April final copy

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Baton Rouge

April 2017



JOY Southern University Director of Bands Dr. Nathan Haymer and the Human Jukebox Finding Easter Peace

An Easter look at The Holy Land

The Iron Warriors “Blessing of the Bikes”

Circuit Riders “Carry the Love” to LSU

Proudly sponsored by

But you can still watch the FREE livestream! Visit www.lagpb.org for more information.





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53 rd Annual Louisiana Governor’s Prayer Breakfast

7:30 a.m. April 11, 2017

Pastor Fred Luter, Jr., Speaker for 2017 Pastor Fred Luter, Jr., the first African American President of the Southern Baptist Convention, is the Senior Pastor at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast is a statewide observance held annually near the opening days of the Louisiana Legislature. Its purpose is to seek God’s guidance for all leaders and citizens of our State, and to strengthen ourselves for the journey as we try to live as a responsible community of faith. Investment advisory services are offered through Peters Wealth Advisors, LLC (“PWA”) an investment advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Such services are only provided after clients have entered into a Wealth Management Agreement confirming the terms of the advisor client engagement and have been provided a copy of PWA’s ADV Part 2A brochure document. Securities offered through Dominion Investor Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.

THIS MONTH AT BREC JOIN US IN APRIL FOR... Zippity Zoo Fest April 1-2, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo


Community Egg Hunt April 8, 10 a.m.-noon

Highland Road Community Park


Stick Horse Rodeo April 8, 9 am-noon

Farr Park Equestrian Center


Adult Leisure Bunny Hop April 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Womack Park


Adult Leisure Bunny Hop April 12, 10 a.m.-noon

Anna T. Jordan Community Park


BioBlitz April 14-15

Frenchtown Road Conservation Area


Sunshine Social April 21, 6-9 p.m.

Womack Park


Movie in the Park April 21, 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Nairn Drive Park


Make it a Movie Night: Ferngully April 21, 7 pm Independence Park Theatre


International Astronomy Day April 29, 3 - 10 pm Highland Road Park Observatory


To volunteer at these or other events, email volunteer@brec.org


April 2017

Baton Rouge



Faith Life


Young Missionaries “Carry the Love” by Lisa Tramontana

Family Life 9 12

Liberty Lagoon Makes a Splash with New Surf Ride The Supernatural in the Storm by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

Creative Life photo courtesy Southern Universit y

cover story by Susan Brown 16-19 Mentoring

through Music

22 7


inside each issue


Robert Edens

by Sharon Furrate Bailey

Millennial Life 26


Choosing Joy and Pressing Forward by Trapper S. Kinchen

Pastor’s Perspective A Joyous Season by Fr. Cleo Milano

Geaux Life 32

Journey to the Holy Land


The Work Continues in Israel


by Lisa Tramontana by Elmo Winters

Healthy Life Mimicking High Altitudes as a Potential Way to Combat Diabetes

by Pennington Biomedical Research Center

5 Publisher’s letter 13 Reading for life


issue 1, volume 3 April 2017 PUBLISHER Beth Townsend Beth@bethtownsend.com Editing Susan Brown Director of Distribution Elmo Winters Elmow1@att.net contributing writers Susan Brown Lisa Tramontana Trapper S. Kinchen Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis Kelli M. Knight Sharon Furrate Bailey Fr. Cleo Milano Joan Rougon COVER PHOTO Nathan Haymer SU Director of Bands Photo courtesy Southern University LAYOUT & DESIGN BY Illuminated Designs Studio BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE WEBSITE BY Yowza Design & Therese Winters printed by RR Donnelley / Memphis, TN BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE 9655 Perkins Road, Suite C-133 Baton Rouge, LA 70810 225-910-7426

by Kelli M. Knight

20 a little lagniappe

A Lifetime of Joy: Louisiana’s Longest Married Couples by Taylor Frey The Blessing of the Bikes by Trapper S. Kinchen Fruit of Joy by Joan Rougon

38 opportunities for life 4

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

batonrougechristianlifemagazine.com @brclifemagazine



Publisher’s LETTER


He is Risen! New life! As the country says goodbye to the cold winter months and trees that appear lifeless - behold! New life bursts forth once again. Resurrection is in the air, and Easter is our time to celebrate a risen Jesus! Happy Easter! When I was in my early teens, I attended North Columbia Baptist Church in Columbia, MS. One Sunday, I answered an altar call to receive salvation. Walking down the aisle, heart pounding, I prayed “that prayer” with my pastor and knew if I died that day, I’d go to heaven. A few weeks later during another altar call, I walked that very same aisle again. Same heart pounding experience, much of the same prayer, and the same sense of relief that my life was once again right with God. Yet only a few short weeks later, I did it again. Down that aisle I walked. Those altar calls were truly wreaking havoc on my young faith! Every time our pastor would invite people to the altar: “This last stanza could be for you….” or, “We’re going to play that last verse one more time. Don’t wait, come forward, receive Jesus…” I just couldn’t not go. Such misinterpreted conviction would stir my soul every time. All I knew to do was walk the aisle again, so afraid of what could happen if I didn’t. Finally, my pastor pulled me aside, held my hands and looked straight into my eyes. “Beth, you don’t have to keep receiving Christ. Once he comes into your heart, you start a whole new journey. He walks with you now, living his life through you.” Wow. That was a lot to grasp! Though it took years to fully understand, deep down I accepted that He was with me. This time, it was not because I felt guilt or shame and answered another altar call, but because I’d become His child.


I’d love to say from there my faith was solid and I grew in wisdom and knowledge. Quite the contrary! For years, I wrestled with how that faith played out in my life, often walking away from God altogether. Every time I made a mess of my life, it was like another altar call. “Lord, it’s me. I’m back. Again.” Like before, He received me, reminding me of His life in me, bringing me back to my knees in surrender to a Holy God who is also my loving Father. Easter is like no other glorious day! An ongoing ”altar call” of sorts. A fresh start. Take that walk towards Christ. Receive salvation. Repent. Renew. Reinvigorate your faith by surrendering your life into His hands. Take it from me, once is enough! Yet change and growth are a daily process. Wow! This edition marks our two-year anniversary! If you had told me all those years ago that I’d be in any kind of ministry, I’d have probably just laughed out loud. It’s still pretty funny. Yet He chose to use me despite my need for continual altar calls. Praise God, now they are in my home and on my knees, but always lead me to the same place. He is risen indeed.

Beth Townsend

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


Baton Rouge

Christian Magazine

Happy Anniversar y to us! In April of 2015, the first edition of Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine was printed. In order to launch our magazine, we needed what we call our “Founding Fifteen.” Those were true believers willing to come along side us “sight unseen” and invest in our vision to bring unity to the Body of Christ in Baton Rouge. It is because they said “yes” that we are still in business, now celebrating our two-year anniversary! We have since added many wonderful advertising partners and thank God for everyone who has decided to partner with us. We often say, “every month is its own miracle” because that is the truth. Without God’s help and our team of supporters, we would only be another good idea that never came to fruition. I-Catchers Hair and Body Spa, Chip and Shelia Faust Peterbilt of LA, Jack Brahbam Peters Wealth Advisors, LLC, Bill Peters, Dustin Dowling and team PBC Industrial Supplies, Inc. Karl Weber Edward Jones, Tex Morris Financial Advisor Juban Insurance Group, Phillip Juban Treads and Care, Devin Holley Lane Thomas Housing, Lane Thomas RE/MAX First, The Gaspard Team, Scott Gaspard Auto Yes, Jeremy and Brandee Martin Christ in the City, Reverend David Melville Town and Country Furniture, Alene Casemore and family The Dunham School, Phyllis Alexander and team Roedel, Parsons, Koch, Blache, Malhoff and McCollister, Larry Roedel and team Kadmos Technology, Mark A. May Please join these and the many other faithful partners as we enter into our third year of sharing stories of faith, bringing unity to our Body and proclaiming the Good News of Christ to our city and beyond! Of equal value is our talented team of professionals. No person could have assembled this team of creative geniuses! Every single person is an answer to prayer and a testimony to God’s presence in our work. If it were not for this incredible blend of supporters and those called to share in this work, there would be no magazine! Yet, each month, it happens again. Another miracle. Another month. Another testimony to who God is, how He works and that He is faithful to those who truly depend on Him.

Faith LIFE

Young Missionaries ‘Carry the Love’ by Lisa Tramontana



photos courtesy Sydney Enloe

Circuit Riders perform at LSU’s Greek Amphitheatre.

n a warm February night in the Greek amphitheatre at Louisiana State University, about 60 students gather to hear a group of young missionaries who are here to sing, pray, share the gospel, and hopefully, transform a few souls. Called “Circuit Riders,” the group is visiting on their national campus tour called Carry the Love.

With teams “riding” across Florida, the Northeast, the Midwest, Texas and Louisiana, the Circuit Rider teams are covering about 100 universities across the country. In the audience this evening is a young man who says he has always been a believer, but has never felt a personal connection to Christ until now. “It was a powerful experience,” he said later. “A real surrendering to Jesus.” This is exactly the kind of connection that the Circuit Riders dream of and work so hard to bring about. Touching and Transforming Hearts Emily Lewis is a team leader with the Circuit Riders, and though she has witnessed young people accepting Christ more times than she can count, “It still amazes me,” she said. “It’s incredible to see people’s lives changed in this way. We are always praying for God to heal others physically and spiritually. We are always praying that we can be used to touch hearts and set people free of their sadness and pain. And then to see it happen by the power of the Gospel … well, there are no words to describe it. It’s so exciting.” “They are a great group,” said Jordan Varnado, a senior at LSU. Varnado was instrumental in spreading the word in advance of the Circuit Riders’ visit. He belongs to the student ministry arm of Antioch Community Church in Baton Rouge. The Circuit Riders connect with students like Varnado, who can offer guidance and friendship to “new” Christians after the Circuit Riders leave one campus and move on to the next. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


X Faith LIFE

In Circuit Rider fashion, students take off their shoes and lift them in the air to symbolize their willingness to go wherever they are called.

“They have a huge heart for making Jesus’ name known and for bringing young people to him,” Varnado said. “Their message is one of good news and it appeals to young people who want a deep relationship with God.” Historic Beginnings The modern day Circuit Riders teams are styled after the original Circuit Riders of the 18th century, led by John Wesley, who is said to have declared, “Give me 100 men

that fear God and hate sin, and with those alone, I will change the world.” On horseback, Wesley’s followers preached the Gospel and reached lost souls throughout England and the U.S. Today’s Circuit Riders organization, based in Huntington Beach, California, believes it is “raising up men and women willing to go to any lengths to save even one soul.” Many of these young missionaries have put aside their dreams, careers, educations and 8

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

personal desires to join the movement. “Our goals are threefold,” Lewis said. “To save the lost, to revive the saved, and train them all. In other words, we believe that as we change the culture on college campuses, we can also create another wave of missions.” Circuit Rider Experience For a fee that covers tuition and housing, would-be Circuit Riders can attend a rigorous 6-month training program that covers leadership, discipleship, prayer, evangelism, Bible study and more. Students immerse themselves in the lifestyle of a Circuit Rider, working on outreach projects, pioneering college events, studying Scripture, and developing skill sets they will use when they are assigned to a team --- messengers, music and media, for example. The program is also a certified Disciple Training School, which, according to the group’s website, allows participants to work with Youth with a Mission anywhere in the world.

LSU students and Circuit Riders meet the day after the Carry the Love gathering.

“We ride not to make a name for ourselves but to make Jesus famous. Together we will make a sound this generation cannot ignore.” “Their message really resonates with students, especially at a school like LSU,” said Varnado. “It’s easy to get caught up in the party atmosphere of college, but it can lead to a lifestyle that turns into a kind of bondage, a lifestyle that leaves you with a real emptiness. The Circuit Riders’ message is all about love and that opens people’s hearts.” If you would like to know more about the Circuit Rider movement or provide financial support, visit the website at crmovement.com/donate.

To help support Circuit Riders, go to crmovement.com/donate

Family LIFE

Liberty Lagoon Makes a Splash


with New Surf Ride photos courtesy BREC


tarting in April, local residents will be able to “hang ten” at BREC’s popular Liberty Lagoon Water Park on the new surfing simulator Shockwave. The thrill ride creates a wave with a rate of up to 40 miles per hour. Hop on a surfboard and get that adrenalin-filled sensation of gliding on water!

The Shockwave is part of an expansion that has added 22,000 square feet to the popular water park, which opened in 2011 and attracts about 75,000 visitors each year. Liberty Lagoon draws just as many adults as children (Lazy River, anyone?) who climb and jump, swim and play there on weekends in April and May, and daily throughout the summer. Where else can you swoop down a 195-foot loop-filled slide? (The Purple Plunge?) Or twist and spin in circles before dropping into an 8-foot lagoon? (The Gator Bowl?) Or step on floating barrels while hanging onto a webbed netting overhead? (The Lilypad Crossing?) And joining the new Shockwave are two other rides that debut this season: Speed Tube Slide: Speed down a 214-foot enclosed tube slide with two tight turns, then drop again as you exit into a water landing below. Freefall Drop Slide: Go down a 36-foot speed slide in an open tube, sliding into a water landing below. The total distance is 145 feet. Not for the faint of heart. “We started this expansion last March,” said Brett Weinberger, Assistant Director of Recreation. “Until now, 600 visitors was our capacity. With this new construction phase now complete, we can safely host 900 guests. Besides the new rides, we’ve also added 60 more tables with umbrellas, five new shaded structures, additional concession areas, lockers and picnic tables. We think guests are going to really enjoy the new features.” Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017



Family LIFE

Family-Friendly , Healthy Fun Because it is a BREC enterprise, Liberty Lagoon offers other activities, including swim lessons for all ages, water Zumba, fitness classes and kayaking lessons. “We really do take our community’s health seriously,” Weinberger said. “And water exercise is certainly a form of fitness for all ages. When you play in the water, you don’t realize that the resistance you create with the water is providing real exercise.” Just as important as the fitness factor, however, is the family-friendly atmosphere. “Liberty Lagoon is a great getaway and a safe atmosphere for the whole family,” Weinberger said. “That’s why we host so many parties (about 800) each summer.”

Aquatic lessons in the Lazy River at Liberty Lagoon. 10

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

It’s hard to believe Liberty Lagoon can accommodate all this activity, but it’s true. The park hosts special events, too, including a Movie at the Lagoon celebration in July, the Rocket Kidz Rookies Triathlon in June, and an end-ofsummer Puppy Pool Pawty in August. Summer day camps for kids are held during normal operating hours at Liberty Lagoon. Large groups such as corporate parties are also welcome. Space is limited, so advance reservations must be made. For more information on summer day camps, email kdomangue@brec.org.

Family LIFE


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Admission and Other Details Concessions include everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to chicken nuggets and personal pan pizzas. Changing areas and a limited number of public lockers are available to rent onsite. Admission is $10/day for those under 48 inches tall, $12/day for those over 48 inches tall and free for children 12 months and under. Lazy River tubes can be rented for $1 a day. The Shockwave wristband is available for $5. For season pass information and other details, go to Libertylagoon.com. At the time of this writing, Weinberger had about 200 summer positions to fill. If you are interested in working at Liberty Lagoon as a lifeguard, class instructor, concession host or other position, go to BREC.org and submit an application. Liberty Lagoon is located at 111 Lobdell Avenue, between Florida Boulevard and Government Street. If you have questions, visit the website at libertylagoon.com or call (225) 923-3202.

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Family LIFE


Supernatural in the Storm by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis


pril showers bring May flowers.” Seeds sown and watered today bring much needed growth tomorrow. As the rain drops spill from my window pane onto the soil in my backyard, I can’t help but sit and wonder what new growth will soon appear.

The rain brings a multitude of benefits, not only in the natural realm but in the supernatural. In the natural, we’ve learned that rain waters crops, provides humidity in the air, replenishes streams and rivers, and redistributes fresh water into the water cycle. The supernatural benefit of a storm is evident later, washing away things that didn’t belong and blowing in new the things that do. The sun shines on the clean slate. The joy! In the thunderous, heavy, dark clouds we find the blessing of the Lord bringing a new, fresh way or solution. After any storm (and sometimes during it), the sun always shines. “I’ve got joy down in my soul,” I often heard my grandmother say. Even in the darkest times, she found the bright side of every situation. She found the supernatural in the storm. So, get these humbling words into your spirit: “I’ve got joy down in my soul.” Because whatever is in your soul will rise to the top. Let it be joy. I’ve lived in Louisiana all my life and have witnessed a hurricane or two. A hurricane carries violent winds and rains. They can be deadly, especially for our neighbors in the tropical Caribbean.

Most people become horrified at the news of a hurricane approaching because of the turmoil it causes. While I don’t welcome the trauma, I do advocate for much needed storms that allow people to see supernatural work within them. Storms are an inevitable part of life both physically and emotionally. When storms arise in our lives, they will spark either growth or defeat. More often than not, they produce emotional growth in folks that they wouldn’t ordinarily discover. And with growth comes a feeling of great pleasure and happiness - joy. Joy is a chosen emotion. Storms in our lives can be physical such as a hurricane. They can be mental such as stress related to family or job. They can be emotional such as the passing of a loved one. How do you handle a storm without experiencing defeat or bitterness? By exuding God’s strength and standing on his words. For every situation you’ve gone through or will go through, there’s a scripture that pertains to it. Storms make you better if you allow God’s joy on the inside, and let it shine through you on the outside.

Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis, affectionately known as “The Refresher,” is an American author, empowerment speaker and a life catalyst. She launched The Refresher Course to educate and empower others to dramatically shift the quality and direction of their lives by using spiritual principles as well as the Life Catalyst curriculum.



April 17 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Reading for LIFE

A Review of Busy Lives and Restless Souls


IEP Stress? We can help.

How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life Written by Becky Eldredge


Reviewed by Kelli M. Knight

ave you ever read a story about someone who has experienced extreme circumstances and hardship in life? Someone who comes from an oppressive country or overcomes addiction or has survived an abusive relationship? We see God’s hand in these stories and they are inspirational. But what about us? What about those of us who live normal lives? We experience trials and tribulations, though they may not be as tough as the extraordinary situations others have endured. Should we feel less important? What I like about Busy Lives and Restless Souls is that Becky definitively answers this question, and the answer is no, we should not. God does not see us any more or less worthy of His love based on the degree of adversity in our lives. We experience unemployment, a house that doesn’t sell, and moving away from family and friends; we start our families and raise children and experience loved ones dying. These situations should not be compared to others and deprecated because they are “just life.” What about those of us who do everything we are supposed to do, yet still feel there is “missing peace” at the end of the day? Like something isn’t in place. Most of us can identify, which is why Becky’s book is so relevant. We experience hardship, we get busy, we don’t find time for prayer. We feel guilt for not giving God time. Becky addresses that building our lives and taking care of our families makes us busy and it is important. In and of itself, taking care of one another, especially spouses and children, is a virtuous responsibility. However, prayer is just as important. Prayer is important because it establishes and builds a relationship with God.

Why is it important to have a relationship with God? Do you trust anyone you don’t know? It is important because we cannot trust God without being in a relationship with Him. It’s also important to pray because we receive Christ through prayer. It is with Christ we can understand that God, our father, hears us. It is through Christ we can understand we should trust God. But, we are busy and we have interruptions and distractions in our daily lives. Becky offers many methods of prayer, primarily through principles of Ignatian spirituality, and how to implement prayer in a busy life. She covers a gambit of ways to interject conversation with God and Christ and ways to find quiet to be with God and Christ. Becky concludes by enlightening us about Joy. Christ shows us that through prayer God always answers us. It may not be immediate and it may be we are answered by God giving us strength. But, in knowing that God and Christ hear us, we can experience Joy, one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Prayer is a path to joy. We can thank God for the good times and receive joy. But through the times that life is overbearing, with joy we see that evil doesn’t prevail and God and the Risen Christ are in everything. With joy we can find the “missing peace” and live life abundantly. Becky lives in Baton Rouge with her husband and three children. She’s an Ignatiantrained spiritual director and retreat facilitator. Her book can be found on many sites, but the easiest way is to purchase through her website: beckyeldredge.com/busy-lives-restless-souls

Kelli is the owner of Illuminated Designs Studio, specializing in graphic design services. She received her Liberal Arts degree from LSU and has lived in Baton Rouge for the majority of her life. Kelli loves great stories, so reading and writing have always been passions of hers. Over the course of her career she has written for several publications throughout Southeast Lousiana. Find her on facebook: facebook.com/kellissimeaux

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


X Creative LIFE

Robert Edens

RC Custom Canvas and Frame: Built to Last by Sharon Furrate Bailey

Local frame designer/builder Robert Edens has a reputation for producing unique frames for artists’ works. He shared his insight into the process and the inspiration that guides his work. about your artistic gift. When did you first Q:Share discover you had a gift for building things? A:Growing up in the country with a father who could fix anything I just learned to do the same. Also, as a kid we were taught to fix our own bikes, and we built our own model airplanes as well as kites and other gadgets. The first thing that I designed and built was when I was in shop class. I designed and built a two-person kneeler for the acolytes at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Zachary.

would you say is your artist statement, why Q: What you create? A: I like to remind myself of a stanza in a poem by Joyce Kilmer:

Trees Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. There is a joy in creating something out of materials like wood and other elements. So, I create because it is what I know how to do, and I have been told I do it well. There are always ideas running through my mind, and I like to take those ideas and make them into something tangible and useful for others.

Do you feel carpentry or working with wood and different materials is a spiritual gift?


A: Of course, each person is given some type of talent and so I do believe all talent is a spiritual gift. Whether one is a master woodworker, painter, musician, teacher or preacher, each person is gifted in the way God created that individual. While building a custom canvas or frame for an artist - which has been my primary focus due to the vibrant artistic community in our area - I incorporate my prayer chain. I want to be led by the Holy Spirit and produce a quality product. There is a lot of waiting in the field of carpentry. There are times the glue or paint needs to dry before working on the next step. It’s not a simple process where one can hurry. I like to be precise, and the beauty is found in the details. Quality is very important to me, not just the function of the piece. As Psalm 139 says, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made.” I like to think that my canvases are made accordingly. So, what sets me apart? RC Custom Canvas and Frame is set apart from the craft stores because I can offer non-standard sizes. Also, some artists want cotton canvases, while others may want linen or clay board, and I can build it according to each artist’s preferences. [Craft stores tend to] offer standard sizes. They are also made with cheaper materials because they are mass produced. In addition, some artists just need a frame for a canvas that is already painted, and he or she prefers to stretch it themselves. I can also apply a base coat of gesso or prime the canvas if that is what an artist needs.

Left: Robert’s unique work is shown in this custom frame with multiple sections to create the perfect piece for his client. Right: Close-up shows this artisan’s attention to intricate detail and accuracy in his work.


APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Creative LIFE


Artist Mark Nikoff using canvases to display “Daydreamer” (left), “The Color of Life” (right), and “Nocturnal LIfe” (far right).


What would you like our readers to know about you?

A: I have to laugh because when I was a kid my dad would pull off the road out in the middle of nowhere and point out a steel building and say, “Isn’t that beautiful?” He would then share with me that he built that particular building…As an adult, I found myself pointing out things to my own children as we were riding in the car. One time, I stopped on the side of the road and pointed to a 24-inch pipe that came off the top of a 200-foot tower, and asked, “Hey, isn’t that beautiful?” The looks on their faces were like, “Dad, it is just a steel pipe.” Today, I am on a new journey of building custom canvases and frames for artists. There is art on and behind the canvas. Even the back side of my canvases are carefully constructed and look artistic. All that I am and all that I’ll ever be is from the gift of God’s grace. I truly understand the oft-quoted “there but for the grace of

God, go I.” Grace, the unwarranted, undeserved gift from God is available to all, and it has truly given me peace. God has blessed me and mine abundantly, and I am grateful we are His. Robert Edens may be reached at rc.customcanvas@gmail.com, rdedens@cox.net or (225) 241-2311. Sharon Furrate Bailey grew up in Alexandria, La., and moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU. She earned a B.A. in English Literature in 1990. She attends Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Sharon has been in the field of marketing, sales and public relations since 1996. She is a gifted artist and has been a columnist since 2005. She can be reached at sharonfur@yahoo.com.

9618 Jefferson Hwy. Suite E • Baton Rouge • (225) 300-8520 thecovehawaiiangrill.com Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017




Cover Story




by Susan Brown

Photos courtesy Southern University


APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Cover Story


Music is so powerful. It takes over your emotions, all your mental abilities. If you’re hearing the right song, no matter what’s going on in your life for those 3-4 minutes, you forget about everything. And that’s powerful. You cannot tell me that’s not God.


- Southern University Director of Bands Dr. Nathan B. Haymer When the Southern University Marching Band takes the field, it delivers more than precision, more than musical excellence – it provides an experience. Renowned for its innovative style, versatility and defined movement, the Human Jukebox is visual evidence of director Nathan Haymer’s mission through music: helping mold millennials into men and women of integrity. “When you have to inspire and motivate people all the time, you have to be motivated yourself,” he said. “You have to stay full of the Word. You have to. They feed off me. You can’t come in there and say, ‘I had a bad day; I’m in a bad mood’ and face 250 students.” “Romans 3:23 is my favorite: ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Once you mature as an adult, you realize that you didn’t get here by yourself. You realize that people gave you another chance. Nobody’s perfect but that doesn’t stop us from striving for perfection.” Despite a demanding classroom and performance schedule - and a recruiting calendar that takes him to California, Dallas, Atlanta and throughout Louisiana - Haymer carves out time to design opportunities for students that he hopes will become life habits. “At the age of 18 all the way to 24, you’re still being molded into who you are as an adult, and I realize that I’m the last stop before they reach the real world,” Haymer said. “Students do what they see; they don’t do what you say.” “We always try to be in the community doing things,” Haymer said. He asks students, “How are you going to impact people’s lives? You have all this talent. You can’t keep it to

yourself. You have to use it to make your life better through making other people’s lives better.” At Christmas, Haymer offered the Jukebox Christmas List, loading up band members and delivering gifts to underprivileged kids. Through “Make a Wish,” Southern band members were personally involved in helping fulfill the dreams of a young man with cerebral palsy. A few years ago, Haymer launched a 25-member Gospel Band; this month, they’re traveling to Nashville. “The churches really respond to that. It’s almost like a pep rally in church.” His current favorite gospel song is “Total Praise.” We’re just having fun praising God by playing gospel music,” he said. “It shows the students what they can do the right way through music.” Last fall, he took the entire band to church in Houston. “I got a lot of emails from parents thanking me for bringing them in that environment, in church, and I thought it was something good for our organization,” he said. “A family that prays together stays together. You’re going to have problems; it’s never going to be perfect. But if you’re praying together, and if they know that I’m there for them - and I’m there to listen and not judge - I feel they’ll be more open to letting me know what’s going on.” “I always talk about the greater good. I always talk about love. I always talk about peace. I always talk about success, because I feel that can go over with anybody,” Haymer said. Those are lessons instilled in him by his parents and his education at First Christian Academy. “I was brought up in church, Greater King David (Baptist Church), on Blount Road near the campus of Southern University,” he explained. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


X Cover Story “We were in church Sunday. We were in church Wednesday. Saturday there was always something, then back to church Sunday. But we had a lot of fun. We had a lot of friends there.” Haymer didn’t like to sing, but he served as an usher. As he grew older, he began to pay more attention to the music. “That’s what really drew me into the service, not the actual singing but the background – the things that people really don’t pay attention to,” he said. “There was the piano, then the organ and when I was older they had a drum set. So, I thought that was neat.” His parents held their sons to high standards, both academically and personally. His mother worked at Southern University. Nathan was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an attorney. His twin brother, Niles, was encouraged to become a doctor. In school, however, their talents developed differently. Niles, a natural politician, became a lawyer. Nathan took up the French horn and trumpet, and later played the trombone in the Southern University Marching Band. Today, he plays every instrument in the band, and writes and arranges the music. “I didn’t have anybody in my family in music, so I didn’t see it coming. I guess that was just a gift from God,” he said. “So, I practiced a lot. It’s a good feeling when you can turn what you love – your passion – into a job.” Haymer graduated from Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in music education, then earned two master’s degrees in music and administration. He holds a doctorate in administration for higher education. After teaching in Lake Charles for five years, he received a call from Southern University asking him to become assistant band director. He calls it his dream job. “It’s a lot of work, but the music, the teaching, the marching and the sound we make, it’s just joy,” he said. But it comes with an equal measure of challenges. “You can’t say no to everything and you can’t say yes to everything. So, you just have to be prayed up before you get to campus every day,” Haymer said. “Sometimes God puts stumbling blocks in your way for a reason. And a lot of times you don’t realize it until it’s over. So, I continue to trust and do what I feel is right. I don’t compromise my faith.” He also tells students to surround themselves with true friends. “That is what keeps your integrity up,” he said. “Say

“My greatest joy is to see a student that comes from sheer bottom, from pretty much nothing. They believe in you. They believe in your teaching, and you see them achieve.” 18

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Cover Story

you have a bad day or you just want to do something wrong. A real friend would say, ‘No, you don’t want to go that way’ versus somebody who’ll tell you, ‘Yeah, let’s forget work; come on, let’s just go out to this bar and drink all day.’ I also like to hang around with older people. I have friends in their 60s and 70s who give me a wealth of knowledge.” In 11 years of leadership at Southern University, Haymer’s hardest task has been telling students they don’t have what it takes to be in the band. He uses each situation as a teaching opportunity. “Sometimes God allows doors to shut in your face for many reasons. Sometimes it’s just not for you. Sometimes you’re not ready, and God is letting you know he wants you to be tough: You’re getting ready to run this organization, and you need to fail, so when you’re in charge you’ll be able to empathize with the next person.” Haymer recalls that this year’s drum major didn’t make the band when he was a freshman. The sponsor of the SU Dancing Dolls tried out but didn’t make the cut her first year. Sometimes it’s hard, he said. But perseverance pays off.


“My greatest joy is to see a student that comes from sheer bottom, from pretty much nothing,” Haymer said. “They believe in you. They believe in your teaching, and you see them achieve. Then, they graduate. And now they’re having families of their own, and they’re successful.” “We’re here to help others, and if I can’t do anything to help anybody else, then everything I do is in vain,” Haymer said. “It just brings chills down my spine to know that you have a positive impact. There’s no paycheck that can substitute for that feeling – to see a student turn it around in four years. All I ask them to do is reach back and teach the next person.”

Susan Brown began her career in radio news. She was news director for WJBO/WFMF radio and a journalism instructor at LSU. She holds Master’s Degrees from LSU and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and served as a chaplain at Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


A lifetime of Joy


Louisiana’s longest married couples Photos and article by Taylor Frey of Taylor Frey productions

Each year the Louisiana Family Forum recognizes Louisiana’s longest married couples. “It [marriage] is God’s idea and it’s our responsibility to celebrate those that take God’s idea and honor that institution and do it well,” said Gene Mills, Louisiana Family Forum President. Featured are Lawrence and Varrie Player, married 82 years, of Benton, La. and Will Henry and Virginia Teasley, married 80 years, of Bryceland, La. A touching video was made for the couples and you can watch it on the Louisiana Family Forum’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/lafamilyforum.

ried 80 years, Will Henry and Virginia Teasley, mar , La. and cel in their home in Bry

Grandson Mike Johnson and daughter Rosemary Jensen stand behind Will Henry and Virginia.

d Virgin ia Will Henryldanhan ds. still ho 20

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Lawrence and Varrie Pla yer (show Mills of Louisiana Family Forum n with Gene and Blanche ) Married Couple. They have been are Louisiana’s Longest married for 82 years. Lawrence is 103 years old and Var rie is 97 years old.



“All you have to do is be loyal toward each other. Make sure you agree on the things you are doing. Be loyal, and when you plan to do or build something, both need to come along in agreement.” - Lawrence Player

This is the Players with their 8 Children - it was a family reunion and the day LFF honored the couple.

“You just have to be nice to each other. And if one is going to squabble, just go on about your business and go to work. If they squabble, they can squabble by themselves.” - Varrie Player

A day to celebrate Louisiana’s longest ma rried couples, the Pla yers and the Teasle ys.

ily Forum ouisiana Fam L f o s ill M n. G en e greets childre Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


Blessing Bikes


of the

by Trapper S. Kinchen

photos courtesy Iron Warriors MC of Central LA


aith is like a motorcycle. It carries us where we need to go and must be tuned, maintained and operated with wisdom to be of good use. The freedom that comes with salvation is similar to the thrill of riding down the highway on a chopper and, just like the revving of a well-greased engine, the Holy Spirit has the power to wake up a community and make people take notice. Each spring for the past sixteen years, the Iron Warriors Motorcycle Club has held a Baton Rouge “Blessing of the Bikes” — a rally that weaves together faith, community and charity. 22

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

President Mike Hood raises the American flag.



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FINE FURNINSHINGS SINCE 1956 Bikers come together at Iron Warriors’ Blessing of the Bikes.

This year, on April 15th, bikers from around the capital city will congregate at the Magnolia Beach Plaza Truck Stop in Denham Springs to pray over their rigs and engage in Christian fellowship. Everyone in Baton Rouge — including the expert rider and regular citizen — is invited to spend a sunny day of outdoor fun with the IWMC. The Iron Warriors were reorganized in February 2001 out of the Wild Pigs Motorcycle Club, originally founded in 1987 as an independent non-profit organization. The club was built on the dual standards of fellowship and community support, and they remain its two leading principles. “The Iron Warriors Motorcycle Club was established to provide increased camaraderie between current and retired law enforcement and firefighters, and to assist fallen members and their families,” IWMC Treasurer Dean Lawrence said. “We also sponsor chapter events that are intended to promote safe activities that appeal to the public as a whole.” From the start, the Iron Warriors’ mission has been to provide faith-based outreach to the biking community and minister to the specific spiritual needs of riders. “We were one of the first chapters to have our own chaplain witnessing to bikers,” Lawrence said. In

times of joy, sorrow and all that passes in between, the club does its best to shine the light of Jesus on its members and provide a firm base of support for local law enforcement. On the surface, ministry and motorcycles seem like a strange combination, but the Iron Warriors have set out to show the world that there is more than one way to bear witness for Christ. Lawrence wants to remind people that the Holy Spirit lives within, and how a person looks on the outside has little to do with the quality of his heart. “Just because you see people with colors (patches on the back of a biker’s jacket or vest) doesn’t mean they’re bad,” he said. The best part of the Blessing of the Bikes is that it brings together Christians, regardless of their appearance, and allows local believers to get to know one another on a deeper level. It also provides a great opportunity for separate faith-based motorcycle organizations to come together and partake in the blessing as a group. “There are plenty of organizations like the Christian Motorcycle Club that attend our event every year,” Lawrence said. The idea for the Blessing of the Bikes came in 2000, when Randy Lorio and Don Caldera — members of

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Former President Randy Lorio, East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court Doug Welborn and Chaplain Timmy Dixon join the opening prayer for the Blessing of the Bikes.

the Iron Warriors — were working in Maryland. “They attended a Blessing of the Bikes up there. So, when they came back home, they approached the club about doing one down here, and the next year, we started it in Baton Rouge,” Lawrence said. “We thought it would be a great venue for bikers to get together.” They were right, and over the years, the Blessing of the Bikes has become a huge draw for the members of Baton Rouge’s Christian community. In fact, the Iron Warriors look forward to hosting between 12,000 and 15,000 participants this year. Lawrence said people can expect “to see a lot of beautiful motorcycles, plenty of food and great music with a family atmosphere.” It’s a cross between a spring festival, an incredible bike show and an outdoor prayer meeting. In general, the Blessing of the Bikes is a cheerful and honest way to spend a Saturday with friends and family. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. The theme of the rally is consistent from year to year: joyfulness. The Iron Warriors want to show the community — through reverence and respect — that ministry does not have to be formal 24

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

or gloomy. They combine prayer with celebration and convey the love of Jesus with a smile. “We hope, even if a visitor does not own a motorcycle, that they would come out for a fun-filled day and help us raise money for Dreams Come True,” Lawrence said. Admission is free, but for those who feel led, there are plenty of opportunities to make purchases and contribute financially to the Iron Warriors’ cause. Proceeds are donated to charity. One of the driving forces behind the Blessing of the Bikes is to raise money for the Dreams Come True Foundation of Louisiana, a statewide non-profit dedicated to providing support and encouragement to gravely ill children and their families. The primary goal of the rally is to pray blessings and safety over the men and women who spend the riding season out on the road. “At the Blessing of the Bikes, we bless the bikes along with the riders,” Lawrence said. Motorways can be dangerous for bikers, and the Lord’s protection and wisdom are claimed on behalf of every local rider. Any Christian bikers who work in law enforcement or firefighting and

want to join a faith-based motorcycle club may reach out to the IWMC local chapter president, Mike Hood, at 225-620-6887 for the paperwork and information needed for club membership. In order to join, the club requires a biker to ride either a Harley Davidson or a clone of an American motorcycle. So, if you’ve got a slick cruiser or chopper and have a heart for the Lord, consider hooking up with the Iron Warriors. There are also ways for other Christian bikers to get involved. “If you are not an active or retired member of law enforcement or a firefighter, you can apply to our support group, the Crue’d Pigs, which is made up of civilians who want to be a part of our organization,” Lawrence said. “They attend our meetings and ride everywhere we ride.” Supporting local faith-based groups is incredibly important; it’s necessary to come together in joy with fellow believers and celebrate God’s goodness. The Iron Warriors make both of those things possible through the combination of commitment, community and charity that embodies the Blessing of the Bikes. No matter who you are, where you come from, or how you look, it’s always nice to be reminded – thanks in part to organizations like the IWMC – that there’s a place for you in the Body of Christ.

Public invited! 15th Annual Blessing of the Bikes Saturday April 15th, 9am-8pm Magnolia Plaza Truck Stop 6865 Magnolia Beach Rd. Set D Denham Springs, La. 70706 Trapper was born on the lip of Lake Pontchartrain. He was raised there, reading in the salt-flecked breeze on a splintered wharf that jutted into South Pass. Never bored, he divides his time between trying to raise organic chickens in the Livingston Parish piney woods, traveling to different time zones, and exercising his mind by steadily learning as much as he can. He graduated from LSU in 2013 and Wayne State University in 2015. He is a busy fiction writer and contemplative naturalist. He has a great time living life.



Fruit of Joy Joan Rougon

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

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Joy is that glorious state of heart



That keeps our spirits high, It is the barometer by which we live And breathe and allow our hearts to fly. By joy we lift all others up And cause their gloom to flee. We share our happiness of heart How wonderful this can be! So always wear joy as a garment proud Never let gloom become your shroud. A smiling face will cause another To share it with a sister or brother.

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It was with joy, God brought forth His creation And offered this joy to every nation. Yet the joy we experience here on earth Can never compare with that of heaven’s worth. So let the joy of His presence be your constant companion As He guides through this life, give Him total abandon.

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Choosing Joy and P r e s s in g Fo r w a rd

X Millennial life

by Trapper S. Kinchen


APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

photo courtesy Taylor Frey


ometimes, when searching for purpose, it’s hard to gain traction. With each step, your resolve is tested and your faith is called into question, and, in the end, it feels like you’re caught in a cycle of wasted time. Never fear, though, because you’re not alone in those feelings. Everyone, sooner or later, gets wedged between panic and exhaustion, but—for those who chase after Christ—what seems like a standstill always turns out to be the birth of a breakthrough. Take Taylor Frey for instance. She is in the middle of a revelation. For the past year and a half, she has battled anxiety, fought frustration, and worked through emotional fatigue in order to answer God’s call on her life. And, despite those hindrances, she has also managed to build a business from scratch.

Taylor Frey

The process started when she was in college, studying mass communication and dreaming of becoming a reporter. Back then, Frey was a new Christian, and even though she had faith, she wasn’t sure where her life was headed. One night, while wrestling heavily with self-doubt, she got an answer. She said, “Once, during junior year, I was up very late, and I felt like the Lord gave me a vision to start a business.” She decided to channel her savvy for visual media into Taylor Frey Productions—a videography company designed to help local organizations share their stories with the public. However, since she lacked much proven experience, few small businesses were comfortable hiring her. Frey struggled to find clients, and the few jobs she managed to book paid virtually nothing. She was barely able to scrape together an income, and during her first year as a businesswoman, she lived and worked out of her pastor’s home. It actually wasn’t until recently that she found success, when a chance encounter in a park opened the door for opportunity. It all came to a head six months ago, just as Frey was on the verge of a breakdown. She said she was sitting at a picnic table, journaling, and “ had no idea what direction my life was supposed to take. I was crying, and then I noticed a lady riding a bike. A few minutes later, she stopped, came up to me, and said, ‘I just want you to know great things are going to happen to you’.” The woman on the bike turned out to be Beth Townsend, publisher of Christian Life Magazine. After they talked, Townsend hired Frey to produce a video, and the two struck up a friendship. The


Millennial life timing couldn’t have been more miraculous for Frey. She said, “I had almost no business and hardly any money. I was on the edge, barely getting by.” That meeting wound up being a powerful turning point for both Frey and her company. Through her work with the magazine, she began receiving job offers from businesses, foundations and television stations asking her to produce videos on their behalf. She said, “In six months, my work life was completely transformed because of God.” Yet, just as business began to boom, sickening thoughts of inadequacy and insecurity began dulling Frey’s confidence. She said, “Something I still struggle with in my business is being very afraid. I have to do things I’ve never done before, and that makes me feel stuck. There are so many ideas floating around in my head that I freeze.” Like many of us, she has to constantly remind herself that she is competent and capable of meeting her obligations. She relies on God’s help to get things done, and chooses to approach every challenge with fortitude. She said, “I have to attack my work like David facing Goliath. I always remember that the enemy is constantly trying to bring me down, but I go into the office every day and one

photo by Ben Brumfield Frey on the job, producing a video after the 2016 flood.

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017



Faith LIFElife X Millennial stone at a time, topple assignments. That’s when the breakthroughs happen.” Frey is a perfect example of how much hard emotional and mental effort goes into achieving goals. Too many people choose to pursue stability rather than follow their dreams, because, on the surface, the promise of certainty is more appealing than trusting in faith. Practicality does not always equal wisdom, and it isn’t until we branch out and challenge ourselves that we can start to make a difference, both in our own lives and in the lives of others. However, stepping out in faith does not guarantee an easy victory over the enemy. Frey knows firsthand the struggles that come with answering God’s call. She is no stranger to depression and often fights against fears of failure. She said, “There have been days during the past year and a half where a good day would mean waking up, eating breakfast, reading my Bible, eating lunch, reading my Bible, eating dinner, and going to bed. If I ate three times a day, I was doing good. If I woke up, I was doing good. There were days when I could not work, because I was too afraid or mentally stuck. I would just beat myself up.” For Frey, battling the emotional and psychological pressures of work is part of a daily routine, but she no longer lets setbacks cripple her enthusiasm. Instead, she does her best to press into the Holy Spirit and keep building positive momentum. She said, “God put us here to

enjoy being alive. Looking back, I would put so much weight on myself that I had no peace.” The Lord helps those who seek after Him, and triumph, both spiritual and physical, is only possible through hard work. Frey said, “Joy is not circumstantial. Happiness is not the same as joy. Happiness is a feeling, and you won’t be happy everyday. Joy is a state of being, and you have to choose it.”

“God put us here to enjoy being alive. Looking back, I would put so much weight on myself that I had no peace.” Juggling active personal and professional lives is also difficult, and, at twenty-five, Frey is still trying to find a healthy balance between the two. She said, “I think I’m starting to learning how to prioritize my life. But, right now, my personal and professional lives are just one big lump.” Like all millennials, Frey is just striking out on her own, and there’s a great deal left for her to work through. Yet, she is in no rush. Instead, she chooses to lean on the Word and trust in the Lord.

Uncertainty no longer frightens her, because Frey relies on the Holy Spirit to shepherd her forward. She also appreciates the life-altering power of patience and the serenity of Jesus’s love. Her advice to other millennials searching for purpose is to “be still and know that He is God. Waiting isn’t just being inactive. Don’t be afraid while you’re waiting. Don’t go prying doors open. When it’s His will, the doors will fly open.” Life’s journey is not meant to be easy. Along the way, like Frey, you will encounter threatening emotional and spiritual obstacles. From time to time, you might even get mired in discouragement, regret, or fear. But never lose hope. Choose joy and press forward, because on the horizon dawns the promise of a breakthrough. All you have to do is pursue it.

Trapper was born on the lip of Lake Pontchartrain. He was raised there, reading in the salt-flecked breeze on a splintered wharf that jutted into South Pass. Never bored, he divides his time between trying to raise organic chickens in the Livingston Parish piney woods, traveling to different time zones, and exercising his mind by steadily learning as much as he can. He graduated from LSU in 2013 and Wayne State University in 2015. He is a busy fiction writer and contemplative naturalist. He has a great time living life.

SPECIALIZING IN BUSINESS ADVERTISING AND FAMILY HISTORY VIDEOS Contact Taylor Frey Productions at 225-240-3376 or by email Taylorfreyproductions@gmail.com. 10 28

October 2016 l Baton Rouge Christian Magazine APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Life Magazine

Millennial LIFE


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A better Way TOGETHER as one family in Christ. ...that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. -John 17:21

45 Years!

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017



X Pastor’s perspective



S eason

by Fr. Cleo Milano

............aster is one of my favorite times of the year because it brings both the celebration of the beauty of spring, revealing God’s hand in creation, and the celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. April is the breaking forth of spring and new life and a time of joy that should shine from the inside out. Having been a Catholic priest for 33 years, I have found that the journey leading up to Easter is one of prayer, fasting and almsgiving for so many Christians of every denomination. This Lenten Season is a great opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and rid ourselves of those things that are so often superficial and a distraction from what is truly important in life. This period of sacrifice, introspection, and discipline is what enables us to joyfully celebrate the beauty of Easter Sunday. The Lord Jesus conquers sin and death and breaks through the tomb in resurrected life. The Lord is so good to each of us and faithful to all His promises. Easter is the fulfillment of all that God desires to give to us in His Son, Jesus, who offers His life in ransom for the many. It is a time for us to bask in the love of our God who has sent His Son to redeem us from our disobedience.

St. Francis of Assisi, whose love of the beauty of nature we celebrate, is famous for his quotation, “Preach the Gospel and if you must --- use words.” One of the beautiful aspects of Our Lady of Mercy Church is the sound of the pealing bells. The bells remind us of the goodness of God and His call to each of us to a deeper communion and relationship with Jesus. Each of us must be like the joyful sound of bells announcing the redemption of the world on Easter Sunday. We must be alive with a spirit of love for God and a respect for all of our brothers and sisters in building a better community. Each of us is called to be a better neighbor, a better friend, a better spouse, a better son or daughter. One of the beautiful aspects of living in the Greater Baton Rouge community is precisely the sense of service and concern for fellow brothers and sisters. I have always been impressed with the ecumenical spirit that is so very much alive. St. Francis 30

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

of Assisi, whose love of the beauty of nature we celebrate, is famous for his quotation, “Preach the Gospel and if you must --- use words.” In this beautiful season of the year, every faithful believer of the Lord Jesus is called to first live the Gospel with our actions. “I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me --naked and you clothed me. I was sick and imprisoned and you visited me” (Matthew 25:31-46). Living these words is the joy of every faithful believer, and the standard by which God will judge our sincerity of heart. And so, in the joy of the most important celebration in the life of Christians, let us Rejoice for the Lord is Truly Risen! He lives in us and invites us to make our dwelling in Him. He shows us the way and with His grace we follow faithfully. May God bless us all in this Holy Easter Season and may the joy of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us permeate every fiber of our being.

Fr. Cleo Milano is the pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish. He has been a priest for 33 years and is presently in his fourth year as pastor at Our Lady of Mercy. His previous assignments have included assistant pastor at St. Mary’s in New Roads, assistant pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Baton Rouge, pastor of St. Ann Church in Morganza for four years, pastor of Immaculate Conception in Denham Springs for eight years and pastor for St. John the Evangelist in Plaquemine for 11 years. His schooling has been at Ascension Catholic in Donaldsonville, St. Joseph Cathedral Prep High School in Baton Rouge, University of St. Thomas and St. Mary Seminary in Houston, Texas, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. He is a native of Donaldsonville, Louisiana and the son of Cleo and Jacqueline Milano.

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X Geaux Life

Journey to the Holy Land Eric and Teresa Kalivoda organize local trip by Lisa Tramontana


Holy Land Highlights

After arriving in Tel Aviv, the tour begins in Caesarea, the Roman capital of Palestine. Tourists can view the beautifully restored Roman Amphitheater and the ruins of the ancient town. Further north is the city of Haifa, which can be viewed from atop Mount Carmel. On the fourth day of the tour, tourists will see the Jordan River, the ancient synagogue Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. A boat ride across the Sea of Galilee will take tourists to Tiberias for dinner and an overnight stay. About halfway through the trip is a stop in the Jordan Valley and Jericho, often called the oldest city on earth. The group will continue on to Qasr ElYehud, which is where John the Baptist is believed to have baptized Jesus. Dinner on this night will be held in Jerusalem. Day six will include visits to the Mt. of Olives, the path Jesus walked on Palm Sunday, the Garden of Gethsemane, Absalom’s Pillar and Zechariah’s Tomb. Tourists will proceed to the Upper Room where the Last Supper took place. The afternoon is reserved for a visit to Bethlehem where tourists can visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherds Fields. Other places of interest include Pontius Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Israel Museum, which holds the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Gideon’s Spring at 32

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

photo courtesy Eric and Teresa Kalivoda

magine standing in the Upper Room where the Last Supper took place. Or walking through the tiny town of Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home. Or looking out across the Sea of Galilee. People who have made the trip to the Holy Land have described the experience as breathtaking … life-changing … surreal. While the Holy Land stretches from Egypt to Syria, the anchor of this sacred Middle Eastern area is Israel, the world’s only Jewish state. This is where Jesus lived, performed his miracles, proclaimed the Gospel, was crucified, died, and rose from the dead. For centuries, people from all over the world have journeyed here, not just Christian pilgrims, but historians, writers, world leaders and Biblical scholars. Eric and Teresa Kalivoda have made the trip to Israel three times, and are planning another visit October 30-November 8. They are hoping to assemble a group of 16 to join them on the trip, which is organized by TriStar Tours of New York. The Kalivodas are devout Christians who have been deeply touched by their trips to the Holy Land, which have brought them not just spiritual fulfillment, but special friendships as well.

Eric and Teresa Kalivoda pose for a photo right after a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee.

The Jordan River

oly Land Tour H October 30-November 8

$3,250* (due in full 8/20) teresakalivoda@gmail.com • (225) 223-7510

Geaux Life


the base of Mt. Gilboa. At the end of the trip, tourists will take a cable car to the ruins of Masada, a fortress built by Herod the Great. This historical site is where the Jewish Zealots committed suicide in a last stand against the Romans in about 70 A.D. “This trip is such an opportunity,” said Eric. “It serves the purpose of strengthening people of faith. It’s fulfilling, rewarding, enriching. For most people, it’s the trip … the experience … of a lifetime.” A common concern among travelers is safety, especially in today’s political climate. Teresa quickly puts such fears to rest. “It’s completely safe,” she said. “The Israeli authorities would not allow tourists to go into an unsafe area. Also, the country relies on tourism, so they are very protective of visitors. I have always felt completely comfortable there.” Absalom’s Pillar

A Legacy of Faith

In many ways, this trip is a way of continuing the legacy of Eric’s father, Dr. Nick Kalivoda, the founder of Radio Bible Courses (RBC). Based in Baton Rouge, the ministry produces 15-minute recorded Bible lessons for several radio stations in the South, from Shreveport to Mobile, Alabama. In 1986, Dr. Kalivoda began teaching Bible courses through the Continuing Education department of Louisiana State University. His mission then, and RBC’s mission today, is to prepare lay men and women for service in evangelism, personal growth Bible study, and expository teaching using a verse-by-verse study method. RBC also offers weekly 45-minute Bible classes at the Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane. The classes are open to the public and are taught by Christian teachers skilled in the study and interpretation of God’s Word. The organization’s website, rbcword. org, offers CDs, books and other publications, many available to download for free.

The Upper Room

*Includes all taxes, fees, tips, round-trip travel from NYC to Tel Aviv, hotel (double occupancy), daily breakfast and dinner, transportation and entrance fees to all sightseeing areas. Travel from BR to NYC is not included. However, if all spots are filled early, a TriStar discount may cover a portion of the BR to NYC flight cost.

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


X Geaux Life


The Work Continues In Israel

n February 2016, roughly a year ago, Michael and Patricia Bryan boarded a plane with luggage containing clothing, shoes and personal items as they moved to Israel. Although they obtained Israeli citizenship 23 years earlier, the Bryans had continued pastoring and working in ministry in the United States. Finally, God instructed them to go to the land where He most needed them: Israel. This was a huge lifechanging challenge, but they knew obedience always brings blessings from the Lord. After selling possessions in America, including their home and cars, Michael and Patricia journeyed to the Holy Land to “start all over.” Many in Baton Rouge can relate to this, especially after the devastating floods last August. The Bryans are blessed that, after one year in Israel, they can report the following ministry highlights:




APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

They are on staff at King of Kings Ministries in Jerusalem (KKCJ)

1 They are helping plant a new within the King of 2 congregation Kings Ministries Network They have begun a Community Group in their home

3 They volunteer in the Manna Soup Distribution Center and 4 Kitchen, Jerusalem Prayer Tower 5

They have ministered in Kenya, connecting ministers there with Israel They have revamped and updated the KKCJ financial system

6 They have received invitations minister in China, Taiwan, 7 toScotland, Kenya, South Africa, 8

Mozambique, Tanzania and a few other African countries They have met people from many different nations and received a bird’s-eye view of what God is doing around the world.

by Elmo Winters

Daily life in Israel can be difficult. The cost of living is extremely high, and even having water is a luxury. They witness hardships and struggles among the people every day as they walk the streets in Jerusalem. This is especially true among the elderly. Many are stooped over and walk with slow gaits from years of hard work. Their feet and legs are gnarled and twisted from walking with heavy loads. It is normal to stand on the street corner of Jerusalem’s city center at the main open-air market, Mahane Yehuda and see a continual stream of people walking down narrow streets. Walking is the main mode of transportation because most people in the city do not own cars. Shopping is done on foot, by bus or the city train. While observing the flow of pedestrian traffic, the Bryans say it is easy to feel they were 100 years back in time. However, it is a joy to see people out of their homes living life. It gives them many

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Geaux LIFE


opportunities to pray for the weak or maimed Jewish people who continue to be independent enough to get out and about. Recently, an Orthodox Jewish woman in Israel contacted the KKCJ ministry to say “thank you” for providing the worship services on Livestream and Facebook. This was the only ministry she received. Her husband, a non-believer, forbade her from reading the New Testament, having fellowship with other believers or from attending any services. While he is out of the house, she takes the opportunity to watch praise and worship services at KKCJ. org. This provides spiritual food, and she is grateful for the blessing the ministry makes available. If you would like to get in touch with Michael and Patricia Bryan, please send your email address to: bmcima@aol.com. You are also invited to the Annual Baton Rouge Area Passover Seder on April 15, 2017, 6-9 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbright/batonrouge - search Passover Seder.

Patricia and Michael Bryan


claytongonzales.com 13653 Airline Highway, Gonzales, LA 70737 (225) 644-4663

PASSOVER SEDER SATURDAY APRIL 15, 2017 (20 Nisan 5777)

Please join us for our Annual Messiah in the Passover Seder and gain new insight into this joyous feast and why it was so important to our Lord Yeshua (Jesus)

Baton Rouge Embassy Suites Hotel Ballroom 4914 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge

6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Tickets available for purchase - Seating is limited Adults: $50.00 • Children 12 & under $26.50 Under 4: No charge for lap seating only Order tickets at www.eventbright.com & enter: Baton Rouge Seder

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017



Healthy life

Mimicking High Altitudes as a Potential Way to

Combat Diabetes

Previous research done at Pennington Biomedical found that sleeping in a tent that mimics high altitude improved insulin sensitivity in obese men who did not have diabetes. Now, scientists with the Sleep Diabetes research study are working to determine whether or not sleeping in this same tent that mimics high altitudes may also help improve blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. 36

APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

In Louisiana, more than one in 10 people have diabetes, and nearly four in 10 is at risk for developing the disease. Those statistics are not the same in other states and the reasons for the differences vary. For instance, states such as Colorado consistently have fewer people with diabetes than in Louisiana. Scientists at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center wondered —could the higher altitudes in states like Colorado be impacting the reduced prevalence of diabetes? And if that is the case, could mimicking higher altitude possibly help people better manage their diabetes or avoid the condition altogether?

How does it work? Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that is designed to move sugar from the blood stream into cells to provide them with energy (think of insulin as the key that opens the door to the cell). In people with diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly, leaving levels of sugar circulating in the blood that are too high (and leaving people with insulin resistance or

Healthy LIFE diabetes fatigue). Over the years, the high levels of circulating blood sugar can cause damage to organs such as the kidneys and heart. For a while, the pancreas produces extra insulin to try to make up for the high levels of sugar in the blood, but over time the pancreas cannot keep up with the need for more insulin. When the pancreas stops producing enough insulin to lower blood sugar levels, type 2 diabetes develops. Often, people who receive a diabetes diagnosis can control the disease through lifestyle, regular exercise and a healthy diet, while some receive prescriptions for medications such as metformin that lower those blood sugar levels. “We believe that spending time at higher altitude – or a simulated higher altitude—could make the body more sensitive to insulin,” said Dr. Eric Ravussin, principal investigator on the Sleep Diabetes research study. “If the body could use insulin more efficiently just from exposure to higher altitude, then one day perhaps instead of drugs, we could use high altitude therapies to treat diabetes.” Ravussin says that what he and his colleagues learn from the study could one day lead to new simulated high-altitude therapies to treat or prevent diabetes, such as mimicking high altitude oxygen levels in one’s bedroom at night. “This is a great example of what we call translational research—translating what we learn through scientific research


Dr. Eric Ravussin, principal investigator on the Sleep Diabetes research study into the community to help people live healthier lives. Ultimately, that’s our mission at Pennington Biomedical,” said Ravussin. Pennington Biomedical is currently looking for people with diabetes between the age of 20 and 65 who have a BMI of less than 55 to join the Sleep Diabetes research study. During the study, participants will sleep in a tent that fits around their bed at home and mimics high altitude. In addition to insightful health information, participants will receive up to $350 for participation in the study. Call 225-763-3000 or visit www.pbrc.edu/healthierLA to learn more about the Sleep Diabetes research study.

Radio Bible Courses, Ltd. Founded by Dr. Nick Kalivoda “But the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word by which the Gospel was preached to you.” - 1 Peter 1:25

Join us during the month of April as Louis Hilliard and Jimmy Gill share God’s Word from 9:15 AM - 10:00 AM



Pure Heart Weekend Men’s Weekend: April 7-9

Jimmy Gill

Louis Hilliard

April 2-Introduction April 9-Revelation 1:1-3 April 16-Revelation 1:4-8 April 30-Revelation 1:9-20


April 23 “In Awe of Our God”

Visit our website to view our Schedule of Speakers and download free materials from Dr. Kalivoda’s teachings:


Re-discover your heart……. change your life where it matters most, your identity

The Campus Bible Class meets at: Burden Conference Center - LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA

Registration and Information: www.carterfeatherston.com and www.restoreone.org

■ Come early and join us before the class for coffee & cookies ■ Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l APRIL 2017


Opportunities for LIFE


Calendar of Events Do you have an event to share? To have your event included in our calendar, please email a brief summary of your ministry or service related event to beth@bethtownsend.com by the 8th of the previous month. Please include all details (date/ time/location/ticketing information/etc.) so we can be sure it’s ready to print. Please send May submissions by April 8.



IRON SHARPENS IRON CONFERENCE NETWORK Designed to mobilize regional ministries to resource local churches with a first-class one-day equipping conference. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Schriever, LA. For details, visit mark@gulfsouthmen.org.

CHAPEL IN THE OAKS EGG HUNT Rain or shine, join us for a children’s egg hunt, 10 a.m., 9611 Siegen Lane. Food, crafts and a black-light presentation. Designed for children up to 5th grade. Bring a basket for each child. For details, call (225) 387-1580, ext. 2112.

PURPOSE PLANNING WORKSHOP Led by certified health coach and Christian wellness advocate Nettye Johnson, 6:30-8:30 p.m., La Madeleine, 7615 Jefferson Hwy. Explore your life balance and outline daily disciplines to help you live your God-given purpose. $25 registration includes group coaching, workshop materials, and a delicious meal before the session. Space is limited. Preregistration is required. Sign up today at nettyejohnson.com/purpose.


APRIL 1, 6, 11 and 27

CASA INFORMATIONAL SESSION Find out how you can be a voice for abused or neglected children while they await a safe and permanent home. Sessions are held at 848 Louisiana Ave. For times and other details, call (225) 379-8598. You can also email volunteer@casabr.org.


SOUL SALVAGE PROJECT A blues/rock/gospel group will witness through music, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Perkins Rowe’s Lava Cantina Bar and Grill. Sponsored by Christ in the City.


THE PRODIGIOUS SNOB A Parkview Baptist presentation, 7:30 p.m. each evening in the PBS Gymnasium. Tickets $18 (premium seats), $15 (select seats) and $10 (bleacher seats). Available at www.parkviewbaptist.com/play.


MONTHLY BREAKFAST Sponsored by Christians Under Construction, Christian men’s group, 6:30-7:30 a.m., Frank’s Restaurant, Prairieville. Contact Bax Kegans, (225) 953-3499 for more information.


Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s ConferenceJOB FAIR Gardere Community Christian School is sponsoring this event, 10 a.m. to noon, for certified pre-K and K-6 teachers for the 2017-18 school year. Join us for a campus tour and preliminary interview. Register at info@gardereschool.com.

April 11

THE PASTOR’S BRIEFING Registration required for this event, 9:30-11:45 a.m. (immediately following the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast), Old State Capitol. Sponsored by Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) and Louisiana Baptist Convention. This is your opportunity to network with Louisiana’s Christian leaders, build relationships, and get briefed on the opening days of the Louisiana Legislature. RSVP to lafamilyforum.org. Free.


GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE This service of reflection takes place at 6:30 p.m. at The Chapel on the Campus, 3355 Dalrymple Drive, and will focus on the sacrifice of our Savior.


APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

EASTER SERVICE Please come and experience the promise of Easter Sunday morning, 8 a.m., Greater New Bethel Church, 110 South 19th St @ North Blvd. Featuring Pastor Melvin Carter, Elder Patricia Carter and the Greater New Bethel church family. LAKESIDE EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE This service takes place at 6:30 a.m. at The Chapel on the Campus, 3355 Dalrymple Dr. Celebrate the Risen Christ as the sun rises over University Lake. Join us for a joyful time of worship and preaching. Easter communion service is at 7:45 a.m. EASTER WORSHIP SERVICE Services at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., The Chapel in the Oaks (9611 Siegen Lane) and The Chapel on the Campus (3355 Dalrymple Dr.) Join us at either location for a joyous celebration with our praise and worship teams, great Bible preaching, nursery, and classes for preschool through 12th grade. REFUGE COLLEGE SERVICE This is a great service for college students and young adults with challenging teaching, great music, the opportunity to make new friends, and free pizza. Join us at 7:45 p.m., The Chapel on the Campus, 3355 Dalrymple Dr. .


MOTHER-DAUGHTER RETREAT Resurrection Life Family Ministries sponsors its first ever Mother-Daughter Retreat, Judson Baptist Center. $61 each to include meals. For more information, call (225) 610-8905.


‘CREATED FOR CONNECTIONS’ TRAINING DAY Learn how to conduct an EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) Hold Me Tight workshop for Christian couples with author of Created for Connections, Kenny Sanderfer. Hosted by Baton Rouge Christian Counseling and held at First Presbyterian Church, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Approved for CEUs. Go to www.brchristiancounseling.com for more information and to register.


PARENTING SEMINAR Bridging the Gap: Fostering Emotional and Spiritual Wellness is led by Andrea Palmer, a local counselor, 5-7 p.m., The Chapel in the Oaks, 9611 Siegen Lane. This seminar gives parents skills to help their children manage emotions and facilitate spiritual growth. Register at thechapelbr.com/parents.


COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY Join us every Friday for “Time in the Word of God,” 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Baker First United Methodist Church, 1247 Camelia Road. Open to all.


Karen Doughty Ministries is conducting a campaign at www.causes.com/ karendoughty. TAKE THE PLEDGE: Let’s talk about breaking the ultimate taboo of child sexual abuse. Learn more about at www.karendoughty.com.


Help us reach our city for Christ by advertising with us! Call Todd or Sharon. Todd Shupe 225-773-3015 tfshupe@gmail.com



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APRIL 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine