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Former mayor authors Christian book
God never allows a hurt to be wasted.

That's a belief of Barbara Hinton, whose life pains and disappointments - and prevailing over them - are shared in "Cisterns of Gold," her new Christian book published by PublishAmerica.

The former mayor of Ceres talks about the pain of being abused as a girl by a trusted family member and the recent painful loss of her husband of 50 years, Jack Hinton.

One goal of Hinton's was to show "regardless of what happens in your life, God can turn it around for good. He doesn't make all these bad things happen of us, you know. Free will of people is involved."

Hinton's 70-page book retails for $19.95 may be ordered online at, Three members of Ceres Christian Church have published books and the church may host a book signing in late June.

The book took 10 years to complete because she shelved it.

"After Jack died I just felt strongly I was supposed to finish the book," said Hinton, "and it was therapeutic because it's really different trials I faced in my life and explaining how they caused me to have a closer relationship with Christ and caused my faith to grow."

Hinton - the first woman mayor in Ceres - wrote a chapter about her time in office. It avoids the drama of the issues but details how she felt holding office led to an intercessory prayer ministry through Aglow International. For 11 years Hinton visited a conference room where she and a prayer team asking God to bless officials serving in government. She still organizes teams of prayers who will be praying for the upcoming election.

In her first term as mayor, Hinton began having flashbacks to the time she was abused as a girl.

"I went through a really difficult time and no one knew about it. I'd put a smile on my face and go to City Hall and nobody knew about these flashbacks," said Hinton. "I didn't feel it was something I could share with the public at the time."

For over four decades Barbara "sorta stuffed" her emotions but when her abuser died, she felt it was time to deal with the affects of the abuse. Help also came from a prayer and a music pastor who advised her to pour out her feelings through writing music, adopting a "reveal, deal, heal" method.

One of her songs is titled, "His Grace is Sufficient."

"For years I couldn't fix it myself. Before I tried to give it to God and yank it right back. At that time it just hurt so bad I couldn't. Finally I gave it to him and not tried to control things myself. God did it through music."

The hardest chapter to write was the one dealing with Jack's illness and death. She details how on his death bed, Jack called a golfing buddy to his home and was too weak to speak.Barbara spoke for Jack, telling the friend that Jack was concerned about his friend's eternal destination. "Because he did not have a personal relationship with Christ, I told him that Jack didn't want to break up their golf foursome in heaven," Hinton wrote on page 58.

Hinton, a member of Ceres Christian Church, is a firm believer in prayer. She said her husband Jack changed his attitude that "you don't bother God to heal you" when he was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2007. Barbara took care of Jack for the next two years until he eventually died on Aug. 4, 2009.

The title of her book is based on a biblical passage found in John 7:38 that compares Christian believers to streams of living water flow, making them "living cisterns." In biblical times, cisterns were used for water storage. She combined cisterns with gold, saying "just as intense heat is often used to refine precious metals, God often uses the trials in our lives to strengthen us and refine us."

Hinton was born in Loma Linda but lived in Stanislaus County her whole life and "can't ever remember not believing in Jesus." She credits her grandmother - the late Dolly Terry of Ceres - as being the one who served as a godly example in her life.