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December 2016

Merry Christmas

Unity in Christ, reflecting love in Louisiana.

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Jesus is the Reason for the Season!


Covenant Spotlight

December 2016

Volume 3, No. 12 Covenant Spotlight magazine

ON THE COVER: The Gotreaux family /// Photo by Tiffany Wyatt. NEXT MONTH: New Year /// Sanctity of life /// Witnessing in the face of adversity

is your resource for hope and direction through the Bible. This publication aims to unite the body of Christ together with one simple goal: spread the word of God and His love throughout Louisiana – and have fun while doing it!

Death to Chains: Stop human trafficking . . . 6 Christmas symbols: Learn the meaning . . . 9

Covenant Spotlight, LLC P.O. Box 7, Carencro 70520 (337) 207-6903 www.cspotlight.com

Gift of peace: True meaning of Christmas . . . 10 Not so silent night: Share your faith . . . 13

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or email info@cspotlight.com Advertising inquiries, email cori@cspotlight.com.

Keith & Christy Boutte Jim & Cori Phelps AD & SPONSOR RELATIONS Cori Phelps LEAD DESIGNER Tiffany Wyatt AD DESIGNER Geneva Andrepont EDITOR Julie Hasling PUBLISHERS

Israel: Bi-partisanship . . . 16

GENERAL MANAGERS

Eternal God: Share your message . . . 17 Honor those who serve: Veterans ministry . . . 19

Pastor David Baudoin, Christy & Keith Boutte, Pastor Steven Bowen, Vicky Branton, Jennifer Breedon, Scott Broussard, Sally Creed, Angie Dumas, Amanda Elliott, Julie Esta’, Andria Fontenot, Pastor Brad Gill, Julie Hasling, Pastor Dale Hoffpauir, Derrick Johnson, Christian Lewis, Ngozi Maduagwu, Nichole Marcell, Michael Melder, Pastor Todd Menard, Kelly Mouisset, Tola Olafude, Cori & Jim Phelps, Lori Proffett, Nick Sigur, Cheryll White

SUPPORTING WRITERS

Choice in the chaos: Keep it Christ-centered . . . 21 Nourish: Beauty in the break . . . 22 Eternal faith: 21 martyrs . . . 27

Covenant Spotlight, LLC reserves the right to reject any advertisement not meeting the standards of acceptance of Covenant Spotlight magazine or website.

Christmas Calendar . . . 31

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In these pages Unity in Christ, reflecting love. What does that mean? Will we all love each other and agree with each other on all things all the time? Absolutely not. However, as Christians, bible-believing people, we can unite in our biblical principles: • The Scriptures are inspired by God, and declare His design and plan for mankind. • There is only One True God – revealed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity). • In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God’s son, Jesus was both human and divine. • Though originally good, man willingly fell to sin – ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world. • Every person can have restored fellowship with God through salvation (accepting Christ’s offer of forgiveness for sin). • The Church has a Mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin. We believe “the church” is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God’s offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the

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sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ. • The biblical definition of marriage is between one man and one woman. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. This is what has been going on since the beginning of time. This is what we have been seeing so heavily in our world, especially over the last few months. The enemy knows his time is wrapping up and he is fighting hard to divide and conquer, so that God’s people will be destroyed. Let us pause this Christmas season and thank God for His gift of peace, Jesus. He came to give us life and life more abundantly. Without Jesus, there would be no hope, love, peace, or joy. Jesus is truly the reason for the season. But more importantly, Jesus is the reason we exist every day of the year. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, we are called to unite and fulfill the Great Commission, to go out and make disciples of all men proclaiming the Good News. Jesus is Love. His Word is Love. As we unite in the truth of His Word, we will reflect His love. Merry Christmas to all and to all a God life.

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LIFESTYLE

The gift of singleness Learning to be content

By Pastor David Baudoin

I wish everyone could get along without

marrying, just as I do. But we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of marriage, and to others he gives the gift of singleness. (1 Corinthians 7:7 NLT).

Did you know that being single can be a gift from God? Many times this truth is drowned out by the propaganda of this world. Our society often suggests that we are incomplete or that something is wrong with us if we are single. Don’t believe that lie! There are benefits that come with both marriage and singleness. As a single person, you have freedoms and opportunities that you’ll never have again. So, enjoy your life right now and take this time to prepare yourself for the next season of life.

Learn to be content Learning to be content in life is central. Paul said in Philippians 4:11 (GWT), “I've

learned to be content in whatever situation I'm in…” Contentment is something that is learned and is a mark of maturity. Contentment means we are no longer waiting for circumstances to change in order to be fulfilled. For example, we might think, “When I get married, then I’m going to be happy. When we have kids, then I’m going to be happy, etc.” That kind of thinking never brings contentment and joy.

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Live beyond yourself The most dissatisfied marriages are with people who married looking for fulfillment. The reason many singles are unfulfilled is the same reason many married people are unfulfilled; they’re using all their freedoms on themselves (Galatians 5:13). Living just for our own happiness will never satisfy us because God created us to live for something and Someone bigger than ourselves.

Prepare yourself Although most couples marry with a desire for a happy marriage, many make wedding promises they’re not prepared to keep. It’s not that they don’t intend to keep their wedding vows, it’s just that they haven’t made the necessary preparations. Preparation is what determines the success of a marriage, not just a desire to make it work. Following are some important things to remember concerning marriage: 1. Don’t rush into marriage with someone you don’t really know. I Corinthians 13:4 (NIV) states, “Love is patient…” Love doesn’t pressure. So, if you’re in a relationship with someone who is pushing you, then they’re not loving you. 2. Don’t fall into the “right person” trap. Too many people are convinced that if they find the right person then everything will work out. Don’t spend your time

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looking for the right person; spend it on becoming the right person. 3. Love is a decision you make — it’s a choice and not just an emotional feeling. 4. Don’t sabotage your marriage with pornography. This only leads you down the path of frustration, shame, and dissatisfaction. 5. Women, don’t use your body to find a man — you’ll only attract body hunters. There’s more to you than your body. 6. Get out of debt. You can get out of debt a lot quicker as a single person than you can as a married person. 7. Keep your physical relationship in line with your commitment. Self-control before you’re married will benefit you after you’re married. 8. Don’t live together. 9. Don’t be unequally yoked — especially when it comes to your faith. So, whether you’re single for life or just for a season, embrace and enjoy this time of your life. Fulfillment comes as we live out our calling as believers and not whether we are married or single. David Baudoin serves as the executive pastor at Crossroads Church. He and his wife Tara live in Lafayette, and have three daughters.

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LIFESTYLE

Brian Gotreaux, Realtor at Keller Williams A view from the devoted woman behind the man

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married a visionary! I love that his thinking is not the same as mine. It’s inspiring to hear his thoughts and ideas. When we started farming, it was our being obedient to our God. Much has been learned and we wouldn’t change the times we had in the past 16 years as farmers. It has been a love and a passion to grow food for our community and raise our family while doing it. As our children are changing and entering adulthood, our season is changing. As Brian publicly enters the real estate realm, it is nothing new to us or to him. It has been steady progress entering into real estate. It’s kind of like character being built in a person—those who are closest to the person may see the work being done, but the fruit is seen by the majority only after the person has been through the valleys.

When folks hear that Brian is selling real estate, it is a surprise to most. However what others may not know is that Brian has always in some way or another been in real estate. It is really a fantastic fit! He brings into this career his character and his integrity. His character of being a devoted husband of 30 years and father to ten is transparent to the quality of truly helping the person looking to buy or sell their home. It’s about helping you find the house that meets your needs. Brian has served his country in the U.S. Air Force, and his community by growing food for two decades. When serving is in you, you just don’t stop serving. This genuineness overflows into his real estate career. Thinking outside the box definitely fits a description of Brian. Being a father to ten

children, all adopted by the way, is not the norm. This could explain one of the reasons why Brian is a successful business owner. It requires thinking in creative ways or outside the box. This unique quality is an advantage and helpful to those in the market to buy a new home or sell the one they own. When the season comes, and it does, you will need the right realtor that can sell your house or help you purchase your new one. Not just one that can close the deal but one that cares! To have a realtor working with you is a plus—to have Brian working with you is the way to go! His ambition to do it right and serve his clients for their betterment is obvious. He has the experience of rehabs to not just see a house but to see the quality of the work, craftsmanship, and potential. He puts the r-e-a-l back in realtor!

Faith – Family – Farm T

his family of twelve was built by adoption! A beautiful way to see that we all fit into God’s family, as He has adopted each one of us. It was through obedience that our family was made. God dropped this vision into our hearts many moons ago. There was a time in the beginning when we had six children five years old and under! It really was a fun and joyful time. During those early years with our children is when God spoke to Brian to start the Farm.

“Organic” was new to Lafayette and not embraced. We knew in our hearts that we could only grow food by sustainable and organic ways. It was an uphill battle at the time, but so worth it! During these times, our family grew in character, learned to pull together, work for a common cause and depend upon their father for vision and leadership. What better way to unite a family! May we all have a purpose bigger than ourselves!

C O N TA C T BRIA N

To buy/sell a home CALL (337) 278-3444 or (337) 704-5904 EMAIL briangotreaux@kw.com ONLINE briangotreaux. yourkwagent.com Keller Williams Realty Acadiana, 900 South College Rd., Suite 100, Lafayette, LA 70503. Each office independently owned & operated.

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LIFESTYLE

DEATH TO CHAINS Interview with Curvine on his anti-trafficking campaign By Cori Phelps

Curvine, a Louisiana local and Christian hip-hop artist, together with his wife Candace, has launched a national anti-trafficking campaign and tour coming to a town near you in 2017, called “Death to Chains.” CSpotlight: Our conversation today is centered around human trafficking—how did God first open your eyes to this issue and how big of a problem is it? Curvine: It is a huge issue…one of the major travesties of our society. The UN reported that there’s an estimated 27 million people living in slavery right now…And then you look at that in perspective—that means that there are more slaves on the planet right now than at any point in recorded history… …I think that a lot of Americans—even in the church -- we view an issue like this as something kind of like the monster under the bed. That as long as we’re in the bed—with the sheets pulled over our head like it’s not there—but the truth is, it is going on. It’s happening right here in America. It’s happening under our noses. …A few years back…Cori, after being on the road, traveling, doing ministry for about six years of so, I kind of got into this weird place…I had been on the road…It was fulfilling, but in that season, I kind of just felt this feeling in my heart: there’s got be more… I was just kind of like, Lord, what’s next? And I’ll never forget. It was a Sunday morning. My wife and I were at our church in Cedar Hill, Texas—Trinity Church—amazing church there. And our pastor, Jim Hennesy, had brought in a special guest—a lady by the name of Christine Caine. …Man, she got on stage that morning. She began telling stories, and sharing her heart for this issue—for the young women and boys caught in this travesty. And Cori, I don’t know what hit me, but my wife and I sat in our seat, and we just wept and wept and wept the entire service. And, I mean, like disruptive weeping deep within our Spirit. And I felt that God was saying, like, “You’ve got to do something. You got to do something.”

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I felt like Moses. I had all these excuses, like, “Lord, I’m a rapper. I don’t know if You remember or not, but I’m a rapper.”…And I’ll never forget, we took up an offering… We put it in the offering bucket, and our pastor, Pastor Jim, got on that stage at the very end of the service and he said, “I cannot shake it, but I’ve got to let you guys know, some of you wrote a check, and you sowed a seed, and it’s going to further the fight for freedom. But there’s someone in this room. There may be more of you, but there’s someone in this room that God is calling you to do more than just write a check.” Look, I wanted to shout like we did at my old church back when I was a kid. And in that moment, I knew. I knew that God was speaking to me. He was speaking to my wife. We prayed about it, and then over the course of the next maybe six months or so, we came up with this concept to fight human trafficking using what we had in our hand. And what I had in my hand was music, creativity, a love for the creative arts—and that’s kind of the birthplace of the whole concept of “Death to Chains.”

RE AD /// L I S T E N

Learn more about Curvine’s testimony, family, his tour and how to get involved, by going to cspotlight.com. Find Curvine’s music and videos at curvinemusic.com.

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LIFESTYLE

Stylish Foodie

Warm for the holidays

By Angie Dumas

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he holidays are upon us and many of us will have friends and family who will be in town. Many of us want to take our friends and family to the new places that have opened in our area. Here is my suggested must try for your family and friends that will be visiting the area. The Steep House is a café that is dedicated to serving both unique desserts and a variety of teas to the sweet-lovers of Acadiana. The Steep House has a large variety of tea both hot and cold. I ordered the chamomile lemon tea. The tea was really good. I added a little honey and sugar for my liking and enjoyed a nice cup of tea. One of The Steep House's specialties is their Sammies. A Sammie consists of two oversized macaroons filled with ice cream. The Sammies are available in different

flavors. In addition, we ordered the strawberry short toast, which is a Japanese French toast; this dish blew me away. Superb. By far, my favorite menu item! This dish was similar to a French toast with toppings but 1,000 times better. Oh, so good. The Steep House also serves snow cream. Snow cream is a fluffy, Taiwanese ice cream. We ordered the almond snow cream with almonds, strawberries, and condensed milk. I loved the presentation. The Steep House recently introduced tea sandwiches, which are only served on Tuesdays for now. The sandwiches are different from week to week. The sandwiches were very good. I love that the sandwiches offered a variety of textures. I absolutely love everything about The Steep House. The Steep House has become

one of my favorite places. Be sure to go and check out The Steep House and tell them that Da' Stylish Foodie sent you. The Steep House is located at 930 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette, LA. The hours of operation are Tuesday− Saturday, 9am−7pm. Angie Dumas is the creator of DA'Stylish Foodie, dastylishfoodie. com. She and her husband Brian have two children and reside in Youngsville.

It is better to give It is Jesus’ birthday!

By Kelly Mouisset

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  s Christmas approaches many of us are trying to complete our shopping list. We have made our list and checked it at least twice making sure we have the perfect gift to give each person. As I reflected on the true meaning of Christmas I was reminded of the year we bought my Dad a goat. It was not for him, but on behalf of him. A family in Mexico received a goat that they could use for milk now and meat later. It gave a family hope, milk and opportunity. My father didn’t need another tie, but I know that family enjoyed that gift.     This season is about giving. It is a time to show others how much we love them and care about them, but it isn't just about the gift, it’s the act of giving. In Matthew 25:35, Jesus says that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. So, think about ways you can give Jesus gifts this Christmas; it is His birthday anyway. Why not serve the hungry, thirsty, or strangers on His behalf ? Or clothe the naked, serve the cspotlight.com

sick, or visit someone in prison? Jesus said when you serve the least of these you serve Him. Bless Him this Christmas and not yourself by giving a goat, donating a toy, or feeding the homeless. There are so many ways we can give to Jesus this Christmas for His birthday instead of just blessing those that can bless us in return.    So, give to Jesus this Christmas by serving someone who cannot serve you in return. If you look around, you will find opportunities to give. If you need help finding one, call me and I can match you with someone in need. Between the floods and the economy, we have so many people in our area in need this Christmas — there are plenty of opportunities to give to Jesus. Let this Christmas be the one that changes you forever.  Kelly Mouisset is the director of One Minute Ministry, OneMinuteMinistry.net, which provides daily devotionals and family-friendly events. She is the loving wife of Chris and mother to three amazing boys!

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By Derrick Johnson

“The practice of cutting down a Christmas tree and putting it back up symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ”

LIFESTYLE

Symbols of Christmas During the Christmas season, we see all sorts of symbols. We see huge Christmas trees in malls, as well as homes and businesses decorated with Christmas lights. We even see bells and holly on our street signs. But what do these symbols really mean? Can we see Christ within these symbols? The answer is yes. Let’s take a moment to dive into the meaning of these symbols.

The Christmas tree symbol The Christmas tree is a symbol of everlasting life. Christmas trees are always evergreen trees. Unlike most trees, evergreens never lose their leaves, symbolizing the promise of everlasting life. The practice of cutting down a Christmas tree and putting it back up symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Christmas wreath is also made from evergreen and has no beginning or end. It symbolizes the eternal God.

The Star symbol The star placed on top of the Christmas tree represents the Eastern star that led the wise men to the birthplace of Jesus. Some people prefer decorating the tree with an angel instead of a star, this being a symbol of the angel who announced Christ’s birth.

Other Christmas symbols Candles symbolize Christ as the Light of the world. In time, candles were replaced by modern lights, but the significance remains cspotlight.com

the same. Bells represent the joy of this day, and Jesus as the High Priest. Jewish priests used to wear a blue robe under the ephod and golden bells were attached to the hem of this robe. Holly, which has sharp edges, is symbolic of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at His crucifixion. The red berries represent blood. The candy cane is fashioned after a shepherd’s staff; shepherds witnessed the birth of Jesus. The white represents the purity of Jesus and the red represents the blood of His sacrifice. The practice of gift giving goes back to the wise men that brought gifts of myrrh, frankincense, and gold to the Christ Child in Bethlehem.

More than just symbols As we hang decorations and admire the lights this Christmas, let us grab hold to the deeper meaning of these symbols, knowing that the person of Christ is reflected within these symbols. Derrick Johnson lives in Lafayette La. He is married and has two beautiful daughters. He is also the owner of the retail store Wireless Plus.

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BODY & SOUL

The wonderful gift of peace The true meaning of Christmas By Pastor Todd Menard

There is a line in a famous Christmas song that says Christmas is, “…the most wonderful time of year!” Unfortunately, for many people the Christmas season is anything but wonderful because it brings up feelings of sadness and depression. Memories of loved ones who are no longer with us or the experience of a broken family can overshadow, even extinguish the joy of Christmas. But the true meaning of Christmas reminds us that we can have peace from our past, for our present, and about our future. Regardless of what we have been through or are currently experiencing, the Lord wants to relieve us from the heaviness of sorrow and despair so that we can experience His peace and joy this Christmas! (Luke 4:18)

Peace from our past Years ago after my mother died, the sorrow of her passing dampened my Christmas’s and began to rob me of the joy of the season. But then I remembered the blessing of Christmas and Jesus healed my broken heart and gave me peace. Isaiah 53:5 (NLT) says, “…he was wounded and crushed for

our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace…”

Peace for our present Christmas also reminds us that we can have peace in our present. You may not be enjoying a very peaceful life right now. You might be going through a broken relationship, financial stress, loneliness, or 10

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dealing with health issues. The heaviness of these hardships can weigh our hearts down and steal our joy. But I want to assure you that you can have peace in the midst of your trials and difficulties. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NASU) says, “Now

may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance…” Regardless of what you are going through right now you can have peace in your heart and mind. That’s the true meaning of Christmas!

Peace about the future Christmas also reminds us that we can have peace about the future. With the future of our nation and world at stake some people are living in fear — fear for their physical safety and financial wellbeing, as well as their relationships and family dynamics. Others are afraid of failing health while some are fearful of death itself and what they will face after death. Fear of the future is a real issue but the Lord wants us to have peace about our future. Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT),

“…Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace… His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

The true meaning The true meaning of Christmas is expressed in Isaiah 9:6 (KJV), “For unto

us a child is born, unto us a son is given… his

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name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Christmas is the time when God gave us His Son, Jesus who came to bring peace and goodwill to everyone. (Luke 2:8-14)

Receiving God’s peace There are only two requirements for receiving the personal peace that Christ offers. First, you must make peace with God (Isaiah 57:21). Before you can have the peace of God you must make peace with God. Secondly, you must believe and receive His peace. He assures us in John 14:27 (NLT), “I

am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” This Christmas may you experience the reason for the season — Jesus Christ! And may you receive the Lord’s gift of peace from your past, for your present, and about your future!

FOLLOW /// VISIT /familylifelafayette flchurch.net

Todd and his wife, Tonya are pastors of Family Life Church, 2223 Dulles Dr., Lafayette, LA.

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Make things happen! By Julie Esta'

I believe that we should often evaluate all areas of our lives to assess where we want to be and what changes we need to make to get to our desired outcome. It is equally important for us to ensure that our life lines up with God’s will and direction. Life will happen, no matter what… so why not make the most out of every second, minute, hour, day, month, and year? Reflect on this past year, did you set any goals? Did you accomplish them? Are you at a better place in your mind, body, spirit, finances? If not, the good news is that it’s the end of the year, not the end of your life. The New Year is just a fresh start, not the end! I challenge you; start today, before the end of the year. Pick one area and one thing to do/or not do and make that happen before 2017. Be consistent and you will see results and change. We are not guaranteed tomorrow but if we are going to be here, let’s enjoy it and make the most out of it. If we are overweight, sick, and tired how we can we fully enjoy our days? What change will you

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make right now? Today? What will you change in 2017 so that another year does not pass you by and leave you with regrets? You are in control and you can do it! It starts with a choice.

BODY & SOUL

Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? Whether or not you do,

Caprese Salad 1 Serving: 1 Vegetable, ½ Lean Protein, 1 Fat, 2 Condiments • ½ Cup grape tomatoes, sliced • 2 oz low-fat mozzarella, cubed • 2 Tbsp. Newman’s Own Zesty Italian dressing • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped finely • 1 tsp. Purely Cajun Seasoning Combine all ingredients. Enjoy! Julie Esta' is a Certified Health Coach and owner of Purely Cajun Seasoning. She has witnessed many believers grow in their spiritual walk as they implement lifestyle changes to improve their eating habits and physical health.

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BODY & SOUL

The world of Spice Queen Our best gift to give The Christmas season is a time of giving and receiving.

These acts are usually carefully and intentionally directed towards people but have you ever wondered how we could make a big deal about giving to the One whose birth we are celebrating? According to Matthew 2:1-11, the wise kings who had seen a star rise in the East followed it to the place where the new born king was and when they saw Him, they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. So, what can we give to the Lord Jesus Christ this season? The birth of Spice Queen LLC has been part of that answer for my life. When the Lord began to reveal the beauty of my love for spices, teas, and oils, I released this treasure inside of me as an offering to Him. As the Queen of Sheba presented King Solomon with the very best of what her land had to offer, I resolved to give God the very best of all He has given me.

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By Ngozi Maduagwu

God knows what treasures He has placed on the inside of us. When we bow down (or submit) ourselves to God as a living and holy sacrifice, He sees our worship and can use the gifts that He has given us for His glory. This is the inspiration behind our name and logo. This Christmas season, Spice Queen invites you to give your best gift by discovering and using the treasures that God has placed on the inside of you to shine the light of His goodness for all to see. Then spread some holiday love and cheer by blessing someone with a Healthy Holiday Hamper from Spice Queen! For more information, check us out on Facebook @spicequeenllc and be sure to like our page for a chance to receive 10% off your order.

Ngozi is the owner of Spice Queen LLC and has a passion for using spices, herbs, teas, and oils as natural remedies to promote health and wellness. She currently resides in Lafayette, Louisiana, loves to travel and share the love and joy of God.

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A not so silent night S

he gave birth to her first child, a son… That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep… Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.” (Luke 2:7,8,13 NLT) Although the night Jesus was born was fearful and holy, I don’t think it was all that “silent”. I mean who could be quiet about the fact that the Son of God had come into this world to save us from our sins? In verse 17 of this chapter it says that the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. Then verse 20 says, “The shepherds went back

to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the

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angel had said.” Yes, it was a night filled with holy worship as both angels and man gave praise to God the Father for giving us the gift of His Son, Jesus! The Psalmist said it this way, “I will tell

BODY & SOUL

By Julie Hasling

about your goodness in the great meeting of your people. Lord, you know my lips are not silent. I do not hide your goodness in my heart; I speak about your loyalty and salvation. I do not hide your love and truth from the people in the great meeting.” (Psalm 40:9-10 NCV) This season, don’t be silent about your faith but unashamedly share it with others. Be open to the many opportunities all around you to be the visible hands and feet of Jesus. Share God’s love and mercy through your kind words and good deeds. Merry Christmas to you all!

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GriefShare BODY & SOUL

Help for the holidays and beyond Staff Report

When family and guests have left,

the presents are no longer beneath the tree and the house is silent, the holidays — especially Christmas, may be unbearable for those who have lost a loved one. It may be difficult for those not experiencing the same loss to know what to say or how to help. For this reason, GriefShare programs in over 12,000 churches worldwide were formed to offer grief support groups, featuring biblical concepts for healing from grief. Currently, there are seven churches offering this program for the community of Acadiana.

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The weekly program is led by individuals who have personally experienced grief and who have found a way to rebuild their lives. Weekly topics include: Is this normal?; Challenges of grief; The journey of grief (in two parts); Grief and your relationships; Why?; Guilt and anger; Complicating factors; Stuck; Lessons of grief (in two parts); Heaven; and Where do I live for now? If you or someone you care about is going through the grieving process, the following churches have GriefShare programs to help: • The Bayou Church, 2234 Kaliste Saloom Road

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• Our Saviors Church, 1202 E. Broussard Road • Asbury United Methodist Church, 101 Live Oak Blvd • First Baptist Church, 1100 Lee Ave. • Progressive Baptist Church, 125 Gallian St. • First Baptist Church Opelousas, 3835 I-49 S. Service Road • Family Life Church, 2223 Dulles Drive To learn more on your own, please go to griefshare.org, and enter your zip code to find specifics on a program close to you, and remember Psalm 147:3 (NIV), “He heals the

brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

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Echoes inA ETERNITY willing vessel

Witnesses to the end

By Scott Broussard

If 2 Timothy (NKJV)1:7-8a states, “For God has not given us a spirit of

fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…”, then why do I get so paralyzed with fright at the mere idea of speaking with people I’ve never met about my faith in Christ and the Gospel message? Knowing and embracing the truth that my fear is not from God actually gave me the courage recently to accept an invitation to go into downtown Lafayette to engage in conversation with total strangers.

Divine calling

By Jim Phelps

How many non-Christians do I know? How many of

Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” – Acts 1:8 NIV? Would you accept the call? It would involve making known what could be otherwise unknown to those around you. Evangelism is more than giving your personal testimony about having a changed life. Evangelism requires sharing the Gospel with those who have never heard. Though your testimony is a very important piece to the puzzle, we must remember that no one is converted by our story. Only through repentance and faith in Christ are we brought into the heavenly kingdom (Acts 16:25-34). Though we may be apprehensive about sharing the Gospel with others, it is a message we must all share. If you haven’t been sharing His saving message as much as you would like to, now is the time. Let the coming new year be a year to declare loudly the message of salvation through Christ. By God’s grace, I’ve been able to encourage men to get out and engage strangers in culture about Christ. I’ve learned a lot from each of these men, as each of us casts aside our apprehension and fear to steer our conversations to a clear presentation of the Gospel message. Scott Broussard is one of these men. Jim Phelps and his wife, Cori, are passionate followers of Christ. Jim is particularly interested in mobilizing men and strengthening small groups. Learn more at 2717ministries.org, or contact him at info@2717ministries.org. cspotlight.com

HEART OF MAN

these have likely never heard the truth of the Gospel? What am I doing to reach them? Have you ever asked yourself such questions? Do you, like many, become apprehensive or fearful about sharing the Gospel, especially to someone outside your circle of friends or acquaintances? What if Jesus spoke to you in these moments of reflection, and He said: “But you will receive power when the Holy

In groups of two or three, the task before us was to ask questions to survey the spiritual climate of our incredible city. Going back two weeks before this day, we chose the questions we would ask and then received the news on the specific date we would accomplish our mission. I thought about it all week leading up to the evening. “What if this happens?” “What if I fail?” “What if I don’t know what to say?” Well, the following Tuesday my daughter was induced into labor having my second grandchild so I thought I was off of the hook for this night of witnessing. As it turns out, I wasn’t able to miss the assignment because the activity was postponed until the following Tuesday due to scheduling conflicts of the many who were determined to be present. I was in for another week of fear and apprehension.

Divine preparation Looking back, as the night approached, God was indeed with me all along and even though I was full of fear, I was compelled to courageously march forward and participate. The Sunday before, I was leading our children’s ministry at church and the scripture verse was Hebrews 13:56 (NCV), “…I will never leave you… The Lord is my helper…” The Sunday after, my pastor was preaching on 1 John 2:28, “And now, little

children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” (NJKV)

Divine encounters, Divine plan Thank God, I was able to enjoy the experience and I, look forward to doing it again and getting better at it. By divine providence, on that particular night, God placed certain individuals in my path. Some were from the church I attend. Another was part of a story I’ll never forget. There was a guy I’ve prayed for in the past when I’ve seen him bicycling and working in a neighboring city. On this evening, he was actually in Lafayette! God placed each of them in my path at the perfect time. In this experience, I learned from a practical example that God will never leave you and His path is always set before us. Scott Broussard is a husband, father, and grandfather who is passionate about Christian apologetics and making disciples who make disciples. He and his wife Laurie serve and attend Open Door church.

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Bi-partisanship …It still exists! By Pastor Dale Hoffpauir

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HEART OF MAN

n the aftermath of a divisive and most unusual election cycle, support for Israel is one issue that actually unites millions of Americans and brings both Democrats and Republicans together in the United States Congress. One of the most refreshing things I have experienced as I have supported Israel through the work of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is this bipartisanship that exists in support of Israel. At AIPAC’s Policy Conference earlier this year, I witnessed leaders of both parties share a stage and fully support Israel. As I stood in line, I visited with a college Democrat from Austin. We had a civil dialogue about several issues and both shared a firm commitment to supporting Israel. As I look at Louisiana’s Congressmen and Senators, I am proud, for they support Israel, regardless of party

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affiliation. But there’s nothing inevitable about that support. It requires regular engagement, especially from citizen activists, like you and me, who are committed to bipartisanship. In Congress, 535 individuals make the most critical decisions about Israel’s safety and security. Bipartisanship remains the most effective approach to ensuring their long-term support. This is especially true in light of unprecedented congressional turnover. For the reality is that those individuals continue to change. Since 2008, 395 new faces have come to Congress. And its bipartisanship in the midst of that turnover, that has kept Congress overwhelming supportive of Israel and issues related to the US-Israel relationship such as: backing Israel’s right to self-defense, funding projects such as Iron Dome, and advancing the Strategic Partnership Act.

December 2016

As pro-Israel Christians, we must be involved. We must engage in pro-Israel advocacy. When we do so, we are following in the footsteps of our biblical predecessors such as Esther, Moses, Nehemiah, Daniel, and Joseph. Israel’s greatest need for American support lies ahead, not behind. What can you do? Ask run-off candidates to clarify their position on American support of Israel. Thank elected officials for their unwavering support of Israel. Stay engaged on this issue. Visit aipac.org. Finally, continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Dale is the pastor of Nouvelle Church. He and his wife Carmen, and their three children reside in Lafayette. They aim to connect people who need a “new start” with the Giver of New Life.

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Eternal God

Sharing the message of eternal salvation By Keith Boutte

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Be just

and fair to all. Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you. Blessed are all those who are careful to do this. Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest and keep themselves from doing wrong.” Isaiah 56:1-2 (NLT)

God has a plan In chapter 53, we see God’s plan for His children; Isaiah 53:10,“But it was the Lord’s

good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.” (NLT)

 God has a plan for His children. That plan is the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins, yet more so that He rose to give us salvation and eternal life! Now, of course, this plan isn't free; it costs the person's life to receive the righteousness Jesus died for. We must give up our ways for God’s ways—living

coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!” What a plan! Yet every plan/promise from God has eternal implications. Meaning, though we go through trials mentally, physically and spiritually, through Christ we can overcome any challenge that comes our way. So, let’s get with the plan!

God’s plan of salvation  Isaiah 55:3 (NLT) says, “Come

to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.” God gave David amazing victories throughout his life in spite of his failures. David trusted God’s love was greater than his failures. David accepted the covenant God promised, and we now have a covenant with Jesus that is eternal salvation!

God’s warning of impending judgment  In Isaiah, we are also warned of how we should live with one another, “For the

leaders of my people—the Lord’s watchmen, his shepherds—are blind and ignorant. They are like silent watchdogs that give

no warning when danger comes.” (Isaiah 56:10 NLT) If you know Jesus you must not be silent, we are all called to share what we personally know, not to know it all. If there was a time to give the warning about judgment to come and the amazing grace offered to be “saved” from judgment, that time is now.

God’s desire for restoration  If you read Isaiah 57:15, we are reminded God is the High and Lofty One who lives in eternity, the high and holy place with those spirits who are contrite and humble. God restores crushed spirits and revives the courage of those with repentant hearts. God desires the restoration of Himself with all people. This was God’s plan from the time of creation until we live with Him eternally.

HEART OF MAN

 Isaiah wrote this about 700 years before Jesus lived. Isaiah proclaimed to everyone to be just and fair to all, do right and good, and the Lord is coming to rescue and display His righteousness. I look at what was written about 2,700 years ago and see a clear message from God, “I am with you eternally.” Some of my favorite chapters in the bible are from Isaiah chapters 53 to 57. God has spoken to me many times about many things in these chapters. 

according to God’s Word with His grace to help us succeed. Isaiah 54:17 (NLT) says, “But in that

Sharing God’s love It's Christmas this month. Let's show everyone how great God’s love is. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NLT) states, “For, there is one God

and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity-the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.”  The time is now to share the love of Christ with everyone—every debt paid, every sin forgiven to those that believe. Celebrate Christ Jesus’ birthday by sharing His love with someone. It may change eternity for them. 

Merry Christmas CSM family, God’s richest and glorious blessing be yours! Keith and Christy reside in Lafayette, LA and have four children. They have a passion for people, our city and for seeing the Lord lifted up as a light and hope to others. cspotlight.com

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How much Jesus? By Nick Sigur

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HEART OF MAN

t seems the world is having more trouble than ever accepting the babe born in a manger. We are feeling the effects. His followers are being stereotyped, marginalized, intimidated, prosecuted and even persecuted. We shouldn’t be surprised. The tiny one whose parents could not even get a room in an inn or provide a clean place for His birth scares the hell (yes I said “hell” pun intended) out of most. Maybe it’s because like the Magi, deep down, they recognize this child for all that He is. They gave Him gold in recognition of His kingship, not just earthly royalty but divine. This little one possesses great power. He is Ruler of the universe, a role hidden in a dingy

manger and not fully realized until His final return, but ultimate Ruler nonetheless. They gave Him frankincense because they knew Him as Priest, not just any priest but the Great High Priest who would advocate for lowly man with the Most High God. He would replace all the rituals and ceremony of religion with the reality of relationship. They gave Him myrrh because they foresaw Him as a murdered sacrifice for sin. They recognized this child in His most mysterious yet most marvelous role of all, the greatest gift ever given by a God whose capacity for love is beyond our meager understanding. If we are doing a good job of following, we are painful reminders of Him. So, let us not be too self-righteous when we hear “Happy Holidays” or Christmas

described as an over-commercialization of an ancient pagan feast. Unless we are prepared to receive Him as Emmanuel, King and Priest, and bloody sacrifice for sin, we are no better than those who reject Him as babe in swaddling clothes. If we accept Him completely, we are glorious, if painful reminders of who He is and that’s our mission. Just how much Jesus are you prepared to accept? Take Him all and be blessed and be a blessing. Nick Sigur has practiced law and ministered with his wife out of their Broussard home for 34 years. Nick writes an almost daily blog at NickSigur.com.

DECEMBER 14TH, 15TH & 16TH 7 p.m. DECEMEBER 17TH 4 & 6 p.m. CHILDCARE AVAILABLE 0-4 YEARS

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December 2016

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Honoring those who serve HEART OF MAN

By Nick Sigur

Is patriotism, respect for the flag and for those who have served, passe’ maybe even politically incorrect? Not, at least, at one church in Acadiana. Leo Dixon, James Jackson and the other members of the PBC Veterans Day Program Committee, all veterans themselves, wanted to do more than honor the past; they wanted to inspire the future.

They began an annual Veteran’s Day Celebration and they invited members of the Comeaux and Acadiana High School Junior ROTC to act as Color Guards for the ceremonies. Dixon noted how, seeing the veterans and the ROTC members, young people begin to consider that perhaps a military career might be a viable choice for them.

Each year since 2010 at Progressive Baptist, a distinguished veteran has shared memories of past service. On November 13, 2016, Progressive again gathered to honor veterans. Force Master Chief Earl S. Grey, USN, Retired, spoke directly to the cadets. He shared that those who serve their country do so because we, the citizens, are worth dying for. These brave men and women serve knowing there is a chance that they might be called upon to die. However, there is One, Jesus Christ, who went beyond that kind of sacrifice, willingly and knowingly dying because we individually are worth dying for. When the talk was over, dozen of young cadets, along with some adults, stood at the front of the church willing to acknowledge the sacrifice of Jesus with a decision to follow Him as Lord. They came seeking to honor the past service of others and left equipped to serve like only followers can. Progressive Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Lloyd Joiner, Jr. is located at 2001 E. Simcoe in Lafayette.

R EA D /// L I ST EN /// WAT C H The entire interview with pictures and video with veterans Dixon and Jackson at www.cspotlight.com cspotlight.com

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YOUTH

Make December different A holiday refocus By Pastor Brad Gill

Weighted in materialism and indoctrinated with a high sense of entitlement, children and teenagers today often have distorted expectations leading into the holiday season. Is Thanksgiving really a time to be thankful? Do we actually highlight “God with us” during Christmas? Or has the meaning behind these holidays spiraled into a type of false worship? Are they simply a way to celebrate being out of school, receiving lots of gifts, or enjoying a much-needed break from work? How can we get away from consumerism this Christmas season? As a student minister and dad of teenagers, I would like to be more intentional about how my family honors God through Christmas. I have a shirt highlighting missions to Africa that says, “Pray, Give, Go.” Maybe you and I can use this theme as a way to live out Christmas in practical, meaningful ways this year and for years to come. For example, take this December to focus on missions as a family—wherever we go (Matthew 28:19-20) we can share God’s love with others (John 3:16). Developing a missions-mindset can start with prayer in your family. Focus on giving later, then plan to go on a mission trip together. Whether you are a single dad, married couple, or wife with a husband working offshore, try simple ideas to pray, give, and go. 20

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Pray Prayer is an important habit and perfect way to change our mindset. Prayer is merely talking with and listening to God. Children learn to pray at meals and bedtime, but you can make prayer a regular part of your day as a family. Here are some easy ways to incorporate prayer into the life of your family: • Pray for missionaries serving overseas, nearby and even those planning to go in the future. • Pray for the things we take for granted, like warmth, food on the table, presents to give and receive, and—as my daughter said—puppies to love and care for! • When something good happens or when God answers a prayer, pray out loud with family members, “Thank You, Lord, for… Amen!” Simple and quick but purposeful and effective. • If you have a Christmas tree up, ask your family to write prayer requests and use clothes pins to fix them on the tree. Pray for the requests one by one.

• Set aside a predetermined amount to save each week. Let your family decide how much but ask what everyone is willing to sacrifice in order to save. For example, maybe you decide to skip a fast food meal and get by with a simple meal or even sandwiches at home. A family of four just saved about $25 that can be used to give to toward missions.

Go My family was able to take a big mission trip to another continent earlier this year through my church. If you are trying to go to another country, prepare to GO by first getting a passport! Not everyone loves to travel and going on a mission trip doesn’t always mean traveling to Africa. Going could mean doing something right here in Acadiana, such as helping at a homeless shelter, food bank, church or an organization that is meeting needs. Whatever you decide to do, “work at

it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” — Colossians 3:23.

Encourage each other to PRAY, GIVE and GO!

Give • Save your change, count it together, or take to something like Coinstar in grocery stores to exchange for a gift card. Give that card to someone who could use it on a meal or home improvements.

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Pastor Brad Gill is the Minister to Students at First Baptist Church in Lafayette and father of two.

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YOUTH

Christ-centered Christmas

You have a choice in the chaos By Nichole Marcell

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et’s face it, as a Christian parent it can be challenging navigating our family through the holidays. We all want our family to celebrate Jesus at Christmas, but there are so many distractions! Elves, exhausting shopping sprees, cooking, and must-do Pinterest activities can suck the life out of us. It seems as if the god of consumerism launches a full on attack against our children via toy and electronic commercials. And what about those awkward situations we find ourselves in, as rarely seen family members come to town. And suddenly we have to explain to our big-eyed children why Uncle Bob behaves “that way.” And what about those conflicting opinions at church! Christmas trees, good or evil? Santa or no Santa? Gifts or no gifts?

Hope for the holidays But there is hope! You are the parent and head of your household even during Christmas season. You have a choice in the chaos. You can prayerfully decide what you want your Christmas celebration to be about. My husband, Shawn, and I wanted Jesus to be the center of our celebration and to honor the community He has given us as a

Acadiana ADOPTION J

ammaisia is a cute and Jammaisia friendly 13-year-old who has a variety of hobbies that keep her active. She loves to play outside and ride her bicycle. Jammaisia also enjoys playing video games, computer games, singing, listening to music, riding her scooter, and running on the grass. She’s outgoing and active, and plays basketball and baseball. Jammaisia is in the fifth grade and her academic performance is average. She struggles with the subjects of math and reading and would benefit from extra educational support to keep her on target. Jammaisia has several friends and gets along fairly well with them. She is a big helper around the house. Jammaisia has an open mind about adoption. The ideal family will have a wealth of patience and understanding as Jammaisia learns to trust and adapt to a new environment. For more information about adopting Jammasia, call the Shreveport DCFS (318) 676-7100.

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family. So, early in our marriage we became intentional and devised a plan. (I literally made a line-up for Christmas Eve). We borrowed ideas and traditions from others, created a few, and thus began the Marcell Christmas Eve! Here are a few things we do…

The Marcell line-up Everyone arrives Christmas Eve in comfy clothes. Of course, as Cajuns we eat first! We eat a meal that comes out of one dish, fostering close community and conversation around the kitchen island. (No double dipping allowed.) Then, everyone moves to our big table. I light a candle and pray, thanking the Lord for His presence and light in our lives. Next, we nurture an atmosphere of worship and gratitude, as everyone shares one main thing that the Lord has done or showed them that year. After we have all “remembered” and shared, Linzee, my youngest daughter opens the outside door. This is something we do to outwardly symbolize an invitation and openness to the Lord to meet us in a special way on Christmas Eve. Shawn then anoints, prays for, and blesses me, and each of our unmarried children. He then prays for the other husbands at our table, who in turn anoint, pray for, and bless each of their family members. Afterward, we receive communion and sit a while. When this part of the night ends, we head to the living room. Everyone is assigned parts as we act out Luke 2:1-20 while Shawn reads it. This is especially fun for the little kids. Some years we open gifts at this time or play games, eat desserts, and just enjoy our community. It varies.

Celebrate Jesus! Christmas Eve is a cherished night in our home. Christ is the object of our adoration and we honor one another. (We spend Christmas Day with our extended family). We truly celebrate Him at Christmas. And so, can you! It doesn’t have to look like ours, but a Jesus-focused Christmas is within your grasp with a little intention and action. If you are looking for a new tradition, here is one I recommend. Make a simple clothespin wreath. Each day throughout the month of December, pray as a family together for one special request. Write it down on a paper and pin it to the wreath. By Christmas Eve you will have a wreath full of asks and answers from God. It’ll be fun to see your children’s eyes light up as they realize how many prayers God answered in December! Nichole Marcell has been married to Shawn for twenty five years, and they are blessed with four amazing children. Nichole has a passion for the Word of God, discipleship, and missional living.

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YOUTH

NOURISH

Beauty in the breaking

By Amanda Jean Elliott

The other day my sister overheard my 6-year-old niece consoling a classmate whose parents were divorcing with this phrase: “My Aunt Nana broke up.” What an apt phrase. I broke up. I broke open. Whatever is threatening to break you down is what God can use to open you right up and lift you to Him. If we are earthen jars to be filled by Him, what happens when we break? We either shatter dull and dark or we crack wide and shine. It is in the breaking that we think we will be forever damaged. It is in the breaking that we feel broken in ways that can’t be healed. It is in the breaking that we find out who we really are. It is in the breaking we discover who other people really are. It is in

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the breaking that we discover who He truly is. How do we find Him to be faithful if we are never required to act in faith? How do we find Him to be a miracle worker if our rescue doesn’t require the supernatural touch of Him? How do we find Him to be able if our situation never reaches the point that requires resolution by divine intervention? I broke up. When I divorced I felt broken to be sure but I also felt filled — filled to the brim with a kind of something that is nothing short of the Holy Spirit Himself. The Almighty had come to dwell. Come to mend. Come to restore and to heal. And more importantly, come to shine — to shine so bright people stop and ask how on this earth could a human with such a broken jar

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shine the light? Who are you in the breaking? It’s not about pride. It’s not about being tough. It’s about being who He says we are — redeemed, beautiful and loved. Did you break up? Do not believe the lie of the enemy that you are broken to be abandoned? That your jar will never look the same? That it will be covered with grotesque lumps in the healing? We serve a God who shines and heals entirely! Amanda Jean Elliott is a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, a newlywed, and mother to one wild child, Wilder, who is 4 and makes life divinely sweet. She is a writer and a Lafayette style editor and photographer.

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YOUTH

Not a creature was stirring Lessons that animals teach us

By Sally Creed

I am an animal lover. I grew up wanting a dog. When I was in middle school, we finally got one. As an adult, I have owned dogs since before my kids were born. My kids grew up loving and caring for dogs and to this day, they are dog lovers (as everyone should be)! I know families that refuse to have pets of any kind. I know children who beg year after year for a pet. I see cute videos on social media of children who break down crying from happiness when surprised with a pet. I believe it’s important for children to grow up owning and learning the responsibility of having a pet. My choice for the best pet is a dog —

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after all, it’s “God” spelled backwards. Many life lessons can be learned from owning an animal; here are a few: 1. Mess happens. No matter how hard you try to house break your pet, invariably an accident will happen. It’s not the end of the world, so remember: just clean it up. Life also can hit us with unexpected messes sometimes. As best you can, clean them up. 2. Don’t judge. Animals just live for love. They don’t care what you wear, how you look, or if you have morning breath. They just want you to be near them and love them. Some people need this, too. Don’t judge other people. Just be near them and love them. 3. Take naps. Animals sleep all the time. They do not feel stressed by deadlines. When they are exhausted (or bored), they sleep. Sleep is good for humans, too. Take a nap. Especially on Sunday afternoons. 4. Play often. Animals live for play. It makes them happy. But they don’t like to play alone. People (especially little people) like to play, too. Play with others (and with your pets). 5. Trust others. Animals are very trusting in most cases. They see the good in us and believe in us. If you get upset with an animal, they are quick to forget and love you anyway (this is especially true of dogs). When we get hurt, we stop trusting. This is not a good thing. Learn to trust people again.

6. Don’t hold grudges. Animals forget all the bad things you do. They don’t pout; instead they run to you for more love. People shouldn’t hold grudges toward others. Learn to forgive and move on. You will feel lighter and happier. 7. Death is inevitable. All animals die. We learn grief from our animals. We cry when we lose them. But we love again when we find another pet to bring home. People die. It’s not easy to deal with and you can’t replace people. But owning an animal can make the grief a little more bearable. 8. Love is best. Animals love us unconditionally. Follow their example. I recently decided to be a foster home for rescue dogs. In fact, I’m going to meet my first foster dog tomorrow. This dog would have been euthanized by the end of the week had I not come along. There are lots of wonderful, loving animals living in shelters that are desperate for a home. I hear they make fantastic pets because they know you have saved them and they love you for it. I’m fostering mainly because my large outside dog needs a friend and I want to save a dog, too. In this case, I think I’m saving two dogs. If you want to teach your children valuable life lessons, consider adopting (or fostering) an animal this Christmas. Your life will be blessed if you do. Sally Scott Creed is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor who has been working with children and families for over 24 years. She has two adult children and resides in Lafayette with her husband.

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YOUTH

Comfort zones, cake and a stable

Going out of our way to bring Jesus to a stranger

By Lori Proffett

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hristmas is my favorite time of year. I LOVE how festive it is. People are more open and friendly with one another. There’s a sweet spirit that’s in the air. There is hope and with hope brings a giving spirit. The wise men were good examples of that. They had hope in the Christ Child; they BELIEVED He was the Messiah. What did they do? They brought gifts. So how does that apply today?

Blessing the needy

For many years, long before the Pay it Forward movie, our family has “blessed” people anonymously. We couldn’t afford much being a large family, but there was always a way to do something. Taco Bell for instance, we would pay for the car behind us, and drive away before they knew it. My kids would empty their pockets of rocks and bugs to find those precious pennies and nickels to contribute. It made their day and every time we would drive by a Taco Bell they wanted to go through the drive-thru to pay for the next person. Once they were older and hanging out with their friends, they would pay for someone eating alone in a restaurant or would see someone on a street corner with a sign and would give them the lunch they had just purchased for themselves. Other times they would make an effort to make a homemade meal and deliver it to a shut-in.

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Reaching the needy Recently, two of my children noticed an elderly woman sitting on her porch in the afternoons as they walked home. They would wave and say hello. I had driven by on this particularly busy day and she was sitting there with her walker next to her. It was a very hot day and not many could endure much time outdoors. When I came home a few hours later she was still sitting there. I was worried that she may be stuck and couldn’t get back inside so I pulled over to see if she needed help. She said she was fine and was enjoying the heat. I noticed her ankles were swollen and she was fragile.

Celebrating the needy I told her my children waved to her every day and if she ever needed anything we would be happy to help her. She told me the next day was her 96th birthday! She said she would be alone that day. So needless to say, when I got home and told my children a plan began to form. They decided that flowers and a special cake were in order, as well as a card to celebrate. So, the next day we gathered the specified party favors and off we went to her home. We knocked on the door and sang happy birthday to her. We gave her the flowers and birthday cake and left her with the card. To be honest, she couldn’t understand why strangers would do anything for her birthday. We told her that we wanted her to be

December 2016

celebrated because she was special to Jesus, which made her special to us.

The needy — God’s blessing to us We have not seen her much since that day. We pray for her when we drive by her house and trust that God will prompt us to move if He wants us to do something. Sometimes we don’t get to see the end of the story, and that’s okay, because God gets all the glory that way. We don’t know what He does when we obey Him. We just need to trust that He has a bigger plan. I want to encourage you this season to step out of your comfort zone. Do something for a stranger and introduce them to Jesus. Show them His love in a tangible way that is personal to them. Go out of your way… Jesus went waaaaaaay out of His way for us, all the way to a manger. His first deep breath on earth was in a stinky stable. He came here just for you and for the person that God wants you to bless this Christmas season. So, while you are looking for your “stable” to happen upon, remember that it may seem to be the least expected place on the outside, but inside, could be heavenly. Lori Proffett is a wife and mother of 8. She is a speaker, writer, worship leader, and her passion is teaching the meat and potatoes of God’s word. She and her family live in Lafayette.

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Gift

In the past years since publishing "Donkey Otie's Forever

Perfect

By Vicky Branton

By Julie Hasling

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he Perfect Gift is the first in a series of Christ-centered children’s books that feature cats, Sam and Bogart, as they learn important life lessons. It’s Christmas Eve and Sam is feeling low and frankly quite unappreciative. While his little brother, Bogart, tries to cheer him up, Sam will not be quieted. Suddenly Sam encounters the Person Who is the reason for the season! And like the Giver He is, God graciously blesses Sam with a new heart and new outlook on life. The Perfect Gift can be purchased through Amazon.com and Trafford Publishing (trafford.com). Julie is founder/president of Life With Father Ministries (LWF) –— a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that ministers the gospel through social media, books, and in prisons. LWF also prayerfully and financially supports various orphanages around the world.

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YOUTH

The

Donkie Otie’s forever birthday

Birthday Story," I've given away as many as I've sold. Writing and printing a book was never the focus, but rather giving parents and grandparents a tool to teach their children about the love of Jesus. That first year a church in Acadiana caught the vision committing to purchase in bulk as a kickstarter for raising printing costs. They gave them away during their Christmas pageant. A school used them for fundraising buying at wholesale. Some people bought 10 packs of soft cover books to put in Christmas shoeboxes for children around the world or to hand out anywhere Holy Spirit said, "Give them a book." These are ways the Body of Christ helped one another to know about the birth of Jesus.  Consider how you, your church or business can spread the love and knowledge of Jesus this Christmas by distributing "Donkey Otie's Forever Birthday Story." Contact Doc@ DonkeyOtie.com or call 322-1664 to place your order. Remember to shout “Hallelujah” often. God inhabits the praises of His people. 

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T I P Kids

Faith-based summer camp for 2017 By Tola Olafude

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RESOURCES

here are many working parents who cannot afford the cost of a faith program and city camps though inexpensive, are not faith-based. TIP Kids is a faith-based, non-profit program that will provide parents with affordable summer childcare for school age children ages five through twelve. TIP Kids will not just be a summer camp but will focus on providing spiritual enrichment throughout the two months of summer, June and July. The children will participate in worship and will be taught the Word of God. The curriculum will come from the scripture verse, Isaiah 9:6. The children will learn that a Savior came 2000 years ago and that He is indeed Wonderful,

Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Qualified teachers who have a heart to minister to children will be retained. They will T-teach the child, I-invest in the child spiritually, and P-pray for the child daily so that the plans and purpose of God will be accomplished. Parents who work full time and would like to keep the same hours as a regular school day (8-3pm) but also want their children learning about the world from God’s perspective will greatly benefit from this program and should consider enrolling in TIP Kids. While city camp is funded by the parents and the tax payers; TIP Kids is funded by the parents, their sponsors, and anyone who wants to invest in a child, such as community

Gadgetry

members and businesses who want to support a program that encourages positive behavior in young children. We are looking for 1,000 members who will give $5 a month or a onetime gift of $60 to raise the extra funds. TIP Kids aims to open its doors in 2017, although we are still in the planning stages.

G ET I N V O LV E D

www.tipkid.org tipkids12@gmail.com (337)446-3070 Tola obtained a BA in marketing at ULL, has been working at a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teenagers for the past 14 years, and just recently returned back to school to obtain a diploma in Daycare Management.

Bringing joy or financial anguish

By Michael Melder

C

hristmas season for many is a time to get the expensive gadgets the family wanted, that they couldn’t get during the year. Due to this, many go into debt. Don’t get me wrong gadgets are fun and can make life easier, but is the joy of Christmas draining through your bank account? So, for this Christmas season let’s examine different gadgets and the joy they may or may not bring. Few ideas come to mind of popular gadgets, like cell phones, headphones, computers, tablets, TVs, cameras, and smart watches. These are all great and expensive gifts that anyone would be sure to love. The question though do they bring real joy? Cell phones are constantly changing and in a matter of months they are outdated and replaced with newer models. However, as we have probably seen through countless times and still seem to forget, they rarely bring joy, 26

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but frustration. On top of the price tag being $500+ outright, problems still arise like glitches, battery melting down, etc. Few sites like Swappa or Ebay can help you find used or new at half the cost. Shop online for computers and tablets, like at Amazon or Newegg. They offer good warranties and you can get more bang for your buck. You have to pay over $1K to have a computer that will work for you. Keep in mind computers go out of date every 5 years, so newer programs may still work. Good brands for computers are Asus, Acer, HP Business, Toshiba and a good tablet brand is the Microsoft Surface Pro. So overall, gadgets bring short-term joy. That is why the Bible says to set your mind on things that are above, not on the things that are of this earth. The only thing that can give you joy is the relationship between

December 2016

you and the Father above. So instead of going in debt this season, start living and teaching the Word to your family to help them see the ultimate joy this season! Merry Christmas! Michael Melder is an IT Support Specialist for Core Laboratories. He may be contacted at meldermichael64@gmail, if you are in need of computer repair. He and his wife, Jodi, have 4 kids and reside in Lafayette.

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Eternal faith in a fallen world

21 martyrs is reviving the Spirit

By Jennifer Breedon

I will never forget the image of 21 Christian men in orange lined up

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RESOURCES

for their execution — a picture now etched in our memories. Yet most of us don’t know the bigger story. The men had been held prisoner for months before that march to the waterfront. They were each given multiple chances to recant their faith in order to return to their families. Not one of them gave up Christ to save their mortal lives. As I headed to southern Egypt to meet the families of those faithful men, I assumed I’d be overcome with grief for them. I wanted to dismiss the reality of their experience and succumb to my blessed “American” tendency to live in denial of how awful Christian persecution is in the Middle East. Instead, they reminded me how I’m supposed to live as a follower of Christ. I was shocked by their joy, overwhelmed by their perseverance, and humbled by their faith. The persecuted Christians I met don’t look to politicians for hope or obsess over elections to ensure their safety. They don’t express anger at those who threaten them because they don’t fear this world. They know the truth — this world is temporary and “as believers we all must be ready to die for our faith while loving (even) our enemies.” I learned that I don’t need to live in willful ignorance of their suffering because I feel powerless to help them. The truth is I have so little to offer them, but everything to gain from their inexplicable peace. The body of Christ is expanding from Africa to East Asia in numbers we can’t fathom. In the words of a Middle East evangelical

This photo was taken by “Sam,” an Egyptian photographer when Jennifer met with the 21 Martyr families to help them build a clothing factory in their village. Headshot photo below by Ready Media.

pastor, “ISIS is the ‘evangelist’ [bringing Muslims to Christ through their actions]. We are merely the baptizers.”

F OR M O R E

www.jennifer-breedon.com www.clarionproject.org Jennifer Breedon is an attorney and Middle East analyst for The Clarion Project having worked in international legal arenas and combating Christian persecution. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her rescued pets: a dog, Grace and cats, Harvey and Dora, but travels extensively to speak about human rights issues and provide legal analysis.

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EQUIP is a growing outreach of CSM, and is a monthly luncheon to help followers of Christ navigate and combat the cultural atrocities encroaching upon our society. Our silence on cultural issues ends today.

DECEMBER 6th On December 6th, our guest speakers will be Pastor Dale Hoffpauir, of Nouvelle Church of the Nazarene and Pastor Sidney Morales, of Alpha & Omega Church. Together, they will be starting the conversation on the topic “Post-Election Analysis of U.S. – Israel Relations: Two Pastors’ Perspectives on Opportunities for 2017.” Please join us to give for this important discussion as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior! All attendees please go to www.2717ministries.org/RSVP and also our FB page event page for location and details. Be sure to REGISTER! *Note: Speakers are subject to change due to their own scheduling changes. Please check the Event page of CSM’s Facebook page for up-to-date info. Attendees MUST REGISTER at 2717ministries. org/RSVP in order for us to have adequate space.

Monthly word By Cheryll White

doxa /dóksa/ noun — glory, rediance or splendor, with a strong association of importance and display of power. It refers to eye-catching, wondrous beauty, perhaps with a emphasizing that the person being honored is powerful, beautiful and important. #1391 Strong’s

Luke 2:14, NLT, “Glory to God in highest

heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Elder Cheryll White has been a licensed, ordained minister for over 26 years and resides with her husband in Scott. 28

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RESOURCES

The certainty of salvation By Pastor Steven Bowen

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hristmas is a time of celebration, reflection and gratitude, as well as a time for family traditions, seeing loved ones and giving. I would also submit that Christmas is a time of uncertainty. Life can get hectic during the holidays. Emotions run high, travel can be long, and most importantly one’s purpose in life is thought about more than normally. In this world of constant change and uncertainly, each person must ask themselves this question: What am I absolutely certain of ?

Luke the Physician and good friend of the Apostle Paul wrote to people with the same thing on their minds. Luke’s gospel gives us about 70% of the Christmas narrative. He says in Luke 1:4, “that you may know the

certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” (NKJV)

Luke is directly dealing with the uncertain times the people were living in. There was political upheaval, major moral, philosophical and theological differences between what people viewed as truth in the

same area, even the same household. Was Jesus the Savior… the promised Messiah? Did He really rise from the dead and promise the certainty of salvation for all who put their trust fully in the work of His Cross? Luke never met Jesus face to face nor was he one of the 12 disciples, but was just like everyone who has experienced the salvation Jesus alone brings. He had great certainty of it. God’s plan of salvation is a plan of certainty! When you celebrate Christmas, what are you celebrating? I am celebrating the certainty of my salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. What are you and your family rejoicing about this Christmas season? My prayer for you is one of certainty found in Christ alone! Steven Bowen is the Senior Pastor of Foundations Church. He and his wonderful wife, Megan are expecting their fourth child in April.

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Searching for a church home? Adonai's House of Prayer 601 E. Jane St., Abbeville Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Alfa & Omega Bilingual

605 South College Road (337) 552-83338 Sundays, 11 a.m.

Amana Christian Fellowship Church

310 Milton Road, Maurice (337) 893-5728 Sundays, 10 a.m.

Assembly Christian Center 4201 E. Admiral Doyle, New Iberia (337) 369-8000 Sundays, 10:35 a.m. Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m.

The Bayou Church

2234 Kaliste Saloom Road (337) 984-8291 Sundays, 9 & 10:30 a.m.

Bethel Church 15147 LA 102, Jennings

Sundays, 9 & 10:30 a.m.

Calvary Baptist Church

4015 Moss St. (337) 269-0976 Sundays, 9:30, 10:30 a.m. & 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 pm

Calvary Chapel

111 Camellia Blvd (337) 962-3616 Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

Christ Church • Abbeville

Cornerstone Cowboy Church 400 N. Lewis St., New Iberia (337) 365-9013 Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Crossroads Church

150 Verona Drive (337) 234-4308 Sundays, 9, 10:45 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. 1st Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

Destiny of Faith Christian Church 1900-C Cameron St. (337) 231-5119 Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m. Wednesdsays, 7 p.m.

The Family Church 223 Stone Ave. (337) 234-0214 Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m.

Family Life Church 2223 Dulles Drive (337) 988-0030 Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

Faith Family

Fellowship

230 Robertson St., New Iberia (337) 365-0051 Sundays, 10 a.m.

Fellowship Biker

Church

835 W. Napoleon St., Sulphur (337) 842-3029 Sundays, 10 a.m.

First Assembly of God

210 S. Saint Valerie Sundays, 10 a.m.

3555 Verot School Rd (337) 857-0018 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

800 Jefferson Blvd. Sundays, 10:30 a.m.

First Baptist Church of Broussard

• Northside

• Opelousas

Campus

Sundays, 10 a.m.

Church Acadiana

4620 Hwy 90 E , Broussard (In Celebrity Theatres) (337)856-9902  Sundays, 10 a.m.

Church on the Rock 1411 E. Admiral Doyle New Iberia Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Community Baptist Church

800 Rue De Belier Sun., 9:30, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

First Baptist Milton 2535 E Broussard Road (337) 856-5402 Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 6 p.m.

First Baptist Youngsville

623 Lafayette St. (337) 856-5806 Sundays, 10 a.m.

Freedom Baptist Church

1132 N. Martin L. King, Eunice (337) 523-8192 Sundays, 10:30 a.m.

Freedom Biker Church 2939 Cameron St. (337) 344-2658 Sundays, 10 a.m. Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.

Foundations Church 209 Southpark Road Sundays, 10 a.m.

The Harvest Center Church 903 E. Simcoe (337) 280-1040 Sundays, 11 a.m. Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

Hope Chapel

1797 Declouet Hwy. Breaux Bridge Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.

Ile Des Cannes Worship Center

434 Herbert Road (337) 303-1881 Sundays, 10 a.m. & 5 p.m.

Jubilee Nation Christian Ministries

4400 Moss St. (337) 205-4934 Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

Lafayette Vineyard

First Baptist Church

Life Church

242 St Pierre Blvd. (337) 896-8296 Sundays 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. Wednesdays 7 p.m.

First Baptist Lafayette

1100 Lee Ave. (337) 233-1412 Sundays, 9:45, 11:11 a.m. & 6 p.m.

Pathway Church

Living Glory

Philadelphia Church

Metro Life

Progressive Baptist Church

Miracle Place Church of Acadiana

1515 W. University Ave. Sundays, 10:30 a.m.

1320 Fortune Road Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. 200 E. Butcher Switch Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

210 S. Morgan Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. Sundays, 9:15, 10:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.

of Carencro     

Living Faith

705 Bonin Road (337) 837-7060 Sundays, 10 a.m.

3210 Ambassador Caffery (337) 504-5004 Sundays, 9:15 & 11 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

1110 N. Main St., Opelousas Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

New Beginning Fellowship Church 519 Parkway Drive, Breaux Bridge (337) 442-6209 Sundays, 10:30 a.m.

New Kingdom Ministries

2032 NE Evangeline Thruway (337) 234-6868 Sundays, 9 a.m. Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

Nouvelle Church

105 Merchants Blvd. (337) 232-9279 Sundays, 10 a.m.

One Church Acadiana

1800 Chemin Metairie Sundays, 10 a.m.

Open Door

1709 Dulles Drive (337) 981-6438 Sundays, 9:30 a.m.

Our Savior’s Church

1201 E. Broussard (337) 839-8889 Sundays, 9, 11 a.m. & 5 p.m. 1st Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

1300 Bertrand Drive (337) 261-8801 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

2001 E. Simcoe St. Sundays, 11 a.m. Wednesdays, 6 p.m.

Redeemer City Church

Rivers of New Life 600 General Mouton Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Riverside Church of Christ 200 South City Pwky. (337) 984-2035 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

Spirit & Truth Church 1128 W. Simcoe Street (337) 234-0678 Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 6 p.m.

Spirit of Faith Church

205 Touchet Road (337) 456-5315 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

Trinity Bible Church 130 E. Broussard (337) 406-2801 Sundays, 9 & 10:45 a.m.

Trinity Christian

Methodist Episcopal 604 Lee Avenue (337) 234-3005 Sundays, 9:45 a.m.

Victory Family Worship Center

• Eunice Campus Sundays, 10 a.m. • Jennings Campus • Opelousas Campus

White Dove

Sundays, 10 a.m.

Lighthouse Church

200 W. Willow St. (337) 233-3387 Sundays, 8 & 10 a.m.

204 Apollo Road, Scott (337) 593-8994 Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

• Crowley Campus

6408 Johnston St. (337) 984-4567 Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.

1100 Camellia Blvd. #202 (337) 501-6612 Sundays, 10 a.m.

Sundays, 9 & 10:45 a.m. Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m.

Parish Church

328 Guilbeau Road (601) 606-0140 Sundays, 10 a.m.

1400 W. University Ave. Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 6 p.m.

Youngsville Community Church 4129 Verot School Road Sundays, 9 & 10:30 a.m.

To view the interactive map of local churches or submit your church to this list, please visit cspotlight.com. 30

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BUSINESS LISTINGS

Additional businesses in the area partnering to bring you Covenant Spotlight each month!

Acceptance Capital Mortgage Corp. – Vernon E. Jenkins (337)453-0012, vjenkins@acceptancecapital.com, www.acmclafayette.com; NMLS# 111424, #2225. ~ Knowledgeable & Dependable Mortgage Loan Experts! ~ ASH Industries, Inc. (337) 235-0977, info@ashindustries.com, ashindustries.com ~ Transforming your ideas into mass-produced parts and products for every industry. ~ Brett L. Grayson (337) 706-7646, blgraysonesq@gmail.com, blgraysonesq.com ~ Attorney at Law specializing in criminal defense and personal injury cases. ~ Freedom Biker Church Lafayette -- Pastor Kent Duhon 2939 Cameron St., (337) 344-2658, www.freedombikerchurchlafayette.com ~ Sunday Hangout at 10 a.m. & Refuel Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. ~ Highway 2 Heaven Biker Church – Pastor Monty Van Horn 1608 W. Main Street, Gatesville, TX, montyvanhorn@vhmi.org, www.vhmi.org Julie Esta’ (337) 298-2078, julieesta@gmail.com, julieesta.ichooseoptimalhealth.com ~ Certified health coach helping to create healthy transformations. ~ Purely Cajun Seasoning Julie Esta’, (337) 366-0522, info@purelycajun.com, purelycajun.com ~ All-natural, healthy Cajun seasoning for all of your food. ~ Keller Williams Realty Acadiana – Lana Soileau 900 S. College, Ste. 100, Lafayette, 70503. Realtor, Licensed in LA, Keller Williams Realty Acadiana (Each Office Independently Owned and Operated.) (337) 735-9300, Cell (337) 945-1324, lanasoileau@kw.com ~ A Top Realtor who looks out for YOU! ~

Check out SCRAPBOOK online at cspotlight.com. Join our list of Christian business supporters by emailing cori@cspotlight.com.

CALENDAR OF CHRISTMAS EVENTS Dec. 1 – Monthly City-Wide Prayer gathering at Lafayette Consolidated Government building at 12 noon; first Thursday of each month. For more info, contact Kelly Mouisset at 337-349-6538 or email Kelly@oneminuteministry.net. Dec. 2 – Ladies Peppermint Christmas Party, 6:30 p.m., Crossroads Church, 150 Verona Drive. Go to Joliwomen.com for more information. Dec. 3 – Newsboys – Love Riot Tour, with special guests, The Afters & Ryan Stevenson at Baton Rouge River Center. More information at Eventbrite.com. Dec. 7–11 – “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” - A special First Baptist Lafayette Christmas musical presentation commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. At 7 p.m. on the 7th–9th and 3 p.m. on 10th & 11th. Free tickets, fbclaf.org. For more information, call (337) 593-3757.

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Dec. 9 – Christmas in the Park at Moncus Park at the Horse Farm on Johnston St., 6–9 p.m.; Free event, and they’ll be collecting new or gently used toys to be donated to non-profit Love of People, to be given to children in community and foster homes. Live music, and for inquiries contact Gus Rezende, gus@socialentertainment.net. Dec. 9–11 – Living Bethlehem production by First Assembly of God Church, at Sugar Mill Pond at 6:45 p.m. each night; Live portrayal of Mary & Joseph’s journey bringing Jesus into the world, told through cast and animals, music and narration. For more information, please contact (337) 857-0018. Dec. 10 – Sounds of Christmas Concert (formerly 12 Days of Christmas) 5–10 p.m. at Parc Sans Souci in Downtown Lafayette. Free family event with life-sized nativity, local musicians singing Christmas music, hot chocolate, cookies and more. Go to oneminuteministry.net for more info.

Dec. 14–17 – The Real Story of Christmas, A free, off-broadway style musical by Crossroads Church; 7 p.m. on 14th, 15th & 16th and 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. on 17th. Childcare available for ages 0-4. For more info, go to mycrossroads.org. Dec. 18 – Joy Fest at Northside Assembly of God Crowley, 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; Community-wide, family-friendly event with inflatable games, flag football, a mechanical bull, Christmas karaoke, a hot cocoa bar, BBQ burgers and activities. Everything absolutely FREE! Dec. 23 & 24 – Annual Christmas Concert at The Bayou Church, Main auditorium only, 6:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. & 4 p.m. Saturday; Enjoy the beauty & meaning of Christmas at our familyfriendly event, highlighting some of your fav Christmas music and brief message from Pastor Mike. For more info, go to thebayouchurch.org/christmas.

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Covenant Spotlight magazine December 2016  

Unity in Christ, reflecting love in Louisiana. Merry Christmas