Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine, May 2018 Issue

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MAY 2018


A Teen’s Struggle with Anorexia and Identity Campus Ministries Have an Impact Family: Putting First Things First

Camp in the City E.J. Hibbler Leads with Love

Please join Isaac Lai with Wycliffe Associates on May 1, 2018 at 7:00 P.M. at the Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge for a banquet!

Help VISION 2025... How? By helping Wycliffe fund Bible translation into every language by 2025!

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The MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) strategy that is revolutionizing Bible translation around the world will be shared.

DINNER IS FREE, BUT RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Visit to register or call Bob Downing 225-505-0253 and leave message for reservations or additional questions. Isaac Lai and his wife Rachel are committed to Wycliffe Associates’ Vision 2025, a goal to have a Bible in every language by the year 2025. They are thrilled to share with others their passion for Bible translation and how God is using people of all backgrounds to help advance translations of God’s Word faster than ever before. 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.



m ay

derby day

May 5 | 4-7 p.m. Farr Park Equestrian Center


evening sky viewing plus May 5 | 7-10 p.m. Highland Road Park Observatory Pets N Paddling May 5 | 1-4 p.m. Milford Wampold Park cinco de mayo May 6 | 1-4 p.m. Independence Community Park

Zoo & Me Morning May 8 | 9 a.m. Baton Rouge Zoo independence botanical gardens Grand opening May 12 | 10 a.m.-noon Independence Botanical Gardens

swamp flashlight night

May 18 | 5-9 p.m. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Sunshine Social: prom

Womack Park

May 18 | 6-9 p.m.

Make it a movie night: The incredibles Independence Park Theatre

May 18 | 7 p.m.

swamp birthday party May 19 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center To volunteer at these or other events, email VOLUNTEER@BREC.ORG


MAY 2018


issue 2, volume 4 MAY 2018

Faith Life

7 Finding Myself by Julia Summers


PUBLISHER Beth Townsend

Family Life A Mother’s Grief by Jan Johnson

Associate Editor/Publisher Susan Brown

Founders Forum

12 Juban Insurance

contributing writers Lisa Tramontana Sharon Furrate Bailey Sharon Holeman Jessica LeBlanc Julia Summers Jan Johnson Rev. David Melville Kayla Perkins Jimmy Haase

Pastor’s Perspective

18-23 Cover story

14 Who Do Others Say You Are?

Pine Cove’s Camp in the City

by Rev. David Melville

Learning for Life

15 Work, Play, Read, Repeat

by Susan Brown

by Kayla Perkins

Man UP

15 9


24 Family: Putting First Things First

Creative Life

26 Hot Art, Cool Nights 32 36

inside each issue 5 Publisher’s letteR 6 Word from the word 28 a little lagniappe

COVER E.J. Hibbler Photo from

by Jimmy Haase

LAYOUT & DESIGN BY Illuminated Designs Studio

Millennial Life

printed by Baton Rouge Press Baton Rouge, La.

Chosen, Royal, and Holy by Jessica LeBlanc

Healthy Life Have a Sun-Safe Summer!

BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE WEBSITE BY Kadmos Technology and Ellen McDowell-Your Social Butterfly

37 Cooking for life 38 opportunities for life

The Walk of a Lifetime

by Lisa Tramontana

BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE 9655 Perkins Road, Suite C-133 Baton Rouge, LA 70810 225-910-7426 @brclifemagazine 4


MAY 2018 l

Publisher’s LETTER


Identity…. Crisis or Craving? This month’s “Identity” theme can create a lot of confusion in the world of Christianity. Simply Googling “Identity in Christ” yields 15,600,000 results. That is multi-million e-searching for one of life’s most important questions! Beth with her 82-year-old mom, Happy Mother’s Day!

While the internet has its place, this can create a lot of unnecessary confusion. Most of the search results came from well-known Christian speakers and authors who have taught on the topic of identity in Christ. While often inspiring, wouldn’t it be better if we read the Bible to allow God to shape our individual identity? If they had a revelation from God, we can too. There is a phrase I recall from my pastor that stirred deep in my heart: “Read the Word; let it do its job.” Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Beth with husband Fred, married 25 years, at an LSU baseball game.

If the Bible is a living document that penetrates every part of our body, then we must read it for ourselves, trusting it to minister to the depths of our being. As we read, it changes us and aligns our heart with His will for our life. God wants to speak to each of His children individually through reading and meditating on His Word. Earlier this year I was cleaning out a closet and found 61 completed Bible study work books. While I could view that as an accomplishment, I found one study I’d completed three times, workbooks completed to prove it, yet did not recall the study! My question quickly became: What would have happened if in all of those hours of study, I had just sat with my Bible, a journal, a quiet space and God? Please don’t misunderstand my message. I attend church weekly and am also in a Bible study group as well as a community group that meets weekly. Those environments nurture my soul and deepen my relationship with God and others. But when I need to know what God has to say to me about decisions in my life, I need time with Him to read the Bible and wait on His spirit. If Jesus, the son of God, set aside large chunks of time to seek God and find quiet, shouldn’t we?

Beth with her son Rhett Townsend, an LSU sophomore.

Our identity is intimately unique and can’t be compared with others. That is why having a few anchor Scriptures is key to remembering who we truly are when challenges come. Here are some of my favorite scripture promises: I am bold and stouthearted (Psalm 138:3); He will surround me with angels (Psalm 91:11); He delivers me from trouble (Psalm 34:6); I am free indeed (John 8:36); My cup overflows (Proverbs 3:10); I have the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:30); Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6); I’m forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 2:13); I have the peace of Christ (Colossians 3:15); I have strong faith (Hebrews 11); My calling in Christ is secure (2 Peter 1:10); I am an overcomer (1 John 3:4); God hears and answers my prayers (1 John 5:14, 15). There are many promises of God, and all are worthy of our complete trust. Do you have an identity crisis? Recognize your craving to seek intimacy with our Creator.

Beth with her 23-year-old daughter Reagan and granddaughter Nessa. Beth loves being “BB.”

Beth Townsend l MAY 2018


X Word from the Word

Identity by Sharon Holeman


hat do you think of when you hear the word complete? A finished project? A totaled spreadsheet? The romantic movie watcher in me thinks of the famous line spoken by Tom Cruise in the film Jerry MaGuire. “I love you. You complete me.” Dictionaries tell us the word can be used as both an adjective (entire; full; absolute) or a verb (finish; fill up; to make something whole or perfect). It seems appropriately encompassing. But what does the Bible say? An interesting study would be to look for the theme of completeness throughout the entire Bible – from Genesis to Revelation – and find the multitude of ways in which the Lord offers us life, love, and purpose. The first thing we would find is truth, for the Bible itself is the undeniable completeness of truth. It was written by 40 authors over a 1500-year span, across three continents, and in three languages, yet with one primary theme – the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ. With more than 300 Messianic prophecies, each fulfilled to completion, prophecy proves the Bible. History, archeology, science, and geography concur. The Word is truth. It is where we can look for answers to our simplest worry and most complex problem, always returning us to a place of joy. It is where we find the completeness of life. Yet we tend to strive, flailing around on our own searching for identity 6

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in the things of this world. We look to accomplishments, accolades, and admiration. We covet praise, promotion, and productivity, believing success comes in the form of bank accounts and social status. We fail. Even when we achieve these things we find the outcome to be hollow. We are disappointed by people and often find success to be lonely and exhausting. King Solomon, the richest, wisest man who ever lived, met with no better result. In Ecclesiastes, he wrote “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless! ” (1:2 NLT) The book concludes with the King’s discovery that we find true happiness and fulfillment only when we live at the center of God’s will. The apostle Paul came to the same conclusion. Writing from a prison cell, confined on account of his faith, he penned, “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and highsounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:8-10 NLT) Christ is complete. He is perfect and whole, God manifested. Moreover, as we are saved, we too become complete in Him. We are, in this life, learning and growing until one day we will

measure up to the full standard of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Until that time, it helps me to remember that as a re-born believer, we become adopted children of God, and that brings us identity in Him, an identity that looks something like this: He created me. He rescued me. He forgives me. He restores me. He clothes me in righteousness. He fills me with His Holy Spirit. He gives me a purpose and a plan. He guides me, provides for me, and abides with me. He loves me. … and when I open my whole heart and love Him in return, He completes me. U

Sharon Holeman is a writer and photographer living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was the project creator, coordinator and co-author of the book Backyard Miracles - 12 American Women, 12 True Stories, 1 Miraculous God. Previously published in Her Glory and Inspire Louisiana. Sharon is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and The Art Institute of Houston. She is currently attending Bethany College to further her pursuit of the Lord and His Word.

Finding Myself

Faith LIFE


by Julia Summers


n early October of 2017, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. I have

battled against my eating disorder since I was a freshman in high school, but it became dangerous in my senior year of high school. Throughout the past three years, my anorexia and the image I have of myself and my body is how I searched for my identity. Rather than judging myself by my heart or the kind of person I am, I based my value and worth on how thin I could be. A vicious cycle of self-starvation and pain is how I lived my life for three years. Actions to save my life were not taken until I could no longer physically live with my disorder. Against my will at the time, my parents made the difficult decision to admit me to a treatment center in Arizona. Naturally, I was terrified and angry. I was unwilling to recognize that I had a problem with eating and with food. The restricting and selfloathing was second nature to me and I was unable to see what everyone else clearly could. October 14, 2017 was the day my heart shattered to pieces. I arrived in the blazing heat of Wickenburg, Arizona and was admitted to Remuda Ranch, a treatment facility for women with eating disorders. I cried and yelled and felt pain like no other as my parents were driven off the campus. I questioned how God could abandon me, and how my parents could see my pain and allow me to suffer by staying alone in Arizona. I begged them to take me home, to not leave me. I still clearly remember how distorted and disturbed my thinking

was those first several days. I cursed God and I told my own father that I hated him. I told the one man in my life that would do absolutely anything to save my life that I despised him for what he did. My eating disorder had become my identity. My brain was no longer my own. For so long, my voice could not be heard. At the ranch, there are three houses that patients move through. I started in the first house, which was the critical care unit. I was to live in this house, named Ocotillo, until I was more physically stable than when I arrived. At Ocotillo, I was culture shocked to say the very least. The basic freedoms and lifestyle I had been living in were completely stripped from me. Simple, daily routines that I normally would not think twice about soon became a privilege. Standing up, walking from one room to another, or even using the restroom whenever I wanted was something that was out of reach

At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. * *Biological Psychiatry and International Journal of Eating Disorders l MAY 2018



Faith LIFE

for me. Although I can see now that all the limitations and rules put in place were for the good of my recovery, I was angry, confused and hurt at the time. It took weeks to finally accept that I needed help. It was not until I moved into the second house, Mariposa, that I started to make strong efforts to recover. I began to recognize my mind as separate from my eating disorder, and discover who I was without my anorexia and my self-destructive thoughts. This was one of the most daunting elements of my recovery, and is still something I struggle with now. I remind myself daily that my eating disorder does not rule my life. It does not have the right to dictate my emotions or decide whether or not I put up a fight against it. The choice to live is up to me, and after the first few weeks in Arizona, I decided my life was worth living. I learned that my identity is not found in the way my body looks or a number on the scale. It is found in God alone.

He is the only one who has my name written on his palm, and who is guiding me through every storm. He will never leave me, no matter how lonely or abandoned I may feel. I was not alone in Arizona, and I am not alone now. He has always been by my side, and he always will be. U

Julia Summers, 18, is a senior at the Dunham School. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, she plans to attend Louisiana State University in August. Writing is one of Julia’s passions, a way for her to express herself. She also enjoys being outdoors and experiencing God’s creation through nature.

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“So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5) 8

MAY 2018 l

A Mother’s Grief

Family LIFE


After her daughter’s death, Jan Johnson turns her eyes toward Heaven by Jan Johnson


t’s been well over a month now since our family was blindsided by the most devastatingly gut-wrenching, life-changing blow to our hearts – the day our precious daughter and sister, Micah, went to be with her sweet Jesus. To say it was unexpected is the biggest understatement of all time, as the illness came suddenly and was seemingly no different from the many illnesses all kids regularly endure … a couple of days of fever and aches and pains, and then, as expected, a break in the fever Sunday night. I looked at her and said, “Tomorrow’s going to be a new day.” She nodded. Tomorrow came and was it a new day! Just not the new day we expected. Monday, January 29, 2018, Micah, our precious treasure, went home to her reward. So many friends and family and even strangers have walked this path of grief with us. Our thank-you seems so inadequate. Your outpouring of love and prayers are sustaining us. Many want to know how we are doing. Honestly, it depends on the minute, and I mean minute, that you ask. At times we are laughing and remembering and just going about normal daily activities. At times we are paralyzed, with a grief so heavy and suffocating that it’s nearly impossible to breathe. The clock ticks and the days roll by, but not fast enough. Our eyes are set on heaven, and that is where we want to be. This life has definitely lost its appeal, although there are still joys in it.

Micah Johnson, just 21, died suddenly in January after a brief illness.

I can’t say this is a new sentiment for us, though, especially for me. The past 10 years have been brutal. The Jacob family has suffered repeated losses … my dad, my mom, my brother, my nephew, and so many extended members. Watching my family members wither away with such debilitating and cruel illnesses has taxed us to our cores. In 2014, within about one month of each other, we buried my brother and my mom, from cancer and Alzheimer’s, respectively. They suffered terribly. During that same time, Jenna was diagnosed with a heart issue and Micah was also facing some intense struggles. I was broken. The only way I could survive was to look up! I’ve

always loved the Word and valued my regular morning time with the Lord, studying, journaling, and praying. Along with my daily reading materials, I added books on Heaven. (I strongly recommend any by Randy Alcorn!) My eyes were open to new truths and the wonder of what awaits those who are His! From then on, more than ever we began desiring heaven. Don’t get me wrong. My desire for heaven did not mean I wanted anything to be cut short on this earth. I loved my life. I loved my family. Those of you who know me well, know that my God is first and my family right behind. I didn’t and don’t need popularity, society, or anything other than my God and my family. If my kids did it, I was there. My husband Steve and I chose to include our kids on all of our travels because, honestly, we didn’t want to miss a thing. I didn’t do lunch or regular nights out with the ladies and Steve didn’t play golf regularly or do weekends with friends, etc. because we didn’t want to. My time was spent mostly at home facilitating life for my family, interceding in prayer for my loved ones, or volunteering for things in which my kids were involved. This is not to say that the way we have done things is the only way or that desiring other things is wrong. Not at all! We just made choices based on our hearts’ desires. We always felt our time with our kids was short just because they grow up so quickly, so we wanted to squeeze every ounce out of our time together. And I am SO glad we did! We always tell/told our kids, “You’re not promised tomorrow.” In fact, last Christmas, our kids were disappointed l MAY 2018


X Family LIFE

The Johnson family (from left) Christian, Jan, Jenna, Steve and Micah.

that we would not have our Christmas as usual. Everyone on the Johnson side would not be at Steve’s parents’ house for our normal Christmas Eve celebration. We had missed spending Thanksgiving with them too. Marriages had changed the dynamics and cousins had to divide time between relatives, all understandable. Our three children, Christian, Micah, and Jenna were quite sad. I looked at them and said, “Enjoy this time. We are not promised another Christmas together.” Of course, I was thinking they might lose one of Steve’s parents or one of us before the next Christmas. NEVER did I understand, for even one minute, the reality that was buried in my warning. And with every ounce of my being, I want to scream to all of you: “You are not promised tomorrow!” Funny thing is, I seriously thought Micah was promised tomorrow. I have journals full of scripture promises the Lord has given me concerning my children. I’ve always taught my kids to search the scriptures for every solution to their problems. Find out what God is saying about the problem. He uses His Word to speak to us today, and I have countless testimonies of how He gave me clear answers to common day problems through a particular scripture. It’s fascinating. Anyway, one day my children will inherit my journals, and they will be able to read everything I have recorded that the Lord has given me for them. Since her passing, I have had to try to reconcile what God gave me for Micah. The Word says, “God’s promises are yes and in Him 10

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amen.” In other words, His promises are true. If He has given you a promise, He will perform it. If He hasn’t performed it, it’s often just a matter of timing or your misinterpretation of the promise. The Lord showed me years ago that there was a pattern of seven in Micah’s life. At age 7 and then again at age 14, the Lord mightily moved and answered long-requested prayers. I’m choosing not to share the details. Since then I have been warring in prayer for other challenges she was facing. Every time I prayed, I got the same answer – “Wait!” I was beyond frustrated. I tearfully told Steve on the night of January 28, when Micah was sick and Jenna was facing an excruciating trial of the day, “I can’t take this anymore. I can’t pray any more or read or fast any more. Why won’t He answer me?” And answer He did … again, not the way I expected. Over the past couple of years, He reminded me of the pattern of seven for Micah. I dismissed it and even argued a bit with Him saying, “Surely, God, you’re not going to wait until she’s 21 to answer these prayers.” As she approached 21, I changed my tune and thought, “Please God, she’s 21, please answer my prayers.” In fact, all throughout 2017, the Lord showed and told me through every way possible that we were in a season of victory and deliverance. So for the first time in a while, I looked forward to a new year. I was so glad to see 2017 end, because it had been brutal. I thought, bring on the victory and deliverance in 2018! Bring on the blessings! And then in

literally the blink of an eye, Micah was delivered! At age 21! His promises were true – but not in the way I had expected and even more true – not in the way I would ever have hoped! The skeptic might ask, “Why? Why would a good God allow this? Why would He take a girl who loves Him with her whole heart, who is serving Him, who is selflessly loving kids and His people, who is a light to this dark world? Doesn’t this world need people with hearts and talents like hers?” But scripture says God is good, so He is. “His ways are righteous,” so they are. Scripture says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Scripture says heaven is our reward. And my heart knows my precious baby girl IS delivered. She IS victorious. She IS where we all want to be. And she would never, not now nor in a million years, choose to come back. She is in full joy with that beautiful smile of hers beaming for eternity. And she is now a part of the “heavenly cloud of witnesses” cheering us on! Yes, I miss her with every part of my being. I still cry a river of tears. But I literally can’t wait to see her again! I’m going to wrap my arms around her so tightly and spend an eternity loving her! By being His child, that is His promise to me! This morning I put my coffee cup down on a glass coaster, which had a picture of Micah inside it. What’s strange is that I’ve had a set of these coasters for years and never had put pictures in them. A couple of months back, I asked Steve to do that for me. He gladly complied, but then both of my girls expressed how much they disliked the pictures he selected. Actually, I agreed, especially for Micah’s. I thought we have so many beautiful pictures of her. Why did he pick this one? Over the past few weeks, she’s been staring at me through it each morning. Some mornings I just can’t bear to look at it. The picture was taken last summer during our vacation to California at a succulent shop that Jenna loved. Micah was just “doing time” there because it didn’t give her any warm fuzzies. She’d rather be at a pizza shop or on an extreme adventure. But the picture brought back

Family LIFE painful memories and incited longings for the future family vacations that we will never again experience. For some reason though, this morning I picked up the coaster and really looked at it. Then I saw something I had never before seen. To the left of Micah’s sweet face was the word “lent.” It was the part of the word “succulent” that had made it into the picture. Wow, a punch in the gut! At the same time, a sweet reminder from God. I didn’t know whether to wail with grief or scream with joy. I was so conflicted. Micah was indeed “lent” to us, for way too short of a time. But to God, it was His perfect amount of time. She was not ours, but His. Questions raced through my mind. I was looking for assurances that I had stewarded this precious gift that the Lord had graciously lent me for 21 years. Had I missed anything? Left anything undone? With comfort from my God, I was able to feel confident that I had mothered her, loved her, trained her and supported her in every way that I humanly knew! To every parent out there, please know your children are “lent.” They belong to the Lord. He can call them home at any time. The greatest comfort I have in this period of intense grief is that I have no regrets, and I know where my sweet Micah is. If I didn’t have both of those things, I could not go on. From the time my children were born until today, my prayer has been, “Lord, let them know they are loved by You and by Steve and me. Let them be single-focused. Let them not turn to the right or to the left. Let them love righteousness and hate sin.


Let them know why they are here and what You created them to be, with no veering off. Let them stay straight and strong for You.” I didn’t want kids that had to be great at everything. I wanted them to stay targeted and focused on those things “God prepared in advance for them to do.” (Ephesians 2:10). Many times my kids have been forced to stand alone, to not do the “thing” the crowd was doing. I always told them that if the thing they wanted to do was what the majority was doing, chances are it wasn’t the right thing. I told them Jesus wasn’t popular. The world hated Him. The gospel is not popular. So … don’t try to be popular. Love people, but don’t need their approval. Seek God’s approval above all else. Granted, this mentality won’t put you high on the popularity list, but it will keep you humble before God. I am so thankful that my Micah listened! She was not always “loved by the world,” but she was always 100% herself and “about her Father’s business.” If you knew Micah, you know she loved so many unusual things. A few of those were archery, knife throwing, skeet shooting, etc. There was just something she loved about hitting the target. Well, she hit hers! Well done baby girl! And if I can speak for my Micah, please do everything now to hit your target and to help your children hit theirs. This life is short, sometimes shorter than we think. But eternity is forever. Don’t miss that mark! U Jan Johnson says every parent should realize that their children belong to the Lord, and can be called home at any time. l MAY 2018



Founders forum

Juban Insurance

Juban Insurance was an early supporter of Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine. Company president Phillip Juban says when he saw the opportunity to support the magazine, he agreed right away. He believes that when you dedicate your work to Christ, He gets involved with every decision. He becomes the chairman of your board. And He gets the glory! The power of faith “As a follower of Christ, my faith affects my relationships, my attitude and my decisions both in my personal life and in my business. My attitude has to be that of a servant. I must remember that no matter what my position, there is always someone over me in the chain of command. I’m not alone in my decisions. God has a much higher perspective than I do. He planned every day of my life and of this agency long before I was born … When one door closes … The insurance industry is actually a second career for me. My first career was in a family construction and retail lumber business that my dad started in 1946 when he returned from the war. The business was successful until the recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s. At the time it closed its doors I was president of the company, so I took the closure very personally. I asked the Lord to lead me in the right direction and he led me to the insurance business. Dudley May, a close friend, gave me an opportunity that I will always be grateful for. Since then, God has blessed me with a wonderful staff and has provided me with close personal friends who have advised me and held me accountable. The desire to do more I’ve come to understand that God wants us to use the specific talents he’s given us. Otherwise, why do we have them? I recall reading the biography of R.G. LeTourneau, a noted Christian businessman and philanthropist who exemplified what a Christian businessman should be. Although he dropped out of school at age 14, he had a tremendous ability to invent and build road construction equipment that others had never thought of before. By 1919, his business had grown to be very successful. But as a Christian, he felt the desire to do more for God.


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In partnership with God LeTourneau believed that anyone who was wholly committed to Christ had to become a pastor or a missionary to fulfill his purpose. After deep prayer with his pastor, he was shocked to hear the words that guided him for the rest of his life. “God needs businessmen too.” This was a revelation and LeTourneau immediately began to consider his business to be a partnership with God. His company continued to grow and allowed him to found LeTourneau University along with many other Christian causes throughout the world. Still a child of God Although I have been a believer for more than 50 years, I am still a child in God’s sight. I don’t think there is any such thing as a mature Christian. I stumble, I fail, I make mistakes and yet my heavenly Father comforts me and says, ‘Let me help you, son.’ Isn’t that what a dad is supposed to do? Again and again, God shows me His incomparable love.”

Juban Insurance is located at 4319 Bluebonnet Blvd. For information, call (225) 291-0405 or visit the website at

Radio Bible Courses, Ltd.

Family LIFE


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 May as Jack Lynch and Ronnie Meaders share God’s Word from 9:15 AM - 10:00 AM Ronnie Meadors

Jack Lynch

OPEN TO EVERYONE! Visit our website to view our Schedule of Speakers and download free materials from Dr. Kalivoda’s teachings: The Campus Bible Class meets at: Burden Conference Center - LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA

■ Come early and join us before the class for coffee & cookies ■

We pick up your furniture donations!

We need: lamps, coffee tables, chairs, love seats, home decor items.

PERKINS ROAD 3651 Perkins Rd. • (225) 364-2734

Donation Hours: Mon – Sat: 10 AM – 5 PM JONES CREEK 6586 Jones Creek Rd. • (225) 751-3262 Donation Hours: Mon – Sat: 9:30 AM – 4 PM All donations help the homeless become self sufficient through The Christian Outreach Center. l MAY 2018


X Pastor’s Perspective

Who Do Others Say You Are? by Rev. David Melville


astors make certain their parishioners are familiar with the day Jesus asked, “Who do people say I am?” (Mark 8:27) But I take the question further and include you and me in the equation. Who do others say you are? Are they accurate in their assessment? We can fool others, we can even fool ourselves, but we can’t fool God. God will know come Judgment Day. I hope others see Christ in you. I hope you identify clearly with the Risen Christ. “Easter People” should be more than students, disciples, fans or even experts on Jesus. “Easter People” should stand out as identifying as closely with Christ as possible. Indeed, in our baptism we are said to go into the waters (die) and rise out of the waters (live) … with Christ. To be a Christian is to receive a new identity; in baptism we put on Christ. We all wear many hats, and we can have more than one personality. (Just don’t have too many!) Most people have more than one talent, and more than one thing we’re good at. But in the end, one description about us should stand out above the others: did we deny self for Christ (Mark 8:34-35), and were we in the world, but not of the world? We are to be set apart; we are even to be, if necessary, peculiar. Don’t we all know people who seem to be at one with Christ … or pretty darn close? There is just something about them; that “something” about them is explained as living Christ-like through the power of the Holy Spirit. To offer one example, Baton Rouge businessman Bill Peters, in my view, is identified with Christ. He was when I met him at the 14

MAY 2018 l

LSU Baptist Student Union nearly 50 years ago, and I saw the same identity when I re-connected with him after moving back to Baton Rouge in 2014. He is set apart. Perhaps other national newspapers do likewise, but I do know that the New York Times presents selected obituaries in the form of what basically is a lengthy news article, with a headline summing up how the deceased was known to the world. A several-decadesold life is summed up in a headline. My obituary won’t make the New York Times, and whatever newspaper I wind up in will simply print what my family pays them to print. But every once in awhile I like to imagine what one-liner would be attached if I were eulogized in the good old New York Times! I invite you to do the same. Decide how you want to be identified and work every day to live according to that identity. At a minimum, be identified as very loving and as a person who was somehow in the world, but not of the world. It is sad, frustrating and amazing to read an obituary of a Christian and never read a reference to church affiliation or the importance of Christ in the dearly departed’s life. It seems this is the case with increasing

frequency. We learn about a man’s hobbies, favorite sports teams, that he was the life of the party, and that he loved his grandchildren very much. These identities are all fine if they are secondary to his love for and his identity with Jesus. But you have to wonder if church or spirituality is not even mentioned … In the Broadway production of Les Miserables, the main character, Jean Valjean, is a convicted felon who turns his life around and becomes a Christ-like figure. But in one song, he asks, “Who am I?” and realizes that to some, he will always be identified as “#24601,” his prison number … even though he had become much, much more. My nonprofit, Christ in the City, will present Aaron Beam at an ethics luncheon on Wednesday, May 2 at the De La Ronde Ballroom in downtown Baton Rouge. Aaron served prison time for corporate fraud, and in his efforts to help businesspeople attending his speeches, he always reminds them that, “Though I stopped my fraud and paid my debt to society, and am trying to do some good things now, I will always be a convicted felon.” But Aaron Beam is much, much more. For tickets, call (225) 397-6393. U

Reverend David Melville pastors Francis Asbury United Methodist Church on Old Hammond Highway in Baton Rouge, and directs Christ in the City, a nonprofit ministry dedicated to taking Christ’s identity and His message outside church walls, where more people are these days. For more information, got to

Learning for LIFE


Work, Play, Read, Repeat How the EBRP Library Can Enrich Your Life by Kayla D. Perkins


This child is all smiles after completing the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program. Photo from the EBRP Library Facebook page.

hile libraries are known as a hub for community programming and resources, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBRPL) has made strides to ensure that we go far beyond the old expectations of your grandfather’s library. l MAY 2018



Learning for LIFE

In the newly built Main Branch of the EBRP Libraries the quiet room (left) and the reading room (above) are perfect places to work, study or concentrate on a great book.

For more than 75 years, EBRPL has served the community, and we work to add quality experiences at every age and stage of life. Not only is EBRPL an institution that fosters education and encourages learning and creativity, but we also are committed to providing fun and innovative environments for people to work, play and read. For the sixth consecutive year, EBRPL was named one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal, the only Louisiana library system to be selected for this honor. Overall, in 2017 your EBRPL experienced an active year with almost 300,000 patrons who utilized the Library’s collection of more than 2 million free items! Our collection of digital resources continues to grow, with several major new online additions, including the Gale Small Business Builder for business planning, Lexis Nexis Legal for in-house legal content, Mergent Intellect which is a business research directory, and Kanopy for streaming films and documentaries, including the Great Courses. 16

MAY 2018 l


Whether you’re a student, a mother, a small business owner or anything in between, the Library’s got something valuable for you. Patrons can find a robust Digital Library at the EBRPL website, full of tools and resources for business, online learning and continued education, scholarly research databases, online tutoring, foreign language learning and more. The Library’s Career Center is located within the Main Library at Goodwood and offers monthly seminars for job searching, résumé writing, mock interviews and one-on-one job coaching.


Your Library is FUN! Every year, we offer thousands of engaging performances, programs and events for all ages, including arts and crafts projects, monthly exhibits, game and movie nights for the whole family, plus after-hours book talks and events for adults. You even can search and research

your family tree with free classes and workshops hosted by the Library’s Special Collections genealogy staff. Rock out with tunes from Freegal or snag your never-ending concert ticket with Qello Concerts for full-length performances and documentaries. We also encourage the discovery of new interests and abilities through science, technology, engineering, art and math-centered (STEM/STEAM) programming for children and teens. The BR Mini Maker Faire® provides families a terrific opportunity to experience new technologies each fall. The Summer Reading Program for kids, teens and adults (yes, adults can get in on the reading fun, too!) is designed to encourage an enjoyment of reading with incentives and prizes for books completed. Amazing performers and presenters like Harvey Rabbit and Friends, Farmer Minor and Daisy the Reading Pig, the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre and many others tour the Library system each summer to delight and entertain youngsters.

Learning for LIFE


Read Whether you like to use an electronic device, listen to an audiobook or hold a hard copy in your hands, we’ve got a book format to suit you! In the Digital Library we offer ebooks with the Libby app from OverDrive, RBdigital for popular magazines, audiobooks and ebooks, Flipster for top digital magazines and much more. Print copies of daily local, national and some international newspapers are available for in-house browsing and hundreds of print magazine titles may be checked out.


With 14 convenient locations across the parish including the Main Library at Goodwood, EBRPL is open to serve you seven days per week, and 24/7 online at, and in the Digital Library at Get access to computers and Wi-Fi, computer classes, online databases, books and magazines, downloads and e-media, programs, concerts, book talks, game nights, various workshops and storytimes, business tools and seminars, career and technology resources and much more – all free with your Library card! U The Main Library is located on Goodwood Blvd. and Lobdell.

Kayla Perkins is the Public Relations Director at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. A native of Baton Rouge, Perkins holds both a Bachelor of Art and a Master of Art in Mass Communication from Southern University. Perkins has worked for the Library for more than six years and is directly responsible for composing, editing and producing the monthly newsletter The Source, which has a distribution of more than 8,000 each month. Perkins also serves as the in-house reporter for “Beyond the Stacks” in the Library’s monthly television show, The Library Road Show.

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X Cover Story

Pine Cove’s Camp in the City Combines Faith and Fun by Susan Brown Photos provided by Camp in the City

E.J. Hibbler brings Camp in the City to The Chapel in the Oaks every year.

Just being around E.J. “Pops” Hibbler is an energizing experience. He is “Christ-centered, others-focused and seriously fun” – the motto of the camp he brings to Baton Rouge every summer. 18

MAY 2018 l


Cover Story Pine Cove’s Camp in the City, based in Tyler, Texas, is coming July 2-6 to the Chapel in the Oaks on Siegen Lane. It is a microcosm of effective mentoring for children: get into their world, genuinely enjoy who they are, and show them who they can become. In the middle of the jam-packed week of water sliding, wall climbing, bungee trampoline jumping and hilarious competition, his team of college students has a mission: to teach the gospel and model a godly lifestyle. That includes a life lesson in obeying parents, something Hibbler learned when (against his mother’s stern warning) he lit a handful of fireworks behind the house leaving him with serious burns and the nickname “Pops.”

“Pine Cove exists to be used by God to transform the lives of people for his purposes and for his glory,” Hibbler said. “What kind of drives and fuels us is that we have college students who may be relevant [to kids], but they know that sin still exists and that we have to fight off that sin with the light we have in us by the Holy Spirit. ‘For it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.’” (Philippians 2:13). “‘The joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Nehemiah 8:10b) when we’re jumping in the gauntlet, when we see those smiling faces and see a lot of sweating,” Hibbler said. “That’s what gets us through the summer – believing those scriptures wholeheartedly. You be

wacky, you be joyful and you show them that they are loved.” Camp in the City teams travel throughout the southeast all summer, from Texas to Oklahoma to South Carolina. “The thing that we want them to walk away with is just identity - who they are,” Hibbler said. As trust builds, counselors have the opportunity to see the kids through God’s eyes, as important, loved and full of potential. His goals are “to instill identity, to have a church home or know a place where they can go, and to know the gospel, the saving news of Jesus Christ.” But getting kids to open up can be tough. “First, we try to break down walls, to let them know that, hey, we don’t mind being silly, goofy, for the

Camp in the City reaches out to kids from churches and surrounding neighborhoods for a jam-packed week of motion and mentoring. l MAY 2018



Cover Story

Camp in the City provides an atmosphere for kids to grow spiritually, and develop skills and friendships.


MAY 2018 l

sake of your saying, ‘Oh, you’re crazy and I think I like you.’” His own story is one that tracks the steadfast love of God who works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:29). Adopted by his great-aunt when he was only two weeks old, E.J. grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with his biological brother and a sister who “just popped in and out” of his life. At his home church, Mt. Olive Baptist, relations became strained. His family pulled away from church for a couple of years while his mother recovered from the hurt she experienced there. Then, the House of the Lord Full Gospel Baptist Church sent a van to pick him up. “I just started growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord there, on my own, instead of grabbing onto my mom’s faith,” he said. “I knew the Lord had called me to ministry, ultimately.” Hibbler was determined to become an engineer to earn enough money for his mom to have a better life. At Mississippi State, his friend Cortez McRaney showed him a verse of scripture that changed his course: “Two things I request of you (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches – Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9). He decided to invest his life in the spiritual development of other people, something he could never claim to accomplish on his own. It was a huge step of faith. Confident that God would provide financially, he gave up his engineering scholarship, changed his major to broadcast journalism and landed a freelance job with ESPN to help pay the bills – a job he still holds. With a student assistantship, he entered the meteorology program for a master’s degree with an ulterior motive – to stay

Cover Story


Camp in the City counselors relate Bible lessons to everyday life and are available to talk kids through challenging situations.

near a girl he was dating. In the Student Hibbler said. “If there’s an issue – fear, often times I think we get burned out Union one day, he saw a Pine Cove hurt, low view of self – turn to the with the same programmatic things. But booth and agreed to work at the Outback scriptures to talk identity into them. these campers are coming for something camp for kids. “Don’t blow that moment. If you have more. They’re coming for Jesus.” “That’s when I had confirmation. I the chance for a ‘hang time,’ speak the A pivotal moment for the team had a dream that the Lord was going words of life into them.” occurred in the aftermath of the July to plant me in Texas, permanently,” “The second thing is knowing that 2016 shooting in Baton Rouge. “We got he said. “Two weeks after that, I was there is a home within a church, because a chance to see how Baton Rouge takes offered a job to come and work on racial differences and how they for Camp in the City full-time. So, mend together as a city,” Hibbler long story short, the Lord did it.” said. They worried that campers Hibbler’s goals are to instill Now, his prayer is to be part from a majority African-American of God’s story: “We want them neighborhood would not come back. identit y, to connect kids with to leave with the gospel and its “We prayed. We said in the name transforming power, that Christ of Jesus, if you would allow these a church home or make them kids to get on this bus, we will came and lived a real life and walked amongst people,” Hibbler make sure to love them,” Hibbler said. “He loved us so much that aware of a place they can go, said. “We saw these campers he died and rose up, conquering already lined up at the edge of the death, and he gave us a helper until road saying we will not let this and to teach the gospel, the the end of the days. He gave us the separate us from an opportunity Holy Spirit.” for them to hear the gospel. We saving news of Jesus Christ. “We tell our counselors to will not let this moment stop our remember what’s going on,” kids because they may go to a l MAY 2018



Cover Story

If there’s an issue – fear, hurt, low view of self – turn to the scriptures to talk identity into them. “Don’t blow that moment.”

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MAY 2018 l

majority white church. It doesn’t matter; Christ is all that matters.’” “These kids are in it for the whole experience – water slides, rock walls, camp cheers, team building and learning about Jesus with their peers,” said Lisette West, Kids Hope USA Director for the Chapel.

FIND NEW ROADS • 225-635-3895

Cover Story


Camp in the City focuses on instilling a sense of positive identity as children who are valued and loved by God and His people.

“Campers talk about how their camp and life experiences relate to the Bible passages. Some make bold professions of faith and go on to be baptized over the summer,” West said. Camp in the City draws kids from the Chapel, neighboring churches and the community, including Wildwood Elementary, a school that partners with the Chapel through Kids Hope USA. It is open to kids who are entering first through 6th grades. “The kids are just spraying with water guns, loving these counselors, hanging onto them, saying they don’t want to leave,” Hibbler said. “So, when you come here from 9 to 4, you’re able to think about fun, Christ and being a

kid. And when you leave here, you can remember Christ and look back on the fun that you’ve had.” Pine Cove is a wonderful Christian camp,” Chapel Pastor Kevin McKee said. “This outstanding camp – when give the opportunity to export its infectious summer activities – chose the Chapel as one of the first churches to offer Camp in the City.” The Chapel has sent counselors, children and families to Pine Cove camps for some 30 years. “And God continues to use Christian camping to change lives and advance his kingdom and purposes,” McKee said. For more information, visit

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. l MAY 2018


X Man UP

Family: Putting First Things First by Jimmy Haase

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37)


ou can interchange soul for family in this verse and ask yourself the question, “So what are we losing in order to gain?” This is my story! I often find myself trying to juggle the many hats I wear. I’m blessed to be a husband to my dear wife, Jennifer, and father to my children Olivia, Wesley, Sophia and Baby H. I’m a locksmith by trade and a minister by obedience. Trying to balance these is not always easy, and often the evidence that things are out of order becomes clear and undeniable. Such a case occurred last year as I found my house out of order due to my absence from home. While I was out trying to fulfill the call of minister, serving the hurting and afflicted, I was causing pain for my own wife and children. I was working two jobs and doing a lot of volunteer ministry work. It became abundantly clear that my children’s attitudes and behavior were affected and my wife was overwhelmed. My physical health was also suffering and starting to deteriorate. I had allowed myself to become 40 pounds overweight, which was taking a toll on my everyday life. It was during my quiet time that God spoke to me and said something 24

Jimmy and Jennifer Haase regained a healthier marriage and family life once Jimmy realized he needed to make his family a priority in life.

MAY 2018 l

had to change. I was neglecting the first ministry he gave me, which is the one that resides within my home … my family. God further revealed that my wife and children needed me more than any other ministry. So I began to develop a plan to intentionally foster relational healing in my home. This was a spiritual exercise between my wife and myself, my children and myself, and my wife with the kids. Basically, all of us were to focus on having one-on-one time together and learning to appreciate one another again. I made a commitment to wake up earlier in the morning to

enjoy more quiet time with God, to do marriage devotionals with my wife, and to do some physical exercise. Additionally, I made a promise to not be absent from home for any two consecutive nights and to help more with the care of the children. I also took on a new responsibility – helping my wife with food preparations so that we could focus on eating better. To facilitate the changes, I called for a family meeting where we worked on an activity calendar. We marked off days where we had to be somewhere, free days, date nights, and days for one-on-one time with the kids. We called this our “Connections Calendar.” After a month, we could honestly see some positive changes in each member of our family. As the next few months rolled by, I lost the 40 pounds I had gained and returned to my proper weight. I had reconnected with my wife and kids on a personal level that we had not had for many years. Thanks be to God that I realized how things were off in my home and regained a healthier marriage and life. The entire family experienced improvements in the areas of physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual health. U

God, Family, Business Man UP




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Creative LIFE

Hot Art, Cool Nights Mid City Merchants 14th Annual Art Festival


nyone who has ever attended the annual Hot Art, Cool Nights festival knows what a special event it is. It’s a family-friendly evening filled with food, live music, and dozens of local artists showcasing their original works. Sponsored by Mid City Merchants, the event is a great way to discover new talent and connect with the businesses that keep Mid City growing. Hot Art, Cool Nights will be held Friday, May 11, from 6 to 10 p.m. in the area loosely bounded by Jefferson Highway to Goodwood and Government Street to 14th Street. The area has long been known for its galleries, sculptors, painters, photographers, jewelry designers and These works by Cheryl Palmer will be on display at Bistro Byronz. other artists. Hot Art, Cool Nights is a free event. Visitors can take advantage of a complimentary shuttle bus and Uber discounts throughout the night, but it’s also fun to stroll along the streets as you take in the art and most likely run into old friends you haven’t seen in a while. Let art arise! For more information, call (225) 571-2176 or email You can also check out the Mid City Merchants Association page on Facebook. Many purchases made during the event will be tax-free. U

Jewelry designer Maria Ramirez will be featured at Hot Art, Cool Nights. 26

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Art rings by Christina Vasquez.


Creative LIFE

This oil painting by Sharise Ruiz will be at Mosaic Gardens.

Maddie Lea Alford is among the participating artists.

Participating businesses include:

Sandbar Beach by Sharon Furrate Bailey.

A-1 Air Conditioning, Aladdin’s Lamp and Antiques, Atomic Pop Shop, Bistro Byronz, Brew Ha Ha, Brewbacher’s Grill, Caffery Gallery, Calandro’s Supermarket, Create Studios, Curbside Burgers, Cutrone’s Barber Shop, Elizabethan Gallery, ELS Landscape Architecture Studios, Everything Philly, Graphic Prints, Happy Cajun Gallery, LES Federal Credit Union, Mo’s Art Supply, Monjuni’s Italian Café and Grocery, Mosaic Garden, Painting with a Twist, Radio Bar, Red Stick Spice Company, Reginelli’s Pizzeria, Sabai Jewelry Gallery, Serop’s Express, Shopper’s Value Foods, Soiree, Studio C, Superior Grill, Sweet Leather, Twine, Guru, The Market at Circa 1857, The Pink Elephant Antiques, Time Warp Boutique, Whitney Bank, Williamsburg Senior Living, Yoga Path, Yvette Marie’s Café, and Victoria’s Toy Station. l MAY 2018



A Little lagniappe

The Walk of a Lifetime Helping Students Stay on the Path of Righteousness by Lisa Tramontana


or young adults, the college years are full of excitement. It’s a time for emotional growth, independence and new experiences. But it

also presents a maze of challenges and temptations that is hard to navigate. One great irony in this unique time of life is that many non-religious students find themselves searching for spiritual fulfillment while many Christian students find themselves falling away from their faith. At Louisiana State University, LSU Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) appeals to both mindsets. With a goal of connecting people to Christ, the organization empowers students to embrace their faith and share it with others. Joining LSU Cru ensures that every student will become part of a strong and welcoming faith community and will always know others who follow Christ. Staff member Ali Enos says Campus Crusade changed her life when she was a student at LSU. She is grateful, she says,

Bri Gilbert works with African American students through the Impact program of LSU Cru. 28

MAY 2018 l

that in her 18 years working with students, she has been given so many opportunities to influence the decisions that will impact their lives forever. “My vision is to be used by God to win students to Christ, build them up to be disciples, and send them out to win and train others,” she said.

A unique approach

Cru focuses on three groups: • A catch-all group that is open to anyone who seeks to explore their faith, study the Bible or ask questions in a safe environment. • A Greek-wide group that brings together sorority and fraternity members to discuss how faith and Greek life intersect. • Impact, a group for African-American students and their unique needs and experiences.

Ali Enos has worked with LSU Cru for 18 years.

A Little lagniappe

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Impact students share their unique culture and experiences as African American students at LSU.

Students in all three groups study the Bible together. (Cru hosts 12 Bible studies each week.) They also enjoy “swaps” or “socials with a purpose” such as game nights and parties held at university dorms. It’s here that current members have the chance to meet new students who might be interested in Cru.

Struggles old and new

Enos says students struggle with the usual temptations such as alcohol, drugs and sex, but in recent years, she has noticed more anxiety and depression related to social media. “In my generation, if a bunch of friends got together and didn’t invite you, you might never know about it. But today, everything is on social media, so if you’re left out, you know about it. It’s hurtful. And young people can’t seem to get a break from it. They’re always scrolling, looking to see how many ‘likes’ or views they got. It really affects their self-confidence.” Brianne Gilbert is a recent graduate of LSU, and leads Impact, along with Joseph

Holmes. “We want African American students to embrace who they are,” she said, “while they practice their faith.” She works especially hard to help upper classmen who are gearing up to go out into the real world. They are trying to make good decisions, and it’s a good time to get back to the basics of their faith,” she said. “So we help them with that. We talk about the things that worry them. We study the book A Purpose-Driven Life. We study the Scriptures for guidance on living a good life.” Gilbert was also involved with Cru during her college years, and is happy for the chance to give back in her own college community. She says she enjoys seeing students grow in their faith. But fun is just as important. “The men recently organized a cookout so they could fellowship with each other,” she said. “The women had a sleepover, which was a great way to strengthen our relationships with each other. We also do old-school game nights just for fun.”

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X A Little lagniappe

Enos leads a Bible study designed for Greek students. Here, her sorority group is pictured.

On the Move

LSU CRU offers many travel and ministry opportunities for students: • Winter conference: a week-long event that offers fellowship and learning during the winter break. • Summer mission: a 6- to 8-week mission trip with stateside and international destinations. • Summer trip to Italy: a special partnership that takes place in Bologna, Italy for 5 to 6 weeks.

Enos, second from left, with a group of young women on a recent mission trip to Italy. 30

MAY 2018 l

A Little lagniappe


“In my generation, if a bunch of friends got together and didn’t invite you, you might never know about it. But today, everything is on social media, so if you’re left out, you know about it. It’s hurtful. And young people can’t seem to get a break from it. They’re always scrolling, looking to see how many ‘likes’ or views they got. It really affects their self-confidence.” -Ali Enos Service is important, too. Impact members are partnering with a local middle school to help tutor students in math and reading next year. And they will also host a weekly Bible study for high school athletes.

Faith and identity

“Connecting young people with Christ is so important,” said Enos. “Now more than ever, they need to understand that their identity comes from their relationship with Christ, not from other people. And there are so many things they can do to keep their faith strong – spend time with God on a daily basis, read the Bible, pray and really listen to 13653 Airline Highway, Gonzales, LA 70737 (225) 644-4663

what God is saying, and seek out friends who encourage you in your faith and hold you accountable for your actions.” “It is going to be a struggle sometimes. But if you know the truth and keep the faith, you will be steady and secure as a Christian. We all need to surround ourselves with those who help lead us in the right direction. It makes the journey so much easier.” For more information, visit the website at In our next issue, we will feature a student ministry group at Southern University. If you are involved with a college ministry, let us know at U

Your Guide to Digital Marketing Monthly Marketing Membership Guide Email Marketing Social Media

A group of Impact students hold up their ‘vision boards.’


Online Scheduling




Millennial Life

Chosen, Royal and Holy by Jessica LeBlanc


ebster’s dictionary defines identity as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” Speaking as a millennial,

this is something that we often struggle with – who we are. Two questions that I believe we’re born with are “Who am I?” and “What is the meaning of life?” One of the many things I love about God is that He leaves no stone unturned. Those questions that have prompted research by noted scholars for ages … God has an answer to each one. He ultimately wants our destination to be the same, to live with Him for eternity. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Sometimes we struggle with purpose and who we are because we’re attaching our identity to a person, job or thing. But I’ve learned that God wants us to attach who we are, hope to

be, and have ever been – to Him. He desires for us to place our expectations in Him because He is the only one who will never disappoint us. Placing it in anything besides Him is faulty because people die, jobs fall through or don’t meet our expectations, and things often fall apart. But God is and will forever remain constant. When we know who we are in Him, we become unstoppable, simply because the Creator of the universe is on our side! Just let that sink in for a moment. It’s polarizing, isn’t it? When I was in college, studying journalism, I was very focused and knew exactly what God wanted me to declare as my major. I wasn’t the student who changed her major three times. I knew exactly what I was supposed to do and did it. When I graduated, I thought I was going to have a news reporting job waiting for me since I was so clear on my purpose. I didn’t. Talk about a true test of faith. I graduated in December of 2013, about two weeks before Christmas. Several months before graduation, I must have

sent my resume to at least 50 stations around the country, including Hawaii and Alaska. But I didn’t have one job offer waiting for me. I began to question if I made the right decision after all. Why would God tell me to study this for four years and not give me a job once I was done? It was a test of my faith and whether I was what I had always claimed to be – a child of God. I had to be reminded that as a child of the Most High, He would never leave or forsake me. In Jeremiah 1:5, God says “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee.” Wow! So, if God knows who I am and He knows my destiny, I should be okay, right? Still, it’s hard to trust when you’re going through the test. So, I prayed and fasted. In 1 Peter 2:9, God reminds believers that He chose us. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people …” Chosen, royal, and holy.

ident it y 32

MAY 2018 l

What a description. After praying and fasting and coming to the conclusion that I needed to trust God and realize who I was, that’s when it happened. About a month and a half went by, and that’s when I got the call I was waiting for. It was the number one station where I wanted to work. I could hardly believe it, but I knew God must have wanted this, too. He lined everything up just the way it was supposed to be. So I encourage you that if you don’t know Christ for yourself, please get to know Him because you too can be Chosen, Royal and Holy. U

Jessica LeBlanc is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated journalist who was named one of the top student television news reporters in the country by College Broadcasters in 2011. While in college, she traveled to Europe and wrote political and human interests stories for UPIU. com (an extension of United Press International). Upon graduation from Southeastern Louisiana University, she began working at WBRZ News 2 in Baton Rouge as a multimedia journalist and later an as anchor. Originally from New Orleans, she spends her free time working on her blog Moments with Jess, reading, taking on various speaking engagements and spending time with her family.


May 29 to July 26

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– Swimming l MAY 2018


X Healthy Life

National Skin Cancer Prevention Month

Have a Sun-Safe Summer!


hen the school bell rings for the last time this year, the kids will be headed outdoors – to the back yard, the local swimming pool, the baseball and soccer fields, or a family vacation at the beach. That means your family’s most important accessory for the next few months is sunscreen! May is National Skin Cancer Prevention Month, so be sure you keep plenty of sunscreen with you and educate your kids on the importance of using it every time they venture outside. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best sun protection factor (SPF) is 30 or higher for children. The higher the SPF, the higher the level of protection.

Sun protection tips

Here are some helpful tips to minimize the harsh effects of the sun:

• Try to stay out of the midday sun (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.). • While you’re outdoors, apply sunscreen every 2 hours. • Wear sunscreen even on cloudy, overcast days. • Wear sunglasses with UVB protection. • Wear a hat or visor to keep your head covered.

Skin cancer warning signs

Skin damage usually shows up in the form of moles, blemishes, or skin discolorations. A normal mole is usually evenly colored and can be flat or raised. Some are present at birth, but most appear in childhood or young adulthood. Most of the time, they are harmless. You should be concerned, however, if you notice that a mole or growth has changed color, size, texture or shape. Check your skin carefully once a month and if you do notice any changes, make an appointment to visit your dermatologist. Early detection is key to treating and beating skin cancer.

Wearing sunscreen is one of the best preventive measures you can take to reduce the risk of skin cancer. 34

MAY 2018 l

Happy Mother’s Day

YOU’RE MISSING OUT IF YOU’RE NOT FOLLOWING US! Instagram (@brclifemagazine)

Twitter (@brclife)

#ONEinrouge #brchristianlifemagazine FIND OTHER EVENTS AND STORIES ON VIDEO! l MAY 2018


Join the Local Baton Rouge Chapter

Connect Form New Friendships Face the Media World Together Our organizational framework promotes and provides opportunities for industry networking, professional equipping and spiritual refreshment through our regional connections, fellowship networks, national conferences and our private member area.

Disaster Preparedness Resource Fair

Saturday, May 19 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Living Faith Christian Center Free This event will highlight most of Baton Rouge’s largest disaster preparedness organizations, such as the Cajun Navy 2016 and many others. During the event, organizers will conduct two live disaster preparedness trainings for the general public. This community-wide seminar is presented by SBP, INC in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, and the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness.

Christian Women in Media Association (CWIMA) is a professional association dedicated to Connecting Women in Purpose and Vision. With an international platform focused on advancing Christian women in media, our members work in the fields of TV, Radio, Film, Social Media Professional, Author/Publishing, Journalism, Music, and Arts and Entertainment. Our organizational framework promotes and provides opportunities for industry networking, professional equipping, and spiritual refreshment. 36

MAY 2018 l

Cooking for life


Cheesy Lemon Angel Hair What You’ll Need:

1 lb. angel hair pasta 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp. unsalted butter 2 tbsp. flour 3 lemons, thinly sliced and seeded 3 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup chicken broth kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 1 1/2 cup grated Gruyere 1 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano

How to Make It:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and generously season with salt. Cook pasta according to al dente package directions. Drain. In a large skillet over low heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. When butter starts to bubble add garlic and lemons. Season with salt and pepper and cook until lemons are softened, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Add cheeses while constantly whisking. Add cooked angel hair and toss in sauce with parsley. Serve immediately. Recipe from submitted by Lauren Miyashiro

Do you have a recipe that you’d like to share? We would love to feature it right here! Send your recipe to Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine and it may be chosen for publication in an upcoming issue. Send it to

All Things Productions

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Owner: Rachel Boster l MAY 2018



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 by the 8th of the previous month. Please include details (date/time/location/ information/etc.) so we can be sure it’s ready to print. Please send June submissions by May 8.

MAY 1-31

CAMP IN THE CITY REGISTRATION 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 2-6, The Chapel in the Oaks, 9611 Siegen Lane. Pine Cove’s summer day camp for kids completing K-5th grades. Indoor and outdoor activities, great staff, life-changing ministry! Register at

MAY 1, 3, 7, 9, 15, 19, 21, 23

CASA NEW VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION CASA Office, 848 Louisiana Ave. During these 45-minute informational sessions, you’ll learn how you can be a voice for an abused or neglected child while they await a safe and permanent home. For times and more information, call (225) 379-8598 or email


ETHICS FIRST! LUNCHEON Noon, De La Ronde Ballroom, 320 Third St. Convicted felon Aaron Beam shares his experiences with corporate fraud. Presented by Christ in the City. Tickets $50 per person. For more information, call (225) 397-6393 or email

MAY 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

BIBLE STUDY Noon, 6:45 prayer service, and 7:15 p.m. study, Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, 356 T. J. Jemison Blvd. Join us for fellowship and discussion. For more information, call (225) 383-5401.


SOLDIER CARE PACKAGE STUFFING 9-11 a.m., Mooyah’s Burgers & Shakes, 6655 Siegen Lane. BR Soldier Outreach will be stuffing care packages for members of the U.S. Marine Corps. For details, visit


COUPLES’ MINISTRY 6:30 p.m., Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, 356 T. J. Jemison Blvd. Book discussion on The 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make by Bill & Pam Farrel. For more information, call (225) 383-5401.

MAY 10

IMPACT LUNCHEON 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4728 Constitution Ave. Join us for the 6th annual The Life of a Single Mom (TLSM) Impact Luncheon. This annual fundraiser is open to those who would like to support the work of the organization, helping us to ensure that no single mother walks alone. Individual tickets $50. Table of 8 is $500. For more information, visit or call (225) 341-8055.


MAY 2018 l

MAY 14

WOMEN’S MINISTRY 6 p.m., Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, 356 T. J. Jemison Blvd. Book Discussion on War Room by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick. For more information, call (225) 383-5401.

MAY 15

FAMILY MINISTRY TRAINING 6 p.m., Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, 356 T. J. Jemison Blvd. Join us for fellowship and discussion. Free. For more information, call (225) 383-5401.

MAY 19

HOMESCHOOLING ALIVE 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Tangipahoa Parish Library, 314 E. Thomas St., Hammond. The National Black Home Educators present “Homeschooling Alive - It May Just Be a Fit for Your Family.”

MAY 22

LEADERSHIP TRAINING 6 p.m., Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, 356 T. J. Jemison Blvd. Join us for fellowship and discussion. Free. For more information, call (225) 383-5401.

MAY 22

MASTER MIND Every Tuesday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., location TBD. Topic is “Applying Patterns & Principles in Scripture to Move Forward with Momentum in Business & Life.” Cost is $97. Registration required as seats are limited. For more information, call (225) 978-4595.

MAY 22

BR SOLDIER OUTREACH 6:30 p.m., Mooyah’s Burgers and Shakes, 6655 Seigen Lane. Come between 6 and 8 p.m. and say you support BR Soldier Outreach, and Mooyah’s will receive a percentage of the sales. For more information, visit

MAY 24

WOMEN IN SPIRIT Noon, St. Joseph Cathedral Parish Hall, 412 North Street. Norma Nunez of Metanoia Manor will speak on her ministry with those who have been victims of human trafficking. Complimentary lunch provided. RSVP by emailing or by calling (225) 387-5928.

MAY 24-27

WILLY WONKA, JR. LSU Shaver Theater (times vary). CYT Baton Rouge presents this fun, familyfriendly musical based on the Roald Dahl novel, and featuring 68 talented youth from our community. Tickets $18 adults, $15 children, $20 at the door, group discounts available. For more information, visit or call (225) 938-1438.

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MAY 2018 l

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