spent in vain.

As long as my old man is alive, I’ll never be saved.

As long as my old man is alive, I’ll never please God.

As long as my old man is alive, my inheritance is at risk.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

So now it’s a daily routine.

When I wake up in the morning and start my day.

He’s sitting on the edge of my bed.

Very much alive.

 

My daily routine now includes the unimaginable.

I have to figure out a way to make my old man die every day.

It’s not always easy to do

But it must be done.

 

My crazy old man.

My flesh.

Must die.

Everyday.

 

My Old Man Is Crazy!

 

_______________________________________

 

 

 

Joseph asked his brethren this question about his earthly father.

He called him, “the old man.”

 

Gen. 43:27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?

 

Today, I Ask This Question Of Your Flesh… Is Your Old Man Alive?

 

Eph. 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation* the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

*lifestyle

 

Paul Said That His Old Man Had To Die Every Day.         1 Co 15:31

Is Your Old Man Still Alive?

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

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All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

Proverbs 30:18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

Proverbs 30:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

He had it all.

Actually, He had everything.

Well, He had everything, except one thing.

He had no one to love Him.

He had Angels who praised Him continuously.

He had Angels who did His bidding without question.

But He had no one to love Him.

He had no one to dote on Him.

He had received honor before.

He had received praise before.

But He had never been loved before.

He had never seen love demonstrated.

He had never seen love displayed.

He had never seen love expressed or shown.

He had never seen romance before.

He understood things like physics, gravity, light, sound, space travel and how to make something out of nothing.

He understood emotions like rebellion, pride, and obedience.

He just wanted to know more about this thing called love.

He had always heard over 10,000 Hallelujahs at any given moment of every day.

He heard multitudes cry “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” every day.

What He’d never heard was someone say, “I love you!”

He knew the journey to finding love would be very long.

He had seen twinkles in stars before, but never in an eye.

His plan already included man, Calvary, and the Church.

He was prepared to do whatever it took to get a bride.

He wanted to find someone to love Him.

He spoke and the heavens and the earth came into existence.

By His own words, the sun, moon, and stars were created and flung perfectly into space.

By His own voice, the light was created, flowers and trees sprung up.

He said the words, and fish, birds, and animals appeared.

He looked it all over and said. “That’s good.”

Then He stopped talking.

Adam And Eve

He knelt down on the ground and with His hands, he began to form someone He could love. He called the man, Adam. The woman was named Eve.

He loved them. He visited every day. They walked and talked together every day without distraction.

He watched Adam and Eve smile at one another. He saw how Adam responded to Eve’s touch and Eve to Adam’s.

He watched them hold hands and kiss.

He liked what He saw. He saw the twinkle in Adam’s eye. He saw romance in its purest form.

He tried to imagine a mere mortal loving Him.

His mind raced ahead thousands of years. He thought of Himself and the Church. He pondered about His bride-to-be. “So… this is what it’s going to be like to be in love!”

He’d never been in love before. He saw Adam and Eve enjoying each other’s company. He told Himself, “That’s the kind of love I want. That’s the kind of romance I want.”

He so enjoyed being with Adam and Eve, that He turned His attention from the sounds of “Hallelujah” and “Holy-Holy” for a few hours every day just to come and see them.

He had no competition in the love department on earth. Maybe they would fall in love with Him.

Then came the heart-wrenching day when the evil serpent beguiled Eve. Sin, the enemy of the Most Holy One entered the picture. Paradise was no more.

Pain, sorrow, shame, and regret now entered the picture. The hope of Adam and Eve continuing their relationship with Him was over. Sin did it’s best to destroy that relationship.

They chose to listen to the voice of His enemy rather than listen to His voice.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Enoch

Seven generations later, a man was born by the name of Enoch. He heard his father and grandfather talk about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He heard the stories about God walking with them in the cool of the day.

Enoch began to imagine what it would be like to have God for a friend. That seemed to be all he could think about.

He inquired often of his family, asking them many questions, hoping to hear more stories about those precious days. He even got to talk to Adam himself and listened intently. He dreamed of having a similar experience with God.

One day Enoch started calling on the Lord as he walked. He began talking to God as if He was beside him.  The Lord did appear beside him and they began walking together and talking together every day.

Enoch was perfect in God’s eyes. His love thrilled the Lord. This was true love. Here was someone who chose to love Him, who took time out of their day and focused only on Him.

They walked and talked together every day for years. Then one day while they were walking, the sun started going down.

The Lord noticed it too. He also knew it was a long way back to Enoch’s house. So He said, “Enoch, it’s closer to my house than it is to yours. Why don’t you come on home with me?” Enoch said, “Yes.”

“And Enoch was not, for the Lord took him.”

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Israel

He looked the world over and His eyes fell upon her. He could really love her. Her father was a Hittite and her mother was an Amorite. But He didn’t hold that against her.

He stood there looking at her, watching her. She was beautiful to Him.

She had no family, no one to look after her. There was no one else that loved her.

She was unwanted and unloved by everyone else in the world.  She was considered second class and discarded by those who knew her.

  • She wasn’t beautiful, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t rich, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t mighty, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t even faithful, but He loved her.

He, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the First and the Last, The Lord God Almighty tried vainly to woo her. He did everything He could to show her He could supply her every need.

He was the richest Man in the world and of all the people in the world; He chose her, the poorest of all. He alone could make her prosper. She wasn’t impressed for long.

He showed her things about Himself that no one else had ever known. He gave her some names she could call Him by that would reveal His protecting love for her.

  • Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will Provide.
  • Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer.
  • Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our Banner
  • Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our Peace
  • Jehovah Raah – The Lord our Shepherd
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our Righteousness
  • Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is Present

When she got sick, He made sure she got well. When she was hungry, He provided food for her and took care of her every need.

He loved her, and yet she wasn’t happy with Him. Her heart easily turned aside. She often looked at others the way He wished she would look at Him. It grieved Him continually.

While still on their honeymoon, problems arose. They hadn’t been gone from Egypt a month and things turned ugly. Before He could even get her to the Promised Land and the home He had given her, she showed her unhappiness.

He talked with Moses about His plans for her and gave him detailed instructions.

But before Moses could talk to her she started looking at someone else. She began to dress to please them. She brazenly displayed her disdain for His wishes.

  • She murmured.
  • She complained.
  • She rebelled.
  • She flaunted herself in front of others.
  • She became brazen.
  • She couldn’t even blush.

It broke His heart. Yet He fought for her when everyone tried to kill her. He supplied her every need. He cared for her more than she cared for Him.

He still loved her. He sent her letters, but she ignored them. Even after she got settled in her new home, she started looking for other lovers.

She played the harlot and was unfaithful to Him. She only dressed to please Him if she was in the mood. She often saw others that attracted her and she dressed and displayed herself in a way to please them. She longed for their affections, not His.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Hosea

No one seemed to care how He felt. He had no one to share His pain and problems with.

In His Divine Heartache, He looked upon His prophet, Hosea. Hosea was unmarried.

He told Hosea to marry a woman who stood on the street corners at night. “Just go pick a prostitute, anyone will do.”

He wanted someone to feel like He felt, every day.

He wanted to see again how mere mortals handled rejection from those they loved.

Hosea found such a girl. Her name was Gomer. Everyone in town knew Hosea. They were shocked at his choice of a wife. In their minds she was trash.

  • She had dirtied herself.
  • She had lowered herself.
  • She had ruined her name.
  • She would destroy their marriage.
  • Of all the girls, why pick her?

The romance burned brightly and then quickly faded. The Lord watched how their love life went.

He watched Gomer sweeten his coffee with her kisses and then walk out the door disappearing for long periods of time.

Then came the babies. Their very names carried not only a prophecy to Israel but also a wake-up call to Hosea about his two-timing wife.

Jezreel, “God will disperse”

Lo-ruhamah, “Not pitied, or No Mercy”

Lo-ammi, “Not my people”

Hosea could tell by the names he named his children that he was not their father.

Gomer eventually got so involved in her wild lifestyle that she was overpowered and put into slavery by one of her lovers. She later was placed on an auction block and sold like a farm animal.

Hosea got word that his wife was being sold. He knew what she was and what she had done. But he loved her in spite of it all.

Anyone can tell by what he paid for her, that he gave all the money he had and emptied out his meager pantry besides. He gave his all to buy her back. He paid fifteen pieces of silver, and 1½ homers of barley.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

The Lord watched as Hosea gave all he had to buy his unfaithful wife back.

He turned his attention again to Israel. She wasn’t on an auction block. She wasn’t held against her will. She was happy to be unfaithful.

So He wrote her a bill of divorcement and He didn’t talk to her for 400 years.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Calvary

One day, He finally stepped into His closet and clothed Himself in a robe of flesh. He was born in Bethlehem to a young virgin.

He chose not to arrive in splendor, so He came to earth in obscurity. He came as God manifested in the flesh. He walked almost unnoticed around her.

He didn’t make Himself handsome so that she would love Him for His good looks. He wanted her to love Him for who He was, not what He looked like.

But He came unto His own and His own received Him not. They didn’t believe Him.

  • He wept.
  • His love was everlasting. Her love was fickle.
  • She tried to find fault with Him. She only followed Him for what He could give them.
  • He wanted to talk.
  • She was too busy, too preoccupied.

He said to her, “You say you love Me, but you say that only with your lips. It’s just words. Your heart is far from Me. You don’t love Me with your heart.”

He saw her as she really was. A slave. She was in bondage and held fast by her own sins.

He knew He was the only One who could redeem her.

He willingly offered Himself on Calvary for Her. He willingly gave His all to buy her back. He gave His blood to wash away her sins and He arose on the third day to give her hope of a new life.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

The Church

Over 2,000 years have come and gone. He’s ready now to take His bride to a home He has prepared just for her.

He wanted someone who would love Him enough to heed all of His Word. After all, if she really loved Him, she would keep His commandments. Not pick and choose which ones she liked. He was in love, why wasn’t she?

Yet He sees her still looking at the world. Sometimes she tries harder to please her other lovers than she does Him.

She has started complaining again if she thinks He’s asking her to dress a certain way just for Him. She doesn’t always act like she is in love with Him.

She says, “He doesn’t care how I dress. He doesn’t look on the outside. He only looks on the inside, on the heart.”

But when He looked in her heart, He saw nothing there that looked like love to Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.

  • She dreads talking to Him on a daily basis. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She doesn’t think about Him during the course of the day. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • Yet she talks freely to everyone else but Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • All she seems to want is a sugar daddy. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She has to be begged to visit His house. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He blesses her with money and yet she is not faithful to give her tithe to Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He sends blessings her way and loads her down daily with benefits. She soon forgets. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He sends healing to her every situation. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He calms her storms of life. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She has all the songs memorized and sings them without feeling. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She hears His Word preached and chooses which parts she likes and doesn’t like. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He says He’s coming to get her and she’s not even looking out the window for Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He says He is coming to get and to take her to heaven with Him, and she is not even making herself ready. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He knew it would happen this way.
  • A long time ago He said that she would love pleasure more than she loved Him.
  • He said that her love would wax cold.
  • He said she would leave her 1st love.
  • And He was right.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

You

  • Do you love Him? I mean, do you really love Him? Do you love Him with all of your heart? He wants to know.
  • He wants to know if you love another. Do you?
  • He wants to know if your heart belongs only to Him or not. Does it?
  • He’s looking for a bride that will love Him with all of her heart, her soul her mind, and her strength.
  • Could that person be you? He’s looking your way right now. He wants it to be you.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

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The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

 

 

Near the Savannah, Georgia exit 102 on I-95, sits a Cracker Barrel next to our motel. The chalk-written New Year’s message is plain for all to see. It says:

 

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions”

 

May this New Year be a time for all of us to start afresh. Regardless of past failures or yesterday’s disappointments.

We need to leave our paradigm of failure-thinking and begin again. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had to begin again. What you have been through was neither your final chapter nor your epitaph.

 

Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

 

It’s not abnormal for good people to make mistakes and have to start over or begin again. Even Paul said he died daily. He started over every day.

 

 New Beginnings:

 

 Has your Bible reading been almost nonexistent lately?

Begin again.

 

How about your prayer life? Been busy? Hard to get to pre-service prayer for some reason or another?

Begin again.

 

Got out of the habit of responding during the worship service?

Begin again.

 

Has there been an absence of you saying amen to the preaching lately?

Begin again.

 

You haven’t taught a Home Bible Study in a long time?

Begin again.

 

How long since you made it to midweek service?

Begin again.

 

How about your tithes? If you’ve quit giving tithes and offerings…

Begin again.

 

Have you resigned or quit participating in your church?

Begin again.

 

Have you stopped kissing your spouse good morning, good night, and good-bye?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I love you” to your spouse?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said I love you to your parents?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I am proud of you,” and “I love you,” to your children?

 Begin again.

 

Have you stopped saying, “I love you” to your in-laws?

Begin again.

 

 

Begin again In God. Recover yourself.

 

2 Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2 Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 

 

Traditions

 

Traditions make homes and churches special. When our large family gets together, there are always certain meals everyone can count on.  You just know that there will be gumbo one day and enchiladas and tacos on another. And the morning we all have to leave, there’s s special breakfast restaurant we go to. It’s our custom. It’s just how it is in our family.

Churches have customs and traditions too. It’s a huge disappointment to go back to your ‘home’ church and find out how different it is or that they have changed.

 

Hold fast to the old Apostolic Pentecostal Traditions.

When backsliders and those who have had to move away, come back to visit… Let them that see your church is still holding on to the old-time ways!

 

And, as Cracker Barrel would say if it was preaching this sermon,

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Your Performance Interview With God Is Coming!

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Your Performance Interview With God Is Coming

What if God called you on the carpet? What if He asked you some personal questions about your conduct… spiritual and otherwise?

Employees of many companies are given performance interviews on a scheduled basis. Some of the questions asked by the interviewer are similar to some of those I once found at www.jobinterviewquestions.org.

Performance Interview Questions

  • Tell me about your last position and what you did.
  • Tell me about the last time you made a mistake and how you corrected it.
  • If you don’t leave your current job, what will happen there? How far can you advance?
  • Of all the work you have done, where have you been most successful?
  • I see you were unemployed for a period of time. Tell me about it.
  • Give me an example of when you’ve demonstrated your customer service skills.
  • How do you define continuous improvement? What is the last new procedure you integrated into your job?
  • What makes you stand out among your peers?
  • What have you done to reduce your department’s operational costs or to save time?
  • What would your current supervisors say makes you most valuable to them?
  • If I asked your boss to evaluate your performance, what would he or she say?
  • Have you held positions similar to this one? If so, tell me about them.
  • What is the most important thing you learned at a previous job?
  • What did/do you enjoy most/least about your last/present job?
  • If there were two things you could have changed about that job, what would they be?
  • How did your job change while you held it?
  • What qualifications do you have that make you successful in this field?
  • What have you learned from previous jobs?
  • Describe a typical day at work.
  • How have your previous positions prepared you for this one?
  • What parts of your job do you consider most important?
  • What job tasks do you feel most successful doing?
  • What special skills or knowledge have you gained to help in this job?
  • Describe an important project you worked on.
  • You have a lot of experience. Why would you want this job?
  • What do you consider your greatest strength?
  • What is your most significant professional accomplishment?
  • What was the last job-related book you read?
  • What was your favorite job? Why?

As 2017 comes to a close, so does another year of living for the Lord. If He were to ask us about our performance in His Kingdom this year, how would we do? Could we answer His questions easily? Would our heads have to drop after the Lord asked us a direct question? Here is a list of possible questions He might ask:

The Lord’s 2017 Performance Interview Questions

  • What if He asked about the Spirit and Attitude we manifested this year?
  • What if the Lord asked us about our obedience or our Submission?
  • If the question of Soul-Winning came up, how would we score?
  • If questions about our involvement in Worship were asked, what would the answer be?
  • What would happen if the Lord asked us about our Prayer Life in 2017?
  • Would the answer be favorable to you if there were questions about paying your Tithes
  • and giving in Offerings?
  • Faithfulness in church attendance is sure to be asked. How would you do on that one?
  • Surely, a question about any unwillingness to Forgive will be asked.
  • Would He ask about the display of the Lusts of our Flesh?
  • Would Jealousy or Envy be mentioned?
  • A lack of Brotherly Love, or not Preferring One Another, will not sit well with Him.
  • What if the Lord asked us about our lack of Sacrifice in service, or in giving?
  • Would any questions about our involvement in Gossip put us in a bad light?
  • What if the subject of Tale Bearing came up?
  • If we were asked about Criticizing our Pastor, what would the answer be?
  • Surely the Lord will act questions about our showing any signs of Loving Pleasure More
  • Than The Things Of God.
  • What is He asked us about our Love of the World?
  • Do you think He might ask us why we had a problem with Holiness?
  • Would there be any questions about Loving Our Neighbor?
  • What if He asked us if we Love Him with All Of Our Heart, Our Soul, And Our Might, And
  • Our Strength?

I pray that you do well in your Interview with the Lord. (He already knows the answers, before He asks.)

If you’ll pardon me, for a while… I think I’ll have a talk with Him right now. I need to before He talks to me later!

There is coming a Day when we shall all stand before Him, as we are judged. That Interview will be both an Entrance Interview for some, and an Exit Interview for others!

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

(May your Performance Interview of 2017 end with Joy, and not with Grief!)

Join me in pledging to do better and do more for Him in 2018! May we all hear Him say in that day, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”