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The following thread is what has been happening on my facebook page the past few hours.  Someone suggested I copy and paste it here on my blog.  I thought it a great idea so here it is.  I hope everyone receives a blessing by reading the great testimonies posted here.

You just never know. One of the men we baptized on Sunday is a result of the very first park service we had where we baptized his children. He came in contact with some of our people this past week and he remembered them from the park a few years back. He was ready for salvation and came Sunday, was baptized and received the Holy Ghost. You just never know what your efforts will produce.

6 hours ago · Privacy:Friends Only · ·

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      Jason West Amen. My mom came to God by entering her name into a drawing for a Free Bible a the First Church’s Peanut Brittle Booth at the County Fair. 

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      Jason West ‎2 weeks later, a Family came knocking on her door downtown San Jose, and said she won the Free Bible, but she has to have the Free Bible Study that goes with it. 31 years later…here we are. I thank God for people that put time and effort of putting together that booth and sat that booth for hours, for a single mother to eventually push a 2 year old in stroller past it, and be drawn to it. 

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      Ronda C Hurst Bro. Jason, That is incredible! Those folks’ crown will be full of stars. Heaven will be such an awesome place, just to see and hear the testimonies of how many people are saved because someone set up a peanut brittle booth at the fair and offered a free Bible Study. 

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      Jason West You just never know who will be impacted. 

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      Tanya Hale Treasure Wow that was an awesome testimony!!! 

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      Elaine Long Totally awesome. Thank you Jesus. 

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      Ronda C Hurst 

      Okay, Jason got me to thinking……..When my grandmother (Layne) received the Holy Ghost way out in West Texas (Mountain Top), she was the only one to receive it in that revival. The Lord spoke to an old time preacher man (Wilkins) to go …out there and have a revival. There was no church. He just went out and started preaching. My grandmother was touched and repented. She was so desperate to receive the Holy Ghost that she began to fast because she said that food didn’t taste good. My grandfather was an incredible cook and a Southern Baptist. 🙂 He was so angry that she was under so much conviction and not eating that he fixed a meal of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Biscuits, Cream Gravy, etc and set it on the table and called for the children (Dean, Scoper, Murray[my dad], Doug and I can’t remember if Don was born yet) to come to the table and eat. He called for Grandma too. They all came, ready to eat. Grandma approached the table but when she stood there and looked at the food she began to cry and said she couldn’t eat. “What do you mean you can’t eat”, Grandpa said. She replied, “I want the Holy Ghost”. At that moment, she fell to the floor under the power of the Holy Ghost, speaking in another language as the Spirit gave the utterance. She was ecstatic! Grandpa was furious! Eventually, he received the Holy Ghost too. My dad (Murray L. Layne) received the Holy Ghost in a hog pen that they had cleaned out and scrubbed to make a prayer room.
      Even though some may say that was not a successful revival, I must differ. If Bro. Wilkins had not obeyed the call of God to go then my Grandmother may never have heard the gospel truth. And, consequently my dad would not have heard the call of God on his life. Not to mention the countless thousands that his ministry has touched through saints and ministries that were under his. Including: Keith (his son), Linda (daughter) married to Wendell Elms (both sons are preachers of the gospel). Myself (daughter) married to Nathan Hurst (our son is a preacher of the gospel and our daughter is married to a preacher of the gospel). Karla (daughter) married to Gene Holley (both sons have a call of God on their lives). Like I said, Heaven will be an incredible place to see the many souls whose lives were changed simply because ONE man answered the call to go to West Texas and hold a revival and ONE lady received the Holy Ghost and this precious truth.
      Do you think I’m going to give up?! Well, think again. This Truth and my heritage is way too precious to me to allow anything in this world to stop me from entering Heaven’s gate!See More
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      Jacque Howell Oh Ronda. I am so thrilled to hear this story. I had never heard it before. I just read it to my parents and they didn’t know it either. Thanks for sharing it. 

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      Don Doran 

      Sister thank you for sharing with us this great testiimony…I am a product of your father’s ministry, received the Holy Ghost in his church 1965 and have been preaching the gospel for 40yrs. 

      Your grandparents were very good friends with my …parents when we lived in Fresno and I remember many an evening visiting with them. What wonderful people they were. I remember Pop Layne testifying of how God had saved him and delivered him from coca-cola, among other things. Precious memories and their finger prints are on my life. I too have a precious heritage…again, thanks! God Bless…See More

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      Felissa N Jeff Woods THAT IS WONDERFUL! 🙂 

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      Karla Layne Holley Wow!! Awesome stories all around. So thankful for my heritage and for what God is still doing today!!! 

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      Scott Sarria Incredible! GOD is awesome… 

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      Rene Brewster Oh how awesome!!! I love hearing stories like this. You are so right, you just never know what a word or act of kindness will mean to someone down the line. 

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      Rene Brewster 

      Ok so after reading the testimonies here goes. Thirty years ago the church I was saved into used to go out every Saturday and knock on doors and offer free bible studies. They each took maps of part of the city with their route in yellow …high light. The men who had our area felt as if God told him to go off his highlighted route and to knock on our door. That day he spent 3 hours with us, my husband and I, telling us of the one God message. We did take the bible study, got baptized and received the Holy Ghost and I will never turn back!!! The wonderful thing is I found out later that my grandpa was a oneness preacher in the UPC and that my mom was raised UPC but because she was backslid and estranged from her heritage she raised us Catholic. Still God remembered the prayers of my grandparents, that I’m sure they prayed and brought, eventually, all of the grandchildren to baptism and allowed each of them to receive the Holy Ghost.See More
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      Kelly N Debbie Howard That is awesome!!!! 

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      Ronda C Hurst ‎@Rene, That is so awesome! Holy Ghost Inspired witnessing is the best! What was your grandfather’s name? The Lord stored your grandparents tears/prayers in a bottle and when it was time He poured them out on you. Your testimony brought tears of thankfulness to my eyes.

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Thinking about what I need to get finished before General Conference I began to feel excitement rise within me.  I paused for a moment  and asked myself this question, why am I excited about conference?  I’ve been going to General Conferences since 1973 so you would think I would be tired of it by now, or at least NOT excited.  Hmmmm….so what is it about the United Pentecostal Church International General Conference that puts a smile on my face and a pep in my step?  First of all I thought, I will get to see my two sisters and their families.  Since we have moved to California I do not get to see them as much as I use to, so I’m excited about that. 

2.  I enjoy the large crowd of pastors, teachers, missionaries, evangelists, preacher’s wives and preacher’s kids, of which a lot of them are my friends.  We will sit and talk and I will enjoy every minute. 

 3.  Walking into the large arena and hearing the music and singing of such a large audience is always a pleasure.  Sometime during the week I will stop and just listen as someone from the podium says, “Let’s give the Lord a hand clap of praise” and I will think, WOW! That sounds like a mighty rushing river!  There is nothing like it in the entire world.  All of these people clapping and making a joyful noise unto the Lord is incomparable. 

 4.  Wednesday morning I will be with Ladies Ministries Presidents and Secretaries from all the districts of the United Pentecostal Church for a meeting.

5.  I will look forward to hearing the General Superintendant’s message on Thursday night and hear the direction he is setting for this great fellowship.   

6.  Thursday morning as my husband attends a business session, I will attend Ladies day with many other ministers’ wives for a time of refreshing.  On Friday Morning as my husband attends more business, I will be meeting with friends and family for the ministers wives breakfast with the General Superintendant’s wife as our hostess.  Oh!  And then, there is Youth Day, Home Missions Service, Foreign Missions, Sunday school and Sunday Night Crusade!  These are just a few things that I look forward to at our annual United Pentecostal Church General Conference. 

I am thankful to be part of such a great body of believers and men and women who are giving themselves to ministry in some way.  Some are pastors.  Some are missionaries.  Some are evangelists.  Others are in children’s ministry, music ministry, teachers, youth pastors, and the list goes on. 

God, please bless Your people as we gather in Houston, Texas for our General Conference.  We need Your touch.  We need Your guidance.  We need to hear from You.  Thank-you for being mindful of us and sending us exactly what we need.  In Your precious Name.  Amen!

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For some reason I have been thinking about friends lately and the different places they fill in my life.  I have many friends and each of them are different. 

A few weeks ago I found out that one of my life long friends had to have emergency surgery and since she is older, I was concerned.  Even though it wasn’t what we would call major, I was still concerned.  I can’t really explain the feelings that I had during that time.  What if something happened?  What would I do without her?  And the funny thing is, we don’t talk everyday or even every week, but I just know she’s there.  If I ever needed her for ANYTHING she would be there.  I have a few friends like this.  Lifelong friendships are awesome.  You are totally you when with these kind of friends. 

Then, just a couple of weeks ago we attended the General Convention of our organization, the United Pentecostal Church International.  This is always a highlight to me.  To gather with so many people of like precious faith and worship together is simply great.  Also at this meeting we get together for fellowship with other longtime friends and our “conference friends”.  When we get with these people we just pick up where we left off at the last convention and have great times of conversation, laughter and enjoying each others company. 

After the convention I was privileged to spend a few extra days with my sisters.  These are my blood sisters and there is no one like them in my life.  What can you say about sisters?  They just are!  I love them both dearly. 

The new friends that God is bringing into my life are so precious to me.  We are getting to know each other and you are fulfilling yet another role in my life and I hope that I am doing the same for you.  With the family of God, it is so exciting. 

We got home on Friday Night and I was already looking forward to seeing and worshipping with my church family.  What precious people of God they are.  As I was kneeling toward the end of an awesome service today and thanking God for what He is doing in our midst, it just came to me again, the different roles different people play in our lives.  As much as I love and appreciate my lifelong friends,  my longtime friends, my conference friends and even my sisters, none of them can take the place of my church family/friends.  There is a special and different bond with each of these groups of people but each one plays a very significant role in my life. 

I can’t find the words to express my deep gratitude for them all.  For the friends that have been part of my life, all of my life,  I love you more than you even realize.  My longtime friends that have stuck with me through thick and thin.  You’ve been there when those closest to me passed from this life.  We have cried together and sometimes laughed so hard we couldn’t hardly catch our breath.  Thanks for just being there.  Sometimes you didn’t know what to say, but you was there and that makes all the difference in the world.  I like the saying, “You can’t make new, old friends”.  🙂

To my sisters:  I love you and appreciate you more with each passing day.  Even in our relationships though, we each play different roles in each others lives.  Talk about ups and downs!  We have been through it all.  We have cried ’til we didn’t have any tears left to shed.  We have shared sorrow and grief together.  Our worlds have been shattered.  However, with each of our strengths and helping each other, we have made it through, together.  Then there are the times that we laugh so hard we hurt.  I’m thankful that this happens more often than not.  You two are the best!  I love you dearly.  “I’m smiling because you’re my sister.  And laughing because you can’t do anything about it”! 

My church family:  You are incredible.  I cannot even begin to tell you what you mean to me.  After being with all my friends at conference, when I walked into the church today, I was so warmed by your love.  Church families hold a very special place for the Pastor and his family.  I love singing and worshipping with you.  I love dancing before the Lord with you!  I love it when you pray for me and I love to pray for you.  I love how you love to hear your pastor preach and teach. 🙂  I love your outpourings of love that is given in the form of a gift or just a simple, “I love and appreciate you”.  You are simply the best and no one can fill that place in my life but YOU. 

This has been my thoughts for quite sometime now.  I love my life and all the people in it.  Thank you all for being YOU!  You are precious to me. 

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If you were accused of being a Christian, would you be found guilty?

I was in a place of business today and mentioned a person’s name that attends our church. The owner of the business stopped and looked at me and said, “You must be a Christian if you are friends with ___________.” I said, “Well, as a matter of fact I am a Christian and my husband is the pastor of the church _________ attends”.   She looked at me and said, “I am glad to meet you”.  I walked out of that place with my head held high and proud.  I thought, what a great testimony of _________, that someone would think I was a Christian simply because I was friends with someone who is obviously a Christian.

How is your reputation around town?

As you can imagine I was proud (in the right sense of the word).  And, I am proud to say that many folks just like ______ attend The Pentecostal Church.  People recognize them as Christians.  Perfect?  Of course not!  Striving to be Christ-like?  Indeed!  If I am accused of being a Christian, I definitely want to be found guilty.

Blessings!

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tangerine friends

 

The 12th Chapter of Romans, in the 14th verse says, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep”.  The Message says it this way, “Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down”.

I love friends like this.  If you have a friend that something good has happened to, why not call them up (if you can’t be with them) and have a good ol’ rejoicing session!  You will be blessed as well as them.  If a friend is weeping now, sit down and cry with them. 

There is another scripture that I love and it is, Galations 6:10—As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.  We give and give to reach people that are not saved and this is right.  However, don’t forget your friends that are in the church.  The ones that work beside you in the gospel work.  As the scripture above says, “especially” unto those of the household of faith. Let them know you care today.

I am so blessed to have these kind of friends in my life.  Let your friends know that you care today, one way or the other.  Happy or Sad.  Up or down.  They are your friends and they matter.  Let’s just make this our unofficial “Friend Day”. 

tender moment

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We live in such a crazy and sin sick world.  The news is depressing.  You, like me have probably turned it all off for a few days at a time.  We just can’t stand to hear anything else BAD.  What I am about to write may seem to simplistic, however it is true.  If we focus on things that are lovely, of good report, etc.  our minds won’t be so stressed by the things of this world.  Give it a try and see how much better you feel.

Page after page can be written about a person’s life.  We call this a biographical view of an individual.  However, sometimes a biography can be summed up in just a few words.  These expressions refer to the character and/or impact someone had on the lives of those they lived around.  Last year, in our ladies ministries of the UPCI we focused on “Leaving a LEGACY”.  Usually when you mention someone’s name who has gone on to their reward you don’t go into a great dissertation.  You simply say things like, “He was a GOOD man”.  “What a man of WISDOM”.  “She was such a LADY”.  “She was a QUEEN”,  etc. and we all know what you are talking about.  That one word pretty much sums it up, how a person lived their life.

When Peter was sharing the Gospel with Cornelius and his household, before pointing to the Crucified Christ and the forgiveness of sins that can be received in His Name…He summed up the life of Christ like this:

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

GOOD is what we can expect associated with God.

GOODNESS is what marked the essence of Jesus being here on earth.  He was GOOD to others.  It wasn’t because they deserved it but because it was needed and would ultimately bring glory to God. 

When Jesus was to come on the world scene it was announced by angels with GOODNESS….Luke says it like this, “Fear Not, for behold I bring you GOOD NEWS of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus came to earth during a time when there was definitely a need for some GOODNESS.  We live in such a time right now, today!  Among all the bad news there is need for GOOD NEWS and maintaining our focus on Jesus!  If we seriously focus on the GOODNESS of Jesus and portray that in our lives, then we will have opportunity to share the GOOD NEWS with people in this trying time.  Folks will want to know why you can be so happy and peaceful in this time of insecurity.  Keep your focus on JESUS! 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Have a GOOD Day for GOODNESS sake. 

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The Home Missions Retreat was held in the beautiful city of Santa Rosa this year.  Pastor Chadwick and Heidi King were tremendous hosts.  They are both so kind and have a heart after God.  Their church, The Promise Center, was so gracious and welcomed us with open arms.  My hat is off to this beautiful couple and their congregation. 

Bro. Danny Hood from Denver, Colorado delivered the evening messages and did an incredible job.  Of course, I am never disappointed when I hear Bro. Hood minister.

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