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Baton Rouge

Christian

September 2017

F REE

Magazine

DONNA BRITT

“I’ve been very blessed” Kayaking for a Cause Cultivating Kindness Creationism Calling


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contents

SEPTEMBER 2017

columns

Faith Life

Baton Rouge

Christian

6 Women Find New Path to Follow

Family Life

10 Cultivating Seeds of Kindness at Home

by Roger Butner

12

Creative Life

Painting with a Purpose by Sharon Furrate Bailey

14 Faces of Christian

Life

Man Up

18 Every Man Needs a Band of

20-24 COVER story

Donna Britt “I’ve Been Very Blessed” by Susan Brown

Brothers

by Ken Paxton

Millennial Life

26 A Body in Christ by Trapper S. Kinchen

Geaux Life

28 River Adventure by Susan Brown

28 12

35

inside each issue

Learning for Life

30 In the Beginning by Lisa Tramontana

Pastor’s Perspective

32 Christ Calls Us to be Kind by Paul Downing

Healthy Life

34 From Mother to Child

by Pennington Biomedical Research Center

35 Battle Cry!

by Sharon Holeman

33 COOKING FOR LIFE 36 WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 38 opportunities for life

5 Publisher’s letter 16 Reading for life by Kelli M. Knight 25 a little lagniappe

POEM: Today, My Prayer for You is Kindness by Joan Rougon

Magazine

issue 6, volume 3 september 2017 PUBLISHER Beth Townsend beth@brclm.com Associate Editor/Publisher Susan Brown Editing Lisa Tramontana Director of Distribution Elmo Winters elmo@brclm.com contributing writers Lisa Tramontana Trapper S. Kinchen Kelli M. Knight Sharon Furrate Bailey Sharon Holeman Susan Brown Ken Paxton Roger Butner Paul Downing Joan Rougon COVER PHOTO Donna Britt photo by Beth Townsend LAYOUT & DESIGN BY Illuminated Designs Studio printed by RR Donnelley / Memphis, TN BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE WEBSITE BY Therese Winters, Mine Your Business Virtual Solutions & Kadmos BATON ROUGE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAGAZINE 9655 Perkins Road, Suite C-133 Baton Rouge, LA 70810 225-910-7426

batonrougechristianlifemagazine.com 4

@brclifemagazine

@brclife

SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Facebook.com/batonrougechristianlifemagazine


Publisher’s LETTER

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As Ambassadors of Christ, We Must Extend Kindness to Others Each month I get the same phone call. It’s always the day after we have mailed out our sub-scriptions. “Thank you for making my day. I received my magazine today and I’m going to read cover to cover.” Mrs. Lee thinks we’ve done a kind act for her. But her phone call each month brightens my day. Not because of any lengthy in-depth discussion, but because I appreciate her kindness each month to call and say thanks. A few months ago I was deeply concerned about a very personal issue. Such was my concern that I could not get it off my mind. It would keep me awake and it seemed there was little I could do to rest. Of course I prayed, read Scripture, and asked the Lord for help. It seemed it had such a grip on me that I felt as though I was failing in my faith. Then out of the blue, God did something seemingly random that I knew in a moment was Him. He was showing me that though I had to wait a bit longer, I could depend on his presence in the situation which calmed my restless soul. Earlier today, a group of friends gathered to help a couple move back into their home. Much of the same group had assembled one year earlier in a panic to quickly gather and save what we could as flood waters had wreaked havoc on their belongings and destroyed much of what they had accumulated over the years. After our work was done, we stood in a circle and prayed together, thanking the Lord for friendships and the ability to help others.

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Kindness. It is an underrated powerful act that whether from God or man, is indeed life changing. While it is a “fruit of the spirit,” it is also a daily choice. Much like patience, if we have Jesus, we have the fruit He promised. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Daily we face the battle of free will. Often, the choice to live outside of God’s will and His purposes is the biggest choice we make each day. We must choose to believe He is who He says He is and that we are who He says we are. You never know what someone else is facing. So many in our community lost so much in the last few months. Many are still rebuilding homes and lives. People are busy. Yet people value themselves when others treat them with value. As ambassadors of Christ, it’s our job to extend kindness daily. We are the hands and feet of Christ in our city and beyond. Kindness. It takes so little and accomplishes so much. Changing the world one story at a time.

Beth Townsend

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Faith LIFE

Connections for Life

Women Find New Path to Follow

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ortney Bradley had served her time and was about to be released from the Madison Parish Correctional Center, but home was the last place she wanted to go. “I knew that I

would fall back into the same problems that got me into trouble in the first place,” she said. “Drugs, crime, the wrong people. I didn’t want to go back to that lifestyle.” Fortunately, she didn’t have to.

A new beginning

Instead, she applied to Connections for Life, an organization that helps women, especially those trying to build a new life after prison, with treatment facilities and battered women’s shelters. Connections for Life helps women transition to a healthy independence based on a 12-step program that provides housing, clothing, food, job placement assistance, finance classes and more. “When I was interviewed for the program, I was told that the program was very strict … that there were a lot of rules. But that’s exactly what I needed,” Bradley said. “I was 24, yet I had no idea how to be responsible. Within a year, I got a job and a driver’s license. I bought a car. I got much-needed dental care. I started college. They helped me take 6

little steps one at a time that ended up changing my life.” Bradley is living proof that the program works. For three years, she has served as Program Manager at Connections for Life, uniquely positioning her to help new clients.

Determined to succeed Executive Director Karen Stagg says the program is limited to 13 women. “We’re small on purpose,” she said. “We want to be able to provide oneon-one care and counseling so our clients can succeed. It’s very hard what these women are doing. They are really committed to making their lives better.” Stagg had a career in healthcare before she took the helm at Connections for Life. “The woman who founded the organization was retiring and she offered me this opportunity. I took it even though I had no training or background in this kind of work. But I had decided I wanted to live my life more intentionally, and this was a chance to do that.”

SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Each woman accepted into the program is provided a rent-free fully furnished apartment of her own, as well as food, clothing, and transportation until she can afford her own. “Giving them the key to their apartment on the first day of the program is a very big deal,” Stagg said. “Some of them have never had their own place before. It’s empowering.” In return, participants are expected to hold a job and attend regular “recovery” meetings during their yearlong transition. They are also assigned a “sponsor” who encourages them and helps them form healthy relationships.

Fear and uncertainty

Judy Maechling is another success story. In her 50s now, Judy was sent to prison six times, usually on drug charges. More than once, she was offered an opportunity to apply to Connections for Life, but she was never ready, she said. “And then one day, I realized that I was tired of everything about my life … living on the street … struggling all the time. So I applied and they took me,” she said. Judy says she was afraid to fail and lacked confidence. “I didn’t know if I could go through with it,” she said. “I got released and got on a bus


Faith LIFE

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for Baton Rouge. The whole way, I wasn’t sure if I would get off at my stop or just stay on that bus and keep going … somehow, I made the right decision and I’ve had nothing but unconditional love and support. It’s been phenomenal. I’ve grown as a person and accomplished so much. I have a grown daughter and two grandchildren, and I know in my heart that I will see them soon and be able to have a relationship with them.” Judy now works in the Connections Thrift Store. It’s a simple life she leads these days, but in her words, “more than I ever dreamed possible.”

Community Support

One way to support Connections for Life is to shop at the Thrift Store, which carries furniture, books, clothing, household goods and more. Volunteers are needed in the store to help sort donations, tag merchandise, hang clothing, stock shelves, arrange merchandise displays, and greet customers. The store is located at 2286 Highland Road. Another way to support the organization is to volunteer in the office by providing administrative assistance. If you have working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, good communication skills, and can multi-task, your help would be appreciated. “I am honored to be affiliated with these women and with this program,” Stagg said. “They work so hard to improve their lives. Watching them achieve independence and emotional healing is a beautiful thing to see.” For more information about Connections for Life or about volunteer opportunities, call (225) 379-3640.

Karen Stagg, second from left, poses with supporters of Connections for Life.

Women in Media volunteers participated in a clothing drive to provide clients with professional attire.

“The woman who founded the organization was retiring and she offered me this opportunity. I took it even though I had no training or background in this kind of work. But I had decided I wanted to live my life more intentionally, and this was a chance to do that.” -Karen Stagg

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Faith LIFE Cortney Bradley, far left, and Judy Maechling are graduates and now employees of the Connections for Life program. Cortney credits the program with saving her life by giving her opportunities she never would have found if she had returned home. Judy says she received unconditional love and support that motivated her to be a better person and gave her confidence to make better choices.

Starting a New Life Has its Challenges Every year, millions of men and women leave the country’s state and federal prisons and local jails hoping for a successful return to society. Most are returning to their families, many with children. Because of this, their challenges moving back into the mainstream affect their families in many ways.

Family life

Housing is an immediate concern, and most prisoners end up living with a family member and depending on them for financial support. In most cases, family support is a positive experience. For women who return to children, however, the experience is difficult. Children whose parents are incarcerated go through more than disruption of their daily lives. They go through real trauma–separation from a loved one, feelings of shame and anger, and fear for their future. When a mother is released from prison, re-establishing the parent-child relationship is hard.

Employment

Staying focused

Most women who leave prison are determined to never go back, but real life has its temptations, especially for those who were convicted of drug crimes. Even those who manage to avoid repeating their offenses often are arrested for parole violations such as changing residence, possessing a weapon, leaving the state without permission, or failing to show up for a court appearance.

Community help

Karen Stagg, Executive Director of Connections for Life, has Imagine if a former inmate came to you for a job. Your first thought would devoted her life to helping women achieve independence after being released from prisons, rehab facilities and be to wonder if you could trust this person. Even if a boss or supervisor women’s shelters. “I’ve seen how hard they work to change is willing to take a chance, co-workers may not be comfortable with the their lives,” she said. “Anything our community can do for arrangement. Released prisoners who are able to find employment often them is appreciated.” have to settle for low-skill and low-paying jobs such as food service, Connections for Life provides many ways to be involved in housekeeping, or maintenance and repair. And while finding a job is a helping women at risk reach their goals, including donations step in the right direction, keeping it is a daily struggle. and volunteer projects. Call (225) 379-3640 for information. 8

SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine


Faith LIFE

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Need an interpreter to communicate with your teen? Tired of being disrespected in your own home? Looking for help improving family relationships and communication?

There is hope!

www.hopeforyourfamily.com

ROGER D. BUTNER, PHD, LMFT

225-333-1582

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X Family LIFE

Cultivating Seeds of Kindness atHome by Roger Butner, PHD, LMFT

W

..e hate to admit it, but we know

it’s the ugly truth: it is often easier to show kindness to strangers and acquaintances than to our own beloved family members at home. It’s as though we have an expectation of

seed 1

Offer an encouraging word every day. This may not be your current habit, but it surely is a good one to cultivate. Use an app on your phone or a simple note on your bathroom mirror to remind you to seize an opportunity at least once a day to verbalize to your spouse and each child something you like, appreciate or admire in them. If you miss a day, don’t sweat it – just keep looking for those moments to lift their spirits with your genuine words of kindness. This is such a simple practice that can make a world of difference at home or anywhere else you choose to practice this act of kindness.

our spouses, kids, or other family members to get everything right all the time, yet we extend grace to those outside the home. And being exposed so often to so many of our family members’ faults can simply wear down our patience with them, to the point that we lose our spirit of kindness, gentleness and grace. How much stronger and more peaceful is our home life when we share these virtues in abundance with our loved ones! God’s Word teaches us in Galatians 5:22 that His Holy Spirit produces in us the fruit of kindness, along with patience and gentleness for good measure. What wonderful news! This means God’s natural work is to produce in us the very virtues our family members long for us to share with them. Watch your tone. You’ve My favorite passage for guidance on how to live heard it before. It’s not just what you say, with spouses and children is Philippians 2:1-18. but how you say it. This is such a powerful truth. One A few years ago, I was reading this passage in an simple way to change our tone from harshness to kindness unfamiliar translation … The New Century Version. is to regularly ask ourselves before opening our mouths, “Am I Suddenly, verses 12 and 13 took on clear meaning going to invite my spouse or child to hear me and consider my words, for me as they never had before: “…Keep on working or fight with me and reject my words?” If we really want to be heard to complete your salvation with fear and trembling, and considered, why do we so often speak in a way that invites pushbecause God is working in you to help you want to do back, fighting and rejection? If this is a deeply engrained pattern in your and be able to do what pleases him.” Wow! Seriously, relationships at home, try this exercise: Whenever you know you need to read that again, and consider the incredible meaning. If say or discuss something that may be emotionally charged, invite your spouse or child to come stand in front of a large mirror with you. You we are seeking Him and His will, He will give us the will find it easier to keep your words, tone and body language in additional motivation and tools we need to walk in His a spirit of kindness when you have the immediate feedback will – even to want to walk in His will. We just need of seeing your own “energy” while you speak. to be willing to seek Him daily. My goal today is to Seriously. Try it. offer you a few simple ideas to help you move closer in step with His Spirit as you share the life-giving fruit of kindness in greater abundance in your own home.

seed 2

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Family LIFE

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seed 3 Take time to listen. Practice the wisdom of this classic prayer: “O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love…” Kindness in relationships is often demonstrated through taking the time to genuinely listen to and consider one another’s words. In fact, one of the most effective ways to “get” someone to listen to you with an open mind is to offer that very gift to them first. Spouses and kids who feel heard by your kind ear and heart are so much more likely to enjoy a peaceful and mutually respectful relationship with you.

d an interpreter to nicate with your teen?

f being disrespected in our own home?

or help improving family ips and communication?

May these simple suggestions bless you and your loved ones with a bumper crop of kindness! If I can assist you in any way, please reach out to me at Roger@hopeforyourfamily.com.

There is hope!

peforyourfamily.com

BUTNER, PHD, LMFT

25-333-1582

Roger Butner is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice specializing in teens and their parents, family dynamics, and addiction issues. His wife, Chemaine, is a Baton Rouge native. He has lived in BR since 2002, and he and Chemaine have a 13 year old son. Contact Dr. Butner and find out more at his website: hopeforyourfamily.com

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X Creative LIFE

Painting with a Purpose Maria Boudreaux is an Angel to Many by Sharon Furrate Bailey

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. –Proverbs 31:25

Q:When did you discover you were an artist? A: I don’t think I ever “discovered” that I was an artist. As a young child, I noticed colors, shapes and textures. I remember noticing all the different greens that made up the grass when I was playing in my back yard. However, I did not realize that seeing the details in the grass that day would lead me to where I am today—a full-time artist. In fact, the only art class I ever had was as a freshman at Saint Joseph’s Academy. My love for drawing and painting has been with me my entire life. Through the years, people would ask me if I could draw or paint something for them and I would. It was a challenge for me. These challenges helped me paint anything, on anything, and in various styles, techniques and mediums.

Q:

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

A: Art of any kind should make you think, feel and fall in love. I create art to express what I love, what influences me, and what makes me smile. Many of my paintings are influenced by the Gulf Coast way of life which is abundant in colors, nature, sounds, spirituality, and the attitude of the area which is about being outside and soaking in its beauty. 12

SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Do you feel painting is

Q:a spiritual gift?

A: Absolutely! You paint your life with the colors God gave you. I discovered this idea during a period of personal struggles and trials and found it was hard to create and deal with everything going on. But then I heard God speak to my spirit … He encouraged me to express what I feel and think through art. Art influences others and my artistic journey has opened up so many friendships and lines of encouragement. My clients say that my art makes them happy and that makes me happy. I pray that the Spirit God (Holy Spirit) who influences my work shines through my paintings and in turn encourages and enlightens the owners to paint their lives with whatever colors God gives them. Above Right: Prayer and Meditation Right: Angel on gold leaf


Creative LIFE You have been a live painter for many organizations — what are some of the causes that are near to your heart and some of the events that you shared your talent as a live painter?

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Q:

A: I am grateful to work personally with Dreams Come True and JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). My main event with JDRF is their “Derby After Dark.” I have painted at this event for four years. I do a number of events for Dreams Come True in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. I have worked with DCT for at least 10 years. Our biggest event is “Wine Tasting at Ruffino’s on the River.” This year’s event is September 21, and yes, I plan to be there. Children are my soft spot. Working with these organizations and others always helps me realize the blessings in my own life. The money raised helps many young people and my art hopefully brings joy to the owners. Jesus also embraces children. Luke 18:16 is a scripture that shows his love towards children. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” So if I can help children with the gift God gave me, then by all means, I will continue and be of service for these organizations. If my gift can help others, then I feel that “tug” to help and so I paint.

Tell us about the team building and classes you offer at your

Q: business.

A: My company, Fleur de ME Designs, offers customized team building packages for business owners, department heads and more. We have worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield, BASF, Cox Communications, Eatel, Our Lady of the Lake, Lewis Physical Therapy and many others. We offer on-site or off-site classes. We have open paint classes, several kinds of parties and special events, as well as classes for kids of all ages and art camps. Check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin. I also do commissioned art, murals, unique creative projects and live painting events.

Two Wings on gold leaf

Q: Do you have a favorite book of the Bible or scripture?

A: Proverbs 31 is my favorite proverb in the Bible. It reminds me to be the best woman, wife, mother and person God wants me to be. It speaks of a strong creative woman. It touches upon how a woman can be creative in love, her home, in parenting, and other endeavors. Hopefully I can portray these characteristics along with my faith in God daily.

Q:

Lady Justice

Share anything you would like our readers to know about your personal life and journey as a creative person.

A: As stated before, I am a self-taught artist. I have always drawn and painted. I started as a calligrapher. When my daughter Shelby was born, I painted a mural in her room. When people would see it, many asked me to paint one for them. This evolved into a faux finishing/decorative painting business. I realized that what I could paint on walls, I could paint on canvases, so I started Fleur de ME Designs in 2004. For a while, I did residential projects, sold my art and calligraphy both wholesale and retail, developed Creative Kids Art Camps, and volunteered frequently at my church and school. Things had to change in 2009 due to my daughter’s lengthy illness. I had to give some things up to care for her, so I stopped painting in homes and selling both wholesale and retail. I thought of ways to keep my schedule flexible which would allow me to care for Shelby and spend time with Trent, my husband, so I began offering wine and sip classes and continued summer art camps. With prayers and much support, Shelby is much better. My work can be seen locally at The Foyer, Babin Dental, and by appointment at my studio at 11666 Cedar Park, Suite C. Also, my art can be viewed on mariaboudreaux-artist.com and on Facebook-Maria Prochaska Boudreaux. Take time to paint the colors of your life. It has helped me and it could help you.

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 sharon@brclm.com.

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X Faces of Christian life C H RISTI A N P ERS P E C TIVES F RO M A C ROSS T H E W OR L D

Tr e v o r M o r r i s

Samantha Boutte Medically, I wasn’t supposed to be born. My parents lost three kids before me. God fulfilled a promise to my parents when he let them keep me. My life began as a miracle and has been that ever since. I grew up “normal” until I started gaining excessive weight due to a thyroid problem. My first surgery was at the age of 12, then 16, 28, and 32. I also had a seizure disorder that paralyzed my life for five years. As I look back over my life, I see how God has walked with me through every second of my life. I have seen his grace. My faith has kept me going through all of this ... I am glad I was the one chosen for this hard road, because this has helped me be like Jesus and represent God’s grace. 14

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When I was 16, I tried to take my own life. My dad had chronic pain from a car accident and always had heavy pain medication prescribed to him. I tried to use his medication to end my life. Ironically, I ended up living and he ended up dying a few weeks later. I did not want to be alive even after my life had been spared and went through several miserable years. One day I was searching for drugs and went up to a man I thought for sure could either sell them to me or give me a connection. His face was covered in tattoos, his clothes were rough, his hair was a mess. He told me he no longer involved himself in that kind of life and invited me to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Within three meetings, I had a desire chip and this man became my sponsor. He told me that Jesus was the only higher power. He began to disciple me and pray with me … he took me to church. Today I am clean and sober and depend on Jesus every day. I know it is Jesus who kept me alive because he has a purpose for me.


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Share your personal stories on our new Faces of Christian Life Facebook page.

Kait lyn Vied Eight years ago, I remember sitting on my parents’ floor frantically looking for my dad’s pistol that he kept under his bed. My parents left for a day trip and I was determined to put an end to my life. For a second I had to pause and wonder how I had gotten there. Was it the rejection I dealt with from being adopted? Was it the boy who took advantage of me when I was 6? Was it the individual who verbally and physically abused me? All I knew was that 14 years of life had been enough and I didn’t see any option or promise of hope. If God was real or good, he wasn’t concerned with me. But my story didn’t end there. God WAS watching out for me and through a series of events, my parents ended up sending me to a program called Teen Challenge --- it was there that I came to terms with God, it was there that I realized he was fighting for me. This journey has been hard, but God has been faithful. He has given me a joyful and adventurous life that was beyond anything I had ever imagined. I am so grateful.

Kevin Cummings I believe the most important thing we can do for a person is pray for them. Words can move people, kind acts can touch people, example can inspire people. Prayer can change people. Prayer can heal people. Prayer can touch people. And prayer can bless people. I believe the prayers of others have saved me, and I believe my prayers are eternal investments in the lives of others.

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X Reading for life

A Review of Denying My Mother’s Eyes True Life Louisiana Written by Marius Domingue

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Reviewed by Kelli M. Knight

f you don’t know Marius Domingue, it would definitely be worth your while to become familiar with him. Marius grew up in Erwinville, La. living in poverty with his parents and brother. His Spanish/Dominican Republic heritage gave him a dark skin tone which in turn gave license for his family and him be discriminated against, and to be treated just as horrifically as African Americans were. His father was a sharecropper and barely made ends meet. More often than not, they went hungry. Though they had a roof over their heads, there was no running water. Rain was captured in tanks that were usually contaminated with bugs and rodent feces. This was the setting for Marius’ early life.

Through trials, triumph, and heartache, we get a vivid picture of a boy who grew into adulthood to be an impartial witness to life and to love his hometown, despite the prejudice he experienced. Domingue became a successful contractor and then went on to serve as a Sheriff’s Deputy and protect the area that gave him such a hard time. You will not be disappointed to take a glimpse into the life of Marius Domingue. I encourage youth, especially, to read about a man who accurately recounts history without bias. Marius still enjoys being involved in law enforcement but looks forward to retiring and spending more time with his family. He will continue to research, read,

and spread awareness of unwritten histories. In his spare time, he writes music and hopes to continue improving his skills on the guitar. His book can be purchased at denyingmymotherseyes.com

Kelli is the owner of Illuminated Designs Studio, specializing in graphic design services. She received her Liberal Arts degree from LSU. Over the course of her career she has written for several publications throughout Southeast Lousiana. Find her on facebook: facebook.com/kellissimeaux

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X Man up

Every Man Needs a

Band of Brothers by Ken Paxton

Proverbs 27:17 says it clearly: “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

M

en’s Ministry is pretty straightforward. With a strong men’s group in a church, I believe the church will be a stronger place where a man can bring his family to receive the Word of Christ. Go back to the time of Moses when Moses needed two strong men by his side, Aaron and Hur. They picked Moses up when he was weak. Moses had a great family but he had two guys who believed in him, who would battle for him, and did not want to see him lost. And David – he had 30 mighty men he could call on at any time. He also had a friend in Jonathan, someone who stood closer to him than any other brother. Jonathan believed in David and wanted him to succeed. I have a great family. My wife Brandi supports me and she walks hand in hand with me. I also have three close friends and one best friend who will battle anything that comes against me in my life. My best friend, Scott Pace, has been my support for almost 23 years. We have prayed together, stood together in battle, laughed and cried together, then stood by each other’s side when we both got married. Jeff Gaudet is a friend who put me in a headlock when I got off my spiritual journey and gave me a turnaround. He has been there to help me in my struggles of living the worldly life and the Godly life. Another friend is Jeff Lee, who saw my ministry and was one of the first to give something towards it. He believed that God was going to do great things with my ministry and he even calls himself “my roadie.” Bax Kegans is another friend who always encourages me to be all I can be. He has introduced me to others in Men’s Ministry, which has opened so many doors to reaching others. He helps hold me up when the enemy is raging and always calls to check on me and pray with me. We can’t be who God has called us to be without accountability. To live this life, we need friends and Men’s Ministry lets you connect with other men who can walk with you through the good times and the bad. As a man, I want to be the best husband I can be to my wife, the best dad to Kyland and the best

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SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Ken Paxton with Jeff Gaudet, who helped him strengthen his spiritual life.


Man up

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Paxton spends time with his friends Jeff Lee and Scott Pace.

Men at the ISI Conference.

stepdad to Nick and Logan. I also want to be the best I can be as a servant to others in my church. Without having Godly mentors and friends that you can trust in life, it’s hard to do this alone. The devil always tries to get the lonely lamb away from the pack of other lambs. The enemy doesn’t want to see you in fellowship with other men and warriors. He will have to fight three instead of one. With the power of God in three men, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. He can’t get to the weak servant. The Bible also says in Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A triple braided cord is uneasily broken.” Men, we can’t fight this life alone. We need our wives and our kids, but we also need other guys to help us in battle. If you do not have a strong group of Christian brothers at your church, find one. Plug into a Men’s Ministry --- start one at your church or find out how you can serve and connect with others to have that fellowship. It will bring you to a new level in Christ to pray for and believe with another brother. It strengthens the both of you.

I am part of Real Men at The Church in St. Amant. I am also a part of Gulf South Men, a member of NCMM (National Coalition of Men’s Ministry), Iron Sharpens Iron, and Christians Under Construction. As a man, husband and dad, I need others in battle with me - and so do you. I’m encouraging you and inviting you to be a part of a Men’s Ministry at your church or find one in your area. If you need assistance getting connected, contact me at kbpaxton@yahoo.com.

Ken with his family. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X Cover Story

“I’ve Been Very Blessed ” Donna Britt says challenges remind us what is important in life. by Susan Brown

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SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine


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tanding at the edge of a Georgia peanut field, Donna Britt watched her father preach to hardworking harvesters. They

couldn’t spare a day off for church, so he brought the gospel to the field. It was a legacy of compassion and perseverance - an understanding that stepping into someone else’s story makes a difference. That foundation has endeared her to the Baton Rouge viewing community as she serves her 36th year as anchor for WAFB Channel 9 News. “I feel like God led me to be in television,” she explains. Her own story of resilience demonstrates a commitment to make the most of God-given gifts in the face of both personal success and loss. Her current challenge is a continuing battle with a progressive disease recently diagnosed as ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The condition causes her immune system to attack her nerves, resulting in partial paralysis that affects her ability to walk, use her hands and breathe. But her incisive mind and the twinkle in her eye testify to her ability to face a tough truth head-on with a deep sense of peace built on faith. “I think that your struggles are a bridge,” she said. “There are so many people that already have their own struggles, and because I know how aggressive this illness is, I cannot hide it. And rather than say that a thousand times, I just go on Facebook and explain to everyone what’s happening. And I find that it’s so rich, the support and the love that I get that way.” Kindness, she said, is not something you do, it is something that comes from who you are - from your character. “What you do in kindness celebrates your power to use the abilities that God has given you, and you want to feel worthy of them.” The legacy continues in countless news stories and acts of kindness, including volunteer work with the Salvation Army, Girl Scouts, and Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, and hundreds of hours spent restoring a library at Progress Elementary. “Reading comprehension scores on standardized tests after three years of really revving the library made a difference,” she said. “When you help others, you can feel like you have been able to affect something bad in the world and make it good.” “That was just our family’s tradition – to always take care of everything,” she recalls. “We all kind of try to follow Jesus’ example, but my dad was a big disciple. When I was young, about 5, he would let me climb up on a toolbox on the front seat of the pickup truck when he was going to work on somebody’s house. His idea was that you build a relationship with someone when you’re helping them.” “I was born again at age 6 and was in the church every time the door was open,” she said. She played the piano and organ for hundreds of funerals and weddings.

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Cover Story

While serving at a Southern Baptist church in Florida, Donna’s mother gave birth to her fifth child. The baby survived, but Donna’s mother died in childbirth. At the age of 9, Donna and her siblings were sent to live with their grandmother. When her father remarried, they moved to Biloxi where he became a teacher. The family spent weekends helping breathe life back into dwindling churches in small Mississippi towns. Her father preached, her stepmother led the music and Donna played the piano. “We had seven kids so sometimes we were double the congregation,” Britt said. Two of her brothers followed her father into the ministry, while Donna pursued her love of music at the University of Southern Mississippi. She later transferred to LSU to complete her degree in music education, and she became flag choreographer for the Tiger Band. She worked at WLBI in Denham Springs to make ends meet, and later at WYNK, where she met her future husband, Mark Ballard, Capitol News Bureau Editor for The Advocate. They celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary in August. “The summer we got married, two of my three sisters also got married. Our dad exclaimed, ‘A thousand dollars to anyone who will elope!’ Mark and I never got the money, but we had a casual wedding under a tree behind the Greek amphitheater on LSU’s campus.” They sliced a watermelon instead of a wedding cake.

Donna Britt’s father, Dan, performed the wedding ceremony for Donna and Mark Ballard in 1981 beneath a massive oak tree in a clearing behind LSU’s Greek amphitheater. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X Cover Story “...When I was young, about 5, he [my father] would let me climb up on a toolbox on the front seat of the pickup truck when he was going to work on somebody’s house. His idea was that you build a relationship with someone when you’re helping them.” -Donna Britt

With help from Donna, the Salvation Army holds its Red Kettle Kickoff in North Boulevard Town Square.

In May, their daughter Annie - a DNA researcher in Rhode Island - married Alec Yonika under the same tree. They celebrated with a crawfish boil, a new experience for their in-laws. “Mark literally picks me up and he’s sort of my cheerleader, too,” she said. “When you have to struggle every move you make, and you run into trouble, you go, ‘Oh God, are you going to help me with this one?’ It’s kind of like the prayer doesn’t stop. It’s a continual thing.” “I ask that you don’t pray for me to be totally healed,” she said. “I think my paralysis is permanent. What I would like is 22

SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Donna poses for selfies with shoppers at the College Drive Walmart on Mondays and Fridays during the Christmas season. Here, she greets Kendrick Slan.

for you to pray that I am comforted and that my family is comforted and that we greet this thing as a blessing, which we try to do. Because there’s nothing like this to help you prioritize your life, and I think that’s healthy.” Donna says First United Methodist Church has really surrounded her in love. “Food delivered to your door and cards in the mail, all of that,” she said. “It’s just wonderful.” Her own spiritual struggle led her to the church she now calls home. “I basically went to college in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the late ‘70s, and I ran into churches that didn’t want blacks. People in


Cover Story

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the music department that were my dearest friends couldn’t go to those churches, and so I just sort of withdrew from church. And it wasn’t until we had our first child that I realized what a moral community I had grown up in. So, I went spiritually shopping.” “I just wish that churches would teach children not to see color, because children grow up in homes where their parents are racists, and they turn into racists, too. I WALK IN TUBS BATH REMODELS TILE SH WALK IN TUBS BATH REMODELS keep thinking that racism will die out, but I see young children today that have grown up in that kind of family and feel afraid of someone who’s not like them,” she said. WERS WERS “Jesus would go in the middle of it.” Donna and her family found both inclusiveness 18 18 and in-depth preaching at First Methodist. “Our doors are always open, and they do MONTHS MONTHS mean that,” she said. VISIT Her door remains open, as well. She would like to pass along the volume of information SHOW1 INthe TUBS REMODELS Owners TILE SHOWERS she has gained through her experience with ALS, WALK including discovery of anBATH LSU voice Owners Danny & Brenda LeBlanc 12504 S CH BA bank that allows her to record a thousand phrases in her own voice for future use. Danny & Brenda LeBlanc BATON ROU WERS “I’ve had an excellent life and been very blessed,” she said. “I couldn’t want for more.” For information, contact dbritt@wafb.com. 18

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Donna with hair stylists for 2016’s “Big Wig” fundraiser for Susan G. Komen.

“This past May, our daughter Annie and WERS stood under the very her beau Alec Yonika same tree to get married. It was a very beautiful simple ceremony just like the one 36 years ago. My heart sang because of the setting and the love I know they share. Instead of my father officiating, Judge Curtis Calloway kindly did the honors. We had a crawfish boil at our home afterwards and showed the new in-laws how to peel a crawfish!” –Donna Britt

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.

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

23


X A Little lagniappe

Make an Impact! BMS seeks nominations, tions, comments forcomments for BUSINESS UPDATE

By: EARL HEARD, Founder and CEO By: EARLBIC HEARD, Founder and CEO Alliance

BIC Alliance

by Brandi Harper

SO project

new entrepreneur project

arah Nogueras is a smart, outgoing, God-fearing 20-year-old, but she hasn’t always been that way. Born in New York, Sara is the ne of my favorite books in the Bible the 12 steps, I welcome it. adversity, perseverance and entrepreneur- the big screen. oldest sixofsiblings, in a vibrant Christian home, and always is the of Book Proverbs raised written by Among the projects BIC Media Solutions BIC Media Solutions is also wrapship. It is part memoir, part inspiration and Solomon, kingher of Israel and son David.of isthe considering right was now ishomeschooled developing a part collection of practical lessons for entre- ping up our latest book, a collaboration there to help mother takeof care family. She Solomon wrote it. the Book of Proverbs to book and/or film perseverance titled “The Makingand of preneurs. Twelve years have passedscreen. since with TDS Inc. and LaunchPad Writing steps, I welcome the big adversity, entrepreneurduring elementary years always loved children. teach her his people how to live and and how to an Entrepreneur.” Other top priorities for the release of “It’s What We Do Together + Research. The book provides practical ong the projects BIC Media BIC Solutions also supervisors wrapship. ItSolutions is confidence partinclude memoir, part and actAs in aevery circumstance. HeSolutions wanted Media updating our inspiration to equip newis front-line That Counts: The BIC Alliance Story,”Media and advice young child, Sarah washisshyBIC and lacked in her people to benow understanding, just and faira firstpart book,collection “It’s What Weof Dopractical Together That for their book, transition afrom operators to suca lot has changed. This isping why we’re inour the latest idering right is developing up collaboration lessons for entreability to share with But The thatBIC changed whenandher in everything theythe did.Gospel He said, “I wantothers. to Counts: Alliance Story,” devel- process of updating and re-releasing this cessful supervisors. The book is scheduled nd/or film titled “The Making of with TDS LaunchPad preneurs. Twelve years havebook. passed since make the simple-minded wise and I want oping a leadership conference in 2018.one to beand released before the end ofWriting this year The story of BIC Alliance past 2005Inc. mother took the family to a five Day Club (Backyard Bible Club), to warn young mentop aboutpriorities some problems more provides information practical about BIC needs toTogether be told. We hope+thisResearch. updated story TheForbook repreneur.” Other for the release of “It’s What We Do of the of wise Child‘The Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). Thewill help others who are seeking greater Media Solutions’ books, films or events, they foundational will face … I wantministries those already Making of an Entrepreneur’ ediaBible Solutions include updating our advice tolives. equipvisitnew front-line supervisors That Counts: The Alliance Story,” to become wiser and become leadersof bySarah’s BICMediaSolutions.com, email happinessand and success in their Club changed the course life, providing herofBIC with the peace, Adding to our library leadership exploring the We depths of meaning and these orto callsuc(800) Also, our plan isthe to produce a DVD —transition like earlheard@bicalliance.com products, including “Energy Entrepreneurs” ok,opportunity “It’s What Do Together That for their from operators a lot has changed. This is why we’re in to immerse herself in children’s ministry. nuggets of truth.” and “Industry Achievers,” we are reaching we did with “Rock Bottom and Back™” — 460-4242. • The Alliance Story,” and develcessful“It’ssupervisors. The book is scheduled BIC Media Solutions in 2005from about leadershipthis to go alongside What BIC AtI started nine, Sarah’s family moved New Yorkof toupdating Louisiana, and outprocess to a who’s who in the energy,and indus-re-releasing to help people find greaterin peace, happiness trial, We Dopast Together That to Counts: The BIC before the end of this year financial, private equity and media/ leadership conference 2018. be released book. The story of BIC Alliance 2005 Sarah learned about another CEF ministry called CYIA (Christian Youth and success through meaningful media, entertainment sectors, and broadening our Alliance Story.” For more information about BIC needs to beheld told. Wesummer hope this updated story In Action). is a missionary training each whether it CYIA be a book, film or speaking scopeprogram to sports, food, hospitality, real estate, to event. Solomon asked the “How Media Solutions’ books, films or events, willcare, help others areto seeking professional retailwho and present more, Wrappinggreater up BIC Media’s latest Making of an people Entrepreneur’ teach young to question, lead five Dayhealth Bible Clubs. Participants the does a man become wise?” His response to identify successful entrepreneurs in various book, film visit BICMediaSolutions.com, email peace, happiness and success in their lives. dingGospel to our library to children inof their own state and neighborhoods, and this question was to “trust andleadership reverence the industries who can teach, guide andexperience inspire BIC Media Solutions recently finished “From the Publisher” article on other or call (800) Also, planfit isfortoSarah, produce DVDour—nextlike entrepreneurs. s, including “Energy Entrepreneurs” filming movie, earlheard@bicalliance.com “Urban Country.” thelord.” joy In ofmy leading others to the Lord. It was a our perfect not ajust pg. 8, my topic is becoming a better person. By highlighting a dozen or so exec-and We Back™” are hoping to— release460-4242. “Urban Country” we did with “Rock Bottom dustry Achievers,” we are reaching because love for the some confidence Let’s faceofit:her No matter how children passionate but the because utives, we she hope lacked to dig into tough in late 2017 or early 2018. BIC Media about leadership to goher alongside “It’sis What writer is, how well researched the topic is questions about how they were inspired, the a who’s who in the energy, indusworking on this film with she needed to clearly present the Gospel. At 14, she attended first Solutions or how well written the article is, we simply obstacles they faced, the balanceThat of personal the same teamBIC that brought BIC Media BIC Media Solutions recently finished filming its We Do Together Counts: The nancial, private equity and media/ CYIA and feltimportance the calling of God. summer can’ttraining cover a topic of this in one life, theShe role attended of faith and every helpful tips from Solutions’ first movie, “A Gift Horse,” to next movie, “Urban Country,” in Biloxi, Mississippi. Alliance Story.” page. We can, however, plant theyears seedsour of nment sectors, experiences new to provide throughout herand highbroadening school andtheir hashard-earned brought someone to the thoughts for each of us. We can use these insight for those just starting out with a brilo sports, food, hospitality, real estate, program year.to develop our own liant business idea — or for those already in seeds as every foundations lists of how to live andthe how to more, become strengthened a business care, professional retail and to Wrapping up BIC Media’s latest LIMITED TIME OFFER: wanting improve. “The intensity of program metointellectually and better person. We firmly believe it is smarter to learn successful entrepreneurs in various book, film spiritually,” said. “CYIA memistakes socially, so I couldthan be I recentlyshe asked my wife if shetotally remem-prepared from others’ and experiences es brave who can guide and inspire bered theteach, exact moment she decided Media Solutions your ownBIC so you have a head start in reachand bold … it was such antoencouraging environment and hasrecently finished become a better person. She answered ing your goals. We hope to pass along ntrepreneurs. filming our next movie, “Urban Country.” helped me in“Itsowas many ways.” immediately, the day I decided to valuable lessons and insights garnered from highlighting a dozen or so execChristian and begraduation, baptized. A feel-Sarah We hopingtotoattend release Country” these caseare studies. become Afterahigh school was selected the “Urban next ing of peace came over mesome that I hadtough never BIC late Media 2017 Solutions’or goalearly right now is welevel hope to dig into in 2018. BIC Media of CEF before. training a peace 12- week at nominations Children’sofMinistry Institute experienced With---that came a course to collect the most inspirans about how they were inspired, the Solutions is working onno this film with greater love for at mankind and the desire to Headquarters tional and charismatic business icons, (CMI) located CEF International near St. Louis. After become a better person.” matter thesame industry.team Then, wethat will consider es they faced, the balance oftraining personal the brought BIC Media graduating from the CMI program, she joined the state staff BIC Media Solutions recently finished filming its Since learning how to live a more peace- publishing a book highlighting these entre-as e role of faith and helpful tips from Solutions’ first movie, “A Gift Horse,” to next movie, “Urban Country,” in Biloxi, Mississippi. happier and successful life is something preneurs, creating TV series theful, CEF Parish Coordinator for St. Tammany Parisha and led and theultimateefforts all of us strive to do, I thought I’dprovide use this ly inviting them to be part of BIC Media ard-earned there anexperiences extension of to the CEF NewSolutions’ Orleans chapter. BICas Media Solutions update to solicit comleadership conference. We hope for Sarah those just starting out with a brilments and isthoughts on the 12 easy-to-retogether the nation’s most energetic currently a junior at Newto bring Orleans Baptist Theological member stepsor to for becoming a better person.in and inspirational thought leaders in business siness idea — those already Seminary focusing on children’s ministry. It is her heart’s desire to help Not only that — if you want to expand on to help each one of us become a successful s wanting to improve. children who are deaf and to be a part of international children’s entrepreneur, reach our highest goals in life and make the world a better place. firmly believe is this smarter learn ministry. She ithas advicetofor others: “Do something that makes an We are currently accepting nominations hers’ mistakes and experiences than impact. We can sit around doing unproductive thingsleaders/entrepreneurs or we can have an for C-level business Industry within the energy andneed industrial sectors wn so you for have headAstart in reachchievers impact thea Kingdom! There are kids out there that to hear about and beyond. Please send your nominaur Jesus goals.andWe hope to pass along we can do that.” tions via email to earlheard@bicalliance. e lessons andwould insights from email com orceflouisiana@gmail.com. cevans@bicalliance.com, or visit If you like garnered to know more,

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http://bicmediasolutions.com/2017/07/27/ ase studies. seeking-entrepreneurs. CEFSolutions’ is a Bible-centered Media goal rightworldwide now is ministry of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize disciple Updatingchildren, ‘It’s What We Do ct nominations of the most inspiraAdding to its library of leadership products, Togetherthem That Counts’ them in the Word of God, and establish in a local including “Energy Entrepreneurs” and “Industry and charismatic business icons, no BIC Media Solutions’ first book, “It’s Achievers,” BIC Media Solutions is reaching out to a church living. CEF What is the children’s We largest Do Together That Counts: The BIC who’s who for in Then, the Christian energy we industry and other sectors the industry. will consider to identify successful entrepreneurs. Alliance Story,” is about faith, overcoming ministry in the world. ing a book highlighting these entreRead BIC a Magazine online at BICMagazine.com s, creating TV series and ultimateSEPTEMBER 2017 l Christian Life Magazine 24 ing them to be part ofBaton BICRouge Media Earl Heard & Br ady Porche

Publishers of It’s What We Do Together That Counts & Energy Entrepreneurs

For more information about custom books/movies or to purchase cases of books/DVDs, visit BICMediaSolutions.com, email earlheard@bicalliance.com or call (800) 460-4242.

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September 2017

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A Little lagniappe

Today, my prayer for you is Kindness by Joan Rougon

Serving Louisiana since 1978 12659 South Choctaw • 225-272-5680 www.pbcind.com

industrial * welding * safety * marine * janitorial

Kindness is also called compassion, favor and service In extending this to others, it will return to you in bliss. Kindness is a virtue seated deep within the heart It rises to the surface as your emotions begin to start. Kindness is not a virtue that’s possessed by everyone It is a special gift from God’s only begotten Son. When you put this gift to work, one thing you must learn In giving, it is not wasted; it is sure to return. And with it comes blessings that you never thought could be, Blessings overtaking you…blessings abundantly! So strive toward kindness and let your heart reach out Move in compassion and don’t let your mind doubt, That God will return to you the kindness you will need And you will reap the harvest of your little “kindness” seed. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” Colossians 3:12 “For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love….” 2 Peter 1:7

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X

Millennial life

A Body inChrist

Millennials and Self Acceptance by Trapper S. Kinchen

For most of Keli Hayden’s

life, she was emotionally disconnected from her body. When she stared at her reflection in the mirror it was like studying an abstract painting because the image looking back felt totally separate from the person she felt she was. But now, at 27, Hayden is breaking through the surface of emotional dissociation and discovering the healing power of Christ’s unconditional love.

We learn to judge our bodies at an early age by studying how our parents evaluate their physical worth. So Hayden spent much of her early childhood watching how the people around her dealt with food, exercise, and personal appearance. “For example, my parents viewed their bodies in really negative ways and constantly verbalized that negativity,” she said. As she entered adolescence, the gap between Hayden’s emotional and physical selves began to grow. “I started Weight Watchers for the first time when I was 11-years-old,” she said. “I look back now, and I can’t believe that happened.” The unhealthy connection she had with her body ultimately reinforced a great deal of deeply hidden shame. When she flips through family photo albums, Hayden always notices a dramatic shift in her appearance around age 4. When she started preschool, she began gaining weight quickly, and it didn’t take long for people to notice her changing body. At 5, her family took her to a nutritionist, but no one bothered dealing with the root of her troubled relationship with food. As Hayden grew into womanhood, eating became a substitute for self-love. “My behavior was instinctual, and, once I got older, my eating became more emotional,” she said. She did not value her physical wellbeing and that caused her to psychologically detach from her body. Her relationship with her appearance reached a low point when she transitioned from her small town high school to Southeastern Louisiana University where her character was constantly tested by circumstances. “I didn’t have a real identity and had never been faced with any real challenges up until that point,” she said. Hayden had always considered herself morally immovable and emotionally tough. But the more time she spent away from home, the more she realized she wasn’t as strong as she thought. “I saw myself as resolved and stubborn,” she said. “But I now know that I was very easily influenced, and I conformed to my environment.” At 21, she developed a friendship with an older classmate. Despite 26

SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

After exploring a lifetime of buried emotions, Hayden has learned to love herself just as she is. photo by Trapper S. Kinchen

Hayden’s initial misgivings, they began spending most of their free time together. “After a while, I found myself falling in with her behaviors,” she said. “I was totally unaware of the pitfalls that were awaiting me.” About three months after meeting, Hayden and her friend became roommates. The time they spent living together wound up being one of the darkest and most formative phases of Hayden’s life. “My roommate was struggling with her own body image issues, and she started projecting them onto me,” Hayden said. “I can remember her saying things like, ‘I’ve gained 15 pounds since I moved in with you. This is all your fault.’” What initially seemed like a genuine friendship quickly morphed into something toxic and co-dependent. “Anytime she would get mad, she would go back through pictures of me on her phone. She would highlight parts of my body that she thought I should be self-conscious about and would say, ‘You really need to work on this.’ And I just took it.” After sharing a house for three years, Hayden broke away from her roommate. It was a long, drawn-out process that took a heavy psychological toll on her self-esteem, but in the end, Hayden learned a great deal about spiritual discernment and emotional fortitude. When her personal struggles were at their peak, Hayden was working part-time at a local politician’s office. Around the same time, she was also considering enrolling in law school. “One day, I got called into my boss’s office, and he said, ‘I would like to offer you a full-time job with health benefits, so you can get weight loss surgery.’” Hayden was shocked. She had never considered medically altering her body, and she didn’t think she was overweight enough to be a good candidate for gastric surgery. But Hayden trusted her employer, and she took what he was saying to heart. “The more he talked, the more I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I must need weight loss surgery,’” she said. “He said stuff like, ‘I’m concerned for your future health,’ and ‘if you’ll get this surgery, you won’t be worried about trying to go to law school.’ He made it seem like the only reason I wanted to get an education was because I had no physical worth.” That conversation changed the way Hayden considered how other


Hayden was first taken to a nutritionist at 5 years old.

Millennial life

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photo courtesy Keli Hayden

One of Hayden’s favorite activities is tire flipping. photo by Trapper S. Kinchen

people viewed her. In an instant, all her remaining confidence evaporated. She thought, “People look at me and think I’m fat. They look at me and think I need weight loss surgery.” Humiliated and convinced she needed to change her appearance, she scheduled a consultation with her boss’s doctor … but she never went to the appointment. Instead, she found a different job. Four years ago, hoping to deal with some general anxiety, Hayden started seeing a Christian counselor. That decision led to an unexpected journey of healing and revelation. Through therapy, she has been able to systematically work through a lifetime of unacknowledged feelings. Over the last couple of months, Hayden has experienced a major shift in her relationship with her body. In July, while taking a walk, God spoke to her, saying, “It is my will that you be healthy and well, but if you never change one thing, you’ll still be my beloved.” Those words took the pressure off of Hayden. Through a combination of counseling and spiritual warfare, Hayden has begun developing an authentic relationship with her body, and, through it all, has learned to rely on Jesus. Alhough she grew up in church and experienced salvation at an early age, until recently, something was missing. “I’m 27 years old, and until now, I didn’t have a real relationship with God,” she said. “It came with having to fall down and accept Jesus and his truth. Today, I can’t get by without Him.” Hayden now values herself, because she understands she is worthy of love. The old disconnect between her mind, body and spirit is quickly disappearing because she knows her Heavenly Father treasures her. “You have to be able to accept where you are,” she said. “If you’re happy with where you are, then stay there. If you aren’t happy, then start walking in another direction.” “The process of learning to love myself has been very slow, but it’s been totally worth it,” she added. The first step to self-love is accepting your body in its current condition. You can’t change overnight, and, if you think about it, you might not need to change at all. After a lifetime of self-loathing, Hayden has finally decided to move in a different direction. “I have fought my body since I was a kid,” she said. “I tried to count calories, I tried to jazzercize, and I even did some stuff that wasn’t healthy.” Now, she treats her physical being like the temple of God, and her old insecurities aren’t as overwhelming as they used to be. We are all marvelously beautiful in the eyes of God, and He loves us no matter what. The Lord wants us to be happy, healthy and whole, and He designed each of us to be uniquely perfect in His image. It’s important that we realize we are bodies in Christ, because His splendor and goodness are etched in our DNA. For most of us, the path to self-acceptance and love is long and difficult, but liberty is waiting at the end of the road. “For a long time, I gave fear the ability to rob me of experiences and self-worth,” Hayden said. “But not anymore! I’ve been set free.” 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. Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X

Geaux life

River Adventure

Teens do their part to change the world by Susan Brown

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att Rens and Jesse Richard spent the summer kayaking the Mississippi River – all 2,320 miles – while raising money for a water/sanitation system in a Third World country. It was a dream that took hold as Matt kayaked with his father from the Minnesota River to the Mississippi.

Rens, 19, and Richard, 18, launched their adventure at the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Itasca, Minnesota on June 11 and passed through Baton Rouge July 29-30 on their way to the Gulf of Mexico. The two-month journey took them through 10 states of winding water that includes some six miles of rapids. “There are really specific, strange, dangerous places on the river, but they’re pretty random,” Rens said. “My dad did some research on the trip. He was really excited about it. He was the only one who actually thought I was going to do it,” Rens said. When his father passed away last April, Rens recounted their dream to friends and family. “They started a GoFundMe (gofundme.com/SourceToSea) and without them we wouldn’t have the kayaks or any of the gear.” 28

SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Wenonah Canoe in Minnesota provided a substantial discount as part of its commitment to support worthy causes. Lifewater International is a Christian non-profit that builds wells and teaches sanitation in Third World countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda and Cambodia. “For $6,000 they set up a full well, and $12,000 sets up the well and sanitation for the village for generations,” Rens said. “They really work on education, not just supplying the water. So we thought it was really important.” Through the Activewater branch of the Lifewater organization, athletes can attempt to run, walk, kayak or otherwise raise funds by asking donors to pledge a certain amount per mile. “Each Tuesday we’ll try to do as many miles as we can, and then on Wednesday we remind people that we’re doing this for a cause and, if you can, give a dollar, 50 cents, a nickel for every mile we did yesterday.


Geaux life

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The two-month journey took Rens and Richard through 10 states.

The teenagers started their journey in Itaska, Minnesota in early June.

It forces us to go farther, it pushes us,” Rens said. “At the end of the whole river, we’re asking people, ‘Would you give me a penny for every mile?’ That’s 23 dollars. If enough people do it, we can reach our goal. The number that we fundraised will go to those places that don’t have water and need it.” (give.lifewater.org/sourcetosea). Weeks of kayaking and camping on the banks of the Mississippi have taught them the value and challenge of obtaining clean water. “We’re filtering the river water - and it doesn’t taste great,” Rens said. “It’s taught me more than enough about patience and about just not

quitting,” Richard said. “It’s a cliché - you put your mind to something and it can be done - but you never really know it until you do it. It’s just been a really cool trip.” “The more and more I’ve seen of the river, I cannot deny the existence of God,” Rens said. “It is more and more easy to see exactly where it works and how small I am. It’s so vast, so big and so beautiful, there’s no way that God’s not there.” Both Rens and Richard are members of Hillside Church in Bloomington, Minnesota. Rens is a sophomore at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, SD. Richard graduated this year from Jefferson High School in Bloomington, MN where he was captain of the swim team. He is headed for the U.S Air Force. Read more about their remarkable trip on Facebook at fromsourcetosea. 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.

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X

Learning for Life

In the

Beginning by Lisa Tramontana

Since the beginning of time, humans have wondered, “How did we get here?”

In the beginning … The words that follow that phrase have stirred incredible controversy over the years, prompting intense debate among scientists, scholars, theologians and politicians. It is a polarizing topic, but there is plenty of middle ground to explore and to ponder. Creationism, evolution or intelligent design? Just how was the world created? And when? Christian fundamentalists hold fast to the Biblical account that in seven days, God created the universe and its first inhabitants, Adam and Eve. Evolutionists embrace the scientific theory that living things have evolved over millions of years. Intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe are too complex to be the result of natural processes, and must be the result of an intelligent cause. This article is not a scholarly essay on the creationism vs. evolution debate. This is the story of Dr. Charles Henry Voss Jr. and how his personal beliefs on this subject created a calling that has guided him most of his adult life. You won’t meet many people more determined to share their message, in spite of the fact that he has, as he admits, attracted many critics over the years. But even now, at 91, Voss is still at it. He has just authored a creationism booklet that he is encouraging Louisiana educators to consider including in their curricula. (Public schools may teach biologic evolution in the science classroom, but creationism, considered a religious theory, is off-limits.*) “Of course, I understand why the subject is so controversial,” 30

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he said. “And we will probably never agree on it. But I think if we’re going to present one side, we should be able to present the other. I think it’s a fair and balanced idea. I think it’s in the students’ best interest to be exposed to both ideas.” And when Voss says “the students’ best interest,” he is talking about not just their science education, but their spiritual well-being. Voss is a devout Christian who takes the Bible literally and takes seriously his obligation to promote his faith. Considering his background, how could it be any other way? Voss was born to American missionary parents in China, but at a very young age, his parents moved to Baton Rouge, where Voss grew up. After earning a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from LSU, he earned a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. In 1962,

“I understand why the subject is so controversial … and we will probably never agree on it. But I think if we’re going to present one side, we should be able to present the other.” – Dr. Charles Henry Voss Jr.


Learning for Life

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he came to LSU as a full professor in the engineering department where his research focused on biomedical areas, including the development of pacemakers, artificial hearts, hearing aids and protective devices for patients with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). In the late 1960s, he invited a guest speaker named Jon Buell to one of his lecture classes. Buell’s topic was creationism vs. evolution, and Voss was mesmerized. “I had always accepted the Biblical version, but this was the first time I had heard so many facts to support it. I remember coming home at lunch that day and telling my wife to stop whatever she was doing because she needed to come back to LSU with me right away and hear this speaker. That’s when it started for me. I wanted to learn and know as much as I could.” Voss helped form a group of like-minded Christian professionals, and for more than 20 years, the group spoke with local churches and organizations about their cause. He was also involved in Louisiana’s education politics for nearly 15 years, as governors, legislators and educators battled it out. As a professor, it made sense to share his beliefs with his adult students in Bible studies and Sunday school, which he also did for many years. And at one point, he combed through a number of high school biology textbooks, providing information he felt was missing, calling it “text add-ons” and making it available to educators. He got mixed reviews, but wasn’t surprised. “Not long ago, several friends and I sent a DVD to every science teacher in the state of Louisiana,” he said, “and only two responded. Even so, I have had many people come up to me through the years to thank me for the ideas I’ve taught and for making them really think about what they believe and why.” If he never wins another convert, it doesn’t worry him. “I’ve lived a rich, full life … a Christian life,” he said. “I’ve been married for 63 years to my wife Betty Ann. I don’t feel as though I’ve missed out on anything. I always knew there would be bumps in the road, but I’ve always had my faith. I know what’s required of me.” And he’s never once doubted what he believes. As he talks about the 50year “ministry” he’s practiced, it’s clear that Voss is respectful of all opinions, whether or not they conform to his own. But it doesn’t look like that will slow down his mission. To order a copy of Voss’ booklet, email him at eeprof@bellsouth.net.

In very general terms … Creationism: The literal reading in the book of Genesis that God created the universe, as well as man, in 7 days, and that this occurred thousands of years ago. Evolution: The world developed over a much longer period of time than the Biblical account, and that the life forms we see today arose from prior, extinct life forms … that through natural selection, complex creatures evolved from more simplistic ancestors. Intelligent Design: Some structures found in nature are too complex to be explained by natural selection, and are best explained by some intelligent cause or being.

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X Pastor’s Perspective

Christ Calls

Us to be Kind by Paul Downing

“Be kind and tenderhearted to one another.” (Ephesians 4:32a BSB)

A

few years ago, my younger daughter, Heather, hurt her back and needed someone to cover her lunch shift on a Saturday at the restaurant where she worked as a waitress. After striking out with her co-workers, she asked her brother, Paul Jr., who had previously worked at the same establishment, to cover her shift. Paul worked the three-hour shift in place of his sister and then went to his own job. This in itself is kind, but that’s not all of it. When Heather’s boss started to pay Paul for his three hours of work plus tips, Paul asked him to give it to Heather. That’s both kind and tenderhearted. I would have to say that those two words best describe my youngest child and only son. He is kind and tenderhearted. He once spent his school lunch hour weeping and praying for one of his friends after his friend’s parents divorced. Paul has worked since the summer before his sophomore year in high school. In his senior year he saved his money and bought a cool looking, but very expensive, full-length leather jacket. His best friend really liked it so Paul would let him wear it often. But Paul took on a second job on weekends, saved that money, and bought his friend a leather jacket just like his for Christmas. One year he saved his tip money and bought a trampoline for our back yard so his young cousins wouldn’t be bored when they came to the big Downing clan get-togethers at our house. So, I guess I’d have to add a third word to describe my son – generous. But the distinguishing characteristic of true generosity is humility. Jesus said that the left hand shouldn’t know what the right hand is giving (Mt. 6:3). The only reason I know about the above incidents is that someone other than Paul, usually the beneficiaries, told me about them. Heather wouldn’t have known why her paycheck showed Saturday hours if her boss hadn’t told her of Paul’s request to give her the money. He never talks about his acts of kindness; he just does them. He does them with generosity and humility because he has a tender heart.

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Paul was a little slow to develop physically, somewhat socially awkward early on, and teased unmercifully in middle school and early high school. He didn’t start coming into his own, so to speak, until just before his junior year in high school. He grew to be big, strong and good-looking. But instead of becoming a bully and treating others as he had been treated, he became an example and treated others as he would want to be treated – with kindness, tenderheartedness and generosity. Notice Ephesians 4:32 says “Be kind and tenderhearted.” There is a world of difference in doing random acts of kindness and having a kind heart. One can do kind acts without necessarily being a kind person. Christ calls us to develop kindness of character. Then, instead of our acts of kindness being random, they’ll be the consistent and natural overflow of our hearts. That consistency is what I’ve observed in my son. He is now serving in the U.S. Navy. I am very proud of him. And when it comes to being kind and tenderhearted, he is the man I want to become.

Paul and his wife, Danni, grew up in Baton Rouge. They married in 1979 and have three grown children. Paul began his ministry as a Christian Counselor/Life Coach in 1985 in Opelika, AL. He also served as a pastor there for 10 years before moving back to Louisiana in 2005 and becoming an associate pastor at Fellowship Church in Zachary. Paul is committed to helping people know God, understand His Word, and improve the quality of their lives. Check out his daily devotional Facebook page: Daybreak Devotions with Paul Downing.


Cooking for life

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Do you have a favorite or “tried and true” recipe that you’d like to share? We would love to feature it right here! Send your recipe to Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine and it may be chosen for publication in a coming issue. Send it to info@brclm.com.

Quick & Easy Kid Kabobs Now that the kids are back in school, you need to have something quick and easy for those after-school snacks. Here’s a recipe they can follow themselves, and just about anything in your pantry will work as ingredients. Here’s one for veggie, fruit and cheese kabobs, but you can be creative and add chicken, turkey, pita slices, etc.

What You’ll Need:

12 strawberry halves 12 cucumber slices 18 cubes cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, etc.) 12 cherry tomatoes 1 small can pineapple chunks 6 wooden skewers

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How to Make It:

It’s so simple! Take the skewers and alternate your ingredients --- for example, 2 slices of cucumber, 2 strawberry halves, 3 cheese cubes, 2 tomatoes, and 2 pineapple chunks. Let your kids get creative! Makes 6 skewers

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Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X Healthy life

From

MothertoChild

Chronic disease risk might begin in the womb

S

cientists have a hunch that moms might be passing down more to their babies than those big blue eyes or that button nose. Evidence suggests that moms’

about how exactly a mom’s health traits may be passed to her baby. “During the IMAGINE study, we’re measuring body fat percentage, metabolism, and a number of lifestyles before and during pregnancy may be impacting characteristics that we’ll compare their baby’s metabolism and their lifelong risk for obesity between the mom and the baby,” and other chronic diseases, too. Broskey said, adding that it’s pretty Between 5 and 14 percent of moms in the U.S. are simple for moms to participate and diagnosed with gestational diabetes—putting their babies the study takes just two visits to at risk for birth defects and other conditions such as Pennington Biomedical. obesity and diabetes later in life. “This entirely new field of “New research is showing that the lifelong risk research is a novel way to approach the of obesity and diseases begins in the womb,” said Dr. prevention of chronic diseases early Nick Broskey, a postdoctoral researcher in the Women’s in life rather than in the later stages,” Health and Reproductive Endocrinology Lab at LSU’s Broskey said. Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Data from this study will He’s working on the IMAGINE research study, provide a new area for clinicians which aims to follow pregnant mothers and their babies to look into: targeting moms before after birth to explore how certain characteristics such as pregnancy to lower their child’s risk metabolism or risk for diabetes may be passed from mom for chronic disease. to baby. “It’s really a new way to think “Preliminary data shows that a mom’s health even about preventing diseases. If we can before pregnancy can really influence a baby’s health,” help moms improve their health before Broskey said. “That’s why pre-conception fitness and conception, then we may be able to healthy eating habits are important. You can lay the reduce their baby’s risk of obesity, foundation for a healthier pregnancy. As it turns out, the diabetes, and heart disease later on in foundation for health — or chronic disease risk — may be life,” Broskey said. laid for the baby just weeks into a mother’s pregnancy.” Still, researchers are looking for more information 34

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Dr. Nick Broskey, working with the IMAGINE research study.

Pennington Biomedical is looking for pregnant moms who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes to join them for the IMAGINE research study. They will receive up to $250 for participation in the study, along with other in-depth, personalized medical test results that they can share with their doctor. To learn more, call (225) 326-0546 or visit pbrc.edu/IMAGINE.


Healthy LIFE

Battle Cry!

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Obstacle Course Racing … with a Christian Theme by Sharon Holeman

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ach year as we welcome autumn with its football games and school classes, I am reminded of the words of King Solomon from Ecclesiastes 3:1: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

Krystle, Kailey, Hailey and Sid Morris prepare for ‘battle.’

Maybe it’s the hope of a cool evening breeze, but there just seems to be something in the air that breathes of an opportunity for growth or motivation to conquer something new, a chance to become all that the Lord expects, to BATTLE for more. It’s hard not to be motivated after you talk with Krystle Morris. She and her husband Sid birthed BATTLE 6:11, a group that organizes obstacle course races (OCR) in the South. Battle is the acronym for Become All That The Lord Expects and 6:11 comes from Ephesians: “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” As small business owners and parents themselves, the Morrises understand that sometimes we can get lost in the day-to-day struggles of our lives. That is part of the beauty and the benefit of obstacle course racing. Not only will you move toward a healthier lifestyle, but you find encouragement in the accomplishment of tackling a new obstacle, and you find friendships in a safe place that challenges you to be more than you dreamed. Each obstacle in the Battle race is given a name, usually by Krystle. She said the names are part of the Lord’s revealing His character. The sand-filled bucket carry is called Breaking Barriers, for example, as God is able to break all the barriers in our lives. The Morrises partner with local gyms and host joint workouts, encouraging Battle racers to find a home gym, knowing there is value in the everyday workout as well as the event races. The Battle group also hosts a free OCR training

workout on Saturdays at various locations throughout Baton Rouge. The free Saturday trainings are a ministry, open to everyone regardless of skill, age or religion. It is a judgmentfree zone, filled with encouragement and physical workouts led by Krystle and Sid, who are both certified coaches. Prayer completes each Saturday morning session. To share in the benefits of Battle 6:11, learn more about their free trainings or their upcoming Battle Race Championship being on September 9 at BREC Farr Park in Baton Rouge, visit battleraces.com. And here’s to the battle, to Becoming All That The Lord Expects you to be.

Battle Races Championship & Business Expo Saturday, September 9 • 7 a.m.-5 p.m. BREC’s Farr Park, Baton Rouge

More than 3 miles of 30-plus obstacles and challenges. And bring your kids so they can compete in the Battle Kids Course! To register contact Krystle Morris: (225) 262-9908 coachkrystle@battle611.com Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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X

What Does It mean?

Trivia for fun

Which is the oldest church in Louisiana?

A) Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville B) Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France in New Orleans C) St. Philomena Catholic Church in Labadieville D) St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville

A

B

C

D

Answer: B) Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France More commonly known as St. Louis Cathedral, the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France is the oldest church site and Christian congregation in Louisiana. It is also the oldest cathedral in the United States. Originally built in 1718, the church was twice torn down and reconstructed in the 18th century. The building’s current façade was completely redesigned in 1850, and, with its three Gothic steeples, it is one of New Orleans’ most recognizable landmarks.

Biblical Biography Ruth As Christians, we sometimes lose perspective. We focus on our flaws, wallow in condemnation, and feel unworthy of God’s goodness. But the Bible shows us the Lord doesn’t care about our deficiencies. He looks beyond our shame and sees our hidden potential. The story of Ruth serves as an example of the unexpected and powerful beauty of His favor. She was a Moabite, an outsider—not one of God’s chosen people. But she was humble, obedient and diligent. The Lord looked beyond her imperfections and saw her heart. He selected her out of all the women in Israel to be the great-grandmother of King David and one of the forbearers of Jesus Christ. God honored Ruth not because she was exceptional, but because He saw she had a willing and devoted spirit. All He requires of any of us is obedience and an open heart. If we’re prepared to give Him that, the Lord will bless us. He knows we aren’t perfect. He doesn’t expect us to be. 36

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What Does it Mean? Sanctify

To make holy or to free from sin Sanctification is one of those words you probably never hear outside of church. It explains how we are purified through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. His death and resurrection make it possible for us to openly ask God’s forgiveness, and—when we do that—our mistakes are wiped clean in an instant. In short, Jesus’ blood washes away our sins and, when that happens, we are sanctified. This new identity is exhibited in the growth in holy living that follows conversion.

Grace

Unmerited help given to people by God Grace is a straightforward word, but it has a profoundly deep meaning. The Lord offers us unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance even though we don’t deserve them. There’s nothing we could ever possibly do to make us worthy of His goodness, yet God continually covers us with His blessings. That’s grace in a nutshell!

Supplication A humble and earnest petition On the surface, supplication might seem complex, but it’s actually very simple. It describes the ongoing process through which we seek God. When we pursue the Lord through prayer, sing to Him in praise and worship, study His Word, and commune with His Holy Spirit, we are supplicating. Supplication is really just about connecting with our Heavenly Father.


BREC’S ADULT LEISURE

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Faith LIFE

What Does It mean?

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Opportunities for LIFE

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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 news@brclm.com by the 10th of the previous month. Please include details (date/time/ location/information/etc.) so we can be sure it’s ready to print. Please send OCTOBER submissions by SEPTEMBER 10.

SEPTEMBER 4, 11, 18, 25

PARKVIEW BAPTIST MEN’S STUDY: Book of Hebrews 6 a.m., Mission Cafe, 11795 Jefferson Hwy. For more information, contact Bax Kegans at (225) 953-3499 or specialksteel@gmail.com.

SEPTEMBER 5

Gardere Initiative After-School Tutoring Program Monday-Thursday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. for middle and high school students, 4-6 p.m. for elementary students, 8435 Ned Avenue. For more information, call (225) 7690305 or GardereInitiative@gmail.com Reginald Brown at (225) 769-0305.

SEPTEMBER 6, 13, 20, 27

PARKVIEW BAPTIST MEN’S STUDY: Conquer Series 11 a.m., Student Center Café, 11795 Jefferson Hwy. Theme is “A Study on Purity.” For more information, contact Bax Kegans at (225) 953-3499 or specialksteel@ gmail.com.

SEPTEMBER 7, 14, 21, 28

THURSDAY DISCIPLES’ TEACHING 7 p.m., Greater New Bethel Full Gospel Baptist Church, 110 S. 19th St. General Overseer Melvin L. Carter, Elder Patricia Carter and the Greater New Bethel church family.

SEPTEMBER 8

DUDLEY DEBOSIER INJURY LAWYERS FREE COMMUNITY EVENT 4-6 p.m., 1075 Government Street. Visit http://www.dudleydebosier.com/dd_does_ right/in_our_community/lsu-kickoff-party-2017, for more information.

SEPTEMBER 9, 13, 19, 28

CASA INFORMATIONAL SESSIONS Attend an informational session and find out how you can be a voice for an abused or neglected child while they await a safe and permanent home. Location: 848 Louisiana Ave. Please call CASA at (225) 379-8598 or email volunteer@ casabr.org to learn more.

SEPTEMBER 22 & 23

National TLSM Single Moms Conference 2017 Healing Place Church, 19202 Highland Road. Open to all single mothers and their women friends. Enjoy food, worship, games, door prizes, and the crowning of the National Single Mom of the Year. For more information or to register, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com/2017-national-tlsm-single-moms-conference.

SEPTEMBER 30

RESTORE MINISTRIES WOMEN’S RETREAT Join us at the beautiful Solomon Episcopal Conference Center, 54296 LA-445, Loranger, as Kathy Drake and Sherry Barron lead this time of worship & Biblical teaching: Awaken to the Pursuit of The Bridegroom. Cost: $190. For more information, visit restore-ministries.net or e-mail restoreministries@ymail.com.

NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 9

CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S JOB CORPS VOLUNTEER AND MENTOR TRAINING REGISTRATION CWJC is a non-denominational education program for unemployed or underemployed adult women in which participants learn job, computer and life skills, as well as Bible study and relationship building. Fall 10-week semester session begins September 12 and meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, or to register, contact Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association (ELBA) at (225) 6649309 or info@elbamissions.org.

NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 15

MELROSE EAST MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS Sign up to participate in the annual Melrose East Multicultural event September 16, 4 to 6 p.m. Come be a part of food, fun, singing, dancing, choirs and much more. For more information, contact Pastor Pollie Johnson at (225) 925-8233.

NOW THROUGH OCTOBER 1

RIVER COMMUNITY CHURCH ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT Artists and photographers are invited to share their creative efforts in the River Community Church art and photography exhibit, River Community Church, 36367 Old Perkins Road. For information about the show or the group, contact Jennifer Ferguson at jennifer@rivercommunity.org or call the church office at (225) 744-4367.

NOW THROUGH OCTOBER 29

WATER TRAILS OF THE ATCHAFALAYA EXHIBIT West Baton Rouge Museum, 840 N. Jefferson Avenue, Port Allen. For information, call (225) 336-2422.

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sundays throughout september

THE PROMISE – HEBREWS 6:15 Sunday mornings at 8 a.m., Greater New Bethel Full Gospel Baptist Church, 110 S. 19th St. General Overseer Melvin L. Carter, Elder Patricia Carter and the Greater New Bethel church family.

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SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Call publisher Beth Townsend, 225-910-7426.


Creating a Better Me: Active Adult Fitness Series Thank You to Our Participants!

Fitness Walking Challenge 116 participants / 17,406,104 steps logged

BREC on the Geaux Fitness Class 7 stops/ 335 participants

Walking BingO 7 events / 120 participants

Hot Summer Teasers Fitness Class 3 locations / 72 participants

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine l SEPTEMBER 2017

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h c t a w & y a r p g i B m a e Dare to dr

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SEPTEMBER 2017 l Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine - September 2017 Edition  
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