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Archive for the ‘Celebrations’ Category

Before you bombard me with, Christmas is a pagan holiday and that it was “created” by roman pagan traditions, I already know all the arguments. I know that Jesus was not born on December 25th. I know that all the gifts, wrapping paper, crowded malls, Santa Claus, reindeer, etc. have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas. However, I love Christmas! First and foremost because Jesus did come as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and this is when we choose to celebrate that fact. Secondly, I love Christmas because, there is no other time of year that you can hear songs such as, “Mary, Did You Know”, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, Away in a Manger….on the radio, in malls and stores everywhere. All of these songs and hundreds more declares to everyone that Christ came! Third, I love The giving spirit this time of year. I love the good times with friends and family at get togethers, banquets & dinners. I love seeing the delight in a child’s eyes when they open that special gift. I love seeing the delight in my grown children’s eyes and even my husband’s eyes when I give them that special gift on Christmas Day. And ALL of this is brought about because HE came! That’s the reason for all the celebrating. Whether or not He came on this specific date or even in this season, the world is once again faced with the fact that Jesus was born because we celebrate Christmas. That’s why I celebrate! Because He came, I have life and that more abundantly!
The following is an excerpt from Ziig Ziglar. He says it well:
CHRISTMAS! A Reason to celebrate!
You see, I believe it’s worth celebrating that Jesus came to earth—His birth signaled hope for all mankind. I believe that as he lived out a perfect life before God and mankind, he showed that he truly was God’s Son. And I believe that by giving his life up on a cross, he completely paid the penalty that my sins—and yours—deserve before a holy God. And it was made possible because of that first Christmas.
How could I not believe in Christmas? Because Christ was born as a baby in a manger, that’s more than enough reason to celebrate Christmas for what it is—a joyful occasion. I’ve experienced forgiveness of my sins and have the assurance of eternity in Heaven!

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Too Funny!

Nathan and I are in Eminence, Kentucky preaching a 10 year Pastoral Anniversary for Robert and Sherri Eades.  Rob was in our church in Texarkana.  He was 12 years old when we went there and grew up, became a great musician/singer/songwriter and then the Lord called him to preach.  He met Sherri at a General Conference and the rest is history.  They have done a great work here in Eminence and the Lord will continue to bless them. 

Here’s the funny part.  As I mentioned before, Rob is a great musician and songwriter.  I have always loved to sing one of his songs, “I Put my Trust in The Lord”.   So…I had already planned on singing that song tonight.  Well…..Bro. Sean Griffis (MC for tonight’s service) had Rob and Sherri sing too and when they started singing I recognized the song and began to sing along, back in my pew.  Something kept niggling at the back of my mind about the song they were singing…”I just feel it won’t be long now, ’til we see the King of kings….”  I finally leaned over to Sis. Terri Griffis and said, “I think I wrote this song”.  About that time, my husband looks at me from the platform and mouthed, “Didn’t you write this song”?  They kept singing,”……and I will Praise Him through eternity”.  Song over.  People were praising the Lord and Rob looks at me from the keyboard and said, “That’s YOUR song”.  LOL  I got so tickled thinking,  it’s pretty bad when you write a song and can’t even remember.  Well, I finally remembered that I did write that song and was blessed by the way Rob and Sherri sang it.  Put a couple of new twists (jazz moves) in it too.  Made me smile.  Then, I get up and ask Rob to play for me and he said, “Do I know the song”?  I said, “I think you might” and began to sing his song and he and Nathan joined in with me, “I put my trust in the Lord to see me through.  He’s never let me down, even though I thought He would.  And no matter how dark the night, I knew the Son would bring the light. I put my trust in the Lord to see me through”. 

 I guess we had a mutual admiration party going on.  It just struck me funny.  If you don’t think so, that’s okay.  Just let me smile.

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Happy Birthday to my dear husband, Nathan Joseph Hurst!  You are an incredible man.  This weekend has been filled with fun, friends, family, joy and happiness.  It is amazing the turns life can take.  When we looked back the other day and talked about how different we are at 50 then when we first married and even before, it was quite a change. 🙂  However, one thing has always been a constant in your life and that is, God has always been number one with you.  I have always felt secure and confident that you were following the mind of Christ, therefore it has been easy for me to follow you.  I can’t say I have always been “thrilled” about some of the choices but I always knew (and still do know) that you gave every decision much thought and prayer before you made it. That means the world to me.

As I was going through our many bins of pictures and memories so we could put something together for your 50th Celebration, I was once again made to realize what a blessed woman I am to have you as my partner.  You have been an incredible husband, father, pastor, friend and confidante.  I listened to Nathaniel and Danelle tonight reminisce about some of their memories while growing up in our household and they were precious to me. They have always felt that same confidence that I have.

We are privileged to have your folks, one brother and one sister in our church here in Hollister and listening to them tell the stories of your growing up years is quite hilarious. However, that same theme carries on even with them…how once you gave you life completely to God at the age of 15, you have never looked back.  God has been number one!

I know that you are not just looking back.  In fact I could tell that you are glad the looking back part is over and you are looking to the future of what God is going to do with your life and ministry.  You are in the prime of life and it is amazing to see how things are unfolding for you now. I pray that you are blessed with God’s best in the coming year.  That He holds nothing back from you, in anointing, love and wisdom!  I love you. BUNCHES!!!

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Friday Night I totally surprised Nathan by having some of his friends come to Hollister for a party.  The look on his face was priceless when he walked in the house and saw them all here and screaming “SURPRISE”, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”! We had such a great time talking and laughing and eating.  Thanks again to you all for coming and making Nathan’s 50th so special.

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Stephen Hill, Todd Johnson, Paul Carasco, John Nelson, Rick Keyes, Matt Silveira, Nathan Hurst, B.J. Hurst, Tim Flowers, Nathaniel Hurst

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Saprina Flowers, Pricilla Carasco, Sharon Nelson, Dorothy Hurst, Danelle Silveira, Sharon Keyes, Susan Hill, Cherish Hill, Pat Keyes, Kim Johnson, Nathan and Ronda Hurst.

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Saturday Night we celebrated with our church family and we celebrated as only The Pentecostal Church can do it.  🙂  They are awesome and wide open.  Since my husband was a teenager during the 70’s they threw him a 70’s theme party. My! My! My!  Did they ever “put on the dog”.  When we got to the fellowship hall there was a rainbow beaded door hanger.  Remember those?  We walked through and everyone was dressed in 70’s garb.  The wigs, the moo moo’s, the platform shoes, double knit and head scarves all came out tonight.  You will see by the photos that they really had it all together.  Kyle, Matt, Sabrina, Jason, Todd and Marcus really did a bang up job in portraying their pastor.  Bro. Kirk, Bro. Rodney, Bro. Gary, Bishop Hurst, Nathaniel and Danelle did a bang up job talking about their pastor, brother, son and dad.  It was great.  From the decorations and food to the warmth and friendship with our church family, it was par excellence.

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Saturday Night was our church Christmas banquet.  We had a super great time.  It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed that hard. 🙂  We were entertained by, Head in a Box, The Chinleys,  The Singing Nuns,  The Twelve Pains of Christmas, The “Balloon” Ladies and many other things in between.  Then to top it off with a “Touch of Class”,  Luis Lenzi played his saxophone as only he can do. 🙂 Thanks goes to EVERYONE who made this banquet a success:  Decorations, Christina Atkinson.  Sound Techs, Kyle and Todd Valenti.  Entertainment, Teresa Sarria.  Caterer, Elegant Touch.  Desserts, Tena Valenti.  Clean up, Everyone & Omar Iboa :). Thanks again…You guys are awesome. 🙂

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Where do I begin? The highly anticipated week-end has come and gone and we are ecstatic and a little in shock and very humbled for what God has done.  Yes, We prayed and fasted.  We planted and watered seed and GOD gave the increase.  Soul Winners Boot Camp was above and beyond what we could have thought.  On the first night, Thursday, the presence of God met with us in a powerful way.  We were off to a good start.  All day Friday the sessions with Bro. Matt Maddix, Bro. David Smith, Bro. Tim Downs and Bro. Travis Worthington were packed with superb information about soul winning and also the presence of God.  A huge shout out to this team.  You guys were great!  We had 91 boot campers registered.  I must say that I don’t think I have ever been around that many people at one time that the only reason we were together was to reach the lost.  Boot Campers, your attitudes were awesome.  I so enjoyed having you here in Hollister.  Your hard work in walking the streets of our city and witnessing to people paid off, BIG TIME!!!

Friday Night we had a downtown block party and I stood in amazement as people were so hungry for God that they got baptized in their street clothes in cold water.  And then watched as God miraculously filled them with the Holy Ghost.  On Saturday we had an event in one of the parks in town and even though the day was warmer than the night before, I once again stood in amazement as people so hungry for God was baptized in their street clothes in the cold water.  And, once again watched as God filled them with the Holy Ghost.  My husband said he was overwhelmed one time when he saw three young boys who had just been baptized, standing together and praying, as all three of them began to speak in tongues at the same time and received the Holy Ghost.  There are so many stories to tell, I cannot possibly put them all here.  Just know that God moved in a sovereign way in Hollister this last few days.  On Sunday, the Lord met with us again.  Many of the people that was at the block party and the park was in church on Sunday.  One lady and her daughter received the Holy Ghost while the chorale was singing, “Everybody Ought To Know (Who Jesus Is)”.  They were baptized on Friday Night downtown and received the Holy Ghost today. 10 people received the Holy Ghost in our Sunday Service.

After service on Sunday our family took my father-in-law out for his 76th birthday.  While we were eating we received a phone call from one of the saints…she had invited her neighbor and a couple in our church over for dinner.  While they were eating and talking about the good things of God the neighbor said that she wanted the Holy Ghost.  They stopped what they were doing and began to pray and she received the Holy Ghost right there in her living room.  Like I said, to many stories to tell.

So…All totaled for this week-end:  70 received the Holy Ghost and 61 Baptized.

To my awesome church family, “The Pentecostal Church”…I cannot describe my feelings for you today. Proud, thankful, in awe, amazed…I know how hard you have worked and how much you have prayed and fasted for revival.  I did not see one person that was not involved in some way or other in this past weekend.  That is not hyperbole.  That is the truth.  There are so many details that go into a meeting like this and you all pulled it off with class and efficiency.  Nathaniel you did a superb job in organizing everything.  I am proud. 🙂  Your immediate team that you worked with was unbelievably good too.  Please allow me to say, as great as this was,  THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!!  God has opened the flood-gates of heaven.  We must keep working until Jesus comes.  Let’s take many souls with us from Hollister to dance on streets of gold.  God bless you all mightily.  Read more here!  See report from Nathaniel here.

Go to our church web-site for photos in the Soul Winners Boot Camp photo category.

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I have been thinking lately about my reward in Heaven.  Matthew 5: 11-12 says:

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

I think that just getting to heaven is reward enough and to hear Jesus say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joys of the Lord forever”  is reward enough.  However,  the Bible says that “great is your reward in heaven”, and so I have just tried to figure out what it could possibly be.  Is it jewels in my crown?  Crown?  That would be another reward worth receiving, and then to add jewels to it is an incredible thought.  I have never had any kind of crown put on my head.  I cannot imagine what that will feel like.  Will the reward be the streets of transparent gold, the walls of jasper, the gates of pearl?  The Heavenly Jerusalem is going to be a spectacular place to see.  Will my reward be: seeing all my loved ones who have gone on before me and being able to rejoice around the throne together with them?  Oh! That would be reward enough.  I really don’t know what our reward will be.  We see through a glass darkly right now, but I can tell you for a fact that I am looking forward to the day I hear the trumpet sound.  Can it be that far off?  Can the Lord wait much longer to turn to Gabriel and say, “Sound that trumpet! I’m going to get my bride”.  Oh! I can hardly wait for that day! Yes. I think that going to heaven where I will see Jesus face to face will be reward enough.  However, I can’t help but think that God in all His Glory and Majesty has things planned for us that we cannot comprehend.  I think he is really going to “blow our minds” with what He has prepared for us.  Let’s stay faithful in hard and trying times, in good and fruitful times and just in everyday life, for Great is our Reward In Heaven if we stay faithful.

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We had a really good visit last week with Aunt Tiny (my mother-in-law’s sister) and Cindy (Nathan’s younger sister by 14 months). They were able to be here on the 4th and we just had the best time. Cindy is the only one of the Hurst’s that doesn’t live here and so it was really good to see her.

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Siblings: left to right…Teresa, Randy, Cindy, Nathan. Gary (the eldest) was in Lousiana with his wife visiting her family.

Dad showing Randy some pictures of his childhood, etc.

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Singing some old time favorites.

DSC_0474 Playing Spades. Dad, Scott, Nathan, Matthew.

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