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Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

The Sound Man Was Blind!

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The Sound Man Was Blind!

It was Youth Rally Night in the little Tennessee country church. I sat in the audience, only two or three of the people even knew me. The small building was very full. The weather very bad. The guests had all braved the storm. They opened the service with prayer. They prayed for the storm to pass on by. “We beta hope de Ward heas our pwayer!” That was what the tongue-tied service leader said, trying to encourage faith in the congregation.

Something was terribly wrong with the microphone. They tapped it, they shook it, and then examined the cord. Nothing worked. All heads turned toward the small sound booth. The sound man was not looking down; he was looking up while he adjusted the board. What? Then it became apparent. He was blind. The sound man was blind and he was the one adjusting the board! Someone had changed the microphone settings and he was trying to restore them by feel. He got it back pretty close to normal too. Unbelievable.

He also ran the computer music software for the overhead projector. The slides on the screen did not always match the words being sung. But, no one seemed to care.

The organ player was taking pictures of the congregation with one hand while playing with the other. She extended her arm full length toward the audience as she took the photos.

They sang! They worshiped! They Shouted. The visiting ministers were all asked to testify. The teenage guest preacher for the Youth Rally was really nervous and it showed. He had never “preached out” before. He preached with anointing and then conviction fell. Young people moved to the altar area to pray. While she played for the altar call song, the organ player took flash photos with her left hand, of the folks coming down the aisle.

No, it wasn’t “perfect church”, like some of the big churches might have, but the congregation went home rejoicing and happy knowing they had been in the presence of the Lord.

This is Home Missions

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 10, 2018 at 12:45 am

So, When Do The Servers Eat?

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So, When Do The Servers Eat?

 

 

 

 

 Imagine Being In A Restaurant.

In the restaurant, we eat and enjoy our wonderful meal. We love being pampered and catered to. We are made to completely enjoy the experience… because of the servers. But, when do they ever get to eat? They just stay busy serving.

 

 Imagine Being In Church.

  • In church, we enjoy the worship,
  • We enjoy the song service,
  • We enjoy the talented musicians,

 

  • We enjoy the multimedia,
  • We enjoy the songs and scriptures up on the big screen,
  • And, we enjoy the clear crisp sound of every amplified voice.

 

  • We are made to completely enjoy the experience… because of the servers.
  • But when do they get to eat?
  • They are so busy serving us that they don’t stop to eat when everyone else eats.

 

 When Do The Musicians Get To Sing?

  • How long do they have to go without worship?
  • How long can their spiritual man survive without food?

 

 How About The People In The Sound Booth?

  • Do those involved in multimedia ever get a chance to get blessed?
  • Are they restricted from raising their hands?
  • Are they so techie and committed to media and sound excellence, that there is no room for worship?
  • Is it improper for them to say, ‘Amen” while in the sound booth?

 

 What About The Preachers On The Platform?

 

 When Do The Servers In God’s House Get To Eat What Everyone Else Gets To Eat?

  • How long can you go without a blessing?
  • How long?
  • Has anyone noticed that worship from many of our musicians, multimedia/sound techs, and most of the platform is almost non-existent?

 

Haven’t they heard that worship is everyone’s business?

  • Worship is everyone’s duty!
  • Worship is everyone’s privilege!
  • No one is exempt!

 

It would almost appear, that those who have chosen to be in the sound booth and stay there without any response to worship, prayer, or to the preaching… are not showing any signs of a spiritual life.

One might think they have more knowledge of technical stuff in their heads than they have knowledge of God in their hearts.

How can you play an instrument unto the Lord, and you feel anything?

How can you as a minister request the saints to really worship the Lord, and yet you don’t set the example?

 

If David the King, could take off his golden crown and dance before the ark, why can’t we all take off the golden crown that represents our little office, and dance like David?

  • Am I being harsh, or unfair? No doubt. (I won’t even defend myself.)
  • I am a preacher. When do I get to partake and enjoy a worship service? (I’ve got to eat too!)
  • I am a musician. When do I get to lay my guitar down? When do I get to shout? (I’ve got to eat too!)

 

I am somewhat of a nerd. I’ve installed sound equipment and set up computers in a number of churches and ran their multimedia for them. When do I get to come out of the sound booth and praise the Lord? (I’ve got to eat too!)

  • Never let your office or job put you in a position to stop rejoicing in the Lord.
  • Never think worship and responding to His presence is beneath you.
  • Never stop responding to preaching, no matter where you are seated in the church.

 

Is it just the carnal people who volunteer run the multimedia? Or do worshippers still exist back there too?

Is it the mindset of musicians to stay so focused on showcasing their talent that… that’s all it is? Or do worshippers still exist up there too?

Is it the attitude of ministry that they are so deep into the Word, that any demonstration is beneath them? Or do worshippers still exist there too?

 

I have no answers.

I only have one question.

 

When Do The Servers Eat?

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 28, 2018 at 1:10 pm

She’s A Woman In Love!

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She’s A Woman In Love!

 

Everyone can tell she’s in love, because of how she acts around him.

They also can tell she’s in love by how she acts when she’s by herself.

Even strangers can look at her, when she’s with him, and see that she’s in love.

 

Her every thought is consumed with thinking about him and them.

She is affectionate with her words to him.

She is affectionate with him.

 

She constantly does little things for him so he will know she was thinking about him.

She always makes herself available to be with him.

She constantly stays in touch and quickly responds when he communicates with her.

 

She never ignores him.

She never stops telling him that she loves him.

She brings him gifts.

 

She looks lovingly at every picture she has of him.

She reads and rereads his every letter to her, looking for some possible hidden sweetness.

She dresses to please him and imagines his reaction of approval to her outfit.

 

She smiles all the time.

She’s never been happier.

She is happier than anyone has ever seen her.

 

She is always willing to go wherever he suggests.

She can’t wait for his call.

She knows her response will always be yes.

 

She feels secure in his love and trusts his every word.

She believes he will always do the right thing for her and protect her.

She sings love songs just for him.

 

She is quick to cry and say she’s sorry when she feels she has done something to displease him.

She writes love poems to him.

She feels her heart melt when he comes close to her.

 

She looks at no one else.

She thinks of no one else.

She talks of no one else.

 

She knows her heart is fixed on him and refuses to let anything change that.

She lets him plan her life.

She loves going to his house.

 

She chooses to love his family too.

She tells all her friends about him.

She brags on him to everyone who will listen.

 

She is not ashamed of him.

She is proud to be called his.

She can’t wait until they get married.

 

She dreams and plans for that day.

She counts the days.

She’s a woman in love!

 

 

If This Is A Picture Of A Woman In Love, Then Read On…

Because the Acts 2:38 church is the bride of Christ…  then isn’t this how His bride-to-be should act?

Shouldn’t His Bride Act Like A Woman In Love?

 

 

 Everyone can tell she’s in love, because of how she acts around Him.

They also can tell she’s in love by how she acts when she’s by herself.

Even strangers can look at her, when she’s with Him, and see that she’s in love.

 

Her every thought is consumed with thinking about Him and them.

She is affectionate with her words to Him.

She is affectionate with Him.

 

She constantly does little things for Him so He will know she was thinking about Him.

She always makes herself available to be with Him.

She constantly stays in touch and quickly responds when He communicates with her.

 

She never ignores Him.

She never stops telling Him that she loves Him.

She brings Him gifts.

 

She looks lovingly at every picture she has of Him.

She reads and rereads His every letter to her, looking for some possible hidden sweetness.

She dresses to please Him and imagines His reaction of approval to her outfit.

 

She smiles all the time.

She’s never been happier.

She is happier than anyone has ever seen her.

 

She is always willing to go wherever He suggests.

She can’t wait for His call.

She knows her response will always be yes.

 

She feels secure in His love and trusts His every word.

She believes He will always do the right thing for her and protect her.

She sings love songs just for Him.

 

She is quick to cry and say she’s sorry when she feels she has done something to displease Him.

She writes love poems to Him.

She feels her heart melt when He comes close to her.

 

She looks at no one else.

She thinks of no one else.

She talks of no one else.

 

She knows her heart is fixed on Him and refuses to let anything change that.

She lets Him plan her life.

She loves going to His House.

 

She chooses to love His family too.

She tells all her friends about Him.

She brags on Him to everyone who will listen.

 

She is not ashamed of Him.

She is proud to be called His.

She can’t wait until they get married.

 

She dreams and plans for that day.

She counts the days.

She’s a woman in love!

 

As a Holy Ghost filled, Pentecostal Apostolic, can the world see that you are really in love with Jesus?

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 10, 2018 at 9:18 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.”

The Get Run Over Church

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The Get Run Over Church

 

“Worship is everybody’s business,” my father said with fervor into the microphone! The song service had been going for twenty minutes or so and the church was getting close to breaking through into another level in the Spirit.

The same old six and seven who always worshipped with all of their hearts, still were. The rest just seemed content tonight to let them do the worshipping for them. This was not their lucky night. Dad wasn’t going to let them off that easy.

Don Zhiss

Big Don Zhiss was enjoying his liberty and began walking around with joy and praising God with great animation. He rolled on the floor. He ran the aisles. He kept running even though no one was following. His gray hair didn’t slow him down.

The song leader was doing a great job, but sometimes, the best of churches can get in a rut. Even good people need to break out of them once in a while.

There was a good spirit of worship in the house that night. The service was not dead. But like a cook tasting the food on the stove and saying, “I think it needs a little more salt.” That’s what my Dad was doing.

He said, “Alright, I want all of you men to get out in the aisles and worship. Men should be the leaders in worship in the church. Come on men. Get out of your comfort zones. Lift your hands in the air. You may not do what I do, but everybody ought to do something for Jesus!”

Like the good obedient people they were, the men gathered self-consciously into the aisles. Even the timid and quiet ones came too. The music was still playing and hands were still clapping.

Several pairs of eyes watched as Bro. Ted moved into the aisles. He had never ventured there in recent memory. He wasn’t a tall or big man. His timid and quiet nature made him seem smaller. He loved to pray, sing and clap his hands, but no one had ever seen him get demonstrative in praise before. They couldn’t wait to see what he would do.

It was quite an accomplishment for him. He stood by the 3rd row in the center aisle facing the pulpit. He raised his hands, closed his eyes and worshipped freely for several minutes. This was something! Bro. Ted was getting close to a breakthrough.

The saints were making real progress. Many were shouting and enjoying the presence of the Lord. People were speaking in tongues all over the house.

Big Don Zhiss began to feel what he called the ‘anointment.’ He felt that the Lord was impressing him to run the aisles, but in a new dimension. He just knew the Lord was telling him to run the aisles with his eyes closed.

Not being slow to respond, Bro. Don charged down the center aisle, full steam ahead. His nearly 300 pounds of mass caused smaller men to step aside, but not Bro. Ted.

Bro. Ted was clueless. His back was to Bro. Don and besides that, his eyes were closed too. All of the worshippers who believed in the ‘watch and pray’ concept, could sense impending doom.

Don hit Ted’s small frame like he was a leaf in the wind. Don barely stumbled. Ted was totally flattened out, face down.

Ted never opened his eyes. He slowly stood back up as concerned saints held their breath. Finally, he stood erect again. By this time, Don had made another lap and came charging down the aisle again.

Once more he waylaid Bro. Ted, and reduced him to a rag doll on the rug. Don didn’t seem to notice the damage he’d done.

Still, Ted tried to continue on without opening his eyes. He was so close to getting something from the Lord. He was finally able to rise up in a kneeling position with his hands still raised when Don came around the 3rd time.

Bro. Don made the corner and laid him out once more. By this time, Bro. Ted had all the worship he could enjoy. He crawled on his hands and knees back down his row and seemed to be content to praise the Lord in the safety of his own seat.

Bro. Zhiss kept running!

 

(Bro. Ted was never seen in the aisles again.)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 4, 2017 at 1:30 am

The Head Polishing Church

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The Head Polishing Church

Don Zhiss rocked his 290 lb. frame back and forth between the church’s theatre seats. He occasionally would stop and pat his right foot on the hardwood floor impatiently waiting to be called on. In his own words, he was ‘cited’ about getting to testify.  He might be in his late 60’s, but them old ladies were just taking way too much time testifying and there was no fire in what they were saying. He couldn’t wait. Come on already!

Don was Jewish. He was a 100% literal son of Abraham. At Studebaker’s plant one day, a fellow employee named Lee Silvers had told him that the Jews had killed Jesus. Don was so upset. He wanted to talk about that some more. Lee brought him to a basement church named Christ Temple on the corner of Elwood Avenue and Elmer Street in South Bend, Indiana.

The preacher preached Don to the altar that night. He repented and received the Holy Ghost. Don also received the revelation of Jesus name baptism and was promptly baptized. When he understood that the Jesus in the New Testament was the Jehovah of the Old wrapped up in flesh, he became unstoppable.  He never stopped shouting when someone talked about the Mighty God in Christ.

Into his senior years, Don would lead victory marches around the church and run the aisles. He rolled on the floor sometimes while he testified. If the service was tight, Don had a way of knocking the kinks out of it. He was a worshipper that would have made King David stop and take notice.

He was also highly uncoordinated and unpredictable. When running behind him, the men all knew that at anytime Don might stop and turn around and run the other direction, bringing much confusion and injury to the runners.

This night, Don was fired up. He wanted to testify about Jesus Name. A first time visitor, named Casey, sat in front of Don.

Finally, he got called on. He raised his voice and flailed his arms pacing back and forth. He shook the row of seats in front of him with both hands. The people clapped and shouted amen to encourage to him.

The half a teaspoon or so of saliva, that Don was known to carry in his mouth, began to spray has he exuberantly raved about Jesus name and the Holy Ghost.

Bald headed Casey sat unmoving and frozen while this giant of a man ranted behind him. When Don noticed he had just sprayed saliva all over the visitor’s head, he never missed a beat. While waving one arm high in the air and without so much as looking at what he was doing, Don pulled a used handkerchief out of his pocket with the other hand and began to rub the visitor’s head.

He wiped the spit off of Casey’s head while his eyes stayed glued on the mortified pastor. He didn’t stop with a simple wipe but kept on unconsciously polishing the now shiny dome while waving the other hand and bragging on Jesus.

Oh, by the way, Casey got the Holy Ghost that night.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 2, 2017 at 7:16 pm