The Ballestero Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Loving God

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

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Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

The long blue Pontiac sedan rolled smoothly down Highway 30 through the Indiana countryside.  My father, Pastor Carl Ballestero was driving. I was his unofficial assistant and the two of us were going to a church anniversary service.

Carl Ballestero

Carl Ballestero

Most trips Daddy was known to be talkative, but sometimes, he was content to ride in silence. Today was one of those days that he chose not to talk much, if at all.

Knowing that he had to preach at this special service, I chose not to interrupt his thoughts, in case he was thinking about his sermon. I only spoke if I saw he was interested in talking.

I contented myself by looking out of the passenger’s side window at the farms and passing landscape. The silence was comfortable.

The car ride had been without a spoken word for more than a half hour. Then, as if from nowhere I heard Daddy say in a soft voice, “Lord, have I told you lately that I love you?”

Tears immediately  sprang into my eyes, and the scenery became blurred. I never turned to looked at him. I didn’t want to interrupt or interfere with this sweet moment between him and the true love of his life.

I knew I was in the presence of godly man who truly loved The Lord with all of his heart. The Holy Ghost immediately filled that car, and I wept freely. I thanked God for His presence and His love, but I also thanked him for giving me a father who truly loved Him!

That moment nearly forty years ago has forever impacted my personal devotions. Every now and then I find myself riding along in the car or just setting at home and then seemingly out of nowhere, I will find myself saying… “Lord, have I told you lately that I love you?”

You know what? It still works! I always seem to feel God’s presence anew while tears flow down my cheeks just like they did that day.

Thank you Lord, for a Dad who set such a wonderful example before me. He unashamedly let me see how wonderful it was to fully love The Lord and openly show it!

Thanks Dad!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Christian Living, Prayer

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She Wouldn’t Stop Talking About Her Old Love.

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She Wouldn’t Stop Talking About Her Old Love.

All she could talk about was her former love. She dreamed of him in heart every day and spoke aloud of her deep passion for him to the amazement of her startled listeners. After all she was a married woman. If she was so in love with a memory, then why get married to another?

Like an air-headed bride who was clueless that her remarks about her past love life would ever ruin her present relationship, she couldn’t stop talking, she just wouldn’t quit. Her husband’s heart hurt knowing that although she was married to him, she was still in love with her old love.

Some around her remembered her former lover and agreed, that he was all that she remembered. Yet others felt deeply saddened that the one she now lived with, and who loved her very much, had heard her thoughtless comments. They knew he would spend the rest of his life competing with her old flame.

Why would a bride openly talk of a past love? Was she trying to sabotage her marriage? Didn’t she know anything about how to behave in a relationship? Couldn’t she brag on her current her husband? Why did she only say sweet things about her former love, and nothing about her current husband?  Something was horribly wrong with this picture. Everyone could see where things were headed.

Strangers shook their heads and wondered that she could be so bold as to publicly proclaim that she still carried a torch for her man of yesterday and brag on him in her new husband’s face.

Hers may not be a married relationship much longer if the groom grows weary of hearing her old lover’s name.

Many that heard her remarks, formed the opinion that she truly wasn’t in love with the one she was married to, or that she was so disappointed in her new marriage that she didn’t care what happened.

How could a bride be so stupid? Why would she tear down her own marriage? Why couldn’t she keep some of her pleasant memories buried in her heart and savor them privately, if she must. Why wasn’t she discreet? Why wasn’t she in love with the one who now loved her?

She was a married woman! If she couldn’t give all of her love to her husband, why did she bother to even get married?

Shamed husbands aren’t alone in their embarrassment and hurt. The Lord God also knows the pain of playing second fiddle to an air-headed love.

The Story Of Hosea- Gomer.

The Lord told the prophet Hosea to marry a woman who was a common prostitute. He wanted Him to marry a woman who would be unfaithful. He wanted Hosea to understand His heartache and pain in loving Israel, while they were still in love with Egypt.

 

Israel – Egypt

God loved Israel, yet Israel had other lovers. Not only did she remember her past loves, she too, like an air-headed bride wouldn’t quit talking about them, and God heard her.

He knew that no matter what He did for her, she would always be in love with another.

It was stupid of her to forget who was feeding her, fighting her battles and blessing her every day. She wasn’t interested in a relationship with Jehovah. She just wanted to be kept, while she remembered what she considered to be the good things about her past.

Israel had complained about Egypt while she lived there, but although Egypt was now ancient history, Israel seemed to forever talk about her memories.

Those memories caused her taste buds to drool over the most mundane of things. Israel actually cried real tears.

Numbers 11:4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

Numbers 11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

It was like Israel regularly kept visiting the grave of her dead husband, decorating the site with fresh flowers and spending hours everyday weeping over what no longer was.

 

Israel Lusted After The Things Of Egypt.

She Quickly Forgot What Jehovah Was Doing for Her.

 

Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:

Psalm 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

Israel tempted the Lord ten times in the wilderness by lusting after the things in her past, and complaining about what she now had and didn’t have, until God sent fiery serpents among them.

 

They Were Too Clueless To Realize They Were Tempting God!

Today’s Generation Loves Pleasure More Than God

This is a pleasure driven society. The good news is that all pleasure is not bad. The bad news is, that one of the warning signs of the last days would be that men would love pleasure more than they loved God. We’re here!

2 Timothy 3:4 …lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

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

What do we speak of the most? Is it sports, recreation, entertainment, fine dining, video games, travel, or the Lord?

As the Bride of Christ, shouldn’t we understand about relationships? Shouldn’t we wake up to the realization that if we really want a relationship with the Jesus Christ…

  • Maybe, just maybe He should be on our minds, and not the lusts of our flesh.
  • Maybe, just maybe we should talk about Him more often, and not the world.
  • Maybe, just maybe, we should be in love with Him, not the world.
  • Maybe, just maybe we should talk about our love for Him and not about our love for the things of this world.

Do You Feel That You And Jesus Have A Good Relationship?

Then Why Mess Up?

There Is Nothing Worth Losing Your Soul Over!

If others hear you talk about the things of the world more than the things of God, your relationship with the Lord is certainly in trouble.

Take another look at what you have now. Don’t lose it. No one can go back to a memory, not ever.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Your Husband Might Be Somewhat Understanding, But God Will Not Be.

He’s A Jealous God.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Christian Living, Love, Marriage

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Just Imagine…

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Just Imagine…

Just imagine a thoughtless and demanding husband that is married to a wife who caters to his every need. Imagine him sitting relaxed in his little command center, his Lazy-Boy, while he bellows out orders.

  • “Hey Pearl, bring me a Diet Coke.”
  • “Get me the newspaper.”
  • “Did you call Bob like I asked you?”
  • “Get the phone will you, I’m busy.”
  • “How much longer do I have to wait for supper?”
  • “Since you’re up, get my slippers.”

Just imagine a man that constantly makes demands like that on his wife. If she complied willingly and without comment, he’s a most fortunate man.

  • Just imagine what she might feel like if he never thanked her for serving him.
  • Imagine too what she would think of him if all he ever did was make more demands and never took time to talk to her or say sweet words of affection to her.
  • Imagine what future the relationship would have if the man said, I don’t really have time to talk to you, I just need you to do what I asked you to do.

Some wives might be content to be in a relationship like that, but I have never met them yet. A loving relationship is not a one-way street.

Then There Is The Flip Side Of That Problem.

Imagine a demanding wife that is married to husband who she expects to cater to her every need.

  • Her Honey-Do-List never ends.
  • Her requests are only for her benefit.
  • She nags him if she doesn’t get what she wants, when she wants it.
  • She feels like he doesn’t love her unless he is always giving to her and doing things for her.
  • His needs are not even on her radar screen.
  • She has no time to just talk to him.
  • He can’t remember when she last said, “I love you.”
  • Her world is only focused on her own happiness.

What A Mess! I Can’t Imagine Living Like That!

I don’t know who would ever want to enter into any kind of relationship such as this. How could their life’s story have a happy ending? What future do they have? It’s a world without love!

Yet That Is Exactly The Spiritual Relationship Many Of Us Have With The Lord.

  • The only time we talk to Him is to make more demands.
  • Our prayers are only to ask for more.
  • We ask for healing.
  • We ask for finances.
  • We ask for housing, transportation and employment.
  • We ask for blessings for ourselves.
  • And yes… We are invited to ask. But…
  • We never just take the time to say,  “Thank You Jesus.”
  • We are too busy to just stop and ‘chit-chat’ with Him.
  • We find ourselves so busy asking for more favors that we almost never stop to say, “Have I told You today Jesus, that I love You?”

What’s The Chances Of Our ‘Relationship’ With God Lasting Very Long?

  • Actually, I am afraid it sounds one-sided.
  • It doesn’t sound like much of a relationship.
  • If it were a marriage, it might soon go on the rocks.

So, Where Is Our Walk With God Headed?

 

Just Imagine…

Just Imagine a husband been separated from his wife and writing over five dozen letters to her. Imagine the wife taking the unopened letters from the mailman and stacking them on the coffee table for all to see. Just imagine her never reading the letters from her husband. Imagine her thinking, “How precious of him to write, but reading his letters is boring to me.”

Imagine the two of them talking on the phone from time to time and him realizing by the things she says and doesn’t say, that she has not been reading any of his letters. Now what?

Absurd as it may sound, it happens everywhere, everyday. We have letters and epistles written to us. Although cherished by us all, The Holy Bible remains unread, and untouched. It is placed on the coffee table for others to see. But many of us will die, never reading what He wrote just to us. Now what?

Just imagine what our life would be like if we told the Lord several times a day that we loved Him, and not just asked for something every time we prayed.

Just imagine what our life would be like if we read the letters He wrote to us and got to know Him better.

Just imagine knowing Him in His fullness.

Just Imagine!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 1, 2012 at 12:31 am