Saturday, January 31, 2009

Comfort can kill us?

Too much comfort is dangerous. Literally.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley did an experiment some time ago that involved introducing an amoeba into a perfectly stress-free environment: ideal temperature, optimal concentration of moisture, constant food supply. The amoeba had an environment to which it had to make no adjustment whatsoever.

So you would guess this was one happy little amoeba. Whatever it is that gives amoebas ulcers and high blood pressure was gone.

Yet, oddly enough, it died.

Apparently there is something about all living creatures, even amoebas, that demands challenge. We require change, adaptation, and challenge the way we require food and air. Comfort alone will kill us.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scripture Memorization

This is an awesome powerful little book about the importance of Scipture Memorization. It is full of life changing and inspirational stories. I met the authors son at a Homeschool Bookfair. He was a very kind man who has memorized entire books of the Bible. He gave my husband and I several books and a CD. We have learned so much from his resources.
Thy words have I hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against thee.Psalm 118:11

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Contrary to popular opinion God gave us marriage to make us holy.....not happy.

Perhaps He wanted to teach us to love and serve even when our spouse was unlovable and didnt have much to offer. If you have been married for a long time you know what I am talking about.

God wanted to teach us how to love,serve and lay down our lives for another on a daily basis so He gave us marriage. For example ....If you commit to another there will indeed be times that your spouse is rude,unkind, and selfish. Here is our oppurtunity to be like Christ, to lay down our lives. To extend mercy. To submit, honor and love....perhaps even die to self.

Nothing extracts selfishness and pride and inserts love humility and service like a healthy marriage. Problem is alot of people think marriage is supposed to make us happy and when it doesnt they give up instead of giving in.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Cross Has No Power

The cross has no power. None. Not in and of itself. The One who gave His life on the cross He has ALL power. He makes the power of the cross effective not just because He was God but because He was obedient even unto death. The death of the Cross.

Philippians 2:8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Everyone will suffer. Saint and sinner alike. Obedience during the trial. Humility during the pruning that is the aim. Any one can die. Everyone will die. But to die humbly and obediently now that takes God.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Porn ruins lives. Millions of lives. Daily. It is the ultimate in selfish Satanic flesh feeding trash.It is the Devil personified.It snares so many. Christians. Dads. Moms. Seniors. Even our children. The question is not if you will be exposed but when. Its everywhere. It sells. If you have never personally dealt with it. Your husband,dad,son or brother will.

25% of all search engine requests are for porn. That's 1 in 4!!!

Every 39 minutes: a new pornographic video is being created in the United States

Every second - 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines

Every second - 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography

The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink

Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography 11 years old

90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online

80% of 15-17 year olds have had multiple hard-core exposures

If these stat dont make you very very nervous then your not facing reality. Although this is a subject that is destroying our homes and lives it is hardly ever addressed. Proper healthy Biblical marital intimacy is a subject that is never discussed or promoted. Rarely preached about. If the enemy is pushing his agenda this hard perhaps we should counter with truth. We need to learn and teach what God says about sex. He isn't silent and He created it. The devil has perverted it. I don't know what the answer is but sitting back and wishing and hoping it wont effect my family is naive. How can we be proactive? How can I shield my home and family?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Him or Religion

Anything that we elevate above GOD is an idol. Anything.

We religous types are sold out and separate. We try to serve Him with our whole hearts. Forsaking all and following Him. The enemy knows this and will take advantage of our zeal and fervor and even pervert our passion.If he cant get us to live for the world he will try to make us go overboard the other way exalting church religion Pastor above the Lord Himself.

Im guilty. I would never go a week without church. Seriously. I just hardly ever miss for any reason. But I am ashamed to admit that I have gone a week without prayer. I would never dream of neglecting to smile and greet my Pastor but I have ignored the still small voice.

*But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone* Matt 23
Whats really important and who are we really serving here. Him or Religion?

Monday, January 12, 2009

It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.

Oswald Chambers

We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God's purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.
What is my dream of God's purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process - that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.
God's training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.
God's end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Put God To The Test

Prove me now herewith, said the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Mal 3:10

There is only one time in the Bible that I know of where the Lord tells us to *Test Him*. It is in the area of Tithing.

Prove Him.Go ahead.Try Him. He wants us to. Its a challenge.

He sounds so eager to bless us here. Just try it He says. Go ahead make My day! .....and see if I don't pour out the blessings.

When God gets ready to *pour* I wonder what He uses?

And how big are the windows of heaven??? One things for sure whatever He uses to pour is big. Really big. So big that we wont have room enough to receive it!!!!

Here's the **really** exciting part....What happens when there is more than enough?So much that there is not room enough to receive it? When we do indeed prove Him and He does indeed keep His Word? It has to go somewhere right? We have to start giving it away....He gives ....we give and He gives and we give and the cycle continues.......

Friday, January 9, 2009

Child Training

I can train my children to believe the right doctrine and attend church. I can train them to be obedient the first time and always comply. I can carefully teach them at home and never expose them to all the world has to offer, but if I fail to teach and train them to pray and cultivate relationship with Him then I have failed completely. If I don't teach them to love Him and others then they will just be self righteous hypocrites.

Justice and mercy and faithfulness; these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Matt 23

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Most Important Thing

1Cor 13. I can own the biggest Bible ....King James only mind you! Never cut my hair. Wear sleeves down to my knuckles and a skirt that drags the floor. I could give 50% of my money away and volunteer to clean the bathrooms at church after every service. I could pray for 4 hours every day and fast twice a week. I could be TV free ....and not even watch Godtube. I could talk in tongues as eloquently as the angels. I could even offer my body to be burned for Christ.

However......if I dont have love for God and my fellow man I am loud,offensive,useless and vain.

1 John has some pretty strong words to say about Christians who don't love.

They walk in darkness, and do not know where they are going. 1 John 2:9, 11

They are a child of the devil 1 John 3:10

They abide in death 1 John 3:14

They are a murderer 1 John 3:15

They do not know God 1 John 4:8

They are liars and dont love God 1 John 4:20-21

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8Text Color

Perhaps you have heard the story of the parishioner who received recognition for being the humblest man in the church? They gave him a pin to wear. The following Sunday he wore it and they took it away from him for being proud. As soon as we think we are humble, we are not. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1st. Cor. 10:12)

10 Ways to Cultivate Humility

1.Read books and research this often overlooked virtue. Royal Insignia by Lillian Harvey and Humility by Andrew Murray are both very good.

2.Remember where you came from. The pit from whence you were digged. It is only by Gods grace and mercy that we have anything. Material possessions,spiritual riches even our mental health are all revocable gifts from God.

3.Take the blame. Become like Jesus who took the wrap even when He wasn't guilty. Don't defend yourself but rather love, serve and even redeem others through humbly taking the blame.

4.Get married! If you are going to have a happy marriage then you will have to humble your self on a consistent basis:-). Nothing extracts pride and inserts humility like a marriage based on grace, mercy and humility.

5.Study humility in the Word. Just about every great man in the Bible was wronged and handled the wrong humbly. Moses was the Meekest man. Joseph forgave and blessed the brothers who sold him into slavery. David bowed before Saul. Steven prayed for his murderers. And of course our ultimate example....Jesus took on the sins of all mankind even though He was blameless.....yet He opened not His mouth.

6.Be quiet! Don't talk but rather serve others through listening. Truly hearing. Not just a discipline of the will but an act of love.Engage others with eye contact.Weep and rejoice with those that weep and rejoice. Don't be the talker but rather learn to love through listening. Its an humble thing to listen to others instead of needing to talk all the time.

7.Have alot of children. Pray God bless you with a *full quiver*. If that's not an option adopt,foster,or at least invest in children. Show true humility by declaring that other humans are more important than self. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction James 1:27. Remember Jesus humbled Himself by adopting the Gentiles.

8.Give away your money. This declares that the recipient and the recipients cause is greater than our own. It breaks the bond of selfishness like little else can. Only be sure to do it *in secret* or else the very thing that may humble us could cause us to be proud.

9.Live every day looking for a way to give and bless others. Put yourself on a mission to make others lives better. Perhaps just a smile could change a life.

10. Pray and read everyday. Everyday we don't pray and read is a day we say."No problems here Lord....don't need You today. I can handle this day without you". Be aware of your need to abide and hide in HIM by declaring that need through daily prayer and Bible study.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Intercessory Prayer by Martyn Ballestero

This is just a line to let you know how things are since you’ve gone. It’s not the same without you, nor will it ever be. Although our lives seem shallow and empty when you’re not here, we’ve learned to make up for you in other ways. We’ve learned to live without you.
We now run the aisles, leap for joy, jig to the music, sing catchy choruses, and tap our feet in time to the rhythm of the drums. We use sticks, banners, black lights, and our sign teams do a tremendous job acting out recorded music. We’ve learned to worship without you.
The prayer rooms are mostly silent now. Those that do go there, for the most part, come away dry-eyed. A lot of praying now is chanting and singsong style. That’s how we know we’re in the groove. We pray memorized phrases that come automatically. We love what we call Prayer Walks. Most of us don’t even close our eyes anymore during prayer. We just walk and pray while we look around. We pray because it is required. No one prays till they break through anymore. We just pray till our 10 minutes are up.
Too, Too BusyFamily altars are almost unheard of now. You can’t imagine how busy we are and how hectic our schedules have been. It’s unbelievable. We get up in the morning and never stop till we go to bed at night. We do try to make it to church most services and get some praying in there during the service, but prayer at home is kind of out of the question. That may be another reason you haven’t heard much from us.
Oh sure, we still believe in prayer, as such. But not very many of us are anxious for you to come back. (You were always the polite type, you know, never forcing yourself on anyone. You never came uninvited. You only left because you were ignored.)
The sad truth is you’re not really needed anymore. You see, most of us have hospitalization insurance now. (It sure takes away that old desperate feeling we used to have.) So now, there’s no need to pray more than the few minutes it takes to drive to the Emergency Room. Also, we don’t have to ask for our daily bread like we used to. We now have better jobs with good benefits and government programs to fall back on.
If we lose our jobs, there is always unemployment or welfare. If we retire or become disabled, Social Security now supplies our needs. So, you can see, we’re doing okay. Other things have filled the void in your absence. Sure we miss you. But we’re getting over it somehow. Actually, we’re too busy to entertain you right now, even if you tried to come back. I hope you understand.
Easy RevivalsWe are having revivals now without you. It’s not hard. The pastor fasts and prays, along with a couple others. The evangelist preaches mostly just to sinners now. Most of us try to get to church in time for the first song or two. We justify the fact that the number of new converts is down. Yes, there seems to be diminished conviction, less lasting victory, fewer miracles, and many young people are backsliding. We agree, however, that it’s not us that are at fault here; it’s just the times we’re living in. It’s like this everywhere.
As your friend, I’m writing this to you, knowing how much it must hurt you to have folks say they miss you . . . and yet in their material and intellectual progress, they’ve weaned themselves away from the haunting memory of you.
What hurts, I know, is that we were children you personally raised. You were always there when we needed you. (But now we don’t.) You taught us about faith. You taught us about miracles. You taught us about a move of God. You taught us about revival. You taught us about how to touch God. Thank you for that, but you see, this is a new day and we are trying to go to the next level. Our services are structured differently now.
Can you believe that now when you are ever mentioned in church, everyone gets real quiet? (They all feel guilty I’m sure.) It’s like they experience a momentary twinge of guilt while they consider their part in your disappearance. Once in a while some even get misty eyed when we talk about the old times you shared with us. Yet all that feeling vanishes along with the pizza right after church.
Happy MemoriesBy the way, do you remember all the folks of yesteryear coming into the sanctuary with red-rimmed eyes? Remember the baggy looking knees in mens’ suits? Remember all night prayer meetings? Remember the depth that was in worship? Remember when sinners couldn’t sit in their pews any longer, and would run to the altar? Remember when you could feel unity and brotherly love? When folks helped bear one another’s burdens? When the saints didn’t watch the clock? When they could hardly wait to enjoy the after service atmosphere, praying around the altar until the wee hours of the morning? Boy, those were to good old days. We call that “Old School.”
Well, it’s pretty much all gone now. But you ought to see our new Hammond C-3, our new drum set with a cage and everything. Electric bass guitars are just awesome and the electric guitars, too. We use praise singers to help cover up the fact that our congregations don’t sing like they should or used to. We let them do most of our worship for us. Our choirs just do terrific on the new style songs. Old saints don’t like the new songs much, but the younger crowd seems to like them. Many music directors don’t even know some of your old favorite songs, so they don’t get played much anywhere.
You would be proud of our church buildings. Carpet on the floors, there are pews now instead of benches and they are padded besides. The arched beams are beautiful; we also have the loveliest of imported chandeliers. Our pastor has polish too. He doesn’t preach long. We are more concerned about sermon length now, than content. Our pastor spices up his sermons with cute sayings but I guess that’s progress for you. “Win some, lose some.”
Speaking of “lose some,” we’re losing a surprising percentage of our young people. An unbelievable number of marriages have gone on the rocks. Many lives have been in jeopardy. But that’s to be expected, I guess. Teenagers seem to be at war with their parents and want to dress more and more like the kids at the public school. Our youth meetings may not have much in the way of prayer, but we have great icebreakers, skits and games.
No Offense IntendedI hope you’re not offended. I don’t mean for you to be. You’ll always have a special place in my memory. You were kind and generous to me. You sure got me out of some hard times. I can’t thank you enough! Still, this is a generation now that doesn’t know you at all. Your coming would probably scare them.
Remember the night when my mother sat at the piano bench and you joined her there?
Remember how she wept and groaned in the Spirit and slumped to the floor during the revival service and how some tried to call the ambulance because they thought she was sick? They never knew you and her were talking.
That’s what I mean. A good many never got to know you well. And most never knew you at all. Those that knew you personally have waited so long to talk to you that they are now, to say the least, embarrassed.
So while we are trying to work out our feelings about you, and see where you might fit into our plans in the future, you might try your luck someplace else. Try Brazil, Ethiopia, or how about the Philippines? You might have better luck in Third World Countries, or behind the Iron Curtain. You might even luck out and find someone to talk to you in some little storefront on the other side of the tracks. Surely someone somewhere needs you.
We’re terribly sorry, Intercessory Prayer, we miss you, but we really don’t need you . . . right now!

© 2008, Martyn Ballestero Sr.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bible Versions

The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible begun in 1604 and first published in 1611 by the Church of England.The V in KJV of course stands for *version* because it is just that. A version of the original scriptures. A good reliable version but still a version.

I am not an expert when it comes to varying versions of the Bible but I do find the KJV language to be outdated and very very hard to follow in places. God wants us to read and retain His word. I have loved my KJV and NIV parallelled. I read it in the KJV and use the NIV side as a kind of commentary to help open up those difficult passages. I have heard that the NIV is a *dynamic* translation that means it conveys thought for thought and not word for word. This allows for mens interpretation so I dont read from the NIV alone just use it as a reference.

The ESV is my husbands new favorite Bible and also the one my church is starting to use. My Pastor loves the ESV and highly recommends it as a version that is true to the originals only in modern day language.

The church I received the Holy Ghost in would run around the church holding their Bibles high singing the King James Versions right! So I know this can be a touchy subject.

What version do you use?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Faith vs Works

Ever notice the ongoing theme of faith and trust in God contrasted with a renunciation of selfish works in the Bible?

I am amazed at how much of the Bible particularly the NT is dedicated to this very subject. If all of this instruction was only applicable to those Jews of old then why would God have it preserved in our Bible? And why would God say it over and over and over and over again by every author of the NT and in so many different ways? The law will not work for you!!! Only Faith in Christ will save!! God is trying to convey a very very important message. One that is timely and current. One that is very relevant to postmodern Pentecost.

Our Pentecostal Law doesn't have anything to do with eating or not eating scaled fish or observing Holydays...rather the law and bondage we serve is ourselves. Fleshly efforts. Everytime the NT talks about law we could easily insert the words *selfish efforts* and apply it. Legalism amongst Apostolics is common. Very common. God wasn't just talking to the Jews he was talking to me and you.

The New Testament is about “faith versus works” which states that through Christ we are saved “through grace alone,” not through keeping the law. I think we all have a bit of Pharisee in us particularly in Pentecost where we take separation and Holiness seriously. It is so hard to sort out and surrender our own motives to Him.
Relationship. A love relationship with Him is the answer anything else will produce rotten stinking flesh. Ephesians 2:8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Friday, January 2, 2009

Religion or Relationship

Pastor taught another heart gripping message last Wednesday night. Simple but quickening to the core. Here is the condensed *one paragraph version*.

We would all feel condemned if we slipped up and blatantly sinned. Ashamed guilty condemned and we should but if we fail to cultivate relationship with Him we hardly give it a second thought. Prayer is forgotten but sleeve length is important? So what are we as Apostolics trying to accomplish. The appearance of Holiness? Or deep loving relationship with our Lord. The kind that produces Holiness? Relationship is the most important and when we abide in Him we will manifest His holiness.

Matt 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?