March 2017 webversion

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MARCH 2017



LSU Baseball’s Alex Lange Playing with a Purpose

I N S I D E :

• Finding Peace in Marriage

The Gift of PEACE

• Peace in Your Storms • Just in Time Tax Tips • Witness at Work: I-Catchers Change the World

You’re invited to the 53nd Annual Louisiana

Governor’s Prayer Breakfast April 11, 2017 Raising Cane’s River Center Doors open at 6:30 A.M. for a full breakfast. Event begins at 7:30 A.M. and will conclude by 9 A.M.

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

The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast is a statewide observance held annually near the opening days of the Louisiana Legislature. Its purpose is to seek God’s guidance for all leaders and citizens of our State, and to strengthen ourselves for the journey as we try to live as a responsible community of faith. It is an interdenominational event centered on the person of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world and is intended to promote His glory. People of all faiths are welcome to attend. The first Louisiana Governor’s Prayer Breakfast was held in Baton Rouge on May 10, 1965 at the Jack Tar Capitol House. This event is an outgrowth of the INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP movement which spawned the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., and similar events held annually in thousands of U.S. cities and at least fifty other countries.

Tickets and table sponsorships are on sale now at ($5,000 platinum, $2500 gold, $1250 silver and $625 gold, $40 individuals) 2

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

THIS MONTH AT BREC JOIN US IN MARCH FOR... The Berenstain Bears LIVE! March 3, 7 p.m.

Independence Park Theatre {225-216-0660


Leprechaun Game Night March 10, 6-8 p.m. Zachary Community Park {225-654-4261


Sunset Paddle March 10, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Milford Wampold Park {225-620-0500 |} The Edge of Night March 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Highland Road Park Observatory {225-768-9948 |}

Make it a Movie Night: The Secret of Kells March 10, 7 p.m. Independence Park Theatre {225-216-0660


Rockin’ at the Swamp March 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center {225-757-8905


Leprechaun Game Night March 17, 6-8 p.m. Perkins Road Community Park {225-766-5209


Summer Camp Registration March 25, 9 a.m.-noon Facility of your choice!

{225-272-9200 |}

Art in the Park March 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. City-Brooks Community Park {225-387-1482


Nano Days March 25, 2-6 p.m. Highland Road Park Observatory {225-768-9948


Great Family Camp Out March 25-26, 4 p.m.-10 a.m. Highland Road Community Park

{225-620-0500 |}

Flashlight Egg Hunt March 31, 6:30-9 p.m. Plank Road Park {225-654-8401


To volunteer at these or other events, email


mARCH 2017

Baton Rouge


Day by Day: Life, Liberty & Joy


Prayer for Peace in My Home

11 12 photo courtesy

cover story by Randy Rosetta 18-21 Alex Lange

Faith Life




by Trailon Johnson

Family Life Peace in Your Storms by Susan Brown

The Cracked Door

by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis

Finding P.E.A.C.E. in Marraige by TaShawnda and Alton Jamison

Creative Life Randell Henry

by Sharon Furrate Bailey

Playing with a Purpose




Millennial Life Millennials and the Big 3 by Trapper S. Kinchen

Pastor’s Perspective Sitting Down on the Inside: The Gift of Peace by Carter Featherston



inside each issue 5 Publisher’s letter 14 Reading for life by Kelli M. Knight


Healthy Life Nine Tips for Picky Eaters

by Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Healthy Living: Outside and Inside by Patrick Allen

32 witness at work by Lisa Tramontana

38 opportunities for life

a little lagniappe 22 #BE4BR photo spread

25 2017 Tax Tips: It can be Tough for Many Local Residents by Lisa Tramontana



MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine




issue 12, volume 2 MARCH 2017 PUBLISHER Beth Townsend Editing Susan Brown Director of Distribution Elmo Winters contributing writers Susan Brown Lisa Tramontana Trapper S. Kinchen Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis Kelli M. Knight Sharon Furrate Bailey Randy Rosetta TaShawnda & Alton Jamison Patrick Allen Carter Featherston Trailon Johnson COVER PHOTO Alex Lange, LSU starting pitcher Photo by Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate LAYOUT & DESIGN BY Illuminated Designs Studio BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE WEBSITE BY Yowza Design & Therese Winters printed by RR Donnelley / Memphis, TN BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE 9655 Perkins Road, Suite C-133 Baton Rouge, LA 70810 225-910-7426


Publisher’s LETTER


This month’s fruit of the Spirit: peace. As I write I feel very little of it. Storms rage around me. There is deep hurt in my family. There are decisions to be made in my work that are difficult. Key relationships need healing. There have been days when doing just what must be done is all I could do. Where is my peace? No Christian is free of pain. Nor does anyone feel peaceful all the time. In seasons of difficulty, we must remember that our feelings will not only fail us, but can often mislead us. In Jeremiah, the Bible explains. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We must understand peace from the Bible’s perspective to have peace in our lives. Peace is a promise. Ephesians 2:14 says, “For he himself is our peace...” We may not feel peaceful, but if we are in Christ, He is our peace. His very presence supersedes any situation and covers the trials we face. Therefore, we must practice his Presence daily. One way to do that is to say, as needed, “He himself is my peace.” Repeat, repeat, repeat. Peace requires perseverance. Hebrews 12:1 says to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” You have a race marked out for you. As do I. Each life has a divine purpose. We can neither give up nor let any lack of peace interrupt our commitment to God’s call on our life. We persevere because He persevered. Period. Peace has a pathway. Philippians 4:6 gives a strong directive: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The doorway to peace is thanksgiving. If peace is lacking, gratitude is lacking. Thanksgiving comes before presenting our requests to God. We don’t wait until we feel thankful, we offer thanks in obedience to the Word. That is the promised pathway to peace.


Peace requires people. Getting wise counsel can mean reaching out to a pastor or counselor to help overcome issues that continue to cloud your faith. When I struggle over and over with an issue, I see that as God saying, “you need to deal with this.” That is when I need to talk to someone who can help. That person must be someone knowledgeable and proven. Don’t ask for wisdom from someone who is unwise. Be careful and prayerful. When I’m not feeling peaceful, it’s up to me to get on my knees, recall Scriptures and say them out loud. I must choose obedience to His word over my circumstances. It’s much easier to wallow in worry and vent to others about our struggles. Yet even our words should be tempered to match our faith. We can’t speak one thing and strive to believe something else. Peace. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, rightfully ours! It’s a fact, not a feeling.

Beth Townsend

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Faith LIFE

Day by Day: Life, Liberty and Joy An excerpt from the 90-day devotional book by Trailon D. Johnson


t. Augustine of Hippo once penned, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee.” Or as Jeremiah asserts, the heart is desperately sick because it is so deceitful. The purpose of this book is to offer God’s “prescription” for healing our sick hearts—his Holy word. Only by reading and applying God’s word are we able to receive healing while striving to become more like Jesus. A closer look at this amazing organ, the heart, yields deep insights when viewed through the lens of God’s precious pearls of wisdom. The heart is one of the most vital and essential organs of the human body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 610,000 people die every year due to heart disease. More specifically, one in every four deaths is attributed to heart disease. In fact, heart disease is recorded as the leading cause of death in both men and women. This is an epidemic, not only from a medical standpoint, but also from a spiritual perspective. Our world is plagued with spiritual heart disease; people suffer, barely holding on to life. Many carry the title “Christian” but live in bondage to sin, unsure of how to obtain the authentic, life-altering freedom found only in Christ. Some people live with heart blockages, such as holding on to past hurts, pains, regrets, neglecting purity and living in bondage to a culture steeped in moral relativism. As a result, our identities, marriages, relationships, and our churches are struggling to survive and are in critical condition.


When living in this manner with sin as our master, we are prone to a spiritual heart attack, and this type of lifestyle will eventually become detrimental to our walk with the Lord. One of the biggest challenges facing our world is narcissism. There is a constant drive and pursuit of OUR dreams, desires, and passions fueled by feelings that can deceive. This daily pursuit of “happiness,” can lead to the

Our world is plagued with spiritual heart disease; people suffer, barely holding on to life. Many carry the title “Christian” but live in bondage to sin, unsure of how to obtain the authentic, life-altering freedom found only in Christ. Some people live with heart blockages, such as holding on to past hurts, pains, regrets, neglecting purity and living in bondage to a culture steeped in moral relativism. loss of life, liberty and joy found only in Jesus Christ. When you live with this truth, the ultimate goal is not to produce an existential reality, but to put your life in the hands of the one who created you in his image and likeness (Gen. 1:2627). Life demands so much from us, but becoming too busy “doing” leads to a failure to “be.” However, there is good news: when you turn your life over to Christ and submit to his word, he takes the scalpel and becomes your heart surgeon. He

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

performs open heart surgery and begins to circumcise your heart and remove the blockages so that it can function the way God designed. Finding rest for our souls is essential, and that can happen only when we walk daily with Jesus. The prophet Jeremiah says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls’” (Jer 6:16). It is my prayer that this daily devotional will serve as a supplement to your daily intake of God’s word; moreover, may it be the springboard that propels you to hunger for God’s word and, consequently, to live a fruitful life for the glory of God. “Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.” (Deuteronomy 10:15-16)

For more information or to schedule speaking engagements visit the website at or email

Faith LIFE

Prayer for peace in my home


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Dear loving Lord, My home needs your peace. My family needs you. Won’t you come to us? Won’t you set us free? Pour out your love, Pour out your Spirit, Wash us clean, cover us, And protect us. By the blood of Christ, We are cleansed. From his wounds, Mercy and peace come forth, To heal the wounds between us. Let us respect, And listen to one another. Let us love one another. Begin with me, dear Lord. Let the change happen in me. Give me strength. Show me how to love more. Show me how to care more. Show me how to forgive. Let your Spirit change me, While you care, For the others. Let me trust in this. That they are in your hands, Just like me. In the name of sweet Jesus, Amen. 225-931-8560

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X Family LIFE

Peace in Your Storms by Susan Brown

“Be anxious for nothing…” Really? When tangible trauma rocks our world or the subtle suspicion that we’ve missed our purpose steals our peace, what then? Those who have thought deeply and dealt daily with these issues, two pastors and a licensed professional counselor, look at the promise and practice of peace.


ourney pastors Jay and Stacey Coleman were returning from their son’s wedding in Arkansas when they heard the news: Flood waters were rising in Baton Rouge. After two uncertain days in Natchitoches, they returned to Greenwell Springs to find – chaos. Journey Church welcomed the community with a message: We’re with you, we’re suffering too. But in the middle of the muddy mess, we can have peace and even joy. The parking lot was packed. “We personally flooded – our house and the church. We were trying to minister to a bunch of people in the community; everything was just chaotic,” Pastor Jay Coleman said. “We talk about peace all the time and we’re kind of flippant with it, actually,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my moments. But you discover that the peace and joy the Lord brings really is a strength to you: to hold you up, to help you make decisions in the hard days, to be


able to stand up and put one foot in front of the other and move forward. So, for me, personally, it just comes down to knowing who you are in Christ. So, how do we have peace, when circumstances and emotions seem out of control? Coleman said first, “focus on relationship, not rules. So many believers seem to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off,” Coleman said. A focus on Christianity as a set of obligations isn’t peaceful or fun. It’s exhausting. The game-changer for Coleman was discovering what it meant to have a relationship with God: “I really began to embrace that God loved me and wanted to walk with me and know me, that through the Holy Spirit he dwelt inside of me,” he said. “It means really discovering your DNA, your identity, your purpose, the plan that you have here on earth.” “We need to understand who God is and who we are as belonging to him,” said Licensed Professional Counselor Sherry

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Kadair of the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center. “We’re beloved, not abandoned by God. We are forgiven. Walk in full forgiveness. That includes forgiveness for not living up to expectations in ourselves. Sometimes we think God is secretly mad,” she said. “We are created for purpose. There is a greater sense of purpose in community,” Kadair said. “Although I am living through the flood, I also have something I can give to the community. We need to see beyond our own pain.” Kadair said lack of peace frequently comes when we are functioning in the place where we have the least control: changing circumstances, relational stress or past wounds such as growing up with chaos or abuse. “So often it flows back to the Serenity Prayer: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.’”


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Family LIFE

In general terms, Kadair recommends:


Be honest.

Jesus ministered to the man who said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). “Understand there is hope and transformation rather than read scripture and admonish ourselves. Invite God into where we are.”


Stop judging yourself.

For example, “If I was really a good mother, it would look like this,” rather than the current reality. “I want God to be known so well that I know I can safely run to him,” Kadair said.


Breathe deeply.

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). “Slow, deep breathing triggers a physical change that gets us out of fight or flight,” Kadair said. “Look around to remind ourselves we’re not in the flooded house or in the boat.”


Practice peace.

Slow down, relax. “Write down what you want to accomplish and prayerfully revisit it later,” Kadair advised. “Come up with a strategy.”

Unpackage memories and process them.


There may be depression and re-living of hard situations. Those who experienced flooding may be back in the house but still not okay. There is trauma. Some may have flashes of water coming up again or other memories. Kadair said some may benefit from professional help such as EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing.


Be patient.

It makes sense this will happen for a while. Accept it will take some time to recover emotionally as well as physically.


Meditate on Scripture.

“Use a short snippet of scripture,” Kadair said. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). Worship rather than be caught in the storm. Focus on Christ, like Peter, who was able to walk on water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, rather than the surrounding turbulence (Matthew 14:22-32). “It’s important to take time to put on some worship music, even in my car when I’m by myself,” said Journey Worship Pastor Stacy Coleman. “I use that time to enter into prayer as well, especially when it’s been extremely stressful.” 10

March 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Stacey and Jay Coleman

Sherry Kadair

“Constantly surround yourself with others you can trust, so you can express how you’re feeling. And be honest with the Lord about your feelings,” she said. “Don’t try to keep those things inside of you and deal with them on your own,” Jay Coleman said. “Choose to be with people who will encourage you. Let them be honest with you.” Talk it out, but don’t get stuck in a cycle of never-ending negative thought, Jay Coleman advised. Keep moving forward in your thoughts and actions. “There are times when you say, ‘I don’t feel like doing this.’ Well you can’t go on feelings. Every day you get up, and put one foot in front of the other,” he said. “Another thing that robs our peace is when there’s sin in our life,” Jay Coleman said. “We want to pretend that God only loves to bless us, but if we’re knowingly walking in sin we’re not going to have peace in our life.” “I’ve talked to people throughout the year who say God laid something on their heart to do whether it was ministry or a specific calling, and they sidestep and go the other way. They begin to struggle with that. Is there a second chance? Well, absolutely,” Jay Coleman said. “Wherever the Lord puts you, whatever he puts in front of you, do it with everything you’ve got.” That includes reaching out to others who are not experiencing peace. “If we really are the body of Christ, when the Holy Spirit leads us, we need to step out. You’re not going to know all the right things to say,” Jay Coleman said. “Don’t try to solve all their problems. Measure your speech very carefully.” Or, don’t speak at all. “One of my neighbors, a big old burly guy like me, came walking down the driveway at my house. He had flooded, too, and we just embraced and stood there and cried,” Jay Coleman said. “That, in itself, meant the world. James 1:19 tells us: ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak.’ We’re not called to be the lone ranger. Accept and give practical assistance.” “Then, sometimes we need to step outside our circle and seek help,” the Rev. Coleman said. “Just acknowledge that there may be a need for professional counseling. And, sit down with your doctor and see if there are some health things going on.” “Peace is a foundation in the midst of what’s coming up,” Kadair explained. “Remember God is not surprised by what surprised you. In the midst of the unknown there is a known God and we can rest in him. God does promise to use everything for our good and his glory.”

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.

Family LIFE

The Cracked Door


by Tonya Woodridge-Jarvis


here’s an old rusty cob-webbed door at the bottom of the staircase in the dark and gloomy basement at the old cathedral. Most people are too afraid to walk through it because they’ve heard myths and legends about it. It’s been locked for years, but today, the door is cracked with a bright light glaring from it. You’re intrigued by it, but don’t want to disturb anything, especially your soul. But God has made you curious enough to open the cracked door and to walk through it. See, a cracked door is God’s metaphorical way of petitioning your heart to walk into your dreams. The beginning of the dream is glorious. It is everything that you’ve prayed about. But the middle of the dream becomes hell. But God says to cast all of your cares onto HIM. For He is awaiting your surrender and your release of the worldly things unto him such as fear, worry, addictions and pain, so He can jump into action. He has instructed you to lay it all at his feet but you’re still holding on to it. There’s a quote that I read once: “No one is going to be wholly satisfied even with good economic conditions until he finds his inner communion with God.” But you may be asking yourself, “how does one do that?” The Cambridge English dictionary defines the word “meditation” as the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religious activity or as a way of becoming calm and relaxed. Spiritual meditation allows the Holy Spirit to be at your side guiding and illuminating your heart and mind as you examine scripture and your inner man. It is your “gut feeling” or your intuition. There are times when the right answer is in the front of you but you allow doubt/fear of the unknown to talk you out of it. Or you may put some ridiculous saying on it that you’ve heard in church over the years to keep you from doing the very thing that God has placed in your heart. If we allow ourselves to get in sync with God we would be finding ourselves in a spiritual peace, an

inner peace, an inner glow, all of which comes to us with the realization of the God within us. Adversity comes to see just what you’re made of. What kind of faith do you have? You’ve prayed for the dream and now it is here, and you’ve come too far to turn back. So you just meditate on His word until peace comes, meditate on His word until the storm passes, meditate on His word until your adversities become bees and butterflies in the big blue sky flying high and miles away. And yes, you can have that much peace if you desire it. God grants us what we ask for. Make a declaration of peace today. But don’t become so afraid of hell that you miss heaven. 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.

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Family LIFE

Finding P.E.A.C.E. in Marriage by TaShawnda and Alton Jamison


any years ago, I remember asking an older Expectation gentleman who had been married for more “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: But the expectation than 30 years … what is the secret to a great of the wicked shall perish.” (Proverbs 10:28) The second ingredient marriage? I thought he was going to say something like for peace in your marriage is having a positive expectation that your romance or exotic vacations. Instead, he said two words --- hard marriage will be successful. We can’t tell you the number of couples work. At the time, I was engaged and you can’t tell “love birds” that we have counseled and helped over the years who have had anything. I said to myself, “Oh, we may have an occasional such a negative outlook about everything in their marriage. Even argument, but we will be happy nearly all the time.” on our darkest days, we always had the hope that God could bring Life has a funny way of giving us a strong dose of reality. As us out --- even if that meant going to counseling. We never lost the expectation that God has a hope and a future for our marriage. they say, when the honeymoon phase is over, we truly wake and TaShawnda Jamison are the founders of The Empowerment Zone. This is a ministry up and smell the roses. In college, we Alton had disagreements like designed to “empower people for everyday life”, through products, events, and messages. In addition, they are the Pastors of The Empowerment Zone in Baton Rouge, which is a church any couple, but we didn’t have arguments until after we got Attitude plant that is launching in April 2017. Alton and TaShawnda Jamison have been sharing the married in July 2003. We quickly learned that in spite of all the gospel together for over 17 years. They met in college on the campus of Old “Be ye angry, and sinDominion not: let not the sun go down on your wrath.” and started teaching Bible Study together and the rest, they say, is history. God counseling, workshops and books we University have read, we still have to (Ephesians Attitude is definitely everything when it comes has gifted them in the areas of Families and Finances, and they have 4:26) been blessed to be able to share their message around the country. They have recently completed their first book work at maintaining peace in our marriage. Being good people to maintaining peace in your marriage. We’ve heard a thousand together: Purpose, Passion & Prosperity: 3 Keys To A Godly Marriage. They have a genuine or coming from a good family doesn’tlove guarantee peace. Being a about times for God and being transparent to others their failures successes. God has also say, but how you say it. We can say one thatandit’s not what you them with two beautiful children. For more information about Alton and TaShawnda Christian doesn’t guarantee peace. A blessed large bank account doesn’t little thing with an attitude and start World War III. Do you need to or The Empowerment Zone, please visit: guarantee you and your spouse will be on one accord. Peace, my check your attitude? Are you causing added stress to your marriage friend, is a lifelong task that you have to work at on a daily basis. because of your tone and body language? Maybe it’s time for an attitude adjustment. In Amos 3:3, the prophet asked a simple yet profound question: Can two walk together, except they are agreed? When you are married, agreement is the centerpiece of establishing and Communication maintaining peace. If you and your spouse cannot find common “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue ground and learn how to compromise, you will be ice skating talketh of judgment.” (Psalm 37:30) If you are always speaking uphill in your marriage. You can’t always find peace in the latest doom and gloom about your marriage, then you will have what book, fad or Facebook post. Often, you and your spouse will have you say. Number one, you have to speak life into your marriage. to look to one another and God and find peace. Below are some Secondly, you have to speak life into one another. Instead of critical tools you need to establish P.E.A.C.E. in your marriage: attacking, try to build up instead of tearing down.


“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Prayer is the lifeline of a godly marriage. It is the glue that holds couples together. It is the foundation of the house. It’s the wheels on the car. Prayer is the crucible to true lasting change and peace within your marriage. Learning how to not only pray but to pray unbiased prayers so God can move on behalf of your marriage. Don’t say, “God please help my dumb husband to act right.” Say, “God help me to love my spouse unconditionally.” When couples come together in prayer, God is in the midst and He will move mountains on your behalf when you come into agreement. 12

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine


“Cast all your care on him for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Often, peace in marriage is disturbed because of issues such as finances, kids, or jobs. But instead of allowing the cares of the world to pull you apart, use this scripture as a reminder that God cares for you and your marriage. Learn how, as a couple, to cast all of your cares on him.

TaShawnda and Alton Jamison

Family LIFE


Alton and TaShawnda Jamison are the founders of The Empowerment Zone, a ministry designed to empower people for everyday life through products, events, and messages. In addition, they are the pastors ofZone. The Empowerment Zone in e founders of The Empowerment This is a ministry Baton Rouge, a church plant that is launching in April eryday life”, through products, events, and messages.2017. In The Jamisons have been sharing the gospel together for over Empowerment Zone in Baton Rouge, which is a church 17 years. They met in college on the campus of Old Dominion Alton and TaShawnda Jamison have been sharing the University and started teaching Bible Study together. The They met in college on the campus of Old Dominion rest, as they say, is history. God has gifted them in the areas Study together and the rest, they say, is history. God of families and finances, and they have been blessed to be es and Finances, havearound beenthe blessed be able able to shareand theirthey message country.toThey recently ountry.completed They have recently completed their first book their first book together --- Purpose, Passion & rity: 3 Keys To A 3Godly They have genuine Prosperity: Keys toMarriage. a Godly Marriage. Theyaare also the o othersparents aboutoftheir failures and successes. God has also two beautiful children. moreinformation information, visit dren. ForFormore about Alton and TaShawnda

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Reading for LIFE A Review of

Unite My Heart to Fear Thy Name Matters on the Heart of God Written by Dalekaren Edwards

Reviewed by Kelli M. Knight


ife is a journey. Everyone’s journey is unique. Sometimes, we think if we have accepted God and Christ in our lives, that we have the path to closure during difficult times. Accepting Christ simply doesn’t guarantee our battles will end well. Dale has shown in her eloquently written personal story that there are those who must look for God’s love each day just to move forward. Dale’s life was filled with mental torment, suicide attempts, alcoholism, and other afflictions, despite having whole-heartedly accepted Christ as her Savior. Early on she learned the art of listening to hear God’s voice. Dale says many times He spoke through intuition and sometimes she could hear a clear voice. She recounts some very significant and uncanny occasions in which listening to God put her in a miraculous situation. These events helped to confirm her faith. However, Dale was still tormented by demons and with continuous battles of the mind and

will. Through each situation, it was only the word of God that pulled her through. Now that she is older, she has found peace. Dale wrote Unite My Heart to Fear Thy Name for many reasons, but above all it is because of the message. Her tumultuous journey demonstrates that God’s hands work through all of us. Her book is divided in easy to read and understand chapters, each including scripture as well as suggested scripture to aid in the understanding of the points she brings to light. “Listen” to her story and hear God’s word spoken. Dale is a Baton Rouge local. Her book can be found at and Dale can be found on facebook. 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:

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MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Creative LIFE

Randell Henry by Sharon Furrate Bailey

Art – A Collaboration between God and the Artist Q: When did you first discover you were an artist?

A: In elementary school, I was always finding ways to use creativity in making items from wood, metal and various materials that I would find lying around. I used objects from broken toys and turned them into something new. During this time I began looking at drawings and paintings in books and magazines. I used my free time in class making drawings and paintings. In 6th grade, Mrs. Richardson came to the class one day a week to teach art. I sat right next to her as the class watched her make pastel paintings. She had a way of using color on paper that grabbed my attention. That was my “Aha” moment when I decided to become an artist. I spent 7th through 12th grade taking art and hanging out in school and public libraries studying art books and discovering famous artists around the world.

Q: What would you say is your artist statement … why you create?

A: I make works of art because I believe that creativity comes from God. God keeps me in a creative spirit and I need to fulfill that mission of creating art. It is a gift that brings joy to people.

Q: Do you feel painting is a spiritual gift?

A: I believe that creativity itself is a spiritual gift. It springs from a creative spirit that is touched by God. Just take a look at all of the creativity in the natural world --- the earth and the environment. Humans are on a higher level, so certainly I believe that the ability to paint is my gift from God. It is as if God is saying, “You go on and create on the highest level in your own way and show the power of God through you.”

Q: Do you ever feel God’s presence when painting?

A: When I am working on paintings, I feel a connection to God, the greatest creator. Through creativity, I feel that I am walking and talking to God as I work on paintings. Through the stillness and quiet, I feel the presence of God and I feel thankful that Jesus came and lives through me.


MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Q: You are a professor at Southern University. How long have you been teaching there and sharing your gift with others?

A: I had a one-year post at Southern University, teaching art in 1987-88. Over the next five years, I worked on paintings and showed my works in galleries. In 1991, I had a big exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 1993, after receiving a call from (chairperson) Rebecca Cureau, I started teaching at Southern University again. I have been there nearly 25 years.

Q: Share anything you would like our readers to know about your journey.

A: I began walking with God as a child. My parents brought us to church and Sunday school. Now, as an adult, I continue to walk with the Lord and worship Jesus Christ at Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church in Scotlandville. I grew up working in the church, too. My faith continues to grow. However, there was a particular time in my life around 1981 that will always stand out in my mind. My desire at the time was to have a big exhibition in New Orleans. I found myself standing in front of one of the most prominent galleries in the city, Nahan Gallery, after spending the day seeking a gallery to show my work. I decided to make this my last stop. I asked God to make it possible for me to show there. Later, I received a call from the owner, Kenneth Nahan, and he liked my work. In 1982, I became the first unknown artist to have a big, one-man show there. My exhibition followed a Picasso exhibition. In the early 1990s I wanted to show my works in the New Orleans Museum of Art. I prayed that God would make that happen. In 1991, I heard from the director of NOMA, E. John Bullard, and I was able to arrange an exhibition of my large paintings. And, most recently, I prayed for God to allow my artwork to be shown in New York City. Last year, I showed a large painting in an exhibition there. I mentioned to the curator that it would be wonderful if a New York Times art critic could see the exhibition. I prayed that the exhibition would attract the attention of a New York Times critic. Just after the show ended, I received an email from the curator letting me know

Creative LIFE


Henry stands with his painting “Musical Connections” Acrylic/Oil Sticks on Canvas. Henry stands in front of “Saturday Night” Mixed Media Collage on Canvas.

“The Amazing Queen of Hearts” Scope, New York International Contemporary Art Show.

that just as he was about to close the gallery, in walked Roberta Smith, the lead New York Times art critic who selected my painting as her favorite. The email included a photograph of her standing in front of my painting. “Through faith in God all things are possible” (Luke 1:37). As you can see, I believe God heard the desires of my heart and answers my prayers. Randell Henry may be contacted via email at or you may find him on Facebook.

Sharon Furrate Bailey grew up in Alexandria, La., and moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU. She earned a B.A. in English Literature in 1990. She attends Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Sharon has been in the field of marketing, sales and public relations since 1996. She is a gifted artist and has been a columnist since 2005. She can be reached at Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017



Cover Story

ALEX LANGE Playing with a Purpose by Randy Rosetta

photo by Beth Townsend


MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine


y its very nature, baseball involves individual effort - and personal excellence - for team success. Nowhere is

that more evident than in the pitcher’s role. When he climbs onto the mound in the middle of the field, his delivery has a critical impact on the way the game will unfold: one pitch, one batter, one inning at a time. It’s a daunting responsibility. But LSU star pitcher Alex Lange never considers himself alone when he takes the ball. Lange began his junior - and likely final - season for the Tigers on Feb. 17. He drew a cross in the dirt of the mound, took off his cap several times and said a quick prayer, a practice that marked each start in his college career. When he exited the field, he thrust his arms upward. The symbolic gestures are tributes to the deep faith that his mother, Renee’ Lange, helped instill in him – a powerful thread that ties all things together for the 21-year-old pitcher. “It’s the foundation of everything there is in the world today,” Lange said of his faith. “It’s how the world came to be. It’s who we are as Christians, to believe in the Lord, and everything I have today is because of Him. And I am eternally grateful for that. I’m undeserving, but it’s awesome the kindness Jesus has for us.” “I just try to integrate it in every part of life. The Bible talks about always helping others and honoring the Lord in everything you do. There’s no difference on the field,” he said. “You can be competitive but still honor the Lord. You don’t have to be the guy that’s dropping F-bombs. You can be a fiery competitor and a fiery guy and a guy that gets the job done and still honor the Lord in a respectful manner and a Christian way. That’s what I try to do.” Lange’s faith journey began in earnest when he was a teenager at Lee’s Summit West High School in suburban Kansas City. He had observed churches of different denominations, an eye-opening experience that his mother, Renee’, encouraged. Although he immediately bought into the concept of salvation loving Jesus and all He stands for - Lange concedes that he had not fully embraced “the whole spiritual thing.” “I knew who Christ was, but I hadn’t been following Him,” Lange said. “I was stumbling in the dark.” During a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event in high school, Lange began to focus on Christ. “We were sitting there and one of my friends was there next to me,” he said. “We had a pastor come in, and we played games and hung out. We were sitting there and bowed our heads in prayer, and (the pastor) opened up with, ‘I’d just like to invite anyone who doesn’t know the Lord today to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Just raise your hand.’ I was kind of hesitant, and my friend grabbed my hand and raised it, and that’s the day I accepted the Lord. It was a Tuesday morning my sophomore year.”

Cover Story


Right: When he takes the mound, LSU junior Alex Lange feels a strong connection through his faith, and when his stint is finished, he raises his hand in thanks. photo courtesy LSU Sports Information

Below: Renee Lange and Alex Lange share a strong mother-son bond that has been important to the LSU star’s faith and foundation from the day she adopted him shortly after his birth. photo courtesy Renee Lange

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Cover Story “That whole day was just different,” Lange said. “I walked around with my shoulders high and had a big smile on my face. It was just different. That’s kind of the way I’ve felt ever since.” Lange credits his mother for nurturing his faith and abilities. “I wouldn’t be here without her,” he said. “She raised me well, and I am thankful for her. I am thankful that the Lord used her to help me grow and continue to grow and lay the foundation in college and become my own man. Hopefully, when I have kids I can do the same thing.” “From the first time I sat down and spoke with Alex, it was clear to me that he was a special person,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “His maturity, his confidence and just the way he carries himself – those are things that take a lot of guys a while to develop when they get to college. Alex had all of those when I met him - when he was 16 years old - and a lot of that is a credit to his mother.” “When you are in this profession, you really try hard to judge the kid for who he is and not for what his upbringing was, and that works in both directions,” Mainieri said. “With a young man like Alex, after you get to know him, you see the influence his mother has had on him and you see how he developed the way he did.” Simply put, Renee Lange and her son believe they were meant to be mother and son, and they live their lives that way. She adopted Lange when he was 1 day old and she was a 31-year-old who had been told she could not bear children of her own. What biology didn’t create, love for each other and a strongly shared faith have forged. At the age of six, his parents divorced, and Lange and his mother established a home in Kansas City. Today, Lange does not sit back and wait for people to recognize what God and faith mean to him. “Some people shun Christians and the Christian lifestyle,” Lange said. “It’s too over the top, it’s too much. It’s too much if you’re not willing to fight for what you believe in and stay strong. I am not going to sit here and say I’m a perfect Christian – I’m far from it. I sin every day. We’re all sinners. Just learn from your mistakes and continue to grow in your faith and get better at it every day like you would a sport or school or piano.” Lange’s practice of wearing his religion on his baseball sleeve is not unique. While it’s perhaps not in vogue, other players have been bold in their witness, including former teammate Jake Fraley. A devout Catholic, Fraley never hesitated to profess his beliefs to teammates. Not surprisingly, Fraley and Lange quickly established a strong bond when Lange was a freshman in 2015. That example stuck with Lange, who has stepped into the role Fraley vacated as the de facto spiritual leader for the Tigers. “Everyone has their own beliefs and everyone is entitled to their own opinions,” Lange said. He makes a point of not criticizing others’ beliefs. “For me, I just want to put my arm around a guy and say, ‘This is what Jesus can do for you. He gives forgiveness for everybody. There is forgiveness for your sin.’ If that is bringing them to a Bible study or just talking to them or whatever that is, there is a sense that they can jump on board if they want to.” “Obviously, I’d like 35 guys in that locker room pointed in the same direction, but that’s not always the case,” Lange said. “So, you just kind of have to balance it and know who your friends are; know who you can align yourself with that feel the same way and believe in the same thing.” 20

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

photos by Beth Townsend

Cover Story

In two seasons, Alex Lange has compiled a 20-4 record to carve a niche as one of the best pitchers in the country.

“You can be competitive but still honor the Lord. You don’t have to be the guy that’s dropping F-bombs. You can be a fiery competitor and a fiery guy and a guy that gets the job done and still honor the Lord in a respectful manner and a Christian way. That’s what I try to do.”

Whether teammates - or anyone else - chooses to follow, Lange said he is going to keep doing what he does. So, whenever he steps on the mound this season, he’ll draw that cross. He’ll take off his cap and say a quick prayer. And when his outing is over, he will look skyward, lift his arms and say thanks. “It is a reminder of who I am playing for and what it is (the cross). That’s why I have a tattoo on my arm, a tattoo on my chest. The cross is always a reminder, so if one person every game sees that, then I get 18 people to reach out and be curious about what Jesus and the Lord can do for them, then I feel accomplished,” he said. “I look up and I just thank the Lord for the trials and tribulations or the successes of that day. The Bible talks about giving thanks no matter what. If the worst thing that’s going to happen to me is going out and giving up five runs in 4 innings that day, that’s OK with me because that’s His plan. I’m going to follow his plan. I’m not going to try to deviate from his plan and create my own plan because then I am not living through Him. It is a reminder to thank Him for allowing me to be out there and doing something I love, because I know without Him it would be nothing.” “Every time I go out there I want to shine for Him, shine for the Lord, show that it’s not about me,” Lange said. It’s about what Jesus can do for us and (to) honor Him through my playing.” Randy Rosetta has been a journalist for 30-plus years, primarily covering sports but dabbling in news and feature coverage on a freelance basis. A proud Kansas native, Rosetta is currently the Sports Editor of the Livingston Parish News, the largest non-daily newspaper in Louisiana, and he is a member of Istrouma Baptist. He and wife Jenny Rosetta, an instructional specialist in the EBR school district, have been married 18½ years and are the proud parents of 17-year-old Mallory, a junior at Parkview Baptist, and 9-year-old Darby, a 3rd grader at LaSalle Elementary.

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MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

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MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine




Tax Season

It could be tough for many local residents

Tax time can be a stressful time of year. But here in the Baton Rouge area, where more than 100,000 residents lost homes, vehicles and other property due to flooding, this tax season could be especially difficult. If you haven’t found someone to prepare your 2016 taxes, now is a good time to start looking. Will Mercer, a local CPA with his own accounting firm, suggests talking to friends and family to find a dependable tax preparer. “Word of mouth is really important,” he said. “Find someone you’re comfortable with, someone who has done a good job for people you know. In my own case, referrals are my best source of new business.”

Mercer offers the following basic tax tips: First, decide if you are confident enough to do your own taxes. Many companies, such as TurboTax, Credit Karma and H&R Block, offer online preparation. These are good options if your taxes can be handled fairly simply. But taxes become complicated in certain situations --- for instance, if you own rental property, own a company, or just won the lottery! Certainly, if you are going through a divorce, you will want to discuss (with both spouses’ lawyers) the best way to handle your tax returns. If you end up doing your own taxes, make sure you indicate that you are filing state AND federal taxes. Personal Information: Before you file, gather the necessary documentation. Have social security numbers and birth dates for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. This is where a copy of last year’s tax return will be helpful. Mercer says the most common mistake he sees is parents not properly claiming their dependents. This is something you should definitely discuss with a knowledgeable CPA. Charitable giving: Don’t forget that you can deduct charitable gifts as long as you have a canceled check or receipt as proof. This includes not just monetary gifts, but donations of clothing, cars, computers, household goods, etc. If you don’t have a receipt, contact the appropriate charity and ask for one.

Job hunting? If you were unemployed and looking for a job during part of the year, you can deduct travel costs, job training, mailing costs, and other job hunting expenses. Taxes: Assemble an accurate list of the taxes you’ve paid. This includes state and local income tax, real estate taxes, and personal property taxes. Deduction list: Prepare a list of expenses that can be deducted from your income. These may include: • Childcare costs • Education costs • Adoption costs • Mortgage interest, insurance and points • Charitable donations • Medical and dental expenses Casualty losses: Mercer suggests using a professional tax preparer if you were affected by last August’s flooding. “I think a lot of homeowners are focused on the structural damage to their homes, and they’re forgetting about the contents,” he said. “Do a mental walk-through of your home, remembering every room in your house and every item that was in those rooms. Your losses may include not just furniture and major appliances, but clothing, jewelry, paintings, even pots and pans. And don’t forget about outdoor items such as storage sheds, tools and lawnmowers. All of these items should be included.”

Try to avoid filing for an extension. You don’t want to have last year’s taxes hanging over your head. “The good news is that the deadline is a little later this year,” Mercer said. “It’s April 18 due to the 15th falling on a Saturday and the 17th falling on a federal holiday.” Mercer’s firm is located at 3535 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. If you’d like to contact him to set up an appointment, call (225) 291-1411.

Will Mercer Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Millennial life

and the

Millennials BIG 3

by Trapper S. Kinchen


he milestones we reach on the path of self-discovery remind us how far we’ve come. Of all the goals we meet on life’s journey, few are more significant or intimidating than “The Big 3.” They are the holy trinity of personal growth - leaving home, forming adult relationships, and pursuing a career - and, like each generation before us, we must rely on our faith in order to move out, move on, and move forward.

Moving Out

“I thought being alone meant that I would be lonely.” –Keli Hayden According to Business Insider, 32% of people eighteen to thirty-four live with their parents, and—when you first join the workforce—staying at home can be a great way to build financial momentum. However, for many millennials, living with family sometimes leads to low self-esteem. Until recently, twenty-six-year-old Keli Hayden was one of the 32% still in the nest. She graduated from Southeastern in 2012, and worked several small jobs before taking her current position a year and a half ago. Yet, in spite of her many successes, she was hesitant to live alone. In January, she decided it was time to strike out on her own. So, with all her belongings loaded into the bed of a pickup, she moved into a small apartment about fifteen minutes away from her childhood home. It was a hasty but necessary transition. She said, “I needed a chance to get to know myself, all by myself.” Hayden was nervous about being alone, but she pushed her insecurity aside and took a leap of faith. Despite her initial

Hayden cooking in her new kitchen.

photo courtesy Keli Hayden


MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

hesitation, she had no trouble adapting to life on her own. She said, “I’ve been completely surprised at how okay I am just spending time with myself. I thought that being alone meant I would be lonely, but that isn’t true at all.” Her new address has become a safe haven. Hayden is now able, for the first time, to do the sort of peaceful soul-searching that leads to personal growth. She said, “I find that I’m devoting a little more time to regularly reading my Bible. It used to be difficult for me to be alone in the quiet. I was afraid of it, but now, I find it relaxing.” Hayden’s decision to be independent is the most positive choice she’s ever made. Not only has it given her room to breathe, but it’s also allowed her to mature. She said, “It has been a great opportunity for me to trust myself, and being self-reliant has been great for my confidence.” Many millennials, like Hayden, battle uncertainty, but leaving home is a decision we all must eventually make. Let the Lord guide you, and listen to the urging of the Holy Spirit. If fear is holding you back, consider following Hayden’s lead, and let faith guide you to independence.

Kinchen believes there needs to be a balance between work and fun.

Kinchen on a surveying job.

photo courtesy Ross Kinchen

photo courtesy Ross Kinchen

Millennial life Turnage has dedicated a great deal of time to self-discovery.


Turnage has found peace in her relationship and shed codependence.

Turnage’s engagement ring symbolized her commitment to her fiancé.

photos courtesy Cara Turnage

Moving On

“I used to be codependent.” –Cara Turnage Millennials are slowly starting to settle down. Indeed, many of us are already well on our way to finding true love, and that pursuit often leads to unexpected self-discovery. Our strengths, flaws and insecurities are easily exposed when we open ourselves up to someone else. So, learning how to cultivate authentic relationships is one of the most important parts of growing up. Cara Turnage is a real-life example of how searching for romance can lead to personal growth. After nearly a decade of dating, she recently became engaged to her longtime boyfriend. She’s twenty-four, and despite her relative youth, has devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort to building a strong romantic relationship. When she first started dating, Turnage said, “I was very codependent.” She formed unhealthy attachments, and often found herself being needy. However, once she began spending




time with her now-fiancé, she started doing some deep selfreflecting. Initially, Turnage and her fiancé fell into a destructive pattern of separating and getting back together. Then, after realizing their relationship was unstable, they began working on themselves independently. He joined the military and served in Afghanistan, and she learned to appreciate herself as an individual. After taking some time away from dating, Turnage shed her codependence. She said, “I grew out of it. A lot of that has to do with finding peace. His deployment to Afghanistan taught me how to be totally by myself. It was such a healthy period of selfdiscovery.” She is now entirely comfortable being alone, and that has helped her create a healthier partnership with her fiancé. They will be married this April Fools’ Day in front of a small group of family and close friends. Although much thought has gone into planning the wedding, the bulk of Turnage’s energy has been dedicated to preparing herself for matrimony.

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


Faith LIFElife X Millennial

She is completely focused on building a marriage based on communication and mutual respect, rather than concentrating all her efforts on the ceremony. There’s a great deal of truth in the saying, “You can only live with someone else after you’ve learned to live with yourself.” God wants us to be whole, happy and healthy individuals, and learning how to be better on our own positively impacts our relationships. It is smart to approach a partnership the way Turnage has, with a focus on communication, understanding and empathy.

Moving Forward

“There’s more to being alive than working nine to five.” –Ross Kinchen Most of us are just beginning to enter the job market, and according to Time, there are more than 55 million millennials currently active in the American workforce. So, whether you’re searching for a job or trying to start a life-long profession, you probably realize how much is at stake. It might seem hard to settle on a career path when your future happiness hangs in the balance, but making the right choice is easier than you think. My brother, Ross Kinchen, is twenty-four years old and a recent college graduate. Last August, he started working for a land surveying company in Houma, and even though he’s still a rookie, he has developed a real passion for his work. Most people will tell you that loving your job and achieving long-term success go hand in hand, and they’re right. It has been proven that when you pursue your passion, you’re more likely to experience career fulfillment. And workplace satisfaction is particularly important when you’re first getting started. Of course, finding fulfillment through employment does not always translate into a large paycheck or plenty of time off. But, if you enjoy what you do, work is often its own reward. Kinchen said, “The thought, ‘Wow, I have to do this for the rest of my life’ sometimes crosses my mind, but I’m constantly reminded of how much I love what I do.”

Finding an ideal occupation can be a long process, so don’t be afraid to explore every opportunity that presents itself. Before you settle into something, be sure you’ve investigated your options. Kinchen said, “You’ve got to begin somewhere, so just start trying things out.” Be curious, put forth as much effort as possible, and, before you know it, you’ll stumble onto a job that brings you joy. For Kinchen, one of the greatest rewards of hard work is feeling purposeful. He said, “Being personally and financially independent is priceless. It’s also a huge self-esteem booster.” Responsibility, personal growth and peace are all interconnected, so the more we trust ourselves, the more mature we become. It’s also important to bear in mind that having an active career is only a one part of leading a full life. Kinchen says, “There’s more to being alive than working nine to five.” He’s right. After all, the Lord designed us to be both industrious and multidimensional. He wants us to have fun, serve others, and do the best we can in all aspects of our lives. No matter where you might be in the process of tackling “The Big 3,” remember there is no greater ally or advisor than the Lord. Self-doubt, anxiety and fear of the unknown will surely do their best to keep you from experiencing the kind of self-discovery God has in store for you. But nothing can hold you back when you trust yourself and rely on faith. You are capable of doing anything well, so long as you’re determined.

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.

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Millennial LIFE





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X Pastor’s perspective



The Gift of Peace by Carter Featherston

magine that you are an Old Testament saint. You live under the Law of Moses, and you feel the burden of keeping your behavior up to standards. When it is required, you come to the priest with your sacrifice, and if you are poor, then you come with the most meager of offerings. You hang your head as you approach the priest, the mediator who represents an Almighty and Holy God. The priest takes your offering and places it on the altar. You are feeling unworthy, unholy and unacceptable to this God Who seems distant and, well, disinterested. As your sacrifice burns on the altar, and the smell from the fire rises up to the face of God, here’s what happens next. The priest turns to you. You look up and see his face, and you think . . . is that his face . . . shining like that? With a gentle smile he says,

“The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” (Num 6:24) When the children of Israel brought a sacrifice, this is what Yahweh told the priests to say. Amazing grace! With this blessing Yahweh let the worshipers know that He loved and accepted them (the essence of blessing); that He was watching over them; that His face was beaming with delight over them; that His grace was granted to them; and that the worshiper should no longer feel dejected or discouraged, but receive the peace of God. What a blessing indeed! Notice that the ultimate point of this blessing is peace; that the worshiper would return home with peace, God’s peace. God wanted His people to know that He was not a God of anger and wrath, but He was a God who granted peace. Apparently this has been the desire of our Father God from the beginning, that we His people would have His peace from being in His presence. Peace is the ability to “sit down on the inside.” It is a gift from God received in His presence (Psalm 4:6b-8; Psalm 85:8; Isa 9:6; Isa 26:12). In the Old Testament the word for this peace is shalom. This blessed word did not mean merely “the lack of war,” but more richly it meant peace from the absence of any disturbance to a person’s well-being. Shalom included material and financial prosperity, physical health and 30

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

safety. It was spoken as the gracious ingredient in a person’s contentedness, in good relationships, for good sleep and even as a blessing for good travel. Shalom was the fullness of all the ways that God blessed you and protected you in life. In the New Testament our peace with God is established through redemption (Eph 1:7) and affirmed in our reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18). We have peace with God through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1). Even further, the whole process of our sanctification and maturity serves to deepen our participation in the peace of Christ (Heb 13:20f; 2 Cor 13:11). Indeed, Christ Himself is our peace (Eph 2:14-18); and our peace with Him brings about a new relationship with one another (Gal 6:15-16). Yet, we live in a world today where peace is so hard to hold on to. Our busy lives, our pursuit of other idols, and our worry ----about finances, our children, our grandchildren and our elderly parents--- all keep us occupied with every thought except peace. On the retreats I lead we have wonderful Christians come to us. Many have been believers for a long time, serving in their churches, but there is often an absence of peace in their eyes. The enemy has terrorized them with shame from old wounds and old sins. He tortures them with lies about their identity, and stirs up inside of them the resignation that God is really disappointed in them. Where is our peace? In Isaiah 53 and 54 we find amazing words about a covenant of peace. In fact, most every mention of peace in the New Testament is based on what God establishes in these two chapters in Isaiah. Written 700 years before Christ these two passages reveal the gospel power of Calvary, and the peace that is available to us. Here are three applications for peace from Isaiah. Our Peace includes the hope of Emotional Healing. In Isaiah 53:4 we are told that Christ bore first, not our sin, but our sorrow and grief. He took on our pain and suffering. These are the painful emotions of our wounds, some of which came from the sins of others who hurt us. When Christ came to gather up their sins, He took notice also of our sorrow and suffering caused by their sins, and He gathered up our pain and grief. Similar sorrows have come from misunderstandings, careless words that shamed us, break-ups and betrayals, even from natural disasters and when life didn’t go the way we dreamed. The Gospel of Peace has healing and comfort. Bring your sorrow and grief into His presence in prayer. Acknowledge your

Pastor’s perspective


pain. Sit still,wait, and let His compassion enter your sorrow and grief (54:10c, d). Our Peace includes the Healing of Shame. Isaiah 53:4-5 describes the brutal cross of Christ where “it is finished!” Done. God is through punishing anyone for our sins. The completeness of our forgiveness is the clear testimony of the New Testament (Eph 1:7; Heb 10:12; I Jn 2:2). However, on a regular basis as a counselor and retreat leader, I meet people who cannot receive forgiveness for something terrible in their past, a sin so great (in their eyes) that a place in their soul feels unworthy of His love. Instead of peace, there is shame and condemnation. But in transformational healing prayer (Eph 1:18), the Holy Spirit can open the eyes of your heart to “see” His hope, that this very sin has been forgiven and forgotten (Heb 10:17). The healing of shame is only Spirit-taught. Our Peace means God is No Longer Mad at Us. What follows Isaiah 53? That’s right, Isaiah 54. After Isaiah penned the prophecy of Isaiah 53, where all of our sins would be borne away and we would be justified (53:12), Isaiah did not stop writing. He continued with “Shout for joy!” (54:1; other versions say, “Sing, Shout aloud”) Why? Why shout and sing for joy? Because of 53, because our sins have been carried away. Now, feast your eyes on Isa 54:9-10. God says that the death of Christ in 53 is like the old days of Noah, when after the flood He swore that He would never flood the earth again. Likewise, after Christ carries our sins away, God says He will never be angry with us, nor will He rebuke us. Period. Read it and live in peace. The God of peace has sworn it! (Isa 54:9). God has made a covenant of peace (Isa 54:10) that will not come falling down. It will not be canceled. It has been established as an eternal covenant, because of Yahweh’s great compassion for us (Isa 54:10). His face is shining on you now. Lift up your eyes, and receive His peace.



Pure Heart Weekend Women’s Weekend: March 24-26 Men’s Weekend: April 7-9

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

Registration and Information: and

45 Years!

Carter Featherston, Th.M. Carter is a published writer, a pastoral-counselor and a former pastor. He is the director of Restore One, a ministry helping people make changes at the level of Identity. The flagship ministry is a retreat for spiritual discovery and transformation called Pure Heart Weekend. To read more from him or to register for his retreats you can follow Carter at his blog:

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Witness at WORK

I-Catchers Team Perfects The Art of Giving by Lisa Tramontana


photos courtesy I-Catchers Salon and Spa

s the holidays approached, hair stylist Sarah Richmond had mixed emotions. She was grateful that her family had been spared the devastation of August’s flooding. But she couldn’t stop thinking about all the people who wouldn’t be home for Christmas because their homes were still damaged.


MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Witness at work “I wanted to do something to help,” said Sarah, who works at I-Catchers Hair and Body Spa. “All of my co-workers had clients who had been affected, and we had been hearing their stories for months. I came up with the idea to raise money for the flood victims and we called our campaign The Art of Giving.” I-Catchers owners Chip and Shelia Faust were on-board right away and kicked off the campaign November 1. “We advertised it as a program to help us decorate the salon and trim our Christmas tree,” said Shelia. “$5 for a window cling, $15 for a snowflake decoration, $20 for an ornament. Chip and I also decided to donate the $500 we set aside every quarter for a staff party.” In addition, stylists paid a $5 fee for the option of wearing jeans every Friday during the campaign, which continued through most of December. The donations started adding up, and the team eventually raised a grand total of $5,500. Each of the 11 stylists put the names of their (flood victim) clients in a hat and pulled one name. Each winner received $500. “The stylists called the winners, saying we had a gift for them, and most people assumed the gift was a hair product or something similar,” said Shelia. “As the days went by and clients started coming in to get their gifts, you can imagine how surprised and happy … and emotional they were.” One woman had turned down a $450 gift from her church because she believed there were others who needed it more,” Shelia said. “The very next day, we pulled that woman’s name and she ended up with an even larger gift from us.” Sarah’s gift went to Gretchen X, a mother of two young children. The family had no flood insurance, so their losses were significant. “When she came by to pick up her gift, she was about to let one of her children open the card (which held cash),” said Sarah, “and I said to her, ‘I think you’ll want to open this yourself.’” Gretchen was overwhelmed when she realized the generosity and kindness


Top: Shelia and Chip Faust owners of I-Catchers Hair and Body Spa. Right: Gretchen Verhulst was one of 11 flood victims who received a generous gift from I-Catchers during the Christmas holidays as part of a special fundraiser. She is pictured here with her children Olivia and Allie, and her hair stylist Sarah Richmond, left, who came up with the idea for The Art of Giving campaign. Opposite Page: The I-Catchers team raised $5,500 for flood victims. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017


X Wintess at work


Top: Hair stylist Sarah Richmond, who sparked The Art of Giving campaign.

Right: Specially designed T-shirts promoted the team’s philosophy.

There is an adage that says attitude reflects leadership, and perhaps that’s why the I-Catchers staff seems so much like a family. Shelia and Chip admit they have a passion for giving and a desire to do good wherever they can. Perhaps that philosophy draws like-minded people to their business. Or perhaps that philosophy simply rubs off on those around them. In any case, Shelia is quick to credit Sarah for coming up with an outstanding idea that became an amazing gift to the community. “I never expected anything like this,” Sarah said. “I’m happy I had the opportunity to be part of something so meaningful, and I’m especially happy to be part of such a team of people who never thought twice about helping others.”


she’d been shown by the staff. “She just couldn’t believe it,” Sarah said. Other recipients had similar reactions --- tears, smiles, hugs, and personal thank-you notes that arrived later in the mail. From Gerry Foster: “What a wonderful and remarkable staff you have! Thank you for this incredible act of kindness. You have touched my heart.” From Kalynn Bell: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have always been the giver and I guess God wanted to humble me and show me how it feels to be on the receiving end. It has been difficult because I feel so undeserving but still so blessed. God has been so faithful in this season of my life and He used all of you to display his love to me once again.” From Nell Ginn: “The ‘Art of Giving’ started with God sending Jesus as a baby and then He kept on giving when he died and rose again to give us life. Thank you for what you have given this Christmas!” Shelia says her staff agreed that Christmas 2016 was the best ever in the 26-year history of the salon. “And the reason is because we were so focused on helping others,” she said. “My husband and I both have a very strong faith. We don’t push it on other people, but we don’t hide it either. Every morning, we pray together … for each other, for our families and friends, and for our staff. We try to make sure we’re not missing God’s will. We truly believe that the reason we are here is because Christ wants us here. He has a purpose for us.” Shelia would agree that The Art of Giving campaign was a big part of her purpose the year. “It was amazing to see how people came together,” she said. “We had employees who were affected by the flood, but even though they needed help themselves, they were willing to give to others. I get emotional just thinking about it. The whole experience was priceless. I always knew my staff was special, but this showed our clients and our community just how loving and giving they are.”

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. A year ago, Christian Life Magazine interviewed Chip and Shelia Faust and asked them about their goals for 2016. “We want to change somebody’s world!” they said. “We want to put our love for others into action.” And indeed they did. With The Art of Giving, they helped others and fulfilled their own spiritual desire.

Nine Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters F

or parents familiar with the dinner time drill of navigating and nourishing young, picky eaters in the house, there is hope. “As a parent, I know how frustrating it can be to live with persnickety eaters, but the good news is there are absolutely ways to successfully encourage even the strongest-willed of children to expand their nutritional horizons,” said Allison Davis, a project manager in the Ingestive Behavior Laboratory at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Using her background as a psychologist, Davis works regularly with families to assess lifestyle habits and develop plans to integrate a variety of healthy foods into kids’ diets. It’s important work—one in two children in Louisiana is considered overweight or obese, and many of them are developing risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes at an earlier age. “If we can set healthy habits when kids are young, we can help put them on a path to lifelong health,” Davis said. “Even as young as two years old, we can teach our kids to start making healthy decisions for themselves. The younger we start having these conversations, the more likely it is to become a normal part of life for a child to decide on healthy foods and habits.” Davis and her colleague, registered dietitian Taylor Ayers, offered a few tips on introducing new items into kids’ diets: 1. Normalize new foods. Often, kids aren’t enthusiastic about a new vegetable because it is not familiar to them. “When introducing a new food, serve it to your children at breakfast, lunch and dinner for two weeks so they become acquainted with the look, taste and texture and so they recognize it’s normal,” Davis said. 2. Demonstrate that you enjoy healthy foods. We often display visceral reactions to foods that are satisfying and delicious, but sometimes forget that kids are watching our every move. “If we are as excited about broccoli as we are about cake, our kids notice,” said Ayers. “They’re more likely to try a food and enjoy it when we as parents can demonstrate that we like to eat it. And—if we don’t eat a healthy diet, we can’t expect our kids to.” 3. Give kids options they like. Davis’ advice: “If you’re serving a new food that your picky eater may not be crazy about, try to have at least one food on the plate that you know your child does like. That way, kids don’t feel cornered with a plate full of food that they hate.”

4. If your kids fuss about the food, let it go and commit to try again. “Encouraging them to try something is great, and I often suggest they take just one bite. If they don’t like a food, I’ll let

Healthy LIFE


it go and we can try again at the next meal,” Davis said. Making a big deal out of eating something they don’t like can escalate a situation quickly and increase any existing stubbornness. “You may have to let your kids try the food 10 times or more before they decide that they are open to eating it.” 5. Get the kids involved. Ask your kids to help you prepare new recipes. “When kids are involved in the process, they are more likely to taste something. It helps them connect with their food and gives them a sense of control, too. Even asking your children to help pick out fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market or grocery store can go a long way,” Ayers said. Once in the kitchen, kids can often add spices or stir up recipes to help with the preparation. Even better, she says: Ask kids for help in growing the vegetables in your own home – in a garden or in a pot outside. 6. Stick with healthy seconds. If your child wants a second serving of food, allow them to decide between fruits and veggies instead of starches or proteins, which are often kids’ first choice and can contain higher calorie counts. “If they’re truly hungry, they are more likely to eat their fruits and vegetables,” Ayers said. 7. Keep junk food hidden. The principle here is “out of sight, out of mind,” said Davis. “If your kids can see junk food on your countertop or at their eye level in the pantry, they are likely to ask for that instead.” Davis suggests putting bottled water, fruits like apples or oranges and portion-controlled snacks such as individually portioned child-size bags of trail mix at eye level. 8. Try portion control. “Make a child’s plate based on the size of their fist. We know that the size of protein we need should roughly match the size of the palm of our hands. An adult hand is much larger than kids’ or toddlers’ hands,” added Ayers. Fruit and vegetable servings can be a bit larger since they are less caloriedense and contain lots of great vitamins and minerals. 9. Get active. Taking a walk as a family after dinner is a great way to burn off some extra calories while spending time together. It also gives your brain time to recognize you’re full before you eat too many servings. When you get home, berries or other fruits can often help satiate the sweet tooth of even the fussiest eaters. Pennington Biomedical regularly works with families through its research studies to improve children’s health. If you’re interested in learning more about how you and your family can join those programs, check out or call 225-763-3000. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 2017



Healthy life

Healthy Living

Outside and Inside by Patrick Allen

Iron on Iron Mobile Fitness Works for Total Well-Being

Photos provided by Patrick Allen


of Iron on Iron Mobile Fitness. His philosophy: it doesn’t matter if it’s clear and sunny or gloomy and rainy, every day is a good day to pursue your health. This philosophy inspires Coach Allen to teach and motivate others, especially kids, to get active. The same philosophy resonates with many, he says, from internet health gurus to former First Lady Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move” directives. “We can all agree that we need to get moving,” he says. “Our nation needs the impetus to get active and pursue good health.” Coach Allen, an ACE Certified Group Instructor and Owner of Iron on Iron Mobile Fitness, often focuses on finding innovative ways to get kids active. While he is not against technology, he says the rise in the number of technological gadgets available to everyone - children in particular - takes away from the desire to get up and get active. He suggests that parents limit the time children spend on things like mobile devices, game consoles and tablets, and exchange that time for clean fresh air, getting up and getting active. “Children’s health is a big focus for me,” says Allen. He often advises, “Get the kids to the park, bring your running shoes and leave your phones at home. Let’s rediscover the joys of running, kick ball, basketball and so on. Come get this fresh air!” Coach Allen also focuses on inspiring his clients to think about what’s going on inside - the health of the inner body and things we cannot see. “Just because your outer self may look good, doesn’t always indicate good health inside,” says Coach Allen. “You must learn to eat right, know what you’re putting inside your body - eating as well as drinking. Read labels, ask questions, limit and reduce fried foods, but give yourself treat days. We must purpose to live longer and stronger!” While Iron on Iron Mobile Fitness works to increase the importance of health and activity in children, it is not limited to kids. His services include 36

MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Iron on Iron, Kingdom Kounsel & Hammond First Responders coming together for back to school rally.

boot camp classes for all ages and stages of health. Coach Allen brings the workout to his clients. He lovingly yet firmly says “if it’s raining, we’re still training!” or instructs them to “keep it moving” when they happen to think they can’t perform. He works to inspire a push for greatness, a great and positive energy that he believes is inside everyone. Coach Allen believes in replacing negative energy with positive energy. In Deepak Chopra’s book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How to Create a New You (Harmony Books, 2009), readers are taught the difference between healthy and unhealthy energy.


Healthy LIFE

Healthy energy is flowing, flexible, dynamic, balanced, soft, associated with positive feelings. Unhealthy energy is stuck, frozen, rigid, brittle, hard, out of balance, associated with negative emotions. Coach Allen says finishing boot camp classes and personal training sessions really makes his clients feel they have accomplished something great! Praise and worship music is the backbone of most workouts. Coach Allen credits his personal relationship with God as the source of his burning desire to lead people to good energy and great health. “You’ve got to get it!” he says. Coach Allen always stresses the importance of good health by getting active and healthy eating. “If you put good things in, you’ll get good things out,” he says. “So, get your kids moving! When you do, they’ll inspire you to keep moving. The family that becomes active together, gets healthy together! It’s Your Set - time to Go Get It!”

Taking time to pray before bootcamp activites. Patrick Allen and Freida Dixon of Iron on Iron Mobile Fitness posed with Voice of Faith youth ministry. Coach Allen stresses the importance of working together in the midst of a friendly game of dodge ball with the kids.

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

Join us during the month of March as Jack Lynch teaches from Romans 6.5-6 Romans 6.7-11 Romans 6.12-14 Romans 6.15-16

■ What the Bible means by what it says ■ Open to the Public ■ Q&A Session ■ Sunday mornings 9:15 AM - 10:00 AM

Jack Lynch

Baton Rouge


Resurrection life in Christ Magazine

#ONEinrouge # brchristianlifemagazine

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

■ Come early and join us before the class for coffee & cookies ■ Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l march 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 April submissions by March 8.


Touchpoint Prayer Enjoy a light meal at 6 p.m. and prayer at 7 p.m., at The Oaks on Siegen Lane.

MARCH 4, 8, 16, 21, 30

CASA Informational Sessions Find out how you can be a voice for an abused or neglected child while they await a safe and permanent home. Upcoming sessions include March 4 at 10 a.m., March 8 at noon, March 16 at 5 p.m., March 21 at 1 p.m., and March 30 at 3 p.m. --- all held at 848 Louisiana Ave. Call Capital Area Special Advocates (CASA) at (225) 379-8598 or email to let us know you are planning to attend.


Adoption Matters If you have been thinking about adoption but are not quite sure where to start, join us for this free informational session from 6 to 7 p.m., 1900 S. Acadian Thruway. We will cover common questions, myths, and facts about international and domestic adoption. Register at


CYT Spring Classes Sign up for spring classes at


Bella’s Ball The Bella Bowman Foundation invites you to participate in its 6th annual Bella’s Ball. This fundraising event will be held from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge. Please join us for a wonderful evening filled with food, drinks and music, as well as a silent and live auction. Tickets are available at

march 24-26

st. jude church and school parish fair Fri 6p.m. - 10p.m.; Sat 11a.m. - 10p.m.; Sun 11a.m. - 4p.m. St. Jude Church Highland at Gardere Live music, big rides, games, food, BINGO, and more. Chee Weez, Chase Tyler Band, Baton Rouge Music Studio bands, Baton Rouge Jazz Ensemble throughout the weekend. More info at Facebook/stjudefair


Children’s Art Show River Community Church, 36367 Old Perkins Road, Prairieville. The exhibit will be on display through April 2 with viewings on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and during the week when the church office is open. The show is sponsored by River Community Church’s Creativity Group. Members are mentored by the other artists in the group and are encouraged to use their God-given gift of creativity. Community members are invited to join the group. Contact Jennifer Ferguson at or call (225) 744-4367 for more information.

MARCH 9-10

Auditions for The Wizard of Oz Christian Youth Theater (CYT) Register now at


HPC Singles Alive Healing Place Church, Join us at 6:30 p.m. for our HPC Singles ALIVE first ever “Cooking with a Message” presentation, featuring health ideas and treats from a culinary artist, nutritionist and health coach. Food and childcare provided. We look forward to seeing you there. We will also have our regular Singles ALIVE meeting on Friday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., also in the HPC Arena, Flow Room, 2nd Floor. Food and childcare provided.


Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference Hosted by Gulf South Men, the event takes place at Parkview Baptist Church. Visit for early registration. Groups of men 10+ $44/each or $29/ each for students. Optional lunch $8. (Ends 10 days prior to conference.) Keynote speakers are Ron Handley of Character that Counts, and Doug McCary of His Light International Ministries.


Anniversary Celebration Come celebrate with us at 3 p.m. at Resurrection Life Family Ministries, 722 N. Carrollton Ave. in Baton Rouge. Pastor Pollie B. Johnson celebrates 14 years of service to the Melrose East community. Our theme is “Uniting to Build the Church Without Walls.”


MARCH 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

registration for july 2017 CAMP IN THE CITY REGISTRATION Pine Cove’s summer day camp for kids completing K-5th grades. Held at The Chapel in the Oaks, 9611 Siegen Lane, 9a.m. - 4p.m., July 3-7, 2017. Indoor and outdoor activities, great staff, life-changing ministry! Register at www.pinecove. com/city/chapel-in-the-oaks.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!! 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 distribution 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.


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



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