Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine - February 2017 Edition

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St. Vincent de Paul 150 years of ministry in Baton Rouge!

THE SPIRIT of LOVE INSIDE: Millennials: romance in a digital world

Witness at Work with Eric Lane

Retirement as a new beginning

Cancer: a test of faith


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february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

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february 2017

columns 6 8 10 11 12

cover story 20-23 Serving Christ by

14 16

Serving Others


inside each issue



a little lagniappe

24 Love Others with a Selfless Love

by LaTangela Fay 26 To Make a difference you have to be different by Shirley Weber

32 witness at work by Sharon Furrate Bailey

38 opportunities for life 4

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

by Bruce Kuehne

Passing the Test of Faith by Lisa Tramontana

Family Life

We Love Because of Christ’s Love by Ken Paxton

Love Don’t Cost a Thing by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

The Courage to Love by Hamsa Martin

Love...Without Words Showing the Love of Christ to Single Moms

Learning for Life

Retirement Brings New Adventures and Opportunities to Love Others by Kathleen Knight

27 28

5 Publisher’s letter 19 Reading for life by Kelli M. Knight

Basketball for the Gospel

by Julie Boudreaux

by Susan Brown


Faith Life

Pastor’s Perspective

What do You Love about Baton Rouge and What is Your Hope for 2017?

Millennial Life Pursuing Romance in a Digital World by Trapper S. Kinchen

35 36 37

Healthy Life

Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

A Look Inside a Metabolic Chamber

Baton Rouge

Christian Magazine

issue 11, volume 2 February 2017 PUBLISHER/Editor Beth Townsend ASSOCIATE EDITOR McKenzie Moffett mckenzie@ Director of Distribution Elmo Winters contributing writers Susan Brown, Trapper S. Kinchen Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis, Bruce Kuehne Lisa Tramontana, Ken Paxton, Kelli M. Knight, Hamsa Martin Sharon Furrate Bailey, Shirley Weber Julie Boudreaux, Kathleen Knight LaTangela Fay Sherman, Nettye Johnson COVER PHOTO Michael Acaldo with his wife, Paula, and daughters, Madison and Miranda LAYOUT & DESIGN BY Illuminated Designs Studio BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE WEBSITE BY Yowza Design & McKenzie Moffett 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 Pennington Biomedical Research Center


Self-Care Strategies for a happier, healthier You in 2017


by Nettye Johnson

Publisher’s LETTER



Is it really just a four-letter word? Based on popular opinion, he was a great catch. Great looking, wealthy, from a rich heritage, and he certainly had a way with words. “I love you, I want to be with you.” We’d been dating a few weeks. He was a bit too quick to pronounce his devotion. It sounded good, but I knew the words were just that, words. I’d seen the signs – thankfully that was years ago. Words should mean things. Many are quick to offer their opinion on a variety of topics. Not that that is a bad thing, but it can get relentlessly confusing. “Do this, try that, go there and don’t go there.” If you are like me, you just want to do God’s will for your life. Not everyone else’s will. Just His will – nothing more, nothing less and nothing else. “Please Lord, help me to keep it that simple in 2017.” Yet that worthy goal is made complicated every day! There are so many voices speaking into what we should or shouldn’t do. People we love, jobs we have, things that have happened that we didn’t anticipate all greatly influence what we do. Perhaps a simpler approach could help. You know a man by his fruit. Not what is said, but by what is done. Matthew 7:16 says, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” “Fruit of the Spirit” is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life. According to Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV), these attributes are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We learn from Scripture that these are not individual “fruits” from which we pick and choose. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is one nine-fold “fruit” that characterizes all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit. Collectively, these are the fruits that all Christians should be producing in their new lives with Jesus Christ.


In 2017, our monthly themes will be fruits of the Spirit. Featuring love this month, each subsequent edition will take a closer look at what we are called to be producing within our lives. With that focused approach, we should be positioned to prioritize decisions in such a way that we set out to produce fruits of the Spirit and bring glory to our Father. It’s true - February is all about love. Dinners, chocolates, jewelry, roses, and other gifts on Valentine’s Day will be presented carefully to say, “I love you” to those we care most about. Yet God’s love is year round. It’s a noun and a verb. It’s feeling and a fact. It’s a daily calling for every follower of Christ. We are to love one another as Christ loves us. He didn’t wait until we had it all together to open his arms and receive us into his forever family. He didn’t wait until we quit living in sin to forgive us. He didn’t say, “When you are more like me then I will love you more.” His love is and was and will always be complete. It’s available for all to receive, and our job is to share it. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 sums it up perfectly. Let’s not play games. This is eternity. Love is more than just a four-letter word.

Beth Townsend

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Faith LIFE

Basketball for the Gospel by Bruce Kuehne

photos provided by Bruce Kuehne

Istrouma Baptist Church Pastor Jeff Ginn with three men who were getting baptized.

Istrouma Baptist Church Pastor Jeff Ginn baptising a participant.

Istrouma’s Sports Outreach Director, M.L. Woodruff. 6

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Three men were recently baptized as more than 40 others watched – then they all played basketball. It didn’t seem odd. For no spiritual reason, about five years ago Jeff Ginn, Pastor at Istrouma Baptist Church, asked M.L. Woodruff (Coach), to organize some “pick-up” basketball games for the staff. Coach is the sports outreach director and directs teams for about 1,000 kids annually, so it wasn’t long before a dozen staff members played; then a few church members joined; then someone invited an outsider, and then … What started as a small group of mostly white co-workers is today the Lunch Bunch Basketball league, a mission to about 250 men, 90 percent black, which plays twice a week at noon. Istrouma is not trying to build its own base. “Our goal is not to bring people to Istrouma,” says Coach, who has built a leadership team of 16 men, only some of whom attend Istrouma. When Lunch Bunch Basketball started expanding, he invited Clayton Hayes with Connections Ministry to join the leadership team to help develop the program and to contact other pastors to see if they wanted to start similar programs. Rene Brown, Pastor at Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, intends to start a program. Bart Riggins, Pastor at Faith Chapel on Staring Lane, is starting a Lunch Bunch program in the Gardere neighborhood. BREC, which serves mostly school-age kids and typically doesn’t open its gyms until after school, is willing to open its gyms earlier for this program. The police and sheriff’s departments, recognizing a need to become more closely connected in communities, especially with black men, are also participating. Forty men don’t show up twice a week just because someone blows a whistle. Below the surface is great attention to detail. Nathan Strong, Coach’s assistant, who majored in sports administration and minored in business at LSU, registers each player as they arrive, assigns them to teams, hands out (and picks up and washes) the colored jerseys that identify each player with his team for the day, puts their names on the team board, ensures the clocks work, keeps track of the time of play (they rotate every four minutes during each of two - 20 minute games), and assigns the “halftime” activity. The focus of these tasks isn’t just technical; it is intended to create a stable environment. All of the leaders are trained to learn and use each man’s name, make frequent eye contact, and let him know he is welcome. But they don’t force it. The objective is long term relationships, not instant response. Although the core activity is basketball, it’s not the purpose. Pastor Jeff Ginn often plays, and speaks at halftime when the men gather for a devotional, prayer and questions. After one session, one of the leaders commented saying,

Faith LIFE


Although the core activity is basketball, it’s not the purpose. Pastor Jeff Ginn often plays, and speaks at halftime when the men gather for a devotional, prayer and questions. “Jeff was so clear in his presentation of the Gospel,” and when he invited men to ‘call on the name of the Lord to be saved,’ about eight men prayed out loud, phrase by phrase, as Jeff prayed.” Three guys were recently baptized, and two others were baptized in the Spring. But most of the players are not believers. Nathan points out that, “Our humanness comes out in the way we play.” This program exposes them to the way Christians play basketball. They can see what men look like when they try to follow God. Over time, he says, “They are changed.” The basketball is not about winning in the typical sense. “We strive together for God’s glory. We don’t strive against for self-glory,” says Coach. Nathan assigns players to teams and tries to ensure there are no “stacked teams,” so players know there is no arguing about who’s on which team. There are no championships. Men know when to come, and what to expect. “We’re working on the hearts of leaders and players as they come into [our] community,” says Coach. Clayton invited Jon Odenwald, a gifted mentor, to help work on this goal. Nathan’s gift for organization creates an opportunity for Jon to freely move among the men when they’re off-court. One of the players asked Jon what his role was. “I’m the social chairman,” Jon answered, to which the player laughingly responded, “Take my phone number.” Jon did, and later called to follow up. “When I started, I asked Coach whether I could interact with the men outside of the basketball games. He said, ‘Do whatever you want,’” Jon said. Jon is excited about the

opportunities presented. “They are very good players, but need someone to encourage them, to believe in them, to ask them how we can pray for what’s going on in their lives,” he said. “Most men don’t have close connections. I cheer them on, listen to their stories. I invite them to enjoy a gathering of men - not just for basketball, but for life. I get to show them how God is so important in that journey.” All the leaders see God at work. Church-sponsored events sometimes have low rates of return. People show up for food, music or whatever, but don’t come back because there is no core of interest. Men who play good basketball do come back, and they invite their friends. “We average four new guys” every session, Coach reports. “If the churches could do that, it would be awesome. We think it’s a movement of God. We are trying to join Him. Our objective is to transform lives through the gospel. We use basketball as a bridge.”

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Bruce Kuehne grew up in New Orleans where he attended Jesuit High School. He graduated from Tulane with a degree in English Literature, served with the U.S. Air Force as an Information Officer during the Vietnam War. He later graduated from Harvard Law School, and now works at Kuehne & Foote law firm helping people, including divorced people, resolve disputed financial problems. He and his wife, Debbie, attend the Chapel.

Book also available on,, and

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Faith LIFE

Passing the Test of Faith by Lisa Tramontana

If anyone’s faith has been tested, especially in the past year, it’s Sarah Holliday James. But her faith is stronger than ever. A bright, friendly, sociable woman, James has enjoyed a busy professional and family life for the past 30 years. But illness, the death of her mother, and flood damage to her home this year have forced her to stop working and focus on recovering physically and emotionally.

Sarah Holliday James says illness and personal tragedy have not shattered her faith.

A year ago, Sarah was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had surgery to remove it. The tumor was benign, but the experience was frightening because Sarah was in the midst of a two-year battle with breast cancer and was going through chemotherapy at the time. “It has been a lot to go through,” she said. “There have been so many challenges, but my faith has sustained me and kept me strong.”

An advocate for worthy causes

Sarah’s education and career have provided her with the tools to accept whatever the future holds. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology from LSU, she worked as a judicial assistant in Baton Rouge’s criminal court for nine years. “I’ve seen what can happen to families,” she said. “I’ve seen how people’s choices can tear their families Faith from the very beginning In fact, her faith has been a part of her character for as long as she can apart, put people in prison, take away their hope. But there are remember. Originally from Blairstown, La., Sarah remembers sitting a lot of things you can do to have resolution in your life.” That means praying for your enemies as well as your loved on the “mourning bench” at the age of 9, waiting to be baptized, praying for a sign that she was ready. “We would go to church every ones, healing broken relationships and doing things to make day after school, and the children would sit on that bench and listen to you happy, she said. “No one knows when their time is, so the pastor’s teachings about Christ and his love for us. One day, I just you’ve got to make sure your soul is right … and you’ve got to got this feeling and I knew it was time. And I gave my life to Christ.” do it now!” That attitude of determination comes from the fighter That solid faith foundation came from her mother, Sarah said, within Sarah. Over the years, she’s been active in community which is why it was so painful when her mother passed away last affairs at every level. In 2010, she made history as the first August. “She was 73 and died of cancer,” Sarah said. “But she was ready. She knew (and I know) that one day, we are all going to leave African American club president of Republican Women in Louisiana. She helped charter Capital City Republican Women this world, and we just have to make sure we’re prepared when it in an effort to advocate for fairness, diversity and education in happens.” 8

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Faith LIFE

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Taking time for herself

Not long after her mother passed away, Sarah and her husband Larry had to move in with a relative when their Park Forest home was flooded. Because of the brain tumor, Sarah lost some of her shortterm memory, and had to give up driving. She also had to turn over management of her promotional products company to her son and his wife. (In 1985, Sarah founded her own company, Hollico Ad Specialties). The living arrangements have been an adjustment. “Now, I just stay at home,” she said. “I still cook occasionally and I can get around by myself. When I feel up to it, I go to church at Promised Land. I’m lucky that I have such a wonderful husband and two great children who have helped me in so many ways.” Sarah stays busy on social media, and often shares inspirational quotes on her Facebook page. Her New Year’s message to friends was a reminder to appreciate God’s gifts: “Each season of the changing year has blessings all its own, something special that belongs to just that time alone. Each year is a gentle reminder of God’s gift of life on this earth. He comes into our lives like a new dawn, a new day, a new hope … “ As Sarah regains her strength and makes plans for 2017, her advice to others is to practice love in everything you do. “Stay close to your family. Mend all the broken friendships and relationships in your life. Take care of personal business such as wills and debts. And then, just treat others well. Keep a positive outlook … because no matter what happens, there is so much to be grateful for.”

45 Years!

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017



Family LIFE

We Love Because of Christ’s Love by Ken Paxton


hile I was in the middle of my turnaround in life, I prayed for a wife. At that time, I knew God was working on me as he was working on her. I spoke to a group of guys and was telling them how marriage is like welding two pieces of pipe together. As God works on us, like a welder works on pipe, God prepares us by sharpening our prayer life and our faith as we wait for our bride. God was preparing me by showing me how to love my future wife, how to listen and how to be gentle. I love what God says in Ecclesiastes 9:9, “Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.” I had to be still and wait for His timing … and so did she. Well, God blessed me more than I could have ever imagined when He sent me my wife, Brandi. And on September 27, 2014 – we became one forever. Finally, after six years of struggles and my own turnarounds in life, God showed me how He was shaping me to form the Godly union between me and my wife. Brandi is my best gift besides the gift of salvation. She accepts me for who I am and doesn’t try to make me someone I’m not. She sees me as Jesus sees me, and I feel His agape love through her each and every day. Jesus said in Proverbs 18:22, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” Do we argue? Of course we do, we are human. But we always come to an agreement and work things out no matter what. We never go to bed angry … this is a must. The lines of communication must be open and always have trust. And you must be willing to ask for forgiveness, and humble yourself to forgive. We always pray together before bedtime and say something positive to each other every morning. For me, each morning when I get to work, I send my wife a text telling her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. I want to be the first one to compliment my wife in the morning and the last one to compliment her at night. We both have a past and we know that. But we respect each other enough to not care about the past and things that we’ve learned about it along the way. Besides, how can you look forward to your future if you’re always looking in the past? We have a beautiful blended family of four boys – Nick, Kyland, Logan and Chris (who is our angel in heaven). We love our church, and I enjoy doing men’s ministry but my first ministry is to my wife and kids. I can’t be anything for anyone else if I can’t be the best husband and father I can be. My priorities in life are God, my wife, our kids, and then everything else. My wife and I enjoy spending time together whether it’s with our boys making memories, alone going shopping or antiquing, or watching LSU football and spending time with family and friends.


february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

We love watching our boys grow and learn, as well as them teaching us about precious moments in life. My wife is my best friend, my biggest supporter, my confidant, a wonderful mother to our boys, and the love of my life. I’m so blessed that we get to do life together because of the love of Christ. God’s love is between us, and as it says in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.” Ken began writing while he was in high school as a way to vent his emotions. He has continued writing throughout the years, and using his current occupation as an instrument technician, he chose to write this book in the hope that others would relate to what God has shown him through his own work. Ken enjoys spending time with his family and friends and is involved in many church ministries and Christian groups including ISI (Iron Sharpens Iron) and Christians Under Construction. Ken is married to Brandi Babin Paxton and has a son, Kyland, along with two stepsons, Nick and Logan. He cherishes the time with his wife and kids.

Ken and Brandi

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Love Don’t Cost a Thing G

rowing up, I would constantly hear people say, “Love don’t cost a thing.” It wasn’t until I became older that I realized exactly what was being said. The word love appears 310 times in the King James Bible, 348 times in the New American Standard Bible, 551 times in the New International Version and 538 times in the New Revised Standard Version. The word love can be broken down into four categories according to the Greek: Eros, storge, philos, and agape. Eros is romantic love, storge is a natural love, and philos is a friendship or non-romantic love. Agape, or Christian love, is the highest, purest, most unconditional and noblest form of love that is commonly used in the Old Testament. Through previous readings and teachings, we know that we the people are the church. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25-32). In John 21:15-16, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him with the agape type of love, and Peter responded that he had the normal human philos type of love for Him. But after receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter was able to genuinely demonstrate the godly love, and went on serving others throughout his lifetime. One morning on your way to work while running behind schedule with no time to stop for breakfast, you encounter a man at the end of your exit on the interstate. He’s disheveled, has on torn clothes and no shoes. In the blink of an eye, what do you do? Do you roll down

Family LIFE


by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

your window and give the disheveled man a few dollars and pull off? Or do you take the time to speak with the disheveled man? Most of us wouldn’t take the time to roll the window down to give a few dollars, let alone take the time to speak to him. So you do neither, and you pull off quickly because of your tardiness to work. Later that evening, you hear WAFB’s news report while preparing for bed, stating that some unsuspecting woman was given the chance of a lifetime because she took the time to ask a disheveled man if he needed help. See, the disheveled man at the end of your interstate exit was really a multi-billionaire with cancer on assignment to find a genuine person to take over his company before he gets too sick. And his only request was to find someone who genuinely cared about people, as that is the nature of his business. The business was handed over to a woman who wasn’t too busy, who might have been late but stopped, who wasn’t in a rush. A woman who showed genuine love and compassion for all of God’s people no matter their outer appearance, or what state of mind they might be in. By serving others we express the genuine agape love that God designed us for. We are in an everyday struggle to be more Christ-like, but some of us aren’t even trying. To be Christ-like is to show genuine love to everyone, even if they’ve wronged you. Learning to forgive is just a part of the cycle. So I want to petition the hearts of the readers

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. By using lessons from her life, Tonya writes and teaches through one’s obstacles to transform people into achieving their goals. She currently writes for the Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine and released her fourth book entitled “A Refreshing Moment.” Her debut single, “I Choose Life” is available at www. She truly believes in the principle of refreshing lives one by one.

to show love and kindness to everyone. Just take one moment to think about how you would feel if you were down on your blessing and needed just a simple listening ear, but not one soul was there. Most of you would say, “I’ll just talk to God.” But if He sent you an angel in the form of a disheveled man, many of you would miss it because you’re too high and mighty to recognize His hand at work. But no one is higher than the Almighty. Here’s the key ingredient: “Faith without works is dead.” It takes faith and a relationship with God to see the blessing in everything. So with all of these love groups, you are sure to fall into one or another in your lifetime. But the one we should all strive for is showing agape love to all of God’s people. Agape love doesn’t cost a thing.

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Family LIFE

The Courage to Love by Hamsa Martin, M.A., PLPC, NCC


right, we must focus on the way here is a feeling that haunts these events settle in our hearts, all of us on occasion, it’s change our views of our self or that feeling of doing it all others, and the effect that these on our own or feeling alone in things have on how we approach work or decisions we make. In a people. When we share that part sea of family and friends, we can of our story, we begin to connect sometimes feel like we are on an to the listener with a stronger island and no one truly understands hold than that of the gossip the deepest part of us, making sure natured connection. We must let not to show the “ugly” parts of someone into our pain and allow our hearts with most people. We that person to have empathy with don’t want our family to know we us. We must allow that person to struggle or might need help, we also understand our hearts and don’t want our neighbors to know intentions enough to challenge our that our lives are chaotic, and we actions or views of others so that don’t want our close friends to know we do not get stuck in our onethat home life isn’t as peachy as sided downward spiral of judging we’d like them to believe. others. This relationship should What are all of these examples allow you to have empathy not above missing? Connection. only with each other, but to help Connection, or bonding, is an each other begin to have empathy integral part of any intimate with others. This is where true relationship. It’s the linking of LOVE begins. two people where the strength of In the spirit of the season, we that relationship is determined by Hamsa Martin will focus more on intimacy in whatever is tying/holding those partnership and marriage. We must two people together. The level of implement the same characteristics of connection described above. intimacy determines the strength of that hold. Creating intimacy When we share our hearts, motives and pain with our partner, it means going against the preservation of our perfect image and leads them to begin to trust us, and will motivate our significant sharing the wounds of our hearts. Opening up our wounds does not other to want to share his or her pain with us. Vulnerability mean trashing others or telling someone the business of everyone breeds more vulnerability. Love, the feeling at least, is the result around us. It is not focusing on the faults of others or their actions of bonding like this and also through the actions of holding, or intentions against us. It is the telling of our story. Anyone can hugging and kissing. All of these things cause our body to release a gossip and tell someone how so and so hurt them and did the hormone called Oxytocin, which is said to be the bonding hormone, same thing to so and so — that knowledge is often obvious to (or monogamy molecule), and serves to create a sort of safety with others without us gossiping. Gossip bonds two people by the hate our partners. These wonderful things build a strong bond that is or frustration shared, but I would argue that the strength of the severely difficult to break. connection, or level of intimacy, is very weak. If it is so easy for The problem is, there is a large percentage of us in the South this person to talk poorly about someone else, what makes us think who live under the standard of not respecting others or ourselves that they would never speak the same way about us? Trust is not a for even paying attention to our emotions. When we ignore our result of this kind of connection. emotions and just dust our shoulders off and pull ourselves up by To build trust, we must share something with another person our bootstraps, we neglect an important part of ourselves. This that no one else can share with them. Each action against us and would be equivalent to getting kicked off of our horse, then getting interaction of our past is a part of our story, yes, but to tell our story


february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Family LIFE


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right back on the horse, ignoring the sprained wrist or broken leg, and continuing to ride on. In this metaphor, these wounds do not heal properly and we end up feeling hints of pain from our ill healed wounds with every ride we take. Bringing this metaphor back to partnership or marriage, we bring in all of our past hurts that we have ignored and watch them affect our relationship. Our instinct is to keep the hurt inside and to not let anyone in to that sacred pain. We may not even be aware of what is causing the pain. We find it almost heroic to not let our emotions affect us - on the contrary - I would argue that it takes more courage to choose the path toward love by understanding those emotions and sharing them. We may be too afraid to enter into this uncharted territory and we sure as heck do not want someone else to enter in with us ‌ they might be a part of unveiling the ugliness we have kept hidden for so long. The contradiction here is that the ugliness stays ugly when left deep down in the darkness of our hearts, but becomes beautiful when we unveil it to our partner. The beauty of it is that we are vocalizing that we trust them, thus creating a handsome bond between our partner and our self. The beauty is that we become known and fully known by our partner. We sometimes find ourselves in a place where the stakes are too high to just try practicing with our partners because we are too afraid of offending or hurting them (or vice versa) because his or her actions may be contributing added hurt onto our already opened wound. This is where the counseling room comes into play. It is a safe place where we can explore our stories, mend wounds, cry, explore our emotions, discover our patterns of anger and intimacy, understand what is keeping us from intimacy, and practice communication with or without our partner present. All of this in hopes of helping us become seasoned story tellers (of our own stories) in order to strengthen the bond between us and our partner. Veritas Counseling Center is a nonprofit counseling center made up of professionally trained counselors who want to walk with others in learning how to tell their stories. We desire to see mended relationships, healed hearts, and an understanding of why one acts, thinks, or feels the way they do. The more awareness, the better a storyteller, the better bond we create. Veritas Counseling Center wants counseling to be available to all people who are desiring to walk the journey of healing, so it provides counseling at a rate of $40 an hour (compared to $80-$150 at most counseling centers). We hope to rid the stumbling blocks that keep some from entering into the counseling room. You can visit our website, to learn more about our services, and call or email one of the counselors on our team to schedule an appointment.

Flood loss, dependent care, education credits and deductions, social security benefits, capital gains and dividends, retirement, tax credits, households with children, and more!


Veritas Counseling Center 10500 Sam Rushing Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70816 Kelli M. Knight, writer Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


Love…Without Words

X Family LIFE

Show love by your actions and the example you set for others In the final days of 2016, newscasts, entertainment shows and social media sites made it clear that Americans were happy to say goodbye to a year filled with negativity, disaster and conflict. Most of us are looking forward to a fresh start and a year filled with happiness rather than hostility. And that’s where love comes in. Love is a choice — a decision to express ourselves in a caring and compassionate way. And the best way to show it is with actions rather than words. Here are some important ways to give (and receive) love.

Live Your Faith

“Love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) Your faith life is more than the church you attend every Sunday. It is the way you treat people, the way you conduct yourself, and the way you live by example. No one is perfect, but if you make a genuine effort to live by Christian principles, others will notice. Some people show such goodness and character that they make us want to be better people ourselves.

Be Respectful of Others

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) The presidential campaign of 2016 was one of the most polarizing campaigns in U.S. history, exposing a great divide in the country, not to mention rifts among friends, spouses, family members, co-workers and neighbors. No one knows if, or when, we may somehow “meet in the middle” again. But in the meantime, we must remember that even when we disagree with others’ views, we must remain respectful. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and we all have different experiences and backgrounds that shape our beliefs. 14

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Honor Your Parents

“Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12) It’s hard to watch our parents grow old. Time has a way of reversing the typical pattern of life, and at some point, we end up caring for our parents as they cared for us when we were children. Try to nurture the positive aspects of your relationship and let go of past resentments. Even though you may be juggling your own family, job and marriage — make time for your parents. Treat them with dignity, don’t dismiss their ideas or opinions, and spend quality time with them. It makes them happy and you will never have regrets about neglecting them. Most importantly, you will be in their shoes, too, someday. Treat your parents the way you want your own children to treat you in the future.

Practice Forgiveness

“Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) The Bible has much to say about forgiveness, but it’s something most people find extremely difficult (if not impossible) to do. After all, it’s understandable to feel anger

Family LIFE


toward those who have hurt us. Psychologists stress that forgiving is not the same as forgetting, and it does not mean that the offender is off the hook. Forgiveness is something we do for our own emotional healing. No one can move forward or be completely happy when they are clinging to a past grudge. Forgive the one who hurt you and they no longer have any power or influence over your thoughts and feelings.

Teach Your Children

“Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) All parents want the best for their children, but parenting isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come with a teaching manual. Children need encouragement, support and guidance, but most of all, they need love. Show your love by listening to your children, spending time with them, and letting them know they are important. Give them the tools they need to cope with their emotions, achieve goals, and build strong and lasting relationships with others.

Be a True Friend

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17) Be there for your friends. Listen to them when they are going through tough times and need a shoulder to cry on. Celebrate with them when they have happy news to share. And for those friendships that, due to time or distance, have faded into the background … revive them! Call, email or text that long-lost friend and let them know you still think about them and have fond memories of your time together. What a simple way to make someone happy!

Keep Your Promises

“If a man makes a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a promise, he shall not break his word.” (Numbers 30:1-2) It’s usually unintentional, but it sure does happen a lot. You miss a deadline at work. You change your mind about taking your son to the movies. You blow off that visit to your relative. It seems harmless, but you’re breaking your word and sending a painful message to others. You’re disappointing them, implying that they’re not important, and giving them a reason not to trust you. Mean what you say and say what you mean. And then stick to it.

Practice Kindness

“Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than this.” (Mark 12:31) Think of all the opportunities you have every single day to be kind to others. Don’t let them go to waste. Even a small gesture of kindness has the power to completely brighten someone’s day. So smile! Volunteer! Pay a compliment to someone. Praise a co-worker for a job well done. Pay for the person behind you in line at the drive-through. Write a thank-you letter to a former teacher who made a difference in your life. Now, sit back and imagine how your actions created wonderful, unexpected, happy feelings in the lives of others!



BATON ROUGE BICENTENNIAL SUNDAYS In celebration of Baton Rouge’s 200th anniversary, free guided tours will be offered on the first Sunday of each month in 2017. Special programs of traditional crafts, informative lectures, and family activities are planned for each “First Free Sunday.” TOURS HELD AT 1 + 2 + 3 PM

Feels pretty good, doesn’t it? Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Family LIFE

Showing the Love of Christ to Single Moms by Julie Boudreaux

During the month of February, I cannot help but think of love and enjoy exchanging gifts as a token of my affection for those near and dear to me. It’s a time to reflect on the relationships in my life, and how I am doing in those relationships. This usually leads to me ask myself, “How can I do a better job of showing the love of Christ to those around me?” John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for another.” God absolutely calls us to love one another and to put that love on display through our actions. One particular sector of our population I always think about during the month of love is single moms. As a former single mom of 16 years, I remember all too well the feelings of loneliness that would inevitably accompany the month of February each year. So how can our community reach out to single moms? How can we better love single moms and exhibit the love of Christ to them in a tangible way? The smallest act of kindness could mean the absolute world to a single mother. You don’t have to be extravagant to show love. Here are some easy ways you could brighten a precious single momma’s day:

Movie Night

Help a single mom make it a Babysitt for a family movie night by putting si Offer to baby Even if it together a basket complete with single parent. can go to popcorn, candy and a movie. If you aren’t sure what is just so theyore without sort of movie she’d the grocery st eir hip - I like, you could C a baby on th - this will af fe in at If you know she is ae always give a promise you send. co lover to her soul, co ffee be a god RedBox ns blessing her withider gift card. a gift card to her favorite coffee spot. She will surely love Car Meeatlo be blesosfeda A Maybe youMaintenance yo u fo r it! lov le how to chan or your spouse kno oesn’t in the midd you’re d o w h g e n W a meal single mom the oil in a car – a ht r whe with orkweek, o ? Pick a nigpop oil in her ve if you could change sk a r busy wthe weathe e home and king how to chec hicle for her, or show the r b e l d l k the levels h ’ n If coo e u her vehicle. of the fluids er ow sh a hot meal., you n k u Y in o o y offer to wash u could even r with r thing e on ove is not you ays pick on e her. If you w her vehicle for t i A Night Out w l r a o extra mile, anted to go the could m your fav This one can go hand-in-hand with get her vehic o r f . p u le place babysitting. Perhaps you have a detailed. single mom in your life, and you know she’s been dying to try that new restaurant in town. Surprise her with a gift card Do Yard Wo rk o to said restaurant, and offer rk W n D a o Y m ar d Work. Be it to babysit while she Handywhat I affectionately cu tt ing the yard, running e st of and her favorite gal the weed eate We all havy-do list. This is a li that r, b e lo e wing their dri pal go to dinner. call a hon gs around the hous don’t veway free e in of leaves, or p those th t done but that w single ulling weeds a fr om their flow need to ge time to do. Ask ro d n u er a ve a simple waybed. This is always hnat if they need help g. It to be in th y pare n a I hope these simple ideas have with the hands and e s g u in o g h n e a h th feet of inspired you to show a single mom s easy as c Jesus. could be anditioning filter, or some extra love. Get creative with her air choanging a burnt c whatever you decide to do to put e h s ulb out light b ach. God’s love on display. can’t re Julie is a passionate worship leader, Bible teacher, and single mom ministry leader and advocate. She desires for all single moms to know and embrace who they are in Christ. Julie enjoys doing crafts and bringing new life to old things. Julie and her husband, Steve, and their three children reside in Donaldsonville. They attend The Church in Donaldsonville where they are both ministry leaders.


february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Learning for LIFE

Retirement Brings New Adventures and Opportunities to Love Others


photo provided by Sandra Cavalier With various teaching aids at her disposal, Elizabeth Barrett, a foster grandparent, sits behind her desk while waiting to help another student at Northside Elementary School in Denham Springs.

by Kathleen Knight


etirement used to mean a gold watch and a nice party, a preparation of sorts for dozing off in a rocking chair and bidding farewell to decades of career building. Today, however, retirement is more than just an ending. It’s an open opportunity to start fresh, try different things and to learn. Forget saying goodbye. Instead, think new adventures – at least that’s what 70-year-old Rita Coutee has done. After retiring, Coutee discovered she missed seeing her colleagues and,

most of all, she missed meeting new people. While working in the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Coutee offered administrative assistance and routinely provided help to anyone needing the agency’s services. She enjoyed her job, and once she met her retirement goals, she continued to stay active by volunteering at her grandson’s elementary school. But, she said she was ready for more. “I heard about RSVP (from working with the Office of Elderly Affairs), so I decided to look into it,” Coutee explained.

RSVP is a volunteer program for Americans 55 years old and older who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Sponsored locally by the AARP Foundation, RSVP is part of Senior Corps, a national government agency operating under the leadership of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Laurie Hardison, who serves as the project director for RSVP Southeast Louisiana, explained the program is a lot like a for volunteers and those needing volunteers, as it helps

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017



Learning for LIFE

place senior citizens wanting to serve in positions needed by non-profit and community agencies. It’s a great way for older Americans to either get involved or stay involved in their community by providing needed talent to jobs they are already familiar with, or by selecting a new position or skill they have always wanted to learn, Hardison added. Since starting RSVP, Coutee has helped many organizations, served in many different ways and most importantly, has met a lot of different people. For example, just in the past months, she has helped HOPE Ministries by assisting others as they shop through the group’s Client Choice Food Pantry. “I didn’t know anything about HOPE Ministries before volunteering there. It’s a great service,” she said. She has also had “so much fun” helping the Big Buddy Program recently, joining other volunteers in providing Christmas wrapping services for the children involved in the program. “I loved seeing the big smiles on everyone’s face. I would put bows on the presents. The kids were so happy,” Coutee said, adding how she even had the opportunity to introduce her 9-year-old grandson to service when they volunteered together helping the Salvation Army serve Thanksgiving dinner to some 500 people. “He really enjoyed it. I was inside plating the lunches and he would help bring (the dinners) to the cars,” she noted. For Coutee, these three community agencies are just the start. She plans to continue volunteering with other organizations as her schedule allows and finds the program a great opportunity at this point in her life. Her excitement is even contagious. “I was just talking about it in an exercise class one day, and someone said that she wanted to do it, too,” she said, laughing. 18

Like Coutee, Elizabeth Barrett also gets excited when she talks about her volunteer position. For 13 years, Barrett has been a part of Senior Corps, working as a volunteer in the agency’s Foster Grandparent Program. At 82 years old (she’ll be 83 in March), Barrett, or “Miss B” as many affectionately know her, provides academic support to children at Northside Elementary in Denham Springs. Barrett, who retired as a school secretary in 1997, has years of experience in schools. In addition to working in the front office, she has also served as a substitute teacher as well as a paraprofessional helping in math and reading labs. “I knew about the Foster Grandparent Program from when I worked in schools. I always had such great respect for those volunteers,” Barrett said, noting how it was just a natural fit for her to return to school as part of the program. Barrett is one of nearly 30,000 volunteers nationwide in the Foster Grandparent Program. While the program encompasses many volunteer opportunities, Barrett works one-on-one with students who need either academic help or acceleration in the classroom. She provides assistance with writing, reading and math skills. “The goal is to pull them up where they need to be, so they don’t get left behind. Or sometimes, a teacher will give me a child that is advanced. She wants me to challenge him because she might not have the time to do that in the classroom,” explained Barrett. A grandmother and greatgrandmother herself, Barrett enjoys the time she gets to spend helping her students. Over the years, she has cultivated and accumulated a great deal of teaching resources; however, she has been known to spend hours at home researching new teaching games or other learning strategies. She said she enjoys working with the teachers in bringing out the potential in each child.

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Several senior citizens serving with RSVP, a program of the Senior Corps, gather for a photo while helping to distribute toiletry items with HOPE Ministries.

RSVP volunteers enjoy helping the Salvation Army serve Thanksgiving dinners to those in need.

RSVP provides all sorts of service opportunities. Here, volunteers helping at Williamsburg Senior Living Community prove that even clipping coupons can be fun. photos provided by Laurie Hardison

Reading for Life


A Review of

Hot Beignets & Warm Boudoirs A Collection of Recipes from Louisiana’s Bed and Breakfasts Written by Chef John. D. Folse, CEC, AAC Reviewed by Kelli M. Knight


f I didn’t have you with “Hot Beignets,” surely I caught you with “Warm Boudoirs!” Love and passion are certainly ignited with each page turn in this book, which I’ve had for years and am just as smitten by today as the day it was brought home. Chef Folse did an amazing job showing his love for Louisiana in this compilation of mouth-watering recipes and historic homes that span the state from Shreveport to Lafitte. Starting with “Breakfast in the Big Easy: The Quintessential Love Affair” the book goes on to explore the heritage of 26 bed and breakfasts while indulging in the rich history of how so many traditions were started, such as king cakes. Discover the backstory of the famous Madame Bégué’s, Tujague’s and Arnaud’s restaurants, “second breakfast,” and how brunch came to be. There is a sultry side to this book that will entice plenty of romance during this month of love. Superb photography depicting B&Bs such as Alice Plantation in Jeanerette,

Tezcuco Plantation in Burnside, and Judge Porter House in Natchitoches can rev up anyone’s romantic side. But what really tingles the senses are the recipes! The recipes will have you in love with Louisiana all over again. Crabmeat and Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons, Grillades and Gravy Spanish-Style, Pecan-Pesto Chicken, Jumbo Shrimp in Creole Mustard Cream, French Market Fruit Pizza, Maw Maw’s Banana Pound Cake, Wild Blackberry Crêpes, Cheese Garlic Grits Soufflé, Bisque of Spinach and Lump Crabmeat … shall I go on? These are just a few of the many tempting culinary treats that Chef Folse has shared. The photos are exquisite, the history is rich, and the recipes are succulent in “Hot Beignets & Warm Boudoirs.” It is a book beautiful enough to adorn any coffee table, but with so many alluring aspects, it will also find its way into the kitchen or in front of a computer as a travel guide. It’s very popular and can be found on many websites, but the easiest way to purchase it is by going to 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:


Weekend Tea Dance


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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Cover Story

Serving Christ by Serving Others

150 years of ministry leaves quite a story to tell.

by Susan Brown

photos by Beth Townsend

“Any operation or ministry that’s been around for 150 years says a lot about the work. Obviously, God is behind you. It’s amazing to see the generosity of our community.” In 27 years as Chief Executive Officer for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Michael Acaldo has cultivated the agency into a thriving $8 million operation equipped with some 1,500 volunteers per month. As the largest nonprofit in the region, SVdP serves hot meals, provides shelters for homeless men, women and children, operates eight thrift stores and offers dental care, prescription medicine, rental assistance and furniture. “Our focus is - how do we bring the bright light of God and Christ to those who are truly in need?” Acaldo said. “We are a ministry. A lot of people think we’re a social service organization – no – it’s more people in our community that want to put their Christian faith into action.” 20

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

The local St. Vincent de Paul operation welcomes interfaith participation. “We have great support from our local synagogue, the B’nai Israel congregation,” Acaldo said. The congregation provides the popular Thanksgiving Turkey Train. “There’s a lot of good interfaith stuff. I think that’s what our faith calls us to do - to open our arms and be inclusive.” It was a lesson gleaned from the life of Vincent de Paul [1581-1660], who experienced the stark contrast between extravagance and poverty in pre-revolution France. Born to a French peasant-farmer family, Vincent de Paul’s father sold oxen to send his son to seminary in the hope of future provision for the family. A religious career provided a rare bridge from poverty to financial security. “Basically, he dealt with many of the wealthy, and at some point, he was called to provide last rites to an individual who

Cover Story was dying, someone who was poor and a servant,” Acaldo said. “At that point he used all his connections with the wealthy in France to inspire them to do things for the poor.” That included founding hospitals, tending to those suffering the effects of war, and securing freedom for over a thousand galley slaves in North Africa. Some 200 years later, university student Frederic Ozanam founded The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in response to a devastating cholera epidemic in post-revolution Paris. “Everyone is a child of God. That’s how we operate,” Acaldo said. “Our job is to provide a handout in a faith-filled way, so they can feel God’s love. We don’t judge.” “Twenty-seven years ago, it was rare to see a homeless woman and particularly rare to find a homeless mother and children. Now, it’s common, very common. We’re trying to expand what we’re doing shelter-wise,” Acaldo said. “Also, the severity of mental illness and the number of people suffering from mental illness have increased we’re just seeing loads of people.” “A lot of government-type resources have been cut and you see the results,” Acaldo said. “Basically, we have people on the street that are not quite a danger to themselves, not quite a danger to anyone else, but they’re very close. In the past, that kind of person was getting the care they need, and not on the street. In the last four months, we’ve had women come to us and they can’t even tell us their name. If you can imagine it, we have seen it.” But success stories outweigh the challenges: a mother donates a bag of food to the shelter that once housed her family, an auto parts salesman stops to say thanks for helping him through a rough time, a young mother with three children celebrates school achievement. “Her boy was in fourth grade and she had lost her job. She had nowhere else to turn, no family, nothing. This little boy won the spelling bee in East Baton Rouge Parish while he was staying at our shelter,” Acaldo said. “It’s uplifting to put people in a position to be successful in life.” “I’ve heard a St. Vincent de Paul volunteer say on many occasions that we’re called to see the face of Christ in the poor, and if we do a really good job with our work, they’ll see the face of Christ in us,” Acaldo said. That takes an army of volunteers.


St. Vincent de Paul is a full-service ministry including homeless shelters, household donations, and a dental chair used by dentists who donate time and services.

Securely purchase your book today at: or call (225) 305-3006

Transforming Believers Into Powerful Witnesses

Elmo Winters The Kingdom Group 8733 Siegen Lane, # 141 Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017



Cover Story

Michael Acaldo and Rowena LeBeau

Sister Johanne Pedersen, Michael Acaldo, Judy Holston

Last year 400 volunteers made more than 2,200 home visits and distributed some $700,000 in assistance. Others serve meals, organize donations, repair furniture and electronics, and assist with life skills instruction. “One thing that’s been uplifting to me is seeing people who take this as a lifestyle - serving the poor,” Acaldo said. “We’ve had people make 70 years volunteering; we’ve had volunteers 50 consecutive years. That’s powerful.” His wish list includes useful household and pharmaceutical items. “On any given night, we’ve got 100 men, women and children that we’re providing shelter to, and that’s very important,” Acaldo said. On average, SVdP provides more than 26,000 nights of shelter to men, women and children annually. “Individuals can donate blankets, shampoo, towels and prescription medicine, but we also need

Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and cold medicine that’s high blood pressure friendly.” “Obviously, we need financial support. We get some small government grants but about 90 percent of giving to St. Vincent de Paul is by individuals in the community: finances, time, talent, and in-kind goods,” Acaldo said. For example, volunteer Bobby Deangelo and his team buys and fries all the turkeys for Christmas dinner. “I think each of us is called to see what kind of impact we can make,” Acaldo said. “All the credit belongs upstairs and [to] all the good people that are inspired by God to do this work - if you understand that love and understand where it comes from.” “I think that is nurtured by your parents (Jay and Dottie Acaldo) who ensure that you walk a life of faith, that you try to recognize when God

Charles Sides


february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Community volunteers serving lunch.

is having a hand in things. They sacrificed to put us through Catholic schools (Catholic High School, 1985) and for that I’ll be forever grateful,” Acaldo said. “My wife (Paula) is very supportive of me in my ministry. She’s phenomenal.” “My number one prayer is that I get to retire from here and do a better job than I did the first 27 years,” Acaldo said. His goals include expanding the shelter for women and children from 36 to over 70 beds in 2017. “We’re also going to put a chapel right in the center of this campus. That’s where God belongs,” Acaldo said. They received a commitment of $100,000, and estimate a cost of $300,000 to construct the chapel. Acaldo would like to see St. Vincent de Paul property developed to meet pressing needs. Property on North Boulevard – the old Romano’s grocery

Volunteers – Lynn Lunsford and Cathy Trichel

Cover Story


The Café Yo u’r e in

Michael Acaldo and Art Grimes

Ethel Combs and Kay Kyes

site – could become a nonprofit supermarket with a second floor for affordable apartments. Land on Florida Boulevard could house auxiliary space for more services and apartments. “God hasn’t made it clear what we’re going to do with the property,” Acaldo said. “I would like to see us inspire more people to leave St. Vincent de Paul in their wills, in their estate planning,” Acaldo said. “What a beautiful way to keep something going in our community.” A goal is to build the agency’s foundation to ensure longterm services and to establish a fund dedicated to maintenance and the upkeep of the properties. It’s all about growth – spiritual and physical. “If you’re not going from where you are to where you can be, you’re not really fulfilling what you need to be fulfilling,” Acaldo said. “We’re all so very busy, and you’ve got to give the Food preparation

Holy Spirit time and room to work within your life.” “Christ’s love - God’s love - is ultimately the solution. I think from my standpoint, God is on our side,” Acaldo said. “That motivates you and puts you in a position to be part of a lot of wonderful things, great things.”

Soul Food

ce ien r e for a Delicious Exp

Great selections such as The Southern Louisiané, fried catfish, baked turkey wings, fried pork chops, fried chicken, ettoufeé and so much more.

The Café - Simply Soul Food located inside

Cortana Mall Entrance 4 225-335-6372

Lunch Specials Mon. - Fri. • $6.95 Senior Lunch Special First Responders & Military Discounts 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.

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

Gwen Green, Michael Acaldo, Lucille Cox

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017



Love OthersSelfless Love


by LaTangela Fay Sherman

with a

ove has different meanings to all of us. There are so many ways to express or display love, but none greater than that presented to us every day by our Heavenly Father. An agape love … such a selfless love … John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” For God so loved the world … The Lord loves us with compassion. It is His grace and mercy that wakes us in the morning and starts us on our way. The same compassion of loving each other should be exemplified daily. Using a softer tone of our tongues as it reflects the true feelings stored in our hearts. It takes an extraordinary type of individual to go out of their way to help someone in need. It takes a compassionate person to leave their comfort zone to assist when the tough times roll through like a surge in someone else’s life. I have been blessed to come across the paths of individuals that have made a conscious effort to give back to those that need an extra hand when they seem to be experiencing times that can challenge their faith. My grandfather, the late Rev. Jessie Lafayette, Sr. made it his life mission to assist anyone that he could

along this journey we call life. He etched the phrase, “It could be them today and you tomorrow” in my mind, letting me know that no one ever volunteers to fall upon hardships. And maybe it could be the compassion of a loved one, friend or even a complete stranger that could help turn their situation around for the better. We should challenge ourselves daily to become more compassionate people and help all that we can. Remember: “It could be them today and you tomorrow.” “Lord, use me as your vessel.” Whisper those words with sincerity, and ask the Lord to use you to glorify and magnify His name. Let’s focus on spreading the gift of love. Entertainment is the pulse of LaTangela Fay. Singing is her first passion, being born into a musical family, her Grandfather, was a Gospel Singer and Baptist Minister. Her book, “A-Z, Lord Let It Define Me,” will be available soon. Among LaTangela’s accomplishments, she began her career as a radio personality at 15, for one of Louisiana’s leading HipHop/R&B stations. She is also the Production Director and PSA Director. She has been awarded Women in Media’s Female Personality of the Year and represents many charitable organizations, including The American Heart and Stroke Association where she was awarded the Ambassador of the Year. LaTangela’s journey has been long but is nowhere near complete. God is not finished with her yet.

A NEW BIKING PROGRAM FOR SENIORS. Offering seniors a chance to maintain their fitness, lift their spirits and enjoy a social experience with others as they ride either special designed cruisers or 3-wheeled adult trike bikes in our community parks and trailways.



february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017



To Make a Difference You Have to Be Different by Shirley Weber


o you know your identity? To me, this question was one I could not really answer without confusing myself even more. As I became a teenager and headed into early adulthood, I went through an identity crisis. An identity crisis is a period of uncertainty and confusion, in which your sense of identity becomes insecure. I spent a lot of time trying to fit in. I would wake up in the morning feeling miserable before I would even get out of bed. One day as I was walking home, a neighbor’s daughter invited me to church. I really did not want to attend, but she would not give up. The pastor played a film about Jesus dying for me. He died so I could have life and live more abundantly. That night changed my life. I was so curious that I started searching for answers by reading the Word. In reading and studying, there were three topics that gave me confidence in knowing my identity: The Lord made me special. In Genesis 1:27 it says, “Then God said ‘Let us make man in our image in our likeness and let them rule.’” The Lord chose and loves me. Ephesians 1:4-6 says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” The Lord has placed me in his royal family. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

When you know your true identity, your faith will grow stronger and develop as you focus on seeking your identity in Christ. Knowing who you are will restore your joy, bring contentment, and change your life. I discovered the tools that allowed me to overcome obstacles in my life such as not knowing my true identity, being fearful all the time and waking up day-to-day depressed. The tools that I used were found in the Word of God, which renewed my mind each day as I applied the scriptures to my situations. I transformed from insecurity to confidence, from depression to vibrant living. After growing in the faith, I then started to get a strong desire to help others. My husband, Pastor Larkin Weber Sr., who is my greatest inspiration, encouraged me to write, “To Make A Difference You Have To Be Different.” This is a unique book that has a reflection page after each chapter to help the reader seek answers of healing in areas that are or could be a struggle in their life. If you would like to purchase a copy of my book visit For booking info or to learn more about our ministry visit or call 225-933-5816.

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Pastor’s perspective

What do you love about Baton Rouge and what is your hope for 2017?


“Baton Rouge is a friendly place, full of hospitality. My biggest hope for the church Jesus built is that we will submit to God, resist the Devil and believe our Father to unify all Christians despite our differences!” - Pollie Johnson, Pastor at Resurrection Life Family Ministries

“I love the city of Baton Rouge because it is flourishing with centers of learning and every child has an opportunity to develop to his or her greatest potential. My greatest hope for the church is that the Spirit of the Lord will open our hearts and teach us the divine quality of humility and self-effacement so that we can see Jesus as he is and be like him.” - Donald Hunter, Pastor of New Beginning Baptist Church and director of the Black Family Initiative in Baton Rouge “I love the uniqueness of Baton Rouge – a state capital, a college town, a culturally-diverse city, and a Southern-friendly community. My hope for 2017 is that our church will embrace the truth that “Jesus is better” and will grow deeper roots in our faith, stronger relationships with one another, and further reach into our community … for the glory of God and the blessing of our city.” - Steve Foster, Pastor of Community Bible Church “If you are speaking of the people of Baton Rouge, it’s the resiliency that we have as a people. We have been through a lot as a people but we always seem to bounce back and become stronger than we were before. My biggest hope that I have for the church today is that we fulfill the Scripture verse that Jesus declared in St. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” that racial walls and denominational walls will come down, so that we can display a true love for one another as the body of Christ.” - Bishop Ronald Hardy, Faith, Hope and Love Worship Center “I love the city for the history it has of cultural diversity, and how it struggles to blend these together to form a new cultural identity without losing any of its contributing factors. A very big hope I have for the church is that we may be a positive influence toward this.” - Lee McKinzie, Pastor of Nesom Memorial UMC in Tickfaw and Montpelier UMC in Montpelier

“I love Baton Rouge because of the people that live here and my biggest hope for The Church in Baton Rouge is for us as a church to do our part in fulfilling God’s mission to seek and save the lost and disciple the saved, through Christ our Lord.” - Mark Stermer Senior Pastor of The Church in Baton Rouge on Quail Drive What I love about Baton Rouge is our faith-based resiliency. Throughout the dark times 2016 brought us, it was absolutely life-giving to see so many people and so many churches rise to the occasion of helping others. As for my hopes for 2017, I pray that AcaciaChurch would be able to continue to be a point of hope for those looking for a healthy relationship with Jesus. We’ve seen the Lord do some great things and our expectation for 2017 is higher than ever! - Russ Cripps, Pastor of AcaciaChurch Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Millennial life


Pursuing in our Digital World by Trapper S. Kinchen


t’s February, and the electric hum of 21st century romance is probably ringing in your ears. Love, and all that comes with it, is such a tricky thing for millennials. We are caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between the coldness of technological progress and a powerful desire for authentic human relationships. We approach love with cautious optimism, taking our time along the way. On the surface, we appear to be a generation of singletons. Underneath, we’re all eager to find our match. Yet, the arrival of online dating and the high level of divorce among our parents make many of us wary of commitment. Fewer Americans under 30 are married than ever before. The Pew Research Center found that “Sixty-five percent of adults ages 18-32 were married in 1960, while only 26 percent of adults that age were in 2013.” The results of that study make sense, considering the amount of social progress we have achieved over the past 57 years. Civil rights have expanded, women are more financially independent, access to higher education has steadily increased, and opportunities for young people have broadened. Plainly put, in 2017, there is little need for millennials to rush into marriage. We get to take our time, explore the world, get to know ourselves, and be highly selective when choosing a spouse. And that’s a good thing, because, as Time indicated in a recent article, “The data shows clearly that the longer we wait to get married the more successful our marriages will be.” The modern quest for love has led to the emergence of a strange and interesting phenomenon: Internet dating. The 28

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

typical millennial is on the hunt for someone who meets all of his or her expectations, and that can be tricky, considering how specific our wants/ needs tend to be. To help solve the problem of picking a mate, the Internet matchmaking database was invented. Between online dating services and relationship apps, our romantic options have become virtually limitless. According to Forbes, “There are more than 2,500 online dating services in the U.S. alone, with 1,000 new options every year.” We can now select traits in a potential mate the same way we customize a vehicle. Romantic, right? But there’s a catch to having so many selections. A study outlined in Psychology Today indicates that “The more options we see, the more we fear we’ll choose the wrong one.” As handy as technology can be, it has the potential to overwhelm us with too many choices. That’s not to say that online dating doesn’t have its benefits. Like anything else, if used sensibly, relationship apps can be incredibly helpful. Exercising wisdom is key where electronic courtship is concerned. The Lord has given us discernment, and it’s always in our best interest to heed it. If

Millennial life

% in each age group who have ever used an online dating site and/or mobile dating app

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something seems fishy or dangerous, then it should probably be avoided. For most of us, dating - online or otherwise - is simply a fun means to an end. The ultimate personal goal for the majority of unwedded Americans is still matrimony. That’s great news, because research conducted by Daniel Gilbert, PhD., and published by the American Psychological Association indicates that married people are happier on average than their single counterparts. Gilbert says, “Married people are happier than unmarried ones, perhaps because the single best indicator of human happiness is the quality of social relationships.” Gilbert’s research makes total sense when compared to the teachings of Christ. Jesus commanded us to love our fellow man, spread the Gospel, and basically, network with one another. We were created to be highly social, interactive beings, and marriage is a huge part of that. In fact, the Bible is full of Scriptures that express the importance of marriage and the happiness it can bring. However, even though matrimony is a wonderful and holy thing, millennials have been raised in a world where marriages are easily dissolved. According to Time, the Unites States has the highest divorce rate in the Western world. Sadly, nearly half of all millennials have divorced parents.

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Millennial life Like anything else, if used sensibly, relationship apps can be incredibly helpful. Exercising wisdom is key where electronic courtship is concerned. The Lord has given us discernment, and it’s always in our best interest to heed it.

Because marital discord is so common in this county, many of us are cautious about rushing into a lifelong commitment. Jessica Bennett of Time wrote, “We’re cynical. We are a generation raised on a wedding industry that could fund a small nation, but marriages that end before the ink has dried.” The reasons for divorce are broad and debatable. Yet, most millennials still cling to the notion of lasting love and are drawn to the promise of wedded bliss. We’re just going about things a little differently than our parents. Our generation is highly concerned with self-discovery. We work hard at getting to know ourselves, and that’s very wise. Because, only after we accept and embrace our true selves can we begin to form a healthy romantic partnership with someone else. Codependence can be dangerous, so the quest for love really does begin on the inside. People our age also tend to approach the prospect of a romantic relationship with positivity. Even though this sounds a little naïve, it’s actually the smart thing to do. When you focus on negativity or anticipate failure, you’re more likely to strike out. It’s easy to become frustrated, but when we rely on our faith and trust in the Lord to shepherd us in the right direction, we’re much less likely to fail. Millennials are also good at supporting each other. Most of us have a strong network of close friends who help to keep us accountable. We’re more likely to avoid abusive or lopsided relationships when we remain honest with your friends and consider their advice. 30

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But, we must not forget the important role the Lord plays in every aspect of our lives. The power of prayer is the most valuable tool at our disposal. God is the ultimate matchmaker, so do not hesitate to ask for His guidance in your quest for love. You just have to be willing to reach out to him, be open to what he has to say, and follow his lead. Remember, God designed us to give and receive love. He does not want us to be lonely or isolated. He has prepared an ideal mate for each of us, but we have to be proactive in our search, always remembering to trust in Him and love ourselves. Truly, every generation comes of age in a world different from its parents’. Millennials are busy trying to navigate the space between technology and human relationships while simultaneously searching for true love. With a little time and some serious help from God, we’ll figure things out. And, when we do, there’s reason to believe ours will be some of the happiest and most successful marriages the world has ever seen.

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.

Millennial LIFE






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Visit Call 225-763-3000 Email Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Witness at WORK

Eric Lane: Arms Wide Open by Sharon Furrate Bailey

Eric, Lisa, Ashton and Tyler Lane. 32

february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Photo contributed by Eric Lane


ric Lane, President of Gerry Lane Enterprises, began his career in the car business alongside his dad 31 years ago. Eric’s father, Gerry Lane, who began selling cars in 1966, left quite a legacy in Baton Rouge. One piece of wisdom he left Eric was to always do the right thing. In his early teens and 20s, he played AA baseball, had a steady girlfriend, drove a Corvette, and many other things filled his life. Yet he said he still felt a deep emptiness inside. To outsiders, Eric appeared to be on top of the world, but inside, he says he still felt the notoriety was simply not enough. He remembers sharing with his parents while at a baseball tournament that he was tired of being a hypocrite. He knocked on their door and told them he decided to truly follow Jesus. On June 7, 1985 in Jackson, Miss., Eric dedicated his life to Christ. Although his parents baptized him and he was raised in the church, it was during this time in Jackson that he experienced a deep conviction to walk in the love and mercy of Christ. In 2009, Eric faced numerous trials. He said that his life for the most part up to that point had been easy, however during that time he learned much about the Lord’s provision. The scripture that comes to mind when hearing Eric speak about his faith as it stands today having come through the other side of the storm in 2009, is from Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Additionally, Matthew 19:26 appropriately aligns with his choosing to surrender the circumstances to God, “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

Q: Would you please share some defining

moments in your life that helped shape you into the believer you are today? A: While I accepted Christ in 1985, one thing people may find interesting is that

Witness at work I have been baptized four times. My parents baptized me as a baby in the Episcopal church that we attended on Sundays. My uncle Bud, a man that I respected very much, attended the Church of Christ and I got baptized again there, really to give him peace of mind. Later, after I was married and we had children, I joined Istrouma Baptist Church and was baptized there. It took me a while to join a church because I just wanted to be known as a Christian and not be defined by any particular denomination. Then, in 2011, my brother David arranged a trip to the Holy Land with Mike Huckabee, and during that trip I was baptized in the Jordan River. As a believer, this was the ultimate experience. It was a defining moment that I will always remember. In addition, it was awesome to see the places I’d read about in the Bible like the Mount of Olives, the Dead Sea and the Gates of Hell – which I learned is an actual place where the Temple of Pan is located. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the Gates of Hell cannot stand against it.” This scripture has a new meaning to me having learned that the Gates of Hell is an actual place.

Q: The year 1985 when you were still

playing baseball seems to have been a significant year for you. Could you please share what affected you that year? A: I was playing baseball that year, and was rooming with two of my teammates, Todd and Tommy. During the off-season, Tommy moved to Dallas. He did not know anyone there, he was working an unsatisfying job, and his fiancé dumped him. He became downtrodden and was in a dark place, but when Tommy returned to spring training, he was carrying a Bible and talking about Jesus. Most people were running from Tommy, but I considered him a friend and could not shun him. We ended up being roommates again, which turned out to be a good thing!


When I would leave our RV (we were living in it), Tommy would take my rock music out of the cassette player and put in one of his Christian tapes. When I would come back in, Christian praise music was playing. Although it started out as a joke between the two of us, it fed my spirit so much that I eventually decided to chuck all of my rock music tapes and began purchasing Amy Grant and David Meese tapes. I had more joy than I had ever felt in my life during this time of growth in my spiritual life. My brother encouraged me to go and get “The Survival Kit for New Christians,” by Ralph W. Neighbour. He encouraged me to start doing a daily quiet time, which truly helped get me grounded. I started with five minutes of quiet time, and it took time to increase my time in the morning with the Lord, but today, I spend 30 minutes. I have a system in which I get up in the morning and I think about what I did for Jesus yesterday – then I write it down. This system helps me stay accountable and keeps me on the lookout for opportunities to serve Jesus. I start by reading the Bible, and then I read three daily devotions: Men of Integrity (the Promise Keepers version that speaks to specifically to men), A Closer Walk Ministries, and then a generic one that I like. I meditate on what I read, and then I thank Jesus for all the things in my life and I pray for forgiveness and then for people that have prayer requests known to me.

Q: 2009 was a difficult year in your life

that truly made you depend on Christ. Please share what happened and how it shaped you: A: Jesus broke me. It was a traumatic year in several areas of my life, and it was the perfect storm that made me surrender to Jesus completely. I literally lifted my arms up to the Lord and said, ‘God, take over, you do it. I cannot handle all of these trials.’ My two biggest lenders went bankrupt, we lost four out of eight of our franchises, and we had just spent $10

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017


X Wintess at work

million building our new dealership that featured Hummer, Saturn and Saab, which General Motors did away with. All of my franchises in Baton Rouge were gone, my dad had cancer and was suffering from dementia, my son tore his shoulder in baseball and had to have major surgery. Everything seemed to be crumbling around me. Out of the blue, General Motors gave us Cadillac to replace Hummer, and Mitsubishi replaced Saturn, and we did not have to pay for it. I could literally see the hand of God moving and restoring things bit by bit. My dad began recovering in January 2010, and we discovered that his medicines were messing with his mind and needed to be adjusted. He became cognizant again following the adjustments — it was truly miraculous.

Q: How did those trials affect you

personally, especially at home? A: Well, I can say I was not a nice guy to live with at the time due to the stressors. My wife and I were fighting all the time, but things began healing in January 2010 on New Year’s Day. My wife agreed to have my dad move in with us, which was truly a sacrifice on her part and a selfless move, because my dad was still struggling with dementia issues. He was getting up in the middle of the night and needed constant care. During his stay with us he truly got to know my wife, and it allowed me to tuck him into bed at night. He was not a man who asked for help, but he needed our help, so we came together and gave him the care he needed. He became lucid again thanks to Dr. Susan Nelson and was able to move out five months later to his home where he lived until he passed away two and half years later.

Q: How is the Holy Spirit active in your

life today? A: Every day I pray to the Holy Spirit to give me answers to daily situations. Most of my life I made impulsive decisions. 34

Now, I ask the Holy Spirit to direct me and to help me be obedient. I started asking for the Holy Spirit’s direction three years ago and honestly, it changed my life. The biggest piece of advice I’d give to any Christian is to be obedient to the Holy Spirit despite what it may look like to others. For example, some people think I am a bit too generous or different in regards to a decision I made about the two buildings located next to our dealership. Clint Barry, Pastor of Feed my Sheep church, uses one of the buildings to hold services on Sunday. On the other side, in what used to be the Saab showroom, Ernie Sikes started an Anglican church. I have had people ask me why I do not charge them rent, but my answer is simple: The Lord told me to allow them to use these buildings for their different ministries.

Q: What would you say to others

regarding how we can bring our city together, and to business leaders about Baton Rouge? A: First, I would say I do not feel that Baton Rouge is divided. It is one of the most giving communities of people, and I have lived all over the country. There are more people willing to help other people here. Recently, with the flood, there were blacks helping whites and vice versa – Baton Rouge people work together. The flood showed the true Baton Rouge. People did not push their own agendas. It is also a wonderful city due to it being the state capital, which brings in lobbyists and many people from out of town. Plus, we have the mighty Mississippi River, which brings business. Our city has some excellent restaurants too, and we all know people love good Southern food and the hospitality of our people. There is so much good. Downtown Baton Rouge and the Mid City area have attracted new businesses, and it has been experiencing continued revitalization

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throughout the past several years. There is art, music, festivals and many other attractions that keep Baton Rouge on the pulse in a positive way. I am Baton Rouge proud!

Q: What legacy has your father left you personally? A: My dad always tried to do the right thing. He was half American Indian and never discriminated against anyone. He promoted the first black salesman on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and he placed the first black sales manager in Pascagoula, Miss. He always tried to treat people equally. He may not have spoken openly about his faith, but he was greatly influenced by his mother whose Bible was filled with notes and highlights. He lived out his faith and affected our community positively, and his legacy lives on today. Eric says he is thankful today for all of his blessings and gets up every morning to give all the glory to God for sustaining Gerry Lane Enterprises, his marriage, and showing him what can happen when one truly lets God control their life. To learn more about Gerry Lane Enterprises, visit its website,

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 also a columnist for Town Favorites Magazine and has been contributing to that monthly publication since 2005. She can be reached at

Healthy LIFE

Flourless c h o c o l a te


c a k e It’s commonly believed that dark chocolate has health benefits. This Valentine’s Day, indulge in a decadent dessert with the ones you love.

Ingredients: 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped/crumbled 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon fine salt 6 large eggs, room temperature 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar Confectioners’ sugar and/or cocoa powder, for dusting

recipe and photo from


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 2-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray. Put the chocolate, butter, and salt in a large microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Beat the eggs and sugar with a standing or handheld mixer until light and thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Fold the melted chocolate into the whipped eggs until evenly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out wet but not gooey, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and cool on a rack. When ready to serve remove ring from spring form mold. Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder.

Florida Boulevard Reiger Road (I-10 at Siegen Lane) Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 2017



Healthy life

A Look Inside a Metabolic Chamber


ou can get a great estimate from a fitness tracker on how many calories you burn throughout the day, but to get a more accurate measurement, scientists use a powerful tool called a whole room calorimeter (or a metabolic chamber). Not only can a metabolic chamber give insight into how many calories are burned, but it can also shed light on what kind of calories are being burned – whether they are calories from fat, protein or carbohydrates. LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is one of a select few institutions around the world to house not one, but four metabolic chambers. Our scientists use the chambers to learn more about how different diets, exercise routines, supplements or other lifestyle factors impact our metabolism. Gathering this information is vital to the mission at Pennington Biomedical of combatting obesity and its associated chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Inside Pennington Biomedical’s metabolic chambers, you’ll see a room similar to a dorm room or small hotel room. Each chamber has a bed, a television, a desk with a laptop computer, a sink and a toilet. Here’s how the metabolic chambers work: fresh air is circulated into the room and as it flows out of the room, it goes through a series of analyzers that measures the ratio of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the room. Urine is also collected during a stay in the metabolic chamber to assess protein oxidation. All three measurements – oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide that is breathed out, along with nitrogen – are plugged into a calculation that can give scientists a detailed look at metabolism. The number of calories a person burns throughout the day depends on their size and activity level. Someone who is smaller and sedentary may burn around 1,200-1,400 calories in a day. The average American burns 2,000 calories a day, although a taller person who weighs more and has more muscle may burn significantly more calories. During their stay in the metabolic chamber, people spend most of their time relaxing and doing what they might have spent their downtime doing anyway — watching TV or movies, reading or playing games online, or talking on the phone. Most stays in the metabolic chamber are 23 hours long, since it is important to measure or how many calories are burned during sleep. 36

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“The respiratory quotient – or ratio of carbon dioxide exhaled and oxygen inhaled – during sleep is a really good measurement for metabolism, since sleep is a time when the body is conserving energy,” said Dr. Jennifer Rood, associate executive director of cores and resources at Pennington Biomedical. At a fixed time, a registered dietitian prepares each meal and delivers it to the study participant via a small, air-locked cupboard — that way, all the air can be accounted for and scientists can get a more accurate reading on metabolism. Although the room is air tight, the doors of the metabolic chamber are always able to be opened by the person inside, although most people enjoy their restful stay in the chamber. For researchers at Pennington Biomedical who are working to combat chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, metabolic chambers are invaluable and rare instruments. “We get incredible insight about how the body works from our metabolic chambers — information that we can then use to develop new targets for treating diseases that affect our quality of life. Our ultimate goal is to help people improve their quality and length of life,” said Rood. In Baton Rouge, Pennington Biomedical enlists community volunteers to enroll in a health research study and stay in a metabolic chamber as part of the study. If you’re interested in staying in the metabolic chamber, take a look at the many research studies Pennington Biomedical offers by visiting You can screen yourself online or call 225-763-3000 to talk with someone about which study is right for you.

Dr. Jennifer Rood, Associate Executive Director of Cores and Resources at Pennington Biomedical

a happier, Self-care for healthier you strategies in 2017

Healthy LIFE


by Nettye Johnson

It is the start of the new year, and blank pages of my new calendar are filling with plans, work, activities and responsibilities. Perhaps you can relate to feeling that you have more tasks than time, or that you take care of so many people and so many things, that taking care of yourself gets neglected. This should not be the case. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Self-care is temple care. Nourishing self-care is sound physical stewardship that honors God and supports our ability to serve. (See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Corinthians 10:31.) Pray for balance and employ these three steps for better self-care in 2017:


Get Sufficient Sleep

That time of still, calm inactivity actively benefits health. “When you’re sleeping you’re regulating hormone levels, you’re regulating insulin levels, your blood pressure is being kept under control, there are a lot of things going on, and if you’re not getting enough sleep you’re throwing these things out of whack,” says Shelby Freedman Harris, Psy.D., director of behavioral sleep medicine at Montefiore Medical Centers Sleep-Wake Disorders Center in New York City. Chronic lack of sleep (defined as less than 6 hours per night) negatively affects our energy, appearance, cognitive skills, mood, weight and can increase the risk of death. Research published in the European Heart Journal indicates too little sleep raised the risk of developing or dying from heart disease by 48 percent and stroke by 15 percent. How much rest is sufficient? Medical experts advise adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per day to reduce health risks. Action Step: Record your hours of sleep for the past five days (or over the next five days if you can’t remember). If the average is less than seven hours, gradually increase the amount of sleep in 15-20 minute increments until you reach the 7 to 9-hour range. For better sleep tips, go to


Prioritize, Plan and Protect Self-Care

Scripture speaks to love of self and nourishing care of our bodies. In Matthew 22:36-39, Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment. He replied the first and greatest commandment is total complete love of God, and the second greatest commandment is to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ The comparative phrase as yourself tells us that loving our self is not a command, but an expectation. Ephesians 5 shows a similar self-love/care comparison. “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” (Ephesians 5:28-30 ESV) God expects us to love, nourish and care for our bodies. Don’t let busyness defer this direction. Action Step: Make self-care a priority. Make a list of acts and activities that nourish your body and soul. Schedule at least one self-care act each day in your calendar. Write it in ink and follow through.


Say No Sometimes

Avoid the overwhelming feeling that comes from overscheduling. We cannot do everything or be all things to all people. Nor should we. A work may be good or needed, but that does not necessarily mean it is for you to do. In her book, “The Best Yes,” Christian author Lysa TerKeurst states it is important to “not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.” Realize no is not a four-letter word. It is also a complete sentence. An appropriate no is not selfish, it is self-care that keeps us available and energized to do the things God purposes for us to do. Action step: Before committing to a new to-do, prayerfully consider if the task fits and is aligned with what God has for you to do. If it does not - say no.

Employ these three self-care steps to ward off being overwhelmed and bring balance, rest and refreshment to your daily life.

Nettye Johnson is a wife, mother, author, speaker, Bible teacher, American Council of Exercise certified health coach, marathoner and founder of Nettye Johnson Faith and Fitness Services LLC, (NJFFS), a Christian wellness organization providing a science-based, faith-empowered approach to health and wellness. Her first book, “Put Your Faith Where Your Fork Is,” outlines principles to inform and inspire the body of Christ towards healthy weight management. Nettye excels in the grassroots engagement of groups through faith and social channels for education, support and advocacy. An energetic speaker and motivational leader, Nettye informs, inspires and coordinates collaborative action on local and regional levels. Nettye can be reached at 225-235-9489 or Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l February 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 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 March submissions by February 8.

February 2

Lunchtime Lecture and Book Signing West Baton Rouge Museum 12 noon: Lunchtime Lecture and Book Signing for the newly released “South Baton Rouge” featuring authors, Dr. Lori Latrice Martin, associate professor of African American Studies at Louisiana State University and Pastor Raymond A. Jetson of Star Hill Church and CEO of MetroMorphosis. This is a free event.

February 5

“Come Sunday” The Soul Salvage Project will present blues and gospel music from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Lava Cantina in Perkins Rowe. Partnership with Christ in the City makes this event possible.

February 7

Lunchtime Lecture and Book Signing West Baton Rouge Museum 12 noon: Lunchtime Lecture and Book Signing featuring author, John DeSantis on “The Thibodaux Massacre: Racial Violence and the 1887 Sugar Cane Labor Strike.” This is a free event.

February 9 (tentative)

Abortion Recovery Bible Study “Forgiven and Set Free,” an abortion recovery Bible study by Linda Cochrane, will be offered at River Community Church in Prairieville. Some women struggle with guilt, shame and sorrow after abortion – this class allows God’s word to minister into the lives of post-abortive women. The class is tentatively scheduled to begin Thursday, February 9th. Contact Georgia Small for more information at 225-395-1172 or

February 11

Workshop with Nettye Johnson A Purpose Planning Workshop with Certified Health Coach and Christian Wellness Advocate Nettye Johnson will take place on Saturday the 2nd from 10 a.m. - noon at La Madeleine Country French Café (7615 Jefferson Hwy). Explore your life balance, priorities, and outline daily disciplines to help you live your God-given purpose. $25 registration includes group coaching, workshop materials, and a delicious lunch. Space is limited. Preregistration is required. Signup today at HPC Singles ALIVE Valentine’s Banquet Extravaganza Please join us on Saturday the 11th at 5 p.m. for our HPC Singles ALIVE Valentine’s Banquet Extravaganza! Cost: $10; we hope to see you there!

February 17

Lunchtime Lecture and Book Signing West Baton Rouge Museum 12 noon: Lunchtime Lecture and Book Signing featuring author, John DeSantis on “The Thibodaux Massacre: Racial Violence and the 1887 Sugar Cane Labor Strike.” This is a free event. The Dunham School Open House An open house for all grades (PK3-12) will be held on Friday, February 17 at noon in the Quest Center on the Dunham campus. Join us for lunch, a brief program and campus tour. Please register at

February 21

Lunchtime Lecture and Book Signing West Baton Rouge Museum 12 noon: “Taking on the Tough Stuff of History: New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade” with Dr. Erin Greenwald. This is a free event.


february 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

February 23

Women in Spirit We are an interfaith program promoting women’s spirituality. We will meet from noon – 1 p.m. at the St. Joseph Cathedral Parish Hall for a special session with First Lady of Louisiana Donna Edwards. Complimentary lunch will be provided. RSVP to or call 225-387-5928.

February 24

HPC Singles ALIVE Our Singles ALIVE meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the HPC Arena, Flow Room, 2nd Floor. Food and childcare provided. Contact VJ at 225-485-6222 if you have questions.

February 25

CYT Baton Rouge Annual Fundraiser “Encore: A Night to Remember,” CYT’s annual fundraiser will be held on February 25 at 7 p.m. at Bethel Church Assembly of God (12124 Airline Hwy.). This semiformal event will feature a silent auction, live entertainment from our past shows and a dessert bar. Our special guest emcee will be Johnny Ahysen from WAFB. Tickets can be purchased on our website:

Ongoing in February

APPLY BY MARCH 17! $10,000 Scholarship for Graduating Seniors Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers is awarding $10,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in Louisiana! For more information on how to apply, visit The deadline to apply is March 17, 2017. CASA Information Sessions Find out how you can be a voice for an abused or neglected child while they await a safe and permanent home by attending an informational session at 848 Louisiana Ave. Please call CASA at 225-379-8598 or email to learn more or to let us know you are planning to attend. Upcoming February sessions include 2/8 at noon, 2/11 at 10 a.m., 2/13 at 12:30 p.m., 2/17 at 11 a.m., and 2/21 at 5 p.m. February 17-March 31 Traveling Exhibition at WBRM – “Purchased Lives” A panel version of the powerful and poignant traveling exhibition “Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865” will be coming to the West Baton Rouge Museum. Presented by the Entergy Corporation with additional support from the National Park Service, National Endowment for the Humanities and The Kabacoff Family Foundation, “Purchased Lives” examines one of the most challenging eras of U.S. history, the period between America’s 1808 abolishment of the international slave trade and the end of the Civil War. This is a free event.


Come join our team and help us deliver the best Christian magazine in Baton Rouge! The Baton Rouge Christian Life magazine is looking for a few good people to assist us in getting this exciting publication out to our distributions sites. Individuals with dependable transportation, who can volunteer for a few hours, once a month should call Elmo Winters (225) 305-3006. Volunteers are especially needed in Ascension, Livingston and the Feliciana parishes.


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