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Archive for the ‘Witness’ Category

You Can Die In The Bleachers, Or You Can Die On The Field.

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You Can Die In The Bleachers, Or You Can Die On The Field.

The Drudge Report revealed earlier this year that a baseball fan died at a Rangers game. It was an unexpected shock, I’m sure. No one’s death is ever taken lightly, on the field or off. All of us are saddened at the news of one’s death.

The fear of dying is normal. Living with fear is not. There have been some that have died on the field. There have also been some that have died in the bleachers.

In sports, spectators may fill up an arena, but it’s those on the field that hold everyone’s attention.

Professional spectators are very vocal with their opinions and criticisms. They freely spout the names of players and coaches. They can rattle off statistics and scores faster than a ticker tape.

But they are not players. They are not even on the field. Chances are, they’ve never been on the field, nor do the have any plans of being there either. They just like to talk. There are millions of them that sit in the bleachers. Only a few others ever make it onto the field.

In the Gospel Arena, we too have a lot of spectators. The field is where the action is. We need more Holy Ghost filled folks out on the field.

  • There are no age requirements.
  • There are no height or weight restrictions.
  • There are no gender or race limitations.
  • There’s not even any IQ test.
  • We all qualify to be a witness.
  • We all qualify to be a worshipper.
  • We all qualify to be the light of the world.
  • We all qualify to be the salt of the earth.
  • We all quality to labor in the harvest.

Jesus made an appeal to those that have spent their life sitting in the bleachers. It’s harvest time.

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

How many of us pray this prayer? How often? It’s kind of hard to pray this prayer without doing something about it.

As a teen, I remember revival meetings, youth camps, missionary services that challenged us all to respond to the “call.”

We don’t hear many messages like that anymore challenging us to give our life to His service. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why they stopped making appeals.

We know that most of us will never be Missionaries in the literal sense. Most all of us will never be Pastors either. But we all can so something for the Kingdom. Don’t be afraid to get involved in winning the lost.

Push your pride aside. Lay your excuses down. Now is the time to win that soul. Now is the time to let your light shine. Now is the time to teach that Home Bible Study. Now is the time to knock on that neighbor’s door.

The fear of dying is normal. Living with fear is not. There have been some that have died on the field. There have also been some that have died in the bleachers.

In the Old Testament, a curse was placed on those that wanted to watch while the others fought. They were too busy or too fearful to get involved. They had an excuse. They were cursed because of that.

Judges 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.

They were too busy taking care of their own needs. The things of the Lord came place second to them.

In the same chapter, two tribes of Israel were honored, because they were willing to lay their very lives on the line. God never forgot that.

Judges 5:18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.

The tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali later made up the group of people called the Galileans. No one even has to be a Bible scholar to remember that it was upon the Galileans that the Holy Ghost was first poured out in the book of Acts.

Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

God rewards those that are willing put their life on the line for Him. He rewards them first. The Galileans received the Holy Ghost before anyone else.

Some may wonder why there is not much in the way of blessings in their life. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because they are still sitting in the bleachers.

The fear of dying is normal. Living with fear is not. There have been some that have died on the field. There have also been some that have died in the bleachers.

  • Come on now.
  • How long have you been sitting in the bleachers?
  • Isn’t it time we all got out of the bleachers and got out on the field?

Yes, in due time we all will die. But I would rather die on the field trying to do something for God, than die in the bleachers… watching.

Where Do You Plan To Die?


Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 22, 2011 at 12:14 am

When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

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When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(The Deeper Life Home Bible Study is now digitized and can be found on the Hopkinsville, KY church website.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sure,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 17, 2011 at 9:18 am

The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

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The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

The funeral chapel was jammed with about 30 Pentecostals and nearly 100 Church of Christ members.  Evidently this funeral was considered important. Six Church of Christ pastors were in attendance and each one spoke. No Pentecostal preacher had been invited to speak; yet several of us came anyway. I sat close to the back with my brother-in-law Pastor Nathan Yandris and my sister Ramona.

The large framed picture sitting on the closed casket was one of a beautiful middle-aged woman named Phyllis. She had a look of professionalism and class about her. Her brown hair was cut shoulder length. It appeared her make up had been professionally applied for the photo, and her jewelry looked very expensive.

The front row contained a grieving husband and beside him, his redheaded son and daughter-in-law. The son appeared to be the only child. No others sat near, leaving the guests to assume the mourners were alone in this crowd.

The Church of Christ preachers spoke one by one, and each said comforting things that I am sure helped. The final speaker did a superb job, actually. One could tell this was not his first funeral.

At the conclusion of his homily, the minister announced, “It is the wishes of the family that those who wish to say a few words about our beloved sister, should have an opportunity to say a public goodbye. He then walked to the front row and sat down.

One at a time, six middle-aged women walked to the podium and spoke sweet words about the loss of their friend. All of them mentioned that they had met Phyllis at either AA or Al-Anon.

They spoke of her friendship, of her church activities, her help with their lives, and her struggle with addictions and theirs.

After the last one sat down, there was a moment of quietness as all waited for someone else to stand. No one did.

Turning around and giving the crowd a swift appraising look, the redheaded son clutched a new Bible as he stepped to the small podium. His 25 years seemed much older. He was poised. He held the Bible in his left hand up close to his heart.

With a voice that never broke, he thanked everyone for coming. He thanked the ministers that spoke and he thanked his mother’s pastor as well.

With a smile to the women who had come to the front to speak, he thanked them as cherished friends.

That is where his story began!

“Almost 6 weeks ago, I first heard that my mom had cancer.  The doctor said that it was terminal and inoperable. I was shattered. Then they said she only had a few days to live. I was an immediate basket case.

“My mom was young, she was beautiful too,” He said, pointing at her picture.

“I went home that night and sat on my front porch. I was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, and was crying my heart out, when this man saw me and stopped.” (He pointed at a large black man on the 2nd row.) “He asked me if I was alright? I told him no.

“When he came up to the porch I told him the news about my mom. He spoke comforting words to me and asked if he could pray for me. I said yes and he did. I felt something I had never felt before.

“Then he sat down beside me and taught me what he called a short Home Bible Study. He showed me about Acts 2:38. He said that I needed to repent, and get baptized in Jesus name and that the Lord would give me the Holy Ghost. He said that Jesus would be my comforter.

“I prayed right there on my porch and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins. I told him I wanted to be baptized the Bible way, so he took me to his church, Apostolic Tabernacle, and the pastor came over and baptized me in Jesus name. When I came up out of the water, I was speaking in tongues. I got the Holy Ghost just like they did in the Bible!” He said, as he raised and then waved his Bible.

The Pentecostals responded with much noise and many of us stood and clapped our hands. The Church of Christ crowd went silent.

“I was thrilled! I had never been so happy in my life! That night I prayed that God would help me to share this with my mom. I knew she had to have this before she died.

“I prayed that God would help me find a way to speak to her. I knew she was wrapped up in her Church. She had been a lifetime member, and had always been involved in one department or another.

“The first thing the next morning, I prayed before I went over to mom’s house. When I got there, I was surprised to see a Bible lying open on the kitchen table.”

“I asked mom what the Bible was there for, and she said that she was close to dying and didn’t feel saved. She said she was looking for more than what she had.

“I said mom, you been a member of the Church of Christ for 45 years.”

She said, “That’s right, but I’m not ready to meet God. I need more!”

(He turned to the Church of Christ pastor and said, “Sorry sir!”)

The redheaded new convert was filled with Holy Ghost enthusiasm as he told his story. His eyes were red rimmed and watering.

I said, “Mom, let me tell you what had happened to me last night. I told her the whole story. About the beer, the Bible study, the baptism and the Holy Ghost.

“Mom started crying and said son, ‘Tell me what he told you.’

I sat down with her and showed her the same scriptures in Acts that my new friend had told me.

“She got down and began to repent like the Bible said to. When she finished, she said that she couldn’t leave the house to go to church. She was too weak and was attached to an oxygen tank.

“Mom said, maybe we could fill her big Jacuzzi tub up and baptize her in that. Dad helped me and I baptized my mom in Jesus name. She came up out of the water speaking in tongues just like I did. I was so happy, I shouted all over the room.”

(All of us Pentecostals are now on our feet, with our hands in the air, worshipping!)

“My dad said, ‘Baptize me too!’ So I did and he got the Holy Ghost too”

“I sure did,” came a strong voiced reply from the front row. The dad had his hand in the air.

The Pentecostal’s worship was so overwhelming that even some of the church of Christ people started crying by now.

They all knew that a man with an experience is never at the mercies of a man with an argument.

The worship of the small group of saints roared in the ears of opposition. For several minutes it went on. It felt unstoppable.

“All of you Church of Christ members need this Holy Ghost, he went on. “It will do for you what AA can’t. It will do for you what Al-Anon can’t. You need to be baptized in Jesus name to be saved. You need the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues to be saved. If you want to see my mom in heaven, then obey Acts 2:38.

When he walked back to his place, the crowd stood and gave him a standing ovation.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

The Working Pastor

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The Working Pastor

(The story is true, the names have been changed.)

He hated working an “outside” job but the bills had to be paid. The small congregation’s offerings just didn’t go far enough. Working at a steel mill was not his calling in life. He hated most days there. He was grateful for the wonderful and consistent source of income. There just wasn’t a whole lot of day left over when he got off work. After work there wasn’t much time for church, family or personal life. He had to work to pay the bills. Carrying the financial load of the church, and his own, was not easy.

What bothered him the most was that he wasn’t winning anyone from work to the Lord. In prayer he’d told God that if he had to work and couldn’t teach Bible Studies like he’d like too, then help him to be a witness at work. He had been working there for several years now. Something needed to change. The church was not growing. It was, in fact, quite small. Things were at a stalemate!

Now, every day before work, he would stop by the church and pray. He would pray that God would help him win some of the men from work. When he got off work he again stopped by the church and prayed for a long time about the fact that if he HAD to work, that God would let his job be a place where his light could shine.

He fasted. He would fast for as many days as he could. When his strength ran out he would eat a meal or two and then go back on a fast. He was desperate to see something happen. He did this for almost two months.

At 1am one night the phone rang. “Is this Pastor Don Kelly?” a hesitant voice asked. When he received the affirmative reply he identified himself a fellow employee from work.

“We have an emergency in our family and need some help right now. My married son Roger was shopping at Wal-Mart a few minutes ago. While he was alone in the aisle, he says that he heard a voice as plain as day telling him “You need to get right with God.”

“ He said he look up and down the aisle and didn’t see anyone.  He looked around the corners even checked the adjacent aisles but he saw no one. He quickly moved to another part of the store and again heard the same voice telling him he needed to get right with God. My son left his cart and ran out of the store. He called me saying, ‘Dad, I’m hearing voices. I think I am losing my mind.’

“I said son, meet me at the Hospital. They have a great Psych Ward there, and the Doctors can check you out and give you some medication. My son said, ‘Dad, maybe I don’t need medication, maybe I just need a preacher. I don’t even know any preachers. You never took me to church when I was a kid.’ I told him I knew a preacher that worked with me named Don Kelly and that he was a man of God and I would call him right now. Is there anyway you could meet with me and my son, now?”

The pastor looked at the clock, and assured the caller he could. He invited them to meet him at the church as soon as possible. They arrived before 2am. The Father, his son and both of their wives came. Bro. Kelly listened to the son’s story. Tears were in the son’s eyes. When he finished, Bro. Kelly taught them a Home Bible Study. The boy cried all the way though it.

When the Bible Study was finished, they prayed and repented. The son wanted to be baptized. He came up out of the water speaking in tongues. The wife asked to be baptized, as did the mother. The father said, “You’re not getting baptized without baptizing me.”

The next Sunday morning all four sat in service on the 2nd row. The Holy Ghost fell! In 3 weeks there were 18 people from work (counting family members) filled with the Holy Ghost. His life had been more of a witness than he’d ever realized. Revival had come.


Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 12, 2011 at 12:12 am

Posted in Witness

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Too Drunk Too Fish

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Too Drunk Too Fish

The Weatherman pronounced a beautiful October day. The World Series was underway and the fish were biting according to the Farmers Almanac. Life didn’t get much better than this for Alex.

He parked his old car in front of John’s Bait and Tackle Store. He said ‘Good Morning” to the clerk and looked to see if John had gotten any new crank baits in. Finding nothing new, he sauntered back to the cooler where the Night Crawlers were kept.

He opened the door, selected a carton and then stood there a minute. On the top shelf was beer.  Alex grabbed a six-pack, and headed for the counter. He paid for his purchases and for a bag of ice from the machine outside.

Within 30 minutes, Alex had backed his boat down the ramp, parked his car and was happily rowing to his special spot.

He stopped a minute to turn his portable radio on. He didn’t want to miss anything. The World Series was all tied up at 3 games each. Today was the final game.

The water was calm and the color of the water looked right too. He eased into the little cove where he always caught his limit and silently lowered the anchor.

The poles took a minute to get baited up. He made his casts and watched as the red and white bobbers lazily rose and fell with the water’s movement.

The sun felt warm and comfortable. Alex opened the cooler and pulled out a beer. He nursed his drink as he listened to the game. His team was having a good day. But this was only the bottom of the 3st Inning.

An hour later, a bobber announced that another baby fish was trying to steal his bait. No keepers had taken the bait yet.

His daydreaming turned to thoughts of home. He’d had an argument with his wife last night. She was still mad at him. The kids were out of control again. To make matters worse, they were talking at work about downsizing at the plant. Maybe he’d go ahead and drink another beer.

The sports announcer’s voice rose with excitement. Alex hollered out loud as he heard the news of his team scoring a home run. He finished the beer to celebrate.

The bobber finally went under and Alex landed a keeper. He put another worm on his hook and cast back into the same area.

Alex opened another beer and sat there listening. The other team had taken the lead. That made him drink in frustration.

Other fishing boats could be seen around the lake. Voices announced their excitement over each new catch. Alex knew that he needed to catch enough for supper. His one wasn’t enough. He had to catch several more. He reached for another cold one.

The game ended. Alex was so mad and disappointed that he turned the radio off and opened another beer. He began to guzzle it down and then he opened the last one.

The gentle rock of the boat, the warmth of the sun, and the beer all helped relax Alex. His eyes slowly closed and his chin rested on his chest and he went to sleep. The bobber’s submerging was of no concern to him. Alex was too drunk to fish.

The story of Alex is more than just about a man having a bad day. This story is also about those who may never have tasted alcohol, yet are too drunk to fish.

KJV – Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

KJV – Rom. 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

The Message – Luke 21:34-36 But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.

The Message – Rom. 13:11-14 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

Evidently the fear 2,000 years ago was that the saints would become so intoxicated with living and the things of life they wouldn’t do much for God. If there were warnings issued then, there certainly should be even more issued now.

Our job as Holy Ghost filled children of God is not just to enjoy this glorious experience alone. We are to be fishers of men. That’s our calling. Let’s not get sidetracked with life and living.

How are we doing on our witnessing? Are we letting our light shine? Are we catching anything or are we too drunk to fish?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

Good For Nothing

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Good For Nothing

The Master Chef added a bit more salt. He took his special spoon and tasted the sauce. It still didn’t taste right. He’d never had to put that much salt into this recipe before. What was wrong? He added another teaspoon of salt, and still he couldn’t taste it.

In frustration, the chef took a pinch of salt and touched his lips and his tongue. Nothing, but a grainy feeling, no salt taste! He took the container of salt and threw it into the trash. Then he reached into his pantry and found some more salt to finish his sauce.

Is this the story of a cook having a bad day in the kitchen? No, not really. It’s actually worse than that. It’s a story that comes close to home. It comes real close to home.

Matt. 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

As Holy Ghost filled people we are directly told right here that we are the salt of the earth. Our lives are to have a heavenly flavor that influences every thing we touch and everyone we come in contact with. The world becomes flavored and blessed just by our presence. That’s why God placed us where He did.

  • Jacob’s presence greatly blessed Laban financially.
  • Joseph’s presence in Egypt got them through the famine.
  • Daniel’s presence in Babylon was God’s voice to a heathen world.

Imagine God using you to influence a person or even a group of people. As long as there is enough Holy Ghost difference in your life, you will be effective. God chose the effectiveness of you changed life to be a witness and a testimony to a lost world. People notice the difference the Holy Ghost makes in a life.

Salt has to be salty to be effective. If salt tastes the same as the food it’s put into, there will be no change. The same is true in your life. If you are just like the world, where’s the saltiness? Where is the difference?

  • You dress like the world.
  • You look like the world.
  • You get the same things done at the beauty shop as the world does.
  • You sing all the world’s songs.
  • You know all the world’s ‘in’ phrases.
  • You talk like the world.
  • You know all the world’s movie stars.
  • You go to the movies with the world.
  • You go to the games with the world.
  • You go to the wine shelf and buy alcohol like the world.
  • You get upset and say the same words the world says.
  • You commit adultery and fornication like the world.
  • You tell others off like the world does.
  • You wear immodest clothes like the world.
  • Your pictures on Facebook look just like the worlds.
  • Your interests on Facebook are the same as the worlds.
  • You wear jewelry like the world.
  • You wear makeup like the world.
  • You wear clothes that show some of your breast like the world does.
  • You wear form-fitting apparel that leaves nothing to the imagination like the world does.
  • You were your tight dresses above you knees like  the world does.
  • You lay out in the yard in a bathing suit like the world.
  • You talk in a suggestive manner to the opposite sex like the world does.
  • You women put on some form of pants like the world to go to the gym and work out.
  • You men wear shorts like the world to play ball and work out.
  • You talk all the sports talk like the world.
  • You know all the sports statistics like the world.
  • The world feels comfortable enough around you to tell you their jokes.
  • The world feels safe around you and calls you one of the guys.

Too many have forgotten that although we are in the world, we are not to be of the world.

The bad news is, you have lost your saltiness. The bad news gets worse, there is no way you can be re-salted. Your testimony is history. It’s gone. It’s over. After you have done all that, how do you go about starting over and getting re-salted? I can’t help you, and even though I feel I am a preacher of mercy, the words of Jesus on the subject don’t seem to give a lot of hope.

According the Matt 5:13, The Master Chef is left with only one option when He finds that the salt is no longer salty. Salt that is no longer salty, is good for nothing.



In response to personal queries concerning my intent:

It is not my wish to tell any backslider or a prodigal that they are ‘good for nothing’. Jesus readily reached for the wayward, as evidenced by the stories of the prodigal, the lost sheep, and the good Samaritan, etc. We willingly reach for them as well we should.

The point here is that while some claim to be in church, they still do all that the world does. Their testimony is not good anymore.They’ve lost their salt.

The folks we call Backsliders know they need to repent. Compromisers don’t and won’t.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 20, 2011 at 1:38 am

Posted in Christian Living, Holy Ghost, Witness

Tagged with ,

15 Things To Do In Church Before You Die

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15 Things To Do In Church Before You Die

1. Pray

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

2. Sing

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

3. Shout

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

4. Believe God

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

5. Get ‘Lost in the Spirit’

  • Be taken home drunk in the Holy Ghost

6. Witness

  • Teach a Home Bible Study
  • Win a soul

7. Say Amen

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

8. Give

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

9. Read

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

10. Testify

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

11. Fast

  • Fast to crucify your flesh.

12. Love Your Brother and Sister

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

13. Refuse To Listen to a Rumor

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

14. Forgive

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

15. Get the Pastor’s Heartbeat.

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

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

The New Neighbor

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The New Neighbor

Arthur James McDonald was in trouble. He was heartbroken too. His parents had recently died in a car accident. He had no family to his knowledge in America. A draft notice had just come in the mail. He was to report in two weeks. The U.S. Army was to be his new home. All he had left in the world was his girlfriend, and he was being taken away from her.

Arthur’s girlfriend, Norma Sue was in tears. She knew that he would soon be going to Viet Nam like all the other guys that had been drafted. The two of them spent as much time together as possible before he left. Her parents hated him. They dreamed of someone better for their daughter.

In a large metro area 374 miles away, Joe and Gloria Phillips sat in front of a gentle natured old lady. They wanted to adopt a baby and were willing to jump through all the hoops to qualify. Whatever it took. Hopefully the cost wouldn’t overwhelm them. They were told that there was nothing available at the time, but she would put their names on a waiting list.

29 months and 16 days in Viet Nam seemed like an eternity for Arthur. The letters from Norma Sue had been constant for several months. Then nothing. Not even a ‘Dear John’ letter.

When Norma Sue’s parents found out that she was expecting, they sent her to a home for unwed mothers. They were so ashamed. Hopefully their friends and family would never know.

Her parents had restricted her. There was to be no contact between her and Arthur. They threw all his letters into the trash. He was to never know about the baby.

The Doctor shook his head at the nurse. The baby was born healthy, but the mother lay lifeless on her bed. Her parents must be notified. The social workers took over.

On July 23, 1962, Gloria received the news while Joe was at work. The Agency had called and said they had a newborn baby boy for them. She was ecstatic! The lady said that the baby’s mother had died in childbirth. The maternal grandparents did not wish to keep the baby. The father’s name on the birth certificate was Arthur James McDonald. Nothing else was known of him or his family.

Two Sundays later, baby Donald Paul Phillips was dedicated to the Lord at the First Pentecostal Church.

At the age of five, little Donny Phillips received the Holy Ghost in Children’s Church. Donnie loved the Bible stories he learned in family devotion and in Sunday School.

Joe and Gloria told Donny when he was 9, that he was adopted. They told him that his mother had died giving birth to him and that the only thing they knew about his dad was his name was Arthur James McDonald. Young Donny hugged his parents and told them he loved them and that he was glad they had wanted him to be their boy. “You’re my Mommy and Daddy,” he said.

When he was seventeen, Don felt like he wanted to be a preacher. He did not say anything to anyone about feeling a call to preach.

Pastor Walker watched the spiritual progress of this young man. The Phillips had excelled as parents and Don was great young man. He prayed in the prayer room, he worshiped during the service and he was very obedient as well. The pastor could tell that the hand of the Lord was upon this young man.

Unlike some of the others in the youth group, Don was not rebellious. He did not test the boundaries of the church’s standards nor did he hang out with the worldly kids in the church.

At eighteen, Don gave his first sermon in a youth service. In private, he later cried tears of disappointment in his amateur attempt at preaching. It was harder than he’d imagined.

In June 1987 Donald Paul Phillips watched Rebecca Thomas walk down the aisle to take his name in holy matrimony.

Three years later Donald and Rebecca  started a storefront Home Missions church 50 miles away. Their pastor had helped them in their choice and had placed his blessings on them.

The small group grew slowly, but it grew nevertheless. Another building and fifteen years later, found them in a regular ‘church’ building.

The new location seemed to spark another growth spurt. The new converts started bringing their friends and family. Men and women were getting the Holy Ghost every week. The baptismal tank was used just as often too.

Bro. Jimmy Delano a new convert, brought his new neighbor to church last Sunday Morning. He had been teaching him a Home Bible Study and was thrilled when the neighbor asked to come to church with Jimmy.

Pastor Phillips preached a wonderful message on the Holy Ghost. Four new people were in the altar, and all of them received the Holy Ghost. They also wanted to be baptized.

The first baptismal candidate was an older gentleman. Jimmy Delano’s new neighbor. As Pastor Phillips prepared to baptize him, he asked him his name.

“Macky,” the old man said.

“Macky what?” was the pastor’s response.

“I’m sorry, that’s my nickname. My full name is McDonald. Arthur James McDonald.”

Pastor Phillips looked at the man he was about to baptize, for a moment, and then with tears streaming down his face he called his two young children up close to the baptismal tank.

“James and Stephanie, he said, “I want you to watch me baptize my Daddy and your Grandpa, Arthur James McDonald, in the precious name of Jesus!”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Would You, If You Knew No One Was Listening?

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Carl Ballestero Preaching In Fresno, CA.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 31, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Posted in Witness