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Posts Tagged ‘Repentance

“I’m Going To Run Away From Home!”

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“I’m Going To Run Away From Home!”

That’s what I told my mom. I looked at her face and she didn’t seem to be overly shaken by the news, which

Me, Daddy (Carl) & Mama (Content) Ballestero

Me, Daddy (Carl) & Mama (Content) Ballestero 1951

was a good thing for me. So I relaxed a bit. I had already handled the hardest part. I’d made my big announcement. She smiled understandingly at me, as she touched my shoulder.

“Would you like me to help you pack your suitcase?” She asked, still smiling pleasantly.

My seven-year old brain didn’t pick up on the fact that she wasn’t overly shaken or alarmed by my desire to go, and was asking to help me pack.

I quickly accepted her assistance, because I had never packed a suitcase before. Mama was good at packing and always making sure I had everything I needed for trips.

I watched as she put my clothes in the little suitcase. There were enough changes to maybe get me through a whole week, which was good.  She made sure my little Bible and toothbrush were also packed in the suitcase. There wasn’t any room left for my brown teddy bear. I felt a major twinge about that. I hadn’t planned on being that alone.

Mama and I took a final look around my room looking for anything else I might need to take with me. Finding nothing, she closed the lid and handed me the small suitcase.

I stood there a little uncertain about how my goodbye should be handled. Our family was a kissy and huggy kind of family.

Should I kiss and hug her good-bye, or should I just say, “Bye” and leave? I was unsure. Before I had time to figure it out, mama made the decision for me.

“Honey, put down your suitcase right there, because I would like to take you on a tour of the house before you go.”

I sat the suitcase down and followed behind mama as she walked down the hall toward her bedroom. She stopped in the doorway as I joined her, and we both looked into her modestly furnished room.

“Since you are never going to get to see this room again, I thought you might want to see for the last time, where your mommy and daddy sleep at night. This is where you came every night to say your bedtime prayers and get your good night kisses.

“It’s also where you came every morning to get hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy. But, since you’re leaving you’ve probably outgrown all that now, so you won’t have to come back here any more, but I wanted you to see it.”

I took a big gulp. I didn’t want to cry now. I hadn’t expected a tour of any kind. I’d just wanted to runaway.

She then took my hand and guided me to my sister’s bedroom.

“This is where Beverly and your little sister Carlene sleep, take a good look, you’ll never get to see your sisters again. (Beverly was almost six and Carlene was two.)

Mama then guided me by my bedroom and I looked at my teddy bear proudly sitting on my bed. I felt a big twinge.

The tour continued into the kitchen. Mama took great pains to explain to me that this was where she fixed my favorite meals. She also pointed out where I used to stand and talk to her, as she cooked.

“Here is where I made your pancakes, and cooked your favorite meals. In here is where I baked you cookies, pies, cakes and your favorite orange crusted biscuits!” She said as she pointed at the oven.

“You probably won’t be having any biscuits, cookies or pancakes where you’re going. You don’t know how to make those, and you don’t even have anything to make them with, if you did. So take a good look around.”

I hadn’t thought about never having biscuits, cookies or pancakes again. There were some things about running away I evidently hadn’t thought out completely. I got very serious.

We then walked into the dining room and stopped at the foot of the table where I always sat.

“Here is your place at the table, son. It’s going to look awful empty without you in it!”

She let that sink in a moment before we moved on. She pointed at the chairs.

“Here is where your daddy always sits, and here is where Beverly sits, and Carlene sits here, and I always sit over there. Take a good look, Honey, because you won’t ever get to see this table, or eat with us any more.”

I began to feel more alone than I had planned. Mama walked toward the living room, and I joined her looking at the couch and easy chairs.

“Over here is your daddy’s chair. That’s where he always sits during family devotions when he reads us a chapter from the Bible or reads from The Bible Story Book.

“Here is where I always sit, and there is where Beverly and Carlene sit, and over there is where you always sit.

Mama placed her arm around me as we stood side by side looking the room over.

“Well honey, I think that about concludes the tour of our home. I know you won’t ever get to see it again, because you won’t be coming back. But I want you to know and I want you to always remember how much you mommy and daddy love you.

Never forget how much your little sisters love you too. We are going to miss you every day. You will always be welcome here, because we will always love you.”

Then without a lengthy delay she continued her goodbyes.

“Oh, one more thing, I know I’ve shown you all through the house for the last time, but why don’t you kneel down with mama where we always pray for our family devotions and tell Jesus goodbye.

“You probably won’t be talking to Him anymore either.”

Tell Jesus goodbye? That thought shocked me childish mind. I hadn’t planned on telling Jesus goodbye. All I thought I wanted to do was runaway from home.

Without waiting for me to give any verbal response, mama knelt down at the old sofa and began to pray as only my mama could pray.

Mama was one of those precious Holy Ghost filled mama’s that prayed them heart-felt and spirit filled prayers. She never prayed very long without everyone around her knowing she had touched something pretty wonderful in the glory world.

She began to pray fervently, crying quickly and speaking in tongues. This was how mama always prayed, but today’s prayer and her crying took on new meaning for me as I knelt there beside her.

I listened to her crying, and I felt sure I had made my mama cry because I was running away. I listened to her pray and speak in tongues and knew she was surely talking to Jesus.

I had only been on my knees less than two or three minutes when I began to cry. I placed my arm around my mama and pulled myself close to her.

“Mama, I am so sorry for wanting to run away. I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m going to stay home with you.

Please forgive me, mama. I love you. I promise, I will never leave you. I won’t even get married, or nothing. I’m just going to stay with you!”

She slipped her arm around me, and hugged me tightly as she gave me a sweet kiss. And then she went back to finish her prayer time with the Lord.




By chance have you been thinking lately about running away from Home?

  • Have you been considering leaving the Father’s House?
  • Have you?

Well, before you go, please, please permit me to take you on a tour of the church you’ve been part of for so long.

I want you look with me again at the place where the plan of salvation was first preached to you. I am pointing at the pulpit.

Remember feeling like you had sinned so bad that God would never forgive you? Can you hear your pastor’s voice once again saying that there was no sin you had ever committed that Jesus wouldn’t forgive you of? Remember him trying to give you hope? He was trying to tell you that God loved you no matter what.

I’m sure you remember him saying that you needed to believe in God’s promise, repent of your sins, be baptized in Jesus name, and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues. Just like they did on the day of Pentecost.

Please look right over here at the altar where you first knelt down and repented of your sins. Remember how you felt when you felt you repented that night?

Now, I want you to come with me over to the baptistery and look into the place where your sins got washed away in Jesus name! Remember how clean you felt and how wonderful that experience was?

Then, when you came up out of the water you lifted your hands and God filled you with the Holy Ghost. You spoke in a language you’d never spoken in before! Take a look at this place again and ask your self if the world has anything that matches that.

Oh, see that aisle right there? Remember all the times you shouted, and danced for joy down those aisles?

Remember the night you came up to the front and stood right there in a healing line and God healed you instantly of cancer? The world can’t offer you that.

Look over there at the third pew where you’ve sat all these years. Remember that Sunday night you stood and testified about God healing you? Remember that?

Come over here to this door, look in here. This is the prayer room you always went to before service each night. You fought a lot of battles and won a lot of victories kneeling right there.

Please walk with me down this hall. Here is the Pastor’s office. He sure loves you. Think of the many times he’s given you counsel, direction and encouragement.

I know you’ll never forget how he would pray with you, and for you, before you left the room. I hope you can remember what that was like, because you won’t have anything like that anymore.

Now, we need to come back out into the auditorium and look it over real slow. Let the faces of each one come to mind as you look at where they sat during service. They loved you. They rejoiced and shouted the night you got saved. Those dear people will pray for you daily, when they realize you are gone. They will never give up on you.

Never forget how much you are loved here. We are going to miss you everyday. Don’t ever forget that the Lord truly loves you and gave His all for you!

Well, that pretty much concludes our little tour.

Aw, before you go, why don’t you kneel with me right here where you always pray, and then you can tell Jesus good-bye too…





The News Got Home Before He Did!

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The News Got Home Before He Did!

News in Apostolic circles always travels fast! The word of Peter’s visit with Cornelius beat him back to Jerusalem. That was no small feat in itself.

Peter looked at the unsmiling faces of his Jerusalem brethren. These were the men whom he had fished with all night long before. They were his old friends. He had literally spent day and night with them for the last three years, or so. Over there sat Doctor Luke, and there was Matthew the old tax collector. His buddies James and John didn’t even show their usual smiles when he had walked in the room. Accusations were in all of their eyes. No one looked kindly at him.

That fact really did not overwhelm the man on the hot seat. He had grown up in a world of rough and tumble. He was familiar with using fists, and was even known to carry a sword. Today however, the war was to be one of words and opinions.

Firmly entrenched in each of the questioner’s minds was a deep bias and prejudice against every non-Jew. There was no moderator or Judge in the room. Peter was fair game for them all. Today would probably be his last day of honor among them. It all hinged on what Peter had to say.

Everyone felt free to question his activities and his motives. They opened the volley of questioning, with what happened to be their first and last shot.

“Peter, we understand you went into a house belonging to an uncircumcised man and ate meals with him and his family,” someone said.

There it was. Peter was guilty of fraternizing with the Gentiles. He had crossed the line of propriety and decorum. His accusers were quite ready to censor him, maybe even worse.

Peter was tired in body. He had been in Joppa just a few days ago when the Lord had given him the vision of the sheet containing unclean things and had commanded him to slay and eat. After his continued refusal, the Lord had said not to call that which He had cleansed, common or unclean. The Lord then told him that there were men downstairs at the door and he was to go with them.

It was a 36-mile walk from Joppa to Caesarea, the Roman capital city of Judea. The trip had taken all day and was tiring by itself. But, as soon as he had entered the home of Cornelius, they put him right to work. They immediately made him stand up and preach to them about Jesus.

While Peter was preaching, the Holy Ghost fell on everyone in the room and they began to speak in tongues, just like the hundred and twenty did on the day of Pentecost.

When Peter heard them speak in tongues, not only was he astonished, but the Jewish believers with Peter were amazed as well. Peter then commanded everyone that had just received the Holy Ghost to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

He then stayed with Cornelius for a few days to further instruct him and his family in the Scriptures.

The 60-mile journey from there back to Jerusalem was wearisome as well. But still there had been no time to rest.

Immediately upon arriving home, he was put on trial. His ministry was now in question. His motives were under suspicion. His actions were reprehensible to every conservative Jew in the room.

It was his make or break moment. Jesus wasn’t here anymore to moderate the dissention. It felt like the whole New Testament Church was against him.

Peter had never used polish in his approach to anything. He spoke with great plainness of speech. He disarmed his questioners by being candid and straightforward. He told them of his vision, his preaching to the household of Cornelius, and how the Holy Ghost had fallen on them, just like it fell on us.

The countenance of each accuser’s face in the room changed. There it was! God had put his blessing upon the whole event, by pouring out His Spirit.

The Question and Answer session immediately dissolved into a worship service. All of the Apostles worshipped the Lord together. They gave thanks because God had given unto the Gentiles, the privilege of repentance.

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

The Apostles did not say, “Praise the Lord, twenty-six received the Holy Ghost and twenty-six were baptized.”

They thanked the Lord for Granting Repentance to the Gentiles. They knew, that if the Lord would let them repent, the Gentiles could have anything else that Heaven had to offer. That simple truth is still in effect today. The Goodness of God leads men to repentance. And, If God will let you repent, that means:

  • He has just opened the Door for you to be filled with His Spirit.
  • He has also just opened the Door of Healing and Blessing as well.
  • It matters not what you have said or done.
  • It’s no longer important where you’ve been, or with whom.
  • Once God Grants you Repentance, He has just opened the Door of Eternal Salvation.
  • Take advantage of it today!

It’s A Privilege To Be Able To Repent.  

If God Grants You Repentance…

That Alone Is Worthy Of Your Worship!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 22, 2012 at 1:20 am

Posted in Mercy, Praise, Repent, Salvation

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The Mourners At The Old Man’s Funeral

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The Mourners At The Old Man’s Funeral

The casket was closed. That alone made everything seem final. There was not even a picture of the deceased anywhere to be seen. He was only still alive in the memories of those that had known him.

Family members, fellow employees, acquaintances, and friends both old and new were in attendance. Some of them mourned and consoled each another with knowing looks and tear-stained faces. Their great sense of loss was clearly evident as they continually wiped the tears away.

In the same room, others were smiling oblivious to the tearful around them. They hugged each other for joy. They seemed very happy that the old man had finally died. He had been a real source of irritation to them for a long time. They seemed to be sighing with great relief that he was finally out of the way.

Even the preacher actually seemed happy that the old man was dead too. This was unusual. Preachers normally don’t get happy at funerals, but this one did.

The sniffles and the sobs attracted everyone’s attention again. The old man would be sorely missed. For them, it was unthinkable that he was dead.

They had comforted themselves with stories of his exploits. They struggled with their losses. He’d meant something special and important to them. They were greatly irritated by the smiling faces in the room. What was wrong with those other people? How could anyone smile like that at a funeral?

Passion looked at the casket where “the old man” lay and sobbed. His best friend was dead.

Lust wept at the loss of a child.

Habit greatly mourned the slave who had broken free from it’s chains.

Guilt shook with disbelief. They had travelled many miles together.

Heartache was crying and refused to be comforted.

Selfishness and Pleasure wailed for their departed friend and comrade.

Pride hung it’s head in grief. It had evidently failed at keeping him alive.

Satan himself was the chief mourner.

The funeral procession was mixed with tears of sorrow and smiles. It’s sounds were those of weeping and shouts of joy. The two crowds kept separate from each other. Tension was strong between the two camps.

The shouters wanted to make sure “the old man” was buried. They wanted to make sure that some green grass was growing on top of him. The mourners were hoping for a miracle of resurrection.

The preacher made the final pronouncement of burial and the sound of rejoicing was overwhelming loud and raucous. There was so much joy in the camp, that the mourners all made a hasty retreat.

Rom. 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Rom. 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Rom. 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Is Your “Old Man” Yet Alive, Or Has He Died Out To Sin?

If He Is Still Alive, You Need To Make Funeral Arrangements Today!

You Can Find Out How To Make Them By Reading Acts 2:38.

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.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 4, 2011 at 11:54 am